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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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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Quoting jipmg:
how the heck is the center of ana on 14.9N?


I was wondering the same thing...
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Yes, everyone, that 65MPH reading was, in fact, a Surface Reading from the latest Vortex message at 1:50pm EST.
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Quoting canesrule1:
Latest Vortex on Ana

Product: Air Force Tropical RECCO Message (URNT11 KNHC)
Transmitted: 16th day of the month at 18:02Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 304)
Tropical Depression: Number 4 (flight originating in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 1
Observation Number: 06

Mandatory Data...

Observation Time: Sunday, 17:58Z
Radar Capability: Yes
Aircraft Altitude: Below 10,000 meters
Coordinates: 28.5N 84.3W
Location: 118 miles (189 km) to the WNW (288°) from Tampa, FL, USA.
Turbulence: Light
Conditions Along Flight Route: In the clear
Pressure Altitude: 760 meters
Flight Level Wind: From 160° at 41 knots (From the SSE at ~ 47.1 mph)
- The above is a spot wind.
- Winds were obtained using doppler radar or inertial systems.
Flight Level Temperature: 18°C
Flight Level Dew Point: 7°C
Weather (within 30 nautical miles): Thunderstorm(s)
925 mb Surface Altitude: 819 geopotential meters

Optional Data...

Estimated Surface Wind: From 150° at 40 knots (From the SSE at ~ 46.0 mph)


Thats not a vortex *facepalm*
Member Since: April 27, 2008 Posts: 29 Comments: 2097
For the northern Gulf, Ana may present a problem..kinda far out at the moment...but all this worry about Claudette is confusing..my feeling is much ado about nothing. We get worse afternoon thunderstorms than this thing will bring to the Pensacola area
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1270. Drakoen
Flight level winds don't support a 65mph system.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30674
Product: Air Force Tropical RECCO Message (URNT11 KNHC)
Transmitted: 16th day of the month at 18:02Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 304)
Tropical Depression: Number 4 (flight originating in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 1
Observation Number: 06

Mandatory Data...

Observation Time: Sunday, 17:58Z
Radar Capability: Yes
Aircraft Altitude: Below 10,000 meters
Coordinates: 28.5N 84.3W
Location: 118 miles (189 km) to the WNW (288°) from Tampa, FL, USA.
Turbulence: Light
Conditions Along Flight Route: In the clear
Pressure Altitude: 760 meters
Flight Level Wind: From 160° at 41 knots (From the SSE at ~ 47.1 mph)
- The above is a spot wind.
- Winds were obtained using doppler radar or inertial systems.
Flight Level Temperature: 18°C
Flight Level Dew Point: 7°C
Weather (within 30 nautical miles): Thunderstorm(s)
925 mb Surface Altitude: 819 geopotential meters

Optional Data...

Estimated Surface Wind: From 150° at 40 knots (From the SSE at ~ 46.0 mph)
Member Since: April 27, 2008 Posts: 29 Comments: 2097
Quoting tropicfreak:


Looks like on visible claudette is trying to form an eye.


tf...buddy...no eye...dont get ahead of yourself...theres very little convection on the western side of the storm...very lopsided...
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Latest on Claudette

Product: Air Force Tropical RECCO Message (URNT11 KNHC)
Transmitted: 16th day of the month at 18:02Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 304)
Tropical Depression: Number 4 (flight originating in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 1
Observation Number: 06

Mandatory Data...

Observation Time: Sunday, 17:58Z
Radar Capability: Yes
Aircraft Altitude: Below 10,000 meters
Coordinates: 28.5N 84.3W
Location: 118 miles (189 km) to the WNW (288%uFFFD) from Tampa, FL, USA.
Turbulence: Light
Conditions Along Flight Route: In the clear
Pressure Altitude: 760 meters
Flight Level Wind: From 160%uFFFD at 41 knots (From the SSE at ~ 47.1 mph)
- The above is a spot wind.
- Winds were obtained using doppler radar or inertial systems.
Flight Level Temperature: 18%uFFFDC
Flight Level Dew Point: 7%uFFFDC
Weather (within 30 nautical miles): Thunderstorm(s)
925 mb Surface Altitude: 819 geopotential meters

Optional Data...

Estimated Surface Wind: From 150%uFFFD at 40 knots (From the SSE at ~ 46.0 mph)
1266. Melagoo
ANA has left the building ... ?
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1265. jipmg
how the heck is the center of ana on 14.9N?
the weather here has changed quite a bit the last 30 minutes...raining now...and a lot more breezy
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1263. GatorWX
wow, perhaps my earlier theory may pan out, Judging by the radar images, the center doesn't appear able to support 60 mph winds, maybe 45-50. Thunderstorms aren't that intense, and again, very dry west side.
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Quoting Ossqss:
If it is moving at 25mph with 65mph reported wind = 90 mph in that corridor, correct?

The reported wind would include the translational velocity component. That is why the measurements are almost always higher right of the motion vector. (except in really weird situations)
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Quoting Skyepony:


Ya'll thought I'd lost it yesterday with my outside chance of a Cat 1 call..

The gulf can do some freaky things when it gets this hot. Land & that ULL that had harrassed that wave really tried to mask how tenacious it was.


Same conditions are awaiting Ana, should she survive that long...
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Quoting Ossqss:
If it is moving at 25mph with 65mph reported wind = 90 mph in that corridor, correct?

Not quite like that.. 25mph is forward speed anyways, where as the 65mph are generally downdrafts or lateral winds... You wouldn't really feel the forward speed, per se... If the winds are 65 mph, you'll have some area with those sustained and gusts that are a bit higher.
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1259. drj27
anyone think this will affect ft.walton beach
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Is it just my eyes or is Ana moving a little north of the forecast points?
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1257. Drakoen
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Not funny and stop messing with NHC products.


LOL!
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30674
Quoting HurricaneKyle:


No seriously.. Ana isn't on the graphic rofl.
Glitch.
Sorry. Because there is a 2pm update saying poorly organized and barely hanging on as a TS
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
1255. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting Drakoen:
Recon is finding now 65mph winds in Claudette


Ya'll thought I'd lost it yesterday with my outside chance of a Cat 1 call..

The gulf can do some freaky things when it gets this hot. Land & that ULL that had harrassed that wave really tried to mask how tenacious it was.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 207 Comments: 39035
1254. Drakoen
Quoting GatorWX:


surface or flight level Drak?


Surface but flight level winds have not been that high
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30674
1253. Michfan
Quoting Ossqss:
If it is moving at 25mph with 65mph reported wind = 90 mph in that corridor, correct?


Ana is moving that fast. Not Claudette.
Member Since: September 7, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1738
Quoting GatorWX:


surface or flight level Drak?


Surface winds, the Vortex message has it at 65 MPH. We might see a special advisory here soon. Flight Level winds aren't as strong.
Member Since: August 10, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 672
Quoting CosmicEvents:

What is it that bothers you about the ignore or believe center line folk?


same deal...on Monday they will say "ignore the center line/ look at the error cone". on Tuesday they'll say "the center line is NHC best guess and they're always right"

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Quoting WPBHurricane05:
Where did Ana go?? LOL

NHC put her on ignore.
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1249. Drakoen
Flight level winds are not supporting such a strong system though
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30674
1248. Michfan
Surface
Member Since: September 7, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1738
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Not funny and stop messing with NHC products.


No seriously.. Ana isn't on the graphic rofl.
Glitch.
Member Since: August 10, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 672
1246. Ossqss
If it is moving at 25mph with 65mph reported wind = 90 mph in that corridor, correct?
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1245. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting IKE:


I'm riding it out. If I don't post this afternoon/evening, my electricity will have been knocked out.
you will be fine ike he who has no name is watchin over ya or at least thats what i as for anyway
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Quoting canesrule1:
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 57kts (~ 65.6mph)

Thanks for the repeat. I could not hear him the first time, my kid was screaming.
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Quoting IKE:


I'm riding it out. If I don't post this afternoon/evening, my electricity will have been knocked out.


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.
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1242. GatorWX
Quoting Drakoen:
Recon is finding now 65mph winds in Claudette


surface or flight level Drak?
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Quoting jasoniscoolman10:
WHERE IS ANNA????/
000
WTNT32 KNHC 161800
TCPAT2
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM ANA INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 18A
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL022009
200 PM AST SUN AUG 16 2009

...AIRCRAFT FINDS ANA POORLY ORGANIZED...BARELY A TROPICAL STORM...

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR PUERTO RICO...THE
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS...THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS...MONTSERRAT...
ANTIGUA...BARBUDA...ST. KITTS...NEVIS...ANGUILLA...ST. MAARTEN...ST.
MARTIN...SABA...ST. EUSTATIUS...DOMINICA...GUADELOUPE...AND ST.
BARTHELEMY. A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM
CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 36
HOURS.

INTERESTS ELSEWHERE IN THE LEEWARD ISLANDS AND THE NORTHEASTERN
CARIBBEAN SEA SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF ANA. ADDITIONAL
WATCHES AND WARNINGS MAY BE REQUIRED FOR PORTIONS OF THESE AREAS
LATER TODAY.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA IN THE UNITED STATES
...INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE
MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
FORECAST OFFICE. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA
OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED
BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.

AT 200 PM AST...1800 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM ANA WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 14.9 NORTH...LONGITUDE 57.8 WEST OR ABOUT 240
MILES...385 KM...EAST OF THE DOMINICA.

ANA IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 25 MPH...40 KM/HR. THIS GENERAL
MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE WITH A TURN TOWARD THE
WEST-NORTHWEST TONIGHT. ON THIS TRACK ANA SHOULD REACH THE LEEWARD
ISLANDS LATE TONIGHT OR EARLY MONDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 40 MPH...65 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS...AND LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT
COUPLE OF DAYS. DATA FROM AN AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT
INDICATE THAT ANA IS POORLY ORGANIZED AND COULD DISSIPATE AS A
TROPICAL CYCLONE LATER TODAY.

TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 50 MILES...85 KM
FROM THE CENTER.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1005 MB...29.68 INCHES.

ANA IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES OVER
THE LEEWARD ISLANDS...INCLUDING PUERTO RICO...AND THE U.S. AND
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 6 INCHES
OVER MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN.

...SUMMARY OF 200 PM AST INFORMATION...
LOCATION...14.9N 57.8W
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WEST OR 270 DEGREES AT 25 MPH
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1005 MB

THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AT
500 PM AST.

$$
FORECASTER BRENNAN/ROBERTS



Quoting jasoniscoolman10:
WHERE IS ANNA????/
Not funny and stop messing with NHC products.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
Appears recon nailed the COC for Ana at 58W, 15N. That is on the southerly side of the model cluster ... south of DR/Haiti and most of Cuba. Kinda like Katrina.
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Quoting HurricaneFCast:
Just in as of 10 minutes ago:

B. Center Fix Location: 80 miles (129 km) to the SSE (154°) from Panama City, FL, USA.
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 57kts (~ 65.6mph)


Wow.. the NHC might have to issue another special advisory. 65 mph.
Member Since: August 10, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 672
Where did Ana go?? LOL

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1236. Grothar
The 2:00 PM advisory is out from the NHC for Ana. Not much change, however it mentions she may dissipate if she goes over the larger islands.
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WHERE IS ANNA????/
Quoting HurricaneFCast:
Just in as of 10 minutes ago:

B. Center Fix Location: 80 miles (129 km) to the SSE (154°) from Panama City, FL, USA.
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 57kts (~ 65.6mph)
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 57kts (~ 65.6mph)
Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 16th day of the month at 17:50Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 304)
Tropical Depression: Number 4 (flight originating in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 1
Observation Number: 05
A. Time of Center Fix: 16th day of the month at 17:33:00Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 29°08'N 85°05'W (29.1333N 85.0833W)
B. Center Fix Location: 80 miles (129 km) to the SSE (154°) from Panama City, FL, USA.
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 753m (2,470ft) at 925mb
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 57kts (~ 65.6mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 12 nautical miles (14 statute miles) to the E (94°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 145° at 45kts (From the SE at ~ 51.8mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 55 nautical miles (63 statute miles) to the E (84°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 1008mb (29.77 inHg) - Extrapolated
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 19°C (66°F) at a pressure alt. of 762m (2,500ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 22°C (72°F) at a pressure alt. of 764m (2,507ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 9°C (48°F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Not Available
M. Eye Shape: Not Available
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Radar, Wind, Pressure and Temperature
N. Fix Level: 925mb (If this vortex is from mid 1990's or earlier 925mb might be incorrect. See note.)
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 2 nautical miles
Remarks Section:
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 54kts (~ 62.1mph) in the northeast quadrant at 16:45:00Z
Sea Level Pressure Extrapolation From: 925mb
Displacement of Sfc. Center From Flt. Lvl. Center: Surface center is 6 nautical miles to the W (276°) from the flight level center

Special Notes:
- If this vortex is from approximately the mid 1990's or earlier, the "fix level" is properly decoded as "Other". Meaning, the level is not 1500ft, 850mb, 700mb, 500mb, 400mb, 300mb, or 200mb, but might not necessarily be 925mb. In vortex messages since approximately the mid 1990's, the number "9" in the vortex for this section explicitly decodes as 925mb and "NA" means "Other".

Claudette Rapidly intensifying?
Member Since: April 27, 2008 Posts: 29 Comments: 2097
Quoting nishinigami:
My apologies for asking, but how do you use google earth to watch the recon flights?


download GE and open this once you have it

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Just in as of 10 minutes ago:

B. Center Fix Location: 80 miles (129 km) to the SSE (154°) from Panama City, FL, USA.
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 57kts (~ 65.6mph)
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Has anyone looked at the latest satellite images on Claudette - per the NHC website? It looks like there are two swirls. One further north - close to appalachicola, and one more south. Can someone look at this for me? What am I seeing??
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Buoy SG0F1 South of Apalachicola has winds sustined at 44 and gusts to near 50 mph and pressure has dropped .04in in ths last 30 minutes.
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Two readings of this right next to each other in Claudette just found.
51 knots
(~ 58.6 mph)
Member Since: August 10, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 672
Might have another advisory very soon if Claudette gets 9 extra MPH, to Hurricane strength.
1226. jipmg
Any new model runs out? If so please post!
Quoting IKE:


And I've got trees all around the area I live in...out in the country.

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.
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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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