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

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

Share this Blog
6
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 4024 - 3974

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81 | 82 | 83 | 84 | 85 | 86 | 87 | 88 | 89 | 90Blog Index

Tampa spin will you please give me a link to the NAM model? Thanks
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting connie1976:
...so the hurricane hunters have been in the storm and now the track is pretty accurate...correct?


Connie go here and scroll down and you can always see the current forecast tracks as this stays current 24hrs a day.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Ex-Ana is still a fighter.

A nice flair up of storms north of DR. Florida will get some good rain out of the mess.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Cyclone Oz, Whats your take on possible developement, from former Ana in GOM later this week?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
...so the hurricane hunters have been in the storm and now the track is pretty accurate...correct?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4019. IKE
EWRC?

Member Since: Posts: Comments:


This must be one very wide trough the modellers are expecting. I'd have thought these tracks would be going right through the Bermuda High, which, of course, is impossible.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Morning ALL,

I know Bill is the major story in the town but no one is talking about the new wave that just emerged off Africa - good convection and turning around 10N..

What say you guys...!?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I wouldn't put much faith in canesrule1's observations, connie. He's been a broken record on the "it's moving west" when it's clearly WNW movement.

Ike - yes - particularly the moisture on the southern arm of Haiti. It will be an "area of interest" tonight, but figure it's not very probable for development at this point.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
That's what it looked like to me too but don't know how long that will continue.
well, according to my calculations it will be approaching 55W tomorrow at 5:26AM. That is when NW movement should begin.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4013. Relix
I won't be fooled by your supposed West movement like last night... BILL!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Watch the BOC today and the Bahamas.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Chicklit:

Hi Canes, notice the outlier is gone at 2 a.m., too.
Hello, Chicklet, I have noticed that too, but I do believe Bermuda might be spared.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting bballerf50:
Lots of dry air getting entrained in the core and will inhibit significant strengthening until Bill can expel it.


Morning all!
It seems that off and on Bill has struggled with dry air. So far it's been able to hold its own though.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like a new low has formed SE of the Alabama / Florida line in the GOM.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaSpin:


Models do a poor job a predicting quick developing storms and quick intensifing storms. The only model i rely on in Home base storms ie. GOM/Bahmama storms that blow uf fast is the NAM model which does a very good job as a short range model at predicting intensifaction of daily thunderstorms and also quick developing systems in the GOM/Bahamas and NW Caribbean!

You can see it has picked up on Probably old ANA



Strongly agree!

Models are for CV storms.

Backyard burners require skill and experience to forecast, hands-on by real humans.

Just stand on the beach and watch the clouds above your head. If a counter-clockwise spin begins, trouble's ahead.

We might get lucky and see just that tomorrow AM on through the morning down in Key West.

I'm hoping anyway. The last time I saw a depression spin up over my head was in the 80's.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting connie1976:
Thanks canesrule1!!!
I started worrying again...I bugged you yesterday...
no problem, lol.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Does everyone see the difference between eye and surrounding? If that difference increases then he is intensifying, if not then he is not intensifying.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Bill may be a fishy cane after all
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting canesrule1:
chances of a SFLA hit are very very slim, about 2%. Remember anything can happen but right now I'm pretty damn sure that scenario isn't.

Hi Canes, notice the outlier is gone at 2 a.m., too.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 18 AUG 2009 Time : 111500 UTC
Lat : 15:42:39 N Lon : 50:03:29 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.0 / 950.6mb/115.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
6.0 6.1 6.3

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +2.6mb

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 33 km

Center Temp : +4.9C Cloud Region Temp : -67.0C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : RING/SPIRAL COMBINATION

Ocean Basin : ATLANTIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : 2.2T/6hr
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

****************************************************




Skipping Cat 3???
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Well, I'm much relieved to see the track forecast this morning,
after the HH's have flown into Bill.

Sully already has an update on the NE Weather Blog:

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/sullivanweather/show.html
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
SouthFl. Yes
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks for that info Tampa spin. Can you give me a link to that model?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
stormsurge39 - what do you mean that Katrina was a surprise ? Do you mean in strength ?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3996. IKE
Quoting CycloneOz:


Wow...the models are still in agreement after 24 hours. They've seen a very stable trend...

I still hate models, though!


Models did a good job predicting Bill. Lousy at Claudette.

Looks like Ana is popping some convection over a wide area....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting connie1976:
Thanks Chicklit!
I saw them....but they keep moving west...


Not really. They're pretty much in the same place they were yesterday. If anything, the models are showing S Fl safer than yesterday, since the UKMET is no longer an outlier to the west.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks canesrule1!!!
I started worrying again...I bugged you yesterday...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormsurge39:
Something i dont understand about our local mets in Northern GOM. Last week they said the wave below S Fl. would probably not be anything and we saw what happened. This time the reminants of Ana will be farther S and if it does develope,will have more time over water. They are saying that it probably wont develope. Katrina was a suprise. Fredric back in 79 was a depression and went over cuba and then went on to be a strong cat 3. Im not knocking our mets at all, I appreciate thier hard work at keeping us safe and also the ones here on this site. Thats why i asked the question about if models can predict rapid intensefication in the GOM. We seem to have alot of suprises in the GOM. Thanks again


Models do a poor job a predicting quick developing storms and quick intensifing storms. The only model i rely on in Home base storms ie. GOM/Bahmama storms that blow uf fast is the NAM model which does a very good job as a short range model at predicting intensifaction of daily thunderstorms and also quick developing systems in the GOM/Bahamas and NW Caribbean!

You can see it has picked up on Probably old ANA

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks yonzabam! I'm sure that the experts are correct on this...I have been watching the weather channel updates...They sound very sure...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting canesrule1:
Bill's eye has been moving WNW since yesterday, but in the last several hours he has resumed westward movement.

That's what it looked like to me too but don't know how long that will continue.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting connie1976:
Thanks Chicklit!
I saw them....but they keep moving west....I am hoping that it is impossible for them to move to South Florida...I guess I'm just hoping people will tell me that there is no way that this storm can go to south florida...I know I'm paranoid...but these things are scary!
chances of a SFLA hit are very very slim, about 2%. Remember anything can happen but right now I'm pretty damn sure that scenario isn't.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3989. tillou
Morning all.

Still not convinced that Bill will be a fish storm because of his strength and the lack of strength of the trough, but time will tell. Judging on what he looks like now I'm willing to bet he gets to a min Cat4 before its over with.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting connie1976:
...so since Bill is on track....us in South Florida are ok....correct??


Where the models and forcast track show it turning away and we are probably 96% okay.. You never want to completely ignore a tropical system that is south and east of you at this time of year... Keep an eye but no need to obsess about it
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks Amd
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I knew someone else would have a better answer...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CycloneOz:


Alot depends on what Bill looks like, and on what corner he's standing at.

Hollywood and Vine? Maybe...

...but what is he wearing? And is he fat and ugly?
Falling off Chair Laughing
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Bill's eye has been moving WNW since yesterday, but in the last several hours he has resumed westward movement.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:


Wow...the models are still in agreement after 24 hours. They've seen a very stable trend...

I still hate models, though!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks Chicklit!
I saw them....but they keep moving west....I am hoping that it is impossible for them to move to South Florida...I guess I'm just hoping people will tell me that there is no way that this storm can go to south florida...I know I'm paranoid...but these things are scary!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3981. amd
Quoting stormsurge39:
Something i dont understand about our local mets in Northern GOM. Last week they said the wave below S Fl. would probably not be anything and we saw what happened. This time the reminants of Ana will be farther S and if it does develope,will have more time over water. They are saying that it probably wont develope. Katrina was a suprise. Fredric back in 79 was a depression and went over cuba and then went on to be a strong cat 3. Im not knocking our mets at all, I appreciate thier hard work at keeping us safe and also the ones here on this site. Thats why i asked the question about if models can predict rapid intensefication in the GOM. We seem to have alot of suprises in the GOM. Thanks again


i think the models have a tough time figuring out redevelopment and rapid intensification because we still don't fully understand the meteorological reasoning for both redevelopment and rapid intensification. As the nhc states, track is much easier to predict than intensity.

Since the meteorological reasoning isn't fully understood, the mathematical models to fully incorporate all conditions which lead to rapid intensification isn't complete.

As we better understand the meteorology with rapidly intensifying tropical systems, the models will improve as well. A classic chicken and egg scenario.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3980. BrandiQ
Good Morning Stormw!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting connie1976:
...so is it safe to say that South Florida is not ever going to be in the path of this thing? I don't wish it on anyone, but I don't want this thing at all...


It's not safe to say anything, yet, although S. Florida seems very unlikely. Landfall in the Carolinas is more of a possiblity.

The mets seem convinced that the trough will build in time and will be strong enough to suck Bill up. They're the experts, so who are we to disagree?

If the trough were not to build at all, south Florida would be in the firing line.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BrandiQ:
Is there any chance that Bill will not be picked up?


Alot depends on what Bill looks like, and on what corner he's standing at.

Hollywood and Vine? Maybe...

...but what is he wearing? And is he fat and ugly?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3977. IKE
Florida won't be bothered with Bill.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Mikatnight Thank you
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3975. BrandiQ
Is there any chance that Bill will not be picked up?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting connie1976:
...so since Bill is on track....us in South Florida are ok....correct??

Connie,
If you go to the main Wunderground page, click on tropical in the top left corner, then scroll down, you will see computer models that forecast track. This one is from 2 a.m., so we may see an 8 a.m. or at least 2 p.m. update, but so far no big swing toward South Florida.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 4024 - 3974

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81 | 82 | 83 | 84 | 85 | 86 | 87 | 88 | 89 | 90Blog Index

Top of Page

About

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

Local Weather

Overcast
15 °C
Overcast