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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Looks like about 90% of the bloggers last night got it wrong with Bill's westward movement (exception-storm).
Quoting Tazmanian:
if bill dos not start pulling N today or soon it will soon be runing in too PR

Last night everybody was saying it was going west. didn't happen.
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morning all, what's the best satellite to look at to see the trough and Bill interact today?
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Quoting watchingnva:
i keep forgetting everything is just an estimate until the planes go out....so in all actuality...the numbers could be off due to the fact that until planes fly out, all info is sat. estimated....
Planes been flying out for hours now.
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NHC is going to ride the curvature west just like previous storms.
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4270. Patrap
Quoting watchingnva:


its the link you gave....so how is it not right?....dude....


.."OMG!..their Break-blog fighting again"..

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
What is a scary though is that IKE was at 21N by the time it was where bill was, and max winds where 55kts.
Quoting fmbill:


Man...I see why. I was up there in January and as I drove east one day over a large bridge, I could not beleive how blue & clear the water was. Looked like the Bahamas!


I have some pictures that I uploaded last year of the old pier when Gustav was making landfall west of us. They're not the best quality, but it was impressive.
Member Since: May 13, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1412
Quoting Tazmanian:
all come on guys


how many times did you all think Andrew was going to be a fish ??? or may be IKE ???


I never thought Ike was going to be a fish storm, but I would have bet a bunch of money that Ike would not enter the Gulf. I was in complete denial until I saw those video's of Ike hitting Cuba with those massive waves.
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model verification....

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4265. SaoFeng


Anything can happen... keep your eyes open!
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I can't believe some of you still 'wishing" Bill to move West - IT IS NOT!
LISTEN:

When you are 80% of the Model showing the same trend then you have GOT TO go with that - just cos someone here thinks that HIGH north of BILL or whatever will prevent it from being fish etc etc is nothing more than wishing!

My interest in now with the wave that just exited Africa - it's around 10N and with good convection and turning!

ONCE AGAIN: BILL IS A FISH as far as CONUS is concerned!
LETS MOVE ON...LOL
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4262. fmbill
Quoting Grothar:


PanhandleChuck asked the same question. It would appear that condtions are favorable for something to develop. There is abundant moisture off the African coast and the High is expected to stay strong. However, wind sheer may inhibit it for a few days. It is probabaly too early to call this one. It does have a moderate spin to it. So let us wait until Bill gets out of the way and we can all start worrying about the new. Exciting in a way isn't it?


Satellite

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oops lol
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i keep forgetting everything is just an estimate until the planes go out....so in all actuality...the numbers could be off due to the fact that until planes fly out, all info is sat. estimated....and the public wouldn't know the difference...
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Tampa if Bill goes Annular could it not miss this trough? I seee claudette being the fly in the soup with he stalled front..
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4257. bcn
New: According Spanish TV news, Bill can reach hurricane category in the next hours.

(some year they will learn the address of the NHC).
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Quoting watchingnva:


its the link you gave....so how is it not right?....dude....
dude.........forget it..........dude............lmao............
4255. slavp
Quoting Tazmanian:
all come on guys


how many times did you all think Andrew was going to be a fish ??? or may be IKE ???
Weren't you the one that banned the word "fish" from the blog? LOL J/K
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Quoting Grothar:


I believe your reference to the Weather man was Michael Fish, if I remembert correctly. He got a poor rap, I believe his quote of "not worrying about the storm was concerning another area. Please correct me if I am wrong!!


Michael Fish stood in front of the cameras doing his weather forecast and said "The BBC received a phone call from a woman asking if there was a hurricane on the way. Don't worry, there isn't"

He never got over it. That clip has been shown on British television many, many times. Apparently, the woman who phoned had had a call from a relative in France who was experiencing it.

Most of the bad gales in the U.K occur in the north, but that was an exception.
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Quoting rarepearldesign:
I am in Halifax, Nova Scotia...I have serious concerns over this storm. We still are not over Hurricane Juan from years ago, another cane would be devastation to our forests.


I'm in Yarmouth, rarepearl. I think it's good for us to be prepared for Bill, because an impact is possible, but frankly I'm less concerned than I was last evening. The ensemble models are moving it more and more away from us and out to sea. I'm more concerned about Bermuda.

Having said that, it's still a long way out.
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4251. Grothar
Quoting Funkadelic:
Will we have another invest soon from wave coming off Africa? It looks really good And not to far north


PanhandleChuck asked the same question. It would appear that condtions are favorable for something to develop. There is abundant moisture off the African coast and the High is expected to stay strong. However, wind sheer may inhibit it for a few days. It is probabaly too early to call this one. It does have a moderate spin to it. So let us wait until Bill gets out of the way and we can all start worrying about the new. Exciting in a way isn't it?
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4250. fmbill
Quoting PanhandleChuck:


I live about 30 minutes North, but that's the beach of my choice in the panhandle


Man...I see why. I was up there in January and as I drove east one day over a large bridge, I could not beleive how blue & clear the water was. Looked like the Bahamas!
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Quoting canesrule1:
dude...... That is from 8AM, and all 12 advisories the NHC has given on Bill have been right on with those winds and pressure.


its the link you gave....so how is it not right?....dude....
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Bill still at T5.0, rapid intensification not happening.

18/1145 UTC 15.7N 50.2W T5.0/5.0 BILL
4246. Engine2
Quoting NEwxguy:
a front is going to push south through New England tomorrow,but stall south of us,then move back north as a warm front at the end of the week,the real trough comes sunday which should push Bill out.

Its all about timing
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Next advisory

Hurricane Bill

Max Wind: 105 mph
Pressure: 963 mb
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Quoting Tazmanian:
all come on guys


how many times did you all think Andrew was going to be a fish ??? or may be IKE ???
that is true.
4242. NEwxguy
a front is going to push south through New England tomorrow,but stall south of us,then move back north as a warm front at the end of the week,the real trough comes sunday which should push Bill out.
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4241. SaoFeng
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 18 AUG 2009 Time : 124500 UTC
Lat : 15:55:24 N Lon : 50:36:12 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.1 / 947.9mb/117.4kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
6.0 5.5 5.5

Raw T just dropped .6, down from 6.1 could it mean slight weakening or EWRC perhaps?
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Quoting watchingnva:
Storm information valid as of: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 12:00 Z

dude...thats just the updates on that site...hurricanes pressure and winds can rise and drop dramatically in an hours time...why do you think the nhc would give out false or old info? especially after they start flying planes out today?
dude...... That is from 8AM, and all 12 advisories the NHC has given on Bill have been right on with those winds and pressure.
all come on guys


how many times did you all think Andrew was going to be a fish ??? or may be IKE ???
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Quoting fmbill:


Hey Chuck...my son and his wife live in Navarre. Beautiful place! The gulf water there is amazing.


I live about 30 minutes North, but that's the beach of my choice in the panhandle
Member Since: May 13, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1412
4237. Patrap
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
If this is correct that would mean since the 5am update he moved .1 N and .6 W which to me is more w than wnw. Please correct me if I am wrong.


Bill right on the TFP's and gaining latitude
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
If this is correct that would mean since the 5am update he moved .1 N and .6 W which to me is more w than wnw. Please correct me if I am wrong.
these coordinates are from 8AM EDT, the NHC changes them for the 11AM advisory, what is accurate are the winds and the pressure. But yes it is moving more west than north so it isn't moving WNW.
4234. Engine2
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:

Odd, wouldn't that force Bill on a more western path? I suppose unless the trough was to dive south quickly enough to eat away at the elongated portion of the high.
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Quoting lurkn4yrs:
Good morning!

One question. Has any hurricane skipped that famous trough or high pressure before?

I don't like this storm and with Andrew's anniversary around the corner it's not helping..I know plenty of times the NHC and the models have been wrong before.

Thank you.


HUM not sure really what your question is but, yes a hurricane can miss a trough if High Pressure block it ......STorms travel around High Pressure but, follow the least resistance which is a trough on the sides of High Pressure.
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Storm information valid as of: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 12:00 Z

dude...thats just the updates on that site...hurricanes pressure and winds can rise and drop dramatically in an hours time...why do you think the nhc would give out false or old info? especially after they start flying planes out today?
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4231. Melagoo


Does yah tink Billy boy may be goin fishin? I doesn't tink so dar by ... batting down da hatches!
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Quoting lurkn4yrs:
Good morning!

One question. Has any hurricane skipped that famous trough or high pressure before?

I don't like this storm and with Andrew's anniversary around the corner it's not helping..I know plenty of times the NHC and the models have been wrong before.

Thank you.


The only way a Hurricane passes a trough is if the trough is weak and far to the north.. A stationary front would turn a Hurricane north, but not curve it.
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4228. Grothar
Quoting yonzabam:


I do remember it, but it was the south of England that bore the brunt of it. It passed us by here in Scotland.

It happened when the trees were still in foliage, so there was a huge amount of trees down, as the leaves acted like a sail. The village of Sevenoaks, in Kent, named for its ancient oaks that had stood for centuries, was reduced to (I think) two oaks.

The BBC weatherman said before the storm arrived that it wouldn't amount to much. Not his fault, I know, but he was ridiculed about it for years.

The storm originated in the Bay of Biscay, off France, and was not a tropical system. I've never actually read up on the reason for its ferocity.


I believe your reference to the Weather man was Michael Fish, if I remembert correctly. He got a poor rap, I believe his quote of "not worrying about the storm was concerning another area. Please correct me if I am wrong!!
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Quoting canesrule1:
yes they publish them about an hour and 45 minutes ahead of 11. Here is the full advisory:

Storm information valid as of: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 12:00 Z
Coordinates: 15.6N 50.3W (View Map or View Storm Centered Satellite Image)
Location: 647 miles (1041 km) to the ENE (74°) from Bridgetown, Barbados
Distance Calculator: How far away is this storm from me?
Pressure (MSLP): 963 mb (28.44 inHg | 963 hPa)
Sustained wind speed (1 min. avg.): 90 knots (104 mph | 46 m/s)
If this is correct that would mean since the 5am update he moved .1 N and .6 W which to me is more w than wnw. Please correct me if I am wrong.
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Quoting rarepearldesign:
I am in Halifax, Nova Scotia...I have serious concerns over this storm. We still are not over Hurricane Juan from years ago, another cane would be devastation to our forests.


At this point, I'd be more worried about human life and not vegetation. Not trying to offend you, but this could be pretty bad up your way.
Member Since: May 13, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1412
4224. fmbill
Quoting PanhandleChuck:


What are you saying Pat? I think that anything that drifts into the middle of the GOM has potential. Just by dipping my feet into the water at Navarre beach, it is quite obvious to me that the GOM is a powder keg.


Hey Chuck...my son and his wife live in Navarre. Beautiful place! The gulf water there is amazing.
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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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