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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1268. SQUAWK
3:39 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
NEW BLOG !! NEW BLOG !! NEW BLOG !! NEW BLOG !! NEW BLOG !! NEW BLOG !! NEW BLOG !! NEW BLOG !! NEW BLOG !! NEW BLOG !! NEW BLOG !! NEW BLOG !!
Member Since: December 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2498
1267. Orcasystems
3:38 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
New Blog
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
1266. tedauxie
3:37 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
How about the forecast extra tropical in the Bay of Campeche? Anyone care to comment on that?
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 24
1265. RitaEvac
3:36 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Quoting P451:
Landfall.
Definitive NW track.
Definitely accelerated since this AM when it was wobbling along the coastline.
Doesn't seem to like land at all- rapidly losing it's colder cloud tops.



This storm might never survive, and people have to consider that
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9686
1263. AwakeInMaryland
3:34 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Quoting Jeff9641:


I agree but I do think we will have an intense storm in the NW Caribbean on Monday. There will be shear but not near as high as predicted at the NHC. I'm in line with the GFDL. The GFDL seems to be handling this storm the best.

Question, anybody -- Are we allowed to bet, those who lose donate to Portlight? Or is that considered on-line betting and against the law (and shame on me). I call dibs on the ECMWF's being closest in what, a week? $20 to Portlight if I lose and a big "L" on my forehead (counting on beginner's luck). Please don't flag, I'm just asking. Iggy button is there for you to use. :)
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
1262. Patrap
3:34 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Sometimes,..obs arent available and ya gotta go with the Sat Presentation and what experience tells you.
Not everything van be quantified,..this isnt a courtroom,..there arent many sidebars neither,..LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
1261. reedzone
3:34 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
It's loosing convection fast, but if the structure stays, and lifts out back into the Western Carribean, then it should get going again.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7437
1260. HurricaneNewbie
3:33 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
NEW BLOG
Member Since: September 11, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 263
1259. Ossqss
3:33 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Through binoculars, way out :)

Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
1257. tropicofcancer
3:33 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Can't say the Doctor didn't warn us!

Posted by: JeffMasters, 9:46 AM EDT on October 23, 2009

There's only good news to report in the tropics today. The tropical disturbance in the Western Caribbean has weakened and shrunk, and has little prospect of developing into a tropical depression for at least the next three days. None of the computer models is forecasting tropical cyclone development in the Atlantic over the next seven days. Hurricane season is not over yet, though, and we will still need to keep a watchful eye on the Western Caribbean. Wind shear is expected to remain low there for most of the next two weeks, according to recent forecast runs of the GFS model. I expect I'll be talking about "Invest 95L" in the Western Caribbean sometime in the next two weeks.



Jeff Masters
Updated: 10:10 AM EDT on October 19, 2009
A Western Caribbean tropical storm coming?
In the Atlantic, an area of disturbed weather has developed in the Western Caribbean from Costa Rica to the Cayman Islands, in association with the remains of a cold front, a tropical wave, and a broad 1010 mb low pressure region that has developed over the extreme southwestern Caribbean off the coast of Costa Rica. Last night's QuikSCAT pass showed that the low off the coast of Costa Rica had a broad and disorganized surface circulation. The thunderstorm activity associated with this large and complicated area of disturbed weather is disorganized and under 10 - 30 knots of wind shear, and any development over the next three days will be slow. However, by Friday, wind shear over the Western Caribbean is expected to drop significantly, and development of a tropical depression in the Western Caribbean becomes a more real possibility. Numerous runs over the past few days of all of our reliable global forecast models have shown a tropical depression developing in the Western Caribbean by early next week. The timing, location, and track of such a such a storm are all pretty hazy, but I think there is a 60% chance of a named storm forming in the Western Caribbean sometime in the next 10 days. The regions most likely to be affected by such a storm would be Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Cayman Islands, and it is possible that such a storm may stay trapped in the Western Caribbean for many days (as predicted by the GFS model). Alternatively, the storm could move steadily northwards after formation, affecting western Cuba, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, South Florida, and the Bahamas. This is the solution preferred by the ECMWF model. In either case, a long period of disturbed weather is likely for the Western Caribbean. Heavy rains will affect northeast Honduras, eastern Nicaragua, and the Cayman Islands this week, and could spread to adjacent countries as the area of disturbed weather evolves.

Member Since: September 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 207
1256. TheCaneWhisperer
3:31 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Quoting hurricane23:
Hopefully the core gets really disrupted over land.


Surely agree with you there, this one's got a mean streak.
1255. Patrap
3:31 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
TS IDA 12 Z
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)



12Z Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
1253. Chicklit
3:30 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
good morning. shortwaveloop

Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11424
1252. hurricane23
3:30 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Right on track with TPC.

Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
1251. atmoaggie
3:30 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Quoting IKE:


As in "nothing", what do you mean? Not familiar with reading wind barbs...winds under what?


No readings there above 10 knots...(at least none that are collected and displayed on that graphic)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
1249. stormpetrol
3:30 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
If you see the center cross offshore where the coastline curves slightly inward , then thats a whole other ball game imo.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8134
1248. atmoaggie
3:29 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
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.


Really only the shelf waters are cold enough to knock down a developed system...



(If it ain't blue, it'll do)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
1247. IKE
3:29 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Quoting atmoaggie:

Well, the available surface obs not-that-far-from-center are showing...nothing.


(Best viewed full size, click!)


As in "nothing", what do you mean? Not familiar with reading wind barbs...winds under what?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1246. Cavin Rawlins
3:28 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Quoting atmoaggie:

Well, the available surface obs not-that-far-from-center are showing...nothing.


(Best viewed full size, click!)


yea I agreed him from his definition.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1245. tornadofan
3:27 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Quoting P451:
Landfall.
Definitive NW track.
Definitely accelerated since this AM when it was wobbling along the coastline.
Doesn't seem to like land at all- rapidly losing it's colder cloud tops.



A lot of the reds and purples have disappeared. Hopefully, this will keep the rainfall totals down, there.
Member Since: April 5, 2007 Posts: 83 Comments: 12345
1244. IKE
3:27 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
I would say it's definitely taken a hit with it moving inland....

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1242. TampaSpin
3:26 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Morning all....yep the season is over.....YA RIGHT!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
1241. atmoaggie
3:25 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Quoting Weather456:
Dr. Steve Lyons describes Ida as Vort-cane due its small size

Well, the available surface obs not-that-far-from-center are showing...nothing.


(Best viewed full size, click!)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
1239. stormpetrol
3:24 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Just my opinion , but when Ida was actually more inland, the NHC was calling it just offshore, now that it is basically moving back offshore they say its inland, I don't get it, or are my eyes deceiving me!
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8134
1237. Floodman
3:22 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Quoting reedzone:
The core not be disrupted much, especially when it's moving just due east of the northward track. Looking at past systems, I can see this maybe emerging out as a strong TD, then if shear conditions are favorable as Weather456 and StormW show, we could be dealing with a BIG problem down the road. Guess it's a wait and see for now. Folks on the Gulf Coast just need to watch and not panic.


You're exactly right...as hard as it is for some folks, panic is never good.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
1236. ssmate
3:21 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Quoting Weather456:
This is a public forum so if people speculate 6-10 days out, the NHC is not going to say "based on WU, such and such"

It is not really doing anyone any harm, especially if they testing their forecast skill.

So if you feel a cat 3 is heading towards Florida, as long as you have your valid reason, no one is going to kill you (or should kill you) since nothing here is taken to the officials.


Amen. Without reasoned speculation there really would be no reason to visit this blog.
Member Since: July 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 347
1235. hurricanehanna
3:21 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Quoting StormW:


Uh oh...(G) is upset with me.

Hee hee ;) Just make it go away and all will be well!
Member Since: September 5, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3488
1234. SQUAWK
3:21 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Quoting hurricane23:
Hopefully the core gets really disrupted over land.

Good morning "Killer," good to see you.
Member Since: December 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2498
1233. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
3:20 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Quoting hurricane23:
Hopefully the core gets really disrupted over land.
yep but there is a big chance that it will redevelope once over water should exit into nw carb near 15.9n/84.5w

as 456 stated the season finishes up with a bang
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
1231. mtyspider
3:20 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Quoting rareaire:
mornin , whew this will be fun!

Indeed not fun!!!! we already have a nice thunderstorm in San Pedro Sula
Member Since: November 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 72
1230. reedzone
3:20 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
The core not be disrupted much, especially when it's moving just due east of the northward track. Looking at past systems, I can see this maybe emerging out as a strong TD, then if shear conditions are favorable as Weather456 and StormW show, we could be dealing with a BIG problem down the road. Guess it's a wait and see for now. Folks on the Gulf Coast just need to watch and not panic.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7437
1229. Cavin Rawlins
3:19 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


You need to look at similar timeframes, NHC is talking about after 48 hours, your graph is 144 hours (outside NHC forecast timeframe).


yea ur right...it matches

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1227. HurricaneNewbie
3:18 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Looking at the visible loop it looks to me as if Ida is turning North. Is that just an illusion?
Member Since: September 11, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 263
1226. WaterWitch11
3:18 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Quoting CycloneOz:
OPEN COMMUNICATION TO ALL CONCERNED:

I've decided to go chase Ida, as I need a final chapter for my winter YouTube TV show.

To the XtremeHurricane.com Team: I will be in communication with each of you through the entire duration of this chase, which will officially begin on Saturday, 11/7/2009. PLEASE START SHOOTING VIDEO!

To Everyone Else: The XtremeHurricanes.com live webcam and Remote Hurricane Weather Station will be available for operation should Ida make landfall...so stay tuned for updates. We will give a 2-day announcement for go-live.

Peace out...


sorry if this sounds stupid but where is your starting point?
Member Since: August 11, 2008 Posts: 3 Comments: 1750
1225. Cavin Rawlins
3:17 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
This is a public forum so if people speculate 6-10 days out, the NHC is not going to say "based on WU, such and such"

It is not really doing anyone any harm, especially if they testing their forecast skill.

So if you feel a cat 3 is heading towards Florida, as long as you have your valid reason, no one is going to kill you (or should kill you) since nothing here is taken to the officials.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1224. serialteg
3:17 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Surprised there even is something to talk about here!

Just heard it on the TV news...
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1988
1223. AwakeInMaryland
3:16 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
1190. Just my opinion -- When they are asked as questions, no problem... it's when they're stated as fact or even an educated opinion that can cause confusion (shock, denial, fear, grief, lol). I saw the post about NC to NE and my eyes rolled to the back of my head...but as a novice (me) there's still a moment of "Whaaaaat, can this possibly happen????" Hope this makes a little sense. Oh, and good morning, all. Good discussion and posts this morning. I admit I was one of the lurkers making refreshing slow.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
1222. Floodman
3:16 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Quoting ConchHondros:


Marvin has a hug comin...dont forget, and before we do anything, you & Mrs Flood will join us for steak :)


I'll want to get a pic of you hugging Marvin...it will look good on my Facebook page and in here, for that matter! Yes, brother, the Mrs. and I will be happy to done with you, rare and Kelly!
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
1221. hurricane23
3:15 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Hopefully the core gets really disrupted over land.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
1220. ConchHondros
3:15 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Quoting CycloneOz:
OPEN COMMUNICATION TO ALL CONCERNED:

I've decided to go chase Ida, as I need a final chapter for my winter YouTube TV show.

To the XtremeHurricane.com Team: I will be in communication with each of you through the entire duration of this chase, which will officially begin on Saturday, 11/7/2009. PLEASE START SHOOTING VIDEO!

To Everyone Else: The XtremeHurricanes.com live webcam and Remote Hurricane Weather Station will be available for operation should Ida make landfall...so stay tuned for updates. We will give a 2-day announcement for go-live.

Peace out...


I chased an Ida once...not a stretch here in Okla...ended up with her sister Ruby at a bonfire on the Canadian river...ahhh 1985...
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 551
1219. nrtiwlnvragn
3:14 PM GMT on November 05, 2009
Quoting Weather456:


the big problem is, the shear presented in the NHC forecast differs from the shear forecast.



You need to look at similar timeframes, NHC is talking about after 48 hours, your graph is 144 hours (outside NHC forecast timeframe).
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 15 Comments: 11343

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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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