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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869. unf97
Good morning everyone.

Ida in my judgment has reached hurricane status. The satellite imagery shows the western egde of the center is right on the coast of Nicaragua. It will be interesting too see if NHC will make the call and officially designate it as a hurricane this morning before it makes landfall. Ida also appears to be moving NW-N and I think she will move just inland alond the coastal plain of Nicaragua and Honduras for the next 36-48 hours. Due to the excellent structure of cyclone, I expect of course some weakening over land, but I don't believe it will be a drastic weakening. I think Ida will re-emerge intact in the NW Caribbean this weekend after grazing through the coast. I see the system hugging right up the coast and not penetrating very far inland.

After that, we all will just have to wait and watch what the atmospheric conditions will do into next week. Thwre are several scenarios that could play out next week. This is a very complex situation as Ida approaches the GOM. I look forward later this morning reading the analysis from Dr. Masters on his take on the compicated long range analysis on Ida.

Have a great day everyone.
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Quoting Bobbyweather:
Hi everyone,
Tropical Storm IDA is still strengthening, but slowly. NHC's 4am EST Discussion notes that Ida could briefly become a hurricane before landfall.

There are no other areas of special interest. Several invests are active, though. There is 96E, but the conditions are not favorable. Second, there is 98W. It is not organized at this time. Third, there is 92B, but there is little convection around the center. It appears that the Navy did not update the satellite image. Lastly, there is a SHEM invest, 99S. It has a lot of convection, so we'll see how it develops.
Morning, Bobby. That's a really neat global summary.
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Quoting Weather456:
Ida is feeling the effects of land interaction.


Looks that way to me too.
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Quoting Weather456:
Ida is moving NNW or N. At the current speed on satellite imagery, if it was moving west, wnw or nw, it should have made landfall.

456,as early as 11pm last night you could see a northerly component taking place. My believe at that time was it was under the influence of the ridge in the central Carribean or the front coming down from u.s. more so than the trough in southern gom. I think that is still the case. Is this correct? If so, when should we expect the models to start showing this trend?
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Ida is feeling the effects of land interaction.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
i just dont get it how the models are not picking up on the front affecting the track
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oh oh i believe we are in for a rough ride , stop the press stop the press cayman may get run over by late season cat 4 hurricane. who say that ?? tell them the same man who predicted ivan would hit cayman in 04 , me!
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Quoting kmanhurricaneman:
morning strormwatcher, yes i am in agreement i just saw that iwas just about torun a zoomed loop , we here in cayman need to watch this closely.
I agree and I just have a bad feeling it might be another Paloma in terms of track and maybe even intensity. She has held together very good over night and even improved on organization.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8392
morning strormwatcher, yes i am in agreement i just saw that iwas just about torun a zoomed loop , we here in cayman need to watch this closely.
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Quoting kmanhurricaneman:
morning guys,it seems i was right to take the gfdl model ,what the other models noy taking into consideration is the front thats drifting south ,ida will skirt the coast then gadually take a n then nne track, we have seen it start already as she was tracking wnw and now nw ,what does that tell you?mmmmmmm....
If you look closely actually looks almost direct north now
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8392
morning guys,it seems i was right to take the gfdl model ,what the other models noy taking into consideration is the front thats drifting south ,ida will skirt the coast then gadually take a n then nne track, we have seen it start already as she was tracking wnw and now nw ,what does that tell you?mmmmmmm....
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Speaking of models being off their rocker. It plays follow the leader into SW LA. And I'm not sure who's following what.

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Quoting Weather456:


It is doing what Mitch did, just staying offshore dumping rain.

They could get 8 inches in the next 24 hrs and that's an understatement. Luckily after Felix, they implemented some warning systems, to help better cope with these system. As you may or may not knew, some persons did not know Felix was bearing down until it was too late.


No I hadn't heard that. I'm glad some plan is in place. I hope they heed any warnings. That is a crazy amount of rainfall.
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Center appears right along the coast now

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
I do not know what's funnier

The GFDL predicted the intensity up to 18Z yesterday....laughed at

The ECMWF dropped the system before becoming a TD....trusted and believed

And the season was over just a few days ago.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
My opinion is, Ida is a hurricane

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting homelesswanderer:


I hope so too. Our local rivers are in flood and we are looking at more rain from the BOC. I feel for them though. At least here it's flat ground. :(


It is doing what Mitch did, just staying offshore dumping rain.

They could get 8 inches in the next 24 hrs and that's an understatement. Luckily after Felix, they implemented some warning systems, to help better cope with these system. As you may or may not knew, some persons did not know Felix was bearing down until it was too late.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Weather456:
Ida is moving NNW or N. At the current speed on satellite imagery, if it was moving west, wnw or nw, it should have made landfall.
That is what I see also. I thought she would have already made landfall too but looks to me like she might just skirt the coast and not actually traverse land at all.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8392
Ida is moving NNW or N. At the current speed on satellite imagery, if it was moving west, wnw or nw, it should have made landfall.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Weather456:
Hope our friends over there are holding out well



I hope so too. Our local rivers are in flood and we are looking at more rain from the BOC. I feel for them though. At least here it's flat ground. :(
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Hope our friends over there are holding out well

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Good Morning

Ida is a rarity

You could see the eye as it forms right along the coast

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Hi everyone,
Tropical Storm IDA is still strengthening, but slowly. NHC's 4am EST Discussion notes that Ida could briefly become a hurricane before landfall.

There are no other areas of special interest. Several invests are active, though. There is 96E, but the conditions are not favorable. Second, there is 98W. It is not organized at this time. Third, there is 92B, but there is little convection around the center. It appears that the Navy did not update the satellite image. Lastly, there is a SHEM invest, 99S. It has a lot of convection, so we'll see how it develops.
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Quoting futuremet:


This maybe why the ECMWF has it completely stuck in the SW Caribbean.



I was wondering where it went on the model. And I think this brings the BOC low into TX/LA and does a complete loop back into the gulf as a low then gets dragged across FL. At least thats what it looks like. There's lows everywhere. I thought it was Ida the secong low it shows.

Link
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000
WTNT41 KNHC 050836
TCDAT1
TROPICAL STORM IDA DISCUSSION NUMBER 4
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL112009
400 AM EST THU NOV 05 2009

THE SATELLITE PRESENTATION OF IDA HAS CONTINUED TO IMPROVE OVER THE
PAST FEW HOURS. EARLIER THERE WAS A LARGE EXPANSION OF COLD CLOUD
TOPS IN A SYMMETRIC CENTRAL DENSE OVERCAST WHILE IN THE LAST HOUR OR
TWO THE COLDEST TOPS HAVE TAKEN ON A MORE BANDED APPEARANCE. DVORAK
INTENSITY ESTIMATES AT 0600 UTC WERE 55 KT FROM TAFB AND SAB...
HOWEVER AIRCRAFT RECONNAISSANCE FOUND THAT IDA WAS ALREADY THAT
STRONG YESTERDAY WHEN IT HAD A MUCH LESS IMPRESSIVE SATELLITE
APPEARANCE. THEREFORE...THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS RAISED TO 60 KT
FOR THIS ADVISORY. WHILE THERE IS ONLY A SMALL WINDOW FOR
ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING...THE HURRICANE WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF THE
COAST OF NICARAGUA REFLECTS THE SMALL CHANCE THAT IDA COULD REACH
HURRICANE STATUS AS IS MAKES LANDFALL. AFTER LANDFALL...WEAKENING
IS FORECAST AS THE CENTER IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN OVER LAND FOR THE
NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. THE TRACK FORECAST TAKES IDA BACK OVER THE
NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA AFTER 48 HOURS...AND THE INTENSITY
FORECAST SHOWS SOME STRENGTHENING AT 72 HOURS AND BEYOND. HOWEVER
...THERE IS A LARGE DEGREE OF UNCERTAINTY AT THIS TIME RANGE...SINCE
IDA MAY NOT SURVIVE LONG ENOUGH TO REACH WATER AGAIN.

THE INITIAL MOTION ESTIMATE IS 310/06. THROUGH 48 HOURS THE
MULTI-MODEL CONSENSUS IS IN GOOD AGREEMENT WITH THE PREVIOUS
FORECAST...AS IDA IS EXPECTED TO TURN NORTHWARD BETWEEN A WEAK
MID-LEVEL RIDGE OVER THE NORTH-CENTRAL CARIBBEAN SEA AND A
WEAK TROUGH OVER THE SOUTHERN GULF OF MEXICO. BEYOND THAT TIME...
MUCH OF THE GUIDANCE HAS SHIFTED WESTWARD WITH LARGE DIFFERENCES IN
FORWARD SPEED AS WHATEVER IS LEFT OF IDA INTERACTS WITH A MID-LEVEL
TROUGH DIGGING INTO THE NORTHWESTERN GULF OF MEXICO. GIVEN THE
LARGE SPREAD IN THE GUIDANCE...A SLOW NORTH-NORTHWESTWARD MOTION IS
SHOWN AT DAYS 3 THROUGH 5. THIS IS IN GOOD AGREEMENT WITH THE
PREVIOUS FORECAST AND ON THE EASTERN SIDE OF THE GUIDANCE
ENVELOPE...WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE GFDL WHICH IS A FAR EASTERN
OUTLIER.

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

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 05/0900Z 12.8N 83.4W 60 KT
12HR VT 05/1800Z 13.3N 83.9W 45 KT...INLAND
24HR VT 06/0600Z 13.9N 84.3W 35 KT...INLAND
36HR VT 06/1800Z 14.7N 84.6W 30 KT...INLAND
48HR VT 07/0600Z 15.7N 84.8W 25 KT...INLAND
72HR VT 08/0600Z 18.0N 85.5W 35 KT...OVER WATER
96HR VT 09/0600Z 20.0N 86.0W 40 KT
120HR VT 10/0600Z 22.0N 87.0W 45 KT

$$
FORECASTER BRENNAN/CANGIALOSI
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000
WTNT31 KNHC 050831
TCPAT1
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM IDA ADVISORY NUMBER 4
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL112009
400 AM EST THU NOV 05 2009

...IDA NEAR HURRICANE STRENGTH AS IT BEARS DOWN ON NICARAGUA...

A HURRICANE WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE EASTERN COAST OF
NICARAGUA FROM BLUEFIELDS NORTHWARD TO THE HONDURAS/NICARAGUA
BORDER. A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE
POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE ENTIRE EASTERN
COAST OF NICARAGUA. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL
STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA
WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS
ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.

AT 400 AM EST...0900 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM IDA WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 12.8 NORTH...LONGITUDE 83.4 WEST OR ABOUT 60
MILES...100 KM...NORTH-NORTHEAST OF BLUEFIELDS NICARAGUA AND ABOUT
85 MILES...135 KM...SOUTH OF PUERTO CABEZAS NICARAGUA.

IDA IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 7 MPH...11 KM/HR...AND A
GRADUAL TURN TO THE NORTH-NORTHWEST WITH A SLIGHT DECREASE IN
FORWARD SPEED IS EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT DAY OR TWO. ON THE
FORECAST TRACK...IDA SHOULD MAKE LANDFALL ALONG THE EAST COAST OF
NICARAGUA THIS MORNING...AND MOVE ACROSS PORTIONS OF EASTERN
NICARAGUA AND EASTERN HONDURAS DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 70 MPH...110
KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. IDA COULD BRIEFLY REACH HURRICANE
INTENSITY BEFORE MAKING LANDFALL THIS MORNING. WEAKENING IS
EXPECTED ONCE IDA MOVES INLAND OVER NICARAGUA LATER TODAY.

TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 50 MILES...85 KM
FROM THE CENTER.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 991 MB...29.26 INCHES.

IDA IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO 7
INCHES OVER THE ISLANDS OFF THE COAST OF NICARAGUA WITH MAXIMUM
AMOUNTS OF 12 INCHES POSSIBLE. RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 15 TO 20
INCHES ARE EXPECTED OVER EASTERN NICARAGUA AND EASTERN HONDURAS
WITH MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 25 INCHES POSSIBLE. THESE RAINS COULD
PRODUCE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOOD AND MUD SLIDES.

A STORM SURGE COULD RAISE WATER LEVELS BY AS MUCH AS 3 FEET ABOVE
GROUND LEVEL ALONG THE EAST COAST OF NICARAGUA...WITH LARGE AND
DANGEROUS BATTERING WAVES...NEAR AND TO THE NORTH OF WHERE THE
CENTER OF IDA MAKES LANDFALL.

...SUMMARY OF 400 AM EST INFORMATION...
LOCATION...12.8N 83.4W
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...70 MPH
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NORTHWEST OR 310 DEGREES AT 7 MPH
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...991 MB

AN INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE
CENTER AT 700 AM EST FOLLOWED BY THE NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY AT 1000
AM EST.

$$
FORECASTER BRENNAN/CANGIALOSI
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Quoting futuremet:
I think there are some major problems with the model strength initialization at the moment. The models are not picking up this system enough. A lot of them are initialized with just a weak low.


This maybe why the ECMWF has it completely stuck in the SW Caribbean.

Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
I think there are some major problems with the model strength initialization at the moment. The models are not picking up this system enough. A lot of them are initialized with just a weak low.
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051

still close to the coast.
congrats to the yanks for winning the world series. back to dreamland for me.
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HEY TAMPA I KIDDED YU EARLY THIS SESON YOU WERE DO BUT THIS IS A LITTLE SCARY!
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It appears to me to be most diffinetly off shore yet.....and maybe not going on shore for a while....unless it wobbles back to the left....that darn GDFL model might just be right on......let's hope not....OUCH! I'm out not.....Nite eveyone....see ya AM tomorrow.
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Just woke up and checked Ida. Here's the 1 a.m. NHC report:
...SPECIAL FEATURE...
THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM IDA AT 05/0600 UTC IS NEAR 12.5N 83.2W...OR ABOUT 50 MILES/85 KM TO THE NORTHEAST OF BLUEFIELDS NICARAGUA. T.S. IDA IS MOVING NORTHWESTWARD 6 KT. THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 995 MB. THE MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WIND SPEEDS ARE 55 KT WITH GUSTS TO 65 KT.
... IT IS MOST PROBABLE THAT IDA WILL MAKE LANDFALL DURING THE NEXT FEW HOURS. NUMEROUS STRONG SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS COVER THE AREA FROM 11N TO 13N BETWEEN 82W AND 84W. THE WINDS OF IDA MAY REACH HURRICANE INTENSITY JUST BEFORE MAKING LANDFALL. TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 50 MILES/85 KM FROM THE CENTER.
IDA IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS RANGING FROM 5 INCHES TO 7 INCHES ACROSS SAN ANDRES ISLAND WITH MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 12 INCHES POSSIBLE. RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS RANGING FROM 15 INCHES TO 20 INCHES ARE EXPECTED IN EASTERN NICARAGUA AND EASTERN HONDURAS WITH MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 25 INCHES POSSIBLE.
THESE RAINS MAY PRODUCE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOOD AND MUD SLIDES. IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE STORM SURGE MAY RAISE WATER LEVELS BY AS MUCH AS 3 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL ALONG THE EAST
COAST OF NICARAGUA...WITH LARGE AND DANGEROUS BATTERING WAVES...
NEAR AND TO THE NORTH OF WHERE THE CENTER OF IDA MAKES LANDFALL.

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Quoting KoritheMan:


Ida, to me, looks like most tropical cyclones do before they attain hurricane status. No eye is readily observable on satellite imagery, but there exists a definite warming of the cloud tops near Ida's center, while the banding seems to be consolidating closer to that warming CDO.


Well hell. Just went bk to that link there is an eye. I'm blind or they just updated it. and now loooks to be NE
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Last still imiage from above.....

NIte all....
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Quoting homelesswanderer:


Can't see an eye on this. But a difinte swirl. and if that is the middle it's moving due north. missing trop points to the east.

Link


Ida, to me, looks like most tropical cyclones do before they attain hurricane status. No eye is readily observable on satellite imagery, but there exists a definite warming of the cloud tops near Ida's center, while the banding seems to be consolidating closer to that warming CDO.
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G'night fellow bloggers
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Nite all. I'm gonna go put one eye to sleep while keeping the other on IDA....this dam thing could get very interesting to many.....Meaning Dangerous.


Night Tim. Hope she doesn't get too "interesting."
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Nite all. I'm gonna go put one eye to sleep while keeping the other on IDA....this dam thing could get very interesting to many.....Meaning Dangerous.
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Quoting KoritheMan:
It almost looks like Ida is attempting to develop a ragged eye on satellite imagery.


Can't see an eye on this. But a difinte swirl. and if that is the middle it's moving due north. missing trop points to the east.

Link
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It almost looks like Ida is attempting to develop a ragged eye on satellite imagery.
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Quoting xcool:
Link



ecmwf model


ya beat me to it.
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Ummmmmm?? BOC or IDA?????


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826. xcool
Link



ecmwf model
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting ElConando:
What happened to my profile pic??


Mine vanished too... anyway, i'll be back tomorrow late evening, drinking and eating crow for the Ida rainfall dump party. It's been an interesting season closer, and I still hold that it will stall and die over land.
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Lastly, took one final look at atlantic water vapor unenhanced black and white on the nhc, the systems moisture seems to be rapidly increasing in area making for what looks like a much larger storm bad news for the rainfall down there.


The CMC looked like it gathered IDA, the Pacific storm and the BOC blob all together and brought it NE. Weird.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Never seen that before. Storms are steered by steering winds at different levels depending on the size of a storm....Now a storm can bounce around in high terrian...like mountains and nearly move around....think of a tornado how it looks at the surface as opposed to the top how it bends with some.....well that is sorta the same that a Hurricane for instances at the different levels.....The strongest storms are uniform vertically stacked from the bottom to the top straight up and down.

Thanks Tampa
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821. xcool



Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting peejodo:

Looking at the 100m water temps I have a question. Is it possible that Ida could follow the heat?


Never seen that before. Storms are steered by steering winds at different levels depending on the size of a storm....Now a storm can bounce around in high terrian...like mountains and nearly move around....think of a tornado how it looks at the surface as opposed to the top how it bends with some.....well that is sorta the same that a Hurricane for instances at the different levels.....The strongest storms are uniform vertically stacked from the bottom to the top straight up and down.
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Lastly, took one final look at atlantic water vapor unenhanced black and white on the nhc, the systems moisture seems to be rapidly increasing in area making for what looks like a much larger storm bad news for the rainfall down there.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113

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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.