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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Always a consideration for a cyclone near Florida - SST (Swamp Surface Temperature)and near shore SSTs where our continental shelf profile slopes gradually & there is limited cooling from mixing or upwelling. I swear the humidity in the boundary layer just onshore pre-Fay was over 100% LOL with temp in the 90s F (calculate the Heat Index for that). In no way doomcasting so don't go there, just watching with interest.
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It appears to me that the circulation around Ana is much further north than the tropical prediction path. Anna center may pass N of Hispaniola and if so, we may see a different senerio from her.
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Quoting Floodman:


You're correct, my friend...


Morning Floodman,..seems the Atlantic has awakened with a Roar..
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On an interesting sidenote, I flew from Florida to Nassau on Saturday night, while that Twave was passing through the area, (now by looking at the TWO archives I see that was Claudette!) and it was interesting to note that we took off to the west, which is the opposite direction of the normal prevailing winds. I took that to mean the axis Twave had already passed through, and it turns out I was right.
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Quoting AllStar17:
Why are we arguing about whether Bill is annular or not?



Because you keep telling people it is...and it isn't...lol
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Quoting AllStar17:
Why are we arguing about whether Bill is annular or not?


Claudette is in its death-throes, Ana is going to run into a mountain.

Bill is all we got now!
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118. CJ5
Quoting Drakoen:
I think the NHC initialized the 12z models on Ana a full degree south of it's current position.


I agree. She is putting up some impressive wind speed numbers from Nexrad, also.

If Bill is to begin being pulled NW, I have to believe Ana will experience some of the same thing. If PR doesn't kill her, she could pop out in the northern Mona Passage and ride the northern coast of the DR. As shown in one of the early COD Miami could be a potential bullseye still.
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Quoting Floodman:
Hurricangeek, I think the word you're looking for is annular, but having a large eye has nothing to do with being an annular storm; Bill is not an annular storm


Yes that's it. Thanks. True, because Wilma had a large eye over FL. but was not annular.
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What's annular?
Member Since: June 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 152
Why are we arguing about whether Bill is annular or not?
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The term is Annular Hurricane - very strong and symmetrical in appearance for all quadrants. Looks like a big bagel or donut...larger eye and better at withstanding normal potential dissapating features like lower SSTs or shear...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annular_hurricane
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Quoting Floodman:


Yep; they call them hurricanes with large eyes...


You guys talking to me?
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Thanks for the reply Nrtiwlnvragn. It's makes no sense to me that they would not share data if their model is more accurate than others. Anyone know if the GDFL tends to agree with the ECNWF?
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Quoting futuremet:
According to the 12Z maps, Ana is much more vertically stacked than three earlier. Mid level vorticity has increased substantially over the COC.


I think the northern COC took over. That would explain the improvement and the burst of convection just SE of PR.
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Hurricangeek, I think the word you're looking for is annular, but having a large eye has nothing to do with being an annular storm; Bill is not an annular storm
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000
WTNT33 KNHC 171432
TCPAT3
BULLETIN
HURRICANE BILL ADVISORY NUMBER 9
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL032009
1100 AM AST MON AUG 17 2009

...BILL STRENGTHENING AS IT CONTINUES MOVING WEST-NORTHWESTWARD...

AT 1100 AM AST...1500 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE BILL WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 14.1 NORTH...LONGITUDE 45.2 WEST OR ABOUT 1080 MILES
...1735 KM...EAST OF THE LESSER ANTILLES.

BILL IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 16 MPH...26 KM/HR...
AND THIS MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 90 MPH...150
KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING
THE NEXT 48 HOURS...AND BILL COULD BECOME A MAJOR HURRICANE BY
WEDNESDAY.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 30 MILES...45 KM...FROM
THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 145
MILES...230 KM.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 977 MB...28.85 INCHES.

...SUMMARY OF 1100 AM AST INFORMATION...
LOCATION...14.1N 45.2W
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...90 MPH
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WEST-NORTHWEST OR 285 DEGREES AT 16 MPH
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...977 MB

THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AT
500 PM AST.

$$
FORECASTER BRENNAN/ROBERTS
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107. Prgal
Quoting StormW:
Good morning all!

TROPICAL WEATHER SYNOPSIS /ANA/BILL/CLAUDETTE AUG 17, 2009 ISSUED 10:15 A.M.

Good morning SW. Do you have a webpage that explains about the steering layers you were talking about? Thanks.
Member Since: September 7, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 921
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Bill has slowed to moving wnw at 16 mph.
Member Since: August 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 693
Blog Update
Reflector site for those at work, which includes Weather456, daily update.


ANA

Bill

Claudette
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Good morning StormW! RIP Claudette, you showed us yet again how unpredictable your children are.
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Quoting Patrap:



The SSS dosent relate well to Surge and well,Size.

Thats whay you Have to listen to the warnings. Not many Cat 3's push a 30 ft Storm Surge. A CAt number is MOOT when relating ImPACT.


You're correct, my friend...
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Quoting tropicfreak:


Well looking at it on satellite loop it looks like it will just miss Hispanola.


wait and see...too early to tell...i find it funny that so many on here believe that the nhc doesnt know what their talking about..

people who use this blog for info should always go by the nhc 1st, then come in here for commentary...or at least a laugh, but most of the time thats what youll get from this blog...
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Quoting Drakoen:
I see two circulations with Ana. If the southern one winds this thing will die over Hispaniola if the northern one wins it has potential...


I think the northern one will win
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Quoting DrakoenG:

Yeah, I sure hope Ana becomes another Katrina. We could use a Cat 1 here in Florida.


Usually,I request this after a formal REPORT,but I'd Like the Frisco office to consider a Permanent BAN on this member..

wunderyakuza,Im hoping your up and atum early this Monday.

WS has created a new ID Handle to circumvent a BAN.

Give him the FULL Monty when you get this.
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I am looking at the GOES East with the lat/lon on... and watching the center of rotation in BILL's track and if he's moving WNW, it's just barely... like 5 degrees north of due west. Anyone else seein this?
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000
WTNT33 KNHC 171432
TCPAT3
BULLETIN
HURRICANE BILL ADVISORY NUMBER 9
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL032009
1100 AM AST MON AUG 17 2009

...BILL STRENGTHENING AS IT CONTINUES MOVING WEST-NORTHWESTWARD...

AT 1100 AM AST...1500 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE BILL WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 14.1 NORTH...LONGITUDE 45.2 WEST OR ABOUT 1080 MILES
...1735 KM...EAST OF THE LESSER ANTILLES.

BILL IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 16 MPH...26 KM/HR...
AND THIS MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 90 MPH...150
KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING
THE NEXT 48 HOURS...AND BILL COULD BECOME A MAJOR HURRICANE BY
WEDNESDAY.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 30 MILES...45 KM...FROM
THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 145
MILES...230 KM.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 977 MB...28.85 INCHES.

...SUMMARY OF 1100 AM AST INFORMATION...
LOCATION...14.1N 45.2W
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...90 MPH
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WEST-NORTHWEST OR 285 DEGREES AT 16 MPH
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...977 MB

THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AT
500 PM AST.

$$
FORECASTER BRENNAN/ROBERTS

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Quoting stevedish:
Why does the ECMWF model Dr Masters refers to not show up in the Computer Models for a given storm? Am I missing something? It seems to me the GDFL Model has been fairly accurate over the last few years.


The ECMWF has strick policies on the release of their data, so you do not see the ECMWF in the spagetti plots, the NHC does not release that information. Similar to the FSU model (FSSE) whose information is also not released.
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I see two circulations with Ana. If the southern one winds this thing will die over Hispaniola if the northern one wins it has potential...
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Um...Bill isn't an annular hurricane...lol


Not even close.
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Quoting Drakoen:


Please don't stir the pot with this troll. We are not related.


When I try to ignore someone, it kicks me to my blog and won't allow me to ignore. Can anyone help me with this?
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This is what Bill is (an annular hurricane): Link
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Quoting futuremet:


Are you and Drak related?


Please don't stir the pot with this troll. We are not related.
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Quoting DrakoenG:
It's called an ANNULAR HURRICANE that's what is called. :)

Bill is looking like it will become a rare atlantic annular hurricane.



Not the best time to be vacationing in Bermuda.

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Quoting watchingnva:


tf...cmon bro...give an opinion and stat it as such... theres no way of telling where ana will go...if she hits the mountains tonight, she might not even exist tomorrow...1 day at a time...


Well looking at it on satellite loop it looks like it will just miss Hispanola.
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6878
Quoting lovesdanger:
i would not count ana out at all.she is a fighter.. she sure reminds me of the way katrina started out with all her obstacles in front of her..beware of ana she will bite you in the foot..


Lets hope she never nears the intensity of Katrina
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Quoting DrakoenG:
It's called an ANNULAR HURRICANE that's what is called. :)

Bill is looking like it will become a rare atlantic annular hurricane.


hey, look whos showed up...how long to you switch over to the other name...timeframe?...
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Quoting IKE:
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.
......

Maybe what Dr. Masters said will put some sanity back in this blog....


Ike you and I know that putting sanity in this blog is hard to do at times. In 4 months sanity might return.
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BR>
So how are things today, oh enlightened one?

Yeah...right...like you I am working as hard as I can, and begging for more...wish I was in the southern command bunker right now though...I miss that "new technology smell"
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according to this bill should probably have 90 to 95MPH at 11:

Storm information valid as of: Monday, August 17, 2009 12:00 Z
Coordinates: 13.9N 44.6W (View Map or View Storm Centered Satellite Image)
Location: 1011 miles (1627 km) to the E (87°) from Bridgetown, Barbados
Distance Calculator: How far away is this storm from me?
Pressure (MSLP): 977 mb (28.85 inHg | 977 hPa)
Sustained wind speed (1 min. avg.): 80 knots (92 mph | 41 m/s)
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Quoting DrakoenG:
It's called an ANNULAR HURRICANE that's what is called. :)

Bill is looking like it will become a rare atlantic annular hurricane.


Are you and Drak related?
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Thats a good Thing then IKE.

I awoke awhile ago to Neighbor who needed a Jump,2nd time in a week,..

I showed Him dem Batteries need water too,.
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Quoting Orcasystems:
Blog Update
Reflector site for those at work, which includes Weather456, daily update.


ANA

Bill

Claudette



lol it seems 456 is always hard at work hang in there buddy you will take a day off soon i swear... mean while i am hearing fresh thunder again after a nice break from the stormyness of ana from this morning
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Morning all! Thank you Dr. Masters for the update. Wow, Ana is a little trooper. Everything has to die sometime, but I think Ana wants to put that phrase to the test.
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Quoting tropicfreak:


Should have one pretty soon.


still too much dry air...maybe by this evening...
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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.