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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3274. srada
Quoting TopWave:


Agreed, Bill's track keeps inching its way to the east coast with each new model run. More and more looking like an Isabel path.


I dont think its going to be a landfall but i am seeing a more than casual brush from Bill.
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Quoting WeatherMSK:
Well guys, Bill out to sea. TWC just said no east coast landfall at all.Quoting hunkerdown:
ok then, lets rap this puppy up...


I really don't like TWC. I wouldn't believe them for one second.
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The TWC Didnt say it wouldnt they just said it wasnt likly for a US Eastern Landfall
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Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5238
Quoting WeatherMSK:
Well guys, Bill out to sea. TWC just said no east coast landfall at all.


Is TWC, they say what they wanna say, when and how they please, the think the at the NHC and NWS, but they aren't. But I just watch a vid that was posted at 10:30PM and the Hurricane Expert (didn't know we had one) said that it is still five days out and the US is not out of the pic yet..

and another poster made a point out, and it is true, in every new advisory, more and more of the US East Coast is being shown, and its gettin closer to NC.
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3268. jpsb
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


I know they are the experts, but i feel there is no ways its moving 285 degrees.
Anyone know where bulletin 10 is? Would be easy to figure direction from that. Current position @B-10 vrs current position @B-11.
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Well, I gotta wake up early tomorrow morning, so I'm gonna sign out earlier than usual. Have a good night you all. We'll see what the future has in store for Bill tomorrow.
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One thing we know is for certain. This will NOT I repeat NOT be a fish storm. It will hit Bermuda and/or one of the east coast states and/or the Maritime provinces. Also with Bill so big it will affect many areas with heavy rains that can be devastating. Stay safe everyone out there. Bill's a monster and should be monitored closely no matter what the models say.
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Quoting WeatherMSK:
Well guys, Bill out to sea. TWC just said no east coast landfall at all.
ok then, lets rap this puppy up...
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if you think bill is big now this wait


000
WTNT43 KNHC 180233
TCDAT3
HURRICANE BILL DISCUSSION NUMBER 11
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL032009
1100 PM AST MON AUG 17 2009


BILL IS FORECAST TO GROW A LITTLE MORE IN
SIZE DURING THE FORECAST PERIOD...ALTHOUGH SOME GUIDANCE SUCH AS THE
GFS SUGGESTS THAT IT MAY BECOME EVEN LARGER THAN INDICATED IN THE
NHC FORECAST.
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hot hot hot. we did get a little rain, which just made it steamier. we're in the dog days of summer when it's hard to breath. i'm sure it's the same in monroe. my little sister is in shreveport. she says the get a little bit of relief every now and then. at least they get cool fronts sooner than we do down here.

yes it does seem cooler here but still muggy it hits me when i take my evening jogs whew
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3261. jipmg
Anyone have the rainbow satellite loop of the central atlantic? Would be nice if oyu could give me a link
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3260. TopWave
Quoting srada:


Im sorry but with every advisory the track just keeps getting closer and closer to NC...


Agreed, Bill's track keeps inching its way to the east coast with each new model run. More and more looking like an Isabel path.
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Quoting hunkerdown:
when did they relocate the first state 100+ miles into the Atlantic Ocean ?



Not soon enough? :)
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Quoting tropics21:
Link just looked at the RGB loop with lattitude on and forecast points on Bill is on the money with the points


out of curiousity...i was wondering if you realized that they reset the forecast point overlays every advisory...which they just did less than 30 min ago...so it will be right on...look at it in about 2 hours and see where it is in reference to the next point...

bill has stayed south of the last few points and theyve had to reset and re-adj them at the last 2 advisories...
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Quoting KBH:

Right now Bill reminds me of a drunk man...


Yup.. unpredictable and showing up unannounced. :P
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Today i stayed waiting for the rain of ana, here in dominican republic in South, but nothing one drop fell.... i'm waiting for another crazy storm.
Member Since: August 11, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 243
This lack of rapid intensification is allowing Bill to move more westward. THe mid level steering currents map shows that the ridge is now getting stronger as of 2100z which is 5pm today. Interesting to see the updated steering currents. Also I have a new blog out. Just click my handle.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 243 Comments: 3564
Are you a true louisiana boy???

Yes South Louisiana born and raised
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When did this become a site dominated by trolls? How 'bout those of us who know not lurk and learn from those that say something more than NOAA knows nothing and it moved SSW?
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3250. TopWave
Quoting srada:


Im sorry but with every advisory the track just keeps getting closer and closer to NC...


Agreed, Bill's track keeps inching its way to the east coast with each new model run. More and more looking like an Isabel path.
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Quoting jdjnola:


3 degrees isn't much of a north component. Then again, it all depends on if that north component increases over the next couple days. I still see Bill following (continuing to follow?) the path of 1871 Hurricane Four...
That was 1871 this is 2009
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Quoting juniormeteorologist:


How do you get it to display that graphic in Google Earth..

do you have a KML or KMZ file?


What I do is use an "untitled placemark" and type in all of the lat and lon from every advisory NHC issues. I then use a line and connect all of them together. Then I delete all of the untitled placemarks, because I have the track mapped out. Then I use Microsoft Powerpoint to spruce it up with the "banner", the hurricane symbol, as well as all of the names of cities/towns/countries, etc. From advisory to advisory, I add placemarks, and then go to the properties of the line and continue to connect them all. Then I update all of my powerpoint things. I of course save the Google Earth image, and then insert it into the powerpoint. Confusing, but I understand.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5238
Once they fly the Noaa Gulfstream and retrieve some data; things may change when it comes to trajectory, movement, intensity, etc. Most importantly the models might have a better handle on whats going on out there.
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Quoting chevycanes:
if you look at the water vapor loop from ssd site you can see the shortwave trough digging down between 60-65 west and 35 north but dropping down.

Link


Just checking this link out and noticed that purple blob at 85W -- is that anything (besides a purple blob...haha)?
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3244. KBH
Quoting JadeInAntigua:


I was thinking the same thing... even recurving at 55W is uncomfortably close with Bill's size.

Right now Bill reminds me of a drunk man, we know where he is going, but one stumble and he continues going in the wrong direction, bill's centre is wobbling with lots of TS activity, no eye as yet which is odd
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StormW. I am really curious and I have been hoping for someone to enlighten me. The NW side of the storm is bebinning to take a flat shape. is this due to the High pressing down, will it cause the eye to shift south, or just weaken it at this time?
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i do
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Quoting WeatherMSK:
Well guys, Bill out to sea. TWC just said no east coast landfall at all.

Bermuda
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Quoting louisianaboy444:
good job louisianaboy.

haha thanks so how are things in south louisiana tonight madam



hot hot hot. we did get a little rain, which just made it steamier. we're in the dog days of summer when it's hard to breath. i'm sure it's the same in monroe. my little sister is in shreveport. she says the get a little bit of relief every now and then. at least they get cool fronts sooner than we do down here.
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Well guys, Bill out to sea. TWC just said no east coast landfall at all.
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Quoting chevycanes:
if you look at the water vapor loop from ssd site you can see the shortwave trough digging down between 60-65 west and 35 north but dropping down.

Link

Thanks chevycanes.
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From NHC 11 pm Discussion

RECENT CENTER FIXES YIELD AN INITIAL MOTION ESTIMATE OF 285/15. THE
FORECAST RATIONALE REMAINS UNCHANGED. A WEAKNESS ALONG 50-55W IS
FORECAST TO ERODE A LARGE PORTION OF THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE OVER THE
CENTRAL ATLANTIC BEGINNING AS SOON AS 24 HOURS FROM NOW. AS A
RESULT...THE GENERAL WEST-NORTHWESTWARD TRACK THAT BILL HAS
MAINTAINED FOR SEVERAL DAYS SHOULD BEGIN TO BEND MORE TOWARD THE
NORTHWEST BY 48-72 HOURS. BEYOND 72 HOURS...BILL SHOULD BE STEERED
ON A NORTH-NORTHWESTERLY TO NORTHERLY TRACK WHERE IT SHOULD BEGIN
ENCOUNTERING THE EFFECTS OF A DIGGING LONGWAVE TROUGH OVER THE
EASTERN UNITED STATES.
------------------------
To me, that sounds much like what StormW

"stated a gazillion posts back"

CRS

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Quoting hunkerdown:
when did they relocate the first state 100+ miles into the Atlantic Ocean ?

lol.

really don't know what he is looking at. i guess he's projecting the cone forward more than it is.
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3235. jdjnola
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
270 is due west 273 is 3 degrees north of due west NHC also states it is near 15n which more than likly 14.8 to 14.9 n


3 degrees isn't much of a north component. Then again, it all depends on if that north component increases over the next couple days. I still see Bill following (continuing to follow?) the path of 1871 Hurricane Four...
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Also, dont sleep on the remnants of Ana north of Hispaniola.

StormW, I would like your opinion on the grapics I made.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5238
3233. pottery
Good point Jade.
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Quoting WeatherMSK:


Sure looks like it to me on the southern end of the track. If you were to continue the turn it would move very close to Delaware. So yes its in track with the 5 day cone, margin of error.
when did they relocate the first state 100+ miles into the Atlantic Ocean ?
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if you look at the water vapor loop from ssd site you can see the shortwave trough digging down between 60-65 west and 35 north but dropping down.

Link
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Quoting caneluver:


WNW not NW
Are you a true louisiana boy???
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i awoke sunday with the phrase "fish" on my lips when looking at bill.

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Dr Masters:
Water vapor satellite imagery shows that there is a modest trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere near 50W longitude

Is there an image showing this trough?
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good job louisianaboy.

haha thanks so how are things in south louisiana tonight madam
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Quoting Relix:
I sometimes get annoyed by the NHC, at least to me it looked going due west for well a looong time. Definitely under the forecast points, but they are the experts so they definitely know what they are doing. BTW did the track shift left?
Link just looked at the RGB loop with lattitude on and forecast points on Bill is on the money with the points
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Quoting AllStar17:
Hurricane Bill 11 pm Storm Track:


Bill 11 pm NHC track (you can see the entire US East coast)




How do you get it to display that graphic in Google Earth..

do you have a KML or KMZ file?
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.