98L and Fred-ex pose little threat

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:21 PM GMT on September 20, 2009

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A tropical disturbance (98L), is located midway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands. This disturbance has lost most of its heavy thunderstorm activity over the past day. Last night's QuikSCAT pass showed an elongated circulation, with top winds around 30 mph. Wind shear is moderate, 10 - 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 has been instrumental in disrupting development of 98L over the weekend.

Wind shear over 98L is expected to remain in the moderate range, 10 - 15 knots, through Tuesday evening, according to the SHIPS model. This may allow the storm to organize into a tropical depression, assuming it can fight off the dry air that surrounds it. Tuesday through Thursday, the SHIPS model predicts shear will increase to the high range, 20 - 25 knots, so it is unlikely 98L will become anything stronger than a weak tropical storm over the coming 5-day period. The models 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. NHC is giving 98L a medium (30 - 50%) chance of developing into a tropical depression by Tuesday. It does not appear that 98L will ever threaten any land areas. The GFDL and NOGAPS models develop 98L into a tropical storm; the other models do not.


Figure 1. Morning visible satellite image of Fred-ex (located at the tail end of a cold front draped over the Atlantic), and 98L.

Fred-ex
The remains of Hurricane Fred are still spinning away about 600 miles east of the Georgia-Florida border. Fred-ex's circulation has become ill-defined over the past day, and there has been no increase in heavy thunderstorm activity. High wind shear of 20 - 30 knots is affecting the storm, and there is also quite a bit of dry air interfering with development. The high wind shear and dry air will continue to affect Fred-ex over the next three days, as the storm moves west-northwest at 10 mph. Most of the models show the moisture from Fred-ex moving ashore between northern Florida and North Carolina Tuesday or Wednesday. None of the models develop Fred-ex, and I'm not expecting it to cause any flooding problems when it moves ashore.

Twenty years ago today
On September 20, 1989, Hurricane Hugo continued its steady northwest march at 15 mph towards the Southeast U.S., brushing the Bahama Islands along the way. Wind shear diminished, allowing the hurricane to intensify back to a major Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds. Hurricane watches and warnings had not yet been posted for the U.S. coast, but at noon on September 20, Mayor Riley of Charleston went on the air, telling residents of the city that Hugo was a killer. There was a very good chance that Hugo would be South Carolina's worst disaster this century, he said, with a storm surge up to fifteen feet high. Now, while the weather was good and the storm still far away, was the time to board up and get out.


Figure 2. AVHRR visible satellite image of Hurricane Hugo taken on September 20, 1989. Wind shear had diminished, allowing Hugo to intensify to a Category 3 storm with 115 mph winds. Image credit: Google Earth rendition of the NOAA HURSAT data base.

South Carolinans paid attention. Within an hour, residents jammed hardware stores and supermarkets. Traffic on roads away from the coast swelled as people scrambled to flee the arrival of the first major hurricane to strike South Carolina in thirty years--since Category 3 Hurricane Gracie of 1959 slammed into the coast south of Charleston.

At 6 pm, it became official: the Southeast U.S. coast from St. Augustine to Cape Hatteras had been placed under a hurricane watch, meaning that hurricane conditions could be expected within 36 hours. The torrent of evacuees leaving the coast swelled, reaching a million people in all.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, the aftermath of Hugo became desperate as widespread looting erupted on St. Croix, forcing President Bush to send 1,100 troops. Wunderground member Mike Steers was there, and relates this story: "Surviving the aftermath was the real challenge. The lack of power, water, communications of any kind, and the crime and looting was the real test. After about a week of digging out of the remains of the house and neighborhood I was able to venture out on my motorcycle to see what had become of my job. On the way, I personally witnessed the looting and lawlessness. I even saw a National Guard truck backed up to what was a appliance store and the guardsmen were helping themselves to washers and dryers. Never mind that there was no power to run them. When I got to the seaplane ramp, I saw the total destruction that is depicted in one of the photos I sent. On my way home, there was a small local grocery store I had usually gone to, and I was going to stop in and see how the owners were doing. There was a band of youths in the process of carrying out everything that was not nailed down. From the back, out ran a rastaman with a machete saying he wanted my motorcycle. Needless to say, I gunned it and got back to my house as soon as possible. My neighbors and I set up our own armed 24-hour security checkpoint to protect ourselves. It was about a week later that the first of the giant C-5s flew over, sent by President Bush to start to restore order..."


Figure 3. Newspaper headline from the Virgin Islands Daily News after Hurricane Hugo, detailing the looting problems on St. Croix. Image scanned in by Mike Steers.

Jeff Masters

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416. BahaHurican
10:51 PM GMT on September 20, 2009
I've spent a lot of my spare time this p.m. reading about the Soufriere Hills volcanic eruption on Montserrat. This volcanic eruption has been ongoing since about 1995, and has decimated as much as 70% of the islands's area, including most of the population centres.

I think it was the talk about lahars (rain-induced volcanic mud flows) in here this morning that induced me to start reading, and the reading has been fascinating. One interesting thing that caught my eye was that heavy rain events not only caused lahars, but also may have been responsible for triggering some of the volcanic explosions there. There was mention of Hurricanes Hugo, Georges, and Omar in some of the different accounts and reports.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22087
414. Cavin Rawlins
10:51 PM GMT on September 20, 2009
Quoting Hurricane009:
So, my predictino that i made may be right???


If you mean the prediction near or above 2005, I dont think so.

If we do experience neutral conditions and the effects of El Nino dont lag, we may have a near to above average season.

However even if El Nino lag we could have year similar to 1998, albeit all other conditions are there.

But the chances of next year being another 2005 are slim to none. 2005 was anomaly.

The chances of next year being like 2009 is also slim to none, becuz 2009 was also an anomaly and a global one at that that coincided with El Nino. That is why we have even less storms that 2006 and 2002.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
413. GeoffreyWPB
10:51 PM GMT on September 20, 2009
I think we can officially bid a fond adieu to yellow FredEx at 8:00 p.m.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11150
412. Canekid98
10:49 PM GMT on September 20, 2009
yo yo what goes on?
411. Hurricanejer95
10:47 PM GMT on September 20, 2009
Quoting BahaHurican:
Maybe one of u guys can be like jer and do a different storm. I'm assuming, jer, u actually experienced the storm yourself....

I did one for Andrew years ago, but it was focused less on the storm itself and more on the preps and the aftermath...


I sill live in California in 2004... I was 8 years old at that time

And Jeff i think lived in Ann Harbor 20 yrs ago
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 259
409. BahaHurican
10:45 PM GMT on September 20, 2009
Maybe one of u guys can be like jer and do a different storm. I'm assuming, jer, u actually experienced the storm yourself....

I did one for Andrew years ago, but it was focused less on the storm itself and more on the preps and the aftermath...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22087
408. Cavin Rawlins
10:43 PM GMT on September 20, 2009
Quoting SLU:


I've never witnessed such a dry "wet season" like this before. The weather station in Castries only reported 105.4mm of rain in August and the average is around 200 - 220mm and so far for September only 54.9mm in 20days with the average being about 230 - 250mm.

I believe that one of the reasons for the lack of tropical wave activity in the Caribbean this year is because of the persistent and large deep layer troughs which have existed in the Atlantic thus causing a very slow westward movement of the waves and also recurving many of them and taking away all their energy from the deep tropics in the process. These troughs also caused the highly unusual movement of Fred. Tropical waves produce about 70% of our annual rainfall so when there aren't any, look out for dry weather. Another reason is the very non-existent ITCZ this season.

456,
So after spring 2010 we can expect near neutral el nino/la nina conditions? Sounds like it could be a more interesting season next year.


The lack of tropical wave activity is also contributed by:

1) a more stable Tropical Atlantic.

2) a weaker African Easterly Jet.

3) increase tradewind flow that resulted in surface divergence (dry) rather than surface convergence (wet).

This image effectively describes the strength of the trades (size and length of vectors) and the moisture flux over the past 3 months.


These conditions are not expected to change much through the remainder of the season (October and November).

I do not encourage long-range forecast pass 3-6 months since forecast error greatly increases for climate models thereafter. However, for information purposes, Neutral ENSO predicted for the peak of the 2010 hurricane season. Not good.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
407. tornadodude
10:41 PM GMT on September 20, 2009
Quoting tornadodude:


maybe because Jeff almost lost his life in Hugo? and he can vividly remember the details of this storm, and because his story is incredible


dont get me wrong tho, it would be good to one on a more modern hurricane too tho
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8333
406. tornadodude
10:41 PM GMT on September 20, 2009
Quoting Hurricanejer95:
Hurricane Hugo is ancient! Want to remember more modern hurricane? I am doing Hurricane Jeanne!
My blog

Hey Jeff! Why you did not do Ike or Ivan?


maybe because Jeff almost lost his life in Hugo? and he can vividly remember the details of this storm, and because his story is incredible
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8333
405. Hurricanejer95
10:35 PM GMT on September 20, 2009
Hurricane Hugo is ancient! Want to remember more modern hurricane? I am doing Hurricane Jeanne!
My blog

Hey Jeff! Why you did not do Ike or Ivan?
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 259
404. Yalahaman
10:35 PM GMT on September 20, 2009
Quoting canenizzle:


Anyone want to buy a pup? I have 5 left
Are they Kosher?
Member Since: August 20, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 107
403. SLU
10:33 PM GMT on September 20, 2009
Quoting Weather456:
SLU,

And its only getting drier since the rainy season will be over by December. This is the driest I've seen this place in a long time.

El Nino conditions expected through Spring 2010.
Quoting leftovers:
not very many tropical waves this yr


I've never witnessed such a dry "wet season" like this before. The weather station in Castries only reported 105.4mm of rain in August and the average is around 200 - 220mm and so far for September only 54.9mm in 20days with the average being about 230 - 250mm.

I believe that one of the reasons for the lack of tropical wave activity in the Caribbean this year is because of the persistent and large deep layer troughs which have existed in the Atlantic thus causing a very slow westward movement of the waves and also recurving many of them and taking away all their energy from the deep tropics in the process. These troughs also caused the highly unusual movement of Fred. Tropical waves produce about 70% of our annual rainfall so when there aren't any, look out for dry weather. Another reason is the very non-existent ITCZ this season.

456,
So after spring 2010 we can expect near neutral el nino/la nina conditions? Sounds like it could be a more interesting season next year.
Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 5122
401. Nimitz
10:22 PM GMT on September 20, 2009
Quoting aquak9:
009, I'm in Jacksonville, Florida. Just south of Georgia, three miles inland from the Atlantic.


That would make it around Hodges Blvd. I'm in poor mans San Marco.
Member Since: August 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 98
Grothar,

Are you there still
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting hunkerdown:
see, you know nothing about eagles. they need to be prepared like duck. either searing the breast or slow raosting the whole bird. they are a flying bird, the wings are nothing but a bunch of bones...but if thats what you like :)
probably better than "crow"...lol

:)

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tkeith:


or perhaps some BBQ'd Eagle wings?

:^)
see, you know nothing about eagles. they need to be prepared like duck. either searing the breast or slow raosting the whole bird. they are a flying bird, the wings are nothing but a bunch of bones...but if thats what you like :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
SLU,

And its only getting drier since the rainy season will be over by December. This is the driest I've seen this place in a long time.

El Nino conditions expected through Spring 2010.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting hunkerdown:
does it come with the bun, with mustard and onions ?


or perhaps some BBQ'd Eagle wings?

:^)
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


yea oops lol

looks like the Eagles got their wings clipped lmao
yeah, who'd of thunk, Kolb playing well but the D stinking up the field. *holds head in shame*
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391. SLU
It's been frustratingly hot and dry this season over in the Eastern Caribbean with very few tropical waves in the last 6 weeks or so .. typical el nino year.

*yawn*

What's the el nino/la nina forecast for 2010 like?
Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 5122
Quoting canenizzle:


Anyone want to buy a pup? I have 5 left
does it come with the bun, with mustard and onions ?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:
According to the CFS the the eastern U.S. and especially southeastern U.S. will have below average temperatures.
and if you want to believe that, could they please give an accurate forecast for this week, or better yet, for tomorrow...
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Quoting tkeith:
From this mornings discussion...lol

1490. tkeith 8:36 AM CDT on September 20, 2009
Quoting hunkerdown:
they will start the thrashing of the 'Aints at 1:00


LOL...

we'll see...


it was worth lookin that comment up...*chuckles*


yea oops lol

looks like the Eagles got their wings clipped lmao
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
From this mornings discussion...lol

1490. tkeith 8:36 AM CDT on September 20, 2009
Quoting hunkerdown:
they will start the thrashing of the 'Aints at 1:00


LOL...

we'll see...


it was worth lookin that comment up...*chuckles*
it's warm and Breezy here today in NOLA...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
well i think you have a better chance of snow than me! :)
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009, I'm in Jacksonville, Florida. Just south of Georgia, three miles inland from the Atlantic.
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Quoting Drakoen:
According to the CFS the the eastern U.S. and especially southeastern U.S. will have below average temperatures.


Throughout the winter? or in the short term?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting iceman55:
swampliliy good .thank for asking :)

Been reading here for quite a while and you've always been polite and courteous that I've seen.
BTW- driven thru Slidell a few times- nice area.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting iceman55:
I HAVE questions.how good CFS MODELS .??


It has been reliable over the past 2 years. It handles wind shear good but I've seen some inconsistencies in predicting sea surface temperatures. It always seem to be predicting El Ninos.

I've been using it since 2004 and it has come along way
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Hey ICE! How goes it?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Evening all!
Heavy rain here at the moment in Tampa, Fl area. Probably last 5 mins then go to hot, hazy and humid again. ;-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting iceman55:


^^^^
500mb heights




you have everything even accupro. :)
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting WeatherStudent:


Agreed. You write very well, by the way!


Thank you WS. Very nice compliment. I try.
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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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