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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1290. Dakster
Quoting stormsurge39:
So you start over everytime the forward speed changes?


You can... Even with Hurricanes, Speed = Distance traveled over time. As in Miles per Hour, Feet per Second, etc...

If you read the NHC discussions, they usually post speed based upon the distance the tropical system traveled over the past several hours. If you wanted the average speed for the past day, you could certainly figure it out the same way, although you are averaging the speed of a large period of time. I think short time measurements are prone to large errors. We can't even agree here on whether the storm is moving North, NNW, or NNE. I could only imagine where is the "center" debate.
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Quoting Weather456:
06/2345 UTC 16.3N 84.2W T2.0/2.0 IDA -- Atlantic

according to this Ida is still a depression


That's where I have it
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Quoting Chicklit:
Okay, since Ida looks like she's gonna be a little trouble, thought I'd post some Friday night entertainment...
MightyMightyakaBrickHouse
I caught that earlier and was going to make a smart alek response but I had posed a question to you 2-3 post before the "Mighty-Mighty" comment of yours and was hoping for a response and thought being a S-A would prevent you from answering...
Member Since: August 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 633
Quoting eyesontheweather:
Jeez more confusion. I remember you bringing this up about 200 posts ago. Now the blog appears to have taken a 180* turn. Surely this changes the outcome! Anyone????

As I was saying then, the SW shear may impede RI but shouldn't be prohibitive to strengthening. It has nice anticyclonic outflow on it's northern side and as it moves that way if the anticyclone tracks with it it may find a brief window of lesser shear, especially if it speeds up and lessens the effects of a shear tending to the southerly vector.
Member Since: August 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1497
Quoting Weather456:


correct...its all in the timing

But I think its maintaining its current speed for the time being.
Thanks, It looked like the coc is on the first tropical point in the water and that forecasted time is 11/7 0600.
06/2345 UTC 16.3N 84.2W T2.0/2.0 IDA -- Atlantic

according to this Ida is still a depression
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
The updated position will be out soon enough
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Quoting stormpetrol:
I estimate the COC 16.6N/83.7W, anyone else agreewith these coordinates? I could be wrong. I would say Ida is moving between due N or slightly wobbling E of due N.
No, that's too far north imo
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8424
1282. amd
Updated tropical positions
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Quoting cybergrump:
looking at this explain how she is moving NNW
Link

I agree , kinda reminds of Irene 1999
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Irene_%281999%29
Member Since: September 30, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 108
Quoting Dakster:


Here is an easy way. Take the actual observed lat/lon points over time and you can figure out. Lat / Long points are known distances, all you need is the time between the points. Kind of like timing your drive between mile marker posts on the highway. We know the mile markers are 1 mile apart and if it takes you 60 seconds to get from one to the next you know you are going 60 miles per hour... If you don't know how far the point are from each other, fear not, google earth to the rescue with the measuring tool. Just plot two point and use the tool to put it into whatever distance unit you want... I would think MILES would be the easiest - but you could figure it out in FEET or Nautical Miles if you wanted.


I was thinking the same thing but did not sure I was answering his question.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Dakster:


Here is an easy way. Take the actual observed lat/lon points over time and you can figure out. Lat / Long points are known distances, all you need is the time between the points. Kind of like timing your drive between mile marker posts on the highway. We know the mile markers are 1 mile apart and if it takes you 60 seconds to get from one to the next you know you are going 60 miles per hour... If you don't know how far the point are from each other, fear not, google earth to the rescue with the measuring tool. Just plot two point and use the tool to put it into whatever distance unit you want... I would think MILES would be the easiest - but you could figure it out in FEET or Nautical Miles if you wanted.
So you start over everytime the forward speed changes?
Quoting SouthALWX:

where were you all when I was arguing this versus 7 people -.-
Jeez more confusion. I remember you bringing this up about 200 posts ago. Now the blog appears to have taken a 180* turn. Surely this changes the outcome! Anyone????
Member Since: August 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 633
1277. Dakster
Thanks Weather456 and SouthALWX... That helped cement my understanding...

I am assuming that this yet another reason why the HH missions are so critical in forecasting hurricanes?

The missions could help the intensity forecast models as well, if I understand this correctly.
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Okay, since Ida looks like she's gonna be a little trouble, thought I'd post some Friday night entertainment...
MightyMightyakaBrickHouse
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11390
Quoting CosmicEvents:

Now that's a find. You actually found some decent food over there?


Oh yeah LOL
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Quoting stormsurge39:
456 it looks like its moving faster than forecasted. Did you say earlier that it would put it farther N before the turn if this continues?


correct...its all in the timing

But I think its maintaining its current speed for the time being.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
I estimate the COC 16.6N/83.7W, anyone else agreewith these coordinates? I could be wrong. I would say Ida is moving between due N or slightly wobbling E of due N.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8010
1272. jipmg
Quoting stormsurge39:
456 it looks like its moving faster than forecasted. Did you say earlier that it would put it farther N before the turn if this continues?


it was moving faster than forecasted, now its slowed a bit, I guess the convection sucked up what was left of the center and made it rush off shore
Quoting kmanhurricaneman:
kman islander , just heard someone got killed at that roundaabout by red bay gas station apparently vehicle slid of and overturned in canal ,i know the fella just got though working on his house.


That's awful. That would be 2 in a week. Those roundabouts are too small in circumference IMO.

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456 it looks like its moving faster than forecasted. Did you say earlier that it would put it farther N before the turn if this continues?
Quoting kmanislander:


Actually no rain this evening at all. Just walked off a real nice rib eye LOL

Now that's a find. You actually found some decent food over there?
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5644
1268. Dakster
Quoting Weather456:


I do not know if I could answer that question without guessing. One method I do know for sure is the speed of environmental flow surrounding Ida.


Here is an easy way. Take the actual observed lat/lon points over time and you can figure out. Lat / Long points are known distances, all you need is the time between the points. Kind of like timing your drive between mile marker posts on the highway. We know the mile markers are 1 mile apart and if it takes you 60 seconds to get from one to the next you know you are going 60 miles per hour... If you don't know how far the point are from each other, fear not, google earth to the rescue with the measuring tool. Just plot two point and use the tool to put it into whatever distance unit you want... I would think MILES would be the easiest - but you could figure it out in FEET or Nautical Miles if you wanted.
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Quoting Dakster:
Here's one for the METS (Amature/Professional/Etc...) to answer.

Is this actual shear map correct? I seem to remember other systems being able to do well or fall apart despite what the "shear maps" were saying. Even Dr. M had a blog about how the shear maps are really very limited as they only compare to layers of the atmosphere against each other. It is possible for there to be more or less shear than the maps indicate.

So, if Ida is soing well under "20 kts" of shear and shear is expected to "increase", is is really under that amount of shear?

Also, until Ida is completely over water and off the land effect, I don't think appearance of shear can be correlated to actual shear. After re-org we should be able to intrepet shear affects based upon visible analysis of Ida.

Again, this is my PERSONAL, NON-EXPERT reasoning, which could be completely wrong...

I've been told by my professors that these shear maps are very much "rounded off" meaning the mesoscale shear vectors can be, and are, very different than the maps would lead you to believe. They are best used as a guide, whereas satellite data can paint a different picture if examined closely. Remember, we have no real data (eg balloons) in this area so aside from HH missions the shear vectors are subject to (sometimes large) error
Member Since: August 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1497
Quoting SouthALWX:

where were you all when I was arguing this versus 7 people -.-


getting popcorn
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1265. jipmg
Quoting kmanislander:


Even if that is correct that would still be due N from the earlier center position. There is no motion due East of N that I can see and the IR2 loop strongly suggests just W of due N.


nope, its old
Quoting Dakster:
Here's one for the METS (Amature/Professional/Etc...) to answer.

Is this actual shear map correct? I seem to remember other systems being able to do well or fall apart despite what the "shear maps" were saying. Even Dr. M had a blog about how the shear maps are really very limited as they only compare to layers of the atmosphere against each other. It is possible for there to be more or less shear than the maps indicate.

So, if Ida is soing well under "20 kts" of shear and shear is expected to "increase", is is really under that amount of shear?

Also, until Ida is completely over water and off the land effect, I don't think appearance of shear can be correlated to actual shear. After re-org we should be able to intrepet shear affects based upon visible analysis of Ida.

Again, this is my PERSONAL, NON-EXPERT reasoning, which could be completely wrong...


plus 1 for that post. I never understood why some people watch a storm and do not realize its not under the amount of shear that the maps report.

The best shear map is your eyes.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
kman islander , just heard someone got killed at that roundaabout by red bay gas station apparently vehicle slid of and overturned in canal ,i know the fella just got though working on his house.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1002
Quoting stormsurge39:
The first tropical point, in the water, of the NHCs forecast looks ever so slightly to the NNW, and it looks like on the visible its right on it or to the left a smidge. IMO
Quoting Weather456:


I do not know if I could answer that question without guessing. One method I do know for sure is the speed of environmental flow surrounding Ida.
Thanks
Quoting jipmg:


interesting 83.9W


Even if that is correct that would still be due N from the earlier center position. There is no motion due East of N that I can see and the IR2 loop strongly suggests just W of due N.
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Quoting jipmg:


interesting 83.9W
Last co-ordinates from NHC was 15.7N 83.9W now this is 15.9N and 83.9W which means it is moving north, right ?
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8424
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
AL 11 2009110700 BEST 0 159N 839W 30 1006 TD
This would mean NO westerly movement just north.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8424
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:



Agree, in the image below the COC is near the small red spot closest to the coast, the large area of convection up to the right is being "sheared" ie blown to the NE

img

where were you all when I was arguing this versus 7 people -.-
Member Since: August 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1497
This will be the buoy to watch:

http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=42056
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 216
1256. jipmg
Quoting jipmg:


interesting 83.9W


its around 84.1W now
1255. jipmg
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
AL 11 2009110700 BEST 0 159N 839W 30 1006 TD


interesting 83.9W
The first tropical point, in the water, of the NHCs forecast looks ever so slightly to the NNW, and it looks like on the visible its right on it or to the left a smidge. IMO
I posted this a bit ago... but the pages are going fast

<>img removed.... the link didn't stay constant, and the image changed.
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looking at this explain how she is moving NNW
Link
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1251. Dakster
Here's one for the METS (Amature/Professional/Etc...) to answer.

Is this actual shear map correct? I seem to remember other systems being able to do well or fall apart despite what the "shear maps" were saying. Even Dr. M had a blog about how the shear maps are really very limited as they only compare to layers of the atmosphere against each other. It is possible for there to be more or less shear than the maps indicate.

So, if Ida is soing well under "20 kts" of shear and shear is expected to "increase", is is really under that amount of shear?

Also, until Ida is completely over water and off the land effect, I don't think appearance of shear can be correlated to actual shear. After re-org we should be able to intrepet shear affects based upon visible analysis of Ida.

Again, this is my PERSONAL, NON-EXPERT reasoning, which could be completely wrong...
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mail weather 456
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Quoting kuppenskup:
Am I blind or is everyone else? I see no NNW shift at all, if anything it's east of due north. What am I missing her?
i am agreement also thats what i was trying to say before
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1002
AL 11 2009110700 BEST 0 159N 839W 30 1006 TD
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11271
Quoting stormsurge39:
456 could you please expain to me how they forecast the forward speed of a hurricane for tracking purposes?


I do not know if I could answer that question without guessing. One method I do know for sure is the speed of environmental flow surrounding Ida.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:



Agree, in the image below the COC is near the small red spot closest to the coast, the large area of convection up to the right is being "sheared" ie blown to the NE



I agree. The center is W of 84 now and just N of 16
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Quoting Weather456:


I agree with you. I dont see any NNW motion.

and it isn't just a wobble... I think it's moving N also.... I see another shift to the right coming on
Member Since: September 30, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 108
Quoting Buhdog:
Shear at all seems to be coming from the SW (part of our BOC system?) blowing convention (hehe) to the NE giving the appearance of Ida going that way. It indeed looks to me n Zoom like it's going due north witha blowup on the last fram right over the center! Looks to be making a burst to me!



Agree, in the image below the COC is near the small red spot closest to the coast, the large area of convection up to the right is being "sheared" ie blown to the NE



loop
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Quoting Buhdog:
Shear at all seems to be coming from the SW (part of our BOC system?) blowing convention (hehe) to the NE giving the appearance of Ida going that way. It indeed looks to me n Zoom like it's going due north witha blowup on the last fram right over the center! Looks to be making a burst to me!

exactly.
Member Since: August 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1497
Quoting 786:
The Island is well prepared, it is the hurricane capital of the Atlantic, it has no choice. In my lifetime, Ivan was the only storm to truly damage the Island (appt. worse than the 1932 hurricane) and Grand Cayman now looks better than it ever did! Unfortunately can't say the same about New Orleans. Never say never but Ivan I think was a once in a lifetime experience, IDA could have done her worst already to Nic. and Hon.


I sincerely hope you are right but that's what we said about Audrey and Rita and Ike. And for Pete's sake may there never be another HUMBERTO! Lol.
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1241. jipmg
I think its moving almost DUE north.. idk if its moving east ore west though, but it might have slowed down again
456 could you please expain to me how they forecast the forward speed of a hurricane for tracking purposes?

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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.