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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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?
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hiya taz...bouncin in for just a few... watching bill myself...and as the week progresses gonna watch the birds and squirls... they are a key indicator in storms...besides...had the urge since b4 the storms were even a low to go thru and totally clean the house this weekend...get rid of stuff, etc...now either i am pregnant or a storm is coming...and there is no way i can be pregnant cuz I don't have those parts anymore...lol...guess i am saying i agree with ya that bill is not for the fish but that should be the ships....
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bill is one large cyclone, sure hope it stays out to sea or this could be one for the books imo.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



lol
depends if Taz in on watch at the time
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Quoting Tazmanian:



i got the jok llol


I know you did, but ALCoastGambler didn't. lol.
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Quoting jdjnola:


Not quite on radar.


Well it has to have a closed circulation to have been classified and its been that way since this morning.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
yea Ike.

clearing forming a new center. almost wrapped around it. looks like it will stay over water for a while longer.
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1868. sfla82
Why do so many people get upset when Bill is called a fish??? It is and all the wishcasting in the world won't change it! Ana is dead too! Looks like another slow dead season for Sfla! I will take it though!
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Is it just me, or is Ana moving with a modest northerly component?
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Quoting hurristat:




Sorry, couldn't help myself. I find it slightly amusing when someone makes a statement that is not affirmative, using words like maybe, about a known fact.


I only said it was a large cyclone, thats all
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
1865. Skyepony (Mod)
Claudette really pulling together on radar. Intensification kinda stumbled there & she's coming together a little west. Looks like it may roll west down Bay county & maybe to Walton. Land is tightning her up, she's slowing up & looking for paths of least resistance.
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Quoting hurristat:




Sorry, couldn't help myself. I find it slightly amusing when someone makes a statement that is not affirmative, using words like maybe, about a known fact.
I thought it was funny. The humor wasn't lost on me. :)
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1863. jdjnola
Quoting extreme236:


Of course it's closed off lol


Not quite on radar.
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1862. Ldog74
Claudette's Coc seems to be tightening up again, at least on the eastern side. Regardless, the entire west half of the storm is still nonexistent.
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Tazmania...is right on track with his call of Bill not going out to sea....I am on board also
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Bill looks to be moving west, the wnw, then west again.
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1859. jdjnola
I think Claudette wants to form an eye before landfall...
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Quoting hurristat:


Yes I did. He said that Bill wouldn't be a fish on his watch.

Because he just claimed responsibility for the storm, then any deaths caused by the storm are his responsibility. I just think you didn't get the joke.



i got the jok llol
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114655
1857. RickWPB
Special statement out of Tallahasse, FL Nat'l Wx Svc. posted on NHC home page
___________________

000
WTUS82 KTAE 161922
HLSTAE

URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
TROPICAL STORM CLAUDETTE LOCAL STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
322 PM EDT SUN AUG 16 2009

...TROPICAL STORM CLAUDETTE STRENGTHENING WHILE MOVING TOWARD THE
FLORIDA PANHANDLE COAST...


.AREAS AFFECTED...

THIS LOCAL STATEMENT PROVIDES IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND
RECOMMENDED ACTIONS FOR PEOPLE AND MARINE INTERESTS IN SELECT
LOCATIONS ACROSS NORTH FLORIDA AND THE ADJACENT COASTAL AREAS AS
WELL AS SOUTHEAST ALABAMA AND EXTREME SOUTHWESTERN GEORGIA.

.WATCHES/WARNINGS...

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING CONTINUES FROM THE SUWANNEE RIVER
ENTRANCE WESTWARD TO THE ALABAMA FLORIDA BORDER.

A TROPICAL STORM WIND WARNING IS NOW IN EFFECT FOR LEON AND
GADSDEN COUNTIES IN THE FLORIDA BIG BEND AS WELL AS
COFFEE...DALE...GENEVA AND HOUSTON COUNTIES IN SOUTHEAST ALABAMA.
A TROPICAL STORM WIND WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE REMAINDER
OF THE WESTERN FLORIDA BIG BEND AS WELL AS THE EASTERN FLORIDA
PANHANDLE.

A FLOOD WATCH IS NOW IN EFFECT FOR SOUTHEAST ALABAMA AND EXTREME
SOUTHWESTERN GEORGIA. A FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM
JEFFERSON COUNTY WESTWARD IN THE FLORIDA BIG BEND AND PANHANDLE.

.STORM INFORMATION...
AT 2 PM EDT...OR 1 PM CDT...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM
CLAUDETTE WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 29.1 NORTH...LONGITUDE
85.1 WEST...OR ABOUT 40 MILES SOUTH OF APALACHICOLA FLORIDA. THIS
IS ABOUT 80 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF PANAMA CITY FL...OR ABOUT
100 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHWEST OF TALLAHASSEE FL. STORM MOTION WAS
NORTHWEST OR 325 DEGREES AT 14 MPH. STORM INTENSITY WAS 50 MPH.


.SITUATION OVERVIEW...
TROPICAL STORM CLAUDETTE CONTINUES TO MOVE NORTHWESTWARD TOWARD
THE FLORIDA PANHANDLE COAST AND IS GAINING STRENGTH. SPIRAL BANDS
ASSOCIATED WITH CLAUDETTE WILL CONTINUE TO IMPACT NORTH FLORIDA
AND SLOWLY SPREAD INTO SOUTHEAST ALABAMA AND SOUTHWEST GEORGIA.

.PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

FOR THOSE UNDER A WARNING...NOW IS THE TIME TO COMPLETE
PREPARATIONS FOR THE PROTECTION OF LIFE AND PROPERTY. LISTEN
CAREFULLY TO THE ADVICE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
OFFICIALS...ESPECIALLY IF YOU LIVE IN A COASTAL AREA. IF THEY URGE
YOU TO EVACUATE...HEED THEIR ADVICE. FOR INTERESTS AT
PORTS...DOCKS...AND MARINAS...URGENTLY COMPLETE PRESCRIBED
PREPARATIONS ACCORDING TO YOUR EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN FOR
TROPICAL CYCLONES. IF YOU LIVE ON A BOAT...MAKE FINAL PREPARATIONS
FOR SECURING YOUR CRAFT BEFORE LEAVING IT. REGARDING ANY COASTAL
WATERS UNDER A WARNING...SMALL CRAFT SHOULD REMAIN IN PORT AND
WELL SECURED. CLOSELY MONITOR NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR OTHER LOCAL
NEWS OUTLETS FOR OFFICIAL STORM INFORMATION. LISTEN FOR POSSIBLE
CHANGES TO THE FORECAST.

&&

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Thanks Ike. By the way always love your posts. Sometimes its great to hear common sense. Keep yourself inside and stay safe.
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Quoting jdjnola:
Wow Claudette's radar signature is impressive now. Clear CoC, almost closed off: Link


Of course it's closed off lol
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
Quoting seminolesfan:
Nice.


Quoting Vortex1094:
Thank You Captain Obvious


Sorry, couldn't help myself. I find it slightly amusing when someone makes a statement that is not affirmative, using words like maybe, about a known fact.
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1849. GatorWX
Aside from the dry look, Claudy is looking great, boy what quick bloomer. So similar to Humberto! I still think it could be borderline cat 1 at landfall. I think people, especially in nw FL should keep a close eye on her. We'll see!! Just be aware, looking good! Again, the dry air isn't helping with her appearance on radar, but still...
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Quoting MississippiWx:


The establishment of this new center has allowed for the thunderstorms around it to jump in intensity quite a bit. Also, she appears to have resumed a WNW track for the time being. Pensacola is a very possible target for Claudette.


Yikes guys! I decided not to put patio furniture etc. away
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1847. GBguy88
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?



Sorry, meant to say Claudette...duh. Long day at work...
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Quoting jasoniscoolman10:
usa is not out of the woods yet with tropical storm bill its was on TWC ..


Of course TWC is going to say that...they need people to watch their crappy shows.
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Quoting ALCoastGambler:
He didn't read your post did he Taz.


Yes I did. He said that Bill wouldn't be a fish on his watch.

Because he just claimed responsibility for the storm, then any deaths caused by the storm are his responsibility. I just think you didn't get the joke.
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whats see how far W bill gos
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114655
Quoting hurristat:


GUESS WHAT? IT IS!!!
Thank You Captain Obvious
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Quoting ALCoastGambler:
He didn't read your post did he Taz.


nop
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114655
Quoting hurristat:


GUESS WHAT? IT IS!!!
Nice.
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Quoting IKE:
Claudette forming a new center?



The establishment of this new center has allowed for the thunderstorms around it to jump in intensity quite a bit. Also, she appears to have resumed a WNW track for the time being. Pensacola is a very possible target for Claudette.
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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 take it you mean Claudette?
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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?


u mean claudette
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1835. amd
looks like there will be no major relocation of claudette. Will there be another recon plane to examine Claudette?
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Well I'm off. I'll check in later to see if Ana has gone poof yet and to see just how far east Bill will start to turn.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



lol
He didn't read your post did he Taz.
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1831. drj27
twc says landfall will be in destin twc sucks
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Claudette seems to be easing up a bit on her organization which is a good thing for the folks on the coast in Appalachicola and the Panhandle but plenty of rain and some gusts on the way. No noticable effects here in Tally so far and "if" an Humberto scenario had actually played out, it would have caught a lot of coastal residents/boaters in quite a bind if it would have strengthened into a Cat 1...The large size of Bill is whole different ballgame so hopefully the trof will lift it out before it becomes a threat to land.
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1829. 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?
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To me, it looks like Bill is going to track towards that ULL in the central Atlantic and not even get close to Bermuda. He's already starting to curve in that direction.
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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.



and thats all so why bill wont be a fish
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114655
1826. Skyepony (Mod)
Model preformances on BILL..

& the winner overall is OFCL with GFDL winner for who's best the last 24hrs.

Model Performance Statistics for AL032009
Average Error (nm) for core models
model Error Trend 24hr Error 48hr Error 72hr Error Day 4 Error Day 5 Error
GFDL INCREASING 75.6 108.9 93.9 -1 -1
OFCL INCREASING 80.8 48.9 -1 -1 -1
HWRF DECREASING 84.3 50.8 189.6 -1 -1
MM5E DECREASING 87.3 -1 -1 -1 -1
BAMD DECREASING 87.4 83.5 199.8 -1 -1
MM5B INCREASING 103.4 144.2 184.3 -1 -1
KHRM INCREASING 105.3 -1 -1 -1 -1
LBAR CONSTANT 112 165.1 312.8 -1 -1
MM5A DECREASING 137.2 205.9 227.1 -1 -1
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Quoting kmanislander:


Looks like an open wave


Its getting close...still holding on to an ill-defined circulation.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234

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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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