Hurricane Ida hits Nicaragua

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:31 PM GMT on November 05, 2009

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Hurricane Ida intensified at one of the fastest rates on record, and plowed ashore this morning in central Nicaragua as a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds. It took just 24 hours from when the first advisory was issued for Tropical Depression Eleven until Ida reached hurricane strength. Since reliable satellite measurements began in 1970, Hurricane Humberto holds the record for fastest intensification from first advisory issued to hurricane strength--18 hours. (Actually, Humberto did the feat in 14 1/4 hours, but this was rounded off to 18 hours in the final data base, which stores points every six hours). There have been six storms that accomplished the feat in 24 hours--Hurricane Florence of 2000, Hurricane Erin of 1995, Hurricane Bonnie of 1992, Hurricane Earl of 1986, Hurricane Kate of 1985, and Hurricane Kendra of 1978. Ida now joins that short list of rapidly intensifying storms.

Ida will dump very heavy rains of 10 - 15 inches over northern Nicaragua and northeastern Honduras over the next two days, which will likely make it the deadliest storm of the 2009 hurricane season. However, Ida is a relatively small storm, and has not tapped the Pacific Ocean as a source of moisture. I think the NHC forecast of 15 - 20 inches of rain is overdone. The greatest rainfall disasters in Honduras history--caused by Hurricane Fifi of 1974 and Hurricane Mitch of 1998--were caused because these were large storms that were able to pull in moisture from both the Atlantic and Pacific. Ida will not approach these disasters in magnitude.


Figure 1. Microwave "weather radar in space" image of Ida at landfall this morning, at 6:17 am EST. Image credit Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

The forecast for Ida
Ida will likely spend a full two days over Nicaragua and Honduras, and there is a chance that Ida will dissipate. The HWRF and ECMWF don't show much surviving of Ida after crossing into the Western Caribbean. However, the other models like Ida's chances of surviving, and it is the case that the storm's core will be tracking over relatively low elevation land (Figure 2), increasing the chances that Ida can survive the crossing intact. If Ida survives the crossing and emerges into the Western Caribbean on Saturday, moderate wind shear of 15 - 20 knots and warm waters await it, and some modest strengthening is likely. A trough of low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico this weekend should be able to propel Ida northwards into the Gulf of Mexico. The long-term fate of Ida if it reaches the Gulf of Mexico is hard to guess at this point, though the odds are against Ida hitting the U.S. as a hurricane, due to high wind shear.


Figure 2. Projected track from the 10am EST NHC advisory from Thursday, 11/05/09, overlaid on a topographical map of Central America. Image credit: Wikipedia.

Looking at the past to predict the future
Perhaps the best way to estimate the chances of Ida surviving the crossing of Nicaragua and Honduras is to look at past storms that have followed similar tracks, to see if they dissipated or not. History favors Ida surviving the crossing. The two best analogue storms occurred in 1906 and 1908. Hurricane Eight of October 10, 1906, hit Nicaragua as a Category 3 hurricane, spent two days over land, weakening to a tropical storm, then emerged into the Western Caribbean and re-intensified into a Category 3 hurricane that hit Cuba and South Florida. On the other hand, Hurricane Nine of October 18, 1908, which hit Nicaragua as a Category 2 hurricane, dissipated after spending 1.5 days over land. Three other weaker systems have followed paths similar to Ida's, and all survived the crossing and re-intensified once over the Western Caribbean. Tropical Storm Gert of 1993 hit as a 40 mph tropical storm, spent two days over land, and survived to re-intensify to a tropical storm before hitting the Yucatan Peninsula. Hurricane Alma of June 1996 hit Nicaragua as a tropical depression, spent two days over land, and survived. Alma later intensified into a major Category 3 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Tropical Storm Six of 1940 hit Nicaragua as a 45 mph tropical storm, spent 1.5 days over land, and survived the crossing. So, of the five storms to follow a path similar to Ida's projected path, four survived to re-intensify over the Western Caribbean.

I'll have an update Friday morning.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting StormChaser81:


When the blue line moves into area 1 watch out, when it moves into area 2 here it comes.


So if I read that correctly, we are in the "here it comes" stage?
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Quoting Jeff9641:
Not a Katrina but a Wilma for Florida.

im going to give you the benefit of the doubt ... explain.. or poofy
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Could just be satellite hypnosis but the wave approaching Ida from the east looks like it maybe kicking up a little spin just east of Ida could this create a weakness just to the storms east. Our will it merge before any substantial interaction.
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Quoting Patrap:
The only creepy thing observed is the BAMMD consistency..as its performed best with Ida so far as skyepony pointed out last night.

Note the 12Z BAMMD,to now




I have been noticing that Pat, it wants to bring it right to our doorsteps....
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Quoting StormChaser81:


Ask that question in about 4-5 days from now. Way to early, no reason to worry.

agree with you as well as pat. SSTs and the shear generally associated with november make it highly unlikely, though I won't say impossible, to have a Katrina THIS november. different november, different story.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


What does this scribble mean?


When the blue line moves into area 1 watch out, when it moves into area 2 here it comes.
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LOL @ 427. how apropos :)
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Quoting StormW:


What does this scribble mean?
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Quoting CaneWarning:
Go Tampa Bay Bucs!!! Our record is perfect so far this year! We've lost every game we've played!


Just keep low confidence and youll never lose. lol
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Quoting IKE:
12Z NOGAPS.


what about this supposed strong ridge across the N. Gulf Coast that some are saying will keep IDA away?
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Quoting MScasinojunkie:
ok really worried this thing is gonna drift straight north in my direction - what are the chances of a Katrina in November??


Ask that question in about 4-5 days from now. Way to early, no reason to worry.
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Quoting Patrap:
That STS is gonna flirt with Ida's future as well,but most Importantly,could do some coastal flooding from Galveston to points well east too.


Regarding the STS and coastal flooding... What time frame? I was planning on leaving a car parked in Galveston next week while I am on a cruise ship, probably getting a closer look at the bad weather!
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Quoting MScasinojunkie:
ok really worried this thing is gonna drift straight north in my direction - what are the chances of a Katrina in November??


SSt's dont favor a Super or Large Hurricane..as the intensity Gragh peaks and wanes thru the period in the latest run.

But DO note the Peak...in the outliers.

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Dr. Masters, any advice you can provide as to what may happen to Ida in terms of affecting Cancun would be greatly appreciated. My wife and 8yr old are due to attend conference Tuesday, leaving tomorrow from Iowa and returning next Wednesday night. No conference is worth risk of danger, so I'm trying to help them weigh the risk. Thx much for any thoughts!
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Yeah I'm not liking that model either - I do hope we go 8-0 this Sunday! We need a bit of good news around here.
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Hurricane Preparation Entry
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ok really worried this thing is gonna drift straight north in my direction - what are the chances of a Katrina in November??
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What a great weekend for football in NOLA!

Not liking that BAMD model.
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Quoting portcharlotte:
I may be wrong but I sense a wobble to the north or NNE


12ZGFDL forecast a N to NNE movement commencing very soon, let's see if it verifies.
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NEXSAT GOM Hi Rez Loop
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Quoting portcharlotte:
I may be wrong but I sense a wobble to the north or NNE

So do I but would like to see more frames
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I may be wrong but I sense a wobble to the north or NNE
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Here is Klystron 9 model supposedely the world's most advance dual polarization radar.

Link
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Latest discussion from Tampa.

...TROPICAL IMPACT...
HURRICANE IDA MOVED INTO NICARAGUA THIS MORNING AND IS FORECAST TO
MOVE BACK INTO THE WESTERN CARIBBEAN ON SATURDAY AND INTO THE GULF
OF MEXICO AS A TROPICAL STORM BY TUESDAY. WE MAY BEGIN FEELING THE
EFFECTS OF THE STORM ON TUESDAY IN THE FORM OF STRONGER EASTERLY
WINDS AND HIGHER SEAS OVER THE GULF WATERS. BY WEDNESDAY...SOME
OF THE SHOWERS AND STORMS COULD BEGIN TO IMPACT OUR REGION ON THE
EAST SIDE OF THIS SYSTEM. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THIS IS A VERY
LOW CONFIDENCE FORECAST AT THIS TIME AND EFFECTS COULD RANGE FROM
JUST SOME ENHANCED EASTERLY WINDS IF IDA COMPLETELY DISSIPATES TO
A POTENTIAL SEVERE THUNDERSTORM EVENT IF THE CIRCULATION OF IDA
BECOMES INVOLVED WITH A COLD FRONT MOVING INTO FLORIDA ON
WEDNESDAY. ALL RESIDENTS AND VISITORS ARE URGED TO KEEP INFORMED
OF THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS BY VISITING THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE AND NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER ON THE WEB OR STAYING TUNED
TO LOCAL MEDIA STATIONS.
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That STS is gonna flirt with Ida's future as well,but most Importantly,could do some coastal flooding from Galveston to points well east too.
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402. xcool
i seeing bammd move back
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Monday BOC low. Euro has called for this for at least a week now.CMC same spot same time.

Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 10 Comments: 3665
That MJO Spike is just a Poking the Western Atlantic & far Eastern Pacific in the eye again today.
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The only creepy thing observed is the BAMMD consistency..as its performed best with Ida so far as skyepony pointed out last night.

Note the 12Z BAMD,to now



18z(current BAMD)


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Look at the Pacific medium potential is starting to spin up.
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Also it looks like it will be to the right of the next NHC point
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Storm nice call on the stall.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


you can see the NNW turn toward the end.

Nice graphic, I like that you can really tell where the center is and where it might be headed, I figure its between 6-12 miles inland if that.
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Wife says i have to do some house work....lawn..or i can't play with you all tonite......guess i better do the lawn....BBL....NO FIGHTING KIDS! I will do a new update late this evening! We need to watch what IDA does for sure!
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393. xcool
thank pat
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looks like the center right on the coast line. Zoomed in on the visable thats what I see.
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On this run all the major models hint at a right hand turn at some point, may just depend on the timing and strength of the next front and the strength of Ida.
http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/tracking/at200911_model.html#a_topad
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IDA 18Z Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)




18Z Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)



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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
18Z Model Update





Looks like some more symmetry in the models for the 18z run. At least in the 48-72 hour forecast.
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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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