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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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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4223. BKM77
I have a question. Is that not the cap in the 2 highs above Bill right now that was supposed to allow Bill to move due north. It looks like the other high is about to move over him. I am an amature so I would appreciate some info on this. See map on post 4202 for what I am refering to.
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4222. Patrap
Quoting IKE:


No way would WWL say all good in NO for the next 3-5 weeks.
.

Not any serious ones on Network,no one here is that crazy.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
Quoting IKE:
1245UTC coordinates of Bill...looks like 15.8N and 50.5W.
it is a little more south in latitude, imo. look at post# 4210.
4220. IKE
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.


I'm sure they have...but it's 99.9% certain Florida is in the clear, up to both NC/SC.

Bermuda is a different story.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
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.
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Quoting watchingnva:


wheres the link...

bc ive seen the nhc change pressure and wind within 30 min before and after an official update.
They rarely change pressure and wind right before the advisory, I've been checking that site for it and it has been right for all the advisories.
here is the Link: Link
4216. 21N71W
WE ARE NOT FISH !
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What is the lastest with the Ex-Ana open wave???
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First time this year in a cone.....
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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.
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4212. IKE
1245UTC coordinates of Bill...looks like 15.8N and 50.5W.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting Grothar:


The Great Storm of 1987 occurred on the night of 15/16 October 1987, when an unusually strong weather system caused winds to hit much of southern England and northern France. It was the worst storm to hit England since the Great Storm of 1703[2] (284 years earlier) and was responsible for the deaths of at least 22 people in England and France combined (18 in England, at least 4 in France).[3]
According to the Beaufort scale of wind intensities, this storm had winds of hurricane force; however, the term hurricane refers to tropical cyclones originating in the North Atlantic or North Pacific. Hurricanes have a very different wind profile and distribution to storms, and significantly higher precipitation levels. The storm had an air pressure equal to that of a Category 3 hurricane, and wind speeds equal to a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, although that scale does not apply to this system, because it was not a hurricane and, as such, would never be measured or risk-assessed by that scale; hence the significant difference in rated intensities between wind speed and barometric pressure.
Although the storm was declared a rare event, expected only to happen once every several hundred years, the Burns' Day storm hit the United Kingdom in January 1990, less than three years later and with comparable intensity

Do you remember this, I do. Having lived in both Scotland and England, They often speak of these events.


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.
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Quoting IKE:


It's already beyond those coordinates.

I'm going to check in an hour for the NHC coordinates and see if it matches up.
the NHC changed the coordinates, what is accurate is that at 11, the winds will be at 105MPH and the pressure 963MB. coordinates are changed right before the public advisory is published.
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.
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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)


wheres the link...

bc ive seen the nhc change pressure and wind within 30 min before and after an official update.
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4207. fmbill
Quoting TampaSpin:


I ment diving South soon....sorry.....LOL


I knew what you meant.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


OMG, what a memory and video hog that thing is... it works, but you would have a heck of a time trying to get decent information out of it. Whoever set up the selection panels should be smacked... its all or nothing basically.

I know what you mean Orca, I have tried to use that and it slows my super fast pc down alot
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4198. well, i guess i'm glad that it doesn't work with my version of GE! LOL

sorry to waste your time!
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4203. IKE
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)


It's already beyond those coordinates.

I'm going to check in an hour for the NHC coordinates and see if it matches up.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
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Nice & breezy here in Ft Lauderdale. We're very interested in what Miss Ana is gonna bring us
Our local weather crew has totally written it off with no chance of redevelopment.
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Quoting watchingnva:


canes...nope?.....so you know exactly what the stats are gonna be in 1 hour in 20 minutes by the nhc? ... or you think thats what its going to be is more like it.
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)
4199. jpsb
DestinJeff goto post 3715 on page 75. The forecast is explain there with pretty picture too!
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Quoting pearlandaggie:
hey Orca...here is a TCHP plugin for Google Earth. it doesn't work with my version of Google Earth and I don't know if it's updated, but it may be worth a try...

TCHP in Google Earth


OMG, what a memory and video hog that thing is... it works, but you would have a heck of a time trying to get decent information out of it. Whoever set up the selection panels should be smacked... its all or nothing basically.
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if bill dos not start pulling N today or soon it will soon be runing in too PR
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Quoting mikatnight:


Try decaf...
please, your the weird one that likes to eat fish heads, lmao!
Quoting canesrule1:
nope, at 11AM winds are at 105 MPH and Pressure is at 963 MB.


canes...nope?.....so you know exactly what the stats are gonna be in 1 hour in 20 minutes by the nhc? ... or you think thats what its going to be is more like it.
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Quoting canesrule1:
not only are you trying to start an argument but you can get banned, and right now with Hurricane Bill, it is not the right time to get banned.


Try decaf...
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I think bill will not be affecting Bermuda, maybe the outer bands but that's it.
Quoting Patrap:


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.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Apparently, this blog thinks the USA is the only landmass. Right now even if Bill goes north of the Islands it will bring rains and wind because its a large system. Bermuda is also in the firing line and so is Canada.



so there for its not a fish
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4190. IKE
Quoting scott1968:
All good here in NOLA for the next 3-5 weeks per our local Mets(WWWL). Ana gone for good(per NHC) and Bill of course will only effect the North East if that.


No way would WWL say all good in NO for the next 3-5 weeks.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
4189. CJ5
Quoting Tazmanian:
from this point on guys no is ok too ues the word fish storm that word been ban from the blog from tihs point on you most ues the word out to sea


I do understand your reasoning but saying it is banned is silly. no offense.
Member Since: July 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1755
Apparently, this blog thinks the USA is the only landmass. Right now even if Bill goes north of the Islands it will bring rains and wind because its a large system. Bermuda is also in the firing line and so is Canada.
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Quoting mikatnight:


Fish heads, fish heads
Roly-poly fish heads
Fish heads, fish heads
Eat them up, yum!
not only are you trying to start an argument but you can get banned, and right now with Hurricane Bill, it is not the right time to get banned.
The fact that bill is still moving wnw, it will take an extreme pull to bring it north.
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Quoting PanhandleChuck:
Anyone paying attention to the wave that just exited the African coast? Is there anything there that may develop?




not right now any way were all talking about bill
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hey Orca...here is a TCHP plugin for Google Earth. it doesn't work with my version of Google Earth and I don't know if it's updated, but it may be worth a try...

TCHP in Google Earth
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Quoting all4hurricanes:

Annular?
better be a cat three next advisory
nope, at 11AM winds are at 105 MPH and Pressure is at 963 MB.
Quoting Tazmanian:
from this point on guys no is ok too ues the word fish storm that word been ban from the blog from tihs point on you most ues the word out to sea


Fish heads, fish heads
Roly-poly fish heads
Fish heads, fish heads
Eat them up, yum!
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4180. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
bill is not a fish storm
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Quoting Tazmanian:
from this point on guys no is ok too ues the word fish storm that word been ban from the blog from tihs point on you most ues the word out to sea
i agree.

Annular?
better be a cat three next advisory
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Anyone paying attention to the wave that just exited the African coast? Is there anything there that may develop?
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UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 18 AUG 2009 Time : 121500 UTC
Lat : 15:47:07 N Lon : 50:23:15 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.1 / 948.0mb/117.4kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
6.1 6.1 6.1

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +2.6mb

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 35 km

Center Temp : +13.6C Cloud Region Temp : -63.3C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : RING/SPIRAL COMBINATION

Ocean Basin : ATLANTIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF
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My wife is in Nova Scotia.... try telling her its a fish storm
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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.