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: 2174 - 2124

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

2174. GatorWX
Seems some dry air is trying to infiltrate again. Looks like it may have helped erode a bit of the west side. Should keep intensification in check.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3797
2173. Drakoen
Bill got too's big for Ana small little low and scared her away.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormSurgeon:


Northwest.
wrong, not even close...a tick north of due west.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:
Bill is about 480 miles across in diameter, at least its cloud canaopy which could include cirroform clouds.


thanks!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BahaHurican:
456,

that graphic makes one realize how close a brush it can potentially be for NE CAR islands....


I just had the same thought. Puts it in perspective seeing the size of Bill vs the islands.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2168. jabjb2
Looks to me like bill still hasn't crossed over 15n yet. Also looks like it took a jog to the south a little too.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BaltOCane:


...I was just asking...

I don't know if you measure strictly by how far the winds extend or go by the clouds and bands. I don't know.... that's why I'm here.


TS winds are 145 miles out.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Nope,not yet. If he doesnt make it by 50 west, i am not gonna be a happy camper...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Im pretty sure Bill is moving WNW...its just that his convection is causing a W illusion.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
Quoting masonsnana:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but is Bill moving more due west?????????
It looks like it and like he is moving south of the forecast points but I will leave the final word to the experts.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Ana will be a player in the gulf this weekend.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting masonsnana:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but is Bill moving more due west?????????


Northwest.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2161. alcomat
Quoting reedzone:


Models are starting to come into reality that the "monster trough" may not be as strong and while it will recurve Bill, it won't do a sharp recurve. Just going by what I'm looking at in the latest models and pattern trends. That's why the Northeastern USA needs to closely watch Hurricane Bill. A track like Edouard in 1996 is looking more likely, a swipe to New England, yet no landfall.
this trough is supposed to be in the vicinity of the upper midwest thursday,at the speed bill is moving he should be at or a little west of the islands,so the trough may not even touch him,especially if the trough is weaker than forecast.what do you think?...JMO
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Bill is about 480 miles across in diameter, at least its cloud canaopy which could include cirroform clouds.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
I still don't think that Bill has crossed 15N yet.
Thoughts?
LINK...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormpetrol:
I wonder why the experts are so sure that Bill won't be a US or East Caribbean Islands threat, they put too much in models imo, sometimes I think this is bordering on irresponsible, I know models are generally used for guidance and can very useful, but to go out on a limb and say no worry just because of models, well that baffles me.
Agree 100%
Models are just that. A model of what could happen.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2156. viman
Quoting Weather456:


yep, Ana was dry, we also got less than inch. she was more of gusty event.


I know its the tropics but I also know that you know more about this than I do, is there a possibilty that Bill can slip under this weakness in the ridge causing Bill to come back west towards us?????
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2155. GatorWX
456, drak, or anyone else: does anyone have a link to "up to date" graphics of TCHP?
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3797
Quoting Drakoen:


LOL!


LOL, this blog is in a mood tonight.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1240
Quoting Drakoen:


LOL!


...I was just asking...

I don't know if you measure strictly by how far the winds extend or go by the clouds and bands. I don't know.... that's why I'm here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but is Bill moving more due west?????????
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
if you look at him on the floater and notice he spans from 44 to 50, he is a big dude.... Lol DRAK
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting alaina1085:


Umm are you sure its going to miss those islands? Bill is getting awfully close.
I was just looking at that. It looks awfully close.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2148. JRRP
Quoting Weather456:
Bill is the talk all across the islands - hope it stays it distance


that looks like an avatar of one here..
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6213
2147. GatorWX
Quoting naplesdreamer28:
Bill still worries me. I'm in FL so think I'm in good shape, but I don't like the west motion longer than expected. Hoping that trough is going to do as expected.


Seems to me it's been going wnw as expected
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3797
Quoting BaltOCane:


Thanks!
And I'm thinking that's on the large side, yes?
Katrina was huge and she was, what?, 300? 400? miles across?
Please correct me if I have that wrong, I don't have the measurements in front of me...
i revised that and quoted the nhc instead, better than a guess....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2144. Drakoen
Quoting BaltOCane:


How big would you say Bill is?


LOL!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BaltOCane:


How big would you say Bill is?


I'll measure him in google earth
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting TampaMishy:
Nice to see you again :) Just checking what people are saying about Ana and Bill looks like I have nothing to worry about here.


Yeah, I think you're safe for now! ;)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I wonder why the experts are so sure that Bill won't be a US or East Caribbean Islands threat, they put too much in models imo, sometimes I think this is bordering on irresponsible, I know models are generally used for guidance and can very useful, but to go out on a limb and say no worry just because of models, well that baffles me.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DaytonaBeachWatcher:
he is over 500 miles across total


Thanks!
And I'm thinking that's on the large side, yes?
Katrina was huge and she was, what?, 300? 400? miles across?
Please correct me if I have that wrong, I don't have the measurements in front of me...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2139. amd
Quoting Fshhead:
Aaaaaand here comes the cavalry!!!!!!
Link

Another front lining up behind the featured one... :)


hopefully the cavalry of fronts do the job to kick out Bill. Unfortunately, the big front has barely moved in the past 20 hours or so, and the main low with the front is already occluding itself in the Hudson Bay.

IMO, the cavalry needs more help.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting viman:


How you guys make out, we got less than am inch, upsetting really.... St. John recorded 25 mph sustained and gust to 43mph... not bad, still I wanted more rain...


yep, Ana was dry, we also got less than inch. she was more of gusty event.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting pearlandaggie:
Hey, Mishy! what's up?
Nice to see you again :) Just checking what people are saying about Ana and Bill looks like I have nothing to worry about here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2136. Fshhead
Ahhh ok WPB got ya I had not heard that scenario. All I know is those fronts sre lining up across the country getting ready to hopefully give Mr. Bill the big boot out to sea to swim with the fishies!! ;)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Virgin Islands (UK)

The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) in the Virgin Islands (UK) has issued a Hurricane Advisory and placed its national response system on stand-by in preparation for Hurricane Bill. The island was on a Tropical Storm watch this morning in anticipation of Tropical Depression Ana but has since stood-down and reported no damage.

Anguilla

The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) in Anguilla has issued regular public advisories via the news media to alert persons of the approaching hurricane and is completing readiness actions.

Antigua & Barbuda

The National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) issued a Press Release this morning to warn the public on the on-coming threat of Hurricane Bill. The Minister of Health, the National Disaster Coordinator, the Director of the National Red Cross and the Chief Meteorological Officer were guests on the Television Station this morning to update the public and encourage increased preparatory actions. The national disaster response mechanism is placed on standby.

Regional Response: CDERA has been monitoring Hurricane Bill as it moves towards the region. The Coordinating Unit has established contact with the National Disaster Offices in the threatened area and will continue to provide updated information on the islands’ preparedness actions.

The Coordinating Unit has finalized arrangements for accessing emergency response personnel who will lead specialized teams (Emergency Operations Centre and Assessment Teams), if necessary.

The Coordinating Unit will continue to monitor the situation with Hurricane Bill as it moves towards Caribbean and provide advisories as necessary.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
2134. jpsb
Quoting jdjnola:


Absolutely. Not trying to doomcast, but I think Ana could combine with another feature re-develop, and the Gulf is so full of potential energy already.
I've been watching the Gulf for a few days and it's been putting on quite a show. Convertion firing up all over the gulf. Kinda scary thinking about what could happen if something spun up in the central or southern GoM. Having just gone thru Ike, it's more then just scary terrifying is more like it.
Member Since: June 30, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1264
HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 30 MILES...45 KM...FROM
THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 145
MILES...230 KM
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2132. viman
Quoting Weather456:
This is what was experience with Ana last night

LINK


How you guys make out, we got less than am inch, upsetting really.... St. John recorded 25 mph sustained and gust to 43mph... not bad, still I wanted more rain...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2131. JRRP
Quoting jdjnola:


It's going west west west west west, it's going west it's going weeeeeeeeeeeest (this was obviously sung).

jejejeje
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6213
Quoting TampaTom:
Is there any chance I can become a StratoCaster? :-)


I guess if you said that all of the hurricanes will be going up, then, yeah, sure.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2129. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Vortex, I just like to try and cover the other basins
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:
Bill is so large, the pressure gradient increases the trades so you smell the sea as if a storm was coming.


How big would you say Bill is?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2127. GatorWX
Quoting Drakoen:
Beautiful guitar


totally, classic!! I love my Marten parlor though, wouldn't trade it for anything else!
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3797
Quoting Fshhead:


Why?


There was talk that the front off Jersey might pull Bill north early.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
Hey, Mishy! what's up?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 2174 - 2124

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
18 °F
Overcast