Disturbance 98L probably no threat to land

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:46 PM GMT on September 18, 2009

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A tropical disturbance (98L), is located midway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands. This disturbance has a well-defined surface circulation, and has developed a modest amount of heavy thunderstorm activity overnight. This morning's QuikSCAT pass (Figure 1) shows a complete, circular wind pattern around the low pressure center of 98L, but top winds were only 25 mph. Wind shear is moderate, about 15 knots, and Sea Surface Temperatures are 28°C, which is about 2°C above the 26°C threshold needed to support a tropical cyclone. There is a large amount of dry air to the north and west of 98L, and this dry air is interfering with development.

The global computer models predict differing amounts of wind shear in the path of 98L as it moves west-northwest at 10 mph over the next three days. The ECMWF, GFS, and UKMET models do not develop 98L, while the NOGAPS, GFDL, and HWRF do. The models that do develop 98L predict that a strong trough of low pressure will turn 98L to the northwest and then north beginning on Monday, with the result that 98L misses the Lesser Antilles Islands by at least 500 miles. Given the moderate or higher wind shear in 98L's path, and dry air to the northwest, the system should develop only slowly. NHC is giving 98L a medium (30 - 50%) chance of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday. At this time, it does not appear that 98L will ever threaten any land areas.

The remains of Hurricane Fred are still spinning away, near 25N 66W, about 900 miles east of Florida. Wind shear is 20 knots, which is marginal for development, and there is very dry air surrounding ex-Fred on all sides. None of the computer models develop ex-Fred, and it will have a tough time regenerating with so much dry air and wind shear. The remains of Fred should move over Florida Monday night or Tuesday morning.


Figure 1. Morning QuickSCAT image of the Atlantic, showing the well-defined surface circulation of disturbance 98L. Image credit: NOAA/NESDIS.

One year anniversary of Hurricane Ike
I've been focusing this week on the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Hugo, but we also passed the one year anniversary of Hurricane Ike. Many areas along the Texas and Louisiana coast affected by Ike have fully recovered, but recovery efforts will still take many more years in other areas. In Galveston, which suffered $3.2 billion in damage, 75% of the businesses have reopened, and 95% of the population has returned. Boston.com has posted a very nice series of clickable images that show before and after scenes of some of the areas that have recovered from Hurricane Ike.

Ike washed away huge sections of beach and dunes that helped protect the Texas coast from more serious damage, and this week the state legislature approved $135 million in funds to help replace these critical natural protection systems. The restored beaches will probably last ten years, barring another strike by a hurricane of Ike's stature. Texas considers two-thirds of its 367-mile shoreline to be critically eroding, which it defines as a historical rate of more than 2 feet a year. Much of this erosion can be blamed on sea level rise. Global sea level rose seven inches over the past century, and is expected to rise at least that much over the coming century.


Figure 2. Villagers in Haiti plant one of their "Million Tree Campaign" trees. Image credit: Lambi Fund of Haiti.

Hurricane relief donations
There hasn't been a need for new hurricane-related disaster relief efforts this year, in stark contrast to 2008. However, the charities we rely on to provide disaster relief still require funds to operate in quiet years, and I encourage you to consider a donation at this time to one of my two favorite disaster relief charities. Portlight.org, which was very effective at helping out isolated, under-served communities in the wake of Hurricane Ike, is committed to raising $12,000 to purchase and outfit a mobile kitchen. This kitchen will be capable of feeding up to 2,000 people two hot meals per day in post-disaster situations. The Lambi Fund of Haiti has launched its "Million Tree Campaign", which aims to use local labor to plant a million trees over the next three years along severely deforested slopes in Haiti. Both of these charities wrote to me several times last year about the stunning generosity readers of this blog showed with their donations. Thanks!

Twenty years ago today
As Hurricane Hugo approached the U.S. Virgin Islands in the early morning hours of September 18, 1989, the storm slowed down to 10 mph. The slower speed allowed Hugo to punish the island of St. Croix with the worst beating of any location along the hurricane's destructive path. At 2am local time on September 18, 1989, Hurricane Hugo's eyewall struck St. Croix, bringing incredibly ferocious Category 4 winds, sustained at 140 mph. The hurricane's gusts were remarkably violent, and many residents witnessed tornado-like vorticies barreling across the island as the hurricane raged about them. A storm surge of 2 - 3 feet, topped by battering waves 20 - 23 feet high, assaulted the coast, adding to the destruction. Wunderground member Mike Steers wrote me to describe his experience on St. Croix: "Hugo was incredible. Many vortexes came in that night. The roar and intensity of the winds that night were incredible. When the eyewall came over, we were forced to take refuge in the bathroom as the rest of the house came apart. The pressure was so low outside the house that all of the water was sucked out of the toilet and an air draft was created through the toilet. Just when I thought it was as bad as it would get, the intensity of it all dialed up even higher. Dozens and dozens of times, my ears would violently pop due to rapid pressure changes. The next morning, of course, the devastation was unbelievable. In my front yard was a 18-foot boat with an outboard on it, that had been picked up from a marina two miles away. I had lost my house, and job, the Seaplane company I was a pilot for. After a couple months, I had to leave everything behind. In some respects, after 20 years, there an many aspects of the society that have yet to recover". Two people were killed on St. Croix, 80 injured, and 90% of the buildings were damaged or destroyed. Damage estimates for St. Croix were astronomical, over $1 billion, and the island's entire infrastructure was virtually wiped out. Six weeks after the hurricane, only 25% of the public roads had been cleared, and only 25% of the island had power.


Figure 3. GOES visible satellite image of Hurricane Hugo taken on September 18, 1989. Note the lack of cloud cover on the hurricane's southwest side, indicating that strong upper-level winds from the southwest were likely creating wind shear, weakening the storm. Image credit: Google Earth rendition of the NOAA HURSAT data base.

As Hugo departed St. Croix, strong upper-level winds from the southwest created wind shear that weakened the storm to a Category 3 hurricane with 130 mph winds. The upper level winds also caused Hugo to accelerate to 15 mph and turn more northwest. The eye passed over Puerto Rico's Vieques Island at 8am and over Fajardo on the extreme northeastern tip of Puerto Rico at 9am. On Culebra Island, an island twelve miles east of Fajardo, a gust to 170 mph was recorded by the ship Night Cap in the main harbor. The south-facing harbor received sustained southerly winds in excess of 120 mph for several hours as Hugo roared by to the south. The resulting wave "set-up" created a storm surge in excess of 13 feet in the supposedly hurricane-proof harbor. A large portion of the Caribbean's charter boat fleet, some 200 boats, was sheltering in Culebra's harbor, and 136 of these boats were badly damaged or sunk. Over 80% of the wooden structures on both Culebra and Vieques were destroyed.


Figure 4. Damage on St. Croix (two top photos), Culebra Island (bottom right), and Puerto Rico's Roosevelt Roads Navy Base (bottom left), after Hurricane Hugo. Image credit: NOAA Photo Library.

Along the northeastern coast of Puerto Rico, waves up to ten feet high riding on top of a 3 - 4 foot storm surge caused severe coastal flooding of low-lying areas. Hugo's winds tore into Puerto Rico's El Yunque rainforest, downing thousands of trees. The agricultural sector was devastated, with nearly all of the island's banana and coffee crops wiped out. Twelve deaths in Puerto Rico were attributed to Hugo, six of which occurred in the southern city of Guayama where some residents were electrocuted by downed power lines. Nearly 28,000 people were left homeless by the storm, and damage to the island exceeded $1 billion.

Storm chaser Michael Laca was at Luquillo Beach on the northeast shore of Puerto Rico, and has posted a remarkable 28-minute video on YouTube of Hurricane Hugo footage.

Jeff Masters

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1241. Grothar
Quoting Seastep:


+2


Hey Seastep, since I missed most of the blog tonight, what is the latest on 007L (Fred) doesn't look like much is left. Possible he has one final trick before brushing our beaches in SFL?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26889
Quoting Grothar:


thanks Orca. Notice I didn't have any lol's after the comment, eh!. Glad you got a laugh!


I will guarantee all of the married men were laughing... maybe not aloud..as their wives might be in the same room :)
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Quoting Grothar:


Just noticed your avatar! To whom is it directed, or would you rather not say? Too funny! Subtle, but funny. Always end the day with a good laugh, fellas!


That's for ME!!! I totally messed up on Danny & Erika!! I'm looking for crow recipes for us to share online!!!
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1238. Grothar
Quoting Bordonaro:


OK, no posting Maisy the amazing mouse!! I'll wait!!


Just noticed your avatar! To whom is it directed, or would you rather not say? Too funny! Subtle, but funny. Always end the day with a good laugh, fellas!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26889
Link

I think the most recent computer models on FredEx were run by "Maisy" The Mouse!!
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1236. Grothar
Quoting Orcasystems:


ROFLMAO, post of the Day :)


thanks Orca. Notice I didn't have any lol's after the comment, eh!. Glad you got a laugh!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26889
1235. Seastep
Quoting Orcasystems:


ROFLMAO, post of the Day :)


+2
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Quoting Grothar:


You guys do not know what "rapid intensification" is until you've looked at my wife's face when she thinks I have been on this blog too long! Next I'll show you High Pressure!!


ROFLMAO, post of the Day :)
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Quoting foggymyst:
Btw.. what is the possible general track, or is it too early to tell


To early to tell... basically upper 3/4 of Florida right now... the keys look safe for now.

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Quoting TampaSpin:
1214. foggymyst 11:06 PM EDT on September 18, 2009

Foggymyst is your boat inland or right on the coast!


Its down on the keys
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1230. Grothar
Quoting Bordonaro:


Iceman, LOL!! With "FredEx" currently generating about 10 showers total, do you expect rapid intensification!! Promise I'm NOT trying to be "pain in the buttocks"!!!


You guys do not know what "rapid intensification" is until you've looked at my wife's face when she thinks I have been on this blog too long! Next I'll show you High Pressure!!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26889
Btw.. what is the possible general track, or is it too early to tell
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Quoting iceman55:
Bordonaro on fred slow Developmen.


OK, no posting Maisy the amazing mouse!! I'll wait!!
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1214. foggymyst 11:06 PM EDT on September 18, 2009

Foggymyst is your boat inland or right on the coast!
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Orca, Geez. Boat will be just fine, thanks.
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1224. Seastep
Quoting Orcasystems:


Ahhh the perfect weather for the start of Hockey Season :)

What do you see with Fred...I see anything from 20-54 knots?


Sounds about right.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
no snow yet but its startin to feel like it could snow we are down to 51.4 now with a low forecasted in high 30's


Ahhh the perfect weather for the start of Hockey Season :)

What do you see with Fred...I see anything from 20-54 knots?
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1222. Grothar
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26889
1221. Grothar
img src="http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/atlantic/1941/track.gif" alt=""

Here is a picture for you. Great work!!!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26889
1220. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Orcasystems:


Hey KOG, hows it going... umm is it snowing yet? I think we are slowly heading into the rainy season here.
no snow yet but its startin to feel like it could snow we are down to 51.4 now with a low forecasted in high 30's
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Quoting foggymyst:
Wow..so when is this low possibly approaching Fla? (if at all, plz not wishcasting...LOL, be nice Orca)


ROFLMAO, There is no way your going to get the track you were asking for... but I would say the boat is safe.

The models are giving winds anywhere from 20-54 knots
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1218. Seastep
Quoting JupiterFL:


Thats why I got banned one time. Wrong side of GW.


I'm not convinced of AGW, just look at some preliminary work on my model validation blog pics, but have never been banned.

And, I have stated plenty on the subject, as have many others.

To say folks are being banned based on that is just flat out false.

I know of no instance of "censorship" in that regard. Bans go both ways, depending on the content.

I actually give kudos to Doc for allowing free flow of information and opinion.

If you're posting something blatantly false or grossly misleading, well, it should be scrubbed.

Sorry, felt the need to defend that. Doc has his views, but he does not censor opposing viewpoints.

My experience. I'd be with atmo in banning wu if it were so. But it's not.

If Doc wants to reference something in HIS blog post, he can. And, he doesn't ban for questioning it that I am aware of.

Shifting gears, I'll even oppose it. As I've said before, next 5-15 years will tell the story. Sat temps only. Don't even bring anything up to me before that, as temps have been higher with less CO2 and CO2 concentrations have been much higher than now in the past. Sat is the only objective, apples to apples, measure available.

Have had roughly 30 years of that and the first 2/3 were warm (take out 1997 and theory is toast, really, imo). The other 1/3 is flat, slight cooling. IMO, exactly why the language has change to northern latitudes and ice.

If we get 50/50 heating/cooling, the AGW CO2 argument is over. Really don't even need that ratio based on the increases in man-contributed CO2. If it is the cause, based on the annual increases, it shouldn't be anywhere near 50/50.

No argument on our contribution of CO2. If that is increasing at such "alarming" levels and is the cause, then there should be evidence of the same. And, sorry, anyone telling you that it is too urgent to wait 5-15 years is, well, [fill in the blank]. I could go through a litany of doomsday warnings from the past base on "urgency" that never reached fruition.

Analogous to tropical systems... patience. A decades long storm. We have a naked swirl. Is it possible that it will regenerate? Sure. But, based on the actual man-contributed CO2 %, highly unlikely that man-contributed CO2 is really a factor. That would be, imo, equivalent to going out to a storm and adding that % of red hot moisture/water to a system. Wouldn't really make a difference. I'll even be generous and add 10% to the storm. :)
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Quoting Bordonaro:


Iceman, LOL!! With "FredEx" currently generating about 10 showers total, do you expect rapid intensification!! Promise I'm NOT trying to be "pain in the buttocks"!!!


Wait for it...wait for it...
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1215. Grothar
Quoting CanesWorldCanesWorld:
OK i think i found one, in 1941 there were 2 storms in the gulf at the same time... i think...lol... i quit looking if it isn't true...
Tropical Storm #1 11-16 SEP 40 1003 -
Hurricane #2 16-25 SEP 80 977

http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/atlantic/1941/index.html


Tropical Storm One
Tropical storm (SSHS)


Duration September 11 – September 16
Intensity 45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min), 1003 mbar (hPa)
The first tropical storm formed in the northern Gulf of Mexico on September 11, the third latest start in history. It moved slowly west-northwestward and hit the Texas coast between Galveston and Port Arthur on the 15th. The storm dissipated the next day without causing any damage.

[edit] Hurricane Two
Category 1 hurricane (SSHS)


Duration September 16 – September 24
Intensity 90 mph (150 km/h) (1-min), ≤977 mbar (hPa)
Hurricane Two developed in the eastern Gulf of Mexico on September 16, just as the previous storm was dissipating. It moved westward, reaching hurricane strength while looping clockwise back to the west. It turned northwestward, and hit Texas near Matagorda just below hurricane strength on the 24th. It continued northward, and became extratropical later that day. The hurricane caused heavy flooding in Texas, amounting to $7 million in damage (1941 dollars) and 4 deaths.

You're good guys. Good work!! Congrats
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26889
Wow..so when is this low possibly approaching Fla? (if at all, plz not wishcasting...LOL, be nice Orca)
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Quoting iceman55:


Iceman, LOL!! With "FredEx" currently generating about 10 showers total, do you expect rapid intensification!! Promise I'm NOT trying to be "pain in the buttocks"!!!
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
hello big fish from the cotu


Hey KOG, hows it going... umm is it snowing yet? I think we are slowly heading into the rainy season here.
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1211. JRRP
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6165
Quoting Orcasystems:


Actually SFB, they are different pictures.. but I would not expect you to figure that out :)


Wouldn't want to try....AH
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1209. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
hello big fish from the cotu
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Quoting foggymyst:
Thanks Tampa.


Foggy.. the fries are almost ready..
You may get the full meal deal I think.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


How many times in 50 post are you going to post the same pics.....talk about trying to traffic your site......LMAO


Actually SFB, they are different pictures.. but I would not expect you to figure that out :)
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Quoting Orcasystems:

AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI


How many times in 50 post are you going to post the same pics.....talk about trying to traffic your site......LMAO
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Thanks Tampa.
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AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI
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OK i think i found one, in 1941 there were 2 storms in the gulf at the same time... i think...lol... i quit looking if it isn't true...
Tropical Storm #1 11-16 SEP 40 1003 -
Hurricane #2 16-25 SEP 80 977

http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/atlantic/1941/index.html
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1191. foggymyst 10:40 PM EDT on September 18, 2009
Good Evening. The models that have been posted this evening is for Xfred? Is there an expectation that the low will strenght?





Possibly a Tropical Storm....
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Quoting watcher123:
1192:

did you make a typo? You said Jun and Jul...which is a different month...

yeah 1193 me
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Quoting StormW:


Hard to say as steering could change as well as strength, however, at the current moment, about 50%, though I don't like working with percentages as far as projected paths. We've seen things change too quick, too many times.

Steering IS ALWAYS SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
Thanks. I know they are constantly changing but just wondered if there is a chance because so far this year I am thinking we have been a little too lucky and afraid it won't last.
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Quoting CanesWorldCanesWorld:


hey hey I found 1936 2 storms in the gulf..
Hurricane #3 26-28 JUN Tropical Storm #4 26-27 JUL

http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/atlantic/1936/index.html


ohhh shoot wrong months.... sorry
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Quoting hydrus:
I have not either, please let me know if you find anything..


hey hey I found 1936 2 storms in the gulf..
Hurricane #3 26-28 JUN Tropical Storm #4 26-27 JUL

http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/atlantic/1936/index.html
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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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