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 Patrap:
Sun Night thru Monday Morning the Ne Texas Coast to the Mouth of the Miss River will be getting the Brunt of the GOM System.
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It is also worth mentioning that the Mississippi is unusually high right now.

From Nola.com today.
An unusually high rise in the Mississippi River has levee districts on alert and has already resulted in the closure of some parts of the Bonnet Carre Spillway in Norco.

"It's normally eight to 10 feet lower this time of year," said Chris Brantley, manager of the spillway for the Army Corps of Engineers, who said the water is likely to cover the Spillway Road just north of the control structure over the weekend.

Heavy rain in the midwest are sending the surge of water downstream, and is expected to crest at New Orleans at 13.5 feet by Nov. 17th. Flood stage in New Orleans is 17 feet.
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Quoting xcool:


ECMWF is an outlier right now in not showing an bend to the NE
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The absolute center of Ida is on the coastline. Near 15.5n 83.9w
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I concur mini forecast next 6hrs. its going to crank and the media will go into panic mode s. fl.. May eat the usual crow. Myself going to home depot need some new interior door knobs.
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Why does the NHC forecast such a weak Ida?
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535. xcool
FLWeatherFreak91 haha
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
I think the hurricane center has handled Ida very well, actually. Their forecast tracks and intensity forecasts have verified so far.


Sorry. Their call on track was off. Go back and look at their projected track 24 hours ago. As much as I hate to say it, if anyone has nailed it so far it's Accuweather's Joe B.
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Quoting bjdsrq:


I be she'll be a hurricane by tomorrow morning also. I don't think NHC has a grip on this storm. 24 hours ago, they said she would be far SW of where she's at now and may not survive after emerging in the far SW caribb on Saturday. OOOOOPS! God bless them nonetheless.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 04/1500Z 11.6N 82.0W 30 KT
12HR VT 05/0000Z 11.9N 82.3W 45 KT
24HR VT 05/1200Z 12.5N 83.0W 50 KT
36HR VT 06/0000Z 13.0N 83.5W 50 KT
48HR VT 06/1200Z 13.5N 84.0W 35 KT...INLAND
72HR VT 07/1200Z 14.5N 84.5W 25 KT...INLAND
96HR VT 08/1200Z 15.5N 85.0W 25 KT...INLAND
120HR VT 09/1200Z 18.0N 85.5W 35 KT...OVER WATER

$$
From discussion #1. She was not even expected to become a hurricane. Didn't she surprise everyone. This is why I expect her to do the unexpected.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8268
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
What can I say to that ? Anyway don't worry too much. Although we are small buildings here are very well built according to Fla building code and then some.
Thanks very much any ideas for a local Resturant ?(local food)need to get away from the tourist ha!
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I think we will need to wait until about midnight to see how the track reestablishes itself over water. For a long time now part of the circulation has been subjected to more friction over land than the part of it that was over water.

This would, IMO , create short term motions that might not necessarily reflect what it will do once the entire circulation is back over open water.

Short term deviations to the East or W of due N are to be expected but I still think the general motion will be N to NNW to about 20 degrees then thereafter a tendency to move further East. It is not out of the realm of possibility that we could see NNE to 20 N.

I am also interested in the evolution of the high that is offshore Colombia as this could be expanding to the NW and exerting a bit of SSW flow over Ida and in combination with the BOC feature inducing the E of due N motion seen recently.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15725
Quoting Drakoen:
I see the Ida has survived her trek across Central America and appears ready for intensification once the center emerges completely over water. Wind shear will be somewhat of a problem in the short term but then the models advect an anticyclone northward as the system travels through the northern Caribbean. If this pans out there is the potential for significant intensification of the system. When the system ends up the in the GOM the further south it tracks the more likely it would remain a tropical cyclone and the stronger it could potentially become. It is not a surprise that the model have shifted southward somewhat as storms this time of year have a difficult time advect towards the north Gulf coast completely.

Good afternoon!

Eerie post there, Drak. TCHP is VERY high!

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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
oh HELL no!


Thats extratropical btw.
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Quoting xcool:
what model is this?
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Quoting jdcweatherky:
Its raining, the Girls are Spending our money, and I sure can't hang out at the pool bar. LOL


Run over to Triple Crown and watch some sports on TV - but do not ruin your last 2 days - all of u guys will be fine.
BTW - advice from the Bar Staff on IDA is not likely to be all that pertinent or up to date -they normally have not been on island long and are very often from Canada so are not necessarily Hurricane savvy
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
I think the hurricane center has handled Ida very well, actually. Their forecast tracks and intensity forecasts have verified so far.


They have done a great job as they always do.
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Quoting xcool:
oh HELL no!
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524. xcool
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Quoting stormhank:
whats potential rainfall and or wind affects for fla panhandle i wonder from all these systems ( ida n boc system)?? any input anyone


Its to early to tell still if anything significant is in store for the panhandle of Florida. By Sunday we should know were this could go.
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Sometimes the best way to predict the weather is to walk away from the computer and stick your head out the window.
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Quoting bjdsrq:


I be she'll be a hurricane by tomorrow morning also. I don't think NHC has a grip on this storm. 24 hours ago, they said she would be far SW of where she's at now and may not survive after emerging in the far SW caribb on Saturday. OOOOOPS! God bless them nonetheless.
I think the hurricane center has handled Ida very well, actually. Their forecast tracks and intensity forecasts have verified so far.
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Quoting jdcweatherky:
Its raining, the Girls are Spending our money, and I sure can't hang out at the pool bar. LOL
What can I say to that ? Anyway don't worry too much. Although we are small buildings here are very well built according to Fla building code and then some.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8268
Quoting stormhank:
whats potential rainfall and or wind affects for fla panhandle i wonder from all these systems ( ida n boc system)?? any input anyone
The entire gulf coast will experience nasty weather and gusty thunderstorms from either of these two systems.
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518. xcool
be back over the warm waters
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Quoting stormpetrol:
I wouldn't be surprised if Ida regained Hurricane status by noon tomorrow, already starting look more organized to me.


I bet she'll be a hurricane by tomorrow morning also. I don't think NHC has a grip on this storm. 24 hours ago, they said she would be far SW of where she's at now and may not survive after emerging in the far SW caribb on Saturday. OOOOOPS! God bless them nonetheless.
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whats potential rainfall and or wind affects for fla panhandle i wonder from all these systems ( ida n boc system)?? any input anyone
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Quoting Drakoen:


Looks to me like Ida is ready to start cranking once she gets off the coast
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Don't worry though. Come here for any information you want but then again don't spend the rest of your vacation glued to the computer either.
Its raining, the Girls are Spending our money, and I sure can't hang out at the pool bar. LOL
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Quoting stormpetrol:
I wouldn't be surprised if Ida regained Hurricane status by noon tomorrow, already starting look more organized to me.
She will definitely be at least a storm when we wake tomorrow morning.
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I have been watching the visible cloud cover zipping across the GOM from West to East. I have been wodering how lopng it would take the models to follow that movement.
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
They only issue intermediate advisories when watches or warnings are out.


*face palm* lol why did I forget that.
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I wouldn't be surprised if Ida regained Hurricane status by noon tomorrow, already starting look more organized to me.
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Quoting ElConando:
Wonder why NHC didn't do an int advisory at 1pm, I could understand if they didn't at 7 but still I wonder.
They only issue intermediate advisories when watches or warnings are out.
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Quoting jdcweatherky:
Tell me about it !!!I ask some people that work here and they said not to worry , just a few sprinkles.HA!!!my@%$
Don't worry though. Come here for any information you want but then again don't spend the rest of your vacation glued to the computer either.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8268
Quoting stormpetrol:
COC of Ida ready to emerge off the coast at 15.6N/83.9W, would anyone agree with this observation, I would say at 4pm it will probably be upgraded to a TS once again.


Not yet man, 10pm at the earliest imo.
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Quoting SSideBrac:


Well - that's Governments for you - most places sadly!
Personally, I think that there are a lot of CI private citizens who are well prepared and well informed on IDA - it just appears as though the leadership is abrogating responsibility (teflon shoulders perhaps!)
Yep, but I did notice yesterday a few people had shutters up already. I don't but will if necessary. When Paloma was coming me and my husband stood up around 4 am in pouring rain putting them up.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8268
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Dec 14, 2004 a 6.7 hit the Cayman Islands. Did not enjoy it at all.

I would rather not be in an earthquake. However, if one does hit here I would rather not sleep through it. I slept throught the last tornado that went overhead.
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Invest 96 and Ida look like twins going in the same direction on the visible!
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Quoting Drakoen:


Very Slightly east of due north movement. Her poleward outflow getting established which is a good sign of some type of upper level outflow.
Thanks.
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Wonder why NHC didn't do an int advisory at 1pm, I could understand if they didn't at 7 but still I wonder.
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Models starting to turn quite sharply.

Eyes wide open on this one.

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Both Frays on the GOM IR Loop

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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
What really gets me is that if Ida does impact Cayman I think it would most likely be tomorrow night/Sunday morning and our government is not doing anything to make people aware of a "possible" threat.
Tell me about it !!!I ask some people that work here and they said not to worry , just a few sprinkles.HA!!!my@%$
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
What really gets me is that if Ida does impact Cayman I think it would most likely be tomorrow night/Sunday morning and our government is not doing anything to make people aware of a "possible" threat.


Well - that's Governments for you - most places sadly!
Personally, I think that there are a lot of CI private citizens who are well prepared and well informed on IDA - it just appears as though the leadership is abrogating responsibility (teflon shoulders perhaps!)
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
What are your thoughts on the track through the rest of the Caribbean ? She seems to me and a few others to be tracking just E of N.


Very Slightly east of due north movement. Her poleward outflow getting established which is a good sign of some type of upper level outflow.
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Quoting Patrap:


The post was reference to Ida here..at the end of the latest Dynamic Run.


Ida Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)




ah, I understand now.
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Quoting HurricaneNewbie:

I missed it.. Just dang. GA has a fault that makes the San Andreas look small. SO it is 100 miles deep or so.
Dec 14, 2004 a 6.7 hit the Cayman Islands. Did not enjoy it at all.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8268
Quoting Drakoen:


Has Ida becoming absorbed into an extratropical.


and right over me :/
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Quoting ElConando:


She stalled again?


The post was reference to Ida here..at the end of the latest Dynamic Run.


Ida Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)


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Quoting Drakoen:


Has Ida becoming absorbed into an extratropical.


About a day sooner than current NHC.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 10883

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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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