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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IS IDA MOVING DUE NORTH?
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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 agree 100% thats what the trend has been its all about timing and stregnth
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Quoting bjdsrq:


They always do it that way and for good reason. It would be nuts to change the forecast with every new batch of model runs. They want to see consitency between runs and then consider only models that are panning out to be doing well with the track so far.


With All Due Respect. I understand and am fully experienced.
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Accuweather's Bastardi is saying that IDA will hug the coast and not go inland as far as NHC has it.
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looks like the models are coming to a better agrement Based on post1038 looks more and more that a NE turn will commence towards the end of the forecast looks like everyone from louisiana to the florida keys needs to moniter this system this weekend to see what happens but i would wait until it exits the honduras coast to see in what shape IDA is in
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Quoting MahFL:
Ida is still sucking up warm water, as noted on the new burst of convection on the West cemicircle.


Yea a notice that large convective band.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1059. WxLogic
Quoting AussieStorm:
Good Evening all,
Wow, I go to work and i come home and Ida went from a TD to a Cat 1 Hurricane. Plenty of energy for it to feed off in those hot waters down there. I wonder how a trip over land will treat it? I guess that's the big question.





Hi Auss.
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1058. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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.

456 ida crossing will cause temporary disruption to storm exits into nw carb near 15.9n 84.5 w and re-organizes into strong cat 2 cane in 24 to 36 hrs from now
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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.




I agree, seems she made the NNW turn before making the coast as opposed to just inland. Ya gotta give the GFDL some credit and lend it a little credence. Maybe a little to far off but a blend of the NHC track and GFDL seems reasonable.
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1056. bjdsrq
Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:


Seems the NHC is much slower than the model consensus now, they should adjust the 5 day position in the next advisory. I hope anyway here in SFL.


They always do it that way and for good reason. It would be nuts to change the forecast with every new batch of model runs. They want to see consitency between runs and then consider only models that are panning out to be doing well with the track so far.
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MARINE...
COASTAL WATERS CAN BECOME QUITE HAZARDOUS NEXT SEVERAL DAYS
DEPENDING ON EVENTUAL OUTCOME OF TROPICAL STORM IDA CURRENTLY
SKIRTING THE NICARAGUA COAST AND A PERSISTENT TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE
OVER THE BAY OF CAMPECHE. THIS BAND OF LOWER PRESSURES WILL INTERACT
WITH STRONG HIGH PRESSURE OVER THE CENTRAL U.S. THAT WILL BE
MIGRATING TO THE EASTERN U.S. THIS WEEKEND. THIS WILL SET UP A
TIGHTENING EASTERLY GRADIENT TO BRING ABNORMALLY HIGH TIDES ALONG
THE SHORE LINES. WAVE...SEA STATE MODELS AND TIDE FORECAST MODELS
ARE INDICATING ENHANCED CONDITIONS PERHAPS INFLUENCED BY NUMERICAL
MODEL HANDLING OF T.S. IDA COMING INTO THE LOWER GULF VIA THE
YUCATAN CHANNEL IN THE NEXT 4-5 DAYS. DESPITE THE FUTURE TRACK AND
INTENSITY OF IDA...THE OVERALL SYNOPTIC PATTERN WOULD SUPPORT HIGHER
TIDES THAT ARE COINCIDING WITH ANNUAL SPRING TIDES WITH LARGE
RANGES. THUSFAR...TIDE GAGES ARE SHOWING STEADY INCREASES EVEN
THROUGH TIDE CYCLES INDICATIVE OF ADDED VOLUME PROBABLY FROM RIVER
RUNOFF OF RECENT RAINS INTO THE LAKE AND GULF DRAINAGE BASINS.
CURRENT ANOMALIES ARE IN THE 0.5 TO 0.8 FOOT RANGE WITH STEADY
INCREASE TO GRADIENT WIND RUN-UP INTO THE WEEKEND. IN
ADDITION...SWELL MODEL SUGGEST 9-10 SECOND SWELL TRAIN DEVELOPING
THAT WOULD BRING BATTERING WAVES NORTHWARD AND EMANATING FROM THE
YUCATAN CHANNEL. SO BUILDING SEAS AND MODERATE TO STRONG EASTERLY
WINDS SHOULD IMPACT THE COASTAL WATERS THROUGH THIS WEEKEND BEFORE
SLOW IMPROVEMENTS WITH STRONG OFFSHORE FLOW AROUND VETERANS DAY.

Whether Ida survives or not, going to be rough in GOMEX this weekend....
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Quoting Weather456:


I think the early guidances are out

Those look pretty similar to last night's run, wonder if that has truly updated or if they are sticking to their guns.
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1052. MahFL
Ida is still sucking up warm water, as noted on the new burst of convection on the West cemicircle.
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Ida barely inland,my estimated coordinates are 13N/83.8W slowly creeping NNW to N.
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Dr. Steve Lyons describes Ida as Vort-cane due its small size
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting P451:
12HR WV Loop




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.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1046. MahFL
Landfall is classed as when the center of the eye/storm crosses the coast. An eye wall could and sometimes does creep along a shoreline before coming onshore. In reality it does not matter much as damage occurs anyway.
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Good Evening all,
Wow, I go to work and i come home and Ida went from a TD to a Cat 1 Hurricane. Plenty of energy for it to feed off in those hot waters down there. I wonder how a trip over land will treat it? I guess that's the big question.



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1044. WxLogic
Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:


Seems the NHC is much slower than the model consensus now, they should adjust the 5 day position in the next advisory. I hope anyway here in SFL.


Hehe... yeah we shall see at 10AM so in 1:08HR. :)
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1043. WxLogic
Quoting Weather456:


I don't think some of those runs are 12Z as yet since you might know the global models come out later.


True... at the very least their combined output should give you a little indication on the trends (almost like a before and after). Definitely looking for the 12Z to come out for the latest.
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Quoting WxLogic:
Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)



Seems the NHC is much slower than the model consensus now, they should adjust the 5 day position in the next advisory. I hope anyway here in SFL.
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more like a opal type track
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Quoting WxLogic:
Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)



I don't think some of those runs are 12Z as yet since you might know the global models come out later.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1038. WxLogic
Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)

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This is going to be an interesting storm to watch. Should it survive interaction with land over Nicaragua and Honduras, the timing will bear watching as far as the expected trough arriving early next week in the GOMEX.
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
this give me the gut feeling of a hurricane Wilma Type Track its all about the speed like you said and the cold front coming from up north but looks like a louisiana to florida storm threat


Well if you look where the faster ones end up, and draw conclusion on where the slower ones will, you decide.
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
weather do we have the new comoputer models runs out yet if they are can you post them or help me out with a link


I think the early guidances are out

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Looks like a punt formation to me.
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Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:
Seems all the models are now in agreement on a turn to the NE and some point in time. The forward speed of IDA will determine where she strikes. That is, of course, if it makes it to that point.
this give me the gut feeling of a hurricane Wilma Type Track its all about the speed like you said and the cold front coming from up north but looks like a louisiana to florida storm threat
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Quoting Weather456:


look at the satellite image I posted. Models could initialize a center where they fell like, it does not justify the actual center.
weather do we have the new comoputer models runs out yet if they are can you post them or help me out with a link
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Seems all the models are now in agreement on a turn to the NE at some point in time. The forward speed of IDA will determine where she strikes. That is, of course, if it makes it to that point.
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Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1027. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
everything moving along i see now ida will be busy tracking up over and into nw carb a second system should dev in boc and move in tantem with ida till converges early tus next week over e cen gom then pull n ne after that then up the eastern seaboard after passage over n cen fla as a strong to intense extratropical low pressure late next week with colder air flooding down the bacside of the storm endsing whatever remains of 09 cane season
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Quoting Jeff9641:
Look at the new model runs.


look at the satellite image I posted. Models could initialize a center where they feel like, it does not justify the actual center.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:


I am surprised however that NHC didn't issue a landfall statement. Seems they usually do once landfall occurs.
i believe the Nhc would only use it when it makes landfall in the US (but i may be wrong)
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1021. WxLogic
Quoting Weather456:


Ida is onshore



Quite true...
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Quoting Weather456:


Ida is onshore



I am surprised however that NHC didn't issue a landfall statement. Seems they usually do once landfall occurs.
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I don't think this thing will go near Tampa Bay... I think some people are posting just to stir up trouble. Boy, did I miss the blog.
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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.