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 NiƱo 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 kingzfan104:


im just saying that they dont just follow models, because even though thats what everyone here does,they are wrong most of the time.


I agree..and disagree.
They look at models also I would assume.. you never disregard information. They also have a lot more information then we do.. and they are trained to use it.

We have some of the information.. not all of it.

They tell us its not unusual to be 200 miles out in 2-3 days. I basically disregard anything over 3 days... it just a guesstimate.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
1686..
fine line there.
it's almost like saying we can't critique the president because we aren't, well, the president.
Yes they have responsibilities we don't. But YES they are a government agency and are subject to criticism just like any other .. not saying I think they (nhc) are right/wrong just that questioning one's right to question THAT ... well that IS wrong.
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Quoting futuremet:


Its effects are negligible though...


Environment should become less conducive as it tracks northward. Outflow to its southwest is just about non existent.
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Quoting Ossqss:



That is a very broad statement. What do they see then if they are not looking at models and or forecasts of the environement? Just curious :)


im just saying that they dont just follow models, because even though thats what everyone here does,they are wrong most of the time.
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Quoting kingzfan104:


difference between them and you. they run a government run site based on actual things they see and not models, you run a stupid site that 5 people look at and that is poorly organized and feel the need to critique people who dont base their forecast off of computers


well said - agree 100%
people on this blog don't have to forecast for the lives of millions each year - if your're wrong on the blog - oops. NHC can't say that, they have to recap the entire year in front of a mass of government officials within the Department of Commerce.
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Quoting kingzfan104:
is it possible to be an extra tropical storm with major hurricane strength winds? and if so, what would the official forecast say and would the nhc still track it?

I guess it's possible? far more likely, however, would be an Exstorm with minimal hurricane-TS strength winds
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1683. Ossqss
Quoting kingzfan104:


difference between them and you. they run a government run site based on actual things they see and not models, you run a stupid site that 5 people look at and that is poorly organized and feel the need to critique people who dont base their forecast off of computers



That is a very broad statement. What do they see then if they are not looking at models and or forecasts of the environement? Just curious :)
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Hey all, i was looking for more info on anticyclones and i found a site called the data discovery hurricane science center. Its got amazing graphs and detailed yet simple explanations to everything related to hurricanes. If you have lots of questions about hurricanes and there structure you will like this. Heres the link for those interested, its amazing.Link
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Quoting futuremet:


Its effects are negligible though...
No they're not... the shear is helping to keep Ida slightly weaker. One of the first things I was taught in general meteorology was that "no element of the atmosphere is negligible."
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3633
is it possible to be an extra tropical storm with major hurricane strength winds? and if so, what would the official forecast say and would the nhc still track it?
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Quoting hurricane23:
There is some southerly shear currently impinging on the circulation,you can see it on water vapor imagery.


Its effects are negligible though...
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If Ida merges with the Xtratropical low, and transitions into a subtropical storm, one must not look at the forecast line as being where the weather is, the worst weather expands well away from the COC ie wind/tornados/rain etc. Anyone with boating plans next week within that cone should reconsider, ie raincheck on the cruise.
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Also, the NHC loves to use straight up observations: The Gulf is filled with shear... not conducive.
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3633
Quoting TampaSpin:


HWRF model.......again nearly every major model has IDA as a Hurricane in the GOM....I don't get NHC's forecast intensity.....if it was only one or two models......but, nearly all of them......HELP!

looks to me like some of the models are indicating a transition to extratropical to me ... windfield expanding etc ...I don't have a problem with their forecast though saying "extratropical" could be misleading... worrisome part about this setup, to me, is the gradient between cold high and a transitioning cyclone trying to get energy from the jet versus heat latency ... it could surprise alot of people with very breezy winds spanning nearly the entire gomex region and possible severe wx down into the peninsula of florida
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CMC model again at least a Hurricane but, just further WEst....nearly every major model has Ida as a Hurricane....but, NHC does not have it in their update....HUM...OK they are the professionals......
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There is some southerly shear currently impinging on the circulation,you can see it on water vapor imagery.
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:
Wouldn't be surprised if they said it was a minimal 40mph TS tomorrow and then the recon finds like 65mph winds when it goes out lol


I think it's already a minimal TS by looking at the convection around the center of Ida.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7423


HWRF model.......again nearly every major model has IDA as a Hurricane in the GOM....I don't get NHC's forecast intensity.....if it was only one or two models......but, nearly all of them......HELP!
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1669. tino427
Quoting FloridaTigers:


Curious, where in Florida are you?
coral gables
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:
Wouldn't be surprised if they said it was a minimal 40mph TS tomorrow and then the recon finds like 65mph winds when it goes out lol
It's happened before.
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3633
Wouldn't be surprised if they said it was a minimal 40mph TS tomorrow and then the recon finds like 65mph winds when it goes out lol
Quoting sammywammybamy:


What are the water temps???????

SST 85F-29C over SW Caribbean, cools to 81-82F/27C in S Gulf of Mexico, cools to near 75F/24C near N Gulf Coast
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785


NGP is further WEst but, still a strong storm...
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Lol what makes it even more so the PERFECT STORM II, is the nhc's lack of calling the storm what it is.
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1661. beell
Zonal shear at 120 hours.
Zonal or to put it simple, the east/west shear-which is thought to be much more destructive to tropical systems.

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I believe that Ida is at Tropical Storm status, just by looking at the satellite, Hurricane Hunters will approve this tomorrow.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7423
Quoting CaneAddict:


It's not "your" interactive loop...all you did is copy and paste the nhc's javescript coding.


LOL your kidding right? Geez talk about nitpicking
I disagree with the nhc, this storm is already a TS. They are being conservative I guess, but its making me mad.
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I don't get the intensity forecast for NHC...the best major models are showing something different...Lets hope this won't be true...PERFECT STORM II Sequel could very well be coming in my opinion....NO BOATING GUYS!
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Quoting TampaSpin:


HUM....i don't know Yet!


I honestly still dont expect the south movement. I see it slowing down to a crawl but continuing ne or ene.
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Quoting duajones78413:
I have access to the 10 day forecast, I am just wondering if the systems mentioned will have much effect on my area, thank you

Looks like Coastal Flooding may be a problem over the SW Gulf of Mexico on Mo-We. Have you read the Forecast Discussion from NWS Corpus Christi? Recent models sends this system to the NE or E Central Gulf next Tu-We.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Map I made earlier this evening showing a likely scenario...

Photobucket
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7423


AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
so Ida is supposed to combine with the extropical low and become extropical itself
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Wow i see our girl is starting to get her act together again...and NHC only has a TS...HUM?

Here is my Interactive LooP


It's not "your" interactive loop...all you did is copy and paste the nhc's javescript coding.
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Look at the pressure graient on the GFDL, simply in awe of amazement... Very strong Extratropical Hurricane.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7423
Some of you might want to Bookmark this one :)

TS BUSTED FORECAST, to be used in the event you make a minor discrepancy in your forecast.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
What shear are they seeing?

Don't show me a map either, cuz the satellite loops say very little shear is impacting Ida
TampSpin, looks like the entire gulf coast gets some weather, ugliest in florida. Tornado watches for sure.
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I have access to the 10 day forecast, I am just wondering if the systems mentioned will have much effect on my area, thank you
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Ya, may not be no duck and run somewhere else from the possible monster to be.....this might actually be worse than a Cat.1 Hurricane over a much larger area.....JMO


I believe we may a 100MPH CAT 2 in 24 hrs in the Caribbean Sea
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting reedzone:


The Perfect Storm II, GFDL is now on the boat for that!


Some of the models have it going the same way... then doubling back onto the Yuc
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511


HUM....i don't know Yet!
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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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