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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Dumb and Dumber Questions in the forum:

1. What are the chances of IDA being a Cat 3 or
higher and in 6 days where will landfall be?

2. Once it makes landfall in 6 days..do you
think there is a chance for it to ride up
the coast @ hit North Car or New England in
10-14 days?

3. After that, what do you think the chances
are Sir that it may make it to England in
16-21 days? How strong do you think?

4. After crossing the english channel, what
are the chances this makes it all the way
to Leningrad?

Then after the 1st question doesnt come true.... they will come back and complain that you said this and that.... but then 1 week later after another system starts to develop...

Hey Sir.. sorry about my rant last week... what do you think the chances are for this hitting florida or making it into the GOM in 6-7 days?

Arghhhh Dumb and Dumber!
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Don't forget in this discussion from NHC forecaster Brown is one of the authors. he's the one who named Grace in the Azores,
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1167. WxLogic
Quoting Weather456:


The track keeps shifting right


Yeap... little by little.
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@San Pedro Sula,Honduras

Sky just got really dark..we are due a real long weekend
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Quoting WxLogic:


The track keeps shifting right
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1164. IKE
UPPER-LEVEL SOUTHWESTERLY WINDS ARE
EXPECTED TO PRODUCE MODERATE SHEAR OVER THE SYSTEM AND ONLY MODEST
STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST AFTER IDA EMERGES OVER WATER. THERE
REMAINS A LARGE DEGREE OF UNCERTAINTY IN THE LONGER RANGE
FORECAST...SINCE IDA MAY NOT SURVIVE ITS PASSAGE OVER LAND.


I don't recall them mentioning a problem with shear before.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
NHC keeps mentioning disipation....No buying that..Also the track I see is not 315 in any way..the coordinates don't support that IMO
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1162. WxLogic
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Quoting StormW:
Hey 456!


hey general.
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THE NEW NHC TRACK IS SLIGHTLY
RIGHT OF...AND A LITTLE FASTER THAN THE PREVIOUS FORECAST.
THE NHC
TRACK IS A LITTLE SLOWER THAN THE MODEL CONSENSUS...IN BEST
AGREEMENT WITH THE ECMWF.

P451 good call
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Quoting RitaEvac:


a forewarning for next year maybe?


Maybe, maybe not.

Lower than normal pressures in the SW Caribbean in November correlates to increase hurricane activity the next season.

However, the SW Caribbean is normally the hot spot late in the season.
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So, is Ida going to do loop-de-loops in the GoM next week and die out as did Hurricane Jeanne (1980)?

I think there was some discussion about that yesterday, but I can't remember.

*maybe I should read StormW's analysis, huh?*

/okay.
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000
WTNT41 KNHC 051445
TCDAT1
HURRICANE IDA DISCUSSION NUMBER 5
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL112009
1000 AM EST THU NOV 05 2009

THE SATELLITE PRESENTATION OF IDA CONTINUED TO IMPROVE UP UNTIL
LANDFALL...WHICH OCCURRED NEAR TASBAPAUNI NICARAGUA...OR ABOUT
60 MILES NORTH-NORTHEAST OF BLUEFIELDS. AN 1117 UTC SSMI MICROWAVE
IMAGE SHOWED A WELL-DEFINED EYE THAT WAS LOCATED JUST INLAND AT THAT
TIME. A BLEND OF SUBJECTIVE AND OBJECTIVE DVORAK CLASSIFICATIONS
AROUND THE TIME OF LANDFALL SUPPORTED AN INTENSITY OF 65 KT. SINCE
THE SATELLITE PRESENTATION HAS NOT SIGNIFICANTLY DEGRADED...THE
ADVISORY INTENSITY WILL REMAIN 65 KT. IDA IS EXPECTED TO WEAKEN
AS IT MOVES FARTHER INLAND DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO. THE FORECAST
TRACK BRINGS THE CENTER BACK OVER THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA IN
A COUPLE OF DAYS...AND THE INTENSITY FORECAST SHOWS SOME
STRENGTHENING AFTER THAT TIME. UPPER-LEVEL SOUTHWESTERLY WINDS ARE
EXPECTED TO PRODUCE MODERATE SHEAR OVER THE SYSTEM AND ONLY MODEST
STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST AFTER IDA EMERGES OVER WATER. THERE
REMAINS A LARGE DEGREE OF UNCERTAINTY IN THE LONGER RANGE
FORECAST...SINCE IDA MAY NOT SURVIVE ITS PASSAGE OVER LAND.

THE INITIAL MOTION ESTIMATE IS 315/05. IDA IS EXPECTED TO TURN
NORTHWARD BETWEEN A MID-LEVEL RIDGE OVER THE CENTRAL CARIBBEAN AND
A WEAK TROUGH OVER THE SOUTHWESTERN GULF OF MEXICO. THE TRACK
GUIDANCE IS IN GOOD AGREEMENT ON THIS SCENARIO...AND THE NEW
OFFICIAL FORECAST IS SIMILAR TO THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY DURING THE
FIRST 36 TO 48 HOUR OF THE FORECAST PERIOD. THEREAFTER...THE TRACK
MODELS MOVE IDA IN A GENERAL NORTH TO NORTH-NORTHWEST DIRECTION
INTO THE SOUTHERN GULF OF MEXICO. THE NEW NHC TRACK IS SLIGHTLY
RIGHT OF...AND A LITTLE FASTER THAN THE PREVIOUS FORECAST. THE NHC
TRACK IS A LITTLE SLOWER THAN THE MODEL CONSENSUS...IN BEST
AGREEMENT WITH THE ECMWF.

THE BIGGEST IMPACT OF THIS SLOW-MOVING SYSTEM DURING THE NEXT FEW
DAYS WILL LIKELY BE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES
CAUSED BY EXTREMELY HEAVY RAIN OVER PORTIONS OF NICARAGUA AND
HONDURAS.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 05/1500Z 13.1N 83.7W 65 KT
12HR VT 06/0000Z 13.6N 84.0W 45 KT...INLAND
24HR VT 06/1200Z 14.3N 84.2W 35 KT...INLAND
36HR VT 07/0000Z 15.0N 84.4W 30 KT...INLAND
48HR VT 07/1200Z 16.0N 84.5W 25 KT...OVER WATER
72HR VT 08/1200Z 18.4N 85.4W 40 KT
96HR VT 09/1200Z 21.0N 86.5W 45 KT
120HR VT 10/1200Z 23.5N 87.0W 45 KT

$$
FORECASTER BROWN/BLAKE


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Quoting LaCoast:
A Louisiana State hurricane official announced last week that the Hurricane season was OVER for Louisiana. AHHH all is well.


It's never over until it's over...that's why the people here that know anything about the tropics get so aggravated with the trolls that come in and say "The season's over"
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Quoting StormW:


Yet.


I'm just hoping for some rain. I wouldn't mind a strong T.S. either just so I get to miss a day of work! :)
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Quoting CaneWarning:
It looks like StormW's current thinking is the panhandle to Big Bend. No mention of Tampa. :)



12 hour trends. Could be in the future me thinks.
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1153. WxLogic
10:00 AM EST Thu Nov 5
Location: 13.1°N 83.7°W
Max sustained: 75 mph
Moving: NW at 6 mph
Min pressure: 987 mb

It has slowed down some so that more N component in NHC eyes should be coming up soon from their point of view.
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Quoting portcharlotte:


Great explanation as always 456. Since I've noticed the convection has shrunk in recent frames. I guess you do not think a replacent center will emerge to the east with IDA


at least not now, usually when centers jump around it's a weak system. Centers don't normally jump around in a such a mature system as Ida. That is most likely as or if Ida weakens over land.
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It looks like StormW's current thinking is the panhandle to Big Bend. No mention of Tampa. :)
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Quoting Weather456:


They normally like to do this over the Yucatan, where the center reforms offshore - Cindy and Dolly.

The centers are attracted or reforms where the pressure is lowest, usually in a burst of new convection over warm waters. Moreover, if the mountains in the west disrupts the circulation, the storm may find it easier to spin in a region free from obstructions, in other words back over water.

Did you know....that air does not only rise at the center of a storm. Air can rise in the peripheral rain bands. A storm can actually maintain or delay weakening by using the bands offshore as a source of energy. Eventually the energy lost at the center exceeds energy gained in the rain bands and the storm weakens.

This is how Georges 1998 survive its trans-country trip across the the Northern Caribbean.


Great explanation as always 456. Since I've noticed the convection has shrunk in recent frames. I guess you do not think a replacent center will emerge to the east with IDA
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Quoting CycloneOz:
What effects on Ida from 96E?

96E moving N at 0 mph...which translates into a non-west movement component for Ida.

That sucker is going to do just what the models are predicting right now...move right on up and back over water.

The GoM's back door is wide open and there's a burner in the backyard.



I guess IDA ended up being the one playing hard to get. Left 96E in the dust, lol.
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1146. juntaco
STORM_W knows what's up.
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Quoting StormW:
TROPICAL WEATHER SYNOPSIS FEATURING HURICANE IDA NOVEMBER 05, 2009 ISSUED 7:30 a.m.

Great Update once again.
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Oh and something to note for that HPC run, since the NHC only forecasts out to 5 days, the HPC basically isn't allowed to show a forecast on days 6 and 7 that has anything to do with the strength of a system

That is why you see Ida go down to a "L" after day 5
What effects on Ida from 96E?

96E moving N at 0 mph...which translates into a non-west movement component for Ida.

That sucker is going to do just what the models are predicting right now...move right on up and back over water.

The GoM's back door is wide open and there's a burner in the backyard.

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OMG! Next Friday is Friday the 13th!
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Quoting Weather456:


the season appears to be going out with a bang.


a forewarning for next year maybe?
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Ok, lets see where all the Christmas decorations are up here in the attic....what?....a hurricane out there


the season appears to be going out with a bang.
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1138. Dakster
Quoting CaneWarning:
I'm hoping we get rain out of this somehow in Tampa. We need it.


Possibly with a lot of wind too...
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Ok, lets see where all the Christmas decorations are up here in the attic....what?....a hurricane out there
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1136. hydrus
Quoting scottsvb:
who cares about the GOM or where it goes 5-6 days from now.... short term short term short term.... matters on how long IDA stays inland and where she exits the coast...models change always....lets see where she gets off the coast and how long she stays inland 1st....then 2nd lets see if she gets her act togther in the NW carribean and what interaction with the Yucitan she has. Then in 3 days from now..we can look @ the GOM and where she may end up... landfall if it ever happens in the U.S. isnt for 5.5-7days
Well stated Scottsvb.
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Quoting portcharlotte:
456..Sensing the water nearby would not the cyclone want to migrate or reform it's center over the water especially when a storm is just hugging the coast half inland half over water. I am not sure if that has any credibility but just thought I would throw it out there for comments...


They normally like to do this over the Yucatan, where the center reforms offshore - Cindy and Dolly.

The centers are attracted or reforms where the pressure is lowest, usually in a burst of new convection over warm waters. Moreover, if the mountains in the west disrupts the circulation, the storm may find it easier to spin in a region free from obstructions, in other words back over water.

Did you know....that air does not only rise at the center of a storm. Air can rise in the peripheral rain bands. A storm can actually maintain or delay weakening by using the bands offshore as a source of energy. Eventually the energy lost at the center exceeds energy gained in the rain bands and the storm weakens.

This is how Georges 1998 survive its trans-country trip across the the Northern Caribbean.
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Quoting CaneWarning:
I'm hoping we get rain out of this somehow in Tampa. We need it.


Same here down in Port Charlotte. The drought is serious in many areas. Eventually things balance out let's hope it will
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1130. ssmate
Quoting Weather456:
The shear forecast looks terrible

2/3 models predicting low shear all the way to the central GOM



That's not pretty. I heard on the news last night that shear would be stronger in that time period. They did qualify it and said it was very uncertain. I guess they were counting the invisble shear.
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who cares about the GOM or where it goes 5-6 days from now.... short term short term short term.... matters on how long IDA stays inland and where she exits the coast...models change always....lets see where she gets off the coast and how long she stays inland 1st....then 2nd lets see if she gets her act togther in the NW carribean and what interaction with the Yucitan she has. Then in 3 days from now..we can look @ the GOM and where she may end up... landfall if it ever happens in the U.S. isnt for 5.5-7days
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Quoting WxLogic:


Hehe... same. When I went to sleep it was only at strong TS 65MPH and look now. If it's able to survive its trek through Nicaragua then this can definitely undergo RI just like it did last night under even more conductive waters of the NW Carib.

Yeah, my feelings exactly. I wonder how strong Ida will get in the nice warm bath water of the GOM?
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It does not really feel like November, maybe becuz I don't normally see a storm heading for the GOM in November.
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1125. LaCoast
Looks like Ida will continue NNW over land, emerge as a weak TD and drift towards the Yuke. This will be a long drawn out and draining affair if she survives. I don't see a strong tropical impact on the US at this point.
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456..Sensing the water nearby would not the cyclone want to migrate or reform it's center over the water especially when a storm is just hugging the coast half inland half over water. I am not sure if that has any credibility but just thought I would throw it out there for comments...
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Seismic Monitor

AOI

AOI

Humor in Comments
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
I'm hoping we get rain out of this somehow in Tampa. We need it.
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Quoting Weather456:



I am becoming more confident that this system will come in at a higher angle, a much more higher angle than the 1st advisory.

Also the area where Ida is coming in is flat with swamps near the coast.



Looking at Google Earth it appears that the area that Ida will be crossing before she hits open water is relatively flat with no major mountains to cross.
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Quoting mossyhead:
Looking at the SSTs in the gulf, for the storm to have a chance to intensify in the GOM, it has to stay in the southern portion of it. SSTs in the northern and western GOM are below the temperature needed to keep its strength. And also shear need to drop a lot.
Once this storm reaches the Gulf and begins to feel the westerlies it will race off to the NE (in all likelihood) and begin to be torn apart. All depends on how strong it gets before reaching the Gulf.
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The shear forecast looks terrible

2/3 models predicting low shear all the way to the central GOM

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About JeffMasters

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