Bill is gone; Invest 92 pops up

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:08 PM GMT on August 24, 2009

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Hurricane Bill is no more. The hurricane swept past Canada's Nova Scotia province Sunday afternoon, then made landfall early this morning in southeastern Newfoundland as a borderline tropical storm/Category 1 hurricane. Bill's waves claimed two lives over the weekend, a 54-year old swimmer that drowned in Florida, and a 7-year old girl in Maine that got swept into the sea by a big wave. The first death of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season occurred on August 16, when a swimmer drowned in the rough surf from Tropical Storm Claudette at Pananma City Beach, FL.

Nova Scotia misses a direct hit
The center of Bill scooted parallel to the coast of Nova Scotia Sunday afternoon, and never quite came onshore. Since the storm's forward speed was so rapid--about 35 mph--this resulted in a highly asymmetric wind distribution. Since the top winds of a hurricane include the forward motion of the storm, Bill's top winds of 85 mph observed in the offshore, right front quadrant of the storm meant that the winds on the weak side of the storm, over Nova Scotia, were 85 mph minus 35 mph, or just 50 mph. Winds along most of the coast stayed below 39 mph, the borderline for tropical storm-force winds. The strongest winds measured in Canada were at Sable Island, which lies 150 miles offshore of Nova Scotia. Winds on the island hit 61 mph, gusting to 77 mph, between 4 - 5 pm ADT Sunday afternoon. A few islands along the Nova Scotia coast, such as Beaver Island and Hart Island, reported sustained winds of 39 - 40 mph. The big story for Nova Scotia was the waves from Bill. Buoy 44258 at the mouth of Halifax Harbor recorded significant wave heights of 29.5 feet and maximum wave heights of 49 feet as Bill passed 50 miles offshore. The buoy recorded top sustained winds of 35 mph, gusting to 51 mph. The waves combined with a 1.5 - 3 foot storm surge flooded many coastal roads. Buoy 44150, about 160 miles offshore of of the southwest tip of Nova Scotia, was in the east eyewall of Bill between 10 - 11 am ADT, and reported sustained winds of 62 mph, gusting to 85 mph, with significant wave heights of 44 feet. The buoy recorded a maximum wave height of 87 feet, according to Environment Canada. The highest official rain report on Nova Scotia was 2.6" (65 mm) at Yarmouth. Rainfall cause some localized flooding and road damage. Bill's winds cut power to about 40,000 people at the height of the storm. At Peggys Cove, three men were hit by a giant wave but were not hurt. A gift shop and attached home in the village were swept off of their foundation.

Newfoundland gets hit, but damage is minor
The southeast corner of Newfoundland took a direct hit from Bill. The storm made landfall early this morning as a borderline tropical storm/Category 1 hurricane. Top winds on the island were measured at Cape Race, which recorded sustained winds of 58 mph, gusting to 76 mph, between 1:30 and 2:30 am NDT. A storm surge of 1.2 meters (4 feet) was estimated by Environment Canada for Placentia Bay where Bill made landfall. Damage was minor on Newfoundland, with no major flooding reported. Bill dumped up to three inches of rain on Newfoundland.


Figure 1. The eye of Hurricane Bill on August 19 at 2157 UTC, from a NOAA P-3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft flying at 10,000 feet. Photo credit: Jack Parrish of NOAA's Aircraft Operations Center.

Kelvin-Helmholtz instability waves in the eye of Bill
Flight Director Jack Parrish of NOAA's Aircraft Operations Center snapped a cool photo in the eye of Hurricane Bill on Friday, showing the existence of a Kelvin-Helmholtz instability wave (Figure 1). The photo was taken on August 19 at 2157 UTC, from a NOAA P-3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft flying at 10,000 feet. The photo is taken looking WNW towards the eyewall. The towering clouds of the eyewall extend up to 50,000 - 55,000 feet in the photo, and the ocean surface is not visible, due to stratocumulus clouds covering the bottom of the eye. The center of the photo shows that the top of one of these stratocumulus clouds has a feature that looks like a breaking wave in the ocean. Well, that is an example of a breaking wave in the atmosphere known as a Kelvin-Helmholtz instability wave. The atmosphere behaves as a fluid, and thus has wave-like motions. When there is a sudden change of wind speed along the top of a cloud (wind shear), the flow can become unstable and cause breaking waves to form. One can see Kelvin-Helmholtz in the sky several times per year, and several alert wunderphotographers have uploaded photos of these waves over the years. However, it is uncommon to see these waves in the stratocumulus clouds covering the eye of a hurricane.


Figure 2. Water vapor satellite image for 8:15 am EDT 8/24/09. A tropical wave is approaching the Northern Lesser Antilles Islands, but is running into high wind shear from an upper-level cold low to the west of it. Image credit: NOAA/SSD.

Tropical wave approaching Lesser Antilles becomes Invest 92
A tropical wave with a moderate amount of shower activity is moving west-northwest at 20 - 25 mph and is approaching the northern Lesser Antilles Islands. This wave was designated "Invest 92" (92L) by NHC this morning. The wave is under about 20 - 30 knots of wind shear due the strong upper-level winds from the west. These winds are being created by the counter-clockwise flow of air around an upper-level cold-cored low north of Puerto Rico (Figure 2). This low is expected to move west-southwest and slowly weaken over the next two days, allowing shear to drop to the moderate 10 - 20 knot range beginning Tuesday night, according to the SHIPS model. By Wednesday, the upper low is predicted to be weak enough and far enough away from 92L that it will have a chance to develop. Most of the models show some degree of development of 92L by Thursday, when it is expected to be a few hundred miles off the coast of South Carolina. This wave could turn northward and give a wet weekend to New England, though it is too early to be confident of this. NHC is giving 92L a low (less than 30% chance) of developing into a tropical depression by Wednesday morning. The upper-level low will create plenty of wind shear and dump cold, dry air into 92L over the next two days, so Wednesday is probably the earliest we can expect the system to begin organizing into a tropical depression.

Several models predict the development of a tropical wave coming off the coast of Africa late this week.

I'll have an update Tuesday.

Jeff Masters

Beach Wall wave 1 (BeachBecky)
Waves from Hurricane Bill crashing on the sea wall during high tide in Lynn, MA
Beach Wall wave 1
Hurricane Bill Waves Day 2 # 9 (RIWXPhoto)
Hurricane Bill Waves Day 2 # 9
Kelvin-Helmholtz Instabilities (btangy)
Kelvin-Helmholtz Instabilities to the S of Boston. Wavy like pattern in clouds is caused by a difference in winds between the cloud layer and the layer just above (called wind shear). The manifestation of this at the top of the altostratus deck is quite a beautiful and rare sight!
Kelvin-Helmholtz Instabilities

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1447. JRRP
Quoting hunkerdown:
amazing what happens once the school year starts

jajajajajaaajaja
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Still here. Watching NASA TV. Weather not looking favorable. They are still counting-down, and approaching hold at T minus nine minutes.

They are currently at a Phase-Two lightning alert.
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Anyone that needs nearly anything as for as Models can find it on the Home page of WeatherUnderground. You can also try StormJunkie.com as he has a tab with all kinds of links. I also have a tab on my site that has nearly everything you need as Links to find nearly everything....

StormJunkie.com under the tab quick links

TampaSpinsWeather.webs.com under the tab weather links

Hope this helps some as many ask about where to find things.
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1444. JLPR
Quoting hunkerdown:
amazing what happens once the school year starts


lol xD yep
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
*crickets*
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Great storm photos! Thanks to all who sent them in!

Thanks for the info, Dr. Masters!

An 87 ft wave is a lot to think about.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
very quiet on the blogs
amazing what happens once the school year starts
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1440. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
very quiet on the blogs
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55972
Quoting KoritheMan:


Good advice.




talk with me on IM Please
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Quoting Tazmanian:
if you are going to watch any big waves with a big passing by hurricane all ways where a lifejacket


Good advice.
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1437. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55972
if you are going to watch any big waves with a big passing by hurricane all ways where a lifejacket
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1435. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)


XX/XX/92L
MARK
19.5N/59.9W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55972
Quoting stormsurge39:
Tampa Spin did the NAMM forecast Claudette?


I don't remember for sure. I believe it did show something up....
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Quoting JLPR:


exactly xD
that's the short version lol


haha

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1432. JRRP
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1431. Bonz
For those still awake who want to follow the NASA status:

http://spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts128/status.html

I tried to see the last launch up at Kennedy. It took what, five tries for STS-127? No luck for me. I'll try again when it gets cooler out.
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Discovery currently 60% no-go with a Phase 2 lightning advisory for the launch area. Looks dicey.
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1429. Grothar
Quoting JLPR:


If you are using firefox you could get the AdBlock add on

I have been using it for a few weeks and 0 popups =D


Thanks I hope it doesn't cost $10. Must go trolling off to sleep now. Enjoyed the blog this evening; good bantering and good information. I hope we do not find a depression at our door in the AM. Nite all!!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
1428. JLPR
Quoting SevereHurricane:


All that means is that 92L is not vertically stacked well.


exactly xD
that's the short version lol
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
Quoting JLPR:
if the Navy is right the LLC or the 850mb vorticity is at 17.8N 59.9W unless the system disposes of that 850mb and the 500mb digs down to the surface

that would change the track considerably with the system more to the NE than expected


All that means is that 92L is not vertically stacked well.
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1424. JLPR
Quoting Grothar:


Thanks alot TampaSpin. Now everyone knows I'm here on a FREEBIE and cheap. Only kidding. Thanks for the info. I guess I shall have to come up with $10 somehow.


If you are using firefox you could get the AdBlock add on

I have been using it for a few weeks and 0 popups =D
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
Tampa Spin did the NAMM forecast Claudette?
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Quoting Grothar:


Thanks alot TampaSpin. Now everyone knows I'm here on a FREEBIE and cheap. Only kidding. Thanks for the info. I guess I shall have to come up with $10 somehow.


Trust me your not the only one...LOL
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Thanks Tampa Spin
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1420. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)


t-cell over launch site disapating more to sse
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55972
Quoting stormsurge39:
Tampa spin where do you think that spin up is coming from in the GOM?


Its coming from the stalled frontal system on the tail end and develops just off the SW Florida Coast and gets going as it moves NW....Its something to watch.......LIKE I SAID i don't normally look at the NAM for development but, it does an extremely good job of forecasting storm development within 48hrs.
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1417. Grothar
Quoting TampaSpin:


Pay $10.00 for ad free....i never get a pop up.


Thanks alot TampaSpin. Now everyone knows I'm here on a FREEBIE and cheap. Only kidding. Thanks for the info. I guess I shall have to come up with $10 somehow.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
1416. Relix
Quoting JLPR:
if the Navy is right the LLC or the 850mb vorticity is at 17.8N 59.9W unless the system disposes of that 850mb and the 500mb digs down to the surface

that would change the track considerably with the system more to the NE than expected


Well the main convection is definitely N of that spot...
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2741
Quoting JLPR:
if the Navy is right the LLC or the 850mb vorticity is at 17.8N 59.9W unless the system disposes of that 850mb and the 500mb digs down to the surface

that would change the track considerably with the system more to the NE than expected


Looking at Satellite that looks correct.
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Tampa spin where do you think that spin up is coming from in the GOM?
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Quoting Codaflow:


Kathy's actually very nice in person.

And has a very impressive and important job.

Thank you for the lightning-phase information. You've made my night conversing with someone like yourself onsite. Let's hope the weather clears, and there are no other issues impeding the launch.

NASA TV just reported there is currently a 60% chance of weather violating the launch.

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Quoting Grothar:
Does anyone know how to control these constant flash add and pop-ups. I have every pop-up blocker there is and it is only on this site that I get them. It is getting worse by the day.


Pay $10.00 for ad free....i never get a pop up.
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1411. JLPR
if the Navy is right the LLC or the 850mb vorticity is at 17.8N 59.9W unless the system disposes of that 850mb and the 500mb digs down to the surface

that would change the track considerably with the system more to the NE than expected
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
1410. Grothar
Does anyone know how to control these constant flash add and pop-ups. I have every pop-up blocker there is and it is only on this site that I get them. It is getting worse by the day.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
1407. centex
Quoting Tazmanian:



yup
Interesting to watch tonight but gone tomorrow.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Proximity to land is the only thing I see that will inhibit tropical cyclogenesis. I think this will become TS Jimena in the EPAC.



yup
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Weather Update
Tue, 25 Aug 2009 01:11:43 PM EST

Shuttle Weather Officer Kathy Winters has informed Launch Director Pete Nickolenko that the Eastern Range has gone "red," or "no-go," due to a new system forming over the launch pad. Specifically, the new weather system violates the cumulus-cloud rule and flight-through-precipitation rule. Weather officials with the 45th Weather Squadron and the Spaceflight Meteorology Group in Houston continue to keep a close eye on the weather around the launch and landing sites at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, as well as emergency landing sites overseas should they be necessary.
My apologies to Ms. Winters for spelling her first name incorrectly. NASA TV currently reporting phase-one lightning alert.
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1403. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Tazmanian:
guys 93L is geting its act togeter and fast it got it march better when we 1st saw 93L

next epac player taz some strong rains for local area may and will create flooding issues as it crosses over into pacfic
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55972
Well, that's it for tonight! May tomorrow bring us a better picture of what the potiental waves/storms will do. Night all!
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Quoting Tazmanian:
guys 93L is geting its act togeter and fast it got it march better when we 1st saw 93L



Damn. Where the hell did that come from? Looks quite impressive with obvious low-level circulation and spiral banding. I come home tonight from my classes and I see two invests out there. Always nice to come home to. I'll try and update my site regarding these two systems sometime tomorrow morning before my class.
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Quoting Codaflow:
Also, we're currently red for anvils, cumulus and lightning. That can clear up at any point in the countdown, basically we could go back to green.


Well at least the GUCP issues seemed to have been taken care of...
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1398. Grothar
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


You are getting just like me now KEEPER. I can't post a DARN thing. I bet it was a nice graphic though. Try again.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208

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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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