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 Alockwr21:
When will the next models come out?


6 pm EASTERN TIME (18z)
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1924. drj27
im already here lol
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1923. jdjnola
Quoting seminolesfan:
But that doesn't make sense. Either it's closed or it isn't.


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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.
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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.
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1920. 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.
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Quoting afj3:


I see what you're saying. I live in Miami and there have been times when thunderstorms were rolling in and I turned on TWC to get a report and Storm Stories was on.


Plus most places now have their own local 24 hour news stations with weather every 10 minutes. It's just easier to watch.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1918. GatorWX
Quoting extreme236:


Strongly disagree. How could they give a disorganized mess anything higher than a low? Just because their are warm waters? It would have been silly. At the time convection was limited and disorganized.


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.
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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
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Hey Taz - do you think Claudette will move inland pretty quick? There is little chance of her skirting the coast, correct?
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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!

(;~)




Some of our experts include people such as Drak, 456, StormW, WeatherStudent and Category5HitsNY
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Quoting extreme236:


Strongly disagree. How could they give a disorganized mess anything higher than a low? Just because their are warm waters? It would have been silly. At the time convection was limited and disorganized.


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.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3420
where will Danny pop up?
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
When will the next models come out?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1911. afj3
Quoting P451:


They were once a machine of weather data. They repeated their hour religiously. You could count on them to be live 24/7.

Now they're nothing but sensationalist. They're a reality TV show. They're rarely live. They stink.

I grew up on the original Weather Channel - it was just like the original CNN. No nonsense. CNN had their half hour and they repeated it non-stop. Always counted on them to be live and have breaking news immediately. They too, went sensationalist, mainstream, SOLD OUT, whatever you want to call it.

Those two channels were amazing in their inception and then turned into trash as time went on. Not even worth watching.



I see what you're saying. I live in Miami and there have been times when thunderstorms were rolling in and I turned on TWC to get a report and Storm Stories was on.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1910. IKE
Quoting CycloneOz:


Another one who deserves a piled-high plate of crow!!!

LMAO!!!

Some of the worst...very worst tropical forecasting so far this year.

They all need to get their heads out of their whazoos and either "look out the window" or go back to school.


I'm remember you talking about this emphatically yesterday....
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1909. jipmg
looks like Bill is jogging or has trended due west right now, and its a hurricane im sure of it.

Also the HIGH has strengthened, so it should continue on a W-WNW track in the next 12 -24 hours
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1908. 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!

(;~)


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
that is strange...when i listened to lyons this morning b4 church, he said that claudette (not named at that point) looked as tho it was trying to wrap around itself...said he looked for it to be named but not necessarily a hurricane at landfall...said the most impact would be rain, but flooding would not be widespread, mainly would be the areas that usually flood with heavy rains...even put up the graph...everything low except rain...that was in the medium range on the graph
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Quoting Tazmanian:



and commets may be lol


hahaha
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Quoting jdjnola:


I know, what I'm saying is the CoC is not closed on radar.
But that doesn't make sense. Either it's closed or it isn't.
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Quoting seminolesfan:
Thank YOU, Captain Original.
No Problem :D
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Quoting DestinJeff:
Dr Burns .. er .. Lyons: a lot of "not a major impact,etc" famous last words.

Claudette might not make it in much before 9 cst I don't think. headed to the beach about 5 or so to get some pics

I think I may come join you down there. Could use some more iWitness Weather pics and videos, lol
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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!!!


Strongly disagree. How could they give a disorganized mess anything higher than low? Just because their are warm waters? It would have been silly. At the time convection was limited and disorganized.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
you no what guys???


i think ANNA is now a open wave i no longer see turning with it



and commets may be lol
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114063
Quoting extreme236:


Well many buoys showed weak winds this morning. I could see where he was coming from.
that was at 11:10 am (for some reason the full tropical update was 20 minuets late), an hour later she had blown well past the TS threshold...
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Quoting hunkerdown:
Doc Lyons also said earlier today, right before Claudette was named, that winds at the center were less than 25mph and he doubted whether it would strengthen into anything prior to landfall...


RI (rapid intensification) happened. Hard to predict, but someone should have predicted it based on teh water temperatires in the GOM
Member Since: July 29, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 1762
Quoting hunkerdown:
Doc Lyons also said earlier today, right before Claudette was named, that winds at the center were less than 25mph and he doubted whether it would strengthen into anything prior to landfall...


Another one who deserves a piled-high plate of crow!!!

LMAO!!!

Some of the worst...very worst tropical forecasting so far this year.

They all need to get their heads out of their whazoos and either "look out the window" or go back to school.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3420
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!!!



Tropical Depression Four formed in the eastern Gulf of Mexico on August 16. The disturbance developed rapidly and formation was not expected until just a few hours before its declaration as a tropical depression. As recently as 9 hours before the storm's formation, the NHC gave the system a less than 30% chance of developing in the next 48 hours.[11] In an update statement issued at 12:15 p.m. EDT on August 16, 2009, Tropical Depression Four was upgraded to Tropical Storm Claudette based on a NOAA radar in Tallahassee.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
What a crazy turn around of event in the past 24 hrs yesterday the story was Ana and Bill and all of the sudden Claudethe appears to stole the show BTW don't discard a CAT 1 forming in the next 12-18 before landfalling is Flarida panthandle.
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1894. afj3
Quoting mkmand:

Two words:
Stephanie Abrahams

LOL
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1893. Drakoen
Claudette's center is exposed
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1892. mkmand
Quoting afj3:

Why is TWC so unpopular in this blog? They cater to a more general (and probably older) audience and have very little time to report the news. Am I missing something? Are they that bad?

Two words:
Stephanie Abrahams
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1891. jdjnola
Quoting extreme236:


Well it has to have a closed circulation to have been classified and its been that way since this morning.


You're arguing semantics. I'm saying the CoC is not closed on radar.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1890. IKE
Quoting Weather456:
Ike,

Dr Lyons just confirmed what you saw on radar. maybe a tight circulation forming.


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

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting hunkerdown:
Doc Lyons also said earlier today, right before Claudette was named, that winds at the center were less than 25mph and he doubted whether it would strengthen into anything prior to landfall...


Well many buoys showed weak winds this morning. I could see where he was coming from.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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!!!
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3420
kudos to the ones on here who put the attention on claudette. even the experts was surprised over this. just shows the experts cant forecast everything. they do a good job, they can be blindsided.
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you no what guys???


i think ANNA is now a open wave i no longer see turning with it
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114063
Quoting extreme236:


I only said it was a large cyclone, thats all


Nevermind.
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Quoting Weather456:
Ike,

Dr Lyons just confirmed what you saw on radar. maybe a tight circulation forming.
Doc Lyons also said earlier today, right before Claudette was named, that winds at the center were less than 25mph and he doubted whether it would strengthen into anything prior to landfall...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1882. jdjnola
Quoting seminolesfan:
You may see the convection not fully wrapped, but a closed circ is needed even for a TD.


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


Not quite on radar.
You may see the convection not fully wrapped, but a closed circ is needed even for a TD.
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Quoting seminolesfan:
I thought it was funny. The humor wasn't lost on me. :)


I know. I was just explaining myself.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1878. GatorWX
Quoting MississippiWx:
Center of Claudette starting to show itself again SSE of Panama City. Looks like she will come ashore a little west of PCB if trends continue. The slower she goes, the further west she goes as the ridge will continue to build westward with time.


agreed, looking better than early, early this morning, which is the last time it looked like an eyewall feature, I know it's not an eyewall, but looks like one. I'm sure this area contains some good, strong gusts!
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Quoting GBguy88:
Hey guys, is Ana moving more NNW or is it just NW? I'm in Pensacola, and trying to decide whether or not to drive East to try and intercept the center (just a tropical storm, but I need my fix...you know how it is). It looks to me like it may have enough westward motion to come in somewhere near Destin...any thoughts?


I have a thought. (This storm is Claudette, Ana is in the Atlantic.)
.
Stay home and stay away from that area and off Hwy 98. The Destin Pass and other low lying areas to the east along Hwy 98 will likely washout or at least get covered with water at some point.
.

.
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Ike,

Dr Lyons just confirmed what you saw on radar. maybe a tight circulation forming.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1875. afj3
Quoting CaneWarning:


Of course TWC is going to say that...they need people to watch their crappy shows.

Why is TWC so unpopular in this blog? They cater to a more general (and probably older) audience and have very little time to report the news. Am I missing something? Are they that bad?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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About JeffMasters

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