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 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.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
My apologies for asking, but how do you use google earth to watch the recon flights?
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thanks louisianna 444
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Rada
Quoting winter123:
I still think the tiny center of claudette may relocate to the west-center part of this huge convection:



Loop



The radar supports my theory.

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Ana's barely a Tropical storm but now moving at 25 MPH.
Member Since: August 10, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 672
Quoting canesrule1:
WOW, it would be bad if a hurricane got into the Gulf, talk about rapid intensification, 55MPH in less than 18 hours.


This is my concern with Ana, even if she comes in as a depression. Could pull a Claudette and get real ugly real fast.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
1219. IKE
Quoting Michfan:


IKE you look at the inland TS warnings? Is it just me or do you think they are a bit too far west as far as alabama is concerned with most of its convection being so far to the east of its center.


You could be right.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Hi everyone! What an active weekend we've had.



Right now a great section of the Carribean and almost the entire GOM have temperatures above normal.

Link

There is way too much warm waters over the GOM that have accumulated all the summer with the lack of any tropical systems. What would be the odds right now of either Ana or Bill from churning into the Caribbean?
Thanks.
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Hi everyone,
Came back from a cruise Saturday morning into Miami but prior to arrival early Saturday morning at 2am we were in 45 mph winds out of the East due to the wave that is now Claudette! The ship was just off of Miami.
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i say bill now have 70mph winds ohs with me
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114656
Latest flag on Claudette 55.2 MPH


Time: 17:47:00Z
Coordinates: 28.8167N 84.6W
Acft. Static Air Press: 925.1 mb (~ 27.32 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 810 meters (~ 2,657 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1016.0 mb (~ 30.00 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 179° at 38 knots (From the S at ~ 43.7 mph)
Air Temp: 17.4°C (~ 63.3°F)
Dew Pt: 7.9°C (~ 46.2°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 40 knots (~ 46.0 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 48 knots (~ 55.2 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 20 mm/hr (~ 0.79 in/hr)
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Quoting WPBHurricane05:


When a tropical storm/hurricane watch and/or warning is issued for any area, advisories are issued every 3 hours. Otherwise, they are issued every 6 hours.


Thanks!
Member Since: October 15, 2008 Posts: 11 Comments: 2305
Here comes Claudette:

Apalachicola, Florida (Airport)
Updated: 6 min 55 sec ago
Heavy Rain
77 °F
Heavy Rain Mist
Humidity: 90%
Dew Point: 74 °F
Wind: 20 mph from the SE
Wind Gust: 33 mph
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1212. NARCHER
any vortex for anna
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Claudette is strengthening:

Time:
16:45:00Z (12:45PM EST)
Coordinates:
29.1333N 84.85W
Acft. Static Air Press:
924.1 mb (~ 27.29 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt:
782 meters (~ 2,566 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press:
1011.9 mb (~ 29.88 inHg)
D-value:
-
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s):
From 139° at 54 knots (From the SE at ~ 62.1 mph)
Air Temp:
17.5°C (~ 63.5°F)
Dew Pt:
7.0°C (~ 44.6°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind:
55 knots (~ 63.2 mph)

SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind:
59 knots (~ 67.8 mph)

SFMR Rain Rate:
21 mm/hr (~ 0.83 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data

Given the Flight level winds, though, these surface winds are bit exaggerated, probably due to the rain. In any case, it still shows around a 55-60MPH TS, and this was just east of the center just over an hour ago.

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1210. Drakoen
Recon is finding now 65mph winds in Claudette
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29864
1209. Michfan
Quoting PcolaDan:


Right now neither Pensacola nor Mobile are in the warning areas nor the forecast cone. This is subject to change obviously, but it appears you should, I repeat should, be okay. Again, always subject to change, but Claudette getting very close to land now.


Al/FL-border 30.30n 87.45w
Suwannee-River-FL 29.30n 83.15w


Attn... WFO... mob... tae...



1038 am CDT sun Aug 16 2009

... Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect...
... Tropical Storm Wind Warning remains in effect from 1 am to
4 PM CDT Monday...

Say again?
Member Since: September 7, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1665
Quoting IKE:


And I've got trees all around the area I live in...out in the country.
looks like you can be Jim Cantorie today
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Camellia & SouthAlWx, Thanks for the answer. South where ya from? I'm in Satsuma. The tropics are cranking up. It makes ya wonder what where in store for rest of the season.

Sheri
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if the high weakens and allows Bill to curve North wouldnt it weaken to allow ana to go north too? I think Ana goes to Florida

Anything is possible but i doubt it will go that far north but i'm not the NHC stay with them for updates
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 22 Comments: 1342
1204. GatorWX
Panhandle folks, keep a close eye on td 4, it's looking very healthy and really appears to be strengthening rapidly. It looks to be developing very heavy convection around the center. Very steady intense bands around a psuedo eyewall on e side. This appears to be eerily similar to Humberto in '07, and sort of micro-storm. I wouldn't call it weak because regional pressures aren't dropping as it's wind field should and size should remain very small independent of strength. Wind shear is forecast to rise some from 5-10 kts to 10-15 kts tomorrow. This could slow it down a bit. Don't be surprised when later around we see a much better looking storm. It's great that we should be able to see basically the entire storms formation and track on radar. NHC may hesitate and take some time to really grasp the whole situation. These small strong storms are amazing at how quick they form from almost nothing and very quickly. I honestly believe this could be a hurricane by landfall and land interaction is not going t o affect it because of it size.

I posted this top paragraph at 5am. At that time, Claudette was much smaller, but her center appeared somewhat stronger than it does now. As I noted, her west side was very dry and I assumed at that time she would be able to overcome this rather quickly. Well, fortunately this has not happened, and hasn't allowed for much strengthening if any since then. She has expanded in size substantially though. I think had she been able to moisten her west side, she'd be much more powerful than she is. This was and is a very similar situation as Humberto ('07). She would have kept going until she hit land rapidly gaining strength. These small storms are amazing at how quickly they can develop and strengthen so incredibly fast.
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Should be near 70mph by the 5pm.

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1202. IKE
Quoting IpswichWeatherCenter:


Get out then.


I'm riding it out. If I don't post this afternoon/evening, my electricity will have been knocked out.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Thanks serialteg.
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1200. Drakoen
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
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29864
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
i see the same thing stormw

good afternoon to you friend


Good Panama City Beach webcam.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
1198. Relix
Quoting alpha992000:
Relix, JLPR: Sorry to bother you guys but right now I'm not home so don't have all my links and info available. I've got a friend stuck with his family in Culebra and wants to know what's the deal with Ana just in case they can't make it back in time. Any info you could provide would be really appreciated. Can't wait to get back home and see the latest. I'm having Weather Underground withdrawals! :-s


I don't have the knowledge or experience of many people here, but I've been tracking Hurricanes since I was a kid so its been a hobby of mine for a long, long time. I'll just post my summary...

1) Ana is surviving. She relocated her COC to the NW, or at least to me it seemed like that, and is moving WNW now, maybe even NW. The thing is the track will shift north, either over PR or ABOVE it. At the moment she's weak, so only rain and some winds I expect.

2) Bill is the bane of my existance. I know what the models say, but as I posted previously Bill wants to pull a Dean or worst case scenario for us a Georges. The High Pressure to the north will just not let it turn that much to the North anytime soon and I assure you the track will shift to the south soon. I don't think we will receive a direct impact... but that's only hope. Nature decides what happens.Hope you help your friend!
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2642
1197. Thaale
Bill strengthening as forecast. Bad news for wc's that had him still hurting from dry air for two-three more days, remaining at low TS strength and drifting W. Should be interesting to see how much quickly and sharply the 2 pm model runs have him turning right (and how that will be explained as the track actually trending S by the usual suspects).
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WOW, it would be bad if a hurricane got into the Gulf, talk about rapid intensification, 55MPH in less than 18 hours.
Quoting IKE:


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


Well, then you are more likely to lose power then. Those trees can create havoc.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
1194. NARCHER
anna 1009 mb
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Quoting HurricaneKyle:
Well on its way to Hurricane Status.


beautiful pic! :D
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
1192. Michfan
Quoting IKE:
12HR VT 17/0000Z 30.2N 85.8W 55 KT

That's 30 miles SSE of me.


IKE you look at the inland TS warnings? Is it just me or do you think they are a bit too far west as far as alabama is concerned with most of its convection being so far to the east of its center.
Member Since: September 7, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1665
The tropical weather word of the day, "CAB." From west to east, (C)laudette, (A)na, (B)ill.
Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1264
if the high weakens and allows Bill to curve North wouldnt it weaken to allow ana to go north too? I think Ana goes to Florida
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Quoting CaneWarning:


A few garbage cans too! She'll probably even bring down a few trees.


97L brought strong winds very heavy rain near-zero highway visibility and good surf to south coast of puerto rico. thinking thats about right with ana, only stronger, if she gets nearer and to our south
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
1188. IKE
Quoting CaneWarning:


You could lose power.


And I've got trees all around the area I live in...out in the country.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1187. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting EastCoastMove:
Hopefully Claudette doesn't stick around too long giving Tallahassee a repeat of Fay...


She should move on through. I like a little right of the NHC black line..Franklin or Gulf counties for a landfall.
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1186. jpsb
Quoting winter123:
I still think the tiny center of claudette may relocate to the west-center part of this huge convection
I've seen that happen alot with gulf storms, if think the center is here and next thing you know it's someplace else. Hard to tell exactly where the storm will go, if you don't know where the center is. However Claudette is running out of time and space. If she is going to form a real center she'd better hurry up.
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Looks like Destin.
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i wonder if Ana will try to merge with that area NE of Puerto Rico?

cimss shows there is some 850mb vorticity with it.
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Well on its way to Hurricane Status.
Member Since: August 10, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 672
Quoting Drakoen:
Looks like RECON is trying to get a vortex message on Ana.
guess that is why it is taking so long for the 2pm advisory.
Quoting IKE:
12HR VT 17/0000Z 30.2N 85.8W 55 KT

That's 30 miles SSE of me.


Get out then.
Member Since: April 27, 2008 Posts: 29 Comments: 2097
Quoting catastropheadjuster:
I was just wondering am I like on ignore where no one can see me? I asked a little further back on the blog if Mobile might get anything out of Claudette cause we have a boat repair shop on Chickasabogue Creek and we might need to get stuff off the floors so it won't get wet. I'm not wishcasting or anything just trying not to loose valuable materials.

Sheri

Very unlikely you will get the NE quad....the one that would push water in. But watch for the possibility.
On the west side, should you even get that, your water levels should fall a little, and not rise at all (until it passes; then back to normal).
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
1179. Ossqss
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Quoting hurristat:
Looks like the NHC answered my question on what storms would get a 2pm intermediate advisory. :)


When a tropical storm/hurricane watch and/or warning is issued for any area, advisories are issued every 3 hours. Otherwise, they are issued every 6 hours.
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1177. Drakoen
Looks like RECON is trying to get a vortex message on Ana.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29864
Quoting IKE:
12HR VT 17/0000Z 30.2N 85.8W 55 KT

That's 30 miles SSE of me.


You could lose power.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Hopefully Claudette doesn't stick around too long giving Tallahassee a repeat of Fay...
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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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