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 Patrap:
.

That GOM Event will be Larger in Scope than IDa,,as the winds will be over a Larger are squared,easily..and as forecasted


Will this be a western gulf event or will Miss, Ala, and panhandle of Fla get into the mix?
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


actually the shear is moving further north with every new shear forecast that comes out

That map shows favorable shear entering the Gulf


Oh yeah, I should note that I'm looking over Florida right now...not where the storm actually is. I guess what I'm looking at doesn't really matter much right now! :)
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting CaneWarning:


The map you posted. The pink is on the destructive end of the spectrum. Am I reading it correctly?


Yes but the blue just below it is favorable shear and is indicative of an anticyclone over Ida. With every shear forecast that has come out the last 2 days, the destructive shear has been further and further north
284. IKE
...IDA WEAKENS TO A TROPICAL STORM...HEAVY RAINFALL CONTINUES OVER MUCH OF NORTHERN AND EASTERN NICARAGUA...
1:00 PM EST Thu Nov 5
Location: 13.1°N 83.7°W
Max sustained: 65 mph
Moving: Stationary
Min pressure: 990 mb
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
TROPICAL STORM IDA INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 5A
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL112009
100 PM EST THU NOV 05 2009

...IDA WEAKENS TO A TROPICAL STORM...HEAVY RAINFALL CONTINUES
OVER MUCH OF NORTHERN AND EASTERN NICARAGUA...

AT 100 PM EST...1800 UTC...THE GOVERNMENT OF NICARAGUA HAS REPLACED
THE HURRICANE WARNING WITH A TROPICAL STORM WARNING. A TROPICAL
STORM WARNING IS NOW IN EFFECT FROM BLUEFIELDS NORTHWARD TO THE
HONDURAS/NICARAGUA BORDER.

AT 100 PM EST...1800 UTC...THE GOVERNMENT OF NICARAGUA HAS
DISCONTINUED THE HURRICANE WATCH.

INTERESTS IN HONDURAS SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF IDA.

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

AT 100 PM EST...1800 UTC...THE CENTER OF IDA WAS LOCATED NEAR
LATITUDE 13.1 NORTH...LONGITUDE 83.7 WEST OR ABOUT 75 MILES...
125 KM...NORTH OF BLUEFIELDS NICARAGUA AND ABOUT 65 MILES...105 KM
...SOUTH-SOUTHWEST OF PUERTO CABEZAS NICARAGUA.

IDA HAS BEEN NEARLY STATIONARY DURING THE PAST FEW HOURS. A MOTION
TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN LATER TODAY.
A
TURN TOWARD THE NORTH IS FORECAST LATE FRIDAY OR FRIDAY NIGHT. ON
THE FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF IDA WILL MOVE ACROSS EASTERN
NICARAGUA AND EASTERN HONDURAS DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE DECREASED TO NEAR 65 MPH...100
KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. ADDITIONAL WEAKENING IS EXPECTED AS
IDA MOVES INLAND OVER EASTERN NICARAGUA TODAY AND TONIGHT. IDA
IS FORECAST TO WEAKEN TO A TROPICAL DEPRESSION ON FRIDAY.

TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 70 MILES...110 KM
FROM THE CENTER.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 990 MB...29.23 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.

HIGHER-THAN-NORMAL WATER LEVELS ALONG PORTIONS OF THE EAST COAST OF
NICARAGUA SHOULD BEGIN TO DECREASE LATER TODAY.

...SUMMARY OF 100 PM EST INFORMATION...
LOCATION...13.1N 83.7W
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...65 MPH
PRESENT MOVEMENT...STATIONARY
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...990 MB

THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AT
400 PM EST.

$$
FORECASTER BROWN/BLAKE

Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6069
Quoting ElConando:


If it forms or not your in for a gusty day when it hits.
.

That GOM Event will be Larger in Scope than IDa,,as the winds will be over a Larger are squared,easily..and as forecasted.

But Ida's Long term Forecast Solution is very tricky as to intensity and timing as well.
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Quoting StormW:


What does?


The map you posted. The pink is on the destructive end of the spectrum. Am I reading it correctly?
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting CaneWarning:


It looks to be in the destructive category.


actually the shear is moving further north with every new shear forecast that comes out

That map shows favorable shear entering the Gulf
Just Looking at some of the post on here? I'm leaving for the Caymans this evening, Do I need to be worried ,other than bringing my raincoat rather than my swim suit.
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276. IKE
Quoting Patrap:
Ike.."Ida ?"..Im noticing a Bad trend.



LOL...yeah you're right.


Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


You probably have about 12 more model runs to consider that unless you are bored and want something to do.....


LOL.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting Patrap:
A Coastal Flood watch will Likely be issued from the Mouth of the River westward to the Sabine Pass,and is in the wording now from NOAA Radio NWS,Slidell


If it forms or not your in for a gusty day when it hits.
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CMC looks like something (Ida, maybe) is aided greatly by advecting some vorticity from the Pacific...could happen.

(Same link that Ike posted)
http://moe.met.fsu.edu/cgi-bin/cmctc2.cgi?time=2009110512&field=Sea+Level+Pressure&hour=Animation
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All Hurricanes wobble along a Given Path,..that's a given and Ida is no Different..
A Lot of forces come into Play with Land interaction as well.
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Quoting StormW:
Not good!



It looks to be in the destructive category.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting StormW:
Not good!



yea I am not sure where this "shear" is that is going to rip Ida apart in the Gulf
Someone advise me. Is the dark spot on the coast the center of IDA?
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Quoting P451:


I don't see it. I see a NNW movement at the moment, which appears to be following the course projection. Seems to be heading for 200 miles of land interaction. Do you have a specific loop you're looking at?




Inland and moving at about 350 I'd say. Tough to tell given the decaying satellite presentation because now you're seeing the individual blobs more than the center.


Yeah seems about right to me. About on track guidance, maybe a smidge to the right of it but literally its less than 20 miles off.
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Steering Layer 400-850mb or 970-989mb


Steering Layer 250-850mb or 940-949mb


The top steering graphic is what IDA should be doing.....It does not appear to be following that flow...I would suggest that the steering at that level is so light that it is being influenced at the higher levels as a tug....which would be the bottom steering layer as a result a more Northerly move for IDA because of the High directly East of IDA!
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A Coastal Flood watch will Likely be issued from the Mouth of the River westward to the Sabine Pass,and is in the wording now from NOAA Radio NWS,Slidell
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265. 789
Quoting TampaSpin:


Don't think so...

tampa some one back a few days ago gave the anology of a spinning top that ida may take the path of least resistance it seems with all of its wobbling around this was a good anology ? thanks for all your input here !
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
OK I'll wishcast--Ida emerges, becomes a strong subtropical/extratropical storm over the Gulf of Mexico, and makes landfall at Cedar Key, moving NNE to St. Simons Island as a gale center all the way. There :)


Now you've done it... ;)
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
OK I'll wishcast--Ida emerges, becomes a strong subtropical/extratropical storm over the Gulf of Mexico, and makes landfall at Cedar Key, moving NNE to St. Simons Island as a gale center all the way. There :)


funny thing is that is entirely possible
Quoting IKE:


Could be.




Put shutters up?


You probably have about 12 more model runs to consider that unless you are bored and want something to do.....
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Looking at some of the post on here? ,Im leaving this evening for the Cayman Islands. Do I need to be worried other than bringingn my raincoat instead of my swim trunks?
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Ike.."Ida ?"..Im noticing a Bad trend.

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237. AwakeInMaryland

Yes I think they're finally waking up to something might be going on. But mostly because of the flooding. It is already getting bad in places.

GETTING INCREASING CONCERNED ABOUT THE EASTERLY FETCH ACROSS THE
ENTIRE CENTRAL AND NORTHERN GULF THAT WILL BE SETTING UP MOST OF
SAT AND SUN. STILL UP IN THE AIR ON THE EVOLUTION OF IDA (IF IT
SURVIVES THE NICARAGUA LANDFALL) AND A SECONDARY LOW/TROF OVER
THE BAY OF CAMPECHE BY THIS TIME FRAME. HOWEVER...THE PRESSURE
GRADIENT BY THIS TIME SHOULD BE TIGHT ENOUGH TO GENERATE A LARGE
AREA OF EASTERLY 20-25KT WINDS OVER MOST OF THE CENTRAL/NORTHERN
GULF TO GENERATE A THREAT OF TIDAL PILEUP...GENERATING MINOR
COASTAL FLOODING. GFS EXTRATROPICAL GUIDANCE IS SHOWING 1.1 TO 1.3
TIDES HIGHER THAN NORMAL FOR EARLY SUN MORNING. WITH THE
ASTRONOMICAL TIDAL FLUCTUATIONS NEAR 2 FEET THIS TIME OF
YEAR...THIS COULD GENERATE TIDES UP TO 3.5 FEET NEAR HIGH
TIDE...GENERATING MINOR COASTAL FLOODING AND LOWER REACHES OF THE
SABINE AND CALCASIEU RIVERS ALREADING IN FLOOD FROM LAST WEEKS
RAINFALL. WILL LIKELY ISSUE COASTAL FLOOD STATEMENT ADDRESSING
THIS ISSUE.
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I have been looking at the visible loop
Member Since: September 11, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 263
Quoting Jeff9641:


Ida is moving north and is on the coast right now did it wobble East earlier? I thought it was further inland.


I think it's on the coast also. The Dvorak image seems to show that. Also the storm is moving faster. Are we agreeing on these observations more and more?
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254. IKE
Quoting Patrap:
A squash/loop is not beyond the realm of solutions seems Ike


Could be.


Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Ida 12Z HWRF coming towards you Ike....


Put shutters up?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting Jeff9641:


Ida is moving north and is on the coast right now did it wobble East earlier? I thought it was further inland.

No, earlier today Ida turned North then turned back towards the land. Now heading back North. I think Ida is afraid of land.
Member Since: September 11, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 263
Quoting atmoaggie:
Anyone for a boat ride in the Pacific? Yes, those are in meters...actually about 40 footers. And that is HTSGW, by definition the mean of the highest 1/3 waves. Some are bigger...



Those "The Deadliest Catch" filmmakers are gonna needs some "urp" bags today seems.
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Quoting IKE:
12Z NOGAPS.


Ida 12Z HWRF coming towards you Ike....
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Thats where the forecast problem lies,where will the westerlies and Ida envelope meet?

Tuff call this soon.
So I give each run a grain of salt till some consensus develops,some G-4 Sniff may be in order to solve that piece of da puzzle.
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248. xcool
to me Ida looking sexy lol just joke.
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Quoting Patrap:
A developing STS will affect the N GOM coast way before IDA even reaches the Yucatan Straits.

So any Impact from IDA will most Likely be steered or influenced by that STS.
But the situ remains fluid and dynamic as the run to run Lack of consistency shows.


The more intense the STS is then the more north and to the right will be the path of IDA
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Quoting portcharlotte:
The handbook on Hurricanes specifies that they recrurve and turn eastward when in proximity to the westerlies. If the westerlies are near the north Gulf Coast this storm will turn towards Florida IMO.
A very logical assessment.
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Anyone for a boat ride in the Pacific? Yes, those are in meters...actually about 40 footers. And that is HTSGW, by definition the mean of the highest 1/3 waves. Some are bigger...

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Quoting TampaSpin:
I wonder if the White House is watching Fox News for their IDA coverage?


lol xD
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A squash/loop is not beyond the realm of solutions seems Ike
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The handbook on Hurricanes specifies that they recrurve and turn eastward when in proximity to the westerlies. If the westerlies are near the north Gulf Coast this storm will turn towards Florida IMO.
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A developing STS will affect the N GOM coast way before IDA even reaches the Yucatan Straits.

So any Impact from IDA will most Likely be steered or influenced by that STS.
But the situ remains fluid and dynamic as the run to run Lack of consistency shows.
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239. IKE
12Z NOGAPS.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Ida 12Z GFDL coming out on the NCEP site. Still major cane in the GOM
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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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