Ana, Bill, and Claudette--a rare early season triple threat

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:58 PM GMT on August 16, 2009

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After an unusually slow start to the Atlantic hurricane season, the tropics exploded into action this weekend. We have a rare triple threat this afternoon--simultaneous named storms beginning with the letters A, B, and C. The last time this occurred was in the slow-starting 1984 hurricane season, when Tropical Storms Arthur, Bertha, and Cesar were all active on September 1. This afternoon, the Hurricane Hunters confirmed than Tropical Storm Claudette had formed in the Gulf of Mexico. Radar animations out of the Florida Panhandle show a small but well-organized tropical storm with plenty of heavy thunderstorm activity, and improving low-level spiral banding. Claudette has built an eyewall that is 1/3 complete on the east side of the center. Some moderate wind shear from upper-level southwesterly winds is keeping Claudette from forming much heavy thunderstorm activity on its west side. Most of the rain is on the right side of the storm, and regions to the left of where Claudette comes ashore will get only a maximum of 1 - 2 inches of rain. Satellite loops show an area of intense thunderstorms with cold cloud tops continuing to expand near the storm's center.


Figure 1. Current short-range radar out of the Florida Panhandle.

Claudette developed literally overnight, and has enough time over water to be a 60 - 65 mph tropical storm by the time it makes landfall tonight along the Florida Panhandle. Claudette reminds me of 2007's Hurricane Humberto, which became a hurricane just 24 hours after first appearing as a tropical depression. By the time Claudette makes landfall, it will have been in existence just 18 hours since the first advisory. This is not enough time to strengthen into a hurricane. If Claudette had had another twelve hours over the 30°C waters of the Gulf of Mexico, it would likely have been a hurricane. Given that the storm is so small, storm surge flooding should not exceed 3 - 5 feet, and will not be the major hazard from Claudette. Inland flooding from heavy rains of 3 - 6 inches is likely to be the main threat from the storm.

Ana near death
The Hurricane Hunters are in Tropical Storm Ana, and have found that the storm is very disorganized, and may not survive another day. Dry air continues to plague the storm, thanks to the large area of Saharan air the storm is embedded in. Ana's very rapid forward motion of 20 - 25 mph has stretched out the storm's circulation from circular to elliptical. This non-circular flow around the center has made the heavy thunderstorm activity less organized, and it may be difficult for the storm to hold together much longer. The outer rain showers from Ana are now on radar out of Martinique.

Nearly all of the computer models forecast Ana will dissipate over the next two days. If there is anything left of the storm by the time it encounters the rugged terrain of Hispaniola, that should finish Ana off. At this time, it does not appear that Ana will be moist enough to cause a major flooding disaster on Hispaniola.

Tropical Storm Bill continues strengthening
Tropical Storm Bill continues to gather strength in the middle Atlantic Ocean, and appears poised to become a major Cape Verdes-type hurricane later this week. Water vapor satellite loops show that Bill has developed a core region of heavy thunderstorms that should be fairly impervious to the dry Saharan air to its northwest, and the storm should be able to start building an eyewall tonight.

Wind shear is low, 5 - 10 knots, and is forecast to be in the low range for the next three days. With Sea Surface Temperatures at 27.5°C, and ocean heat content sharply increasing 2 - 3 days from now, Bill should be able to intensify to a major Category 3 or 4 hurricane by Wednesday. At that time, some increasing shear may limit further intensification.

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 have now jumped on the ECMWF bandwagon, forecasting that Bill will pass well north of the Lesser Antilles Islands. The UKMET model, which was resisting forecasting the northward turn, has now joined the other models in its latest 12Z run. The main drama with Bill this week will be to see how close it passes to Bermuda. Several models have Bill passing within 200 miles of Bermuda on Saturday. It is too early to be confident that Bill will miss the U.S. East Coast.

I'll have an update Monday.

Jeff Masters

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2390. Walshy
Quoting HurricaneJoe:
Good morning everyone.

Bill looks great this morning. There's dry air all around the system, and he's basically saying "No" to it. Going to be fun to watch this one grow.

What's the deal with Ana? I thought it was just going to fizzle, and when I looked at the floater just now, it seems to be firing convection all around the COC. Can anyone confirm this?



Link

I see the increase in convection but not completely wrapped around a COC and rotating as if it was really strong. That link shows intensity for Ana. Models have her over 90mph in 120hours. But the mountains could kill her as shown by other models. Track will be critical.
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2389. 7544
anns
Quoting leftovers:
did you see claudette develop quickly from the weak circulation at a mid level we now have ana which seems to be following the same course. s floridian make sure your fueled up at the least any boriquens on the blog? got a rain gauge.


you might be right no. is changeing alittle stronger now going back to raw 3.0 soon

CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
2.4 /1005.8mb/ 34.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
2.3 2.4 2.9
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doesn't it look like bill is moving more w than wnw now. if so, it may get closer to the islands.
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Good morning everyone.

Bill looks great this morning. There's dry air all around the system, and he's basically saying "No" to it. Going to be fun to watch this one grow.

What's the deal with Ana? I thought it was just going to fizzle, and when I looked at the floater just now, it seems to be firing convection all around the COC. Can anyone confirm this?
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2386. breald
Quoting serialteg:


in ponce the quiet is unnerving, nothing yet

ok i need someone to point out the weakness in the ridge at 50N that is "evident" by NHC. because right now i see a dangerous beast gaining half the longitude than before and equal fast latitude...


I noticed that some of the models on the Google earth sight have started to branch off from the rest and come in closer to the coast.

I am very much an amateur so I don't kn ow if this has anything to do with that weakness. Is that what I am seeing?
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The ull is sure pretty.
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2382. Fshhead
Quoting serialteg:


thats a lot further out than what it will take bill to reach 50n. do you mean the one that's already in the atlantic on the far right?

i thought the NHC meant a thingie dipping into the blackness right on the top of the 50n.


OOOPS Sorry leftya hangin'
Went out to get some crescent Moon pics through the clouds. So yea that front is supposed to push through & break the high allowing Mr. Bill to go north then HOPEFULLY NE
LOL
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2381. 7544
still lloks like that ull is still pulling ana further north at this hour the qustion is will be be following her we should find out some time today
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2380. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Central Pacific Hurricane Center
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #21
TROPICAL CYCLONE GUILLERMO (EP102009)
9:00 AM UTC August 17 2009
====================================

At 6:00 AM UTC, Tropical Storm Guillermo (990 hPa) located at 20.8N 142.6W or 710 NM east of Hilo, Hawaii has sustained winds of 60 knots with gusts of 75 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west-northwest at 13 knots.

Gale/Storm-force Winds
================
90 NM from the center

Forecast and Intensity
======================
12 HRS: 21.5N 144.8W - 50 knots (Tropical Storm)
24 HRS: 22.8N 147.8W - 40 knots (Tropical Storm)
48 HRS: 26.2N 154.0W - 35 knots (Tropical Storm)
72 HRS: 28.9N 161.1W - 30 knots (Low Pressure Area)
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2379. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency

Tropical Disutbance Summary (0600z 17AUG)
=========================================

At 15:00 PM JST, Tropical Depression, Former "Maka" (1008 hPa) located at 17.0N 172.0E has 10 minute sustained winds of 25 knots with gusts of 40 knots. The depression is reported as moving west-northwest slowly
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2378. jpsb
Has Cluadette gone back into the GoM?
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2377. jpsb
serialteg (wish the quote was working) if I had bill headed straight at me I'd be very upset about it. Old saying "Hope for the best and prepare for the worst". We should see a more north movement soon, I certainly hope so cause I don't want bill going thur hurricane alley and into the gulf. Anyway you've got Anna at the moment, let us know what kind of gal she is.
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2376. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #4
TROPICAL DEPRESSION
18:00 PM JST August 17 2009
=========================================

SUBJECT: Tropical Depression Northwest Marshall Island

At 9:00 AM UTC, Tropical Depression (1006 hPa) located at 13.5N 158.6E has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots with gusts of 45 knots. The depression is reported as moving north at 8 knots

RSMC Dvorak Intensity: T1.5

Forecast and Intensity
=====================
24 HRS: 16.2N 156.7E - 35 knots
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I'm just amazed how much spin there is in the tropics since the itcz moved.

I was marveling how pretty the spin over the bahamas was and glad that it wasn't at the surface.
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Quoting jpsb:
serialteg, the argument has been going on for days. The majority think the ridge will erode and allow a trof to pick up Bill. The minority thinks the ridge will hold. More then likely the NHC is correct. But even if they are wrong Bill will still (likely) go north of you.


the more W direction i was surprised to see... in that much...

watchful eyes. tired, see y'all guys later. thanks for replying.

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2372. jpsb
serialteg, the argument has been going on for days. The majority think the ridge will erode and allow a trof to pick up Bill. The minority thinks the ridge will hold. More then likely the NHC is correct. But even if they are wrong Bill will still (likely) go north of you.
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2371. BrandiQ
Does anyone know how accurate the UKMET is?
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maybe there is a reason why there is an outlier model always noted on the nhc bill discussions lately...

and they know it...

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"However...water vapor imagery shows a weakness currently along 50w...which is forecast to begin eroding a portion of the subtropical ridge over the central Atlantic over the next 48 hours. As the break in the ridge becomes more substantial...a majority of the model guidance turns Bill on a more northwestward course late in the forecast period."

that currently is what im after
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Quoting Fshhead:
Evening,
Serialteg look at this sat shot see the front coming across the country, there will be the break in the high...

Link


thats a lot further out than what it will take bill to reach 50n. do you mean the one that's already in the atlantic on the far right?

i thought the NHC meant a thingie dipping into the blackness right on the top of the 50n.
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2365. 7544
Quoting Fshhead:
I just hope the timing is right on the front. I know I dont want to see Mr. Bill in my hood!! LOL


yeap and if the front weakens which coul be why some models show bill further west things will change lets wait and see if the others follow . but the nhc also said he could go further south than expecetd this could be a start of the trend he is still very far out things could chane by the hour today . claudette is a good example who would have thought lol
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Quoting Fshhead:
I just hope the timing is right on the front. I know I dont want to see Mr. Bill in my hood!! LOL


they quote a weakness at 50n on the ridge and im dying for someone with some knowledge to point it out to me ... i mean i see something but theres an awful sea of black in that water vapor between what i see and the cane. pitch black.
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2363. STXpat
Thunder like a distant battle,lightning too.
Cat at the door,watching,waiting.
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By the way, unless I'm looking at the wrong model, it seems like the NOGAPS does not show a Florida landfall with Bill. I don't know where you saw that. It shows it going out to sea like the rest of the model guidance.
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2361. Fshhead
I just hope the timing is right on the front. I know I dont want to see Mr. Bill in my hood!! LOL
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Quoting bajelayman2:
Do note that Ana has ended up taking a lower track than forecast, into the Nortern Gulf.

Could Bill follow? I am with the few who think that he may stay lower than track, which makes everyone from Northern Antilles, PR, DR Bahamas, Florida, up to NY, at risk.


kindly look at the coordinates

lemme help you guys out

since he started moving NW:

09 GMT 08/16/09 11.4N 37.2W 45 1002 Tropical Storm

15 GMT 08/16/09 12.1N 38.4W 60 997 Tropical Storm

ok, thats what, .7 clicks north.

21 GMT 08/16/09 12.8N 40.0W 65 994 Tropical Storm

consistent .7 ...

03 GMT 08/17/09 13.4N 41.7W 70 990 Tropical Storm

.6 ... nothing to write home about

09 GMT 08/17/09 13.8N 44.0W 75 987 Category 1 Hurricane

.4. Also, note the increase in forward speed, from 1.7 longitudes to 2.3......

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Looks like Anna may have a chance to go over the Bahamas and it could intensify greatly and hit Florida. That's if it misses the worst of Haiti.
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2358. 7544
Quoting serialteg:


still waiting...



not me...


lol . but i think cludette in the game has added the pot little fro both of them we have to wait and see how this plays out
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2357. Fshhead
Evening,
Serialteg look at this sat shot see the front coming across the country, there will be the break in the high...

Link
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Quoting Relix:
@7544... yeah she's making a comeback at the last time. We could have a potential Tropical Storm be hitting us. It'll be quick but ugly. I'll still go to the University and enjoy the awesome light show and scared girls because of the thunder, I just hope it doesn't get worse than that. Thunders are pretty bad right now and I can hear them from afar rumbling.


just be sure to comfort them and astound them with your met knowledge. wear nice clothes

i got chemistry class at 10:30 :/

and surfing class after 12 :D :D :D :D :D :D
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Do note that Ana has ended up taking a lower track than forecast, into the Nortern Gulf.

Could Bill follow? I am with the few who think that he may stay lower than track, which makes everyone from Northern Antilles, PR, DR Bahamas, Florida, up to NY, at risk.
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2354. jpsb
Quoting serialteg:


in ponce the quiet is unnerving, nothing yet

ok i need someone to point out the weakness in the ridge at 50N that is "evident" by NHC. because right now i see a dangerous beast gaining half the longitude than before and equal fast latitude...
If your are in PR, I think you will be OK, hard to believe Bill wouldn't go at least a little north of you. But he sure looks like he is heading due west in the image you posted. Finger biting time for sure.
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Quoting serialteg:


in ponce the quiet is unnerving, nothing yet

ok i need someone to point out the weakness in the ridge at 50N that is "evident" by NHC. because right now i see a dangerous beast gaining half the longitude than before and equal fast latitude...


still waiting...

Quoting 7544:


convection is now building to the south of her could ana be pulling a fast one on us and fool everyone


not me...
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2352. Relix
@7544... yeah she's making a comeback at the last time. We could have a potential Tropical Storm be hitting us. It'll be quick but ugly. I'll still go to the University and enjoy the awesome light show and scared girls because of the thunder, I just hope it doesn't get worse than that. Thunders are pretty bad right now and I can hear them from afar rumbling.
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2351. 7544
hio anyone have a link to the NOGAPS thanks ia
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2350. 7544
Quoting sefloridacanegirl:
MODEL DISAGREEMENTS

NOGAPS and the UKMET has Bill as a florida-south carolina storm.

Looks like they sense Bill wont pick up the trough. Initially the UKMET was the only one that was consistent, now the NOGAPS is agreeing with a slam into the Bahamas/Florida.

http://www.storm2k.org/weather/hw3.php?&forecast=plotsystemmodels&storms=&usemap=AUTO2& amp;zoom=1&pn=1& region=NT&year=2009&eventnum=3&hwvstormid=3&size=


others may follow on the next run imo it not going to be as cut aand dry as expected
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I think the forecasters in San Juan meant Tropical Depression and not tropical storm.
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Quoting jpsb:
Not another Ike that is for sure! I've had less then 1 inch of rain in the last 4 or 5 months (Galveston Bay, San Leon). Everything is dying, we really need rain bad. So if little Anna could bring us some (without the 15 foot storm surge please) that would be great.


lol... yeah, droughts suck.

but the metro area of puerto rico is also to fault. since i moved to the south, i haven't had a day of lack of water in a year. same goes for the power.

both go out at least once a week in the metro.

there are also like 2.5 million people densely packed in a small area, true dat
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2347. STXpat
re:2336;Hey Jim!Did you get 'Radio city' back up?I'm in St Croix;we'll be gettin' your rain.Careful what you ask for.Reddogbob
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Looks like PR will be spared.

SYNOPSIS...TROPICAL STORM ANA IS MOVING THROUGH THE SOUTHERN-MOST
PERIPHERY OF THE SAN JUAN FORECAST AREA TODAY AND WILL LEAVE
DURING THE EVENING. BILL IS STILL PROJECTED TO PASS TO THE
NORTHEAST ON THURSDAY A SUFFICIENT DISTANCE SO AS TO HAVE ONLY A
LIMITED EFFECT ON PUERTO RICO AND THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS.

&&

.DISCUSSION...THE FIRST RAIN BANDS OF TROPICAL DEPRESSION ANA HAVE
PASSED THROUGH SAINT CROIX LEAVING 0.06 INCHES OF RAIN AND GUSTS
TO 31 MPH. SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS HAVE BEGUN TO DEVELOP ACROSS
THE ATLANTIC WATERS JUST NORTH OF SAN JUAN AND ALL SHOWERS ARE
MOVING AROUND 26 MPH. GIVEN THE PACE OF THE SHOWERS AND THE
COVERAGE IT HAS NOT SEEMED NECESSARY TO ISSUE A FLASH FLOOD WATCH
FOR ANY OF THE FORECAST AREA...ALTHOUGH SOME AREAS WILL RECEIVE
BLASTS OF VERY HEAVY RAIN WITH GUSTY WINDS AND THERE COULD BE SOME LOCAL
FLOODING DUE TO POOR DRAINAGE. OTHERWISE SHOWERS ARE MOVING
THROUGH SUFFICIENTLY QUICKLY SUCH THAT VERY HEAVY AMOUNTS ARE NOT
EXPECTED AT THIS TIME. WINDS AT ANTIGUA REACHED 25 KNOTS SUSTAINED
AND THESE ARE THE HIGHEST OF ANY OBSERVATIONS AVAILABLE. CURRENT
FORECAST TRACK AND INTENSITY APPEAR REASONABLE.
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2345. jpsb
Quoting Asta:
Is it my imagination or is claudette moving west more than northwest??
She is a strange one, have a look at 2270 on page 46.
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MODEL DISAGREEMENTS

NOGAPS and the UKMET has Bill as a florida-south carolina storm.

Looks like they sense Bill wont pick up the trough. Initially the UKMET was the only one that was consistent, now the NOGAPS is agreeing with a slam into the Bahamas/Florida.

http://www.storm2k.org/weather/hw3.php?&forecast=plotsystemmodels&storms=&usemap=AUTO2&zoom=1&pn=1& region=NT&year=2009&eventnum=3&hwvstormid=3&size=
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2343. 7544
Quoting Relix:
Ana hitting PR hard as of now... daaarn....


convection is now building to the south of her could ana be pulling a fast one on us and fool everyone
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Quoting Relix:
Ana hitting PR hard as of now... daaarn....


in ponce the quiet is unnerving, nothing yet

ok i need someone to point out the weakness in the ridge at 50N that is "evident" by NHC. because right now i see a dangerous beast gaining half the longitude than before and equal fast latitude...
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It's OFFICIAL. Bill, the first hurricane of the season has formed.
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2340. 7544
yeap the cone did go alittle more north for ann at 5 am

bill might be going further south as expaected wi;ll this be trend for days to come ?
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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