Claudette hits Florida; Ana approaches Puerto RIco; Bill becomes our first hurricane

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:10 PM GMT on August 17, 2009

Share this Blog
6
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 3124 - 3074

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81 | 82 | 83 | 84 | 85 | 86 | 87 | 88 | 89 | 90Blog Index

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
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3123. Dakster
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.


I got a major bill in the mail today.. lol...

Not saying he WON'T rapidly intesify, but at the time of his comment, bill was injesting dry air, which is NOT rapid intensification.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10067
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.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Bill is stalled!!! It isn't moving anywhere
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Disney,
It is very unlikely that Bill will enter the Gulf based upon these current models (as of 8 p.m. tonight).

There is talk about the track becoming "adjusted left" which would mean a landfall further south, but as you can see, current computer models project its track nowhere near the Gulf of Mexico or The Caribbean, or South America for that matter. In fact, right now, Bill is more likely to end up in New York than the Gulf Coast.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11272
Quoting conchygirl:
You messing with them kman? :)


Just a little, particularly as the NHC will tell us in half an hour what Bill is actually doing LOL
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15798
this is what was said out of the nws in tauton mass

SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY...DIFFERENCES CONTINUE BETWEEN THE LONG
RANGE MODELS WITH RESPECT TO THE AMPLITUDE AND PROGRESSION OF THE
GREAT LAKES UPPER LEVEL TROUGH AND A COLD FRONT. GIVEN THE STRENGTH
OF THE UPPER LEVEL RIDGE ACROSS THE WESTERN ATLANTIC...PREFER THE
LESS PROGRESSIVE SOLUTIONS INCLUDING A COMPROMISE OF THE 12Z
ECMWF...GGEM AND UKMET. THEREFORE HAVE KEPT CHANCE POPS IN FOR
SATURDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT. A GRADUAL COOLING AND DRYING TREND
SHOULD OCCUR SOMETIME EARLY NEXT WEEK.
not sure if this any help as to what might push bill away or pull bill in up here
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Out of the Cleveland, Ohio Office about the upcoming front...timing seems different from what I see on the NHC forecast for Bill's turn. I might be missing something, but thought I'd share.

.SHORT TERM /6 AM TUESDAY MORNING THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT/...
COLD FRONT AND PRE FRONTAL TROUGH WILL MOVE EAST ACROSS THE AREA
TUESDAY AND WITH HIGH DEW POINTS AND INSTABILITY...THE POTENTIAL
EXISTS FOR SOME SEVERE THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY DURING THE AFTERNOON ON
TUESDAY. DESTABILIZATION WILL TAKE PLACE WITH DAY TIME HEATING AND
WILL SUPPORT THE THREAT FOR SEVERE ACTIVITY. STRONG WIND GUSTS WILL
LIKELY BE THE MAIN THREAT DURING THE AFTERNOON.

I ANTICIPATE THE CLOUD DEBRIS AND SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ONGOING
THROUGH THE NIGHT THAT TEMPERATURES WILL NOT HAVE A CHANCE TO MAX
OUT LIKE THEY DID TODAY. I EXPECT HIGHS TO BE ONLY IN THE LOWER TO
MIDDLE 80S MOST AREAS AND AROUND 80 IN THE EAST.

HIGH PRESSURE BUILDS IN ON WEDNESDAY AND THIS WILL BRING A SHORT
BREAK TO THE PRECIPITATION THREAT. COLD FRONT SLIDES SOUTH TO THE
OHIO VALLEY BUT THEN RETURNS BACK NORTH AS A WARM FRONT WEDNESDAY
NIGHT. WARM FRONT WILL BRING ANOTHER ROUND OF SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS WEDNESDAY NIGHT INTO THURSDAY.

ANOTHER DEEP DIGGING UPPER LEVEL TROUGH IS PROGGED TO MOVE SOUTHEAST
TOWARD THE AREA CAUSING RAPID CYCLOGENESIS OF A SURFACE LOW OVER THE
WESTERN LAKES REGION. THE RAPID DEEPENING OF THE LOW COULD BRING IN
A DRY SLOT FOR A PERIOD OF TIME SOME TIME THURSDAY NIGHT BUT WILL
NOT TRY TO TIME AT THIS POINT AND KEEP A GENERIC THREAT FOR SHOWERS
AND THUNDERSTORMS THE WHOLE THURSDAY NIGHT PERIOD.

TEMPERATURES EXPECTED TO STAY RATHER STABLE WITH HIGHS THROUGH THE
ENTIRE FORECAST PERIOD IN THE LOWER TO MIDDLE 80S AND LOWS IN THE
60S.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dakster:


Alright. Dr. Lyons, why do you say he is rapidly intensifying when it looks to all of us here at the Wunderground that he is injesting dry air and not intensifying?


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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3112. Relix
It's barely moving at all, but following the steering patterns it should stick to west with a slight touch of N for a few hours now. Track will definitely shift.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3111. jdjnola
Quoting JLPR:


I would say mostly west with a small north component


I'm a reasonable guy, you could make that case to me, and I might be convinced...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kmanislander:


So sorry, must be the wine with dinner.
You messing with them kman? :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
You be the judge.

Which way is it moving.

I know the funny people are going to say WSW-SW.


How true if they kwwp looking at the convective bursts in rainbow and avn they will think thta Look at the RGB loop , with lattitude and TCP's on then you'll get a clearer picture
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3108. Dakster
BenBi - LOL... Nice pic..
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10067
Quoting BenBIogger:
Its moving sw!

OK.... this one made my eyes water....... ROTFLOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


its definatley not north of 15N its obvious!
i am wrong, the center is not relocating.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BenBIogger:
Its moving sw!



That would be south east
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
SEEMS LIKE 15N IS A BARRIER FOR BILL.IS AROUND 4 HOURS THAT THE CENTER IS MOVING WEST.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
You be the judge.

Which way is it moving.

I know the funny people are going to say WSW-SW.




i say it's moving NW
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
LMFAO @ 3090. not THAT'S being a smartass :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3100. JLPR
Quoting BenBIogger:
Its moving sw!



yep with that picture you are right
=P lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BenBIogger:
Its moving sw!


Maybe stalled in the last couple of frames.
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
I say more west or west, northwest, not SW or WSW. The dry air is the center people think is the eye, but it's more so the COC that is not fully developed inner core.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JLPR:


I would say mostly west with a small north component


Not real sure about it but it appears to moving to left of my screen.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting disneyfaninnawlins:
Our local meterologist just stated that Bill will definetly not make it into the GOM. Is it too early to say this or is he correct?


i think it's unlikely, but definitely too early to say for sure.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PORTCHARLOTTE72:
bill doesnt have an eye yet your imagining things


So sorry, must be the wine with dinner.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15798
By the way, if Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or Zulu Time is about 4 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, then what time is it in this image when two times are posted?

If I take the later time, 23:45, then subtract four hours, 19:45, then this image would have been obtained at 7:45 p.m. tonight, right? And it's 10:24, so that would have been almost 3 hours ago.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11272
Quoting disneyfaninnawlins:
Our local meterologist just stated that Bill will definetly not make it into the GOM. Is it too early to say this or is he correct?


GOM is slim to none chance
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Its moving sw!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting futuremet:


I see it moving NW.
lol, more like wnw
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3088. JLPR
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
You be the judge.

Which way is it moving.

I know the funny people are going to say WSW-SW.




I would say mostly west with a small north component
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Our local meterologist just stated that Bill will definetly not make it into the GOM. Is it too early to say this or is he correct?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kmanislander:
When I came on an hour ago the eye was South of 15 N and now it is right on the line so Bill is still making progress to the N.

Will check in later to see if the track is nudged to the W by the NHC.

bill doesnt have an eye yet your imagining things
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting reedzone:


It's moving WNW, already on or even over 15N, still does not change my forecast.


its definatley not north of 15N its obvious!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The southern side of the storm is so intense right now in terms of convection. Needs to dispell the dry air on the northern side of the circulation before he can rapidly strengthen, reason being that he is moving more west than north right now. The southern side is the reason why they won't show a weaker storm at 11pm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3083. ackee
bill seem like its moveing SW or WSW to mean everyone has right to there view as to what they are seeing
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like it came to a dead stop.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'm not just some westcaster blurting out but i really don't see much of a Northern component in that loop i would have to say due west right along 15N and it appears to have slowed a bit
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting futuremet:


I see it moving NW.


no way
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Im trying not to laugh.

What the heck are you looking at.



hey shoot me. i am an amateur here. and i was looking at the Central Atlantic AVN Color Imagery - Satellite Service Division.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
will wait to see NHC's discussion on Bill before I head to bed, but frankly I'm not seeing a huge difference between what Bill's been doing trackwise and what was forecasted at this point. I'm much more concerned about that dry air entrainment. Remember a stronger Bill is what was forecast for tomorrow and Thursday, going into Friday.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
due west
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
You be the judge.

Which way is it moving.

I know the funny people are going to say WSW-SW.




i say 270, i really am trying to find a north component in the last couple of frames and cant find one. and i am the last one to wishcast, isabel was plenty for me....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting weathersp:
KMAN... I think its still at 14.9N go loop at the rainbow loop.


Well, six miles off, I'll settle for that.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15798
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
You be the judge.

Which way is it moving.

I know the funny people are going to say WSW-SW.




It's moving WNW, already on or even over 15N, still does not change my forecast.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 3124 - 3074

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81 | 82 | 83 | 84 | 85 | 86 | 87 | 88 | 89 | 90Blog Index

Top of Page

About

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