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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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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Quoting Stormchaser2007:



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


Ok...I thought I would fall off my chair on that one...THANK YOU FOR THE LAUGH!!!
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lovesdanger-- Katrina was not an open wave like Ana is now. Katrina attained Cat 1 strength just as she came ashore in Florida. This was predicted. The part that surprised everyone is that Katrina tracked southwest and exited on the SW tip of Florida instead of going due west across. There is no comparison between Ana and Katrina. Here is Katrina before she came ashore in Florida:

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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


If the trend west continues on the models.

It should stop moving West in roughly 14-16 hours.
For our sake I sure hope your right, That thing continues to speed up and get further west before that trough gets here and its going to be uuuuugly
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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.
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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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Quoting rareaire:
not going to happen conch you forget the trough coming down tomorrow or wednesday if she forms she isnt going west

Oh my bad ...Tampa
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?????????? The models have had a good handle on Bill for days.. Bill is almost exactly where he should be... long range models adjust for error a few hundred miles..but thats normal. Bill around 50W and 15-16N is where he should be right now from 48hrs ago.

Bills threat is to Bermuda before anything... not florida nor the carolinas. after that. ...it may brush Nova Scotia..but I doubt it..
Member Since: January 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1600
Quoting HurricaneFCast:

Also, easy with the condescending "kiddo's" okay? I didn't mean to seem like I was calling you out personally, that's why I used the words "so many" instead of "Stormchaser2007".. Sorry.


I apologize.

So many here are hostile and its hard to pick out the "good" ones.
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3515. Skyepony (Mod)
That dry air Bill ate tonight will put off the point that turn happens. Not surprised a little left the models went.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Obviously west of where the center is.



For the record, I saw "Fully" after I posted my original comment..
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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?
not going to happen conch you forget the trough coming down tomorrow or wednesday if she forms she isnt going west
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Stormchaser2007,thanks.
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3511. 19N81W
zzzzz....
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Quoting rareaire:
Storm Chaser if what continues? the move west thats been going on all day? We both know at some point its going to stop going west (god I hope so) but why be trite? Its been moving west, models have been moving west all day. and they just did again !!


If the trend west continues on the models.

It should stop moving West in roughly 14-16 hours.
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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?
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Quoting HurricaneFCast:

Do you have any proof of that? Because the Dvorak estimate of 11pm was dead on the NHC's stated position. Dvorak estimates are much more accurate than the human eye, especially when you don't have an eye yet in a hurricane.


Obviously west of where the center is.


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Quoting bluewaterblues:
It'd have to bypass TWO troughs...

Not gonna happen.


He ask if there was a chance.....there is a chance and I beleive that I have seen on more than one occasion an atmospheric change that can affect what effect any trough can have on a system


Ok - I can't resist it.

Link
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Storm Chaser if what continues? the move west thats been going on all day? We both know at some point its going to stop going west (god I hope so) but why be trite? Its been moving west, models have been moving west all day. and they just did again !!
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Easy there kiddo.

I said FULLY cross 15N. I said it was crossing it now.

Another thing. Those DVORAK center estimates are dead wrong.

Also, easy with the condescending "kiddo's" okay? I didn't mean to seem like I was calling you out personally, that's why I used the words "so many" instead of "Stormchaser2007".. Sorry.
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WHAT R THE CHANCES OF A DIRECT HIT ON NJ OPR NY?
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3503. jpsb
Well I've been looking at this WV loop and I just do not see a turn north anytime soon. There are a couple of weak trofs 1 near the Bamahas and one near the Carolinas but that is pretty far west, way more then a couple of days out. The only thing in the short term that allows a turn north is a weakness in the Bermuda High. But the Bermuda high is building above and west of Bill so I just do not see the turn until Bill hits one of the trofs.

But the NHC center has Bill going north so I sure wish someone could tell me why. Thanks.

(Oh there is a hugh trof in Texas that is a Bill beater so Bill is going to go north eventually, just not anytime soon)
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Bill will be near 50W-15N soon
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Quoting foggymyst:
How much further west can Bill go?


Should begin the NW movement later tomorrow.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Its barley a mid level circulation.



Oh okay if you say so...Ana will rise again.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Easy there kiddo.

I said FULLY cross 15N. I said it was crossing it now.

Another thing. Those DVORAK center estimates are dead wrong.

Do you have any proof of that? Because the Dvorak estimate of 11pm was dead on the NHC's stated position. Dvorak estimates are much more accurate than the human eye, especially when you don't have an eye yet in a hurricane.
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How much further west can Bill go?
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Ana just does not act like she has any real place to go!. Shear dies down and its on like Donkey King.. oops I think I just showed my age!
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It'd have to bypass TWO troughs...

Not gonna happen.


He ask if there was a chance.....there is a chance and I beleive that I have seen on more than one occasion an atmospheric change that can affect what effect any trough can have on a system
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Quoting Weather456:
The global models shifted left of the NHC track



We'll see if it continues.
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3494. 7544
be watching now exana at dmax as she seems to get a little burst here athis hour she always liked the dmax hour lol

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/natl/loop-wv.html
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6690
Do you think Bill pays attention to the models?


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Quoting gaweatherboi:
Ana may make a comeback in the GOM wouldnt be totally surprised if that happened.


Its barley a mid level circulation.

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3490. Skyepony (Mod)
Ana reminents look to be stepping off Hispaniola to the N. Nice blow up there. Troughs feeding it moisture from Claudette. SSTs are hot out there too. Shear is the inhibiter for now ~20kts..
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Quoting rareaire:
Said the majority when she went thru the first one like me thru a cheesecake!! lol


Can I laugh at that? I mean I have seen it...not pretty
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Quoting HurricaneFCast:


It's already past 15N...Blue dot= Final Position, or visually.. You pick, they are both well above 15N:

I just don't understand how so many refuse to acknowledge that it's been past 15N since at least 11pm.. When even the NHC stated it was at 15N.


Easy there kiddo.

I said FULLY cross 15N. I said it was crossing it now.

Another thing. Those DVORAK center estimates are dead wrong.
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Ana may make a comeback in the GOM wouldnt be totally surprised if that happened.
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Said the majority when she went thru the first one like me thru a cheesecake!! lol
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Based on microwave imagery Bill FINALLY looks to be developing an inner core. Its also filtering the dry air W of the center into the SW quadrant which is extremely moist so it should be fine in about 3-6 hours. As for movement it looks to be moving WNW and should fully cross the 15N line in an hour or two.

It's already past 15N...Blue dot= Final Position, or visually.. You pick, they are both well above 15N:

I just don't understand how so many refuse to acknowledge that it's been past 15N since at least 11pm.. When even the NHC stated it was at 15N.
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The global models shifted left of the NHC track

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Quoting bluewaterblues:


YES


It'd have to bypass TWO troughs...

Not gonna happen.
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Quoting jipmg:


link doesnt work
Quoting sctonya:
stormchaser: I was forbidden to see that site


This should work.

FULL IMAGE

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Quoting gaweatherboi:
Anyone think bill has a chance to defy the models and slam into the east coast anywhere between FL and NC?


YES
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Quoting 7544:


thought it was exana firing some convction again i could be wrong tho
it is Ana and shes still got some spunk. I really think shes done but in the GOM this time of year !! till they put dirt in her face Im watching her!
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Quoting jipmg:


2 hours


Thanks!
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3477. JRRP
the models shift more east.... but they are in the wrong potition
Link
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Quoting sctonya:


yes it is.



Ok...just thought I was loosing my dyslexic mind...trying to figure out if those saying Bill is slowing down is in reference to intensity or movement... Thanks
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3475. jipmg
Quoting druseljic:


For how long?


2 hours
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Quoting gaweatherboi:
Anyone think bill has a chance to defy the models and slam into the east coast anywhere between FL and NC?


<10%

Thats being really bullish.
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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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