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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im sorry...but if its becoming hard to find a circulation center by radar...thats pretty much telling you that you have a decaying low...ana is on her deathbed...by looking at the current radar loop...either the "circulation center" is over the radar causing a difficult view or shes opening up into just a wave again...ill give here time to get back fully over water again, but im thinking the hunter isnt going to find much...
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523. 7544
Quoting AllStar17:
Ana starting to look better. Yesterday it looked horrible, today it does look better.


shes holding on so far

CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
2.6 /1004.0mb/ 37.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
2.6 3.0 3.9
flags are off
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522. jpsb
Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Claudette is also interesting in that while the COC made landfall overnight, most of her convection is still "perculating" over the Northern Gulf.
Yea, I've been watching that. Wonder if the cool front comming down to Texas could push all that energy into the central gulf? Seems like a long shot, but this seems to be the year to play the long shots.
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I see no surface low on the Ana vis. but my gut says one may reform over the bahamas once it passes Hispaniola.

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Quoting AllStar17:
Ana starting to look better. Yesterday it looked horrible, today it does look better.


Looks like an open wave to me - diurnal thunderstorms perculating due to some friction caused by the land interaction - not much left to Ana
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Quoting DestinJeff:
Link

PR RADAR ... help me out, is that a circulation in the North Central/NW part of the island, headed wnw/nw, just about to exit the coast?



It's hard to pinpoint a "center" but yes, if there is still a surface circulation, that is where it is.. Going to be a close call on whether or not it misses the DR.
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I predict that Bill crosses 15N at 47.5W.
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Not west-casting, but did bill wobble w a tad? Still appears to be on a wnw track imho...
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Man, am I glad that Aussie character isn't around.

hahaha.
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Quoting szqrn1:


I was curious about that myself...is there a chance that all of that convection can re-generate into another storm? Sorry if this is a stupid question.


Not a stupid question; I was asking myself the same thing but I don't beleive there is a historical precedent (I've never seen it happen before once the COC comes onshore). Just interestng that the convection on this one has always remained off-shore and it seems to be just sitting there right now, but, forecast to die out and dissipate later today.
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Quoting PanhandleChuck:
Thanks geek and Pat


You're welcome.
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Quoting PanhandleChuck:
Can anyone tell me how to get to the directory of members and do you have to be a paid member to view?

Click WunderBlogs at the top here...paid not necessary.
Addendum: Yeah, too slow.
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My eyes are getting old or something cause I can't see the dreaded "pinhole" eye.....
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Quoting PanhandleChuck:
Can anyone tell me how to get to the directory of members and do you have to be a paid member to view?


I am not a memeber, but i find it very interesting since I live near pensacola.
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Ana starting to look better. Yesterday it looked horrible, today it does look better.
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Thanks geek and Pat
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Nope.


lol :)
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Quoting yamil20:


he mention that ana is going to struggle to survive due to land interaction, but if it skips the land, then it could strenghten


We'll just open up the draw bridge.
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Pat, I'm not in there either....
so if I'm not here, and Aussie is not here, maybe others aren't here.
So if no one is here, maybe Ana and Bill aren't here either....so, maybe no storms? lol
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Quoting PanhandleChuck:
Can anyone tell me how to get to the directory of members and do you have to be a paid member to view?


Just click on wunderblogs in the Header MENU at the top of the Page
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Quoting PanhandleChuck:
Can anyone tell me how to get to the directory of members and do you have to be a paid member to view?


Here you go. You don't have to be a payed member.
LINK
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Quoting HurricaneGeek:


Well, let's say that it does. It would be named Danny because Claudette's COC has moved on.


although probably not probable, is it at all possible anyway?
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Bill as of 15:45 UTC.
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Quoting Buhdog:
Someone asked if FL was still in a drought. Here is South FL we are still under performing for the year....and we were already low going into the year...so I guss the answer is mostly...yes we are still in a small drought.
Here is the link showing how far off we are

Link


I dunno but from that map and what Ive seen here in NE Broward this year it looks like mosly everyone with the exception of maybe E PB county and Martin country are at 100% or over the norm thus far
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Can anyone tell me how to get to the directory of members and do you have to be a paid member to view?
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I just looked back some, Bill might become the first August Hurricane since Hurricane Irene to not effect land if Bermuda isn't hit.
2006 Ernesto
2007 Dean and Felix
2008 Gustav and Hanna.
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Quoting winter123:
Bill has a pinhole, not fully opened eye, surrounded by an eye like 100 miles across. Reminds me of Wilma :/



no eye....dry air intrusion...
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Quoting szqrn1:


I was curious about that myself...is there a chance that all of that convection can re-generate into another storm? Sorry if this is a stupid question.


Well, let's say that it does. It would be named Danny because Claudette's COC has moved on.
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None of the floaters are updating. The last image they have is 12:15, it is now 15:15
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Quoting winter123:


noticed that. It might, and if it does thats bad. They tend to ignore all steering currents and just plow along in the direction they are going. Think Epsilon of 2005.
I am glad I was not the only person to think that. Bill does look as if he might want to go that way. It's a very round storm with low convective feeder bands. We'll have a better idea about whether he will do it once he becomes major.
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Quoting willdunc79:
What time EST will the H. Hunters fly out to Ana?
1400 hrs local EST
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I see decay-SHIPS still likes Ana...as of 6 UTC anyway.





from: http://wind.mit.edu/~emanuel/storm.html
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This is coming from Accuweather, they always seem to have a different approach on storms.

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Quoting atmoaggie:
Man, am I glad that Aussie character isn't around.


LOL
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HH's leave at 2 and arrive at 4?
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484. 7544
Quoting yamil20:


he mention that ana is going to struggle to survive due to land interaction, but if it skips the land, then it could strenghten


shes really tring too more new convection building to the south now
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Claudette is also interesting in that while the COC made landfall overnight, most of her convection is still "perculating" over the Northern Gulf.


I was curious about that myself...is there a chance that all of that convection can re-generate into another storm? Sorry if this is a stupid question.
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Quoting SQUAWK:


That would be because you have never created a blog. If you create one, then your handle will show up.


Yup..without ever creating a blog..your invisible "in the Directory" for sure.
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Quoting nishinigami:
Mine is not there too Aussie. Can anyone see me? I am in SE Louisiana.

Nope.
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Buoy data south of San Juan:

42085 - MARITIME-buoy
Monday Aug. 17 - 14:00 UTCAir Temperature: 82°F
Wind: N at 7 mph
gusting to 9
Pressure: 1012.5 mb
Wave Height: 3 ft
Sea Surface Temp: 84.2°F
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Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:

Are there chances it will become a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annular_hurricane
?
Comparing the current satelite images with the once from the wiki - optical similarities are there at least.


noticed that. It might, and if it does thats bad. They tend to ignore all steering currents and just plow along in the direction they are going. Think Epsilon of 2005.
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Man, am I glad that Aussie character isn't around.
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Mine is not there too Aussie. Can anyone see me? I am in SE Louisiana.
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Quoting Joshfsu123:


The center is definitely to the north of that location, and has reformed. Probably around central to western Puerto Rico at the moment and about to move off the coast towards the DR. If it is going to survive, it really needs to jog NW for a bit.


The mid-level circulation is over Puerto Rico at this time. According to radar, it's passing just south-southwest of San Juan. If this circulation can remain mostly in tact as it crosses the island it will likely become the dominant circulation once emerging back over water. If this is the case, then this would make the NHC's current track invalid, as it would put the center significantly farther north than it is now. It should be watched as even though it is currently over land, bands are becoming better established and may allow for the systems mid-level circ. to survive mostly in tact. It's a wait and see game at this point.
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12GFS is starting to be hesitant about taking Bill quickly out of the picture and is hanging it N of PR longer than past runs and the trough swinging in the Cental CONUS appears to be lifting out a bit quicker than past runs and stalling the front N of gulf states. Will be interesting to see how other models react to this.
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Quoting willdunc79:
Yamil20 what is Mayfield saying about Bill & Ana?


he mention that ana is going to struggle to survive due to land interaction, but if it skips the land, then it could strenghten
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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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