Claudette hits Florida; Ana approaches Puerto RIco; Bill becomes our first hurricane

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:10 PM GMT on August 17, 2009

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Tropical Storm Claudette made landfall at about 1:15 am EDT near the eastern end of Santa Rosa Island, just southeast of Fort Walton Beach in Florida. Claudette's top winds were around 50 mph. A Personal Weather Station in Eastpoint, FL recorded sustained winds of 49 mph, gusting to 66 mph last night. So far, the rain from Claudette has had a tough time penetrating inland (Figure 2). Heavy rains of 3 - 4 inches have been confined to a narrow strip of coast, and Claudette is unlikely to cause any major flooding. Apalachicola received just over 4 inches of rain so far from Claudette. Radar animations out of the Florida Panhandle show that heavy rains continue along the coast in association with a main spiral band of Claudette, and these rains will gradually subside today.


Figure 1. Radar reflectivity image of Tropical Storm Claudette as it approached landfall just southeast of Fort Walton Beach shortly after midnight on 8/17/09.

The tropics featured a rare triple threat the past two days--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 year's A, B, and C storms all got their names in just a 33 hour span. This is not a record, since in 1995, three tropical storms--Humberto, Iris, and Jerry--got their names in a 27-hour span (thanks to NOAA's Ryan Sharp for looking up this stat).


Figure 2. Total precipitation estimated by radar for Claudette, as of 3:28pm EDT 8/17/09.

Ana not dead yet
Tropical Depression Ana continues to cling to life, and is now approaching landfall in Puerto Rico. Radar animations from the San Juan, Puerto Rico radar show a surface circulation just southeast of the island, with some low-level spiral banding trying to develop to the south. Recent satellite images also show a rejuvenation of the heavy thunderstorm activity near Ana's center, as the storm regroups from being nearly torn apart yesterday. Ana has already dumped up to 4 inches of rain along the north coast of Puerto Rico, according to radar-estimates.

It is unlikely that Ana will survive past today, however, since the storm will move over both Puerto Rico and the rugged terrain of Hispaniola. The high mountains of these islands should act to disrupt the relatively small and fragile circulation of Ana. None of the computer models foresee that Ana will survive passage over Hispaniola. The Dominican Republic can expect 3 - 6 inches of rain from Ana, and Haiti can expect 1 - 3 inches.


Figure 3. Total precipitation estimated by radar from Ana for Puerto Rico.

Bill becomes the first Atlantic hurricane of 2009
Hurricane Bill continues to gather strength, and is now the first hurricane of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season. An eye has appeared on visible and infrared satellite imagery, and Bill is displaying an impressive symmetry, with plenty of low-level spiral banding.

Wind shear is low, 5 - 10 knots, and is forecast to be in the low range through Wednesday. With Sea Surface Temperatures only 27°C today, substantial intensification may not occur until Tuesday and Wednesday, when SSTs warm to 28 - 29°C and ocean heat content sharply increases. By Thursday, Bill is expected to leave the favorable upper-level wind environment it currently finds itself in, and moderate shear of 15 - 20 knots may limit further intensification.

Water vapor satellite imagery shows that there is a modest trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere near 50°W longitude, that Bill is currently approaching. All of the computer models except the UKMET predict that this trough will be strong enough to turn Bill more to the northwest so that the hurricane misses the Lesser Antilles Islands. The UKMET predicts the trough will not affect Bill much, and that the hurricane will pass through or just north of the islands on Thursday. For now, the UKMET solution is being discounted, since the trough at 50W appears substantial enough on satellite imagery to be able to turn Bill more to the northwest.

A much larger trough of low pressure is expected to develop along the U.S. East Coast late this week, turning Bill even more to the northwest. Most of the models predict Bill will pass very close to Bermuda on Saturday as a result. The HWRF model predicts Bermuda will receive a direct hit at Category 4 strength. Until Bill interacts with the small trough at 50°W, it is too early to be confident of the potential threat to Bermuda. By Tuesday, we should have a much better idea of the threat. Likewise, I would like to see the UKMET model come around in line with the other models before dismissing the possible threat to the U.S. East Coast. It currently appears that Bill will miss the U.S. East Coast, but that a strike on the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland or Nova Scotia is possible.

I'll have an update Tuesday morning, or possibly this afternoon.

Jeff Masters

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4474. flsky
Quoting Prgal:
There is a new blog from Dr. Master guys.


Where?
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Good Morning. Hi 1965, Betsy baby here too. Well, I was five. That started it for me also. Welcome.
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4471. Prgal
There is a new blog from Dr. Master guys.
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4470. bwi
Here's a (slow loading) Cuban radar link for the line of storms and scattered showers between Haiti, Cuba and Jamaica. Doesn't look at all organized to me, but worth watching any stormy areas in that area I think.
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From the Met Service of Jamaica website

August 18, 2009 at 5:00 a.m.

LOCAL WEATHER FORECAST

SIGNIFICANT FEATURE… Tropical Wave over the central Caribbean.

24-HOURS FORECAST
This Morning… Mainly fair.
This Afternoon…Expect scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms across sections of most parishes.
Tonight…Becoming fair.

3-DAY FORECAST (starting tomorrow)
Wed…Mainly fair morning, with scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms during the afternoon.

Thu & Fri… Mainly sunny mornings with isolated showers across inland areas during the afternoon.

Comment… A trough induced by Hurricane Bill with result in periods of showers and thunderstorms over the island by late Friday afternoon.


grb
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HURRICANE BILL ADVISORY NUMBER 13
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL032009
1100 AM AST TUE AUG 18 2009

...BILL A LITTLE STRONGER...HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT EXPECTED TO INVESTIGATE THE HURRICANE THIS AFTERNOON...

INTERESTS IN THE LEEWARD ISLANDS SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF BILL.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.

AT 1100 AM AST...1500 UTC...THE EYE OF HURRICANE BILL WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 15.9 NORTH...LONGITUDE 51.2 WEST OR ABOUT 705 MILES...
1140 KM...EAST OF THE LEEWARD ISLANDS.

BILL IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 16 MPH...26 KM/HR. A WEST-NORTHWEST MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS FOLLOWED BY A TURN TOWARD THE NORTHWEST ON WEDNESDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 105 MPH...165 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. BILL IS A CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS...AND BILL COULD BECOME A MAJOR HURRICANE WITHIN THE NEXT DAY OR SO. AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT IS EXPECTED TO INVESTIGATE BILL THIS AFTERNOON.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 40 MILES...65 KM...FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 175 MILES...280 KM.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 963 MB...28.44 INCHES.

...SUMMARY OF 1100 AM AST INFORMATION...
LOCATION...15.9N 51.2W
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...105 MPH
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WEST-NORTHWEST OR 285 DEGREES AT 16 MPH MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...963 MB

THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AT 500 PM AST.

$$
FORECASTER BROWN/CANGIALOSI
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I think Vaguada is correct...as per
http://www.proteccioncivil.es/es/DGPCE/Informacion_y_documentacion/catalogo/carpeta02/carpeta24/vad emecum/vdm004.htm#0412j

Vaguada. Es una configuración isobárica en la que a partir del centro de una baja presión las isobaras se deforman alejándose más del centro de un lado que en cualquier otra dirección. Este fenómeno produce mal tiempo.

----
and Depresiones are Depressions

Por oposición a los anticiclones, los ciclones o depresiones son centros de convergencia de los vientos al nivel del suelo, siendo éstos tanto más fuertes cuanto mayor es el gradiente o pendiente barométrica, o sea cuanto más juntas estén las isobaras.
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Quoting AllStar17:
Watching the remnants of Ana as they move through the Florida straights and into the bath waters of the GOM. Claudette take #2?
BR

I thinks Ana's remains are just W of Haiti. The thunderstorm cluster you've identifed is associated with the divergence of an ULL just S of Central Cuba. Having said that, if enough convection develops over the Florida Straits today, something could slowly happen...
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Quoting HopquickSteve:
If it is depresión, then how to they distiguish depressions from troughs?
IDK. I used a spanish to english translator.
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If it is depresión, then how to they distiguish depressions from troughs?
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Quoting rwdobson:


There is no "verification model". The page is titled "model verification". In other words, it means it is comparing model predictions to what actually happened.


Oh I'm sorry, I typed that backwards LOL!! Ok thank you!
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good morning guys what up I still think that BILL will keep on going dew west into the caribbean the model will keep on shifting west and the remnants of ANA is moving west and is possible that it could redevelop ether in the NW caribbean or in between the caribbean and GOM and we should also watch the next wave near africa could become DANNY in the long run
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Quoting stillwaiting:
look like ana's northern half split away from the main circulation and I would expect another invest 92L to be forming in the FL straits then moving NNW towards the panhandle area as TD5 possibly even a TS or borderline cat 1!!!


I agree, and this area is right where Fay was sitting on this date last year.
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Quoting StormW:


Good morning StormW. I have been remiss in thanking you for your concise, data backed reports and analysis. When things get busy, I look for your input knowing it will be well thought out and written in a way that is easily understood.
Again, Thank you!
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
NEW BLOG!!!
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Good Morning All,

What is your latest thoughts on Bill? I think once Recon flies into this storm, the path is just a prediction.
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4456. tbrett
Quoting StormW:
TROPICAL WEATHER SYNOPSIS /HURRICANE BILL/ AUG 18, 2009 ISSUED 10:25 A.M.


That's for the update StormW, very imformative as always
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4454. tbrett
I asked this question earlier.
Has any info come in from HH? If not when can we expect to start getting it?
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4453. fmbill
Quoting stillwaiting:
look like ana's northern half split away from the main circulation and I would expect another invest 92L to be forming in the FL straits then moving NNW towards the panhandle area as TD5 possibly even a TS or borderline cat 1!!!


I agree. It looked yesterday that the models were hinting at Ana splitting into 2 different lows.
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4452. WxLogic
FYI... NEW BLOG
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5030
Is the new wave the one that just came off of Africa?
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4450. eddye
florida hit 80 percent from bill
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Quoting StormW:
TROPICAL WEATHER SYNOPSIS /HURRICANE BILL/ AUG 18, 2009 ISSUED 10:25 A.M.


Ty for the update StormW.
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It's Mr. Bill!!!
Oh oh where's Sluggo?
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4446. Prgal
Quoting rwdobson:
PRGal, you probably have a better idea of the translation than we do...what do the spanish-speaking mets in PR call a trough?

Literally from English, a trough is what animals eat from, so it is "comedero"...but for weather it is more like a trough in the ground, or a ditch, so maybe "depresion (en el seulo)" is better...?

Well, the mets here talk about "vaguadas" that are systems that travel like counterclockwise.
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Quoting P451:


MODIS caught it about 3 hours ago.



Think it could be on to watch or just fizzle?
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look like ana's northern half split away from the main circulation and I would expect another invest 92L to be forming in the FL straits then moving NNW towards the panhandle area as TD5 possibly even a TS or borderline cat 1!!!
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Quoting StormW:
TROPICAL WEATHER SYNOPSIS /HURRICANE BILL/ AUG 18, 2009 ISSUED 10:25 A.M.


Very good analysis.. I've always stated on here that the Northeastern States shouldn't let there guard down. Also the storm did another jog the the west, but mainly it's moving WNW.
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Quoting Prgal:

Yes, I believe you have TY! Do you know the translation of trough...is it "vaguada"? TYVM!
That is correct also.
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4441. Grothar
Quoting Murko:


I slept through the first one and wrote of my car (big heavy BMW 733i) in the second, as a tree crashed down right in front of me!


How does one sleep through such a storm? When Wilma passed through FT Lauderdale here, I was sticking my head through a slit and mesmermized by the awsome power. Do not care to experience another!!!!
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New Blog!
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
4437. tbrett
Quoting JadeInAntigua:


Yeah I remember hearing Montserrat got flooded as well. Everyone wrote Omar off because he was headed away from us so I'm just hoping everyone stays vigilant of Bill. We are just so vulnerable on these little land masses.

Yeah, I remember quite a few people telling me not to worry about Omar..to far away. I will stay watchful of Bill until he is well past. No surprises here..I have everything ready, just need to put up shutters.
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Latest RGB Image BILL

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PRGal, you probably have a better idea of the translation than we do...what do the spanish-speaking mets in PR call a trough?

Literally from English, a trough is what animals eat from, so it is "comedero"...but for weather it is more like a trough in the ground, or a ditch, so maybe "depresion (en el seulo)" is better...?
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Ana would receive a new number & name if it redevelops since it was marked as "disappated", right?
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4433. ssmate
Quoting canesrule1:
What is the best school to study meteorology?


University of Pyongyang is decent but very difficult to get into to.
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Quoting Prgal:

Yes, I believe you have TY! Do you know the translation of trough...is it "vaguada"? TYVM!
depresión
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i hope ana doesnt mess up my pretty pretty car
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Also watching the most recently emerged African wave as it is projected to maybe affect the Antilles.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
4425. junie1
Now since it has a well formed eye should be much easier to track its movements
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Watching the remnants of Ana as they move through the Florida straights and into the bath waters of the GOM. Claudette take #2?

Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315

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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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