Tropical Storm Ida a major flood threat for Nicaragua and Honduras

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

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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

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I not going to venture on the track nhc looks pretty good as usual but does anybody else think it moving a lot faster than 5mph.
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Quoting P451:


They're supposed to be.

But I bet they want a do-over on this season. They've been off on all but a small handful of systems. It's been a tough year to forecast and in the post-season-analysis I bet they are not going to be shy about what they did not forecast properly.
I know that standards are high for the NHC, as they should be, although they are not immune to a diffucult forecasting season! I trust them the most!
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Quoting AstroHurricane001:
GFDL has to be crazy, it brings Ida up to a category 5 IN NOVEMBER!!! If that forecast is correct, it would hit Cuba with a similar location and intensity to Gustav, and then trek up toward CONUS making landfall somewhere between New Orleans and Panama City, Florida. The GFS does a strange clockwise loop back into the Caribbean (reminds me of Elena, except without the landfall), and stalls it there for the next week! This would make the future very unclear for Ida indeed. I've already made the comparison to Paloma, a near-repeat of which could occur if it tracks northeast after re-emerging north of Honduras or if it misses a landfall altogether. Finally, there is 96E in the Pacific, which is poised to potentially strengthen. Most models bring it or its remnants into the Gulf of Mexico. Should this system strengthen enough, we could see an interesting Fujiwara interaction play out between it and Ida. Definitely something to watch.

Ida appears to be heading NNW with a more recent NW to WNW wobble.
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GOM IR Loop



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129780
The NHC Track Looks fine out 72 and some consensus now out 96 as well..and even to 120.
Also..if the track holds ,,IDA remains over relatively Flat Plains and keeps a good fetch inflow as well.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129780
I would love to see the faith of 90L (May) and 92L (June).
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okay, this bears repeating:
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


I'm outta here.
have a great night everyone.
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Quoting stormsurge39:
Man, Looks like the NHC track will be dead on!They are good!


Wow - a NHC favorable comment! I like it.
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Quoting P451:


Mature systems do not obey diurnal cycles. But, again, for information's sake, DMIN and DMAX are pinpointed times in the cycles. DMAX is just before daybreak, and DMIN is just before sunset.

The reason for this is simple and you can easily remember it (anyone reading this post).

Rising air is essential to development. Over the ocean the air tends to mimic the water temp. Over night the water temp tends to be water than the air above it - peaking at the last possible moment before the sun begins to rise - so you get your maximum rising of air. Over day the air heats up due to the sunlight - precluding rising heat from the ocean water...occurring at the maximum moment of daytime air heating (before sunset).

I hope this makes sense.


correct


Diurnal convective cycles are left for developing systems. Eventually positive feedback loops take over.
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505. unf97
Quoting MTWX:
What kind of effect will the invest on the pacific side have on Ida, if any?? It looks like it may come into play over the next couple of days.


I'm wondering more what kind of influence the disturbance in the BOC will have on Ida if that system develops, as a couple of models have something subtropical or extratropical developing in the BOC this weekend.
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Man, Looks like the NHC track will be dead on!They are good!
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I'll be gone for a while. If any of you can, keep me informed of Ida's direction. Would really appreciate it. Stay safe everyone and play nice. Thanks to everyone for all the good images tonight and info.
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It feels like the final fireworks on the 4th of July.
Unfortunately, this one is not firing blanks!
Let's hope it dmaxes out over land and then emerges as a weak tropical storm.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Ida is going to look much less impressive in 24 hours.


agree
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Ida isnt going to be a Big un until time tells her she can,..but to see the Intensity runs go off scale as the 00z run Showed,..120 hrs out may beg to differ ..

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129780
Ida might be on its way to hurricane status

New microwave data coming in

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GFDL has to be crazy, it brings Ida up to a category 5 IN NOVEMBER!!! If that forecast is correct, it would hit Cuba with a similar location and intensity to Gustav, and then trek up toward CONUS making landfall somewhere between New Orleans and Panama City, Florida. The GFS does a strange clockwise loop back into the Caribbean (reminds me of Elena, except without the landfall), and stalls it there for the next week! This would make the future very unclear for Ida indeed. I've already made the comparison to Paloma, a near-repeat of which could occur if it tracks northeast after re-emerging north of Honduras or if it misses a landfall altogether. Finally, there is 96E in the Pacific, which is poised to potentially strengthen. Most models bring it or its remnants into the Gulf of Mexico. Should this system strengthen enough, we could see an interesting Fujiwara interaction play out between it and Ida. Definitely something to watch.
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Ida is going to look much less impressive in 24 hours.

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15950
Quoting 1900hurricane:

That 18Z GFS track almost reminds me of someone who goes outside, realized that it was cold, and then goes back inside! XD



lol
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493. MTWX
What kind of effect will the invest on the pacific side have on Ida, if any?? It looks like it may come into play over the next couple of days.
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Quoting Patrap:
Scuse my typing..with Shrimp Gumbo itas hard to blog while eating...


"Vary" Generalized but post-worthy.




Back to Tropical Cyclones Myths Page

| Back to Main FAQ Page

Subject : C2) Doesn't the friction over land kill tropical cyclones?

(Parts of this section are written by Sim Aberson.)

No. During landfall, the increased friction over land acts - somewhat contradictory - to both decrease the sustained winds and also to increase the gusts felt at the surface (Powell and Houston 1996). The sustained (1 min or longer average) winds are reduced because of the dampening effect of larger roughness over land (i.e. bushes, trees and houses over land versus a relatively smooth ocean). The gusts are stronger because turbulence increases and acts to bring faster winds down to the surface in short (a few seconds) bursts.

However, after just a few hours, a tropical cyclone over land will begin to weaken rapidly - not because of friction - but because the storm lacks the the moisture and heat sources that the ocean provided. This depletion of moisture and heat hurts the tropical cyclone's ability to produce thunderstorms near the storm center. Without this convection,the storm rapidly fills.

An early numerical simulation (Tuleya and Kurihara 1978) had shown that a hurricane making landfall over a very moist region (i.e. mainly swamp) so that surface evaporation is unchanged, intensification may result. However, a more recent study (Tuleya 1994) that has a more realistic treatment of surface conditions found that even over a swampy area a hurricane would weaken because of limited heat sources. Indeed, nature conducted this experiment during Andrew as the hurricane traversed the very wet Everglades, Big Cypress and Corkscrew Swamp areas of southwest Florida. Andrew weakened dramatically: peak winds decreased about 33% and the sea level pressure in the eye rose 19 mb (Powell and Houston 1996).








I think that last thing cannot be made generally. Andrew was very powerful. But fay went through the everglades and strenghtened (big Cypress) Katrina strengthened over the shark River Slough...
Member Since: September 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 135

btw, bjdsrq...what were you doing june 1, 1974?
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This should be the Big 00Z story..Hold onto ya curtains folks.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129780
Quoting MTWX:
Patrap. Either way it looks like a US landfall is in the works whether as a weak system or a cane. Either way we really don't need anymore rain in the gulf states!!


More consensus thru time here too.

TS IDa 18Z Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129780
Quoting KerryInNOLA:
Remember, we are in Nov not Sept. These systems do not become cat 5 in the Yucutan Channel and head to the Gulf coast at this time of the year. I don't care what any model or caster says.
Hmmm, I hope your bold statement is right!
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I think Ida has moved slowly more NNW/N over the last 3 hours, JMO.
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486. MTWX
Patrap. Either way it looks like a US landfall is in the works whether as a weak system or a cane. Either way we really don't need anymore rain in the gulf states!!
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TS IDA 00Z Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)





Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129780

TS IDA 18Z Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)





TS IDA 18Z Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129780
After seeing the latest GFDL, I decided to come here and be entertained.

I have my beer and popcorn, so bring on the doom and gloom hypsters and prognosticators!
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456 do you think Ida is still going NW or WNW?
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Clearwater great post(453). But you do realize if that plays out we all my be a little more insane than usual.

That 18Z GFS track almost reminds me of someone who goes outside, realized that it was cold, and then goes back inside! XD

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This is DMIN????

Glad she's headed over land.
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478. MTWX
Quoting Weather456:



That question is like asking how can we have more than 1 cat 5s in one season

How can we have a tropical storm over 21C waters

How can we have a cape verde hurricane on July 1.

2005

Grace

Bertha

Nothing is written in stone.


Welcome to the wonderful world of weather!!!
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477. 786
finally get a 4 day weekend! and of-course Ida threatens to ruin it! I really hope tomorrow gives us answers as most people are not following the system and stores will be closed Friday and Monday.
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Okay, I've been a lurker and a once in a blue moon poster for a few yrs. now. I have a dumb question. Why are there so many "possible" tracks on the maps?
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Quoting 786:
I think Ida will prob. go West of us, never know as most models had Paloma going West of us initially, but this years set up has been unpredictable, Ida is running out of time, she needs to start jogging NNW soon! We should know hopefully by tomorrow our long weekend will consist of hurricane prep.
I agree with you and should know by tomorrow whether we need to shutter up or not. Husband had back surgery and unable to lift and since we use plywood with bolts will have to find someone to give a hand if it is necessary.
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473. 786
I think Ida will prob. go West of us, never know as most models had Paloma going West of us initially, but this years set up has been unpredictable, Ida is running out of time, she needs to start jogging NNW soon! We should know hopefully by tomorrow our long weekend will consist of hurricane prep.
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GFDL was the best performing model for Paloma!
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Clearwater great post(453). But you do realize if that plays out we all my be a little more insane than usual.
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Quoting 786:
Paloma formed Nov 5 last year...
Also hit the Cayman Islands Nov 8-9 and this is what I fear with Ida
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Floater - RGB Color Infrared Loop

"TFP's" available
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129780

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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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