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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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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Quoting presslord:
It is only for Taz to say whether there is, or is not, a pinhole eye!
No pinhole eye just yet:

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I have done a quick little blog if anyone would like to have a look.
Goodnight.
Stay safe, Play safe and blog safe.
Cheers AussieStorm
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Quoting Drakoen:
Sloppy Ana degenerating into an open wave


So if Ana reforms in the GOMEX, or the wave that was Ana will be still be Ana or will it be Danny?
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Quoting Acemmett90:
OMG bills forming a pinhole


no....dry air...and microwave imagery aint showing it...give him time...tonight maybe...
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Off topic some! But, I am willing to do a fund raiser event for 100% Charity Contribution for Portlight and Safety Zone Advocacy, Inc. Would there be any interest in doing a weekly and full season NFL Pool using Fantasy Football. If anyone is interested Please let me know.
You can let me know either by mail thru WeatherUnderground or thru this forum link

Thanks,
Tim
So the fantasy football league then all the money goes to charity that sounds good.
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Quoting 7544:
anna is really trrying to get her act together at this hour some purples showing up on the w.v


waitin for that to translate into real-time stuff down here on the ground

probly be asleep tho, im zzing
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616. 7544
ok here another 1 mb thats 3 mb drop in 2 hours

CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
2.7 /1003.0mb/ 39.0kt
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It is only for Taz to say whether there is, or is not, a pinhole eye!
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614. Prgal
Quoting serialteg:


si fue susan...

And I know what you mean about Susan lol.
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Bill did a NW wobble about an hour ago now he is moving W.
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ANNA cant possibly regenerate untill everybody gives up on her.
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611. Prgal
Quoting serialteg:


si fue susan...

No, Ada Monzon.
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Quoting Funkadelic:
The 11am forcast cone by th NHC is very interesting... Now they feel a depression could be by florida instead of just a Low. And their path makes Ana miss those big mountains.


Ana's New cone


now consider an energy transfer to the north side of PR and that cone expands to east of the Bahamas and puts those warm waters in play and a threat to the Carolinas
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Sloppy Ana degenerating into an open wave
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Quoting Prgal:

I just watched the news and that's what our local met said.


si fue susan...
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I thought an annular 'cane was one that came back around once a year.
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Quoting foggymyst:
So..if Ana regenerates, is the thinking she will be a TS?


cat 5
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The fact that Ana is weak and many even think she is an open wave only strengthens the arguement that she will be an issue in the gulf. You cant hurt what already nearly dead. Waves go throught Hispanola all the time and come out and develop. IMHO this will be the case.
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Even if it is only a wave, it is a wave in the Gulf in mid August. I will wait until it exits the Gulf before I quit watchin.
Audrey was a wave in the Gulf...in late June 1957(?).



yep 1957 was the year and she made landfall as a Cat 4...
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603. Prgal
Quoting watchingnva:


really stretching arent we?...lol...i know the general area...but shes opening up, no ifs ands or buts about it..and if the "center" is near ponce moving wnw...over the mountains she will go...

I just watched the news and that's what our local met said.
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So..if Ana regenerates, is the thinking she will be a TS?
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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
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Quoting rareaire:
cold front Link


My old friend rareaire...how's things, bro?
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598. 7544
anna is really trrying to get her act together at this hour some purples showing up on the w.v
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Bill is closing that dry slot with convection now.
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what is happening with bill right now?
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Off topic some! But, I am willing to do a fund raiser event for 100% Charity Contribution for Portlight and Safety Zone Advocacy, Inc. Would there be any interest in doing a weekly and full season NFL Pool using Fantasy Football. If anyone is interested Please let me know.
You can let me know either by mail thru WeatherUnderground or thru this forum link

Thanks,
Tim
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Quoting Prgal:

Just to give you an idea of where she is right now: look at the radar image in Jeff Master's post up here. Ana is a bit to the SW where the P of Ponce is.


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

waiting for those fabled 50mph barbs
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Quoting weathersp:
COC of Ana is coming onshore of PR right now near the town of El Faro.


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

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Quoting Prgal:

Just to give you an idea of where she is right now: look at the radar image in Jeff Master's post up here. Ana is a bit to the SW where the P of Ponce is.


really stretching arent we?...lol...i know the general area...but shes opening up, no ifs ands or buts about it..and if the "center" is near ponce moving wnw...over the mountains she will go...
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Quoting WeatherMSK:
Well i was right about Bill not going into the gulf. I am still on track about it being a close call for the Carolinas. Yes the models are predicting a sudden turn to the north west and eventual north, but until i see a strong indication of that, I would still put the east coast at threat. I am wondering if that low is going to stall that eventually pushes Bill away from the coast. Thats my reasoning behind the chance of landfall along the eastern seaboard.


There is no low that will be pushing Bill east. It's a very progressive full latitude trough that will be "picking up" Bill over the next few days. We probably won't see much of an influence until late in the week. It will be a very gradual NW turn through Thursday then we'll see an increase in forward speed and latitude by the weekend.
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12:15PM/16:15UTC:

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Out for now.......Check back later this evening to see how Ana is doing/or not doing..
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Is "annular hurricane" the "pinhole eye" for 2009?
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Quoting watchingnva:


umm what?
Quoting Vortex95:


???


cant u dudes see the more W motion
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Dry air has hit the northwest side and Bill appears to be restructuring his inner core.
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COC of Ana is coming onshore of PR right now near the town of El Faro.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
This doesn't look terribly annular to me.

1. It's still very ragged.
2. It's got too much "yellow" in that ring of clouds. Annular 'canes will be more solidly red on the AVN.

If it does become annular, it prolly won't get there today....


agrees fully...
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581. Prgal
Quoting watchingnva:


i think shes falling apart over good ol' PR...

Just to give you an idea of where she is right now: look at the radar image in Jeff Master's post up here. Ana is a bit to the SW where the P of Ponce is.
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What is going on with Ana??? On radar, there are two "blobs".....one over PR and one northwest of that "blob." Is this all Ana or is there another entity???
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Quoting HurricaneKyle:
Image as of 15:15 UTC on the Infrared satellite.
A Dry Slot (not dry air intrusion) is to the NW of the eye that is attempting to form. Deep convection around the system, very circular. Looks actually slightly annular besides that Dry slot IMO.

This doesn't look terribly annular to me.

1. It's still very ragged.
2. It's got too much "yellow" in that ring of clouds. Annular 'canes will be more solidly red on the AVN.

If it does become annular, it prolly won't get there today....
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578. MahFL
Bill's diameter is increasing steadily.
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Quoting serialteg:


doomcaster fuel


umm what?
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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.