Fred fading; halfway point of hurricane season reached

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:40 PM GMT on September 10, 2009

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Hurricane Fred peaked in intensity yesterday afternoon, attaining Category 3 strength with 120 mph winds. It is quite unusual to have such a powerful system so far east in the Atlantic, and Fred is only the third major hurricane to exist east of 35W. Fred is also the strongest hurricane so far south and east in the data record. However, this type of system would have been difficult to document before satellite pictures began in the 1960s.

Fred's glory is past, and the storm is on a downslide now, thanks to moderate wind shear of 15 - 20 knots and dry air eating into the hurricane's southwest side. The shear and the dry air will increase over the next few days, with the shear rising above 40 knots by Monday morning. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) will also cool to near the 26.5°C threshold needed to sustain a tropical cyclone. The combination of high shear, dry air, and cool SSTs will likely kill Fred by Tuesday.


Figure 1. Hurricane Fred at peak strength, 8:55am EDT UTC 9/9/09. At the time, Fred was a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Elsewhere in the tropics
An upper-level low pressure system has moved over Texas and is expected to spawn a surface low pressure system along the Texas Gulf of Mexico coast on Friday. This low will probably have characteristics of both a tropical and extratropical storm. The surface low is likely to move northeastward and move ashore near the Texas/Louisiana border region on Saturday or Sunday. There will be some high wind shear to the west of the low (shear is currently a high 25 knots), so it is uncertain whether this low will be capable of developing into a tropical cyclone. Regardless, this storm will bring heavy rain capable of causing flooding--and help alleviate the exceptional drought conditions over Southeast Texas.

Early next week, we should be alert for tropical storm development over the waters between the Bahamas and North Carolina, along an old frontal zone. None of the reliable models are forecasting tropical storm development in this area or in the Gulf of Mexico, though.


Figure 2. The climatological halfway point of the Atlantic hurricane season is today, September 10.

Halfway point of hurricane season
September 10 marks the halfway point of the Atlantic hurricane season. Despite a late start (Tropical Storm Ana did not form until August 15, the latest start to a hurricane season since 1992), our number of storms has been near average. An average Atlantic hurricane season has 5 named storms, 3 hurricanes, and 1 intense hurricane by the midpoint of the season. So far this year, we've had 6 named storms, 2 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. A better measure of hurricane activity that takes into account their destructive power is the Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index. ACE for an individual storm is computed by squaring the maximum sustained winds of the storm at each 6-hourly advisory, and summing up over the entire lifetime of the storm. As of 5am EDT this morning, the seasonal ACE tally was 37.5. This number should rise to around 40 by the end of the day, thanks to the presence of Hurricane Fred. Over the period 1950 - 2005, the average ACE index for a half-season was 51, so 2009 ranks about 20% below average for the halfway point of the season. But when compared to the hurricane seasons we've been having since the current active hurricane period began in 1995, this year has been quite inactive. Between 1995 and 2008, the average ACE index for the halfway point of the season was 72. Thus, 2009 is about 45% less active than what we've been accustomed to over the past 14 years.

We've been lucky this year that the steering currents have aligned to keep our two major hurricanes, Bill and Fred, out to sea. What will the rest of the season have in store for us? I'll present an analysis on Friday.

Twenty years ago on this date
On September 10, 1989, the strong tropical wave that had moved off the coast of Africa the previous day acquired an organized circulation at the surface and began building a concentrated area of heavy thunderstorms near its center. A new tropical depression, the 12th of the season, was born. Moving westward at 20 mph, the depression brought strong, gusty winds and heavy rain showers to the Cape Verdes Islands as it passed to the south. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center predicted that the steadily organizing tropical depression would strengthen into a tropical storm within the next day or two. The next name on the list of Atlantic tropical storm names for 1989: Hugo.


Figure 3. AVHRR visible satellite image of Tropical Depression Twelve taken on September 10, 1989. Image credit: Google Earth rendition of the NOAA HURSAT data base.

Jeff Masters

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Tnx hydrus
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Quoting centex:
He didn't predict cat 5 just a TS. My point is reaction was the over hype.


as I see it, the problem with "trolls" is that there are people on here who actually take every word they say seriously, which is not a good thing in my opinion.
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
I know before there was talk of ants and stuff in relation to storms. This is gross, but what about roaches? We have not had a problem in a while and for some reason I have killed 3 today in my house.....what is up with that?.....
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1609. JLPR
Quoting serialteg:


Check out the 1950 Season names for the NHC:

# 1 Storms

* 1.1 Hurricane Able
* 1.2 Hurricane Baker
* 1.3 Hurricane Charlie
* 1.4 Hurricane Dog
* 1.5 Hurricane Easy
* 1.6 Hurricane Fox
* 1.7 Hurricane George
* 1.8 Tropical Storm How
* 1.9 Hurricane Item
* 1.10 Hurricane Jig
* 1.11 Hurricane King
* 1.12 Tropical Storm Twelve
* 1.13 Hurricane Love
* 1.14 Cyclone Mike





How and Item must have been interesting storms =P
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Quoting F4PHANTOM:

Beaumont and east Tex the same way.Blue roofs still there when Ike came along.Now no roof for tarp. The wind destruction in east Tex from Rita was incredible. Then comes Ike with the water. Wasn't important to anyone except those who suffered. Wasn't a major city like N.O.


Yeah. It was pretty incredible. Both in their own way. But yep, all the roofs here are either new or blue, :)
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I'm gonna change my name from RitaRefugee to RitaRefugeeTroll.....
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Quoting serialteg:


Check out the 1950 Season names for the NHC:

# 1 Storms

* 1.1 Hurricane Able
* 1.2 Hurricane Baker
* 1.3 Hurricane Charlie
* 1.4 Hurricane Dog
* 1.5 Hurricane Easy
* 1.6 Hurricane Fox
* 1.7 Hurricane George
* 1.8 Tropical Storm How
* 1.9 Hurricane Item
* 1.10 Hurricane Jig
* 1.11 Hurricane King
* 1.12 Tropical Storm Twelve
* 1.13 Hurricane Love
* 1.14 Cyclone Mike




Heh, Hurricane Love. That is a storm on the same level as Hurricane Fifi.
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Quoting jeffs713:

As others have mentioned, he also called Danny to be a cat 2, said Erika would never get named, never said anything about Claudette, and also said that Ana would be an East Coast threat.


wrong about claudette... now i know we're talking about stormno hehe

actually he was the "outlier" talking constantly about the gom while most of us (anyway) were watching the atlantic
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Quoting jurakantaino:
I Know but our ancestors were wise enough to find a way to name those storms following the catholic monthly calendar even when develop societies like the United states referred to them as the great storm of such and such year.


Check out the 1950 Season names for the NHC:

# 1 Storms

* 1.1 Hurricane Able
* 1.2 Hurricane Baker
* 1.3 Hurricane Charlie
* 1.4 Hurricane Dog
* 1.5 Hurricane Easy
* 1.6 Hurricane Fox
* 1.7 Hurricane George
* 1.8 Tropical Storm How
* 1.9 Hurricane Item
* 1.10 Hurricane Jig
* 1.11 Hurricane King
* 1.12 Tropical Storm Twelve
* 1.13 Hurricane Love
* 1.14 Cyclone Mike



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Quoting hydrus:
I have one you should check out. Google the Great Hurricane of 1780. They have some solid evidence that the storm had winds well over 200 mph on some islands. Over 9000 died on Martinique alone. it was phenomenal.
In San Juan P.R. the "anenometro" broke when it register wind of 200 mph, is in the weather records of the island.
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Quoting centex:
He didn't predict cat 5 just a TS. My point is reaction was the over hype.

As others have mentioned, he also called Danny to be a cat 2, said Erika would never get named, never said anything about Claudette, and also said that Ana would be an East Coast threat.
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1601. hydrus
Quoting RitaRefugee:
Trolls are people who have never lost all your kid's toys and stuff to a bitch like Rita...Trolls are people who think they want a hurricane to hit their town so they can say, "I was in so and so". Trolls SUCK. Live thru it and then we'll see how you sound.
Nuthin like being honest and direct Refugee.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20536

Loop

Wow.
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Quoting jeffs713:

Actually, its not the forecast itself that everyone jumped on. It was the presentation. If you look back, both StormW and Weather456 have said the area needs to be watched based on model indications.

When someone who has a history of overhyping stuff, and acting like they are an official forecaster makes a doom and gloom forecast that has more hype than forecast information (ie: predicting landfall and strength of something that hasn't formed yet)... they are going to get blasted.

Also, keep in mind the adage: "If you throw enough crap on the wall, eventually some of it will stick".


I remember stormtop had the Land Fall of Katrina at 175 mph with the center going over passchristan when Katrina was still as TS in the Bahamas. point is he still didn't even get katrina right, it hit west of NOLA at 150mph.
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Quoting RitaRefugee:
Lost my whole damn house with Rita...scared for Ed.....sprang up awfully fast with a HOT Gomex....just wanted to say...SWLA...read AUDREY



Seems Rita inspired more than one WU handle. Lol. I got the stats somewhere. Rita and Audrey were almost identical in path and damage etc. However, comparing the winds speeds pressure readings, surge...Rita either was exactly the same or worse than Audrey. That is before the equipment failed during Rita. Thats kinda weird since Audrey was a 4 and Rita was a 3. I don't think, unless you saw it, you really understand how bad Rita was. Hopefully never again.
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And if you guys are talking about stormno, aka stormtop and whatever other nicks he has, he actually has been pretty accurate this season so i pay attention to what he says... even if he is a kind of weird fellow
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1595. hydrus
Quoting jurakantaino:
Yes category five San Felipe, my grandmother told about her experiences, San CIprian in 1932 was weird since by coinsidence we had an earthquake during the hurricane.
An earthquake during a hurricane...That reminds me of the Philippines in 1991, Pinatubo was erupting and than a typhoon strikes. The scene was horrendous!
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20536
1594. centex
Quoting jeffs713:

Actually, its not the forecast itself that everyone jumped on. It was the presentation. If you look back, both StormW and Weather456 have said the area needs to be watched based on model indications.

When someone who has a history of overhyping stuff, and acting like they are an official forecaster makes a doom and gloom forecast that has more hype than forecast information (ie: predicting landfall and strength of something that hasn't formed yet)... they are going to get blasted.

Also, keep in mind the adage: "If you throw enough crap on the wall, eventually some of it will stick".
He didn't predict cat 5 just a TS. My point is reaction was the over hype.
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Quoting centex:
Don't care who started it, blog discounted tropical event and that was wrong period. Anyone who tried to add reason was accused of being troll. This needs to change.

What do you propose as a solution, then?
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Quoting serialteg:


IMO those traditional names are much better than the Gringo ones. Even with the San (Saint) pre-fix (how ironic to name a hurricane as Saint " " but thats how we did it for a long time)
I Know but our ancestors were wise enough to find a way to name those storms following the catholic monthly calendar even when develop societies like the United states referred to them as the great storm of such and such year.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Trolls are people who have never lost all your kid's toys and stuff to a bitch like Rita...Trolls are people who think they want a hurricane to hit their town so they can say, "I was in so and so". Trolls SUCK. Live thru it and then we'll see how you sound.
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Quoting centex:
Blog warning. Yesterday a so called troll predicted named storm in GOM this weekend. Everyone jumped on him for being a troll and making outrageous claims without any supporting data. Fact, he did present some data and reasoning, while limited it was not off the wall. Shame on you guys/gals for jumping on each trop forecast which does not match NHC at point in time. There must have been over 20 post critical of post and calling names. I think it was more reasonable than most post on this blog. Who is being professional? There is an arrogance to accept only NHC similar caster and trash everyone else, I guess everyone must put percent chance in claims. I guess this one was suggesting greater than 50, NHC now saying less than 30, so we better label them a troll. Sorry for long essay but blog and regulars have a problem too.

Actually, its not the forecast itself that everyone jumped on. It was the presentation. If you look back, both StormW and Weather456 have said the area needs to be watched based on model indications.

When someone who has a history of overhyping stuff, and acting like they are an official forecaster makes a doom and gloom forecast that has more hype than forecast information (ie: predicting landfall and strength of something that hasn't formed yet)... they are going to get blasted.

Also, keep in mind the adage: "If you throw enough crap on the wall, eventually some of it will stick".
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RitaRefugee,

Okay, there is no storm imminent (as in tonight), and the SE Texas SW La crew is on, so I will digress a little.

I took away from that movie what I saw among my cajun relatives - a fierce love of, and devotion to, family and friends. I have a handicapped sister, so that part touched me very deeply.

I do see your point, though. :)
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earthquake during a hurricane, sound like fun...
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Quoting hydrus:
I have one you should check out. Google the Great Hurricane of 1780. They have some solid evidence that the storm had winds well over 200 mph on some islands. Over 9000 died on Martinique alone. it was phenomenal.


What were 9000 people doing in Martinique in the year 1780?

Does that number include livestock and monkeys?
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Quoting GustyinPR:
"you have a problem with left-handed folks?"
Jaja NOOOO not at all the stupid part is because it came so late it almost ruined Thanksgiving for us and the lefty well because he was lefty comming from west to east


Oh Lenny...

Now I remember

One man's garbage is another man's treasure... Lenny left the south coast of PR one of the best swells it has seen in decades. It definetly was one of the most memorable swells of my life. We really hardly ever see a long period offshore SSW swell - a true freak scenario, but that was Lenny for us.
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1585. hydrus
Quoting JLPR:


yes
my grandma lived through that one
and it was the biggest and worst one ever for PR since then
I have one you should check out. Google the Great Hurricane of 1780. They have some solid evidence that the storm had winds well over 200 mph on some islands. Over 9000 died on Martinique alone. it was phenomenal.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20536
Cajuns not canjuns...damn whiskey
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Quoting hydrus:
I am sure you know about monsters that practically ripped Puerto Rico apart. I saw photos about the 1928 hurricane of incredible wind damage.Including an 11 foot pine board slammed through a sable palm 35 feet in the air.
Yes category five San Felipe, my grandmother told about her experiences, San CIprian in 1932 was weird since by coinsidence we had an earthquake during the hurricane.
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Quoting jurakantaino:
Amazing thank you for the memories I love my Island so much that I get emotional when I remember the devastation we suffer from George(San Mateo) in the tradional name calling by the elderlies islanders.


IMO those traditional names are much better than the Gringo ones. Even with the San (Saint) pre-fix (how ironic to name a hurricane as Saint " " but thats how we did it for a long time)
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Thanks, Hydrus, our immediate family was okay. We were very blessed.
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"you have a problem with left-handed folks?"
Jaja NOOOO not at all the stupid part is because it came so late it almost ruined Thanksgiving for us and the lefty well because he was lefty comming from west to east
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oops...sorry...good movie, except they portray Canjuns as retarded idiots...other than that...decent movie.
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Quoting hydrus:
I think class was canceled the day that went down.


yea back then photoshop was in its "crayons, elmers glue and scissors" phase
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1577. hydrus
Quoting TexNowNM:


I just finished Cathy Post's book on Audrey. She isn't the greatest writer in the world but the book is just chilling. I remember my mom talking about Audrey when I was a child; it made such an impression on her.

Cameron parish is still hurting from Rita. I cried many tears driving down that beach highway when we went back after Rita. Holly Beach was indescribable. Then to go back after Ike and realize a lot of the parish's damage is from Rita because folks still couldn't rebuild!

I recommend the movie, "A Cajun Story" to what that part of the country looked like before Rita. I look at our own before and after pictures from Cow Bayou and I can't believe the destruction.
I am sorry, I hope you and yours pulled through alright.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20536
1576. JLPR
Quoting hydrus:
I am sure you know about monsters that practically ripped Puerto Rico apart. I saw photos about the 1928 hurricane of incredible wind damage.Including an 11 foot pine board slammed through a sable palm 35 feet in the air.


yes
my grandma lived through that one
and it was the biggest and worst one ever for PR since then

Also that one was called San Felipe II or for our American folks, the Okeechobee hurricane
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Quoting TexNowNM:


I just finished Cathy Post's book on Audrey. She isn't the greatest writer in the world but the book is just chilling. I remember my mom talking about Audrey when I was a child; it made such an impression on her.

Cameron parish is still hurting from Rita. I cried many tears driving down that beach highway when we went back after Rita. Holly Beach was indescribable. Then to go back after Ike and realize a lot of the parish's damage is from Rita because folks still couldn't rebuild!

I recommend the movie, "A Cajun Story" to what that part of the country looked like before Rita. I look at our own before and after pictures from Cow Bayou and I can't believe the destruction.
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Quoting Progster:
Link

CMC takes the former "nekked" swirl now vc of the Bahamas and develops it into an extratropical "monster" by Monday...


Nice
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Quoting RitaRefugee:


Not hostile...live for 104 days, 15 hours 46 minutes and 12 seconds with YOUR inlaws...FEMA trailer for 18 months.....I AM NOT LEAVING MY HOME FOR ANYTHING LESS THAN A CAT 3....pooyaih...ask PATRAP what POOYAIH means.


Now ya talkin'!
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Quoting serialteg:
Georges @ Puerto Rico 1998

Amazing thank you for the memories I love my Island so much that I get emotional when I remember the devastation we suffer from George(San Mateo) in the tradional name calling by the elderlies islanders.
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1571. hydrus
Quoting serialteg:


sounds like photoshop to me

lolol
I think class was canceled the day that went down.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20536
Quoting RitaRefugee:
Lost my whole damn house with Rita...scared for Ed.....sprang up awfully fast with a HOT Gomex....just wanted to say...SWLA...read AUDREY



I just finished Cathy Post's book on Audrey. She isn't the greatest writer in the world but the book is just chilling. I remember my mom talking about Audrey when I was a child; it made such an impression on her.

Cameron parish is still hurting from Rita. I cried many tears driving down that beach highway when we went back after Rita. Holly Beach was indescribable. Then to go back after Ike and realize a lot of the parish's damage is from Rita because folks still couldn't rebuild!

I recommend the movie, "A Cajun Story" to what that part of the country looked like before Rita. I look at our own before and after pictures from Cow Bayou and I can't believe the destruction.
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Quoting msphar:
Fred's is being shredded tonight. How cool is that ?


not cool if youre a surfer
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Quoting hydrus:
I am sure you know about monsters that practically ripped Puerto Rico apart. I saw photos about the 1928 hurricane of incredible wind damage.Including an 11 foot pine board slammed through a sable palm 35 feet in the air.


sounds like photoshop to me

lolol
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Quoting hydrus:
I almost see some hostility in that post. But I can understand you, point well taken.


Not hostile...live for 104 days, 15 hours 46 minutes and 12 seconds with YOUR inlaws...FEMA trailer for 18 months.....I AM NOT LEAVING MY HOME FOR ANYTHING LESS THAN A CAT 3....pooyaih...ask PATRAP what POOYAIH means.
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Quoting GustyinPR:
Im 26 so Marylin, Luis, Bertha, Hortence, Georges even stupid lefty Lenny come to my mind


you have a problem with left-handed folks?

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1565. hydrus
Quoting JLPR:


18
and yep the 90s were much more active with quite a few close calls for PR
but so far the 2000s have been relatively calm
I am sure you know about monsters that practically ripped Puerto Rico apart. I saw photos about the 1928 hurricane of incredible wind damage.Including an 11 foot pine board slammed through a sable palm 35 feet in the air.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20536
Link

CMC takes the former "nekked" swirl now vc of the Bahamas and develops it into an extratropical "monster" by Monday...
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1563. msphar
Fred's is being shredded tonight. How cool is that ?
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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.