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 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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3573. KBH
There seems to be a lot of drag behind Bill that will bring some rain with the ITCZ. I believe Claudette passed west of B'dos as a wave a week ago with lots of TS, I see one or two of those pop up storms forming in the C'bean
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There are a couple decent bloggers...weather456 and stormW...and I forget a couple off hand...
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
and you shall be replaced with empty space just like whats in your head
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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
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.
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true!
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3568. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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
and you shall be replaced with empty space just like whats in your head
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Dont forget Floodman...points a finger at Rare...
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Ahh HurricaneKyle to put on the ignore list! I think Im over 60 on the wishcasters/kids/idiots...lol!
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3565. Scoopy
Wow, I think the best data I have observed on here reading hte past hour and a half is to wait for the data from the Recon Flight and Dropsone Data later tommorow to get a realistic feel with hard data.
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It will be interesting too see if Trough moving across the country actually digs in deep as predicted. I will continue to watch how Annas remnants add to the already juicy air in middle gulf.
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Quoting rareaire:
Drak takes some getting used too but hes a smart lil KID, LOL . Several good bloggers on here. Stormchaser is one and hes on now, Drak, Kman, Storm W, Bahahurricane and TampaSpin are good ones to read. Conch is good but limited in Cooth.
and then some...
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Drak takes some getting used too but hes a smart lil KID, LOL . Several good bloggers on here. Stormchaser is one and hes on now, Drak, Kman, Storm W, Bahahurricane and TampaSpin are good ones to read. Conch is good but limited in Cooth.
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Quoting GatorWX:


...nothing should become of her again until the next time her name is used in 6 years.


Didn't think about that. Goodbye Ana, until we meet again in 2015!
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Drak was highlighting the stupidity from some of the trolls. It takes a while...but eventually you'll get it.


Don't quote Scott.. he's been insulting people all day. CCHS and Drak too, he's pretty childish. Best to ignore. :)
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Quoting jpsb:
What happens at 50W-15N?


Point being...nothing...Bill will still be moving wnw at or around 17mph...some said that Bill would feel the 1st Trof at 50
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Well, well, well.


Based on the latest microwave images Bill looks to be developing a rather unhealthy large eyewall. Seems to be continuing the EWRC.
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Quoting ConchHondros:


Drak and JFV post at the same time causing a tear in the space/time continuum


ROFL.
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Quoting GetReal:




It will keep on the west to WNW track until that Bermuda high moves out the way....

Well they aren't expecting it to "move". Essentially, they are expecting a weakness to develop and erode a portion of the subtropical ridge, allowing it to turn NW, and then a trough exiting the U.S. to pick up Bill and take it for a riiiiide.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Drak was highlighting the stupidity from some of the trolls. It takes a while...but eventually you'll get it.



Actually he was very clear that he thought that pattern set up that in 8-9 days (3 days ago) that Bill will make it to S Florida and into the GOM.. . anyways dont matter.. Bill is a nice storm to look @...but if I was in Bermuda..I would get supplies checked and keep up to date on the info!!
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OK -- a couple times in the last 24 hours I posted that Ana might pull a Gustav -- hit PR or Hispaniola, displace her convection N or S, and reform a new COC under the new convection. Well, she's done 2 of 3 so far. Watch that ExAna blob N of PR closely. Dem' dar' waters 'r ripe!
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Quoting Funkadelic:
I've asked this today and got no answer.. Are the models developing any of the waves rollling off Africa? Thanks


I dont think so but regardless....

It doesn look that great now. Although shear is favorable and SAL is minimal.
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3551. GatorWX
Quoting rareaire:
not going to happen conch you forget the trough coming down tomorrow or wednesday if she forms she isnt going west


It will probably miss the trof because ana's remnants wont be deep enough to feel the full effect. She will follow the low level pattern, which will continue to push her west. With her current forward speed and lack of any circulation however, she's 99% unlikely to redevelop any time soon, especially not into a cat 2. I'd keep an eye on her, it is possible she could stall out, but unless that happens and she keeps chuggin', nothing should become of her again until the next time her name is used in 6 years.
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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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3549. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)


UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 18 AUG 2009 Time : 031500 UTC
Lat : 15:10:02 N Lon : 48:30:46 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.9 / 991.1mb/ 63.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
3.9 4.1 4.1

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +2.7mb

Center Temp : -64.6C Cloud Region Temp : -60.8C

Scene Type : UNIFORM CDO CLOUD REGION

Positioning Method : SPIRAL ANALYSIS

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

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF





03L/H/B/C2
MARK
15.01N/48.74W

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Quoting Funkadelic:
I've asked this today and got no answer.. Are the models developing any of the waves rollling off Africa? Thanks



NO not has i can see
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Quoting ConchHondros:


Drak and JFV post at the same time causing a tear in the space/time continuum

LOL!
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3545. GetReal
Quoting foggymyst:
How much further west can Bill go?




It will keep on the west to WNW track until that Bermuda high moves out the way....
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Quoting scottsvb:
The talk of Bill hitting the U.S. or Florida that drakeon kid said 2 days ago is just a big joke!... Bill is only a threat to Bermuda...


Drak was highlighting the stupidity from some of the trolls. It takes a while...but eventually you'll get it.
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of course there will be high waves hitting the coastline....but actual landfall wont happen in the U.S. .. cape cod has the highest chance right now @ 15%.
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Quoting ConchHondros:


Drak and JFV post at the same time causing a tear in the space/time continuum


LOL!
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omg now your killing me!
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Quoting jpsb:
What happens at 50W-15N?


Drak and JFV post at the same time causing a tear in the space/time continuum
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Watching Bill be born on the precipitable water imagery is really a sight to behold.

However, watching the end of the loop makes me question the current steering guidance. Everything at least 10 degrees ahead of Bill at the mid levels is being steered due west. The storm is currently parallel with the weakness in the ridge centered around 50W and hasn't shown much more of a northerly component. It's also apparent from the WV loop that Bill won't begin to feel the affects of the tough for at least 36 hours.
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Quoting scottsvb:
The talk of Bill hitting the U.S. or Florida that drakeon kid said 2 days ago is just a big joke!... Bill is only a threat to Bermuda...

It is a joke (as far as hitting florida).. Skimming the upper east coast isn't out of the question, and receiving some effects from Bill is almost probable at this point.. In terms of an increased wind, high waves, rip currents, etc.. Possibly more.
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Quoting scottsvb:
The talk of Bill hitting the U.S. or Florida that drakeon kid said 2 days ago is just a big joke!... Bill is only a threat to Bermuda...
that drakoen kid , now thats funny!
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Quoting weatherman113:
stormchaser do you think that once bill is gone something else will form before august ends?? also do you see bill as the main event of the season??? i am sorry these are stupid questions.


Great question. Ive been waiting for someone to ask that one for a while.

Right now we could possibly see one more storm in August. As of now it looks like the MJO should be unfavorable until late September. Then in early October it may become favorable for development so we could see a brief pickup in activity from early to mid October. We'll have to see how things change but right now im thinking well see 3-4 more storms for this season.
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The talk of Bill hitting the U.S. or Florida that drakeon kid said 2 days ago is just a big joke!... Bill is only a threat to Bermuda...
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Quoting ConchHondros:
Rare didnt somebody say Ana would hit the GOMEX blow up like a tick and hit Mobile as a CAT2? I mean is that even possible?


blow up like a tick...good one.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


I also saw that you arent as young as you look in the small avatar picture.

Good to have another person to have a nice discussion with.

Lol do I look that young? Maybe I need to change my picture.. LOL!
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:



Higher than the chances of you finding your caps lock button are.

bwahahahahaha!!!!
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Yeah Im laughing on that


3519. Stormchaser2007 4:22 AM GMT on August 18, 2009
Quoting New2SOFLA:
WHAT R THE CHANCES OF A DIRECT HIT ON NJ OPR NY?



Higher than the chances of you finding your caps lock button are.
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3529. jpsb
Quoting Weather456:
Bill will be near 50W-15N soon
What happens at 50W-15N?
Member Since: June 30, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1197
Quoting Stormchaser2007:



Higher than the chances of you finding your caps lock button are.


That was very funny
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Quoting HurricaneFCast:

For the record, I saw "Fully" after I posted my original comment..


I also saw that you arent as young as you look in the small avatar picture.

Good to have another person to have a nice discussion with.
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3526. GatorWX
Why is t such a big deal deal if it's past 15N? Whether it is or isn't, and it is, it's not going to change the track at all. Storms will still recurve! They don't have a set of guidelines to follow. It's a common theory that storms have to be here or there or they wont recurve, but given the current track of wnw and the model consensus, it is basically inevitable. And this is just a theory. Anything "could" happen, but give it a rest! 15N isn't going to make a difference in the outcome of the track.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


I apologize.

So many here are hostile and its hard to pick out the "good" ones.

I actually had typed a parenthesis with (Stormchaser, don't mean to sound like I'm calling you out) before I posted it, too, but I deleted it thinking the disclaimer wouldn't work.. They tend to fail upfront, so I decided against it, lol. Like I said before, too, I didn't see that you said "fully" until after I posted my original comment, or I would have said "So many others" or something, y'know?
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Heck lots of storms come to mind. Ike from 2008 is the most recent I can think of. Most of the time however the NHC has the 3 day cone of error pretty well nailed. Hurricane Charley which many people in Florida consider a missed pinpoint forcast was actually a good forcast when you consider the cone of error.

Here is Charley's archive.



Quoting Ighuc:
Does anyone remember a good example of a hurricane that flat out defied a consensus model predication? Hopefully Bill stays a fish storm and becomes a fantastic extratropical storm, but he needs to stop resisting...
Link
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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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