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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AT THIS MOMENT,THE IMAGES TELLS THERES NO STEERING FACTOR AFFECTING BILL.IS MOVING MOSTLY DUE WEST.
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path is basically the same as before.
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Quoting cchsweatherman:


Wow, Delaware is now in the track of the 5 day cone.
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To All, Bill definitely intensifying (NO dry air intrusion). Cold tops clearly visible on color images expanding and enveloping around the center. We'll all pretty soon be witnessing the transformation of the eye of the hurricane.
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Quoting StormW:
3130. nishinigami 10:32 PM EDT on August 17, 2009
Quoting StormW:
Oh hell, I don't know which way it's moving!


I don't know about anyone else, but that doesn't make me feel very good. :)


I was kidding...I stated a gazillion posts back what was happening! LOL!!


You said it was heading SE....LOL
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Dangit! it now says i have a 5% chance of tropical storm winds... stop moving west NHC, that doesn't make my stomach feel good.
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Hi, StormW!...looks like of wild in here I see..lots of newbies too!..lol

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3166. 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?
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:
New track still isnt out...


I see otherwise. Not much changed from 5PM Advisory
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Moving wnw at 17 MPH my arse. It's barely moved in six hours.
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000
WTNT33 KNHC 180232
TCPAT3
BULLETIN
HURRICANE BILL ADVISORY NUMBER 11
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL032009
1100 PM AST MON AUG 17 2009

...BILL STRENGTHENS TO A CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE...

AT 1100 PM AST...0300 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE BILL WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 15.0 NORTH...LONGITUDE 48.3 WEST OR ABOUT 865 MILES...
1395 KM...EAST OF THE LESSER ANTILLES.

BILL IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 17 MPH...28 KM/HR...
AND THIS MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT DAY OR TWO WITH
A GRADUAL TURN TO THE NORTHWEST ON WEDNESDAY.

SATELLITE IMAGES INDICATE THAT THE MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE
INCREASED TO NEAR 100 MPH...160 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS.
ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS...AND
BILL COULD BECOME A MAJOR HURRICANE WITHIN THE NEXT DAY OR SO.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 30 MILES...45 KM...FROM
THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 150
MILES...240 KM.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 967 MB...28.56 INCHES.

...SUMMARY OF 1100 PM AST INFORMATION...
LOCATION...15.0N 48.3W
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...100 MPH
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WEST-NORTHWEST OR 285 DEGREES AT 17 MPH
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...967 MB

THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AT
500 AM AST.

$$
FORECASTER KIMBERLAIN/PASCH


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Quoting louisianaboy444:
I knew they would say WNW


I know they are the experts, but i feel there is no ways its moving 285 degrees.
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Quoting JLPR:


I would say mostly west with a small north component
well that's west north west lol
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After looking at all images it is very difficult to see the eye clearly if at all. appears to be dry are spinning into it. So directionaL movement is difficult to see exactly. However, the last few frames show on all images the the NW side of the storm is becoming flattened out from the High.
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New track still isnt out...
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3153. tbrett
Quoting BenBIogger:
Its moving sw!


that picture looks SE
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I knew they would say WNW
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3149. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting StormW:
Oh hell, I don't know which way it's moving!
its moving forward 1 degree from its previous position
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3148. Dakster
Someone say Wobble Wobble?

Link

Goodnight all. Keep the analysis and forecasts coming.

StormW - I look forward to your morning analysis!

Dr. Masters - Thanks for joining in the blog today, we all appreciate it and the heads up you gave us. Thanks for the site to begin with. I enjoy this much more than just the NHC site!
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10398
Quoting AllStar17:
Bill as of 5 pm still some 1000 miles E of the Antilles.

Comments on my graphics that I have begun posting today would be welcome.



Nice, they have a polished look to them. Did you use Photoshop or Illustrator to make it? Just wondering because I use those frequently.
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3146. JRRP
Quoting BenBIogger:
Its moving sw!


you meant SE
jajaajaajajajja
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The 11:00pm discussion is up on NHC's website.
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Quoting bluewaterblues:


A wobble...that is funny


just 'cause i'm curious, what's so funny about a "wobble"? given that Bill is a rotating system with angular momentum and a drier half toward the northwestern side, a wobble is exactly what i'd expect due to the extra water vapor mass in the southeastern half of the storm. :)
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Is Claudette completely gone?? A few hours ago some bloggers were saying her south side might turn into something?? Maybe they had some of those brownies the other guy ate...
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...SUMMARY OF 1100 PM AST INFORMATION...
LOCATION...15.0N 48.3W
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...100 MPH
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WEST-NORTHWEST OR 285 DEGREES AT 17 MPH
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...967 MB
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
HURRICANE BILL ADVISORY NUMBER 11
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL032009
1100 PM AST MON AUG 17 2009

...BILL STRENGTHENS TO A CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE...

AT 1100 PM AST...0300 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE BILL WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 15.0 NORTH...LONGITUDE 48.3 WEST OR ABOUT 865 MILES...
1395 KM...EAST OF THE LESSER ANTILLES.

BILL IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 17 MPH...28 KM/HR...
AND THIS MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT DAY OR TWO WITH
A GRADUAL TURN TO THE NORTHWEST ON WEDNESDAY.

SATELLITE IMAGES INDICATE THAT THE MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE
INCREASED TO NEAR 100 MPH...160 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS.
ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS...AND
BILL COULD BECOME A MAJOR HURRICANE WITHIN THE NEXT DAY OR SO.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 30 MILES...45 KM...FROM
THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 150
MILES...240 KM.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 967 MB...28.56 INCHES.

...SUMMARY OF 1100 PM AST INFORMATION...
LOCATION...15.0N 48.3W
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...100 MPH
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WEST-NORTHWEST OR 285 DEGREES AT 17 MPH
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...967 MB

THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AT
500 AM AST.

$$
FORECASTER KIMBERLAIN/PASCH

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11pm is out...
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Quoting pipelines:


because he is rapidly intensifying, what else would you call dropping roughly 20 MB in 12 hours? That definitely isn't slow intensification....

Bill is a very large hurricane, it takes a long time for pressure drops to take effect in wind speed, the current estimate of 969 which is probably a little low is good enough to support a strong cat 2, if we don't have a Major Bill by noon tomorrow I will be very surprised.


Yes, in large storms it takes the winds some time to catch up with the pressure gradient, the ol' wind lag. From what I've seen, 969mb typically represents a 100mph hurricane, so winds should be up on the next advisory.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:



when you are looking at the IR loop bill looks closer then you may think even no it may be 900ms a way
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


03L/H/C2
MARK
14.N/47.9
273 DEGREES WNW


273, only 3 degrees north of true west, that was not forcasted.
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273 DEGREES WNW

273 is due west...290 is west northwest
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Quoting StormW:
Oh hell, I don't know which way it's moving!


LOL
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3131. JLPR
Quoting jdjnola:


I'm a reasonable guy, you could make that case to me, and I might be convinced...


xD good
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Quoting StormW:
Oh hell, I don't know which way it's moving!


I don't know about anyone else, but that doesn't make me feel very good. :)
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lmao, you guys are too funny tonight, you got 30 minutes to the next NHC update, relax, breathe, clean your glasses, pc screen, chilllll, then resume arguing direction after the NHC puts out it's statement and official points.
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Quoting StormW:
Oh hell, I don't know which way it's moving!


ROFL!..that is the best answer yet!
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Quoting futuremet:


I see it moving NW.
So do I sorry about the earlier typos it's late lol
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3125. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)


03L/H/C2
MARK
14.8N/47.9W
273 DEGREES WNW
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Quoting futuremet:


No I have not. If Bill is moving west, then it is probably just another wobble. Do not focus in mere one or two frame images.


A wobble...that is funny
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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.