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 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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Quoting AllStar17:


kman, like my graphics?


yes, very helpful. Saves me pulling the data from Tropical Atlantic LOL
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1222. 7544
Quoting canesrule1:
doubt very much that is the COC, i think it is around where they found pink barbs.


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
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1220. Engine2
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
Bill 18Z



Definite Westward (Left) Shift from earlier today
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Quoting floridasusieq:
Can anyone explain why Claudette is hanging off-shore? I'm in the Pensacola area and we've had breezy conditions all morning but little rain. Claudette seems to be retreating south.

I thinks the system unravelled as it came ashore. The COC can be seen in this graphic well to the North. http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/tracking/at200904_sat.html#a_topad
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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.....
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Quoting Dakster:
Canesrule1: I see that movement of Bill too. Only solace is that he is following the TS points fairly well.
yup.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
Bill 18Z


have moved westward about several hundred miles.
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1214. szqrn1
http://moe.met.fsu.edu/cgi-bin/gfdltc2.cgi?time=2009081406-two02l&field=Sea+Level+Pressure&hour=Anima tion

not sure if my copying this will work.... if it does.. where is all this moisture from claudette going?! it has been lingering off coast ALL day!
Member Since: August 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 392
Quoting Floodman:


Nope, that distinction belongs to NY, NY

Hey Flood! How's the man???
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Quoting connie1976:
...so since Bermuda is probably going to see Bill...I can safely say that South Florida is out of it?? (sorry to those who live in Bermuda)....Thanks all for your help!
look at post 1194
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Quoting fmbill:


Hey kman..i was just wondering where you were. How you doing today?


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
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1210. Dakster
Canesrule1: I see that movement of Bill too. Only solace is that he is following the TS points fairly well.
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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.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
Quoting midgulfmom:


Afternoon all, I believe "K" still had her Cat 5 surge however.


Check out the NHC home page on "NHC to reference new experimental Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale"
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Quoting Twinkster:


no baha just some people in here think that but shear is forecast to become very conducive for development in the bahamas as the upper level low lifts out. Also you can see in this loop http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/watl/loop-rb.html that ana's convection or whats left of ana is merging with a tropical wave to the north if this occurs the mlc which is over puerto rico now can redevelop into an llc under this convection. with marginal shear and high sst's and TCHP values Ana can get its act together quickly and could be a threat for south florida or go through the florida straits and be a player in the gulf
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Quoting AllStar17:
Penetrating the proposed center:
doubt very much that is the COC, i think it is around where they found pink barbs.
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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.?
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Bill 18Z


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...so since Bermuda is probably going to see Bill...I can safely say that South Florida is out of it?? (sorry to those who live in Bermuda)....Thanks all for your help!
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1202. 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?
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Quoting floridasusieq:
Can anyone explain why Claudette is hanging off-shore? I'm in the Pensacola area and we've had breezy conditions all morning but little rain. Claudette seems to be retreating south.

I notices it too. "C" is not taking her rain with her, it's lurking offshore or moving slightly. Is this problematic? Hope not.
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1199. PSL2007
Quoting Floodman:


Apparently Jared lives a few days in our future



Jared- please share Wednesday's winning Florida lottery number.

But to tropics though, i have to admit, the hurricane is moving within the cone. So there is nothinhg unusual.
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Hurricane Bill (about an hour ago and the prior readings)

From Tropical Storm Position site:
17/1745 UTC 14.5N 46.1W T4.5/4.5
17/1145 UTC 14.0N 44.5W T4.0/4.0

From Colorado State -RAMMB/CIRA Site - NOTE this does not appear to update right away. (I have noticed this time and time again) The 1200 and 1800 data sets are the same. - It makes it appear that the storm is stationary and that it is has no northward movement.
200908171800 13.9 -44.6 80
200908171200 13.9 -44.6 80
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Quoting RyanFSU:
Thanks all for the nice comments on my website. While GFS isn't the king of models for global forecasting -- ECMWF is -- I think it is useful to look at how consecutive forecasts evolve.

I created some post-season 2008 HWRF animations of the HWRF forecast evolution of Hurricane Ike.

These are pretty cool -- and scary -- for how wrong forecasts can be just 2-3 days after initialization.

Awesome Ike 2008 HWRF "worm" forecast series

And for fun: GFDL Ike "worm"


Wow! Looking back on it like that is crazy cool. So that was initially at florida, changed to Louisiana , back to Florida and then ended up entering Texas?
Did a trough or anything factor in there as in Bill's forecast though?
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Quoting kmanislander:


The pattern the HH is flying tells me they are looking for W winds rather than flying the typical pattern thorugh the " center ". If no W winds found the mission will likely terminate but we will see.


kman, like my graphics?
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
1195. fmbill
Quoting kmanislander:


All SE and ESE winds where you would expect W winds if Ana was still a cylcone.I gave up calling for declassifiaction from yesterday and have been lurking mostly.



Hey kman..i was just wondering where you were. How you doing today?
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Quoting connie1976:
I'm a HUGE worrier....so would it be safe to say that south florida is out of Bill's range? I don't want to wish it on anyone else, but I really don't want it to come here....thanks!
i could never tell you that, right now Bill will most likely not be affecting SFLA, but when Bill reaches the Antilles we could have a better idea, but please don't worry.
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Quoting btwntx08:

it maybe relocated has said earlier it is north of dr now....that center where they think it is falling apart so like i said its north of dr


The blob North of DR is not at the Surface YET. It has very good Convergence and some Divergence. It has a very strong 550mb Vorticity return but, little at 850mb. We migh have a land jumper coming. It has happened often before.
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Quoting yonzabam:
I read somewhere that, after New Orleans, Tampa is the second most vulnerable city to catastrophic flooding frome a hurricane.


Nope, that distinction belongs to NY, NY
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WV
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Quoting chrisrw:


Not even thinking about it yet! Maybe Wednesday. Oh, and it's Bermudian, not Bermudan. ;-)
Just as I thought.... And it's not that I don't KNOW it's BermudIan, its just that I can't SPELL Bermudian. . . . lol

Here's hoping u guys don't have to batten anything this week.... and being hopeful for Bahamians, too, given all the possibilities if these two storms.....
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1189. hydrus
Quoting BrockBerlin:


To be honest Bermuda, Nova Scotia, and the Lesser Antilles get very little attention, primarily because the majority of this blog is from the U.S. and also Bermuda is a rather small target only a slight deviation could spare it the brunt from Bill.
I am not a met, but if I were living in the Northern Antilles, I would still keep track of Bill.
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Penetrating the proposed center:
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
Quoting AllStar17:



please keep on bringing the updates when they come out
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I'm surprised that bill hasn't begun a WNW track, it has been moving westward for about 2 hours.
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1185. Dakster
Quoting Goaskalice:


Thank you, I live in Bermuda and am very concerned.


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.?
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Quoting BahaHurican:
I can't understand why Ana would not begin to reorganize once it comes off Hispaniola, especially if it takes the forecasted N/ward track. It's a small enough circulation (sic) so far to pull a Rita and blow up as it heads along the Great Bahamaa Bank up the Old Bahamas Channel. Is there something preventing it from reorganizing itself until it gets to the GOM????


no baha just some people in here think that shear is forecast to become very conducive for development in the bahamas as the upper level low lifts out. Also you can see in this loop http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/watl/loop-rb.html that ana's convection or whats left of ana is merging with a tropical wave to the north if this occurs the mlc which is over puerto rico now can redevelop into an llc under this convection. with marginal shear and high sst's and TCHP values Ana can get its act together quickly and could be a threat for south florida or go through the florida straits and be a player in the gulf
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1183. IKE
12Z ECMWF...watch out Bermuda!
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Quoting AllStar17:




The pattern the HH is flying tells me they are looking for W winds rather than flying the typical pattern through the " center ". If no W winds found the mission will likely terminate but we will see.
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I'm a HUGE worrier....so would it be safe to say that south florida is out of Bill's range? I don't want to wish it on anyone else, but I really don't want it to come here....thanks!
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Quoting divdog:

just west of you was kind of wondering the same thing. no mention of it in this blog so i'm wondering if it will slowly fizz out ??

This is from the Final NHC Advisory on Claudette at 10 a.m. MON.
AT 1000 AM CDT...1500 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL DEPRESSION CLAUDETTE WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 31.7 NORTH...AND LONGITUDE 87.6 WEST...OR 85 MILES...140 KM...NORTH-NORTHWEST OF PENSACOLA FLORIDA AND 80 MILES...130 KM...WEST-SOUTHWEST OF MONTGOMERY ALABAMA.

TROPICAL DEPRESSION CLAUDETTE WILL WEAKEN AS IT CONTINUES ITS TRACK NORTHWESTWARD THROUGH ALABAMA. THE CENTER OF CLAUDETTE IS EXPECTED TO MOVE OVER SOUTHWESTERN ALABAMA THROUGH THE DAY MONDAY AND INTO NORTHEASTERN MISSISSIPPI BY MONDAY NIGHT.

GOMIRLoop
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Quoting AllStar17:


not finding too many TD strength winds out there.
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Quoting TreasureCoastFl:

Katrina was a cat 3 at landfall.


Afternoon all, I believe "K" still had her Cat 5 surge however.
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Pinhole eye starting to develop, possible CAT 2 at 5 o'clock.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

what is the HH seeing


Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
Quoting Goaskalice:


Thank you, I live in Bermuda and am very concerned.

you should be. I would keep very alert on this one in Bermuda.
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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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