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 StadiumEffect:


Speed up this loop... Link and you can clearly see some sort of circulation. Also note the more prominent bands developing


I see what you're saying. Thanks for the link. Looks like the COC is almost halfway thru Puerto Rico right now. Maybe moving even a hair north of WNW.
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Quoting rwdobson:
Meanwhile, inland in the US, Kansas City is getting absolutely soaked...the trough has interacted with tropical moisture from the Southwest Monsoon and it is dumping buckets. Large swaths of northern Missouri have already received 6"+ of rain this weekend and it's still falling.

Something overlooked quite often by inland people. They tend to ignore the tropics because they can't get hit by a hurricane. Many a time tropical systems have done more damage inland than along the coast due to heavy rains and flooding.
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I'm using the DAM (A excluded) model to track this system
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Quoting MrSea:
anyone seen the NAM??? compared to the 6z run, the 12z run has a much stronger high offshore, which would stop it from going out to sea


6z


12z


Is that high enough to kick it back west?
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Also, can someone provide me the link to the ECWMF Model and the UKMET model please...Also the link to the steering forecast will be great, I lost my favorites..
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Quoting Nickelback:
so is there any point inb watching Bill? He's Slowing down and turning and almost every model has him as a fish storm


Definitely a point in watching him so long as land is still in his current path.
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@315 one type is based on statistics, one is based on dynamics. How's that for a simple explanation? Bascially the dynamical models are trying to solve all the fluid dynamic equations for the atmosphere...the statistical models are just going on climatology and probability.
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current model im using for tracking Ana is the NAM and the LBAR.
Sorry if this is a dumb question, but what is the difference between statistical and dynamical models?
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Meanwhile, inland in the US, Kansas City is getting absolutely soaked...the trough has interacted with tropical moisture from the Southwest Monsoon and it is dumping buckets. Large swaths of northern Missouri have already received 6"+ of rain this weekend and it's still falling.
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Morning all, stupid question time and hopes it hasn't been posted already.

How come no models or Mets (that I've heard) are discussing Ana as reforming in GOM, much like Claudette just did, seems from my eyes the situation would look to be almost the same senario.
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so is there any point inb watching Bill? He's Slowing down and turning and almost every model has him as a fish storm
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Quoting Ameister12:
I don't know about this, but I think Ana might make it through the Dominican Republican.

I think when it reaches near the coast of DR it will take a sharp turn to the left develop go over the western most side of Haiti then turn WNW and go through Cuba as a 50 mph TS and get back over water as a TD then hit Florida
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Quoting StormChaser81:


I think it will make it all the way to florida, probably regain its name back to a TS..that track looks so familiar to again storm..
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Quoting srada:
AS OF 2:45 AM MONDAY...PATTERN CHANGE CONTINUES TO BE ADVERTISED BY
ALL OF THE MAJOR MODELS WITH A DEEP EAST COAST TROUGH DEVELOPING BY
SUNDAY. THE MAGNITUDE OF THE TROUGH WILL DETERMINE IF THE ASSOCIATED
COLD FRONT MAKES IT OFF THE COAST OR STALLS OUT. THE LATEST GFS
SHOWS THE LATTER


Is this the same front they are talking about that is associated with Bill and with it stalling or not, will it play a factor in Bill turning more NW? Many thanks in advance!


Yes... that's the trough and associated front that is being advertised as giving Bill that northerly component to its motion.
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308. IKE
Quoting srada:
AS OF 2:45 AM MONDAY...PATTERN CHANGE CONTINUES TO BE ADVERTISED BY
ALL OF THE MAJOR MODELS WITH A DEEP EAST COAST TROUGH DEVELOPING BY
SUNDAY. THE MAGNITUDE OF THE TROUGH WILL DETERMINE IF THE ASSOCIATED
COLD FRONT MAKES IT OFF THE COAST OR STALLS OUT. THE LATEST GFS
SHOWS THE LATTER


Is this the same front they are talking about that is associated with Bill and with it stalling or not, will it play a factor in Bill turning more NW? Many thanks in advance!


Yes, it should help kicked it on north...
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting AllStar17:


Drak, I have all of the weather links for Google Earth, they still do the Hurricane hunter obs., right?


Yes
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Quoting WINDSMURF:
Does anybody see Bill turning NW yet?


I don't...
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Quoting hurricanejunky:


I can see why. Quite a flare up of convection regardless of structure. Hard to find a COC though.


Speed up this loop... Link and you can clearly see some sort of circulation. Also note the more prominent bands developing
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Quoting AllStar17:


Maintained as a depression throughout the forecast period. If a new center does indeed form SE of PR, and moves over PR, it would currently appear it would track just to the north of Hispaniola, or graze Hispaniola. If it stays north of Hispaniola it is likely to regain Tropical Storm strength. NHC even says it:
" THIS IS...ADMITTEDLY...
SOMETHING OF A HEDGE BETWEEN TWO MORE LIKELY ALTERNATIVES...THAT OF
A TROPICAL STORM NORTH OF THE ISLANDS OR IMMINENT DISSIPATION."

Models at this point may not have been initialized correctly.....Hurricane Hunters will REALLY help determine what is going on with the so-called "circulation" SE of Puerto Rico. If they do indeed find a circulation there, NHC will probably need to make large changes in intensity and track forecast of Ana if that does indeed become true. JMO.


It's a shame the models don't inialize this new position well. With the HH data not coming in until later this afternoon, the earliest we could see a true model run is this evening.

If Ana truly is further north than currently shown on the NHC track, this will give little time for advisories/warnings to be issued for Florida residents.

I hate knee-jerk activations of our EOC. I suppose Pensacola understands, having just experiencing a quick ramp-up for Claudette.
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303. jipmg
Quoting canesrule1:
The time the image below was taken was 14:45 right?



yes
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
guys I think that ANA will be something like FAY and GUSTAV
Not another Fay! She was a bizarre one to track and she was a pretty nasty little storm here in Jax.
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301. srada
AS OF 2:45 AM MONDAY...PATTERN CHANGE CONTINUES TO BE ADVERTISED BY
ALL OF THE MAJOR MODELS WITH A DEEP EAST COAST TROUGH DEVELOPING BY
SUNDAY. THE MAGNITUDE OF THE TROUGH WILL DETERMINE IF THE ASSOCIATED
COLD FRONT MAKES IT OFF THE COAST OR STALLS OUT. THE LATEST GFS
SHOWS THE LATTER


Is this the same front they are talking about that is associated with Bill and with it stalling or not, will it play a factor in Bill turning more NW? Many thanks in advance!
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The time the image below was taken was 14:45 right?

Does anybody have a link to the UKMET (the FSU site dropped it) including its steering layers. I want to see if I can idenify what makes the UKmet go west and the others re-curve.
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Quoting Drakoen:
If the center relocates to the north we may have a whole different ball game so to speak


Absolutely correct
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297. jipmg
Any wind observations from puerto rico?
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Quoting Drakoen:
Hurricane Hunters will be leaving at 16z to go into Ana and arrive there at 18z


I can see why. Quite a flare up of convection regardless of structure. Hard to find a COC though.
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2027. Welling2000 5:00 AM GMT on August 17, 2009

Quoting WeatherStudent:

Adult bloggers on here, a moment of miraculous rejoice, please. All South Florida children return back to school officially one week from today. Therefore, as a result of this futuristic outcome, all of the childish predicaments that are presently taking place on this blog, should hopefully all be but non-existent for the most part by then. I don't know about y'all, but I'll be anxiously looking forward to that day. My countdown clock clicker has already begun to click on away in anticipation to that exciting day arriving. But, unfortunately speaking, ladies and gentlemen, until then we'll just gonna have to grim and bare it and put up with it to the best of our capacities. Moreover, good morning everyone. How's our tropical trio during this morning? :)


Young man, you are not the solution. Truth is, you are part of the problem. Think about it, please. You see, trying to talk or write like an adult is presumptuous, when you don't behave like one. And I'm not suggesting you grow up; only that you write, and behave in an appropriate manner for a public blog where adults are present, and your personal reputation is at stake. Best wishes.



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Quoting Drakoen:


Exactly.


Drak, I have all of the weather links for Google Earth, they still do the Hurricane hunter obs., right?
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Quoting StormChaser81:
I think it will become a TS in the area of the Bahamas and then impact SFLA or the keys and then rapidly intensify in the Gulf, imo.
"SHIPS brings Ana to 83 mph in 96 hours"

Can someone please refresh my memory as to which track model SHIPS intensity is based on? I seem to remember BAMD ... but often remember incorrectly :-)
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Quoting MrSea:
anyone seen the NAM??? compared to the 6z run, the 12z run has a much stronger high offshore, which would stop it from going out to sea


6z


12z


I see that on 12z run Bill is more south than the 6z run
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Quoting Drakoen:
I wonder if BurnedAfterPosting/Jphurricane was permanently banned as well.


I didn't know that was the same person.
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Based on looking at Water Vapor and the CIMMS steering maps, I think Bill has already taken its first jog to the northwest around the western edge of the eastern ridge.

It already has started turning back to the west-northwest, and will continue on this track through at least today.

The impressive for August trough will eventually turn the beast, but for now I think the model tracks are a bit far north.
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288. CJ5
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


There are some pretty big mountain in the DR.
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Quoting Drakoen:
I wonder if BurnedAfterPosting/Jphurricane was permanently banned as well.
gone as well drakoen they are cleaning house
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Link

Nice radar loop of Ana. This shows hints of strong developing bands around the mid-level circulation.
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Quoting WINDSMURF:
Does anybody see Bill turning NW yet?
it is moving NW right now.
If the center relocates to the north we may have a whole different ball game so to speak
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I agree with the model consensus. I do wonder what the UKMET is picking up that the other models are not. Is it simply the strength of the low pressure?
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Bill currently located 45.2W 14.9N
Quoting taistelutipu:


erm, that would be somewhere in the East Atlantic north-west of Spain and west of France, if I'm not totally mistaken.

Did you mean 14.9 N 45.4 W?
yes i did i will post it changed.
Quoting Drakoen:
I wonder if BurnedAfterPosting/Jphurricane was permanently banned as well.


I think about 50% of the screen names on here are from about 10 IP addresses.
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Long tim e observer here....once in a while i make a blurp.....anyways

Just looking at the historical charts and i see in 1893 a storm hit NYC where i am living currently....so Bill is a bit unnerving...does it look pretty certain the curve out to sea will be sharp or are we looking at a most gradual turn? Basically is the East Coast for the most part "out of the woods"? thanks to anyone who takes the time to answer =)
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Quoting StadiumEffect:


If it does, and it becomes the dominant circulation center then that will change things. One too many variables to play around with right now....until it establishes a proper center. I think if the mid-level circulation takes over, land interaction may well decrease and allow the system to organize properly.


Exactly.
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Member Since: August 11, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2315
Quoting jipmg:


can I have a link to the satellite ur using, seems to be updating quicker
Link
Does anybody see Bill turning NW yet?
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I see on the latest advisory that Anna is now forecast to stay a depression when/if it passes over South FL instead of a remnant low. Interesting...we could definitely use the rain!
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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.