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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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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am off for the night guys


looking for word too what big fat billy goat bill looks like
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Quoting New2SOFLA:
in my defense lol...the caps were an accident second i relly wouldnt wish a cat 5 on anyone but alot of ppl here seem to really wish it was coming towards them...im not a wishcaster actuially i do live in NJ and i rented a beach house in long island for next week thats was why i was asking! sorry if anyone was offended(minus the a-holes with the rude comments to begin with)....back to lurking for me....and i will stick to the NHC for any questions i have...whoever said that was right



Im glad to see I was wrong about you.

Caps usually are a sure sign of 12 year olds wanting a Hurricane to close school.

Hope that wat directed at me
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3620. 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.
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Quoting melwerle:
on a lighter note - did anyone see the weather channel update tonight where the guy called the Captain "Captain BadAss?" It was hilarious...he tried to recover on the next update but I think it was a done deal


youtube link or didnt happen
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Quoting mikatnight:


I'm just being nitpicky, but I don't think StormW is an actual licensed met (just short of getting the paper I believe) - but he is certainly highly respected - and not just on this blog.


But you are being nitpicky. So what's your point, in bringing that up at all?

Nevertheless, there's no teacher like experience. StormW is a champ, a fine teacher to this blog and to his clients, and has a history of accomplishments in met circles. 'Nuff said.
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in my defense lol...the caps were an accident second i relly wouldnt wish a cat 5 on anyone but alot of ppl here seem to really wish it was coming towards them...im not a wishcaster actuially i do live in NJ and i rented a beach house in long island for next week thats was why i was asking! sorry if anyone was offended(minus the a-holes with the rude comments to begin with)....back to lurking for me....and i will stick to the NHC for any questions i have...whoever said that was right
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Quoting Acemmett90:

wow you yankee fans really hate boston


ROFL!
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Quoting btwntx08:
scottsvb on the list ahh mine getting up too!


Dont need updates lol
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Ridge looks to be building some.
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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??
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on a lighter note - did anyone see the weather channel update tonight where Nicole Mitchell called herself "Captain BadAss?" It was hilarious...he tried to recover and said she was hanging out with the enlisted too much but I think it was a done deal
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3611. GatorWX
Quoting btwntx08:
scottsvb on the list ahh mine getting up too!


You don't have to tell everyone, and I like your blog too!
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3610. JRRP
yo me voy(i am out)

another jog??
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3609. 7544
now at nhc site has yellow circle where exana was at 30 %
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6874
Hi Everyone. Just a few things to say/ask about Bill. First off if I'm reading my local NWS correctly the next trough is this coming weekend. Is that supposed to be the one that wisks Bill away? And they have also talked of nothing else but this "unseasonably strong cold front" that will be pushed "well into the gulf" Now they've changed their tune on that. Saying it'll be a weak front in our area. To me that sounds like a weaker trough pushing it. I'm just wondering because to me it looks like Bill has barely gone north. And if the weekend trough is supposed to take him out he would need to be higher. Anyway, some excerpts from NWS Discussion.

THE BERMUDA HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL REBUILD OVER THE NORTHERN
GULF OF MEXICO...IN WAKE OF THE DEPARTING REMNANT LOW.

FURTHER-UP...A HIGH PRESSURE DOME IS FOUND ACROSS THE NORTHEAST GULF
OF MEXICO...WITH ITS ASSOCIATED DIFLUENT SOUTHERLIES ACROSS THE WESTERN
UPPER GULF COAST STATES.
A WEAK COLD FRONT WILL ADVANCE TO THE LOUISIANA COAST ON SATURDAY

and this..

MARINE WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
300 PM EDT MON AUG 17 2009


HIGH PRES RIDGE BUILDS ACROSS THE NORTHERN
GULF THROUGH THE END OF THE WEEK.

I don't know, and I could be wrong, but to me that sounds like weaker trough and stronger ridge. And the timing of the trough seems off to me.

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Looks like all the trolls got off their 24-hour ban in the last hour or two. *sigh*
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5891
3606. sctonya
Quoting AllBoardedUp:
There are plenty of people on this site who type in caps. Quite annoying? Yes they are annoying, but I believe you were reading way to much into his question.


This blog usually reserves the ALL CAPS for the NHC updates...or at least that is the way it used to be. I really do not think it was the question that he asked, it was how he asked it. (back to lurk mode)
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3605. GatorWX
I don't put anyone on ignore. The two times I've tried, it just leads me to my blog page which says "GatorWX has no blog entries". Anyway, I enjoy reading stupidity posts and usually read the ones which are already on ignore. I guess admins automatically put people on ignore or something. As far as news2ofFL, he/she did ask a simple question and got a pretty rude response. Some people use caps since newbies a lot of times don't get a response and this helps them get noticed, but his reply was just wrong!
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Blood pressure chart while reading the blog...er I mean ADT estimates.




Some good moments then some not so good.
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Quoting HurricaneKyle:
Really scott? I'm 15 and I have openly admitted that, now its time for you to admit your age. 12? 14? By the way you type, possibly 13.

I've been through BAD hurricanes, Charley, Frances, Jeanne, I've seen devastation at a young age. You really honestly think I want to see devastation again? No. Now there are some characters but they're all trolls that actually do JUST to get out of school. We're just stating our opinions and discussing, you on the other hand have been constantly ridiculing, insulting, ect other posters on this blog for stating their opinions. I value Drak's forecast very much, as well as the other supposed 'wishcasters'.


I wouldn't get into an fight with scott, he's been doing this all year and last year too. Just best to ignore him, report him, and move on. He dives to personal blows, he's little more than a child that causes arguments on a blog.
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ANA

Bill

Claudette

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nite all
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Although I thought your answer to his question was quite hilarious, folks often come here because they are looking for help or answers - fear that things are coming their way. Unless we've seen that they are the usual suspects (JFV, PresidentialElection, Stormtop, WeatherStudent), perhaps maybe we should learn a little tolerance. I think we're all on "troll burnout"
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Quoting ConchHondros:
Later rare...I think I will look into how much cowboys make a year tomorrow...I always wanted to be a cowboy and I think I have the shoveling s*%t part down...I will sleep on it.


This guy's been crackin' me up all night! Later all you dudes and dudettes. Back in the AM...
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Hey, I have been reading this blog for 3 years, rarely do I post. Thought I'd pop in here and say thanks for all the info you guys give, I have learned a lot of things over these 3 years!
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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...
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Really scott? I'm 15 and I have openly admitted that, now its time for you to admit your age. 12? 14? By the way you type, possibly 13.

I've been through BAD hurricanes, Charley, Frances, Jeanne, I've seen devastation at a young age. You really honestly think I want to see devastation again? No. Now there are some characters but they're all trolls that actually do JUST to get out of school. We're just stating our opinions and discussing, you on the other hand have been constantly ridiculing, insulting, ect other posters on this blog for stating their opinions. I value Drak's forecast very much, as well as the other supposed 'wishcasters'.
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3594. GatorWX
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
I would advise everyone to pay close attention to the models after the missions planned for it run through and collect data. Should see a shift to the left or to the right.

3. REMARKS: NOAA WILL BEGIN FLYING 5 RESEARCH MISSIONS
IN A ROW ON HURRICANE BILL AT 18/0800Z WITH THE P-3
AND G-IV
. TAKEOFFS WILL BE EVERY 12 HOURS.


Especially those of the Gulfstream jets. They usually provide the most valuable input to the models.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


He obviously lives somewhere in NJ/NY and judging by the caps he wants a Hurricane. I dont take to fondly to people wishing hurricanes on my stomping grounds. lol
There are plenty of people on this site who type in caps. Quite annoying? Yes they are annoying, but I believe you were reading way to much into his question.
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The whole "your on my list", "Oh yeah, well your on my list" thing has to stop.

It'll get you a 24 hour ban and frankly when you say that you usually dot put them on ignore because you want to hear what they have to say in response.
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Later rare...I think I will look into how much cowboys make a year tomorrow...I always wanted to be a cowboy and I think I have the shoveling s*%t part down...I will sleep on it.
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Quoting AllBoardedUp:
The person asked a simple question awhile back about what the chances were of Bill hitting, I believe the New England area. The reply was something like "better than you finding the caps button", can't say I blame him for going off, though it was a little tasteless wishing a Cat 5 hitting anywhere.


He obviously lives somewhere in NJ/NY and judging by the caps he wants a Hurricane. I dont take to fondly to people wishing hurricanes on my stomping grounds. lol
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3586. GatorWX
Quoting New2SOFLA:
you ppl are mostly a bunch of snobby wann be meteorologist....theres probably one real one in the whole bunch....hope you fakes get hit by cat 5s since u seem to wish them in your direction


You're pretty cool dude, what'd someone disagree with you? Happens alot! Now you say something like this and will most likely get banned from posting. Congrats! Perhaps the most ignorant post of the day, why do you bother??
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Quoting rareaire:
ok im out I have alot of work todo and I know you do Conch!! The rest of you have agreat night. Thanks for the great debating and stormchaser for the quality comments.

Thanks for listening. lol
G'night.
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Hi Savannah - late for you there...

your thoughts?
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Quoting rareaire:
did he not get the memo I just posted a complete list of quality bloggers! Well glad we could help anyway!
The person asked a simple question awhile back about what the chances were of Bill hitting, I believe the New England area. The reply was something like "better than you finding the caps button", can't say I blame him for going off, though it was a little tasteless wishing a Cat 5 hitting anywhere.
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Wunderground is a good site...but for comments..its full of imaginary scenerios that people dream up and dont use science or want to learn the science of why things happen. Some do.. but most just guesscast and act like they "know" what they are talking about.

Knowing where to get a link, how to find a model, or just reading a blog from a Met and putting it in your own words doesnt count. But in a open forum like this..thats fine.. just people are stupid in general to come into a site like this to ask a Non-Meteorologist a question on where he or she may think its going..cause they actually think they might know more than they do...but in reality..they dont....and only make themselves sound as though they do. Its the persons fault in the 1st place to ask them...they should always follow the NHC for guidance./
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Quoting scottsvb:
There are a couple decent bloggers...weather456 and stormW...and I forget a couple off hand...


I'm just being nitpicky, but I don't think StormW is an actual licensed met (just short of getting the paper I believe) - but he is certainly highly respected - and not just on this blog.
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Quoting MobileBay:
I read the blog most nights during the season, i'm an insurance agent not a weather person but these storms seems to end up left of where you folks think it's going. No science involved just a BAMA man look'in and listen'n. RTR (rolltideroll)


5 days out, even a good forecast is quite uncertain. Weather happens on a scale ranging from a molecule to the global atmosphere. Things can happen in minutes (a cloud forms) to hours, (a thunderstorm) to days (a front) to weeks (Hurricanes) to months and years (el Nino, etc). All these scales of time and phenomena interact in ways that make weather prediction difficult. Like the dog walking upright, its not that he doesn't do it perfectly - its a wonder he can do it at all. Same goes for weather forecasting.
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ok im out I have alot of work todo and I know you do Conch!! The rest of you have agreat night. Thanks for the great debating and stormchaser for the quality comments.
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I would advise everyone to pay close attention to the models after the missions planned for it run through and collect data. Should see a shift to the left or to the right.

3. REMARKS: NOAA WILL BEGIN FLYING 5 RESEARCH MISSIONS
IN A ROW ON HURRICANE BILL AT 18/0800Z WITH THE P-3
AND G-IV
. TAKEOFFS WILL BE EVERY 12 HOURS.
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3577. MrSea


My official forecast
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
and you shall be replaced with empty space just like whats in your head


And I thought a singularity in a black hole was empty and devoid, until News2SOFLA showed off his intelligence. :)
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Rare you will be filing a claim in the am...better check the nexrad
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Quoting jaxairportman:
Here is a real winner! He does not know stomw who is a met or some of the other nice regulars on here. that was childish and rude.
did he not get the memo I just posted a complete list of quality bloggers! Well glad we could help anyway!
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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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