Ana, Bill,--and Claudette?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:52 PM GMT on August 16, 2009

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After one of the slowest starts to hurricane season in the past twenty years, the hurricane season of 2009 has exploded with activity over the past 48 hours. This morning, Tropical Depression Four joined Ana and Bill in the Atlantic, and appears poised to become Tropical Storm Claudette later today. Indeed, this may already be Claudette, as morning's QuickSCAT pass showed top winds of 45 mph. NEXRAD radar animations out of Tallahassee, FL, show a small but well-organized tropical cyclone with plenty of heavy thunderstorm activity, and improving low-level spiral banding. Satellite loops show an area of intense thunderstorms with cold cloud tops expanding near the storm's center.


Figure 1. Current long-range radar out of Tallahassee, FL.

It's pretty amazing (and a little unnerving) how quickly this storm sprang up. TD 4 developed literally overnight, and has the potential to be a strong tropical storm by the time it makes landfall tonight along the Florida Peninsula. TD 4 reminds me of 2007's Hurricane Humberto, which became a hurricane just 24 hours after first appearing as a tropical depression. I don't think TD 4 has time to reach hurricane strength, since wind shear as diagnosed by the SHIPS model was moderate, 10 - 15 knots, but it does have time to strengthen into a 50 - 60 mph tropical storm before landfall. Given that the storm is so small, storm surge flooding should not exceed 3 -5 feet, and will not be the major hazard from TD 4; inland flooding from heavy rain of 3 - 6 inches is likely to be the main threat from the storm.

Tropical Storm Ana continues to struggle
Tropical Storm Ana continues to struggle. Dry air continues to plague the storm, thanks to the large area of Saharan air the storm is embedded in. Ana's heavy thunderstorms are limited to just one small spot near the center. Wind shear appears to have lessened some, though, since yesterday. Thunderstorms were not able to form at all near the center yesterday, since strong wind shear tends to blow a storm's heavy thunderstorms to one side of the storm, exposing the low-level center to view. With heavy thunderstorms building near the center this morning, shear appears to be less of a problem for the storm. Top winds seen by this morning's QuikSCAT pass were about 35 mph. The outer rain showers from Ana should appear on radar out of Martinique today.

Shear is low (5 - 10 knots), and is forecast to remain low for the next two days. SSTs are warm, 28°C, and will warm further over the next two days. However, there is so much dry air around Ana that significant strengthening appears unlikely. Nearly all of the models predict Ana will dissipate sometime in the next three days, though the HWRF and GFDL predict that this will happen because Ana will move over the rugged terrain of Hispaniola. Ana is likely not strong enough to survive an encounter with the big island that the Dominican Republic and Haiti share. At this time, it does not appear that Ana will be moist enough to cause a major flooding disaster on Hispaniola.


Figure 2. Water vapor image from this morning showing the large area of dry, Saharan air surrounding Ana, and lying to the northwest of Tropical Storm Bill. Image credit: NOAA/SSD

Tropical Storm Bill gathers strength
Tropical Storm Bill is gathering strength in the middle Atlantic Ocean, and appears poised to become a powerful Cape Verdes-type hurricane later this week. QuikSCAT data from this morning shows a large circulation with top winds of 35 - 40 mph. Water vapor imagery (Figure 2) shows that there is some dry air to the northwest of Bill, and this dry air is being drawn into Bill's center, slowing intensification. It will likely take another day before Bill can moisten the atmosphere enough to ward off the dry air, and allow more significant intensification.

Wind shear is low, 5 - 10 knots, and is forecast to be in the low to moderate range, 5 - 15 knots, for the next five days. Sea Surface Temperatures are about 27.5°C, and will remain in the 27.5 - 28°C range the next four days, then warm substantially as the storm nears the Lesser Antilles Islands. The combination of low wind shear and sufficiently warm SSTs should allow Bill to intensify steadily to hurricane strength by Wednesday.

The big news is that our most reliable computer model from last year--the ECMWF model--appears to have made the right call yesterday, forecasting that a major trough of low pressure would develop along the U.S. East Coast, turning Bill more to the north. All of the other models--with the notable exception of the UKMET model--have now jumped on the ECMWF bandwagon, forecasting that Bill will pass well north of the Lesser Antilles Islands. The UKMET has Bill hitting the islands, but is being discounted since it is an outlier. It currently appears that the trough approaching the U.S. East Coast will be strong enough to recurve Bill before it reaches the U.S., though it is too early to be confident of this. Several of the longer range models show Bill passing near Bermuda or Nova Scotia, Canada.

I'll have an update later today.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Can someone please tell me what year was Georges. I would like to look it up but I don't remember it. TIA


1998
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1324. hahaguy
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Can someone please tell me what year was Georges. I would like to look it up but I don't remember it. TIA

1998
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Quoting HurricaneKyle:


Getting close to Hurricane Status.
yup, a cane at 5 is very likely, btw Bill will not be a fish, i will eat crow if im wrong:

Link for Claudette - showing where she has relocated further South.

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t3/loop-wv.html
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1321. BrandiQ
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Can someone please tell me what year was Georges. I would like to look it up but I don't remember it. TIA


1998
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1320. Ossqss
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Link

Claudette might stall for a bit
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Bill is looking to be a pretty storm. Hope he swims with fishes...
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Quoting alpha992000:
And thanks tons Relix! Yeah, same here I've been tracking hurricanes since Hugo in 1989 (I was 7). I told my friend I'll keep them posted but that there shouldn't be THAT much problem for them. Heavy rains, some thunderstorms, gusts and they'll probably lose power, but you know that happens here with or without a storm.

About Bill... *sigh* I don't even want to think about it. I do think it may pull a Georges, and I'm just NOT mentally ready for that. Last I checked UKMET was the only model projecting a direct impact. While I do think Bill will probably go North, I think it's gonna be a bit closer to us than the other models suggest. At least that's what I'm hoping for.
Can someone please tell me what year was Georges. I would like to look it up but I don't remember it. TIA
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Quoting Tazmanian:
bill wont be a fish


if bill be comes a fish i eat crow


what makes you think that Taz?
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1315. BrandiQ
Quoting alpha992000:
And thanks tons Relix! Yeah, same here I've been tracking hurricanes since Hugo in 1989 (I was 7). I told my friend I'll keep them posted but that there shouldn't be THAT much problem for them. Heavy rains, some thunderstorms, gusts and they'll probably lose power, but you know that happens here with or without a storm.

About Bill... *sigh* I don't even want to think about it. I do think it may pull a Georges, and I'm just NOT mentally ready for that. Last I checked UKMET was the only model projecting a direct impact. While I do think Bill will probably go North, I think it's gonna be a bit closer to us than the other models suggest. At least that's what I'm hoping for.


Georges path...

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1314. bigdil
Quoting drj27:
anyone think this will affect ft.walton beach


Looks to me like the she is turning north and will make landfall near Bay/Gulf county border. Just some rain and a little wind in FWB.

bd
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Quoting weatherman874:


so if its further south it will go farther west

The track on twc showed it bending further westward.
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Quoting StormW:
I see Claudette making landfall between Apalachicola and Panama City.


Just my luck. and now steady rain but not much wind ......I'm 30 mile N of coast in Wewahitchka

Member Since: July 9, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 387
1311. Patrap
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Quoting Drakoen:


Thought I was the only one that saw that


Just shows you how hard it is to forecast these things then.
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1309. Drakoen
3.5= 63mph 994mb
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30833
1307. jpsb
Quoting tennisgirl08:
Ok - looks to me like Claudette may have relocated her COC to further south - AND might be starting to wrap around on the eastern side now. She is definitely getting more organized!!
Really? How much further south? This could be a game changer.
Member Since: June 30, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1276
1305. Ldog74
Bill has still got to close off that train of dry air, its getting right into the center of the system. I think the NHC will be reluctant to show any significant strengthening before that happens. Granted, the pocket has become more cloud filled in recent hours, the clouds are still largely low-level in comparison to the rest of the system.
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Quoting extreme236:
SAB

16/1745 UTC 12.5N 39.3W T3.5/3.5 BILL -- Atlantic


Getting close to Hurricane Status.
Member Since: August 10, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 672
Quoting tennisgirl08:
Ok - looks to me like Claudette may have relocated her COC to further south - AND might be starting to wrap around on the eastern side now. She is definitely getting more organized!!


so if its further south it will go farther west
Member Since: May 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 250
Quoting Tazmanian:
bill wont be a fish


if bill be comes a fish i eat crow
i agree, i know u have me on ignore, but i agree, lol
Atmo & PcolaDan, Thanks for the answers. I just had to ask cause we have so much around the shop and just have to becareful, especially with other folks boats and all. Thanks agian.

Sheri
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1300. amd
I'm not sure about the exact strength of Claudette, but as winter said, don't be surprised if Claudette's center relocates to the south.

latest recon suggests sse flight level winds at 28.2 N 83.9W, which is about 50 miles to the sse of the NHC center position.

At the 28.2 N 83.9 W, winds should be out of the SW if the center is at the nhc position.
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HurricaneFcast do you expect Claudette to go a little further W, than the models are saying right now.
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1298. Drakoen
Quoting hurristat:
wow what a juxtaposition between 1276 and 1277.


Thought I was the only one that saw that
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30833
Quoting WPBHurricane05:
Time for our Bastardi fix. LOL


It burns!
Member Since: April 27, 2008 Posts: 29 Comments: 2097
Ok - looks to me like Claudette may have relocated her COC to further south - AND might be starting to wrap around on the eastern side now. She is definitely getting more organized!!
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SAB

16/1745 UTC 12.5N 39.3W T3.5/3.5 BILL -- Atlantic
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
drak any thoughts on what I sent?
Member Since: November 15, 2005 Posts: 16 Comments: 4189
bill wont be a fish


if bill be comes a fish i eat crow
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115456
Quoting serialteg:
looks like bill wants to avoid the encounter with the Islands and follow NHC and most model guidance tracks to the north

"FISH"

- serialteg looking at latest bill loop


Yeah, Bill seems to be leaning to the right or north of the forecast path.
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Quoting alpha992000:
And thanks tons Relix! Yeah, same here I've been tracking hurricanes since Hugo in 1989 (I was 7). I told my friend I'll keep them posted but that there shouldn't be THAT much problem for them. Heavy rains, some thunderstorms, gusts and they'll probably lose power, but you know that happens here with or without a storm.

About Bill... *sigh* I don't even want to think about it. I do think it may pull a Georges, and I'm just NOT mentally ready for that. Last I checked UKMET was the only model projecting a direct impact. While I do think Bill will probably go North, I think it's gonna be a bit closer to us than the other models suggest. At least that's what I'm hoping for.


omg omg me too hugo1989 i was 7 toooooo

:D i feel japanese suddenly...

where u from?
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1988
Quoting hurristat:
wow what a juxtaposition between 1276 and 1277.
LMAO!
Time for our Bastardi fix. LOL
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
1287. Lizpr
She's back on the NHC map
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Latest Surface Winds: 48.5 knots (~ 55.8 mph)
Tropical Storm

Location: 28.333N 84.133W
Member Since: April 27, 2008 Posts: 29 Comments: 2097
1285. IKE
Quoting sporteguy03:


You have Brighthouse right for internet/phone? I never had to test their E911 out yet....hopefully I never do but if you have it your phone service should still work as long as not cordless phone.


That's what I've got. Clouds rolling in now....winds at 10-15 mph.
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wow what a juxtaposition between 1276 and 1277.
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looks like bill wants to avoid the encounter with the Islands and follow NHC and most model guidance tracks to the north

"FISH"

- serialteg looking at latest bill loop
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1988
1282. Dakster
Sounds like Hurricane watches should be posted then...
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Quoting IpswichWeatherCenter:


Thats not a vortex *facepalm*

Lol you beat me to it Ipswich.. Yes that wasn't even in the center.. that was well southeast of it.. Almost near St. Pete.
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Quoting IpswichWeatherCenter:


Thats not a vortex *facepalm*
my bad, i took it off, i was typing something else and it was written on the blog, sorry, lol facepalm
Quoting wakd3Xn04:
NHC put her on ignore.



LOL
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115456
And thanks tons Relix! Yeah, same here I've been tracking hurricanes since Hugo in 1989 (I was 7). I told my friend I'll keep them posted but that there shouldn't be THAT much problem for them. Heavy rains, some thunderstorms, gusts and they'll probably lose power, but you know that happens here with or without a storm.

About Bill... *sigh* I don't even want to think about it. I do think it may pull a Georges, and I'm just NOT mentally ready for that. Last I checked UKMET was the only model projecting a direct impact. While I do think Bill will probably go North, I think it's gonna be a bit closer to us than the other models suggest. At least that's what I'm hoping for.
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1277. CJ5
Ana seems to be getting her legs back under her. Convection, however slight, has been maintained since this am. It does appear he coc may be peeking out from the convection some, though. I still think she is a viable storm and if she stays to the southern model tracks she can escape the mountains and hit the super heated water. Still a lot going on with her over the coming days.
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ANNA is RIP
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115456
1275. IKE
Quoting atmoaggie:

Around here, the power companies have a little more public latitude to aggressively trim trees around power lines in the country. It is the towns that there is a big fight to chop a tree near/over a power line. Could be different, there.


Chelco does around here too.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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