Tropical Storm Ida a major flood threat for Nicaragua and Honduras

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:33 PM GMT on November 04, 2009

Share this Blog
2
+

Tropical Storm Ida has arrived, the ninth named storm of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season. Visible satellite loops show that Ida continues to steadily organize, with surface spiral banding and upper-level outflow now obvious over the northern portion of the storm. An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft is in the storm, and found a large area of surface winds in the 45 - 50 mph range, with a smaller area of 60 mph winds, prompting NHC to upgrade the storm.


Figure 1. Afternoon satellite image of Ida.

Ida is currently under low wind shear, 5 - 10 knots, and shear is expected to remain in the low to moderate range in the Western Caribbean for the remainder of the week. Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) are 29°C and the Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential is about 40 kJ/cm^2, which is enough energy for a hurricane to form, if the center remains over water long enough. The Western Caribbean is plenty moist, and dry air is not an issue for Ida. Ida is currently too small to be affected by tropical disturbance (Invest 96E) 500 miles to its west, over the Eastern Pacific.

The forecast for Ida
The 1 - 3 day forecast for Ida has come into better focus now that the storm has formed, and models have come into better agreement. The current west to northwesterly motion of Ida should carry it inland over northeastern Nicaragua early Thursday morning. Ida is too small to tap the Pacific as a source of moisture, and it is just the northeastern portions of Nicaragua and Honduras that need to be concerned with heavy rains and mudslides. With Ida expected to spend a full two days over land, rainfall amounts of 10 - 15 inches over northeastern Nicaragua and Honduras will likely make Ida the deadliest storm of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season. There is a medium chance (30 - 50%) that Ida will dissipate while over land. If Ida survives the crossing and emerges into the Western Caribbean on Saturday, low to moderate wind shear and warm waters await it, and strengthening is likely. An extratropical storm is forecast by GFS and ECMWF models to form in the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche on Saturday, and the counter-clockwise flow of air around this storm may propel Ida northwards into the Gulf of Mexico by Monday. However, both of these models show a high pressure ridge building in and forcing Ida southwards, back into the Caribbean, by the middle of next week. The long term fate of Ida, should it survive the crossing of Nicaragua and Honduras, remains murky.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 619 - 569

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26Blog Index

Quoting TampaSpin:
Evening all.....nice blow up of Ida i see...


A recent 37 GHz SSMIS overpass indicates that an eye feature is evident at the mid- and upper-levels. Had it not been for land interaction with Central America, Ida would probably have been a hurricane by now.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19146
Quoting tornadodude:


hey there,

hmm,

well I think it will cross Nicaragua and then move between Cuba and the Yucatan, possibly clipping the Yucatan, then maybe towards Florida.

Strength, well, maybe a cat 1 or 2 when it moves into the GOM, but then it hits cooler water the farther north is goes, so not sure after that

Yep, StormW posted a very clear pic of those cooler waters yesterday, actually all the waters in play -- I'm sure others posted similar -- and even I could "get" it. Thanks, I think you could be exactly right.

So cooler waters would keep it from LA or TX? Or am I off there?

Anyone is welcome to comment. Thanks, T'Dude.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting TampaSpin:
Evening all.....nice blow up of Ida i see...


whoa, three Indiana people on at once :P
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Evening all.....nice blow up of Ida i see...
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:


Hi, and am I glad you guys are on after reviewing the last couple-few pages. I just came in to see what was shakin', and some of the stuff I've read is giving me a creepy feeling. I've seen some rot that said the system is going to go through FL, to NC, and form a N'oreaster (oh give me a break, but what do I know...not much). But then Patrap posted some excellent models and looks like concensus is building towards the GOM.
So would you please give Nana a bottom-line no-hype sensible forecast? Thanks! :)(:


hey there,

hmm,

well I think it will cross Nicaragua and then move between Cuba and the Yucatan, possibly clipping the Yucatan, then maybe towards Florida.

Strength, well, maybe a cat 1 or 2 when it moves into the GOM, but then it hits cooler water the farther north is goes, so not sure after that
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
614. xcool
AwakeInMaryland hi
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15603
Quoting nocaneindy:


Good ole Muncie,In


oh wow, I go to Purdue, and am form Washington Indiana
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey, BAP, xcool, et al., you came on while I was typing...and thinking, which is harder!
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting tornadodude:


yeah, I'm not sure where it is going,

where are you from?


Good ole Muncie,In
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tornadodude:
hey guys,

its awfully quiet in here tonight
Quoting scottsvb:
From the word Im hearing..the center of IDA is just on the eastern side of the deeper convection meandering N or NNW around 3mph... it has slowed some...the deeper convection on her west side is being enhanced due to the land/hill/mountainside of Nicaragua causeing a increase upswelling of convection on her west side.

Suspection is she meanders for the next day under 6 mph to the NNW along the coast and maybe going onshore just south of the Nicaragua-Honduras boarder for 6-10 hrs on Thurs afternoon-night...before moving offshore that night or on Friday...

With that said..we have plenty of time to watch this...People in the GOM need to watch but its 3 days too early to tell if this will make the GOM in 5-6 days from now..


Hi, and am I glad you guys are on after reviewing the last couple-few pages. I just came in to see what was shakin', and some of the stuff I've read is giving me a creepy feeling. I've seen some rot that said the system is going to go through FL, to NC, and form a N'oreaster (oh give me a break, but what do I know...not much). But then Patrap posted some excellent models and looks like concensus is building towards the GOM.
So would you please give Nana a bottom-line no-hype sensible forecast? Thanks! :)(:
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
609. xcool
BurnedAfterPosting .iknow.
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15603
Given that the GFS is one of the more reliable models, I am anxiously anticipating the forecast relaxation of the upper flow pattern found in that model, since, assuming that Ida survives its crossing of Central America, it has the opportunity to significantly intensify.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19146
I'ma let everybody know watch the GFDL! This could set the trend for the other models to follow and that could be bad news.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting nocaneindy:
To me, looking a satellite and w.v., it seems that Ida is being steered more now by the weak ridge in the north central Carribean than the trough in the southern gulf. Also, to me, looks like the front coming into the s.e. is at least for the moment pushing the trough s.w. into Mexico and the ridge east, almost like a wedge. Dont know if i said that all quite right or not but what im thinking is Ida will not make it as far west as indicated currently. Sure is a tricky pattern with this one.


yeah, I'm not sure where it is going,

where are you from?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting xcool:
GFS haha


not all that funny, that has been the trend with many of the models and why the NHC shifted their track east
604. xcool
GFS haha
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15603
To me, looking a satellite and w.v., it seems that Ida is being steered more now by the weak ridge in the north central Carribean than the trough in the southern gulf. Also, to me, looks like the front coming into the s.e. is at least for the moment pushing the trough s.w. into Mexico and the ridge east, almost like a wedge. Dont know if i said that all quite right or not but what im thinking is Ida will not make it as far west as indicated currently. Sure is a tricky pattern with this one.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Ditto! Ida "mae" force me to go buy additional water since I've been pilfering from the H'Cane stash.... the coffee supply is also dangerously low.
Thankfully we've got plenty of time and Mother Nature is very unpredictable!
Quoting Dakster:
You know, just when you thought it was safe to pack up the shutters, burn the generator gas in the car, eat the hurricane food....

Ida, Ida, Ida... Watcha gonna do? What tricks do you have up your sleeve for the forecasters... Only time will tell.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
00Z GFS keeps Ida offshore of Nicaragua
Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


It's been a long day and we could have many of those lol, until the 1am advisory comes out, there isnt too much info to look at

some probably just getting a rest


yeah, good call,

a lot of learning today
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tornadodude:
hey guys,

its awfully quiet in here tonight


It's been a long day and we could have many of those lol, until the 1am advisory comes out, there isnt too much info to look at

some probably just getting a rest
From the word Im hearing..the center of IDA is just on the eastern side of the deeper convection meandering N or NNW around 3mph... it has slowed some...the deeper convection on her west side is being enhanced due to the land/hill/mountainside of Nicaragua causeing a increase upswelling of convection on her west side.

Suspection is she meanders for the next day under 6 mph to the NNW along the coast and maybe going onshore just south of the Nicaragua-Honduras boarder for 6-10 hrs on Thurs afternoon-night...before moving offshore that night or on Friday...

With that said..we have plenty of time to watch this...People in the GOM need to watch but its 3 days too early to tell if this will make the GOM in 4-5 days from now..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
hey guys,

its awfully quiet in here tonight
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:
Raw TI at 4.2 which would make Ida a hurricane

Drak...what direction do you see for Ida in the next 24 hours? C'mon....I do respect your opinion, and I know it's a high uncertainty forecast.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
595. xcool
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15603
NEW TOPIC POSTED:
South Florida StormWatch
(main site)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
We have to remember that the steering currents are weak. Ida know, but it seems possible that this cyclone could go inland and then drift back over water.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Raw TI at 4.2 which would make Ida a hurricane
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
When is it considered hitting landfall? When the wall hits land or when the whole eye is on land?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
587. Drak - landfall coming up. Later will it thread the Yucatan-Cuba needle? Time will tell.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Moving inland.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
You know, just when you thought it was safe to pack up the shutters, burn the generator gas in the car, eat the hurricane food....

Ida, Ida, Ida... Watcha gonna do? What tricks do you have up your sleeve for the forecasters... Only time will tell.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I don't think Ida will weaken all the way to a TD, given it's current state. I actually think it is on the verge of hurricane status, and is more like a 70 mph TS.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
8pm Tropical Update on Ida

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
in looking at the Funktop loop here:
Link
.
.
It looks like a large eye has closed off on the entire Western side. Should have a cane here soon.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Should be over land soon.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
Ida looks to be exploding, very interesting storm, I hope the people in Nicaragua are prepared hate to see what happens in the morning, still see a NW path but east of the NHC. See you all in the morning.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
578. jipmg
Oh my god at the convection
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting P451:

Nice. Thanks for the link.
I'm looking to see what they have to say about systems they should have named. There are up to FIVE up for debate and I'd say 3 or 4 might make the cut.

Also, I want to hear about clinging to Ana for sooooo long and naming Danny a 60mph TS when it's maximum winds were in a SINGLE thunderstorm about 200+ miles away from it's center.

Things like that...

That's what I want to read up on.

Even, Erika, who I forget how high her winds got (50?) and the maximum reported surface wind through the islands was what.. 18mph?

VERY interesting year.

A big learning year I think!
Agree. Interesting year,indeed, and even though many are saying it was slow, it's at least and average season; putting all the things you mention in consideration that is. Plus another storm after Ida is likely, considering the heat of the water,JMO and low wind shear forecast for the next two weeks in the caribbean.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If Ida tries to venture into the GOM, she is poised to get sucked-into that positively-tilted extra-tropical system in the BOC by next week(Mon-sat). I believe that low will blossom and move towards Big Bend Florida and emerge off The Carolina's. That's where(I think) she'll bomb into an unforgettable super Nor'easter! Followed by a massive cold-spell for the eastern two-thirds of the nations by mid-November!

All these anomalies should force the NAO to tilt strongly negative. I wouldn't be too surprised if even Orlando sees highs in the 40's 2 weeks from now!

O.K. nuff said...that's my entertainment for the evening.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Interesting perpective PensacolaDoug...I tend to think it will hit some land aiding in weakening but I agree with you that if it doesnt, major hurricane is a possibility. That is what the GFDL is calling for. We wont really know for about 2 or 3 days and how the mountains have the potential to have a major impact on Ida. Going to be very interesting.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
guys I have a bad feeling about Ida the same feeling when I was tracking Paloma on this date last year
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
573. beell
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
anyone look at the gfs run? It has ida doing almost a full 360 in the Gulf haha. It is possible I guess.


Is crazy looking. But from that, I would infer that the ridging behind the next trough (the polar shortwave) will be very strong. Very strong ridging departing to the east with "Ida" in the col between. Steering could get weak and rainfall could get strong. The "col" or saddle in this case would be centered over TN/N AL. May take a bit to decide where it wants to go.

If it were not for the deadly rain potential, Ida wish for dissapation over Central America. Could happen as the storm gets knocked down and follows a pretty fair indication of easterly flow-bringing it even further inland.

18Z GFS 850mb Valid Tuesday 12Z

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
572. xcool



Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15603
This one will be fun to watch through the weekend. I hope everyone in central america is preparing and only hope the best for all of them. Lots of rain coming their way and mudslides always a problem there.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Heres JB's take this eve.


WEDNESDAY 7 PM

DOUBLE TROUBLE IN THE TROPICS.

Ida is officially recognized as a storm. Obviously at 996 mb with the first recon it had been a storm for a while, but you knew that from this morning.

The first problem for the US is not even being analyzed by TPC. The disturbed area in the southern gulf. This should feedback, and named or not produce gales and heavy rain over the northern gulf in the northwest gulf and into the Louisiana coastal waters Saturday and Sunday. Whether this gets named or not, its a problem and the first one.

However its Ida that could be a big problem. I dont think it goes nearly as far inland as TPC has it on their forecast, but stays near or off the coast of central America as it comes north. Waiting for Ida is the northwest caribbean and water that has the most heat potential in the western hemisphere. So this could develop in to a major hurricane and be in the gulf next week.

A slow moving storm in the gulf would weaken before landfall. In the last 30 years Jeanne in 1980 and Kate in 1985 are hurricanes in the gulf in November. Jeanne never made landfall as cold air entered the storm and weakened it. Kate was a cat 3 that hit as s 1.5. But storms in the gulf have to move fast as upwelling and cooler air from the troughs that would cause it to move toward the coast anyway would weaken it. If they stall, then it would spread out an weakens to a large powerful non tropical storm with a large area of gales but the focus of fury would fall apart.

The interesting thing is that these storms are at the "front" of what may be the start of winter... that after they go by, the weather turns to winter in a distinct way.. Since its later in the year than in other cases like this, we may simply start winter over the east once these goes by.

ciao for now *****
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
there ya go fellas theres your NW movement now seen by Nhc/tpc
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 619 - 569

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.