Fred is born; storm surge survival misconceptions

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:29 PM GMT on September 08, 2009

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Tropical Storm Fred sprang to life yesterday off the coast of Africa, but is not a threat to any land areas for at least the next week. Satellite imagery from the European satellite shows a well-organized circulation with plenty of low-level spiral bands and high cirrus clouds streaming away from the storm at high levels, indicating good upper level outflow. There is dry air of the Saharan Air Layer to the north of Fred, but it is far enough away so as not to be a major impediment to development. Wind shear is moderate, 10 - 15 knots, and ocean temperatures are 1 - 2°C above the threshold needed for tropical cyclone formation.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Fred, off the coast of Africa. Note the layer of low stratocumulus clouds to Fred's north, a sign of relatively dry, stable air there.

The forecast for Fred
Wind shear this afternoon is expected to drop to the low range, 5 - 10 knots, and continue to remain low until Thursday morning, when it will rise to the moderate range again. Given Fred's current improving appearance, the storm should be able to attain hurricane status by Thursday. At that time, a strong trough of low pressure traversing the North Atlantic will bring higher shear, weakening the storm. The trough will also pull Fred to the northwest and then north. Most of the models foresee that this trough will not be strong enough to fully recurve Fred to the northeast and out to sea. However, with the steering pattern for this year continuing to feature plenty of deep troughs of low pressure moving off the U.S. East Coast, the odds of Fred making it all the way across the Atlantic to threaten land areas appear low at this time.

Elsewhere in the tropics
An area of concentrated thunderstorms has developed off the North Carolina coast in association with the remains of an old cold front. This system is under about 20 - 30 knots of shear, and is not tropical. However, it will bring heavy rain to eastern North Carolina and Virginia today and Wednesday, as the storm slides north-northeastward along the coast.

A strong low pressure system is expected to move into the central U.S. by this weekend, dragging a cold front into the western Gulf of Mexico. In several of their runs over the past few days, the GFS and ECMWF models have been predicting a tropical system may develop along this front in the western Gulf of Mexico by Sunday or Monday. The latest GFS phase space analysis of the predicted storm confirms that this would be a tropical cyclone, and not extratropical. There is currently not an area of disturbed weather in the Gulf, but we will have to keep an eye out there beginning this weekend, when the front moves offshore.

I'll have an update Wednesday, when I'll also announce the release of wunderground's excellent new series of storm surge pages. The new storm surge section provides more than 500 detailed, zoomed-in storm surge maps from the official storm surge model used by the National Hurricane Center--the Sea, Lake, and Overland Surge from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model. The Weather Underground has created SLOSH model worst-case flood maps for Category 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 hurricanes for the entire U.S. Atlantic coast, plus Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Bahamas. Zoom-in maps of fifteen important cities such as Miami, New York City, Boston, Tampa, and Corpus Christi are included. To help coastal residents see how past storms have affected their region, the wunderground storm surge pages also include SLOSH model animations of the surge for more than 30 historic storms--from the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635 to Hurricane Ike of 2008. Included here is one section from the new storm surge pages, "Storm Surge Survival Misconceptions".

Storm Surge Survival Misconceptions
The storm surge is usually the most dangerous threat of a hurricane. The ten deadliest U.S. hurricane disasters, including the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 (8000 killed), the Lake Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928 (2500 killed), and Hurricane Katrina of 2005 (1833 killed), were all primarily storm surge disasters. The Biloxi-Gulfport Sun Herald ran a series of stories in 2005 on people who were lucky enough to survive Hurricane Katrina's record storm surge. There were some common misconceptions that were touched on in these stories, and are reproduced here from Margie's Kieper's blog on the Hurricane Katrina storm surge.


Figure 2. A man wearing a tiny life jacket and clutching a neon green noodle and a pet dog floats on the remains of a house in Waveland, MS, during Hurricane Katrina. The photo was taken from the second floor window of a home, and the water is close to the roof line of the first floor. The home was at an elevation of about 17 feet, and the surge is close to ten feet deep here. There are electric lines running down from a pole to a home from left to right. In the distance on the right is a home with water up to the roof line. The eye is probably overhead, as the water is relatively calm and there appears to be little wind or rain, even though the pine trees are bent from the recent force of the eyewall winds. The photo was taken by Judith Bradford. Her husband, Bill Bradford, swam out and rescued the man and his dog, and two other people who floated by. He reported that the water was nothing like white water, but was a gentle, continuous flow. He was lucky. In the nearby Porteaux Bay area, a woman watched her fiance get pulled from a tree by the force of the current. The man was washed out into the Gulf and drowned. The image above is described in more detail on Margie Kieper's Katrina storm surge web page.

Misconception: Call 911 and you can be rescued, while the water is pouring into your home.
How? No one will be able to get to you. Water rises quickly--sometimes six to ten feet within minutes; cars can't drive in it, and it is usually unnavigable by boats when it is coming ashore.

Misconception: Just stuff towels under the door jambs. Then rush around to start picking up things that are close to floor level, so you can save them.
Bad idea. In a minute or so the surge will burst open the door, and instead of standing in a room with four inches of water, you'll be knocked off your feet and into whatever piece of furniture is closest, and will suddenly be in three or four feet of moving water that you can't make any headway into...just before the refrigerator, quickly rushing through the water towards you, knocks you cold.

Misconception: You'll be able to maneuver around in the rushing water.
Probably not. Some people who drowned were not even able to get out of the room they were in, when the water started pouring into the home. The speed of water in surge can be equivalent to a Class III or IV rapids (Class V is hardly navigable by expert kayakers and canoers, and Class VI is not navigable at all).

Misconception: You'll know in time.
The surge is usually not a wall of water as is often assumed, but rather a rapid rise of water of several feet over a period of minutes. It can sneak in unexpectedly, on little cat feet. Most people that were not completely taken by surprise simply happened to look out the window at the right time.

Misconception: You can outrun the storm surge in your car.
Here's an email I got last year from a resident in the Florida Keys who ignored the evacuation order for Hurricane Ike in 2008: I hate to bother you again, but we live on Marathon in the Florida Keys on the Atlantic side, and my husband says that if we see water coming up from storm surge and have an inch of water in our house, that we can outrun the storm surge in our car. Can you please tell me if there is any way this can possibly be true? P.S., I don't know of anyone who lives down here who is planning on evacuating for Ike. Everyone says they are staying. If you wait until the water is an inch high before trying to outrun the surge, the odds are that the surge will rise to over a foot high before you get your car out of the driveway. If the water is a foot high, the typical 10 - 15 mph speed of the storm surge's current has enough force to sweep a car away. In many places along the coast, there is only one road out of a low-lying region prone to storm surges, and the surge will cut off one's only escape route. The Keys have only one road, and the storm surge will likely be moving perpendicular to the road, cutting off the only escape route. One of these days, there are going to be a lot of people who fail to evacuate caught and killed in the Keys by the storm surge from a major hurricane.

How to Survive a Storm Surge
People who survived Katrina's storm surge did one of several things: they floated out an open window, and managed to hang onto debris, a tree, or some other structure above the water, until the surge receded, hours later. Or, they were able to pull themselves into an attic, or make it up to a second floor, where water did not reach, and luckily the home was not swept away. It is common in many flood-prone regions behind levees to keep an axe fastened to the wall of the attic. Then, if water comes in unexpectedly, you can get into the attic and chop a hole through the roof to escape. Don't forget to keep a length of rope there that you can use to tie yourself to a sturdy part of the house (don't tie yourself to the steel beams of the house, as these will sink).

The best way to survive a storm surge is to heed evacuation orders and leave before the surge arrives!

Storm Surge Safety Actions
- Minimize the distance you must travel to reach a safe location; the further you drive the higher the likelihood of encountering traffic congestion and other problems on the roadways.

- Select the nearest possible evacuation destination, preferably within your local area, and map out your route. Do not get on the road without a planned route, or a place to go.

- Choose the home of the closest friend or relative outside a designated evacuation zone and discuss your plan with them before hurricane season.

- You may also choose a hotel/motel outside of the vulnerable area.

- If neither of these options is available, consider the closest possible public shelter, preferably within your local area.

- Use the evacuation routes designated by authorities and, if possible, become familiar with your route by driving it before an evacuation order is issued.

- Contact your local emergency management office to register or get information regarding anyone in your household whom may require special assistance in order to evacuate.

- Prepare a separate pet plan; most public shelters do not accept pets.

- Prepare your home prior to leaving by boarding up doors and windows, securing or moving indoors all yard objects, and turning off all utilities.

- Before leaving, fill your car with gas and withdraw extra money from the ATM.

- Take all prescription medicines and special medical items, such as glasses and diapers.

- If your family evacuation plan includes an RV, boat or trailer, leave early. Do not wait until the evacuation order or exodus is well underway to start your trip.

- If you live in an evacuation zone and are ordered to evacuate by state or local officials, do so as quickly as possible. Do not wait or delay your departure, to do so will only increase your chances of being stuck in traffic, or even worse, not being able to get out at all.

- Expect traffic congestion and delays during evacuations. Expect and plan for significantly longer travel times than normal to reach your family's intended destination.

- Stay tuned to a local radio or television station and listen carefully for any advisories or specific instructions from local officials. Monitor your NOAA Weather Radio.

Source: NOAA

Jeff Masters

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Quoting jeffs713:

hmmm... interesting. Does anyone have a multi-layer steering flow map handy? (I have the link at home... but I'm not at home atm)


Steering currents will be weak over the Gulf during this time. Until something were to form, it's tough to even think about possible track.

This is still a wait and watch situation IMHO.
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Wow!! SANITY! Impressive

I can fix that SQUAWK....

;)
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Quoting NWHoustonMom:


One thing that is horribly down played is that people in my neck of town should NOT evacuate as seen by Rita it was all of us who were completly freaked out by the media, that clogged up the routes and caused so much of the problem... for us (far "enough" inland) get a generator and plenty of supplies and just chill out and let those who need the road/hotel space get it.


Wow!! SANITY! Impressive
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Is there a way to tell IE to wrap the text/images so that there's not so much horizontal scrolling on this blog????
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 252
Quoting IKE:
12Z NAM...
looks like a wet weekend here from that model.
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Quoting IKE:
12Z NAM...


One for each side :)
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108. IKE
12Z NAM...
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting NWHoustonMom:


One thing that is horribly down played is that people in my neck of town should NOT evacuate as seen by Rita it was all of us who were completly freaked out by the media, that clogged up the routes and caused so much of the problem... for us (far "enough" inland) get a generator and plenty of supplies and just chill out and let those who need the road/hotel space get it.

Exactly true. The *only* people who should evac in NW Houston are those who live in houses that can't handle TS winds, like mobile homes.
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Quoting StormW:
11:00 AM AST Tue Sep 8
Location: 11.9N 28.6W
Max sustained: 65 mph
Moving: W at 14 mph
Min pressure: 994 mb
Good Morning Storm...
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I don't know anyone who has been through a surge so that is all good information to me.

I know the blob coming off the Yucatan is heading into greater shear, but where is it supposed to go?
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Exactly Jeffs
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Quoting homelesswanderer:


Oh I am so glad you brought this important subject up. Thank you! I'm a 5 time evacuee vet. Thankfully 3 missed. I just take this for granted and pack what is needed then go my way. But if you've never done that before listen to Sindy this is good advice. In our last evac, from Ike, we were in a motel about a hundred and fifty miles inland and away from home. And even at that distance the power, water sewer etc. went out. The management had us fill our tubs up with water before the storm got there. Just as we would've done anticipating a power outage at home. Ike also brought trees down, blocked roads, the whole 9 yards up there. So distance isn't always a guarantee of safety either. There are so many things to think about when evacuating. I'm probably forgetting about a thousand things right now. Even if you evacuate you still need to be prepared. Thanks again for bringing this up. :)


One thing that is horribly down played is that people in my neck of town should NOT evacuate as seen by Rita it was all of us who were completly freaked out by the media, that clogged up the routes and caused so much of the problem... for us (far "enough" inland) get a generator and plenty of supplies and just chill out and let those who need the road/hotel space get it.
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NEW ENTRY POSTED:
South Florida StormWatch
(Main Site)
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Quoting SomeRandomTexan:
We all know how fast storms can pop up in the gulf... even under non-condusive conditions

You mean like Humberto (2007), Allison (2001), Alicia (1983), Claudette (2009), Bret (2004), and Ernesto (2008)?
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Thanks Dr. Masters for that update.

I'm reminded about a lady I know that survived the hurricane of 1928 near lake Okeechobee. She's 92 yrs old now, but tells the story of how she clung to a tree branch high up in the tree until she was rescued. She was about 9 yrs old then.

Hide from the wind, flee from the water.
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Quoting jeffs713:

But.... he may have broken or lost the CAPS LOCK key...


Then he should do the honorable thing...
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Quoting OSUWXGUY:
NAM shows a broad area of low pressure covering the Gulf of Mexico by Friday morning.

It has three tiny circulations with this feature, one in the eastern Gulf, one in the nortwest Gulf and one down in the southwest Gulf.

According to the NAM, shear lessens a bit in the southeast Gulf as a bit of ridging builds in...


hmmm... interesting. Does anyone have a multi-layer steering flow map handy? (I have the link at home... but I'm not at home atm)
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MARINE WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
313 AM EDT TUE SEP 08 2009

MARINE WEATHER DISCUSSION FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO...CARIBBEAN SEA
AND SOUTHWEST NORTH ATLC S OF 31N W OF 55W.

GULF OF MEXICO...
A WEAK SURFACE PRESSURE PATTERN ACROSS THE GULF OF MEXICO AND
THE VICINITY IS RESULTING IN LIGHT WINDS ACROSS ALL ZONES...
MAINLY OUT OF THE NE TO E. SHIPS AND BUOYS ARE GENERALLY
REPORTING 1-2 FT SEAS...BUT BUOY 42055 IS SUGGESTING THAT SEAS
MIGHT BE A FT OR TWO HIGHER OVER THE SW WATERS...ESPECIALLY IN
SHOWERS/TSTMS. WINDS WILL LIKELY INCREASE OVER THE W WATERS LATE
IN THE WEEK AND THIS WEEKEND AS A SFC TROUGH OR LOW DEVELOPS
OVER THE NW ZONE. WHILE MODELS ARE IN GENERAL AGREEMENT THAT A
TROUGH WILL DEVELOP...THERE IS SPREAD IN THE TIMING...PLACEMENT
AND INTENSITY. FOR NOW...USING THE GFS ENSEMBLE MEAN AT DAYS 4
AND 5...WHICH IS A MORE CONSERVATIVE FORECAST.

To me this says they think something could develop and that everyone around the gulf should keep an eye on it. So maybe the shear will lessen by later in the week. JMO.
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We all know how fast storms can pop up in the gulf... even under non-condusive conditions
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Quoting laflastormtracker:


Along the Gulf Coast, the tropics typically has EVERYTHING to do with the local forecast. We get every effect of our weather from the Gulf of Mexico. Too Much Shear means NO storms.


And how accurate are shear forecasts, say 5 days out?
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Quoting laflastormtracker:


Local Mets had high rain chances over the weekend only yesterday. This morning, formation will begin over the weekend. Sheeeesh! It is a beautiful day in LA today, and with current shear over the GOM, I am highly confident the shear may not ease "all of a sudden" the way it is forecast whenever that is supposed to happen now.

Took a look at the shear forecast for this weekend, IF that comes to pass, just keep an eye on the disturbance for intensification!!
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Quoting Floodman:


Please turn off your caps lock

But.... he may have broken or lost the CAPS LOCK key...
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NAM shows a broad area of low pressure covering the Gulf of Mexico by Friday morning.

It has three tiny circulations with this feature, one in the eastern Gulf, one in the nortwest Gulf and one down in the southwest Gulf.

According to the NAM, shear lessens a bit in the southeast Gulf as a bit of ridging builds in...

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Fred almost to our 2nd cane
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting laflastormtracker:


Local Mets had high rain chances over the weekend only yesterday. This morning, formation will begin over the weekend. Sheeeesh! It is a beautiful day in LA today, and with current shear over the GOM, I am highly confident the shear may not ease "all of a sudden" the way it is forecast whenever that is supposed to happen now.

The shear isn't forecast to "ease". It is forecast to be pushed off to the east by an advancing trough that will provide the source of energy that is supposed to create the surface low in the western GOM.
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Quoting jeffs713:

Eh... not really. I live on the Upper Texas coast (The Woodlands, a suburb of Houston), and have for 20 years. The tropics have a large influence, but they are not the *only* factor in our local weather. This year, just as an example, most of our rain has come from the north, with frontal/MCS origins, not the gulf. Also, the same thing that kept us dry and hot during June was a massive upper-level ridge that is normally parked over the Rockies. To say that just because you have a ridge parked over you, or there is an extended dry spell means the Atlantic season is shut down is absurd. If we went by that, this entire season never should have happened according to the weather in south Texas, where it has rained 3" since the first of the year.


I said the tropics this time of year... and the Gulf of Mexico constantly plays a role, from snowfall to temperature and humidy to moisture during severe weather.
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shear decreasing in the GOM...interesting.
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The center is just offshore Cape Hattteras

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting RitaEvac:


Local Mets had high rain chances over the weekend only yesterday. This morning, formation will begin over the weekend. Sheeeesh! It is a beautiful day in LA today, and with current shear over the GOM, I am highly confident the shear may not ease "all of a sudden" the way it is forecast whenever that is supposed to happen now.
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Quoting laflastormtracker:


Along the Gulf Coast, the tropics typically has EVERYTHING to do with the local forecast. We get every effect of our weather from the Gulf of Mexico. Too Much Shear means NO storms.

Eh... not really. I live on the Upper Texas coast (The Woodlands, a suburb of Houston), and have for 20 years. The tropics have a large influence, but they are not the *only* factor in our local weather. This year, just as an example, most of our rain has come from the north, with frontal/MCS origins, not the gulf. Also, the same thing that kept us dry and hot during June was a massive upper-level ridge that is normally parked over the Rockies. To say that just because you have a ridge parked over you, or there is an extended dry spell means the Atlantic season is shut down is absurd. If we went by that, this entire season never should have happened according to the weather in south Texas, where it has rained 3" since the first of the year.
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Quoting IKE:


6Z GFS......shows shear decreasing over the GOM as the week moves on, especially in the central and eastern GOM.

Thank you everyone, now I know where to look for more info!! Peace :0)!!
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Quoting captaincaneguru:


THAT QUOTE IS ONE OF THE REASONS BASTARDI DOES NOT WORK FOR THE NHC. HE IS ABOUT ENTERTAINMENT, NOT A SCIENTIFIC FORECASTER


Please turn off your caps lock
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79. IKE
Quoting Bordonaro:

Good morning :0)! The CIMSS wind shear map shows shear at 30-40KT across most of the GOM, with shear tendency to increase 5-10KT during the next 24hrs. Vorticity is evident up to 750MB, almost non- existant above that. Divergance is good, so IF anything develops, the odds are good shear will rip it apart!!


6Z GFS......shows shear decreasing over the GOM as the week moves on, especially in the central and eastern GOM.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Healthily strengthening.

Guess we'll see when it tries to pop out an eye considering the microwave imagery showed a ragged eyewall, or beginnings of one.
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Quoting kachina:


LOL panic while running for the hills! Run screaming! Run run run!

LOL...the hype behind Bastardi's statement has me hysterical here.

His report was through, ALBEIT A BIT DRAMATIC!! Then and again, IF his forecast is RIGHT, well, he has made his POINT to the people in "harms way"!!
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Quoting Bordonaro:

No one said a storm was forming in 24 hrs, more like over the weekend
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Quoting btwntx08:

Good morning :0)! The CIMSS wind shear map shows shear at 30-40KT across most of the GOM, with shear tendency to increase 5-10KT during the next 24hrs. Vorticity is evident up to 750MB, almost non- existant above that. Divergance is good, so IF anything develops, the odds are good shear will rip it apart!!
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Quoting jeffs713:


Should I start to panic now, and run for the hills, or should I wait, and then panic while running for the hills?


LOL panic while running for the hills! Run screaming! Run run run!

LOL...the hype behind Bastardi's statement has me hysterical here.
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TROPICAL STORM FRED ADVISORY NUMBER 4
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072009
1100 AM AST TUE SEP 08 2009

...FRED CONTINUING TO STRENGTHEN...EXPECTED TO BECOME A HURRICANE...

AT 1100 AM AST...1500 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM FRED WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 11.9 NORTH...LONGITUDE 28.6 WEST OR ABOUT 345
MILES...555 KM...SOUTHWEST OF THE SOUTHERNMOST CAPE VERDE ISLANDS.

FRED IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 14 MPH...22 KM/HR. A GRADUAL
TURN TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST AND NORTHWEST WITH A DECREASE IN
FORWARD SPEED IS EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.

SATELLITE IMAGES INDICATE THAT THE MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE
INCREASED TO NEAR 65 MPH...100 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS.
SOME ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF
DAYS AND FRED IS EXPECTED TO BECOME A HURRICANE BY WEDNESDAY.

TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 105 MILES...165 KM
FROM THE CENTER.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 994 MB...29.35 INCHES.

...SUMMARY OF 1100 AM AST INFORMATION...
LOCATION...11.9N 28.6W
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...65 MPH
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WEST OR 275 DEGREES AT 14 MPH
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...994 MB


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

$$
FORECASTER BLAKE
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FRED now moving WNW
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Very neat chart on page 16 of this weekly update from NOAA.

If you're interested in how our La Nina last year changed into the El Nino for this year, the chart explains a lot.

Warm water pools in the western Pacific during La Nina where easterly wind anomalies dominate in the eastern and central Pacific.

3 successive Kelvin waves spread this pool of water eastward across the central and eastern Pacific.

These Kelvin waves are generated by low level westerly wind anoamlies.

A fourth wave has started heading east, reinforcing the current El Nino. Fascinating stuff...

September 8 CPC ENSO Discussion
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What are the chances of Fred missing the through? =P
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2741
Did not mean to "start anything" with the comment about a possible shutdown around the end of September due to sheer... :) Well aware that the season does not end until Nov but dates mean little if condusive conditions are not there for development....We did not get our first named storm this year until mid-August even though the season started June 1st.
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Quoting jeffs713:

Local forecasts have NOTHING to do with the end of a hurricane season. There are dry spells in the middle of hurricane season, just as you can have several days of rain without a tropical cyclone in the tropics.


Along the Gulf Coast, the tropics typically has EVERYTHING to do with the local forecast. We get every effect of our weather from the Gulf of Mexico. Too Much Shear means NO storms.
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Quoting Seastep:


How's this:

http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/htdocs_dyn_apache/tc_pages/thumbnails/thumbs/tc09/ATL/07L.FRED/tc_ssmis/ 91 h/1degreeticks/thumb/20090908.0726.f17.x.91h_1deg.07LFRED.45kts-1000mb-118N-267W.95pc.jpg

Looks like a solid TS that is strengthening. I am reluctant to call it a hurricane just based on that, but it definitely looks solid. (My reluctance is due to the storms on the immediate southern half don't look very strong)

thank you for the link, btw.
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Quoting surfsidesindy:
Having evacuated for 4 hurricanes, I appreciated specific information for those evacuating rather than those who are staying. I would like to see even more detailed information for those evacuating to a hotel on what to bring with you. There are several things that we always bring because even though we are evacuating, the hotel that we stay at will be hit by the hurricane. We always bring the usual flashlights, batteries, meds. documents, etc. and we also bring 2 rolls of Visqueen and duct tape. This was a blessing when water poured in our windows during Frances. Hotel staff will NOT help during a hurricane, except to move you if the roof blows off, which did happen, but luckily not our room! We also bring tarps and tools we will need for repairs when we get home since we may not be able to find them readily if there is damage.


Oh I am so glad you brought this important subject up. Thank you! I'm a 5 time evacuee vet. Thankfully 3 missed. I just take this for granted and pack what is needed then go my way. But if you've never done that before listen to Sindy this is good advice. In our last evac, from Ike, we were in a motel about a hundred and fifty miles inland and away from home. And even at that distance the power, water sewer etc. went out. The management had us fill our tubs up with water before the storm got there. Just as we would've done anticipating a power outage at home. Ike also brought trees down, blocked roads, the whole 9 yards up there. So distance isn't always a guarantee of safety either. There are so many things to think about when evacuating. I'm probably forgetting about a thousand things right now. Even if you evacuate you still need to be prepared. Thanks again for bringing this up. :)
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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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