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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Models will trend west.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'm starting to luugh,

Ana is dead......
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:
i had an eye briefly then lost it, i expect one by the morning.
Quoting canesrule1:
currently at Bill's current speed it should be reaching 50W at 7:29AM EDT.


How the heck did you get that? It seems way off to me...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2270. JLPR
Quoting Weather456:
Bill moving wnw but took jog w



those jogs west aren't good =\
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2269. GatorWX
Quoting DaytonaBeachWatcher:
gator, this is all i have

Link


thanks
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2688
Quoting BaySaint:


In your estimation?

Yep my estimation, which my might be as good as Barneys
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7690
Quoting Weather456:
Bill moving wnw but took jog w



So he did jog.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
Quoting Weather456:
Bill moving wnw

i would say it's going West with a small pinch/hint of north.
Bill jogged west
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5300
Quoting HurricaneFCast:


Man it sure looks like the convection ditched the northern coc and is trying to redistribute a little further south, right at the end of that loop.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The next 8 hours or so seem to be the critical time period.If a turn toward the north does not take place,then the entire situation needs to be re-evaluated. Its difficult to know whats going to happen when dealing with an in-exact science.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2261. Drakoen
Quoting FLdewey:


I'm assuming "it" is something cool? Maybe a new condo development, or OOOooo OOOooo maybe a new shopping center?


LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Still not above 15 N, almost to 48 W
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5300
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Bill is starting to stress me out GFS was the first model to develop Bill and the time frame has been perfect, also gfs was 5 days in a row tracking Bill to the NE caribean making landfall in PR on the morning of August 20th before starting to shifted to the north. Seems that Bill will miss the weekness of the ridge if that happend GFS initial track will be back soon. Still with fingers crossed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WeatherStudent:
Evening Keeps, I haven't done anything to that fulano de tal. As a matter of fact, he was that one that started with me, with his '' uh no''.
That "so and so" is just joking and you need to relax. You get a little too hyper for someone so young . Take it easy and you won't antagonize anyone and they won't have to say Oh No.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8272
Bill moving wnw but took jog w

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting GatorWX:


Well thankyou very much!! Can you get different regions or the entire Atlantic off CIMSS as well?

Lol ignore my second post, I saw you ask again so I quoted that post. Well as far as I know, the CIMSS makes available only the storm-specific OHC. Someone else may know of a general region-based OHC map, but I'll keep an eye out for one.
Member Since: April 20, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 1482
2252. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting GatorWX:
Is there no other site with TCHP graphics besides the one with May 19th graphics? If so and someone has a link, please post it. THANKS!!!
gator ya got to go and use google earth for current TCHP map overlays not sure of link
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
2250. stormpetrol
11:22 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
Quoting islandblow:


The indigenous Carib Indians of the islands used to warn the first European settlers about coming hurricanes by knowing such natural signals. But at first the Europeans did not believe them because the skies were blue and the waves looked like regular swells....then all hell let loose....and after the devastation the settlers accused the natives of witchcraft. Sometimes you just can't win.

But no joking now...there are things happening in the northern Lesser Antilles tonight that hint something is out there...and big.

I for one understand exactly where you're coming from!Keep safe.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7690
2249. HurricaneFCast
11:21 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
Quoting HurricaneFCast:


(Oh, short FYI: It's now sometimes referred to as OHC(Ocean Heat Content) rather than Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential......But it's just semantics, really. :D)
CIMSS
CIMSS has storm-specific OHC. Just click on Hurricane Bill on the front page and then Beside "Ocean" click on "OHC (RSMAS)".
You can zoom out using the "Image Resolution" tab on the left side of the page.
Member Since: April 20, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 1482
2248. GatorWX
11:21 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
Quoting HurricaneFCast:


(Oh, short FYI: It's now sometimes referred to as OHC(Ocean Heat Content) rather than Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential......But it's just semantics, really. :D)
CIMSS
CIMSS has storm-specific OHC. Just click on Hurricane Bill on the front page and then Beside "Ocean" click on "OHC (RSMAS)".
You can zoom out using the "Image Resolution" tab on the left side of the page.


Well thankyou very much!! Can you get different regions or the entire Atlantic off CIMSS as well?
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2688
2247. watchingnva
11:21 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
Quoting BaySaint:


In your estimation?


from what he sees, his opinion...

dont start...if you see it differently, then leave it at that...
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 1494
2245. canesrule1
11:21 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
Quoting watchingnva:
oh, good evening everyone...hows are buddy bill doing out there...

canesrule1, bro...what happened to ana?...lol
lol, it just dissipated, will probably be a rainmaker for SFLA and the keys, if it doesn't just a become a cloudy day, lol.
2243. Cavin Rawlins
11:20 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
Quoting islandblow:


The indigenous Carib Indians of the islands used to warn the first European settlers about coming hurricanes by knowing such natural signals. But at first the Europeans did not believe them because the skies were blue and the waves looked like regular swells....then all hell let loose....and after the devastation the settlers accused the natives of witchcraft. Sometimes you just can't win.

But no joking now...there are things happening in the northern Lesser Antilles tonight that hint something is out there...and big.


yea, you right about that. I remember a story of hundreds of Europeans that were swept away in a hurricane. while few Caribs (the natives that use to live here) died.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
2242. alaina1085
11:20 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
Quoting islandblow:


The indigenous Carib Indians of the islands used to warn the first European settlers about coming hurricanes by knowing such natural signals. But at first the Europeans did not believe them because the skies were blue and the waves looked like regular swells....then all hell let loose....and after the devastation the settlers accused the natives of witchcraft. Sometimes you just can't win.

But no joking now...there are things happening in the northern Lesser Antilles tonight that hint something is out there...and big.


Wow thats cool.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1240
2241. WPBHurricane05
11:20 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
Quoting Weather456:
I guess no matter what the NHC says everyone here (not the blog) seems terrified of Bill.


He is HUGE....a few degrees to the west and you would get some of his weather. At least people are taking him seriously.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
2240. AllStar17
11:19 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
Quoting WPBHurricane05:
Some moisture in the SE Bahamas...looks like it might be from that ULL and the remnants of Ana. Considering how fast Claudette formed, it wouldn't be unreasonable to keep an eye on it.


Certainly not. We can not sleep on the remnants of Ana. She has already come back once. I would mainly watch the area of convection north of Hispaniola for consolidation, and maybe pressures lowering, if that happens, (re)development would be possible.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5300
2239. BaySaint
11:19 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
Quoting stormpetrol:
THe COC for Bill now is about 14.5N/47.5W in my estimation, its not above 15N yet.. Look at shortwave infrared loop on the floater .


In your estimation?
Member Since: August 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
2238. PcolaDan
11:19 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
Based on all the minute by minute reading of the satellites, I am now firmly convinced Bill is about to do a loop just to keep everyone guessing which way he will go next.

Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
2237. DaytonaBeachWatcher
11:18 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
gator, this is all i have

Link
Member Since: June 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1136
2236. HurricaneFCast
11:18 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
Member Since: April 20, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 1482
2235. BahaHurican
11:18 PM GMT on August 17, 2009


This is bringing some evening Tstorms into my area....
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21517
2234. Cavin Rawlins
11:18 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
Quoting NOSinger:
456....I read your blog that you wrote earlier today (I read it everyday, very informative BTW), Has Bill done what you thought he might do today or do you think he is going a little more left than most think?


just a tad left of what I expected. But I'm trying as best as possible to ignore any westward shift. I really really dont need something like Bill right now.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
2233. SWFLDigTek
11:18 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
POST UPDATED:
South Florida StormWatch
Member Since: August 31, 2008 Posts: 117 Comments: 398
2232. watchingnva
11:18 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
oh, good evening everyone...hows are buddy bill doing out there...

canesrule1, bro...what happened to ana?...lol
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 1494
2231. eddye
11:17 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
it coming to florida
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1204
2230. islandblow
11:19 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
Quoting Weather456:
Bill is so large, the pressure gradient increases the trades so you smell the sea as if a storm was coming.


The indigenous Carib Indians of the islands used to warn the first European settlers about coming hurricanes by knowing such natural signals. But at first the Europeans did not believe them because the skies were blue and the waves looked like regular swells....then all hell let loose....and after the devastation the settlers accused the natives of witchcraft. Sometimes you just can't win.

But no joking now...there are things happening in the northern Lesser Antilles tonight that hint something is out there...and big.
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 60
2229. stormpetrol
11:17 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
THe COC for Bill now is about 14.5N/47.5W in my estimation, its not above 15N yet.. Look at shortwave infrared loop on the floater .
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7690
2228. GatorWX
11:17 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
Is there no other site with TCHP graphics besides the one with May 19th graphics? If so and someone has a link, please post it. THANKS!!!
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2688
2227. canesrule1
11:17 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
currently at Bill's current speed it should be reaching 50W at 7:29AM EDT.
2226. RyanFSU
11:17 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
HWRF 18Z not quite done, but looks like the same track as 12Z. Link on picture goes to the last 9 forecasts since Bill was named. GFDL not quite done, until 735 pm

Member Since: February 13, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 308
2225. watchingnva
11:17 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
Quoting presslord:
post 2201


your telling me...
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 1494
2224. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
11:16 PM GMT on August 17, 2009
behave ws don't go upsetting press now
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296

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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.