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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hi hurricanefcast in what place im see that image of the 300-850 steering thanks for your help.
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Quoting HurricaneFCast:

I'm NOT trying to attack your post, okay? Let's get that thought out of the way right now. However, you posted the wrong steering layer.. Bill's intensity requires the 300-850MB steering layer.


thank you for pointing that out!
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Quoting FloridaTigers:


Yeah. I've not visited this blog in two days because of this. Its ridiculous. Who knew weather was such a testy subject

Lol, indeed it is. I just try my best to steer clear of the arguments and use disclaimers to let people know that I'm NOT trying to jump down anyone's throat if I correct someone.. I'm just trying to help keep the blog accurate and less-comprised of wishcasts, misconceptions, etc..

As for Bill's steering layer, here it is:
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3671. GatorWX
I see a northern tug on Bill on satellite. He's in the blackout now though, so can't tell if it's just a quick jog or caused by Bill trying to form an eye (which usually causes jumps and jogs in developing storms in this stage), or the beginnings of a more northerly pattern in the track. When a storm is feeling he effects of a trof it'll usually jump around a bit more when changing direction than simply following the periphery of a ridge.
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Quoting HurricaneFCast:
This blog is getting ugly.. I'm going to take my actual knowledge, unbiased opinion, helpful links, and good attitude for a break. Hopefully we'll be witnessing the good side of a select few individuals when I check back in later...


Yeah. I've not visited this blog in two days because of this. Its ridiculous. Who knew weather was such a testy subject
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Quoting THUNDERPR:
hey serialteg good to see you that images look ugly the high is more stronger what do you see in the future track of bill.


well ive cried FISH since sunday, but maybe ill have to eat CROW

actually i laughed as a crow passed real close to me this morning @ campus. coincidence? i think not!

:)

i just hope that high doesn't move too far to the right, too quickly, or we'll have a face-to-face with a pissed off cane.
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Quoting serialteg:


:/

comments, thoughts

I'm NOT trying to attack your post, okay? Let's get that thought out of the way right now. However, you posted the wrong steering layer.. Bill's intensity requires the 300-850MB steering layer.
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Quoting alpha992000:


Yes SerialTag. At least for me your posts have been hidden, even though I have had it on "Show All" all the time. And I think this is the first time I've been able to quote you. Dunno why, you are the only one I've had that problem with.


>:(

maybe thats one of the reasons i have to ask stuff quite a few times before anyone cares to answer...

i would love to see a revamp of this message board.
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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Its sad to know that people didn't leave for Ike remembering Rita.. Ike ended up being so much worse than Rita.


Well Ike hit a more populated area than Rita. Including the area Rita hit. But they were both nightmares. Rita did to SW LA what Ike did to SE TX and SW LA. But you are right about the Ike evacuation. The roads were so empty it was eerie. We were kinda stunned actually. Then we were sad because we knew what those empty roads meant. :(
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hey serialteg good to see you that images look ugly the high is more stronger what do you see in the future track of bill.
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3663. jpsb
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Its sad to know that people didn't leave for Ike remembering Rita.. Ike ended up being so much worse than Rita.
Oh yea I have more then a few friends that are lucky to be alive. They left when the water started puring into thier homes. I told them this is the real deal "do not stay in your single story house for Ike". Last place I want to be in a storm surge is on the road.
Member Since: June 30, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1190
Hey all,

Figured this would be a good time for my first post.

Have been lurking for about four months now and have learned alot.

Bloggers such as Drakoen, IKE, StormW, Weather456, extreme236, Stormchaser2007, Patrap, and others are much appreciated.

Keep it up.
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Quoting serialteg:
first time i get the "Show ALL posts" thingie, how have you been rating mine? Have mine been hiding?

hmph!


Yes SerialTeg. At least for me your posts have been hidden, even though I have had it on "Show All" all the time. And I think this is the first time I've been able to quote you. Dunno why, you are the only one I've had that problem with.
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:/

comments, thoughts
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first time i get the "Show ALL posts" thingie, how have you been rating mine? Have mine been hiding?

hmph!
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Quoting jpsb:
I could not believe the hysteria with Rita, people 100 miles inland were evacuating. Meanwhile those of us on the coast could not leave cause all the roads were jammed. I packed up my truck and decided to wait until the last minute. I'm glad I did, I never evacuated. After Rita everyone here said they would never evacuate again. I think Ike changed a few minds on that.


Its sad to know that people didn't leave for Ike remembering Rita.. Ike ended up being so much worse than Rita.
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Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:

I just installed google earth but it has outdated cloud data. Earlyer someone pointed out that this is a bug and to be fixed in the morning.


I have a second site I use for cloud data when it does that... its happened before.

I can't find the link, but doa google search for "Global Cloud cover"

Night all, have fun and play safe
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Quoting homelesswanderer:


I don't see what would take him north in time to miss everywhere (land) before it recurves. And I'm a little confused on the first link it shows a front washing out and going north n the middle of the week. Then a front barely on the east coast Saturday. Is that more or less where the trough is? On the second link a graphic of where bill supposed to be Sat. So, what will make him climb before the trough?

Link

Link
Beats me i was looking at The Cimss steering layer chart and it looks like the ridge to Bill's north is getting stronger.i don't see where this ridge is going to just collapse anytime soon looking at your links,I'm scratching my head over this one.....Link
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3655. jpsb
I could not believe the hysteria with Rita, people 100 miles inland were evacuating. Meanwhile those of us on the coast could not leave cause all the roads were jammed. I packed up my truck and decided to wait until the last minute. I'm glad I did, I never evacuated. After Rita everyone here said they would never evacuate again. I think Ike changed a few minds on that.
Member Since: June 30, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1190
Someone asked about StormW's creds. Here's a glimpse:
http://www.wunderground.com/wximage/viewsingleimage.html?mode=singleimage&handle=StormW&number=12
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Before I go...

Heres the 00z dynamical models showing a more Westward shift. White is the NHC track.



You know if those go any more west, we'll see Obamas carpentry skills come out when he puts up plywood on the white house. :) Jk.
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Quoting TropicalNonsense:
the upper level pattern has changed somewhat from yesterday reguarding Bill.

the trough is not gonna be as strong as the models are projecting and bill
may make it further west before his turn.

also i see the high flattening out over the atlantic instead of breaking up like
the models were forecasting yesterday.

this is the latest water vapor imagery.
does anyone else see these features or am i just wish casting?

i cant say i see a massive cat 4 hurricane turning trough in this picture
but maybe i am missing something.

i would appreciate others bloggers insight on this if anyone cares to comment.



I don't see what would take him north in time to miss everywhere (land) before it recurves. And I'm a little confused on the first link it shows a front washing out and going north n the middle of the week. Then a front barely on the east coast Saturday. Is that more or less where the trough is? On the second link a graphic of where bill supposed to be Sat. So, what will make him climb before the trough?

Link

Link
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3651. GatorWX
It wont save it though. I changed it, the blog reloads, and it's back to "show average". I don't get it. There has to be a way to save it or something.
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Night all - i really think i need to steal the name "captain badass" for my boat. I shall now be referred to as that from here on in..

;)

Melissa
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Umm which one?

I just installed google earth but it has outdated cloud data. Earlyer someone pointed out that this is a bug and to be fixed in the morning.
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Before I go...

Heres the 00z dynamical models showing a more Westward shift. White is the NHC track.

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3647. GatorWX
Quoting CybrTeddy:


I think I know your problem. You have the post filter on 'average', put it on 'All'. Upper right of the blog. Below Jeff's blog.
Quoting sctonya:


You could try to change you filter to "show all"...just a suggestion


Thankyou! Didn't even think of that.
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3646. RyanFSU
HWRF 00Z quick-look through 108 hours, same track as 18Z ...

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3645. eye
Bill has finally starting moving more NW...Fishland, here comes BILL!
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Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:

Thanks for the update Orca.
How did you update the google earth application?


Umm which one?
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Goodnight All.

Im out.
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3642. jpsb
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Rita was in 2005, Humberto was in 2007.
As for the rest of your post.. no comment. I may be a Republican but still.. wow.
Sorry, I got carry away, the NHC is very good and getting better, but they are not perfect. Sometime you just have to think for yourself.
Member Since: June 30, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1190
the upper level pattern has changed somewhat from yesterday reguarding Bill.

the trough is not gonna be as strong as the models are projecting and bill
may make it further west before his turn.

also i see the high flattening out over the atlantic instead of breaking up like
the models were forecasting yesterday.

this is the latest water vapor imagery.
does anyone else see these features or am i just wish casting?

i cant say i see a massive cat 4 hurricane turning trough in this picture
but maybe i am missing something.

i would appreciate others bloggers insight on this if anyone cares to comment.

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3640. KRL
4KM Resolution (click to enlarge)

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3639. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting GatorWX:
Keep,

For some reason your posts are "ignored". I have to open them all. I love reading your posts. You're one of my favs on here. I hate how it automatically puts people on ignore!
at the top of the post page click show all and then you will see them
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3638. sctonya
Quoting GatorWX:
Keep,

For some reason your posts are "ignored". I have to open them all. I love reading your posts. You're one of my favs on here. I hate how it automatically puts people on ignore!


You could try to change you filter to "show all"...just a suggestion
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Quoting GatorWX:
Keep,

For some reason your posts are "ignored". I have to open them all. I love reading your posts. You're one of my favs on here. I hate how it automatically puts people on ignore!


I think I know your problem. You have the post filter on 'average', put it on 'All'. Upper right of the blog. Below Jeff's blog.
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Quoting melwerle:
It DID happen or i wouldn't have posted it. Ask in the morning - looking for a link but I can't find one - happened just a few minutes ago


lol ok. pm me a link if you find one because im going to bed now
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Does anyone know when they update the Cimss Steering layer maps????.I was just poking around there and to me it looks like the Ridge to Bill's North got stronger especially when i click on the -3 hr button and compare to the one that shows up when you click on the linkLink
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3634. GatorWX
Keep,

For some reason your posts are "ignored". I have to open them all. I love reading your posts. You're one of my favs on here. I hate how it automatically puts people on ignore!
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3633. KRL
CLICK TO ENLARGE:

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It DID happen or i wouldn't have posted it. Ask in the morning - looking for a link but I can't find one - happened just a few minutes ago
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Quoting Orcasystems:

Thanks for the update Orca.
How did you update the google earth application?
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Quoting jpsb:
"they should always follow the NHC for guidance."

G*d we are becomming a nation of sheep. I've been living on the Texas gulf coast for over 30 years, and most of those years I had a sailbost in the water. The last people I am going to listen to is the government/state run media. The they are ALWAYS in cover their A$$ mood. If you listen to them you will be running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. Don't believe me .... Rita 2007. I'll take the info I get from blogs like this and other smart people I know over media hype and CYA government types anyday.


Rita was in 2005, Humberto was in 2007.
As for the rest of your post.. no comment. I may be a Republican but still.. wow.
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Looks like were in the blackout.

Hopefully Bill wont do too much in that time.

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Quoting jpsb:
"they should always follow the NHC for guidance."

G*d we are becomming a nation of sheep. I've been living on the Texas gulf coast for over 30 years, and most of those years I had a sailbost in the water. The last people I am going to listen to is the government/state run media. The they are ALWAYS in cover their A$$ mood. If you listen to them you will be running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. Don't believe me .... Rita 2007. I'll take the info I get from blogs like this and other smart people I know over media hype and CYA government types anyday.
You sound like a Lew Rockwell man to me! Rita was a nightmare. My wife and kids were trapped on the highways for 36 hours while I was at work.
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i lived in sunrise fl during wilma...we were inland and that was noooo fun! something like that up here would be a million times worse i def dont want that...cant afford it
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Quoting winter123:


youtube link or didnt happen


I am looking for it - it was Nicole Mitchell and the guy said she had been hanging out with enlisted too long...i was rolling. She went out on the HH checked out Felicia...it was AWKWARD....
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3625. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting jeffs713:
Looks like all the trolls got off their 24-hour ban in the last hour or two. *sigh*
and they will be banned for another 24 in the morning as soon as the admins show up for work in the am or i can always email yakkusa and ask for a special guest appearance
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Quoting weatherman113:
cybr what do you think of the rest of the season??? also what do you think is the track change in bill tommorow??? right or left??


Too early to make a call for the rest of the season, but I expect 8-11 named. Now as for Bill? Not sure, but I'm leaning towards a slight change to the left. Remember this thing is far out, we really don't have a clue where it is going in the long term. But I expect a general WNW motion with a NW motion by Wednesday if the models play out. The UKMET though sure is persistent in keeping it on a WNW direction last time I checked.
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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.