Ida survives its Central American crossing

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:04 PM GMT on November 06, 2009

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Hurricane Ida rumbled ashore over eastern Nicaragua yesterday morning as a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds--the first November Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in an El Niño year since 1925. Now just a tropical depression, Ida has crossed over into Honduras, dumping heavy rains of 6 - 10 inches along the coast of Nicaragua and northeast Honduras, according to satellite estimates. The rains have pretty much ended over Nicaragua, thanks to the collapse of Ida's heavy thunderstorm activity on the south side of the center. Thunderstorm activity is still strong to the north of the center, over coastal Honduras and the waters of the Western Caribbean. Satellite loops show that Ida still has a vigorous circulation, and with the center due to move offshore tonight, it is apparent that Ida will survive the crossing of Nicaragua and Honduras.


Figure 1. Tropical Storm Ida at 1 pm EST November 5, 2009. In this MODIS image captured seven hours after landfall, Ida was a tropical storm with 65 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

The forecast for Ida
Ida will dump another 1 - 2 inches of rain over northeastern Honduras today. The Cayman Islands, Belize, and the rest of the Honduras coast can expect occasional heavy rains of 1 - 4 inches over the next two days as spiral bands from Ida bring squally weather. Much heavier rains of 4 - 8 inches are likely to affect Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and Western Cuba beginning Saturday, as Ida heads north towards the Yucatan Channel. Higher rain amounts may occur if Ida intensifies more than forecast.


Figure 2. Total heat content of the ocean (the Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential, TCHP) for November 4, 2005 compared to November 4, 2009. TCHP values in excess of 80 - 90 kJ/cm^2 (yellow, orange, and red colors) are often associated with rapid intensification of hurricanes. This year has higher heat content in the Western Caribbean than the record-breaking Hurricane Season of 2005. The higher heat content this year is partially because we haven't had any tropical cyclone activity in the Western Caribbean, while 2005 had some record strong storms--particularly Hurricane Wilma--that churned up cold water from the depths. Image credit: NOAA/AOML.

Moderate wind shear of 15 - 20 knots and warm waters await await Ida when it emerges over the Western Caribbean tonight, and some modest strengthening is likely. It is a concern that Ida could reach Category 1 hurricane strength before it reaches the Yucatan, as the total heat content of the ocean in the Western Caribbean is very high this year (Figure 2). However, given Ida's current disorganized state and the presence of 15 - 20 knots of shear, the odds of the storm reaching hurricane strength before passing the Yucatan on Sunday night are probably low, less than 30%.

The current wind speed probabilities for Cozumel give the Mexican resort island a 26% chance of receiving tropical storm-force winds of 39 mph of higher, Sunday or Monday. I expect Ida will be a tropical storm with 45 - 65 mph winds as it passes Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and enters the Gulf of Mexico on Monday. Passage over the Yucatan or western Cuba may cause significant weakening. With the shear expected to increase to a high 20 - 30 knots once Ida reaches the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, and with cooler water temperatures there, landfall of Ida as a hurricane on the U.S. coast is unlikely. The long-term fate of Ida once it reaches the Gulf of Mexico is hard to guess at this point, with the models offering a wide range of solutions. While a landfall along the Gulf Coast of Florida is a good bet, the trough of low pressure pulling Ida to the north may speed eastwards fast enough to strand Ida in the Gulf, where it would be forced westwards or southwestwards away from Florida, eventually hitting Texas or Mexico, or simply dissipating in the Gulf due to high wind shear. I give Ida a 50% chance of eventually hitting the U.S. Gulf Coast.

I'll have an update Saturday morning, or this afternoon if there's some interesting development to report.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting bjdsrq:
Recon seeing 45k surface winds


thanks for the obs link
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2589. bjdsrq
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
can someone post a link for the recon data or obs?


http://www.tropicalatlantic.com/recon/URNT15/KNHC/
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2588. bjdsrq
Recon seeing 45k surface winds
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Pinar Del Rio radar or in the vicinity
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To me IDA is almost stationary...Anyone agree?
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can someone post a link for the recon data or obs?
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Quoting jurakantaino:
Once again another tricky one for NHC, they already fail the last forecast and Ida is a formidable 60mph storm not 45mph,as their forecast. Now, they re saying she won't become a hurricane again, we will see.But likely they will be wrong again. Becoming typical of them this "el niño" year.


I think the NHC forecasters are all from Alaska and are not very tropical orientated...Just kidding
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Once again another tricky one for NHC, they already fail the last forecast and Ida is a formidable 60mph storm not 45mph,as their forecast. Now, they re saying she won't become a hurricane again, we will see.But likely they will be wrong again. Becoming typical of them this "el niño" year.
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repost

There is a trough extending from Northern Mexico to the Eastern Pacific (yellow dashed line). You can see the associated storm system moving east over Mexico on the WV link StormW provided. The Bay of Campeche system is located in the exit region, full of shear and divergence aloft - one thing that makes it a hybrid system.

Ida is smack in the middle of the trough and a ridge over the Central Caribbean, the same ridge that has been influencing Ida since it was 97L.

Now the speed of the environmental steering that Ida has entered is 5 knots, causing her to slow and organize rapidly. She is also located in the exit region of the ridge, which is also beneficial for outflow.

This implies Ida will continue northwest for short time, then turn north, supporting StormW findings and because she has slowed, she will likely turn further south than previously thought.



Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
New blog!
New blog!
New blog!
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Quoting TampaSpin:


I said exactly the same. You are correct 456!


Tampa..I believe this will be more of an EAST GULF event especially with the BOC low in play.
To me the EASY GULF is everything east of 85W
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Floater - Infrared Channel 2 Loop

Short Floater - RGB Color Infrared Loop

Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
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Quoting Weather456:


I did mentioned something of that nature earlier in the blog.

I did slow and this happens when storm intensifies.....i suspect she will turn north and east further south than previously expected.


Thanks 456...........
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Mobile NWS discussion from earlier:

MARINE...SURFACE HIGH PRESSURE OVER THE CAROLINA COAST TODAY WILL
GET STRETCHED BY ABUNDANT SHORTWAVE ENERGY PASSING OVER THE CONUS/CA
BORDER THROUGH THE WEEKEND. RESULT IS A GENERAL EASTERLY. IDA IS
FORECAST TO CONTINUE TO MEANDER NORTH...HELPING TO TIGHTEN THE
PRESSURE GRADIENT OVER THE GULF...WITH MODERATE FLOW BECOMING STRONG
BY LATE TODAY/TONIGHT...ESPECIALLY OVER THE OFFSHORE ZONES. AS IDA
MOVES PAST CUBA AND INTO THE SOUTHERN GULF BY LATE SUDNAY...A STRONG
SHORTWAVE PASSING OVER THE NORTHERN PLAINS/GREAT LAKES REGION EARLY
IN THE COMING WEEK WILL PUSH A FRONT ACROSS THE AREA MID WEEK. THIS
IS LATER THAN YESTERDAY`S GUIDANCE WAS ADVERTISING...SO THE FARTHEST
NORTH POINT OF IDA`S TRACK HAS BEEN SHIFTED FARTHER NORTH. THE
CENTER AND SPHERE OF INFLUENCE OF THE 34 KNOTS WINDS STILL REMAINS
WELL SOUTH OF THE FA.".........

Between this from Mobile NWS discussion earlier, a shear map on another site and what I just heard on the weather channel, starting to think the NGOM coast may not be as much in the clear as we were starting to think. If, Ida was to move faster than expected beating the front and that shear map is right, it could get interesting around here instead of SFL.
Also just heard surf's gonna be up from LA to Fl Panhandle. Was just at Pensacola Beach yesterday for lunch...the water is coooold and beautiful. Any thoughts?
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Quoting Weather456:
Surface winds of 37 mph already



Yep this is going to be an interesting flight.
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Quoting Weather456:


I did mentioned something of that nature earlier in the blog.

I did slow and this happens when storm intensifies.....i suspect she will turn north and east further south than previously expected.


I said exactly the same. You are correct 456!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
Surface winds of 37 mph already

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting portcharlotte:
456

456. what is your opinion on the track? A stronger system will tend to move mor northward or even NNE with the forecasted environment in the Gulf. Is that possible. Do you think IDA will get past 85W if it strengthens more than forecast?


I did mentioned something of that nature earlier in the blog.

Ida did slow and this happens when storms intensifies over the NW Caribbean.....i suspect she will turn north and east further south than previously expected.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Drakoen:
Ida looks to be intensifying nicely with not signs of shear disrupting the system. Ida could easily reach hurricane strength if the trend continues. Microwave imagery shows an eyewall developing:

Isn't the eye forming further east than the coordinates NHC is giving ?
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Hurricane Hunters back online.

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The biggest headline maker this weekend in the Gulf Coast won't be Ida, it'll be another tropical low in the Gulf of Mexico.


This low, centered over the Bay of Campeche, will move northward through the western Gulf this weekend. Tropical moisture will begin to push into eastern and central Texas on Sunday, but the heaviest rainfall will be over the lower Mississippi Valley on Sunday night through Monday night.


This low is having a tough time developing into the tropical depression and it may never. Strong shear in the region is limiting its potential. However, this system will still be capable of damaging weather as it heads closer to the U.S. coast.


Throughout this weekend, rough surf and dangerous boating conditions will exist throughout the western Gulf. By Monday, winds in excess of 40 mph are expected along the Gulf Coast, while heavy rain and thunderstorms will push into southern Louisiana and Mississippi.

Ida isn't my only concern in S.E. LA.

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2568. bjdsrq
Quoting portcharlotte:

It will not make it that far north before turning northeast...More of a Central or SW Fla eventIMO...


I will contain my general "human nature" theory today mr. "PortCharlotte". lol
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456
Quoting Weather456:


lol 15 mph

They dont know easy it is for the hurricane hunters to find that.


456. what is your opinion on the track? A stronger system will tend to move mor northward or even NNE with the forecasted environment in the Gulf. Is that possible. Do you think IDA will get past 85W if it strengthens more than forecast?
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
same image ;)


Fixed.
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2565. WxLogic
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
HDOBs have started coming in should show up at Tropical Atlantic soon.


Thx...
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4977
buddy that's the same Sat pic?
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
What a difference a day makes.

Yesterday.


Today.

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Nice post 456 for those of us who need visual help. This is close to what kman was talking about concerning the Caribbean high yesterday but your steering chart really brings it home. Looks like we are still in a crap shoot. Lastly storm was pretty ripped up yesterday should have know it wouldn't develop quite as fast as I said. I am still hungry not to much meat on that crow. I think anyone can see the intensification today. Hot soup overcomes shear but know it doesn't look like any
shear for the time being. Personally this is when the blog is its best go StormW and 456.
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HDOBs have started coming in should show up at Tropical Atlantic soon.
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Quoting Weather456:


I do not know about Ida

But storms can become extratropical while hurricanes

Maria 2005, Florence 2006 and Bill 2009.


Noel 2007
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Hopefully we should still get a vortex message from the recon plane.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
What a difference a day makes.

Yesterday.


Today.

same image ;)
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Quoting Nolehead:
ok just listened to TWC so called experts...how will this thing turn x-tropical after it turnes into a cane?? i'm confident that Ida will at least be a Cat1 so yes the waters "along shore" are cooler but not too far out are still warm...can anyone explain this or are they just trying not to freak people out?? just don't make any sence to me...but i know i'm going to get 1 hell of a swell out of it...


I do not know about Ida

But storms can become extratropical while hurricanes

Maria 2005, Florence 2006 and Bill 2009.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
.
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ok just listened to TWC so called experts...how will this thing turn x-tropical after it turnes into a cane?? i'm confident that Ida will at least be a Cat1 so yes the waters "along shore" are cooler but not too far out are still warm...can anyone explain this or are they just trying not to freak people out?? just don't make any sence to me...but i know i'm going to get 1 hell of a swell out of it...
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Quoting Drakoen:
Ida has not even reached the highest of the TCHP. None of the models really expected her to get this strong so fast so it should be interesting today.


she gets south of Yucatan Channel...its not going to be pretty
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
2554. bjdsrq
Quoting IKE:

BR


Thank you much Ike, and also thanks to Doug for the JB update. I'll put my money on JB since the oil industry places their bets on his calls.
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HHs nearing Ida

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
2552. Drakoen
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Every 9 minutes rapid scan of Ida

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Wall Street Journal has picked up on this, too, so pls. fill up even if accuweather is hype (situation normal.) Also, suggest Gulf/FL residents take out a little cash from your ATM.

Just normal disaster watch/warning procedures. And check/resupply your storm kit.

Storms May Cause a Disruption of Normal Oil Production Operations in the Gulf
Posted 2009-11-07

Two storms are stirring up weather in the Gulf of Mexico that will affect production in the energy industry beginning this weekend and continuing into Monday.

By Carly Porter
AccuWeather.com

Two storms are stirring up weather in the Gulf of Mexico that will affect the production of the energy industry beginning this weekend and continuing into Monday.

Tropical Storm Ida will come north and be in the Gulf of Mexico by Monday, while a second storm located in the southern Gulf could become a tropical system late this weekend as well.

The system currently developing in the southern Gulf of Mexico, whether eventually a named storm or not, will cause strong winds and high seas along the Texas and Louisiana coastal waters this weekend.

"This is going to be a three-day problem at the least," said Expert Senior Meteorologist and Tropical Long-Range Forecaster Joe Bastardi. "Seas 15-20 feet and a 200-mile wide area of strong gale-force winds 40 to 50 mph will mean a likely disruption of normal oil production operations in the northwest Gulf this weekend."

Ida will continue moving northwestward over the warm waters of the northwest Caribbean this weekend. Ida could be in the Gulf of Mexico north of the Yucatan by Monday.

This is a complex and very rare weather event for the Gulf of Mexico, and not only has implication on normal oil operations, but also on folks living along the Gulf Coast and Florida next week.

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Quoting KeyWestwx:
Local weathermen (Miami) last night said that the upper level winds over the Florida Striaghts are currently blowing over 80 mph. When (If) Ida reaches this area or West of it she will be quickly torn apart. Here's hoping that she slings some moisture at the Keys. We are in a major rain deficient


ditto that sentiment. here's hoping SWFL gets some too!
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2548. amd
as of about 15 minutes ago: the hurricane hunter aircraft is at 23.5N 87.0W

Link
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2547. Drakoen
Ida has not even reached the highest of the TCHP. None of the models really expected her to get this strong so fast so it should be interesting today.
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I think the HH will find Huricane force winds when they get there......the Gulf STREAM LOOp is playing a big factor in IDA intenfying rapidly as she is....





Shear LOOP and a window is opening with low shear in my Opinion.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
Is any that is tracking the recon getting the flight path? All I am getting is the observations.
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Should be an interesting day.
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Quoting southbeachdude:


Kate...did that make landfall around Tally? Bastardi is always interesting....

It will not make it that far north before turning northeast...More of a Central or SW Fla eventIMO...
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2542. IKE
Quoting bjdsrq:


Ike, do you have reference to the "Kate" being referred to? With my luck, I'll look in the archive and get the "Kate" from the wrong year. ;-)


Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
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Bastardi has been posted. Look at #2492.
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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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