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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1274. Fshhead
Hmmm Anna is starting to fire up her convection AGAIN. LOL
Sure hope she tracks over the islands. If not oh-oh..
Remember she IS a fighter..
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1273. ph34683
Quoting TampaTom:


Since the record US surge was 27.5 feet, I'd say you aren't going to deal with surge...

Now, the bridges over the Bay...well....

Oh, and tag on US 19 as it crosses the Anclote river...

Thanks! I didn't know 19 was such a weak area!

Thanks again for the surge help!
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Quoting kmanislander:


Doing pretty good thanks, and trust the same is true for you. Bit of a lull now, so to speak so was just taking it easy LOL
Hey, kman, was just wondering how ur vacation went.... just got back home myself on the 15th....
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1271. Patrap
Waveland,Miss Oct 2005,30 ft Surge Zone




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Quoting AllStar17:
Heading north. Found 25 mph winds near center (NHC placed). Hope they continue to navigate around the Hispaniola / Puerto Rico area to make sure the center did not jump somewhere unexpected which would change the future track / intensity.

hopefully they navigate around the Dominican Republic and Haiti and Puerto Rico, just to make sure there has been no COC relocation.
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Could Ana's center reform around 19N 69W?
Loop
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Quoting Floodman:


Hey, DL, I'm good...waiting to see what these storms are are going to do...unlike a great amny in here, I don;t put much faith in 3-5 day forecasts...LOL

You plan by those you can get into ttrouble fast!

So, how are you? Where was your avatar photo taken? Looks familiar...

It was taken at Salinas Pueblo Mission in NM. Yep when the ATL heats up you know we start really watching. I'm not 100% sure that Bill will make his predicted turn north which could affect a lot of people. So we watch and wait. Do you have a little down time right now, waiting for a landfall?
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Quoting largeeyes:
Bill is pretty much hitting the prediction points dead nuts.


.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5313
Quoting largeeyes:
Bill is pretty much hitting the prediction points dead nuts.
no, it is way more southerly than the cone expected, and its a little ahead of time.
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Quoting Twinkster:
Thanks for the repost, Twink. I just didn't understand why people kept saying Ana would rejuvinate in the GOM, when it seems obvious that there is lots of potential for it to happen before then. We're already seeing some cloudiness move into the Bahamas from that low to Ana's NW. People in SE FL and parts of the Bahamas should be keeping an eye on this, IMO, because while Ana is likely an open wave now, it's not a guarantee that fizzling out is automatic.
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Quoting connie1976:
Thank you so much canesrule1 for answering my questions!! :)
no problem
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1263. Dakster
Quoting Goaskalice:
Th

The UK does not help us. They are so far away, I think they forget about us! I suppose if we were in dire straight and asked they would come to the rescue and send us the bill later. The US would probably come to our aid a lot more quickly.


Thanks - I was just curious since you are a "British Isle", if they would take care of you... I am sure that "we" would help if asked, and as you stated we are not nearly as far away. Anyways, good luck to us all. Hopefully no one gets affected but the Fish and the shipping channels!
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Quoting CaneHunter031472:
Well Hurricane Bill is moving WNW as predicted which indicates a turn to the NW and then to the N is to follow as predicted by the models. Good News for the GOMEX, Puerto Rico, need to keep an eye on it still and so as the East Coast. I sure hope the models stand and it stays in the water for a while. Luckily for us in the GOMEX it seems that we have dodge this one.
its moving Westward, not WNW, which is odd, it should be moving NW when it reaches 50W.
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Heading north. Found 25 mph winds near center (NHC placed). Hope they continue to navigate around the Hispaniola / Puerto Rico area to make sure the center did not jump somewhere unexpected which would change the future track / intensity.

Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5313
Bill is pretty much hitting the prediction points dead nuts.
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Quoting ph34683:

I live in a "white" area. In fact I'm at about 75' asl. That's why I was wondering about the surge. So, we should have to worry too much about flooding from surge?


Since the record US surge was 27.5 feet, I'd say you aren't going to deal with surge...

Now, the bridges over the Bay...well....

Oh, and tag on US 19 as it crosses the Anclote river...
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1258. ph34683
Quoting TampaHelpDesk:


If I lived in pinellas and something bigger than a cat 1 was headed my way, I'd cross the bridges into mainland FL and hunker down somewhere inland. Pinellas is mostly connected by bridges, and Hwy 19 could be toasted by a big storm as well... then you're stuck waiting on relief by air... I would prefer to avoid that situtation. Leave early and take your important valuables with you... pinellas's homeless population will loot everything.
We definitely would leave for anything over a Cat 1 (two small kids to think about) but I worry about the house flooding and what we should take with us/move to higher ground, etc.

Would we be allowed back to our house fairly quickly? My dad lives in NC and he has a pass that allows him back on the island he lives on but they don't do that here.
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Thank you so much canesrule1 for answering my questions!! :)
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1256. Patrap
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Quoting fmbill:


HH heading NW now. Hopefully, they'll go as far as the north coast of DR.


They may fly between the two islands and check out what they can N of the DR but given the proximity of the convection to the coast they will probably not be able to get on the S side of it due to terrain. If so, the HH will not be able to tell if there are any W winds with that feature and without W winds the NHC will not maintain a TD classification for the new location unless shore based obs provide the necessary data.
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1254. Drakoen
I think the recon should head up towards between PR and DR
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Quoting Grothar:


Interesting info, when was the last time the Tampa Bay area received a major hurricane?


1921 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1921_Tampa_Bay_hurricane

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Quoting connie1976:
canesrule1-

...I will check it out when it gets to the Antillea...that way I won't worry unnecessarily.....
correct
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Well Hurricane Bill is moving WNW as predicted which indicates a turn to the NW and then to the N is to follow as predicted by the models. Good News for the GOMEX, Puerto Rico, need to keep an eye on it still and so as the East Coast. I sure hope the models stand and it stays in the water for a while. Luckily for us in the GOMEX it seems that we have dodge this one.
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1249. fmbill
Quoting kmanislander:


Doing pretty good thanks, and trust the same is true for you. Bit of a lull now, so to speak so was just taking it easy LOL


All is well, my friend. Only it's a bit busy here in Central Florida. The increased tropical activity has everyone asking preparedness questions. Some are actually asking NIMS/ICS questions. I'm glad they are thinking about it. :-)
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Quoting AllStar17:


OK....has not updated again yet

7544 and canesrule1:

First of all, no pink barbs have been found near where the NHC has the center. The pink barbs, which stand for 25 mph, were found SE of Puerto Rico. The pinks SE of PR are reddish pink, which stands for 25 mph, not the hot pink, which stands for 40 mph.

yes i now, that is what i meant.
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Well, I am getting off for a few, going to meet with the web developing team for my site.

Adding some new features, like commentin where you can log in wit your facebook, myspce, yahoo and etc. accounts, also you will be able to quote, do polls, and sometime we will probably be able to get our graphics up there and running regulary, blog will be updated and ready hopefully with everything else round 5:30!

In the mean time, you guys have a good one!
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canesrule1-

...I will check it out when it gets to the Antillea...that way I won't worry unnecessarily.....
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Quoting Grothar:


Interesting info, when was the last time the Tampa Bay area received a major hurricane?


Not certain, but this may have been it

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1921_Tampa_Bay_hurricane
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Quoting CatastrophicDL:

Hey Flood! How's the man???


Hey, DL, I'm good...waiting to see what these storms are are going to do...unlike a great amny in here, I don;t put much faith in 3-5 day forecasts...LOL

You plan by those you can get into ttrouble fast!

So, how are you? Where was your avatar photo taken? Looks familiar...
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Quoting 7544:


so they found pink barbs the adt site could be right that 45mph

http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic2/real-


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.0 /1000.0mb/ 45.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
3.0 3.2 4.0
time/adt/odt02L.html
i think so
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1242. ph34683
Quoting TampaTom:


If you live in a 'white' area on the evac map, this means your elevation is higher than 26 ft asl... which means you will not need to evacuate for storm surge.

If you live in a mobile home, however, get out...

I live in a "white" area. In fact I'm at about 75' asl. That's why I was wondering about the surge. So, we should have to worry too much about flooding from surge?
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Mikatnight/Patrap, Thanks, I agree and will check out the new Scale at the NHC.
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Th
Quoting Dakster:


I am concerned about Bermuda too.. I don't want to see Bermuda wiped off the face of the Earth anymore than I want to see a Cat 5 hit NOLA.
(I don't want it to hit Miami MORE than those though - sorry it happens to be where I live!)

Out of curiosity, doesn't the UK (Britian) help out Bermuda? Shouldn't the brits be just as concerned as we are in the U.S.?


The UK does not help us. They are so far away, I think they forget about us! I suppose if we were in dire straight and asked they would come to the rescue and send us the bill later. The US would probably come to our aid a lot more quickly.
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Quoting kmanislander:


yes, very helpful. Saves me pulling the data from Tropical Atlantic LOL


OK....has not updated again yet

7544 and canesrule1:

First of all, no pink barbs have been found near where the NHC has the center. The pink barbs, which stand for 25 mph, were found SE of Puerto Rico. The pinks SE of PR are reddish pink, which stands for 25 mph, not the hot pink, which stands for 40 mph.

Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5313
Quoting connie1976:
...someone posted models...does it look like the models are slowly going more west for bill?
yes they have shifted westward several hundred miles, nothing big for know, but if this westward trend continues there might be a major change in it's cone.
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1237. Patrap
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I'm waiting for the remains of the TD ana tonight ..... a little rain it welcome
Link
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As long as Bill intensifies it'll be driven by the upper level flow. Weaker Bill lower level flow and a more W movement. 285 and anything towards 310 and it's a Bermuda storm.
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Looks like Ana's been doing a dance on PR.
Any reports of how it goes there?
ShortWaveLoop
Looks like only about 1/2 inch of rain on PR thus far from ANA.

From the 11 a.m. NHC Discussion:
ANA IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE ON A GENERAL WEST-
NORTHWESTWARD TRACK TO THE SOUTH OF THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS...ALTHOUGH SOME ERRATIC MOTION IS POSSIBLE IN THE SHORT TERM GIVEN THE POOR DEFINITION OF THE CIRCULATION...
INTERACTION WITH LAND...AND POTENTIAL REFORMATION OF THE CENTER...
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Quoting connie1976:
Thanks canesrule1....I know that noone knows for sure...I wish though....at least it's a good chance that it won't come here for now.....
for now yes, but i will wait until it reaches the Antilles to know for sure that it will not reach us here in SFLA.
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Quoting Patrap:


Every Port in the Atlantic Basin is Prone to a Hurricane,..last I checked all ports were at Sea Level,..and for all those elevation mongers,..elevation dont mean squat when the Surge is 20ft Plus.

So every Port City has a surge damaging potential.


AMEN!
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1231. fmbill
Quoting AllStar17:
I would watch the area just north of Hispaniola, deep convection, and TampaSpin has been saying it has good convergence and divergence. Also it will have conducive conditions, and very warm waters. It would not shock me if Ana reformed north of Hispaniola and PR. If it does, watch out.


HH heading NW now. Hopefully, they'll go as far as the north coast of DR.
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1230. Grothar
Quoting TampaHelpDesk:


Pinellas county would be devastated, I'm well inland in Hillsborough county and live in a 2nd floor apartment, so I don't really worry about flooding. This part of FL is relatively flat, and if a hurricane came in just right into the bay it could stack up an impressive storm surge. However the Tampa Bay area tends to steer hurricanes to one side or the other. There's something about a steady "high pressure" area that hangs out and stops large systems from crushing us.

We had a hurricane come up the coast as I'm predicting with ana, and the rain bands never made it to my place... you could watch them stop and dissipate as if they were hitting a invisible brick wall about 12 miles west of where I am. I was mad... I missed a day of work on account of that storm... I think it was fay.


Interesting info, when was the last time the Tampa Bay area received a major hurricane?
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Quoting ph34683:
Storm surge question...if you don't mind answering...

I live in the Tampa area (Pinellas County) but I live in a "non-evacuation" zone which means that I will never fall under a mandatory evacuation from a hurricane. They determine the zones by storm category, not storm surge. So, how do I know if the surge would effect me? Can I go by my elevation to determine if surge is a threat?


If I lived in pinellas and something bigger than a cat 1 was headed my way, I'd cross the bridges into mainland FL and hunker down somewhere inland. Pinellas is mostly connected by bridges, and Hwy 19 could be toasted by a big storm as well... then you're stuck waiting on relief by air... I would prefer to avoid that situtation. Leave early and take your important valuables with you... pinellas's homeless population will loot everything.
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Quoting ph34683:
Storm surge question...if you don't mind answering...

I live in the Tampa area (Pinellas County) but I live in a "non-evacuation" zone which means that I will never fall under a mandatory evacuation from a hurricane. They determine the zones by storm category, not storm surge. So, how do I know if the surge would effect me? Can I go by my elevation to determine if surge is a threat?


If you live in a 'white' area on the evac map, this means your elevation is higher than 26 ft asl... which means you will not need to evacuate for storm surge.

If you live in a mobile home, however, get out...
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1227. Patrap
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...someone posted models...does it look like the models are slowly going more west for bill?
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Bill is a very large cyclone right now and looks like a monster.
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Quoting Patrap:


Cat Size dont mean Squat as Impacts Count.

The SSS is a POOR scale for Surge Potential and Hurricane Size.
And Size does Matter.

As IKE Showed us a Large CAt 2 can devastate easily.

The SSS was designed in the distant past and wasnt designed to relate Surge & Size potential.


SSS mainly designed for wind impact. Why they're redoing it.
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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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