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 jipmg:


see what I mean, you say the same thing every 5 mins


Haha no I don't! It needs to be repeated sometimes.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1974. Michfan


TS Wind Warning's increased just as i thought they would be after the recon.
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1973. JAC737
Serialteq -- it hurts when an acorn hits you in the head at 30 mph
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Quoting HurricaneKyle:


That would be the NOGAPS I believe.


ok, so I'm not the only one that saw that then...
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Quoting TXEER:


What about the ants??
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1970. IKE
Quoting fldude99:
Its amazing how Claudette gets the amount of attention on this blog..here in Pcola its like a non event without even the little update box on the tv. About to pick a friend up at the airport..no flight delay or any mention on the airline's website. When something bad is about to happen in the way of a storm..its way different than this


System is 100 miles east of you.

I remember when Opal hit. I left Defuniak and went to Sneads,Fl. They had winds of about 30 mph.

I went to Dothan,AL. when Dennis hit. They had 30-35 mph winds.

Both those locations were east of the center. You're west of Claudette.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting P451:
Bill did a good job cutting off that entraining of the dry air. Can he remain isolated from it despite pushing right into it?



I seem to remember reading something on here stating that the really strong tropical cyclones (or at least the cyclones with their "act" together) are able to moisturize the atmosphere around them to a certain extent. I might be wrong though....
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why do i have a feeling that am get a personal attack from some one
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Quoting JAC737:
I too follow the ants. One crawled up my leg this morning and bit me.


Last week I witnessed an ant crawling into a crack in the sidewalk in downtown Tampa. Claudette formed about 90 miles west of here. Coincidence? I think not.
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1966. jipmg
Quoting CaneWarning:


Bill is looking well organized. He's going to give a jolt to some of those fish out there when he turns well east of land.


see what I mean, you say the same thing every 5 mins
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1965. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting Tazmanian:



little Claudette wish is take the show a way for poor little bill i think Claudette has in fac slow down some and may be a eye is trying to pop out wish am seeing on the rader



Nearly rapped in convection now.. radar
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Okay, quick contest.

What do you think the position, movement, wind speed and pressure of all three storms are going to be at the 5pm update. Whoever's the closest gets kudos.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


Bill is looking well organized. He's going to give a jolt to some of those fish out there when he turns well east of land.


Could very well effect Bermuda.
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Quoting serialteg:


until you get hit by a 60mph wind gust. then you say 'darn, incompetent media' and so forth.


All systems are like that on the Northern gulf coast. I'd rather be 30 miles west of a storm than 150 miles on the east side.

Sorry...quoted wrong post
Member Since: July 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 574
Quoting serialteg:


theres no 'at the bottom of the hour' tropical update 10min spot anymore? that used to be a staple of TWC back in the day


They still have it but its not what it used to be.
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1960. JAC737
I too follow the ants. One crawled up my leg this morning and bit me.
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Quoting P451:
Bill did a good job cutting off that entraining of the dry air. Can he remain isolated from it despite pushing right into it?



Bill is looking well organized. He's going to give a jolt to some of those fish out there when he turns well east of land.
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1958. Michfan
Quoting mkmand:
Bill has (dare I say) a Pin-Hole Eye

!!!




Can i have some of what your smoking?
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" Quoting Weather456:
where will Danny pop up?

im already here lol"

OMG TROPICAL SYSTEMS HAVE LEARNED HOW TO USE THE INTERNET
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Quoting CaneWarning:


They give Dr. Lyons like 2 minutes for a tropical update...its crazy. I hate what TWC has become.


theres no 'at the bottom of the hour' tropical update 10min spot anymore? that used to be a staple of TWC back in the day
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1954. TXEER
Quoting CosmicEvents:

That would be me.....
.
.
And that's only because I follow the ants. Why just in the last week we had ant reports from the panhandle...dismissed by most as folklore. Tell that to Claudette.


What about the ants??
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Quoting CycloneOz:


For it to be what it is now, there had to be a LLC also. Just because no one picked it up doesn't mean that it didn't exist.


No it didnt have to. Humberto rapidly formed just like this. Point is, things happen on a fast notice. They can't go putting orange and red circles on things just because they "could" have a chance to form.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



little Claudette wish is take the show a way for poor little bill i think Claudette has in fac slow down some and may be a eye is trying to pop out wish am seeing on the rader



Is it a wonder why someone asked if Taz is from another country?
Member Since: July 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 574
Quoting Bonz:
I used to like the Weather Channel, especially when John Hope was on.

Now, there can be a million hurricanes threatening various cities and it's 30 seconds of coverage, and "OK, now it's time to report on the Daisy Festival in Nowheresville, USA."

A twenty-four-hour a day weather channel and their coverage of tropical events is scant and pretty worthless. Even CNN/Fox do better than they do when it comes to coverage.

So I don't bother with them anymore. I come on here.
I completely agree they show 20 minutes of people stocking up for hurricanes and 1 to 3 minutes on the actual hurricane lol
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Quoting jdjnola:


The CoC is closed on QuickSCAT. The CoC's convection is not closed on radar. Are you happy now? I figured if I said "the CoC is almost closed on radar" it would make sense to someone who even halfway understands meteorology. But you guys seem to want to argue semantics this afternoon.
Speaking of the basics, it seems as if someone does not understand the limitations of radar data!

/this conversation
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Quoting jdjnola:


I know, what I'm saying is the CoC is not closed on radar.


Then you need to read up on what a Tropical cyclone actually is instead of posting here.
Quoting CycloneOz:
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT SAT AUG 15 2009

2. A TROPICAL WAVE INTERACTING WITH AN UPPER-LEVEL LOW IS PRODUCING
DISORGANIZED CLOUDINESS AND SHOWERS FROM THE WESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA
NORTHWARD ACROSS CUBA AND THE BAHAMAS TO SOUTH FLORIDA. THIS
ACTIVITY IS EXPECTED TO SPREAD WEST-NORTHWESTWARD OVER THE
SOUTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.
THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...LESS THAN 30 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM
BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.


$$
FORECASTER BEVEN

LOL! Assuredly spoken without any reason whatsoever for making such a forecast.

Absolutely one of the biggest dishes of crow ever served should be served to not only Beven...but the entire NHC!

Hilarious!!!


Why is that funny?
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Quoting fldude99:
Its amazing how Claudette gets the amount of attention on this blog..here in Pcola its like a non event without even the little update box on the tv. About to pick a friend up at the airport..no flight delay or any mention on the airline's website. When something bad is about to happen in the way of a storm..its way different than this


until you get hit by a 60mph wind gust. then you say 'darn, incompetent media' and so forth.
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Quoting Weather456:
Those wondering why the weather channel sucks, wake up with Al tomorrow morning. I respect Dr Lyons very much, thats why I think he could do better than the TWC.



They give Dr. Lyons like 2 minutes for a tropical update...its crazy. I hate what TWC has become.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1946. mkmand
Bill has (dare I say) a Pin-Hole Eye

!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TexasHurricane:
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT SAT AUG 15 2009

2. A TROPICAL WAVE INTERACTING WITH AN UPPER-LEVEL LOW IS PRODUCING
DISORGANIZED CLOUDINESS AND SHOWERS FROM THE WESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA
NORTHWARD ACROSS CUBA AND THE BAHAMAS TO SOUTH FLORIDA. THIS
ACTIVITY IS EXPECTED TO SPREAD WEST-NORTHWESTWARD OVER THE
SOUTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.
THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...LESS THAN 30 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM
BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

Ya know, what is weird about this is I saw on a model somewhere (may have been here) of some type of tropical developent forming around that general area and bringing to around the TX/LA border. Not saying that will happen, just making a note of it.


That would be the NOGAPS I believe.
Member Since: August 10, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 672
Quoting Weather456:
where will Danny pop up?


Behing Bill.
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what is the opinion on the wave behind bill and that well organized wave over africa??
1942. drj27
Quoting Weather456:
where will Danny pop up?
im already here lol
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the next update is at 5pm eastern time... it is 5, 8, 11, 2, and so on...every three hours...
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Quoting fldude99:
Its amazing how Claudette gets the amount of attention on this blog..here in Pcola its like a non event without even the little update box on the tv. About to pick a friend up at the airport..no flight delay or any mention on the airline's website. When something bad is about to happen in the way of a storm..its way different than this


A weak tropical storm and all of her convection is on her eastern side; folks on that side of the storm (Apalachicola) are feeling most of the effects right now so you may not get anything over there if she makes landfall east of you.
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8806
Quoting extreme236:


It no circulation. It was a spinning ULL, that was incredibly obvious in their TWO's. Notice how it just developed a circulation last night. We can't go labeling all the ULL"s orange.


For it to be what it is now, there had to be a LLC also. Just because no one picked it up doesn't mean that it didn't exist.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3617
Those wondering why the weather channel sucks, wake up with Al tomorrow morning. I respect Dr Lyons very much, thats why I think he could do better than the TWC.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting hurricanehanna:
Hey Taz - do you think Claudette will move inland pretty quick? There is little chance of her skirting the coast, correct?



little Claudette wish is take the show a way for poor little bill i think Claudette has in fac slow down some and may be a eye is trying to pop out wish am seeing on the rader

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Quoting GatorWX:


100% agreed. This was a big fluke of a system. Maybe not a fluke, but certainly a huge surprise! I doubt anyone gave the pre-Humberto wave much credit before any development occurred either.


Just goes to show that all tropical waves need to be watched, because you never know...
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Quoting TXEER:
Hi y'all...newbie here!

Its a great time of year...West Virginia Mountaineer football...English Premier League soccer and now hurricane season...my trifecta!

Live in Houston ...survived Ike and I don't need anymore of the darn things coming this way....just bought a natural gas generator and having it installed on 8-26...no more going without power for 15 days for me.

Love to read the "experts" on here...just not sure who the most "expertest" is though!

(;~)



That would be me.....
.
.
And that's only because I follow the ants. Why just in the last week we had ant reports from the panhandle...dismissed by most as folklore. Tell that to Claudette.
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Quoting kmanislander:


Looks like an open wave



Yep, I am having a hard time finding a circulation center (closed). Ana may get downgraded to an open wave very good if it doesn't start going...
Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 580
Quoting Weather456:
where will Danny pop up?


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Cannot get this tune out of my head, so I thought I would share

Oh, where have you been,
Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Oh, where have you been,
Charming Billy?
I have been to seek a wife,
She's the joy of my life,
She's a young thing
And cannot leave her mother.

Did she stay close by,
Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Did she stay close by,
Charming Billy?
Yes, she stayed close by,
Till the Caribbean caught her eye.
She's a young thing
And cannot leave her mother.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting fldude99:
Its amazing how Claudette gets the amount of attention on this blog..here in Pcola its like a non event without even the little update box on the tv. About to pick a friend up at the airport..no flight delay or any mention on the airline's website. When something bad is about to happen in the way of a storm..its way different than this


Worst case scenario: It forms on a weekend.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3617
Quoting IKE:


Look at this picture....you can see it....



IKE do you see another system just south of Claud aka Invest 91??
I was asking the same question 20 mins ago but no one answered..
Maybe I am looking too much into the latest sat images but it looks like something trying to form just south of Claud..

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Quoting CycloneOz:


And I strongly disagree with you. There was a spin beginning in that system well before this statement was released.

Show me in this forecast where they even acknowledge circulation. You can't, because there isn't any.

If it's got a circulation and it's in the Gulf, you better be talking about if you're a forecaster.


It no circulation. It was a spinning ULL, that was incredibly obvious in their TWO's. Notice how it just developed a circulation last night. We can't go labeling all the ULL"s orange.
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Quoting CycloneOz:


And I strongly disagree with you. There was a spin beginning in that system well before this statement was released.

Show me in this forecast where they even acknowledge circulation. You can't, because there isn't any.

If it's got a circulation and it's in the Gulf, you better be talking about if you're a forecaster.


They did start talking about it. They gave it a code yellow. In my opinion, the NHC was right on track with this one.
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Quoting Alockwr21:
When will the next models come out?


6 pm EASTERN TIME (18z)
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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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