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 extreme236:
I just don't get it though. You just admitted its based on no facts pretty much and yet you get mad when people call you a wishcaster...in all reality can you blame em?
No biggie.... even he is poking fun at himself. Don't be so serious abt everything....

lol
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canesrule--

Like my map? I made the "banner" at the top, as well as the "L" symbol

back in a few minutes
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Quoting extreme236:


Its ok to have an opinion but its based on no facts from everything you've said this morning.
isn't that why it is called an opinion. He didn't say expert opinion or professional opinion..not that it would matter. An opinion doesn't have to be based on facts, it certainly helps with credibility but it is not a requirement. I have opinions about many things that aren't based on facts. I am sure you are basing your opinion on model tracts and forecasts. Well let me tell you those definitely aren't facts. How many times have we seen those change over the years. So in essence your opinions are not based on facts either, just on other people's opinions who know more about this stuff than you and I.
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Quoting AllStar17:
My Google Earth map showing light winds south of the supposed COC from the NHC. Stronger winds SE of PR. Circulation there instead?
i think so
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Recon only finding east winds.
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My Google Earth map showing light winds south of the supposed COC from the NHC. Stronger winds SE of PR. Circulation there instead?
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Yes, I am guilty of not listing every one of the "A listers" as I am sitting in an airport right now. I know there are others, but those I listed were the ones I could remember from "Lurking" through the eh em.. BS!
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Quoting Drakoen:
Everyone keeps posting old model plots. Here is the HWRF 12Z:




gfdl 12Z
yeah u can notice a more westward movement, about several hundred miles.
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HWRF 12z run reminds me in Strength and track of Hurricane Isabel.
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Quoting Drakoen:
Everyone keeps posting old model plots. Here is the HWRF 12Z:




gfdl 12Z


Both a few hundred miles to the left, correct
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how do you view the hurricane hunter observation in google earth. I have ge, just do not know how to get the observation information.

thanks :)
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Everyone keeps posting old model plots. Here is the HWRF 12Z:




gfdl 12Z
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Quoting padirescu:
Ok, since everyone else says it... Long time lurker here (+2 yrs) and rarely post. :-)

I have learned a ton from what I refer to as the "A" posters such as Drakoen, Ike, StormW, and Patrap so let me first say THANK YOU!

Since I basically have zero meteorological experience other then as a amateur observer I never feel the need to post but based on the latest NHC 2pm forecast track of Ana from the NHC and as a resident of West Palm Beach I was hoping to elicit some "A" poster advice.

Considering what we saw with Claudette less then 24 hours ago, is the forecast intensity of the current Ana realistic as it reaches south Florida? I know there are a couple thousand factors involved in estimating intensity but if Ana follows the center line guidance won't the warm SST's just north of Cuba give her the firepower necessary to strengthen unexpectedly?

As an aside, I was on the northern edge of what became Claudette this past Saturday while playing golf and I have to say I was more distracted by the weather overhead then my usual distractions from the cart girl. :-)

Any comments / insight would be appreciated.


They still have some investigating to do, but it seems like the hurricane hunters aren't going to find a closed low at this time...meaning ana is no longer a cyclone. It could certainly re-generate, so be sure to monitor it...but it shouldn't be a major problem.
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Quoting padirescu:
Ok, since everyone else says it... Long time lurker here (+2 yrs) and rarely post. :-)

I have learned a ton from what I refer to as the "A" posters such as Drakoen, Ike, StormW, and Patrap so let me first say THANK YOU!

Since I basically have zero meteorological experience other then as a amateur observer I never feel the need to post but based on the latest NHC 2pm forecast track of Ana from the NHC and as a resident of West Palm Beach I was hoping to elicit some "A" poster advice.

Considering what we saw with Claudette less then 24 hours ago, is the forecast intensity of the current Ana realistic as it reaches south Florida? I know there are a couple thousand factors involved in estimating intensity but if Ana follows the center line guidance won't the warm SST's just north of Cuba give her the firepower necessary to strengthen unexpectedly?

As an aside, I was on the northern edge of what became Claudette this past Saturday while playing golf and I have to say I was more distracted by the weather overhead then my usual distractions from the cart girl. :-)

Any comments / insight would be appreciated.


Thnax for the kind words,..and I know the others appreciate it as well.
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Station 41041 - Middle Atlantic
14.357 N 46.008 W
~20 miles from center of Bill


Wind Direction (WDIR): N ( 360 deg true )
Wind Speed (WSPD): 40.8 kts (46 mph)
Wind Gust (GST): 54.4 kts (62 mph)
Wave Height (WVHT): 27.6 ft
Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 14 sec
Average Period (APD): 8.7 sec
Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 28.90 in ( 978.7 mb)
Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.57 in ( Falling Rapidly ) (19.3 mb per hour)
Air Temperature (ATMP): 78.3 F
Water Temperature (WTMP): 80.8 F
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hahaha. Drak. You are one on the A list though. Your insight is appreciated here!
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Intesting 12UTC Hi-Res model tracks for Bill...

Given the previous trend for every new run to be further east, I would like to see at least the 00UTC models in line with this mornings before putting too much weight into them.
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If Ana was able to regain her strength possibly into a strong tropical storm and move into the bahamas, would it change the track of Bill?
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ANA VIZ loop
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Quoting extreme236:
I just don't get it though. You just admitted its based on no facts pretty much and yet you get mad when people call you a wishcaster...in all reality can you blame em?
really no
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Quoting padirescu:
Ok, since everyone else says it... Long time lurker here (+2 yrs) and rarely post. :-)

I have learned a ton from what I refer to as the "A" posters such as Drakoen, Ike, StormW, and Patrap so let me first say THANK YOU!

Since I basically have zero meteorological experience other then as a amateur observer I never feel the need to post but based on the latest NHC 2pm forecast track of Ana from the NHC and as a resident of West Palm Beach I was hoping to elicit some "A" poster advice.

Considering what we saw with Claudette less then 24 hours ago, is the forecast intensity of the current Ana realistic as it reaches south Florida? I know there are a couple thousand factors involved in estimating intensity but if Ana follows the center line guidance won't the warm SST's just north of Cuba give her the firepower necessary to strengthen unexpectedly?

As an aside, I was on the northern edge of what became Claudette this past Saturday while playing golf and I have to say I was more distracted by the weather overhead then my usual distractions from the cart girl. :-)

Any comments / insight would be appreciated.



I'm an A-list celebrity here lol! Wunderground paparazzi following me everywhere
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The 11 am models are more spread out:
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17:49:00Z 17.183N 67.033W 991.4 mb
(~ 29.28 inHg) 188 meters
(~ 617 feet) 1012.9 mb
(~ 29.91 inHg) - From 119° at 14 knots
(From the ESE at ~ 16.1 mph) 24.7°C
(~ 76.5°F) 12.0°C
(~ 53.6°F) 14 knots
(~ 16.1 mph) 17 knots
(~ 19.5 mph) 1 mm/hr
(~ 0.04 in/hr) 17.0 knots (~ 19.5 mph)
121.4%
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Ok, since everyone else says it... Long time lurker here (+2 yrs) and rarely post. :-)

I have learned a ton from what I refer to as the "A" posters such as Drakoen, Ike, StormW, and Patrap so let me first say THANK YOU!

Since I basically have zero meteorological experience other then as a amateur observer I never feel the need to post but based on the latest NHC 2pm forecast track of Ana from the NHC and as a resident of West Palm Beach I was hoping to elicit some "A" poster advice.

Considering what we saw with Claudette less then 24 hours ago, is the forecast intensity of the current Ana realistic as it reaches south Florida? I know there are a couple thousand factors involved in estimating intensity but if Ana follows the center line guidance won't the warm SST's just north of Cuba give her the firepower necessary to strengthen unexpectedly?

As an aside, I was on the northern edge of what became Claudette this past Saturday while playing golf and I have to say I was more distracted by the weather overhead then my usual distractions from the cart girl. :-)

Any comments / insight would be appreciated.
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Quoting BrockBerlin:


And that was from biloxi a fair distance from top winds/surge near Pass Christian if you look at pictures from Pass Christian it is virtually nothing but rubble.


looked like it did after Katrina in the Pass.
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944. srada
923. Patrap 1:57 PM EDT on August 17, 2009
12 ZULU GFS

Okay..I am starting to get worried...Im in NC..are the models now trending toward the LEFT for Bill?
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Just a noobie question....

What would Bill have to do/be doing, in order for it to track into New England (Maine particularly) ? I saw that most models having it curving away... but not by a great distance. I also noticed most models seemed off regarding other storms last year.

Thanks much.
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942. jpsb
Quoting Patrap:
Son of Claudette refusing to go quitely into the night! Sure hope he/she/it makes it to Texas we need the rain really really bad.

Think the cool front could shove this into the gulf? Lot of energy there, put it a few hundred miles into the gulf and wait for Anna? lol, just kidding, that could never happen.
Member Since: June 30, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1193
No west winds south of Ana...
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I just don't get it though. You just admitted its based on no facts pretty much and yet you get mad when people call you a wishcaster...in all reality can you blame em?
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Quoting TreasureCoastFl:

WISHCASTER! WISHCASTER! hehe ;)
FISHCASTER! FISHCASTER!!! LOL
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Quoting 7544:


am i seeing some pinks there at 45mph

I am not looking right now, but watch for and discard any SFMR ob over land. Always a very high bias when SFMR gets a reading on land or in shallow water. NHC will sort through them and toss 'em, if so.
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recon flying 600 ft above ocean give them credit. found only e and se winds no west wind. open wave asof now
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Quoting extreme236:


Its ok to have an opinion but its based on no facts from everything you've said this morning.
yeah i know.
Quoting jeffs713:

You're kidding, right?
i hope so.
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Quoting canesrule1:
i know, LOL, but i don't want people to start screaming out "WISHCASTER!!! WISHCASTER!!!" because im sharing my opinion.

WISHCASTER! WISHCASTER! hehe ;)
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Quoting MiamiHurricane80:


Maybe it's a slow trend ??


It is a trend... definitely UKM wasn't pointing towards a more western solution for nothing. We just have to see if this trends continues for new runs later.
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guys looking at the new Location it more west than I thought it was I thought it would be at 17.9 or 18north and 67.0west but no it at 17.6°N 67.3°W so I think the track will be much like FAY maybe the same cat Tropical Storm and that is from T#'s
-------------------------------------------------
from FAY ADVISORY

AT 500 PM AST...2100 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM FAY WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 18.5 NORTH...LONGITUDE 69.4 WEST OR ABOUT 35
MILES... 55 KM...EAST OF SANTO DOMINGO IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND
ABOUT 395 MILES...635 KM...EAST-SOUTHEAST OF GUANTANAMO CUBA.
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Quoting srada:


Cat5, there is no way if this hit the US, that there could be any type of news coverage from inside of it all..who in their right mind would chase or ride out a CAT 5? I doubt you be able to get a news feed..Lets hope this storm does TURN!!!!!


it was on storm stories last week about three reporters who rode out camille in a beach front motel along with many who chose to stay in the rooms. It was one of the only two buildings left standing on the entire biolxi coast.
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HH data

Significant Wind Levels...
Level Wind Direction Wind Speed
1013mb (Surface) 130° (from the SE) 19 knots (22 mph)
875mb 130° (from the SE) 34 knots (39 mph)
843mb 125° (from the SE) 34 knots (39 mph)
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Quoting FLdewey:


<--- Boarding up

You're kidding, right?
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Quoting canesrule1:
just my opinion.


Its ok to have an opinion but its based on no facts from everything you've said this morning.
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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.