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: 3974 - 3924

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

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:
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'm probably not the best choice to answer this, but I believe intensity forecasts are the hardest part of the NHC's job. They're much better at predicting where it will go rather than how strong it will be when it gets there.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
...so since Bill is on track....us in South Florida are ok....correct??
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like about 90% of the bloggers last night got it wrong with Bill's westward movement (exception-storm).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This is going to be an interesting week.

I'll contact the blog again tomorrow AM.

Remember, tomorrow at 6 AM EDT we go live, probably from Key West, FL.

Have a great 3,1,0 day! We'll probably be at 3,1,1 this time tomorrow!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good morning, Pottery.
Everyone watching Bill with trepidation.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3968. Sting13
Quoting StormW:


No...they issue the intermediate advisories once watches and warnings go up.


Love the fast answers on here ;), The models seem to putting landfall just west of me in nova scotia, but the way models seem to be shifting, who knows. If this does happen ill be sure you put some pictures up for ya'll
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
A ways to go yet...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Morning StormW! Fine day it is, too - looks as though Bill is moving as forecast. Looks like we can plan the pool party this weekend with confidence...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
...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...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Tropics and Gulf IR Animation Link - Ana is dashed upon the rocks, er mountains of Hispaniola - Bill eneters, stage right
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3961. chrisrw
Quoting CycloneOz:


I've got the luxury of time on my side to make a final decision. It's great not to feel rushed about anything!

I've been able to configure my gear for air-travel nicely. I'm going to miss my portable power supplies, but for the most part, power is the only real important thing I'm leaving behind.

I cannot imagine being in Bermuda on Friday. No cell-phone. No live webcam. And I know not a soul. I'll also be on a fiercely tight budget!

I'll literally be walking the streets with a backpack and a rolling suitcase in a foreign country...homeless (unless I succumb and decide to spring for a hotel room.)


Immigration will not allow you to enter Bermuda as a "camper". You need to tell them where you're staying. Why wouldn't you have a cellphone? Anyway, just stay away please. There'll be nothing for you here (crossing fingers!).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3959. pottery
Good Morning, Chicklit.
Thank you for your good, concise posts, all the time.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
G'mornin. Hi Bill...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3956. IKE
San Juan,PR discussion...

"DISCUSSION...ONLY A FEW SMALL SHOWERS ARE LEFT OVER LAND OR SEA AT
THE MOMENT. ACCORDING TO THE SOUNDING AT 00Z...HOWEVER...THE
ATMOSPHERE WILL BE SOMEWHAT UNSTABLE AND CONDUCIVE TO THE
DEVELOPMENT OF SOME SHOWER ACTIVITY ONCE LOCAL SURFACE HEATING
BEGINS. WINDS ARE FORECAST TO BEGIN TO SHIFT MORE TOWARD THE
NORTHEAST LATER TODAY AS HURRICANE BILL APPROACHES AND FLOW AROUND
HIM BENDS TOWARD THE LOCAL AREA. THIS WILL CAUSE AFTERNOON SHOWERS
TO SHIFT TO THE SOUTH OVER WESTERN PUERTO RICO. CURRENTLY
HURRICANE BILL`S TRACK WILL BE TOO FAR TO THE NORTHEAST OF THE
AREA TO BE OF MUCH INFLUENCE SAVE FOR SOME WEAK LONG PERIOD SWELL
AND A DEFINITE DISRUPTION TO THE TRADE WIND FLOW THAT WILL LEAVE
VERY LIGHT WINDS OVER THE AREA THURSDAY SUCH THAT LAND AND SEA
BREEZE INFLUENCES DOMINATE.
SINCE THERE WILL BE SOME MOISTURE IN
THE AREA EXPECT INTERIOR SHOWERS OVER MUCH OF THE ISLAND THEN.
HIGH SURFACE PRESSURE BUILDS BACK OVER THE AREA AND WEAK TROUGHS
IN THE LOWER LEVELS BRING SOME CONVECTIVE ACTIVITY SATURDAY AND
MONDAY...BUT THE NEXT SIGNIFICANT WAVE IS NOT FORECAST UNTIL THE
FOLLOWING THURSDAY. THE MODELS HAVE BACKED AWAY FROM PLACING A
STRONG LOW IN THIS WAVE...BUT IT IS TOO EARLY TO TELL IF THIS WILL
OCCUR."
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3955. amd
Bill has definitely improved in appearance overnight, and also moved a bit to the north as well.

Now Bill is temporarily moving back to the west, but I think a more wnw to nw movement will resume shortly, especially since Bill will continue to strengthen today, IMO.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
No, I was looking at the quikscat and looks like the center is below 15n. Don't know how recent that was.


QuikScat has a southwest bias on center location. You have to look at the ambiguity, which is real difficult to decipher.

The Operational Use of QuikSCAT Ocean Surface Vector Winds at the National Hurricane Center
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good Morning.

Bill looking beefy today. Let's hope the troughs do their work and the people of Bermuda can withstand a pounding.
Something is leaving Cape Verde.
It's August 18th.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3949. Sting13
Hey um guys, since it past 50W shouldnt we be getting updates between big updates (8, 2, 8) like they usually do, and did with ana, i remember reading somewhere they will update more often once it passes 50w, i could have misread it who knows
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ChrisDcane:


if u look closely its more like wsw
yeah, see it but need to see if that continues for next couple of frames and on.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3946. WxLogic
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Plane is out there now.


Perfect...
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4928
Hey Ike;

Sounds like more of the same - sticky with rain at times? Ana's rag-tag remnants will blow through some time over the weekend? Sorry to bother - was up late last night with work and have to get on it this morning, too.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WxLogic:


12Z Runs...assuming a G-IV research plane did in fact flew @2AM today.


Plane is out there now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
"hp

Don't know exactly where Bill would be on these maps but thats a lot of heat potential.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:


The vorticity is between eastern Cuba and Haiti....NOGAPS has that heading to Mobile and Pensacola....




Yep... the system as a whole, the TROF of low pressure, is moving WNW/NW at about 20mphs, but it should start to slow down over the next day or so. Once the vorticity gets away from Cuba, i would be interested in seeing if she will be able to redevelop the low-level/surface circulation. Unlikely, but it is something to watch and we are expecting more rain from the remains of Ana than we did from Claudette (barely got any), here in Tallahassee.
Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 579
Sheez Looking at the water vapor imagery; lots of movement in atmosphere in north and west lat/lo of bill.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Great to see Bill seems to have started at least more of his northerly movement overnight.

What is really cool is to run through the steps on the models and observe how the bidged highs start to react to the first trough from yesterday and then the second.

Looking at the water vapor it appears that the more easterly high has already started to shift east and elongate which following the models should make room for the Bermuda high to do the same and get the heck out of the way.

Hoping it all continues and is on time.

RN
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3938. WxLogic
Quoting Engine2:
The recon information should provide better information to the models for later this afternoon and tonight right?


12Z Runs...assuming a G-IV research plane did in fact flew @2AM today.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4928
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Looks to me like he is taking a little jog to the west again.


if u look closely its more like wsw
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3936. IKE
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT TUE AUG 18 2009

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON HURRICANE
BILL...LOCATED ABOUT 810 MILES EAST OF THE LESSER ANTILLES.

DISORGANIZED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS EXTENDING FROM NEAR HAITI
ACROSS EASTERN CUBA TO THE SOUTHEASTERN AND CENTRAL BAHAMAS ARE
ASSOCIATED WITH THE REMNANTS OF TROPICAL DEPRESSION ANA AND AN
UPPER-LEVEL LOW PRESSURE AREA. THIS ACTIVITY IS MOVING TOWARD THE
WEST AT 20 TO 25 MPH AND WILL BE SPREADING ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF
CUBA...THE BAHAMAS...AND SOUTHERN FLORIDA OVER THE NEXT DAY OR SO.
THIS SYSTEM SHOWS NO SIGNS OF REGENERATION AT THIS TIME AND THERE
IS A LOW CHANCE...LESS THAN 30 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A
TROPICAL CYCLONE AGAIN DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER BROWN/CANGIALOSI

.....................

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Wow those ADT numbers are jumping. Most likely because of his eye reappearing and more stablized.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like Bill is right on target to recurve northward eventually, missing the U.S. Still just a bit early to say for certain, but a U.S. miss appears quite likely at this time. Bill could be the "big" one for this hurricane season in terms of strength, although there may still be one or two big ones left.

There's not much left of the old TD Ana, just some clusters of clouds/showers throughout the Bahamas and over the Barahona peninsula of Haiti. We'll see if it tries to reorganize somewhere, but at this point it could eventually get out into the Gulf of Mexico.

Except for Bill, it's quieted down some now, with the historical peak of the season still three to four weeks away.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Bill has developed an eye now and appears just about done with the EWRC. A track further west would likely bring Bill over higher OHC. Reason being probably why the GFS is weaker.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting eyesontheweather:
check that 50W... Time for a bigger magnifying glass
Looks to me like he is taking a little jog to the west again.
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 : 104500 UTC
Lat : 15:34:27 N Lon : 50:09:09 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
5.8 / 955.4mb/109.8kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
5.8 6.1 6.4

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +2.6mb

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 28 km

Center Temp : +14.8C Cloud Region Temp : -67.4C

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

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

WOW 110 knts
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jasoniscoolman10:
huriicane bill winds 100 mph.. not anymore by 11am the winds will be 110 mph or more.



ADT shows 102 knts which would be 115 mph getting closer to 120 mph winds

Raw numbers are around 120 knts which would be 140 mph winds
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting eyesontheweather:
check that 50W... Time for a bigger magnifying glass
Ok. I was trying to figure out if there was another system out there.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
For what ?
check that 50W... Time for a bigger magnifying glass
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3926. Engine2
The recon information should provide better information to the models for later this afternoon and tonight right?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
coordinates of Bill
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting eyesontheweather:
Visible satalite tropical floater 2 looks like 15.5 N, 30 W
For what ?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 3974 - 3924

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.