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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4373. Grothar
Quoting yonzabam:


Just in case you can't see the replies, 4253 and 4326.


Went back and read them. Poor fellow, Michael Fish. I have been to your town. Beautiful place. If I remember correctly there were the ruins of an old castle which we visited. Narrow streets, but quite interesting architecture. Lucky you were so far north of the storms. As I remember, they did quite a bit of damage.
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stormpetrol......where are you? I'm in Ft Lauderdale (Oakland Park) and it a beautiful sunny day, just a little windy.

Quoting stormpetrol:

I hear Thunder & see the lightning in the distant NE but so far no rain the remnants of Ana is approaching us.
Quoting stormpetrol:

I hear Thunder & see the lightning in the distant NE but so far no rain the remnants of Ana is approaching us.
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Quoting chevycanes:

that is UTC time.

9:09 would be 5:09am EDT.

Thanks I wasn't sure, it was explained to be the other day, I just got confused then, 4 hours ago kinda recent still.
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I am going to MSU and I'm enrolled in their Broadcast Meteorology Program.
Member Since: June 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 152
Quoting stormpetrol:

I hear Thunder & see the lightning in the distant NE but so far no rain the remnants of Ana is approaching us.
Seems like it. East End is very loud and dark. Raining off and on all morning.
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What is a "fish" storm?
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4365. Prgal
Quoting Prgal:
Link
Good morning everyone! Can someone please help me understand why they think there will be a NW movement on Bill? To my untrained eye Bill has been moving W WNW. But, what is supposed to pick Bill more to a NW movement? That thing so far from him near Bermuda? What about the high right on top of Bill. Help please.


Just in case the post was not read :-)
Member Since: September 7, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 921
4364. IKE
Here's.....an archive of Ike's 3 day tracks throughout it's life. It was never forecast to be a "fish" system by the NHC.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Stormwatcher...Anything is possible :) South of cuba right now doesn't look likely to me since the strongest forcing (best energy for convective initiation) is to the NW of the ULL and along the deformation zone. The thing to watch for is the expansion of thunderstorm coverage N of central Cuba and toward the Keys today...but these things take a bit of time to organize, if they organize at all.
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4362. bcn
Quoting Acemmett90:

university of michigan
Quoting chevycanes:

do a google search.


Madrid.
You need only learn two words: sun and hot.
;-)
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Quoting ScaredOfCanes:
I"m new to the site but have lurked for quite some time. I don't have any weather experience or anything but I am facinated with it! I live in Tampa Bay but was in New Orleans visiting when Katrina struck! I was stuck there for 5 days after..worst days of my life..I have a question though, what does the verification model mean on this site? I see where all the lines are pointing to Florida, sorry for sounding so dumb! I really enjoy this site!
I kind of agree with Canesrule1 about Bill though.


First of all, welcome to wunderground, I hope you learn alot from being on this site. Second of all, let me assure you that the NHC (National Hurricane center's) track will recurve it out to sea so there's nothing to worry about unless you are boating out there. The only impact from bill to the US is some high waves. It will affect Bermuda though.
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6877
4360. gator23
Quoting palmbaywhoo:
is ana's remnants going to ride up the east or west coast of florida? if it is east, i don't know if much deelopment will come from it

Local mets are sayign South Florida then into the gulf up to the big bend
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Quoting lovesdanger:
the leeward islands well icouldnt say this last night but now bill will past well north of the islands..the islands may have to deal with a moderate chop as bill passes but they will be fine...im giving this storm a 3% chance to give the leeward islands gale force winds very unlikely...


It's not just the winds... it's the rain. Omar passed well north of us last year and still caused widespread flooding here with his feeder bands. There was no direct hit on St. Kitts & Nevis either but I'm sure Weather456 can tell you how Omar still caused serious issues there, including destroying the Four Seasons resort on Nevis which has still not recovered.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Is it possible for something to form in this south of Cuba ? Stormpetrol, any rain and thunder down your way ? East End is crazy with it.

I hear Thunder & see the lightning in the distant NE but so far no rain the remnants of Ana is approaching us.
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Quoting Acemmett90:

university of michigan


university of oklahoma they have the storm prediction center there. University of Michigan would be my last pick.
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4356. Crawls
Hope Dr. M has update soon.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I agree. It looks like he will move very close to them.

It sure does. I won't be suprised if the NHC issues a Hurricane Watch, or Warning soon.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 4979
4354. MahFL
yonzabam,
seems your correct, funny how one's perception was it was an ex cane. Then again 1987 was a long time ago :).
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Quoting canesrule1:
What is the best school to study meteorology?


I'm not going to say best, but U. of Oklahoma in Norman is good.
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Quoting stormpetrol:

According to purple in the bottom right hand corner 9:09 am this morning, just little over an hour ago.

that is UTC time.

9:09 would be 5:09am EDT.
Member Since: August 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 693
If the XTRAP solution is true, and Bill moves just a hair North, then we can just XTRAP Florida right out of the picture and the blog will quite down?!

3047. LongGlassTube 10:17 PM EDT on August 17, 2009

Back in the days of paper charts we would do our own XTRAP using a ruler to pencil in a dotted line of travel. Generally speaking once the XTRAP is North of your position you are in the clear. If XTRAP is on you just prior to landfall well, there you are.
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Quoting Melagoo:
Nova Scotia must be thinking about JUAN in 2003


Trust me, WE ARE
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Quoting stormpetrol:

According to purple in the bottom right hand corner 9:09 am this morning, just little over an hour ago.
Ok. Thanks
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4348. Prgal
Link
Good morning everyone! Can someone please help me understand why they think there will be a NW movement on Bill? To my untrained eye Bill has been moving W WNW. But, what is supposed to pick Bill more to a NW movement? That thing so far from him near Bermuda? What about the high right on top of Bill. Help please.
Member Since: September 7, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 921
4346. tbrett
Good Morning Everyone
Just got on, Has any info come in from HH yet.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
How recent is that ?

According to purple in the bottom right hand corner 9:09 am this morning, just little over an hour ago.
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Quoting canesrule1:
What is the best school to study meteorology?


What kind of meteorology interests you? Weather forecasting? Model development and theoretical studies? Broadcast, Military? Lots of different paths and many schoools specialize.
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Quoting Progster:
That ULL just S of central cuba is creating a deformation zone to its W. COnvection is developing along the def zone axis and back toward the ULL. Deformation zones are areas of divergence in the upper flow..and can encourage convection in an unstable atmosphere. It will be interesting to see it move into the Gulf today...
Is it possible for something to form in this south of Cuba ? Stormpetrol, any rain and thunder down your way ? East End is crazy with it.
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is ana's remnants going to ride up the east or west coast of florida? if it is east, i don't know if much deelopment will come from it
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4340. Melagoo
Nova Scotia must be thinking about JUAN in 2003
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Quoting Grothar:


Hey, Grothar here. Did you get a chance to read my response which would have been #4228. Would be interested in your comment. Where are you in Scotland. I stayed in Edinburgh on Esselmont Road between Mayfield and Craig Miller Rd.


Just in case you can't see the replies, 4253 and 4326.
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Quoting canesrule1:
What is the best school to study meteorology?

do a google search.
Member Since: August 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 693
What is the best school to study meteorology?
That ULL just S of central cuba is creating a deformation zone to its W. COnvection is developing along the def zone axis and back toward the ULL. Deformation zones are areas of divergence in the upper flow..and can encourage convection in an unstable atmosphere. It will be interesting to see it move into the Gulf today...
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Quoting stormpetrol:
I still think the Leewards have to watch Bill very closely.
I agree. It looks like he will move very close to them.
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Andrew was in 92 and the models have come a long ways since then.

and Ike was never forecast to be a fish storm. never.
Member Since: August 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 693
Quoting bwi:
Any circulation signs in that batch of weather between Haiti, Jamaica, and SE Cuba? Appears to be spreading north but moving west?
Looks like something is going on there. Seems to be rotation just to the w of that.
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Morning everyone!

Wow! Bill's eye is huge!
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 4979
Quoting bluewaterblues:


Thanks for the link!
no prob
Quoting stormpetrol:

what nice quikscat of Bill
How recent is that ?
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4328. fmbill
Quoting Grothar:


Thanks for showing them the link. My facility with linking is not that good. Nice to know there is someone who can place a picture with a statement. Perhaps a bit premature, but what is your impression of the feature which has recently emerged off of Africa?


I think the one closest to Bill will not do well. But the next one certainly has a chance.

As far as progression, it seems we're in a pattern of troughs that will keep most of these systems that develop in the Atlantic out to sea.

The weak waves will likely not get picked up by the troughs so there may eventually be some caribbean storms.
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EUMETSAT shows a growing eye in the last 24 frames animation.
I have the impression it moves NW. The circulation got rid of the big outflows in the last hours and seems more compact. Currently it seems to progress to a more circular appearance.
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Yep. replied to it. I think you must have missed it. Strathaven, South Lanarkshire (pop. 8,000), 43 miles ese of Edinburgh.
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This is kind of a random question, but what do you people think is the best meteorology school?
Quoting canesrule1:
Check this out, It's a 2-day stellite movie of Bill and Ana: Link


Thanks for the 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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