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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The shear forecast looks terrible

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

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So, let me get this straight, is the GFDL verifying?
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Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:



This could be our first peek at the El Nino winter upcoming.
Yes, especially if Ida goes subtropical.
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Quoting Jeff9641:
Do you also agree that it looks like the storm will hook NE over the very warm loop current and hit the west coast of Florida? This looks like what the models are trying to suggest.
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.
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Quoting Jeff9641:
I've noticed that as well I thought it was just me. I see a slight NNE movement now could be a wobble though.


Those wobbles can be the big difference in the end game. You add up all the wobbles to the east or north and you have a major hurricane in the NW CArib.
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The GOM waters are still in the lower 80's for the most part. This storm has warm water to work with right now.
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1112. fmbill
GFS06z

Link
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1111. RJT185
thanks for the graphics 456!
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3 days

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Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:


GFDL did. As I was saying to 456 earlier, a blend of the GFDL and NHC seem reasonable right now as it made the turn to the NNW before making the coast as opposed to just inland. Wouldn't that just shock everyone if the GFDL verified.


It has always been called the best model for just this purpose...hurricanes
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1107. WxLogic
Quoting Weather456:


Ida has to be wobbling along the coast. That image shows Ida sharing the land/sea.

Earlier 1KM images show the center just onshore.

As we say in the Caribbean, Ida is pun de borderline.


Hehe...
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Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:


GFDL did. As I was saying to 456 earlier, a blend of the GFDL and NHC seem reasonable right now as it made the turn to the NNW before making the coast as opposed to just inland. Wouldn't that just shock everyone if the GFDL verified.


That would be surprising but the GFDL was a bigger shock when it predicted a strong tropical storm valid 18Z yesterday. That did happen.
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1105. gator15
Cold front coming thru next week to lift Ida towards Florida....Looks like Wilma revisited. I HATE THIS PLACE !!!!
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1104. LaCoast
A Louisiana State hurricane official announced last week that the Hurricane season was OVER for Louisiana. AHHH all is well.
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1103. WxLogic
Quoting AussieStorm:

G'Day Mate, What's cracken. I was totally shocked to see Ida as a Cat 1


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.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Slowly but surely it looks like Ida will move offshore due to the bend inward of the Nicaraguan coast, I even see a hint of NNE drift, anyone else notice this?


I guess if it;s hugging the coast it's not unreasonable to see it emerging over the water to the north where the coastline is dented westward, As far as a nne drift I wonder if IDA could reform it's center offshore
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Slowly but surely it looks like Ida will move offshore due to the bend inward of the Nicaraguan coast, I even see a hint of NNE drift, anyone else notice this?


GFDL did. As I was saying to 456 earlier, a blend of the GFDL and NHC seem reasonable right now as it made the turn to the NNW before making the coast as opposed to just inland. Wouldn't that just shock everyone if the GFDL verified.
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Quoting P451:


dvorak loops can be helpful.

Seems to be right on the coast if you trust the loop.



Looked inland from there in the visibles but now I'm not so sure. It might be right on the coast where I highlighted in the last frame.



Ida has to be wobbling along the coast. That image shows Ida sharing the land/sea.

Earlier 1KM images show the center just onshore.

As we say in the Caribbean, Ida is pun de borderline.
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1099. IKE
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
HPC Preliminary Extended Forecast Discussion


FOR DAY 3 SUN HIGH PRESSURE DOMINATES THE EAST AND WEST COAST WITH
BOTH HIGHS PROGRESSING EWD. DEEP BROAD EASTERLY FLOW CONTS INTO
THE SOUTHEASTERN SEABOARD AND ACROSS THE GULF OF MEXICO WITH A
LOWERING OF WRN GULF PRESSURES TO AN INVERTED SFC TROF OR A
DEFINED AREA OF LOW PRESSURE IN THE STRONG EAST FLOW. THIS WILL
SPREAD IN MODERATE TO HEAVY GULF COASTAL RAINS FROM SOUTHEAST TX
TO THE FL PANHANDLE AND NWD INTO MS/AL/GA FROM MON TO WED.
SOUTHWARD T.S. IDA EXPECTED TO SLOWLY MOVE NWD ALONG YUCATAN OR
THE YUCATAN CHANNEL INTO THE GULF MEXICO BY DAY 5 WITH A MOVEMENT
INTO A MORE HOSTILE NON TROPICAL ENVIRONMENT. WITH THE EXCEPTION
OF CMC THE GFS RUNS/ECMWF/UKMET BRING A CONSOLIDATED LOW INTO THE
EASTERN GULF OF MEXICO OFF THE WEST FL COAST WED AND THURSDAY.
THIS WILL BE ENHANCED BY STRONG HIGH PRESSURE CENTERED OVER THE
MID ATLC STATES AND MODERATE TO STRONG NORTHEASTERLY FLOW INTO THE
SOUTHEASTERN SEABOARD. THIS SETS UP A HEAVY RAIN THREAT ACROSS
MUCH OF FLORIDA FOR MID TO LATE NEXT WEEK FROM A COMBINATION OF
THE GULF COASTAL BAROCLINIC LOW AND ANY CONSOLIDATION WITH WHAT
REMAINS OF IDA. SEE NHC DISCUSSIONS/ADVISORIES.


Day 6 Preliminary Graphic


That's good news.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
i wonder if no matter what happens we will have a significant rain event in central GOM. And when approximately.
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Quoting WxLogic:


Hi Auss.

G'Day Mate, What's cracken. I was totally shocked to see Ida as a Cat 1
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I am guessing the center is right on the coast and looping seems to indicate north or northnorthwest
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Slowly but surely it looks like Ida will move offshore due to the bend inward of the Nicaraguan coast, I even see a hint of NNE drift, anyone else notice this?
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
All Floridians please take a look at this link:

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/mlb/trop23-p7a13.html


This could be our first peek at the El Nino winter upcoming.
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Quoting Weather456:
It seems vortcanes have the capabilities of spinning up fast but that is rule of thumb:

Smaller systems spin up faster and wind down faster than larger systems.

Ida, Charley and Omar are nice examples.

Large systems spin up slower and wind down slower than smaller systems.

Many cape verde hurricanes could be use as examples. Most recently - Bill.

There are exceptions to the rule

Thanks for the info.
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Morning everyone

I am starting to see yet a new trend with the model and that is a bend back to the NNE and NE at the end of the run
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All Floridians please take a look at this link:

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/mlb/trop23-p7a13.html
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Quoting portcharlotte:


456 is the rgb loop the best for center location? What imagery is best in your opinion for IDA to determine the center?


Nothing beats visible imagery when locating a center readily. RGB is also good since it gives a nice a 3d look but I use RGB for locating mid-level centers.
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1086. WxLogic
Quoting NEwxguy:
so everyone is discount what Dr. masters said about a high building in and forcing Ida south?


Yeah (at least I am)... latest runs have backed off from that possible solution.
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It seems vortcanes have the capabilities of spinning up fast but that is rule of thumb:

Smaller systems spin up faster and wind down faster than larger systems.

Ida, Charley and Omar are nice examples.

Large systems spin up slower and wind down slower than smaller systems.

Many cape verde hurricanes could be use as examples. Most recently - Bill.

There are exceptions to the rule
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1082. fmbill
Quoting bjdsrq:


How do you come to your conclusion when:
1) No credible models even run that far out in time.
2) No credible models hint at that trend even at the high-error end of their range.

Hillarious how every wishcaster with a PC thinks they know more than the paid pros with all their experience. Even they won't know until Sunday if/where this might affect any US location.


Here's the 06zGFS Click "FWD"
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HPC Preliminary Extended Forecast Discussion


FOR DAY 3 SUN HIGH PRESSURE DOMINATES THE EAST AND WEST COAST WITH
BOTH HIGHS PROGRESSING EWD. DEEP BROAD EASTERLY FLOW CONTS INTO
THE SOUTHEASTERN SEABOARD AND ACROSS THE GULF OF MEXICO WITH A
LOWERING OF WRN GULF PRESSURES TO AN INVERTED SFC TROF OR A
DEFINED AREA OF LOW PRESSURE IN THE STRONG EAST FLOW. THIS WILL
SPREAD IN MODERATE TO HEAVY GULF COASTAL RAINS FROM SOUTHEAST TX
TO THE FL PANHANDLE AND NWD INTO MS/AL/GA FROM MON TO WED.
SOUTHWARD T.S. IDA EXPECTED TO SLOWLY MOVE NWD ALONG YUCATAN OR
THE YUCATAN CHANNEL INTO THE GULF MEXICO BY DAY 5 WITH A MOVEMENT
INTO A MORE HOSTILE NON TROPICAL ENVIRONMENT. WITH THE EXCEPTION
OF CMC THE GFS RUNS/ECMWF/UKMET BRING A CONSOLIDATED LOW INTO THE
EASTERN GULF OF MEXICO OFF THE WEST FL COAST WED AND THURSDAY.
THIS WILL BE ENHANCED BY STRONG HIGH PRESSURE CENTERED OVER THE
MID ATLC STATES AND MODERATE TO STRONG NORTHEASTERLY FLOW INTO THE
SOUTHEASTERN SEABOARD. THIS SETS UP A HEAVY RAIN THREAT ACROSS
MUCH OF FLORIDA FOR MID TO LATE NEXT WEEK FROM A COMBINATION OF
THE GULF COASTAL BAROCLINIC LOW AND ANY CONSOLIDATION WITH WHAT
REMAINS OF IDA. SEE NHC DISCUSSIONS/ADVISORIES.


Day 6 Preliminary Graphic
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Quoting Weather456:


well that seems to be the consensus with private personnel.


456 is the rgb loop the best for center location? What imagery is best in your opinion for IDA to determine the center?
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Anyone have radars near Ida?
Member Since: April 5, 2007 Posts: 83 Comments: 12345
No matter which scenario discussed here this morning pans out, Florida will be dealing with some severe weather late next week.

scenario 1: Ida makes a direct hit somewhere in Florida

2: Ida scraps coast bringing training lines of heavy weather through

3: Ida becomes a massive subtropical storm in Central Gulf and drags a strong cold front down behind it over Florida
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1076. NEwxguy
so everyone is discount what Dr. masters said about a high building in and forcing Ida south?
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Quoting stormpetrol:

its small, but I think its alittle bigger than what most consider vortcanes, i could be wrong though


I think he was using the wind field as a proxy.

"A very small hurricane typically having less than half the average radius of tropical storm and hurricane winds, with a symmetric appearance, few or no outer rain bands, composed primarily of an eye (typically much small than average in diameter), a narrow eyewall of strong winds, and a rapid drop off of winds away from the eyewall."

There have been many "vortcanes" over the years, the most recent memorable ones in the Atlantic Basin were category 4 hurricane Charley in 2004, it struck southwest Florida, and category 3 Hurricane Omar in 2008 that squeezed between the northeastern Caribbean Islands.
- Steve Lyons
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Quoting portcharlotte:
Accuweather's Bastardi is saying that IDA will hug the coast and not go inland as far as NHC has it.


well that seems to be the consensus with private personnel.
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Quoting Weather456:
Dr. Steve Lyons describes Ida as Vort-cane due its small size

its small, but I think its alittle bigger than what most consider vortcanes, i could be wrong though
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Quoting Jeff9641:
Agree, but many people don't believe me when I say this is going to be a powerful hurricane in the NW Caribbean. Watch out Florida especially Central and South Florida. The exacty hit will depend on the timing of this front next week.


I do believe the storm could undergo rapid intensification over the NW Caribbean, so you are not alone.
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1070. bjdsrq
Quoting Jeff9641:
I see a Wilma track but maybe 80 to 100 miles more to the north this time. I think we will be dealing with a possible cat. 2 hurricane in Central Florida next Wednesday! This will be interesting because the track keeps getting adjusted to the right.


How do you come to your conclusion when:
1) No credible models even run that far out in time.
2) No credible models hint at that trend even at the high-error end of their range.

Hillarious how every wishcaster with a PC thinks they know more than the paid pros with all their experience. Even they won't know until Sunday if/where this might affect any US location.
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IS IDA MOVING DUE NORTH?
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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.