Claudette hits Florida; Ana approaches Puerto RIco; Bill becomes our first hurricane

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:10 PM GMT on August 17, 2009

Share this Blog
6
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 4174 - 4124

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81 | 82 | 83 | 84 | 85 | 86 | 87 | 88 | 89 | 90Blog Index

My wife is in Nova Scotia.... try telling her its a fish storm
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4173. CJ5
The predicted turn and timing is going to be very crucial. I notce the CMC and NGP have Bill skirting the upper east coast. Not to sounds alarm bells but a NYC hit is certainly in the mix.
Member Since: July 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1755
Quoting runnergirl1:
Wow...lol



Dam WAREAGLE
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting keywestbrat:

I reckon you may be a bit late, this swirl will be here by late this arfo IMO

There will be a cold brew waiting for ya he he he


We may still see the spin-up tomorrow...22 hours from now is a short time frame.

We'll blog our location in Key West at 6 AM EDT tomorrow. A cold one, for breakfast...actually sounds pretty "swell!"

I'm out till then.


My last post. Travel-time ahead.

Bye for now.

Oz---
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Bill has been moving slightly north of west in the last hour or so, can't say it's moving WNW yet.
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
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: August 11, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2315
Last Updated On 8/18/2009 4:42:20 AM:


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Bill is a fine looking storm, Godspeed be with anyone who may be in it's path
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4165. Grothar
Quoting yonzabam:


I live in Scotland and I'm 57 years old. I know about weather here. I watch these systems come over and if it's a slow day for news, the press will latch on to them and exaggerate them. They very rarely cause any damage.


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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting P451:


Maybe I am nit-picking here.

Bermuda, Eastern Canada, and perhaps Europe could all get a visit from Bill...so how is it a fish storm?

"Fish Storm" is a poor way of saying "It's not going to hit the USA."

When Bermuda and other land areas are still at risk it's not a fish storm.

True fish storms are the late season Cape Verdes that don't even make 50W before turning north or the systems that make the perfect recurvature between Bermuda and NC and stay south of the Canadian Maritimes and head into the hurricane graveyard never making it back beyond 45W while heading east.

Bill is NOT a fish storm until he proves to be such a system. At the moment the models do not suggest he will do that. They have land areas at risk.
To some folks the only land mass that counts is the US. If it doesn't hit there it is a fish storm.. The way Bill is moving right now he can still have an effect on the Antilles therefore he is not a fish.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:



sorry dont mean too be rude
u r not being rude, im just messin around with ya.
Eye is starting to fill up again, ughhhh:
The blob in the FL Straights to the N of Cuba is a ULL that drifted S from the Bahamas interacting with the moisture from Ana. Ana's remnant low is S of Hispanola ATM. There is a weak surface relection associated with the ULL. Another intersting area to watch as the remnants of Ana move NW over the next few days.

The GIV data should give the models a better idea of the atmospheric conditions ahead of Bill. I'm not sure when the first models will come out that have that info. Maybe Doc could help us out with that in his update today.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quite a large eye!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Blog Update
Reflector site for those at work, which includes

Weather456, daily update.


Bill

Bill

AOI
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jake436:
I don't think anyone doubts your historical facts. It's still a "fish storm".


I understand that people who do not live on the CONUS are considered by some people to be illegals or targets, but I am getting a bit peeved hearing them referred to as Fish.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jake436:
Are you a fish lover, Taz? lol



no am i storm lover lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jasoniscoolman10:
its moving wnw at 17 mph right now its not going to move nw with this big high still to the north.

yes it will.

that high is sliding to the west being pushed by Bill.

if you look at water vapor loops you can see a shortwave trough dropping down along 60W.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting fmbill:


Okay...I see what you're saying. I remember Jeanne in 2004 and how the models showed a sharp turn to the right, then a few days later we say a complete loop.

thanks.


I ment diving South soon....sorry.....LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4152. jpsb
DebtinJeff here is a nice image (take a while to load) and you can clearly see the "weakness" pulling Bill north. Enjoy. http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~ovens/loops/wxloop.cgi?wv_east_enhanced+12
Member Since: June 30, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1265
Quoting jake436:
Are you a fish lover, Taz? lol


Jake, at ease. Your just causing arguments in this blog.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4150. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)


03L/H/B/C3
MARK
15.7N/50.8W
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting canesrule1:
That has been the most useless answer given to me, ever, lmao. I guess it shall remain a mystery!



sorry dont mean too be rude
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JadeInAntigua:


Can we add the lesser antilles in there somewhere? We are next in line if he doesn't start curving more soon.


I agree, im freakin out for you guys! Bill is so big and getting close. Stay safe.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4147. SaoFeng


Everyone in THIS cone should watch Bill closely...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4146. jake436
Are you a fish lover, Taz? lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting LUCARIO:


That is what im saying, he is going west
i agree with its going west, imo.
Quoting Tazmanian:
i wish you guys stop calling bill a fish storm i wish you guys dont ues that word at all it drive me nuts


this say its going out too sea


I agree Taz is it hits lands aren't there people effected on the land?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting P451:


Maybe I am nit-picking here.

Bermuda, Eastern Canada, and perhaps Europe could all get a visit from Bill...so how is it a fish storm?

"Fish Storm" is a poor way of saying "It's not going to hit the USA."

When Bermuda and other land areas are still at risk it's not a fish storm.

True fish storms are the late season Cape Verdes that don't even make 50W before turning north or the systems that make the perfect recurvature between Bermuda and NC and stay south of the Canadian Maritimes and head into the hurricane graveyard never making it back beyond 45W while heading east.

Bill is NOT a fish storm until he proves to be such a system. At the moment the models do not suggest he will do that. They have land areas at risk.


Can we add the lesser antilles in there somewhere? We are next in line if he doesn't start curving more soon.
Member Since: September 1, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 129
Quoting Tazmanian:



it gos in when it gos in when you see them go up then you no what time they go in
That has been the most useless answer given to me, ever, lmao. I guess it shall remain a mystery!
4140. LUCARIO
Quoting jasoniscoolman10:
its moving wnw at 17 mph right now its not going to move nw with this big high still to the north.


That is what im saying, he is going west
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like the NHC has not put Ana 6'under quite yet. That nice little yellow area is in the same area where Claudette formed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4136. LUCARIO
Quoting hurricanehanna:
Good morning all...
so is Ana the little engine that could? Local mets have their antennas on her...could be another Claudette situation


yes, Ana is making a comeback
she hates bill stealing her spotlight!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
i wish you guys stop calling bill a fish storm i wish you guys dont ues that word at all it drive me nuts


this say its going out too sea
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Winds with Bill at 105 MPH and pressure is at 963MB. Located at 15.6N and 50.3W.

Did Storm W do an update today?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good morning all...
so is Ana the little engine that could? Local mets have their antennas on her...could be another Claudette situation
Member Since: September 5, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3488
4130. Engine2
Quoting TampaSpin:


Honestly i looked at the Water Vapor of the trough that is suppose to pick up Bill and its very far North in Canada and better start diving North soon. The problem i see is the darn High that is in the GOM has moved North some which i don't think was expected....SO wow i just don't know yet if Bill makes that turn to the complete North.


This whole steering mechanism is confusing - as long as all models have a general consensus on it then I'm fine with the idea.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting canesrule1:
Bill moving Westward in the last several hours, should continue WNW movement soon. Hey, and when does Recon go to Bill today?



it gos in when it gos in when you see them go up then you no what time they go in
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4128. MahFL
Don't feed the trolls. Put them on ignore.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4127. fmbill
Quoting TampaSpin:


Honestly i looked at the Water Vapor of the trough that is suppose to pick up Bill and its very far North in Canada and better start diving North soon. The problem i see is the darn High that is in the GOM has moved North some which i don't think was expected....SO wow i just don't know yet if Bill makes that turn to the complete North.


Okay...I see what you're saying. I remember Jeanne in 2004 and how the models showed a sharp turn to the right, then a few days later we say a complete loop.

thanks.
Member Since: May 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 468
4126. jake436
Quoting P451:


And, the others I quoted that came from Atlantic Hurricanes that became major extratropical systems that hit England?

Just admit you're wrong to dismiss the potential for Bill to affect Bermuda, the Canadian Maritimes, and even England as a major extra-tropical system.

History shows it happens. It will happen again. Bill is a candidate.

If you can't accept historical fact I can't help you.
I don't think anyone doubts your historical facts. It's still a "fish storm".
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4125. LUCARIO
Quoting MahFL:
Bill is NOT going West, the eye wobbles, motion is WNW or maybe a slight bit more North than that even.


no, bill is moving West! he will miss the weakness
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Lucario, Are you serious?LOL---- Hey Gulf Coast residents you better start packing now!! Good grief! LMAO
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 4174 - 4124

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81 | 82 | 83 | 84 | 85 | 86 | 87 | 88 | 89 | 90Blog Index

Top of Page

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.

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy
25 °F
Partly Cloudy