As of the 10AM EST Public Advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Epsilon is listed as a Category One hurricane with sustained winds of 80 mph and a central pressure of 982 mb. The eye of the hurricane is 545 miles west-southwest of the Azores and moving to the east-southeast at 8 mph.
Hurricane Epsilon is maintaining a strong ring of convection surrounding the eye. Beyond that, outflow has maintained and the storm is remarkably symmetric. This is a very impressive hurricane for the central Atlantic in December, and one that has continued to maintain hurricane intensity despite a lack of any explanation.
Lixion Avila at the National Hurricane Center is continuing to shoot straight in his discussion:EPSILON HAS IGNORED THE
COLD SSTS AS WELL AS THE STRONG UPPER-LEVEL WESTERLIES AND HAS
MAINTAINED HURRICANE STRENGTH. I AM AM NOT GOING TO SPECULATE ANY
MORE ON THE FUTURE INTENSITY OF EPSILON AND WILL JUST FOLLOW SHIPS
AND GFDL WHICH ARE THE BEST GUIDANCE AVAILABLE. SHIPS MODEL
GRADUALLY WEAKENS THE CYCLONE AND THE GFDL KEEPS IT AS A HURRICANE
FOR NEARLY 3 DAYS. THE OFFICIAL INTENSITY FORECAST IS THEN A
COMPROMISE BETWEEN THESE TWO MODELS.
NHC, specifically Avila, has completely screwed up in the past on this storm so at this point surrender seems preferable. Of course, I am not going to claim to have a much better idea. I think Epsilon is going to hang around for at least a few more days, though.
Cooler sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and an increasingly hostile environment should have caused Epsilon to weaken by now. Especially considering the cool water below Epsilon, the hurricane was expected to transition to an extratropical storm. However, there are no signs of that transition occurring. In fact, the GFDL model is still maintaining Epsilon as a warm-core system for the foreseeable future.
The models are pushing Epsilon east-southeast in the short term. In a couple days, the models are turning the system to the southwest. This will bring whatever is left of the storm back over warmer waters. I am past the point of surrender. I should have picked a simple job, like rocket science or brain surgery.