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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Quoting bajelayman2:
Can I speculate? Bill is ramping up, real fast?


Its not doing any intensifying.

Not now at least.
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2958. WTF is "paranoic"?? LMAO
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2971. GatorWX
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


It possible.


well with all due respect, they are part of the Caribbean lol
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2970. amd
Quoting BahaHurican:
If u look on a CONUS map, u can see the potential Bill-kicker somewhere over the inter-mountain and midwest area.


yeah. having a bit of trouble though moving.

Link
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WHCA31 TAPA
TROPICAL CYCLONE ALERT STATEMENT NUMBER 5
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE
5:00 PM ECT MON AUGUST 17 2009


THIS IS FOR THE LEEWARD ISLANDS AND THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS


THE MET OFFICE IS CLOSELY MONITORING THE PROGRESS OF HURRICANE BILL WHICH IS NOW LOCATED IN THE CENTRAL, TROPICAL, NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN ABOUT 1000 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF THE LEEWARD ISLANDS AND 1200 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS. THE SYSTEM POSES NO IMMEDIATE THREAT TO THE AREA AT THIS TIME. ON ITS PRESENT TRACK, BILL IS FORECAST TO PASS TO THE NORTHEAST OF THE CARIBBEAN, AWAY FROM ANY LAND MASS. HOWEVER, RESIDENTS SHOULD MONITOR THE SYSTEM AS A SHIFT TO THE LEFT OF THE FORECAST TRACK COULD BRING BILL DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO THE ISLANDS. BULLETIN TRACK SATELLITE

FORECASTER DESTIN
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Little lightning in Bill, which is typical for tropical cyclones

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Can I speculate? Bill is ramping up, real fast?
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Quoting HurricaneJoe:


It shows the track the storm would take if it were to stay on the current course, correct?


correct
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Quoting BrockBerlin:


What?


What, don't you know how to speak Tazmanian?
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2956. +1

i concur! :)
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Quoting HurricaneJoe:


It shows the track the storm would take if it were to stay on the current course, correct?


correct
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Quoting bajelayman2:
Dunno, but mucho convection HAS moved SW.

So, what is Bill, core, overall, convection, what??

Check the loop and it is clear, a whole lotta convection took a dive.

Why?
dry air is intruding and it has disrupted bill.
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Quoting pearlandaggie:
2944. DAMMIT! beat me to the draw! LOL


LOL
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Quoting GatorWX:


not into the Caribbean Sea, but skirting the northern Antilles is certainly not entirely impossible.


It possible.
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2958. Relix
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Caps denote sarcasm.


These days i am paranoic lol
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Dunno, but mucho convection HAS moved SW.

So, what is Bill, core, overall, convection, what??

Check the loop and it is clear, a whole lotta convection took a dive.

Why?
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Just checking in.... anything new to watch for tonight??
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2944. DAMMIT! beat me to the draw! LOL
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Quoting Relix:


Joke or serious? =P


Caps denote sarcasm.
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2952. GatorWX
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Theres no way for it to make it into the Caribbean.


not into the Caribbean Sea, but skirting the northern Antilles is certainly not entirely impossible.
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Looks like Bill's going to be ingesting SAL for a while.
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Quoting StormW:


This is why Bill has slowed down. Yes, the weakness still has some pull, but mainly to his N and NNE, while to his NW, the ridge is beginning to build in somewhat, pushind down on him right now, and keeping his motion around 280-285.


yaaay. thanks. i kind of interpreted something correctly. so, even though he makes it in front of the weakness (west of it), it can still pull him, it will just pull him northeastward (backwards in a way) rather than just north. just because he passes it doesn't mean it can't still pull him.
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Quoting StormW:


This is why Bill has slowed down. Yes, the weakness still has some pull, but mainly to his N and NNE, while to his NW, the ridge is beginning to build in somewhat, pushind down on him right now, and keeping his motion around 280-285.
Do you feel this ridge is going to keep Bill on a westerly track for any extended lenght deviating him from the projected track
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You can tell the ridge has strengthen north of us. Its windy here in the islands...meanwhile from Antigua met office

Synopsis: Tropical Depression Ana is rapidly moving westward and is past the Leewards and BVI. Most of the weather associated with this system is now affecting Puerto Rico and Hispaniola and it could degenerate to a tropical wave by later today. We are currently in a period of ridging and will be so for the next few days.
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Quoting Drakoen:
OMG IT'S MOVING TO THE SW!?!?!?!

no drak, dont you know anything! it is more of a ssw movement! it is following dolphins
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ZOMG!! WTF!! BILL HAZ SLOWD DOWN!!! RUN!

LOL

j/k
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Quoting Drakoen:
OMG IT'S MOVING TO THE SW!?!?!?!


ZOMG THE PLOT THICKENS!!!!
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Quoting StormW:


This is why Bill has slowed down. Yes, the weakness still has some pull, but mainly to his N and NNE, while to his NW, the ridge is beginning to build in somewhat, pushing down on him right now, and keeping his motion around 280-285. So basically, it's almost like a tug of war..the trof trying to pull him north, the ridge holding him down, and trying to steer him more westward.


hey storm, so are you not liking that setup then? wont it miss the first weakness and not go as far north?
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Hey, quel surprise, look Bill is going West!
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2940. Relix
Quoting Drakoen:
OMG IT'S MOVING TO THE SW!?!?!?!


Joke or serious? =P
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2939. LaCas49
I am new to this site and I have learned alot on here in the past few months. All this data is very informative.
Thanks for the info!
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Quoting adjusterx:


Should I alert my neighbors or just go! Do I have time to get clean underwear?


lol
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Quoting mossyhead:
most of the heavy convection is south of the center now.


It has been for most of its life.

Give it until 8am tomorrow and if the dust isnt out of it then its going to have some more problems.
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Quoting kmanislander:


Hi there.

It is forecasted to make the turn because a trough is supposed to slide off the East coast of the US and erode the Western edge of the high. This is in the future so we will have to see if it evolves the way the models predict.

As is usual each year, these things tend not to play out exactly as forecasted.
If u look on a CONUS map, u can see the potential Bill-kicker somewhere over the inter-mountain and midwest area.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22322
Quoting StormW:


This is why Bill has slowed down. Yes, the weakness still has some pull, but mainly to his N and NNE, while to his NW, the ridge is beginning to build in somewhat, pushind down on him right now, and keeping his motion around 280-285.


Storm, is the high supposed to be that strong?
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Quoting StormW:


the weakness still has some pull, but mainly to his N and NNE, while to his NW, the ridge is beginning to build in somewhat, pushing down on him right now, and keeping his motion around 280-285.


Couldn't have said it any better. This is why i think the models will shift even further west.
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2933. Drakoen
OMG IT'S MOVING TO THE SW!?!?!?!
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2932. JLPR
Quoting StormW:


This is why Bill has slowed down. Yes, the weakness still has some pull, but mainly to his N and NNE, while to his NW, the ridge is beginning to build in somewhat, pushind down on him right now, and keeping his motion around 280-285.


So Bill is being squished down to the west? =\
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YOU GUYS ARE HILARIOUS
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2929. tkeith
Bill has his blinker on and is about to apply the brakes...right turn soon.

if any here question my forecasts just ask auburn...

I'm rarely correct...lol
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Quoting BrockBerlin:


What?


don't even go there...trust me, it's a losing battle! LOL
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Quoting BrockBerlin:


What?


lol
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Quoting RufusBaker:
Evacuate the whole eastern US I say!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Should I alert my neighbors or just go! Do I have time to get clean underwear?
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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.