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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I think Bill will go right through the Northern Antilles.

Just my amateur opinion.

If so, sorry peoples, get ready & take care, best wishes.
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Bill is not coming to south Florida JFV, so let's get that out of the way. Other than that, how are you doing?
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Quoting GatorWX:


Yeah, it's been trying to infiltrate all day. Should disrupt its eye in development. It never made it into the core until now. Like I said earlier, should keep intensification in check. I wouldn't completely discredit SHIPS 33% chance of rapid intensification of 30 kts in 24 hrs, but certainly wouldn't be any more than this. It's certainly on the verge of breaking loose! I think tomorrow night will be "Bill's Night".
do you think that because bill is stronger now that it is able to pull in that dry air around. i remeber that happening to opal. she got so strong that she started tyo pull in dry air and cause her to deintensify.
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2519. Dakster
Quoting JupiterFL:


You mean like spring break?


ROFLMAO... I was thinking something similar, but I figured it would get me banned.
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Quoting JupiterFL:


You mean like spring break?


Oh noes...LOL!
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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?
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2516. Drakoen
I cannot tell whether that whole in Bill is an eye or not. Microwave imagery would suggest the cyclone has nearly completed an eye. Water vapor imagery shows dry air intrusion. The mid level sinking air could contribute to the formation of an eye.
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DVORAK numbers should be near 6 if the eye can clear out enough.

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Quoting lovesdanger:
cchs i think the main trough thats going to disrupt bill is still in the rockies and is deepening..this will not happen for another 48 hours.i see bill making the turn at 55 degrees..


Well guess what? A turn at 55w means the southern end of the latest nhc track.
Link
Member Since: February 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 479
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.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
reedzone if im on the right sight for that model run is that the one showing it hittign the northeast
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Quoting WeatherStudent:



Which would be a potential indication of what?


THAT IT ISN'T GOING AS FAST AS IT WAS...
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Quoting tampagirl:
Hi all - do any of you think Ana will re-emerge? I'm just a layman....and appreciate all your thoughts and posts!
For Ana to rebirth she needs to slow down. Plus the upper level low close to south Fl. does not help her.
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Does anyone have the really good LSU link that updates every 5-15 minutes? TIA
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2507. Greyelf
Good grief you bloggers are busy. 51 pages in 10 hours.
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water vapor shows trough shifting east..http://metofis.rsmas.miami.edu/~dortt/satellite/C_Atl/WV/atl_wv1_loop.gif
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Quoting muddertracker:
I don't like all this missing the trough stuff. Why not just have everyone on the east coast go down to the beach and blow really hard???


You mean like spring break?
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Quoting hydrus:
WEATHER-456-Are you on St.Kitts?


yeah
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting tropics21:
look at the RGB not the Infrared


It still is moving very slowly the last few hours.
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2499. GatorWX
Quoting Drakoen:
Dry air intrusion in Bill:


Yeah, it's been trying to infiltrate all day. Should disrupt its eye in development. It never made it into the core until now. Like I said earlier, should keep intensification in check. I wouldn't completely discredit SHIPS 33% chance of rapid intensification of 30 kts in 24 hrs, but certainly wouldn't be any more than this. It's certainly on the verge of breaking loose! I think tomorrow night will be "Bill's Night".
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3802
2498. Dakster
Quoting presslord:
2449...I swear ...your handle looks like an obscenity...


She/He got me the first time I saw the handle too.. LOL...
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2497. BKM77
Does in one know what Bill's Forward speed is at this time. Also how close do you think it will come to the islands
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Still trying.


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Quoting TexasGulf:
Bill is not moving West. Bill is moving as forecast.

Well... the forecast track has trended West since this morning. If it shifts West again tomorrow morning, the Bahamas are in trouble.
Hush yo' mout', man.... we were quietly lurking in the corner here. Bill doesn't have to knowout us......
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The more Bill moves west the more dangerous the situation with him becomes.
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Quoting lakeEFX:

Oh, okay. Thanks, I wasn't sure if the 08 part was the month or the time. I didn't think they were headed out at night, but you never know.
It will actually be closer to morning where Bill is located.
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Quoting cchsweatherman:
For those wondering, that opening in Hurricane Bill is not an eye, but rather a dry slot opening inside the storm's core. This indicates that dry air is disrupting the storm and could also show some slight weakening as well. It will need to lose the dry air to return to strengthening.


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?
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7437
Bill looks like he is giong still almost due west. with some dry air inside it.
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Hi all - do any of you think Ana will re-emerge? I'm just a layman....and appreciate all your thoughts and posts!
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I don't like all this missing the trough stuff. Why not just have everyone on the east coast go down to the beach and blow really hard???
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Quoting cchsweatherman:
For those wondering, that opening in Hurricane Bill is not an eye, but rather a dry slot opening inside the storm's core. This indicates that dry air is disrupting the storm and could also show some slight weakening as well. It will need to lose the dry air to return to strengthening.
i saw the dry air also. if it weakens it enough it cause a less dramatic influence by the trough.
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2486. hydrus
Quoting Weather456:


yh
WEATHER-456-Are you on St.Kitts?
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Quoting WeatherMSK:
I think Bill just said "screw you" to the first trough.


Would have to agree since on the current steering maps, the trough has been passing to the northeast and now Bill's being influenced by the ridge once again. It seems the only impact the trough had was slowing the storm down some and imparting the slightest northward pull on the storm.
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Bill is stalling. I seem to remember a front was supposed to pick up Andrew. If Bill doesn't gain latitude the front will miss him amd a high will push him westward again.
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2482. centex
In the past 24hr Bill has trended more west than previous according to coordinates. The turn will come but rarely do they come on time so would not be surprised if it comes late.
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Quoting WeatherMSK:
I think Bill just said "screw you" to the first trough.
well if it did, then we are screwed because that will change the track considerably and possibly not even recurve it until it reaches the jet stream in the eastern seaboard.
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DR - Ana

Ana made herself known here on the north coast about 30 minutes ago - very heavy thunder and lightning, some rain and practically no wind - so far.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting bluehaze27:
Link

There is very little movement in six hours according to this loop. This tells me it is losing it's steering currents.
look at the RGB not the Infrared
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2478. Drakoen
Bill looks to be slowing down a little...
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Quoting bballerf50:


Drak, i know that in normal circumstances, a stronger storm would feel poleward forces more, and therefore be more susceptible to troughs, but is Bill an exception in any way?
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around what time do the 00z models come out?
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I think Bill just said "screw you" to the first trough.
Member Since: February 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 479
For those wondering, that opening in Hurricane Bill is not an eye, but rather a dry slot opening inside the storm's core. This indicates that dry air is disrupting the storm and could also show some slight weakening as well. It will need to lose the dry air to return to strengthening.
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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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