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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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
1038. Patrap
The GOM STS Has flood watches and warnings up from the Miss/Ala. border to Brownsville

Houma,La.

Coastal Flood Watch

Statement as of 3:47 PM CST on November 06, 2009

... Coastal Flood Watch remains in effect through Tuesday
morning...

Tides are expected to continue increasing to higher the normal
levels and persist at higher levels during the weekend and into
early next week. These higher than normal tide levels are being
driven by a combination of strong easterly winds and increased
wave action. These conditions will continue through the weekend
and into early next week.

Interests along the coast and on the tidal lakes outside the
hurricane levee protection systems should closely monitor the
situation. Also interests along lower reaches of rivers and
streams that drain into the tidal lakes should be mindful of
rising water levels due to tidal effects.

Residents and interests along the coast are urged to make
preparations for moderate to significant inundation that may last
for 2 to 3 days as tides rise to around 3 feet above normal at
times.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A coastal Flood Watch means that conditions favorable for
flooding are expected to develop. Preparedness actions should
include removal of machinery... vehicles and other movable
property out of areas prone to coastal flooding today. Access
roads into tidal marshes... marinas and area camps are likely to
become inundated and impassible for lengthy periods by Sunday
morning through Tuesday. Some minor inundation may be realized as
early as Saturday morning.

Stay tuned to local TV... radio... NOAA all-hazards radio or the
internet for the latest on this potential coastal flooding
episode. A coastal Flood Warning may be issued for portions of
the coast this weekend or early next week.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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???
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I think Ida has become larger & expanded its windfield quite a bit.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7664
Quoting Weather456:


I was thinking the exact same thing. It seems its the moisture rather than the actual system itself is streamed north.

It appears Ida is "stealing" energy from 96E. Looking at the latest satellite, can you estimate Ida's current wind speed is now?
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting xcool:
VANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 06 NOV 2009 Time : 211500 UTC
Lat : 15:43:32 N Lon : 83:54:05 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.8 / 992.4mb/ 61.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
3.7 3.3 3.2

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +2.6mb

Center Temp : +5.8C Cloud Region Temp : -18.9C

Scene Type : CURVED BAND with 0.42 ARC in MD GRAY
Maximum CURVED BAND with 0.60 ARC in MD GRAY
at Lat: 16:31:12 N Lon: 83:30:00 W

Positioning Method : FORECAST INTERPOLATION

Ocean Basin : ATLANTIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : 0.5T/hour
Weakening Flag : ON
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF



Can someone please translate into plain English for me. TIA
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8266
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.
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1032. Drakoen
Quoting Weather456:


I was thinking the exact same thing. It seems its the moisture rather than the actual system itself is streamed north.


The 850mb vorticity charts would confirm you thinking showing an appreciable area of negative vorticity between 96E and the BOC system. Cimss convergence shows a deep maximum in the BOC.

Another note shear tendency charts show decreasing shear over Ida.
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Quoting winter123:
wow... guess the US gulf coast is going to really luck out on this one.


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

That image is a keeper.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Whooo Hooo GOM may be in business.. Sorry for excitment. Boring year for Atlantic Basin
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


which one said that?

All of the meteorologists are saying that and I disagree, prepare for the worst, and never downcast a storm till it has past your area.
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Reccon is flying out around noon (my time) 2mr.

11am EST
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
is that a hot tower developing right over the center
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wow... guess the US gulf coast is going to really luck out on this one.
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1024. Patrap
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.



Thats a good obs ,Ive been watching that here all afternoon 451
Tropical Atlantic - Visible Loop
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1023. jipmg
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


then why don't the models pick up on this?
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1022. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
011L/TS/I
MARK
16.2N/84.1W
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looking at the 18z models I have noticed a southern trend after it does its' sharp eastern turn. I'm expecting a south-west Florida hit. Expect a TS at 10, and a possible hurricane in the morning due to DMAX and very warm waters.
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1020. xcool
VANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 06 NOV 2009 Time : 211500 UTC
Lat : 15:43:32 N Lon : 83:54:05 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.8 / 992.4mb/ 61.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
3.7 3.3 3.2

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +2.6mb

Center Temp : +5.8C Cloud Region Temp : -18.9C

Scene Type : CURVED BAND with 0.42 ARC in MD GRAY
Maximum CURVED BAND with 0.60 ARC in MD GRAY
at Lat: 16:31:12 N Lon: 83:30:00 W

Positioning Method : FORECAST INTERPOLATION

Ocean Basin : ATLANTIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : 0.5T/hour
Weakening Flag : ON
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF



Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
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.



I was thinking the exact same thing. It seems its the moisture rather than the actual system itself is streamed north.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
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


which one said that?
local orlando met said that the system in the gulf will shear apart ida and it will me nothing but a rainmaker for florida
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It could be summarize as Ida will weaken as one type of cyclone but strengthen as another. We don't even need Ida with a low already developing over the WGOM/BOC. Its gonna be a soggy day next week for folks along the Gulf Coast.

But I think the Yucatan has been neglected today, they face a bigger threat from Ida in the upcoming days.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1014. jipmg
Quoting stormhank:
local met said wind / rain here in north fla tues/ wed. kinda in derectly associated with ida... to me it seems a apalachicola to tampa strike zone... if it reaches coast at all any input on this anyone????


I think they are just saying there is a possibility, if they are forecasting it as a likely hood then they are being optimistic of it affecting the panhandle
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1013. xcool
Convection starting to firing.ida deeper and warmer ohhoh boy
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
1012. Patrap
Noon or 18Z CDT Dynamic Run.

00Z Due out after 6pm CDT



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
local met said wind / rain here in north fla tues/ wed. kinda in derectly associated with ida... to me it seems a apalachicola to tampa strike zone... if it reaches coast at all any input on this anyone????
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1385
Quoting FreelanceHistorian:


Yep, had to drive from St Pete to Tampa across the Howard Frankenstein Bridge, then back across in a U-Haul-sized delivery truck. Wind-blown waves were hitting two lanes in from the edge.


I love driving over that bridge when the waves are coming up like that.
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1008. jipmg
Quoting Weather456:
The NHC is being conservative but they are aware of what's going on and what could happen. Intensity forecasts are tricky so I don't blame them. I feel Ida will go slightly above what the NHC forecasted and they did up a little at 5PM. But I'm gonna be patient and kool about it and wait for it to happen if it does.


I agree, I guess they are going with more reliable model strength forecasts, or perhaps there original forecast was that it would be over land until midnight or early morning tomorrow making it a more ragged system at the surface, and it would need to regenerate at the surface before really kicking off which by then it would be cought by a front not letting it develope much in intensity. Its over water now, so WE HAVE TO WATCH it, it has a tremendous amount of energy to work with.. ALOT of it.
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1005. bjdsrq
Quoting CosmicEvents:
The NHC is giving a very, very low probability for this cyclone to get above a Cat 1.
.
.
I have a feeling that the scientists at the NHC are aware of the intensification that we have seen many times in the past with Caribbean storms....yet they're holding with keeping Ida as a medium tropical storm. And they know more than we do.


They put a lot of weight on climatological history in the forecast. I'll just pay attention to what it's actually doing rather than what history says it should do.
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The NHC is being conservative but they are aware of what's going on and what could happen. Intensity forecasts are tricky so I don't blame them. I feel Ida will go slightly above what the NHC forecasted and they did up a little at 5PM. But I'm gonna be patient and kool about it and wait for it to happen if it does.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1003. beell
Quoting Weather456:
Merger..In this forecast 96E is not in the merger and I am becoming skeptical that 96E will add much to anything.



Agree!
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 141 Comments: 16211
Quoting FreelanceHistorian:


Yep, had to drive from St Pete to Tampa across the Howard Frankenstein Bridge, then back across in a U-Haul-sized delivery truck. Wind-blown waves were hitting two lanes in from the edge.
I owned a small motel on the beach in Indian Rocks at the time. My grand opening was three feet of water in every room. (all five of them) But still, fish in the pool and weeks to clean up. Real mess.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1547
1001. Patrap
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I just watched three Tampa mets and all said increased rain chances for Tampa on Wednesday and breezy. All showed their models strengthening Ida quite a bit but then when it reaches the gulf sheer and colder SST's take their toll.
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Quoting P451:
IMO She's already a TS again. Will definitely be re-classified at the next advisory. Will probably be as strong or stronger than the NHC's maximum intensity forecast for the next five days. Don't underestimate this system. She's been an oddball from the start. She's not following the rules.



I think so too. 456, the new convection burst is expanding, so this may result the detonation of a convection bomb.
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997. jipmg
Quoting CosmicEvents:
The NHC is giving a very, very low probability for this cyclone to get above a Cat 1.
.
.
I have a feeling that the scientists at the NHC are aware of the intensification that we have seen many times in the past with Caribbean storms....yet they're holding with keeping Ida as a medium tropical storm. And they know more than we do. Plus, they don't have sheep to distract them.


I say its going to be stronger than the forecast, MUCH stronger, the waters are just loaded with energy, and IDA has a long night ahead
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Tropical version of the Perfect Storm
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Please don't quote the purple cow
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press...and that's a good thing....

:)

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992. jipmg
this is interesting.. its definately moving faster than forecasted, but on another note.. its not moving NNW, the low is definately EAST of the forecast point
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Quoting stormsurge39:
which are what?


the flow anti-clockwise flow around the low may help keep Ida to the east. It would not be as steep as what the front would do. This assumes Ida reaches the CGOM before the front.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
The NHC is giving a very, very low probability for this cyclone to get above a Cat 1.
.
.
I have a feeling that the scientists at the NHC are aware of the intensification that we have seen many times in the past with Caribbean storms....yet they're holding with keeping Ida as a medium tropical storm. And they know more than we do. Plus, they don't have sheep to distract them.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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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