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 tornadofan:
Hmmm - is Ida already becoming extratropical?

dont think so. actually looking amazing considering time over water versus 30 hours or so overland.
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Quoting Weather456:
Alot of things throwing around and nothing of substance.


What do you mean? lol
Quoting southbeachdude:


You mean Ft. Myers??? Ft. Pierce is on the east coast...UGH...

Too early to tell...Everyone on the Gulf coast should be prepared during Hurricane season.

i'm going to buy my vodka now..coming from the west again..just watched max mayfield r looking around thursday...monday the media is going to be the start of 24-7 till ida is no more..
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Wow so if it turns east towards Florida, will it actually make landfall or possibly go south?
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Alot of things throwing around and nothing of substance.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting tornadofan:
Hmmm - is Ida already becoming extratropical?


highly doubt that
1083. Patrap
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Hmmm - is Ida already becoming extratropical?
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Quoting futuremet:


Nah...that is a developing equatoward banding feature.


equawhat? What i'm seeing is all the convection on the north and the SW side is clearing of convection. Usually indicative of shear or dry air... maybe i'm seeing things?
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1057. Weather456
Thanks for the explanation :)
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As always Cosmic comes on and is a smartypants at the wrong time lol

Don't ask yourself if the storm will hit you...ask yourself if you are prepared if the storm hits you.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1076. xcool
;
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Quoting kuppenskup:


Sorry, Ft Myers. What do you think?

To early to tell but wouldn't mind a whole lot of rain here in s fla... although its won't be fun for my direct tv viewing....
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1074. jipmg
anyhow I suspect, windy and mostly cloudy conditions for most of southern florida the next couple of days
Quoting kuppenskup:
With this unexpected sudden east of north turn Im expecting more of a SW strike from Ida maybe Ft Pierce.


You mean Ft. Myers??? Ft. Pierce is on the east coast...UGH...
Quoting kuppenskup:


Sorry, Ft Myers. What do you think?


Too early to tell...Everyone on the Gulf coast should be prepared during Hurricane season.
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1072. Patrap
RGB still, IDA

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Quoting poknsnok:
looks like some sw shear blowing the storms away from the center

how long has Ida been over water and it looks like the convection is starting to wrap around the coc.
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Also I only use ADT to get specific information on a storm, like scene type and eye temperature. ADT is gross estimations of systems.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting 954FtLCane:

Ft Pierce is on the east coast...hmmmm.. that would be interesting... do you mean Ft Myers?


Sorry, Ft Myers. What do you think?
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1067. Patrap
IDA Short Floater - Visible Loop
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Quoting 954FtLCane:

Ft Pierce is on the east coast...hmmmm.. that would be interesting... do you mean Ft Myers?
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1065. jipmg
Quoting poknsnok:
looks like some sw shear blowing the storms away from the center


Those storms were never over the center
Quoting kuppenskup:
With this unexpected sudden east of north turn Im expecting more of a SW strike from Ida maybe Ft Pierce.

That NE turn is probably just a wobble as the exposed center remerges with the convection offshore should resume a North to NNW motion until it reaches the GOM.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting CosmicEvents:

The doctoral degrees in meteorology that the forecasters at the NHC have?


Poof.
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Quoting kuppenskup:
With this unexpected sudden east of north turn Im expecting more of a SW strike from Ida maybe Ft Pierce.

Ft Pierce is on the east coast...hmmmm.. that would be interesting... do you mean Ft Myers?
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1061. Patrap


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Quoting CaneWarning:
I'm not sure what the NHC sees, but I am looking at the shear forecast and I think it will be favorable for Ida to develop. Also, the waters in much of the gulf, especially the southern portion, can sustain a storm. What am I missing???

The doctoral degrees in meteorology that the forecasters at the NHC have?
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looks like some sw shear blowing the storms away from the center
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1058. Detrina
Quoting jipmg:
wow.. david just said "Whats left of ida could possibly hit the west coast of florida" he says because its november it wont go any further than a tropical storm?


The next question would be: Who dropped David on his head...
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Can someone please translate into plain English for me. TIA


If you look at a satellite map of Ida, you notice the heavy convection curves in a band...if you fit this to spiral curve you can measure how much degrees the arc goes around...measured in 10ths.

So the curve band goes around 6/10ths or 0.60 which yields a T number of 3.7 and after considerations are taken, you have a T number of 3.2

MD is the color code you see on dvorak gray images and it stands for medium gray.

3.2 is about 50 knots.

For some reason, the ADT thinks Ida is weakening (WEAKENING FLAG: ON) but ADT is partly computer generated and so a human would be able to discern for themselves that Ida is not weakening.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1056. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting winter123:
looks to me like shear is having an impact on the SW side. This may just get sheared apart like the EPAC storm to its southwest.


11L
TROPICAL DEPRESSION IDA 18:00UTC 06November2009
UW-CIMSS Experimental Vertical Shear and TC Intensity Trend Estimates

Current Conditions (from TPC) :
Latitude : 15:21:41 N
Longitude : 84:01:11 W
Intensity (MSLP) : 1009.0 hPa

Max Pot Int (MPI,from Emanuel) : 990.2 hPa
MPI differential (MSLP-MPI) : 18.8 hPa

CIMSS Vertical Shear Magnitude : 9.2 m/s
Direction : 224.4 deg

Outlook for TC Intensification Based on Current
Env. Shear Values and MPI Differential
Forecast Interval : 6hr 12hr 18hr 24hr
N N N U

Legend : VF-Very Favorable F-Favorable N-Neutral
U-Unfavorable VU-Very Unfavorable

-- Mean Intensity Trend (negative indicates TC deepening) --
6hr 12hr 18hr 24hr
VF <-3.0mb/ 6hr <-6.0mb/12hr <-9.0mb/18hr <-12.0mb/24hr
F -3.0 - -1.0 -6.0 - -2.0 -9.0 - -3.0 -12.0 - -4.0
N -1.0 - +1.0 -2.0 - +2.0 -3.0 - +3.0 -4.0 - +4.0
U +1.0 - +3.0 +2.0 - +6.0 +3.0 - +9.0 +4.0 -+12.0
VU >+3.0 >+6.0 >+9.0 >+12.0

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With this unexpected sudden east of north turn Im expecting more of a SW strike from Ida maybe Ft Pierce.
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Quoting jipmg:


then why don't the models pick up on this?
Because local Orlando Mets have super duper doppler! HAA!
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Can someone please translate into plain English for me. TIA

Weakening Flag : ON
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1052. jipmg
wow.. david just said "Whats left of ida could possibly hit the west coast of florida" he says because its november it wont go any further than a tropical storm?
Quoting P451:
RAINBOW ENHANCED IR


I think the cOC will follow the deep blow of convection its NE.
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1049. Detrina
wonder when the Cantori will be deployed? It's looking like they might get to shake him out a bit
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1048. Patrap
One can see Ida,and plus,the energy and convection streaming into the BOC system from 96E..

Wowsa



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Quoting Weather456:


LOL...why all the models so shy with the Gulf Coast.

That image is a keeper.


because the front pulls away and a high builds behind it (if you had read JM's entry you'd know... lol). If the shear doesn't kill it i'd be worried about a big intensification as it stalls.
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Quoting centralflaman:
local orlando met said that the system in the gulf will shear apart ida and it will me nothing but a rainmaker for florida


Your Local Met might not know what he's talking about. Not even the NHC is sure whats going to happen.
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1045. jipmg
Quoting winter123:
looks to me like shear is having an impact on the SW side. This may just get sheared apart like the EPAC storm to its southwest.


I don't see any shear over the system?
1044. xcool



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Quoting P451:


It would appear that the core of 96E gets left behind but on satellite loops you can clearly see a major train of moisture being pulled up to the developing BOC Gale. So energy is being transferred, but, it looks like 96E's LLC is very stubborn and at this time appears it will be left behind by this event.



Local station in Houston said area in BOC. will be a rain maker for Houston Sunday..idk
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Quoting Thundercloud01221991:
is that a hot tower developing right over the center
yup
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Quoting winter123:
looks to me like shear is having an impact on the SW side. This may just get sheared apart like the EPAC storm to its southwest.


Nah...that is a developing equatoward banding feature.
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1040. unf97
Quoting Thundercloud01221991:
is that a hot tower developing right over the center


It certainly has that appearance, at least near where the actual COC is located.
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1193

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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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