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: 2574 - 2524

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

2574. java162
Quoting Tazmanian:
if bill dos not start turning soon it will most likey too make its 1st land fall on the Lesser Antilles some time late tuesday going in too wed



that is highly highly highly unlikely at this point. i would have to see a more drastic divergence from the supposed track to come up with sometheing like that...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
2572. Drakoen
Quoting Grothar:
Hey Drak, A while back you all teased us with a quiz about do you see what I see. Well, if you have time, could you take a look at the water vaport loop above Bill and tell me what you see.


I see a mid-latitude trough with the vorticity lobe extending down to 30N near 45W. A subtropical ridge is to the northeast of Bill with the flow ending near 45W. High pressure is centered near 64W near 28N with the ridge axis extending outwards to 50W. Bill's poleward outflow is being carried upwards in the mid to upper levels as a result of the aforementioned subtropical ridge. Mid-latitude trough influence induces a poleward movement in the mid to upper levels.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WeatherMSK:


Well guess what? A turn at 55w means the southern end of the latest nhc track.
Link


But at 48 hours from now, at 16mph, Bill will already be virtually upon the Northern Antilles or at least VERY close thereto.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dakster:


I just spit coke through my nose when I read that... Too bad he wasn't here for Dr. M's comment earlier.
ROFLMAO!!! yup
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2569. GatorWX
I would imagine they'll post TS watches up for the islands soon. Seems the slight trend to the west and the lack of influence from the trof would bring it within range of allowing this, especially considering ts force winds extend 145 miles from the center.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dakster:


I just spit coke through my nose when I read that... Too bad he wasn't here for Dr. M's comment earlier.


What was his comment?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting scCane:
Its still possible for it to recurve and hit no one on the east coast even if it does go more west a few wobbles isnt going to change that.



Hurricane Hortense


Yikes, please don't show that image. I still have nightmares about Hortense. It was the first hurricane I experienced when I moved to Puerto Rico. Lots and lots of rain. no water for days. no electricity even longer. Later I found out it was just a baby compared with Georges.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
bill will most likey make land fall on the Lesser Antilles some time late tuesday or wed a hurricane watch may be needed soon if if big fat old bill dos not start turing soon
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Well now that hte eye is visible it will make it much easier for amateurs like us who are into the weather to track it's direction.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hurricane Edouard in 1996, swipes Cape Cod

Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7340
Not dry air, you would have seen it penetrate the outer layers of Bill. Its just a gap in convection. Will likely clear back up, if you watch the loops you can clearly see that no dry air is getting into the system, just a gap in convection.
Member Since: August 10, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 672
2558. Dakster
Quoting presslord:
Taz!! Is that..or is it not...a pinhole eye?!?!?!?!?!


I just spit coke through my nose when I read that... Too bad he wasn't here for Dr. M's comment earlier.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2556. GatorWX
Quoting Lafreniere16:
May someone please answer! What are the chances that neither trough nor the jet stream pick up Bill and he continues into the carribean and goes West towards the bahamas?


<10
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:


possibly but wasnt really suppose to happen for a next day or so


That's what I was thinking, but everyone keeps stressing about the lat and longs going on right now it's gotten me all confused :) Have we decided whether that is dry air or if he's lookin' at us?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2554. hydrus
Quoting Weather456:


yeah
I know the hurricane is still a good distance to your east,but if for some reason Bill does not start veering north 12 to 18 hours you just might have to bring in the lawn chairs.lol.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Link Looks like he's ingested more dry air
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 263
Taz!! Is that..or is it not...a pinhole eye?!?!?!?!?!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:


That would give Bill 90knot winds (104 mph)
yup, i expect 105 MPH winds at 11PM
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting weathercrazy40:
reedzone if im on the right sight for that model run is that the one showing it hittign the northeast


Yeah, but it's only one model, though a major model run. has done well with storms such as Frances and Ivan in 2004. NOGAPS predicted them to head more west then all the other models and they did. So it's a "possible" scenario. Plus other models are trending west of Bermuda now, like Hurricane Edouard in 1996
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7340
2548. Grothar
Hey Drak, A while back you all teased us with a quiz about do you see what I see. Well, if you have time, could you take a look at the water vaport loop above Bill and tell me what you see.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurricaneKyle:


Yep, there they go. Category 2 intensity.
yup
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jaxairportman:
For Ana to rebirth she needs to slow down. Plus the upper level low close to south Fl. does not help her.
I think that ULL had more of a role in Ana's [current] demise than at first expected. Looks like it has broadened a bit and also dropped down / South of its position this morning. No wonder Ana stayed open.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21470
if bill dos not start turning soon it will most likey too make its 1st land fall on the Lesser Antilles some time late tuesday going in too wed
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2544. Drakoen
Quoting canesrule1:
Latest Dvorak on Bill:

17/2345 UTC 14.7N 47.6W T5.0/5.0 BILL


That would give Bill 90knot winds (104 mph)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting canesrule1:
Latest Dvorak on Bill:

17/2345 UTC 14.7N 47.6W T5.0/5.0 BILL


Yep, there they go. Category 2 intensity.
Member Since: August 10, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 672
T5.0 = 103 MPH. So i think Bill will have 105MPH winds at 11PM
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SunKissed:


Do you think he might be slowing in preparation for his long awaited turn?


possibly but wasnt really suppose to happen for a next day or so
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
LOL@ Jupiter
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2537. jpritch
Looks like an eye opening up to me, with dry air inclusion to the north (enabled by northern bands being "lifted" by the trough). He's also "pointing" SW, so I wouldn't be surprized to see him move that way at least for a short time.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Latest Dvorak on Bill:

17/2345 UTC 14.7N 47.6W T5.0/5.0 BILL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2535. scCane
Its still possible for it to recurve and hit no one on the east coast even if it does go more west a few wobbles isnt going to change that.



Hurricane Hortense
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting reedzone:


Thanks, models have shifted westward and now the NOGAPS is the first major model run to threaten the East Coast in short range.. What's your take on the forecast path?


With the current trends with Hurricane Bill (developing dry slot, missing the first trough, and strengthening ridge), it wouldn't surprise me to see the computer models continue shifting westward in the coming runs. Just remember what we both were steadfastly standing by last night that nobody on the US East Coast should become lackadaisical and let their guards down about Hurricane Bill. I still stand by that.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
jupiter...post2504...first laugh i've had all day...thanks
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hurricane Bill's eye on Infrared.


expect those ADT numbers to go nuts.
Member Since: August 10, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 672
as a matter a fact, i just computed that Bill has been moving along at 17MPH since the 5PM EDT advisory.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Lafreniere16:
May someone please answer! What are the chances that neither trough nor the jet stream pick up Bill and he continues into the carribean and goes West towards the bahamas?


Slim to none.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2529. Dakster
Quoting presslord:


THAT IT ISN'T GOING AS FAST AS IT WAS...


Classic..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: August 10, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 672
Quoting Weather456:
Rainbow shows Bill has slowed down and continues on its westward "jog". However it still remains between the 2 forecast points. If Bill continues this "jog" he will be SW of the next forecast point. Still alot of watching and in ? markes being raised.


Do you think he might be slowing in preparation for his long awaited turn?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JupiterFL:


You mean like spring break?


I'm too old to remember what goes on during spring break...or was it the tequila?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WeatherMSK:
I think Bill just said "screw you" to the first trough.
It was stated he might miss the first trough in the forecast
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 263

Viewing: 2574 - 2524

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.

Local Weather

Overcast
74 °F
Overcast