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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XTRAP....gets 'em every time.
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Quoting Prgal:

No, Ada Monzon.


In Vino Veritas!
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I don't think Bill is moving further northward. He is expanding and this is what will happen as he tries to get his inner core structure figured out. The dry air has been temporary in my opinion as convection has strengthened over his circulation center. Outflow is very impressive. He has closed himself from dry air in my opinion. He just has to clear his throat right now. He is still heading WNW. The upper level low to his north is too weak to bring him further northward. He should continue WNW within the next 48 to 72 hours. Then he should turn northward as the upper level low to the east or northeast of the Outer Banks of NC moves eastward. However this low looks to be heading more northeastward.
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Quoting DoubleAction:
Looks like Ana is trying to develop a COC north - just exiting northwest Puerto Rico. I would not stick a fork in her yet.


I don't see a COC but, we've been trying to stick a fork in her for some time now. I'll keep watching with ya. Convergence / Divergence is highest NW of PR so if one were to re-develop it would be there, IMO.
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Quoting Weather456:
Bill needs to hurry up turn NW



Hello.
IN the last 2 or so frames I see a sharp movement W. You too?
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Storm: nice update, but I really like the part about "monkey business". Gave me my chuckle for the day.

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668. jpsb
Quoting Weather456:
Good Afternoon all

Out weather is back to normal after last night's event.
Watch out for Bill!
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Quoting jpsb:
I've tried posting this twice, one more time.

Cluadette's (IMHO) center formed to far north, she was tring to relocate her center further south just did not have time to finish. So again IMHO, that persistant stuff in the gulf is where Cluadette wanted her center to be. It is to close to land now to amount to much but a little shove into the gulf might rekindle it.


I don't know, I've been wondering the same thing! It's been raining at my house since 4 am! So much for this thing passing on through overnight! It's like the circulation moved inland and left all the covection and rain behind in the GOM! Weird!
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doppler radar from pr interesting but nothing
without the recon reports
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Quoting NARCHER:
RECON WILL HAVE THE ANSWERS ON ANNA ALTHOUGHT LAND OPS FROM PR SHOULD HAVE GIVEN CLUES BY NOW.
Kill the caps lock, please.

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456--He's taken a decided W-NW jaunt the last few frames of visible. Right on the predicted path.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
586. serialteg 12:39 PM EDT on August 17, 2009
Quoting watchingnva:


umm what?
Quoting Vortex95:


???


cant u dudes see the more W motion

I see what mean by doomcaster fuel. XTRAP on current motion would bring the centre of Bill up the Bahamas - Turks and Caicos chain and into SE FL. Even the UKMET isn't that bad. Scary thing is that climatology does allow for such a track.

However, after having seen one of those fronts come down off the US and scoop up Bertha, I'm now a believer. I'll have to see that WNW track to believe it.


XTRAP is not a model. It is the extrapolated track if Bill continues on its current heading.
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Quoting btwntx08:

good to have u back 456 do u have a update for us



thanks SW

My update is here
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting ClearwaterSteve:
So the fantasy football league then all the money goes to charity that sounds good.


50% goes to the winner and the other 50% goes 100% to Charity yes!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
Is that V shapped thing pointing down on Bill on the Water Vapor the weakness in the ridge??
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:



LOL!

I don't think most of 'em here get my humor Jeff!
I got it also but I'm in the plant buisness.
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Bill needs to hurry up turn NW

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Weather456:
Good Afternoon all

Out weather is back to normal after last night's event.


It was that bad?
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Quoting Weather456:
Good Afternoon all

Out weather is back to normal after last night's event.

good to have u back 456 do u have a update for us
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Anna, like OJ, is taking another stab at it.
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586. serialteg 12:39 PM EDT on August 17, 2009
Quoting watchingnva:

umm what?
Quoting Vortex95:

???

cant u dudes see the more W motion


I see what u mean by doomcaster fuel. XTRAP on current motion would bring the centre of Bill up the Bahamas - Turks and Caicos chain and into SE FL. Even the UKMET isn't that bad. Scary thing is that climatology does allow for such a track.

However, after having seen one of those fronts come down off the US and scoop up Bertha, I'm now a believer. I'll have to see that WNW track to believe it.
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Good Afternoon all

Out weather is back to normal after last night's event.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Bill is one of the more impressive looking minimal hurricanes I have ever seen.
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Quoting Vortex95:
Bill is moving WNW and on point with the next forcast point.
i agree
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Quoting NARCHER:
RECON WILL HAVE THE ANSWERS ON ANNA ALTHOUGHT LAND OPS FROM PR SHOULD HAVE GIVEN CLUES BY NOW.

ok if u are new here heres one rule don't leave ur caps on just to let u know
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Once they get picked up by a trough, canes can move up the Atlantic at up to 70 mph, as I am sure you know. The forward speed has a lot to do with how strong he will be up there, should he be close. So does his peak intensity and RMW. But with our intensity models' lack of skill, I don't think anyone could really tell you Bill's peak intensity, much less how quickly he would go back down to a TS or weaker. I personally, am not willing to make this guess.
And if someone does tell you that they know exactly what Bill's peak intensity will be, ask them how come they aren't working at the NHC.


Good answer, guess we will find out in the coming days, thanks.
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Bill is moving WNW and on point with the next forcast point.
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645. jpsb
Yes, Anna might be more dangerious as a wave in the GoM, less likely to be picked up so more time to regenerate. Also I agree no CoC that I can see.
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RECON WILL HAVE THE ANSWERS ON ANNA ALTHOUGHT LAND OPS FROM PR SHOULD HAVE GIVEN CLUES BY NOW.
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Looks like Ana is trying to develop a COC north - just exiting northwest Puerto Rico. I would not stick a fork in her yet.
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Quoting Sting13:
Hey guys, I posted this earlier but nobody replied, ill ask again.

Some of the models are putting bill really close to nova scotia canada, im on the most eastern tip of NS, http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/carib/gfs/12/model_s.shtml
has bill getting ridiculously close to where i live, giving current temps, lets just say its coming right at me, what kind of weakening is possible from the cool waters? Will it drop below hurricane strength that quickly?

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/DATA/RT/sst-atl-loop.html

Once they get picked up by a trough, canes can move up the Atlantic at up to 70 mph, as I am sure you know. The forward speed has a lot to do with how strong he will be up there, should he be close. So does his peak intensity and RMW. But with our intensity models' lack of skill, I don't think anyone could really tell you Bill's peak intensity, much less how quickly he would go back down to a TS or weaker. I personally, am not willing to make this guess.
And if someone does tell you that they know exactly what Bill's peak intensity will be, ask them how come they aren't working at the NHC.
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Quoting DestinJeff:


no, that is a Perrinacane



LOL!

I don't think most of 'em here get my humor Jeff!
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Quoting DestinJeff:
A,B,C might be it for awhile ...

yup.
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Impressive move to the WNW for Bill....Is that caused by the V shapped thing pointing down on him on the Water Vapor?
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Quoting watchingnva:


youll be waiting a loooong time for those...maybe later in the season?...lol


really so the Ana thats been dead since it left africa is really dead and not visible anymore? Its not going to be a concern anymore . You promise?
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Quoting Drakoen:
Sloppy Ana degenerating into an open wave


yes sir...lol...and even after the nhc stats this...people on here will swear the coc is ""...lol
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Quoting Buhdog:
I think that is the part people dont realize....if it's weaker it will have an easier time getting to the gulf as a wave...

nice point eyewall

Spag models ana
Link
models in a pretty good consensus of a Keys/South Florida hit, if it can make it.
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Quoting serialteg:


in ponce a light trickle, thunder in the distance, and constant birdsong are nature's sounds.

waiting for those fabled 50mph barbs


youll be waiting a loooong time for those...maybe later in the season?...lol
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Quoting watchingnva:


psst...because shes opening up...people are grasping at straws now in my opinion...lol
LMAO
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Quoting HurricaneKyle:


So if Ana reforms in the GOMEX, or the wave that was Ana will be still be Ana or will it be Danny?


As long as the COC is still trackable, it will be Ana.
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Quoting ddbweatherking:
Link

Bill has almost completely closed itself, and if you look at the last 5 frames of this animation, you can see it move slightly to the north, and also get slightly larger. I think this is what I'm seeing unless my eyes are playing tricks on me.
i agree:
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definitly some kind of vortex with ana look at the system from afar and run the loop
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Winter123, thanks for the insight :)
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I think that is the part people dont realize....if it's weaker it will have an easier time getting to the gulf as a wave...

nice point eyewall

Spag models ana
Link
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Quoting futuremet:


I am having a hard time detecting the COC using visible satellite....even on radar lol



psst...because shes opening up...people are grasping at straws now in my opinion...lol
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Quoting HurricaneKyle:


So if Ana reforms in the GOMEX, or the wave that was Ana will be still be Ana or will it be Danny?


If she somewhat keeps together then Ana.
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Link

Bill has almost completely closed itself, and if you look at the last 5 frames of this animation, you can see it move slightly to the north, and also get slightly larger. I think this is what I'm seeing unless my eyes are playing tricks on me.
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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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