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 IKE:
Kind of looks to me like the center of Ida has emerged off of the Guatemala coast and may be relocating under the convection just north of the coast.


Guatemala? Where'd you learn Geography?
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IKE how much rain u think we could see from these systems
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638. IKE
Kind of looks to me like the center of Ida has emerged off of the Guatemala coast and may be relocating under the convection just north of the coast.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Vis sat showing COC fully over water now and already a bit to the right of a line connecting the NHC forecast points.
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why are we showing the shear near Cancun, based on timing it could be up to 48 hours before Ida gets to that area, so the shear now is kinda moot isn't it?
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Quoting futuremet:


Well that is yes and no

Low pressure systems or troughs are attracted to other areas of low pressure. Warm water has more potential to cause more convective activity and lower surface pressure. This is an extremely general case, however. I don't recommend applying it to forecast storms.
thanks!:)
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Ida's core is completely offshore.
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It's Friday night...

and IDA is getting ready to boogie!
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Quoting Drakoen:


45knots(200mb)-25knots(850mb)= 20 knots of shear


I think its higher than that since upper was out of the southwest and lower was out of the east.
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Quoting CaneWarning:
Off topic but did everyone see they caught the shooter for the downtown Orlando shooting?

That is good news. Must be the week for crazy people with weapons.
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Quoting jdcweatherky:
Can I ask a stupid Question?I know a little bit about steering currents. but can a T.S. seek out warmer water I noticed this area has warmer water than some of the other areas.


Well that is yes and no

Low pressure systems or troughs are attracted to other areas of low pressure. Warm water has more potential to cause more convective activity and lower surface pressure. This is an extremely general case, however. I don't recommend applying it to forecast storms.
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Quoting jdcweatherky:
Can I ask a stupid Question?I know a little bit about steering currents. but can a T.S. seek out warmer water I noticed this area has warmer water than some of the other areas.
Weather456, StormW, Drakoen and a few more are the best ones to direct your questions to. I am just trying to learn something from them.
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Off topic but did everyone see they caught the shooter for the downtown Orlando shooting?
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IKE u got mail
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625. IKE
Quoting futuremet:


Ike, your favorite model has betrayed you, for it has been aiming these storms toward you lol



I did not expect that. It's faster in motion with Ida.

I noticed the 12Z GFS appeared to be further north vs. the 6Z run.

Look at it this way, if it heads up here it may get the remaining leaves off of the trees in my yard and I can rake and burn all at one time.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting bjdsrq:

WTF is CHIPs? Never heard of it. Is it credible?

It has it's moments...

It is from Kerry Emanuel and is an attempt to improve our intensity forecasts. Was spot on for Rick in the Pacific...

Full details here: http://wind.mit.edu/~emanuel/storm.html

The real stuff is embedded in a pdf here: ftp://texmex.mit.edu/pub/emanuel/Powerpoint/CHIPS.pdf
(I don't think can we link a pdf on an ftp server)
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Cancun showing a good bit of shear this morning...



45knots(200mb)-25knots(850mb)= 20 knots of shear
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Quoting HurricaneNewbie:
I think the barrier islands would be in deep trouble with a hurricane. Clearwater, Reddington Shores, Sand key
Yes. It is a shame that the barriers no longer serve their natural purpose.

Remember that barrier islands in their natural form protect the mainland from high surf and surge... but when the dunes are bulldozed and high rises go up, good bye natural protection.
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Quoting Floodman:


Well, sure...you can chagne them for the same area from last year, but unfortunately (and here's the rub) the forecast it what it is...that having been said, I never puit a lot of faith in shear forecasts more than 3 or so days out...past experience says that anything past 72 hours is suspect and subject to change


True... But I still don't like the forecast... Although things can a do change in a New York second.
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time to by some hurricane party supplies just in case. If it doesnt come than I can save them for new years
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Take a good look at that. It shows Honduras and Ida north of Cuba and east of Florida.
Can I ask a stupid Question?I know a little bit about steering currents. but can a T.S. seek out warmer water I noticed this area has warmer water than some of the other areas.
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Ok. Ban me now.CHIPS = TV show starring Eric Estrada
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Quoting IKE:


This one may be close.


Ike, your favorite model has betrayed you, for it has been aiming these storms toward you lol

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616. IKE
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


You may be down to 6-8 model runs, unless you were bored yesterday and put those shutters up :)


LOL!

I don't own any shutters.

Maybe to pass time I could head to Lowe's and buy some wood and build my own.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting StormChaser81:


yes they would at there highest point there only about 3-5 ft above sea level. a strong TS would cause flooding.


I'm on a B.I. in Sarasota. TS surge floods Siesta key all the time. S to SW wind is the absolute worst scenario as far as wind direction.
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Quoting stormsurge39:
thanks, Do you expect it to be a hurricane in the gom?


I cannot determine that at the moment, perhaps in 12-24hrs.
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613. IKE
Quoting stormsurge39:
double ugh


This one may be close.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Cancun showing a good bit of shear this morning...

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Quoting HurricaneNewbie:
I think the barrier islands would be in deep trouble with a hurricane. Clearwater, Reddington Shores, Sand key


yes they would at there highest point there only about 3-5 ft above sea level. a strong TS would cause flooding.
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Quoting futuremet:


Possibly! She has the potential to be stronger than she was previously. A very weak deep layered ridge will be moving across the SE U.S over the next couple days. This will help decrease shear over the SW Caribbean even further. The enhanced enhanced surface convergence caused the MJO will also result in a positive feedback in the upper atmosphere. TCHP is quite high over the area too. I expect weakening when it reaches the GOM.

GFS shear
thanks, Do you expect it to be a hurricane in the gom?
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Quoting atmoaggie:
CHIPS still calling for a stronger Ida in 2 days than the others and diminishing from there...

(And still has one absolutely cuckoo outlier)


WTF is CHIPs? Never heard of it. Is it credible?
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I think the barrier islands would be in deep trouble with a hurricane. Clearwater, Reddington Shores, Sand key
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Quoting Dakster:


Can I change those maps Flood? I don't like them.


Well, sure...you can chagne them for the same area from last year, but unfortunately (and here's the rub) the forecast it what it is...that having been said, I never puit a lot of faith in shear forecasts more than 3 or so days out...past experience says that anything past 72 hours is suspect and subject to change
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606. xcool
I expect this to ramp up in a hurry overnight :~~~~~This will be interesting to watch unfold
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15649
Quoting jdcweatherky:
What kind of food and how long by car???
Local and 20 minutes.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


You may be down to 6-8 model runs, unless you were bored yesterday and put those shutters up :)


Lol

Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8311
CHIPS still calling for a stronger Ida in 2 days than the others and diminishing from there...

(And still has one absolutely cuckoo outlier)

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Quoting IKE:


Ugh.


You may be down to 6-8 model runs, unless you were bored yesterday and put those shutters up :)
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Quoting stormsurge39:
futuremet do you see Ida becoming a bigger storm than she was?


Possibly! She has the potential to be stronger than she was previously. A very weak deep layered ridge will be moving across the SE U.S over the next couple days. This will help decrease shear over the SW Caribbean even further. The enhanced enhanced surface convergence caused the MJO will also result in a positive feedback in the upper atmosphere. TCHP is quite high over the area too. I expect weakening when it reaches the GOM.

GFS shear
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OK . what did i miss sorry had to step away for a bit,got some fella's doing some work on the house.
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599. 789
Quoting futuremet:
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.


It is also because above there have been above normal low level divergence over the area. The month October was dominated by strong ridges over the SE coast, as a result of a negative NAO. This caused a lot of sunny days and adiabatic warming in the Caribbean. The subtropical ridge has also been farther south than average this season.
what do you concur subtropical quick ri or 3/4 day rap up looks to me alot of people jumping obs
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598. xcool
Definitly is just offshore now
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15649
Quoting bjdsrq:


Nope. But he did say 36 hours ago that she was going to stay much closer to the coast and move faster back over water than what NHC was calling for. Obama would hate to admit it, but it's obvious the best talent is in the private sector where the competitive money is.


He does hit one now and again, but much like stormkat he tends to sing the same song over and over again...the difference is, Bastardi does have science to back him up (mostly)
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Quoting CaneWarning:


I am in downtown at the moment for work, but I live on Davis Islands.

Nice area. I try to visit Clearwater Beach often.
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Quoting IKE:


Ugh.
double ugh
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
Say, this thingee's fun.

You know, this Caymen WeatherWatch on CayCompass.com isn't that bad; helpful since the Islands' gov. is on holiday.

Link
Take a good look at that. It shows Honduras and Ida north of Cuba and east of Florida.
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Quoting bjdsrq:


As you know, Davis Islands is the most at-risk part of Tampa bay. A 40mph SW wind will flood it. Good luck.


Yes I know, that is why flood insurance costs so much.
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591. xcool
BurnedAfterPosting hi
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15649
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Country & Western is better than Over the Edge and closer too.
What kind of food and how long by car???
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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.