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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Quoting Category5hitsNewYork:
GUYS COME JOIN US AT WEATHER CHAT!


be there in a minute......
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 2146
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1872. GatorWX
Looks like the northern component of the storm is really coming together now too. Seemed to be some dry air ingested last night, which is filling in completely now.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3798
What kind of forecaster you are should depend on your knowledge not your looks its ashame that big corporations like that only hire people that look "good" on camera...
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Quoting reedzone:
Would not surprise me if models shift more to the left tonight and tomorrow morning. Happened with Dean (2007) and Ivan (2004), could certainly happen with this one. Still no hit from Florida to South Carolina.. But northward from there will need to keep an eye on Bill until it is "official" that Bill will stay out to sea.


What happened with dean and ivan has nothing to do with bill. Bill will do what the environment and the trough and ridge let him do and thats that. IF the models shift to the left, it will be because he isnt feeling the tug of the trough and break in the ridge.
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Quoting Weather456:


I am monitoring Bill as close as any storm since Omar and Dean. Still waiting on 50W.


As for Ana, she could regenerate anywhere where the pressure is lowest, that is, where instability is greatest. That could be over a hot spot or in heavy convection. So I'm still watching her but she deserved to be downgraded.


Glad you sound prepared. Thanks for your insight on Ana. She is dead as a storm, but does have the potential to regenerate. Heck, it already has once. Looks like the strongest convection is north of Hispaniola. We will have to watch this if it can consolidate and strengthen. Expect NHC to mention this in the TWO at 8 pm with a >30 % chance for dev.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
Quoting Quatrix:
Has anyone noticed that when a track shifts in a particular direction, more often than not it shifts further in the same direction in the next forecast? If that's the case (for whatever reason), it seems like they should just shift it even more in the first place.


I would imagine they like to keep the models smooth to prevent panic. this probably happens naturally as the assumptions change.
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1866. MrSea


Last visible shot until tomorrow.. notice the nice flareup of thunderstorms over the center
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1865. szqrn1
Quoting IMA:
Ladies, for our viewing pleasure, and not off-topic since he's a CNN weather hotty, uhm, I mean hunk, uhm, I mean forecaster...
Reynolds Wolf




There's my only worthwhile contribution for today :) (at least it's not any kind of "casting")


:) lol..priceless!
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1864. Patrap
Atlantic Basin Visible Loop
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Quoting IMA:
Ladies, for our viewing pleasure, and not off-topic since he's a CNN weather hotty, uhm, I mean hunk, uhm, I mean forecaster...
Reynolds Wolf




There's my only worthwhile contribution for today :) (at least it's not any kind of "casting")


HAHA! You go girl.
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1860. GatorWX
Actually looks like concentric eyewalls forming, interesting, may develop quicker than anticipated

Here is a sat image clearly showing its location. The center should be just north of the most intense location. Expect some wobbling, which all cyclones developing an eye do. Remember its track is the general motion, not two or three frames.

Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3798
Bill is very large system and will generate a swell that will likely reach the Atlantic coast of the islands. Great surfing weather if he stays far enough.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Someone super impose Bill and lay him in the Central Gulf so we can get an idea of what it would look like....
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Quoting reedzone:
Would not surprise me if models shift more to the left tonight and tomorrow morning. Happened with Dean (2007) and Ivan (2004), could certainly happen with this one. Still no hit from Florida to South Carolina.. But northward from there will need to keep an eye on Bill until it is "official" that Bill will stay out to sea.


Guys, I am NOT wishing this on anybody, including myself.

But, with where Bill is now and how he is moving, I am having a MAJOR problem with assuming it will go out to sea, or even with the word 'sea' being so predominant.

I think that we are counting our chickens.
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 488
Quoting Acemmett90:

now this fox is hotter
Megan fox


Wow, that must be an old pic of her. Doesnt look like her. ANywho, yea she would be my freebie if I were a guy fa sho!
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1852. szqrn1
Quoting KATRINABILOXIGIRL:
you're in rare form today..good I needed some lightening up..thanks Pat


girl didnt you get enough lightening earlier? LOL! I did felt like it was coming through the office window!
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Quoting IKE:
REPORTS FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE UNIT RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT
INDICATE THAT ANA NO LONGER HAS A CLOSED WIND CIRCULATION AND HAS
DEGENERATED INTO A TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE.


It hasn't had a circulation for at least the last 24 hours....

I guess the 5 day map on Bill should put an end to ANY talk of it...going into the Caribbean or hitting Florida...


Put an end?? the Floricasters are pumped up the track moved west
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Quoting southbeachdude:


One of the best posts today....
Agree! 456 is one the best.
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1848. Quatrix
Has anyone noticed that when a track shifts in a particular direction, more often than not it shifts further in the same direction in the next forecast? If that's the case (for whatever reason), it seems like they should just shift it even more in the first place.
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1847. MrSea
Quoting bajelayman2:
Now, I MUST say I am not am wishcaster etc etc.

But, on the subject of looks, Bill (the cane), looks very impressive right now.

Is it my fertile imagination, or is his centre now below 15N, more like 14N???? Has he dipped??

Or are my eyes just strained?


It was never at 15N its always been south of that
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Quoting GatorWX:
Lets try this again!



86 knots? Ramping up now.
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Quoting Weather456:


I am monitoring Bill as close as any storm since Omar and Dean. Still waiting on 50W.


As for Ana, she could regenerate anywhere where the pressure is lowest, that is, where instability is greatest. That could be over a hot spot or in heavy convection. So I'm still watching her but she deserved to be downgraded.


One of the best posts today....
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1844. Patrap






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Quoting lovesdanger:
well thats a nice job to have hun a mail route..how long have you been with the post office..
just before Katrina..it is nice..
Member Since: July 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 324
1842. GatorWX
Bill is closest to 15N, not 14N. Take a closer look my friend.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3798
Question..... Havent strong hurricanes been known to break down weaker ridges?
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Would not surprise me if models shift more to the left tonight and tomorrow morning. Happened with Dean (2007) and Ivan (2004), could certainly happen with this one. Still no hit from Florida to South Carolina.. But northward from there will need to keep an eye on Bill until it is "official" that Bill will stay out to sea.
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Quoting AllStar17:
456,

you monitoring Bill?

And, do you think Ana could regenerate north of Hispaniola and Cuba (in the Bahamas)? I think there is a chance, it will be under warm waters, and in a conducive environment


I am monitoring Bill as close as any storm since Omar and Dean. Still waiting on 50W.


As for Ana, she could regenerate anywhere where the pressure is lowest, that is, where instability is greatest. That could be over a hot spot or in heavy convection. So I'm still watching her but she deserved to be downgraded.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1836. GatorWX
Lets try this again!

Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3798
Patrap, get out of my head.
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We had snow in the Bighorns last weekend.....it's still there. I am in Wyoming for the next week and can't wait to get back to Tally. I have been freezing here for two months. It used to be hot here Mr. Gore.
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This static sat shot shows clearly Bill is around 14N???

http://www.intellicast.com/Storm/Hurricane/AtlanticSatellite.aspx
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 488
Quoting Patrap:



Itsa breezy in dat stuff,downdrafts,Updrafts..Saints Draft,,Dixie Draft.
you're in rare form today..good I needed some lightening up..thanks Pat
Member Since: July 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 324
Is our lady-friend C really done?
Sure, it is disorganized, sure it is not complete, sure the west/north winds just aren't there, but this place would be watching closely if this was 600 miles east of PR.



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Quoting CycloneOz:
That trough of low pressure (ex-Ana) is about to enter a "sweet spot" for TC development.

The NHC has better things to do, I guess...than monitor a system that might still have enough energy in 36 hours to reform...

Oh well...
I think they have to be scientifically accurate where possible also. If it's really only a trough, and now they have proof of that, not just speculation, they SHOULD discontinue warnings. This doesn't mean they stop watching it, of which I am sure you are fully aware.

I'm just glad it's not blasting across the PR/DR as something organized which would only need to strengthen in Bahamian waters. Especially if it stays south, we might have a slight chance of an exit stage left.......
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22727
1827. Patrap
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1826. GatorWX
mmic imagery confirms this, take a look.

Link

Gif loop is faster, but or lesser quality.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3798
Now, I MUST say I am not am wishcaster etc etc.

But, on the subject of looks, Bill (the cane), looks very impressive right now.

Is it my fertile imagination, or is his centre now below 15N, more like 14N???? Has he dipped??

Or are my eyes just strained?
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 488
Quoting Acemmett90:
pat
Sports Casting



are you looking forword too a 24hr ban ??
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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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