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 Niño 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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taking a break now
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For anyone who thinks things are impossible with this scenario need to just read Dr Ms first sentence

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 Niño year since 1925.


Ida did something that hasn't happened in 84 years, anything is possible.
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188. IKE
Quoting nfloridandr:
ike...as your close neighbor do you think we will see any rains from ida? or do you think most of what we recieve will be from low in boc?


Probably a combination of both.

Where do you live?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858

IDA 12Z Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)

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Thank You - Maybe I can follow comments better now.
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Does anyone know of an historical GOM "perfect storm" such as W456 mentions that struck the US? I believe there is some confusion as to what to expect from such a system hitting the coast as well as inland. Also, how widespread?
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Quoting TampaSpin:
With the speed up and arrival of IDA earlier than thought into open waters i think things will be changing including the models.....The timing of the Front when IDA is in the GOM will be the key....if the front is there before Ida is in the GOM then IDA may not move across Florida but, move back to the WEST after a stall. If IDA beats the front into the GOM then IDA moves over Florida!
What is the front forecasted to do?
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
BUT, Michelle crossed the same area as a depression. I looked it up this am and she became a major. Correct me if I am wrong please.


You are correct but no two years will ever be the same. I posted earlier what my expectations are regarding reintensification.
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182. IKE
Quoting hurricanehanna:

I'm no meteorologist, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night, and I agree.


And I saved a boatload of money by switching my car insurance to Geico.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting saintsfan06:
Let me get all of this straight. We have TD IDA that is moving off the coast today and heading for the Gulf as a TS?? We have this extratropical system forming in the Bay of Campeche that could merge with IDA??? If they don't merge what happens to the Low in the BOC and where does it go??? I know this is all speculation at this point but I am VERY confused!!
They will merge- that is almost certain. The Bay of Campeche low will draw Ida into it and then deepen more before moving over Florida. This is what is shown in the current track from the hurricane center.
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Quoting TampaSpin:
With the speed up and arrival of IDA earlier than thought into open waters i think things will be changing including the models.....The timing of the Front when IDA is in the GOM will be the key....if the front is there before Ida is in the GOM then IDA may not move across Florida but, move back to the WEST after a stall. If IDA beats the front into the GOM then IDA moves over Florida!


I think Ida or its remains will go anywhere from Cedar Key to Naples.
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ike...as your close neighbor do you think we will see any rains from ida? or do you think most of what we recieve will be from low in boc?
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With the speed up and arrival of IDA earlier than thought into open waters i think things will be changing including the models.....The timing of the Front when IDA is in the GOM will be the key....if the front is there before Ida is in the GOM then IDA may not move across Florida but, move back to the WEST after a stall. If IDA beats the front into the GOM then IDA moves over Florida!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Off to work :(
Blog Update

AOI

AOI

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Let me get all of this straight. We have TD IDA that is moving off the coast today and heading for the Gulf as a TS?? We have this extratropical system forming in the Bay of Campeche that could merge with IDA??? If they don't merge what happens to the Low in the BOC and where does it go??? I know this is all speculation at this point but I am VERY confused!!
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Quoting Dakster:


That has never stopped them from creating it before... I wonder why they are holding back.


conservative approach they have been taking all season long

Has to be without a doubt the worst year for the NHC thus far, they have been way off on many things this season
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If we start to see an increase of convection over the center even before it leaves the shore then we know it will get strong because it will have already started. Watch for a major increase in convection overnight tonight.
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Quoting Floodman:


There's nothing for the media to light on fire yet; they don't get involved unless it can cause widespread panic...LOL



That has never stopped them from creating it before... I wonder why they are holding back.
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Over hype is easy to do....But, to underplay just 3 days or so out might be a mistake especially coming into the weekend when people don't watch the media as much.

I'm no meteorologist, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night, and I agree.
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NGP Model
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Quoting stormhank:
Dr Lyons on twc just said ida will move up into central gom then stall n turn back to the southwest?? and never hit gulf coast??
That is the same possibility that Dr. Masters gave on his new blog.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


HWRF Model


I agree with this more than I do the GFDL. It would come in around Tampa Bay too.
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Awesome shot with Ida, Hyrbrid storm in the BOC and 96E. Something has to give...



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Quoting kmanislander:


Thanks but I stay away from giving personal advice on this blog.
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HWRF Model
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Quoting hunkerdown:
maybe he means run you over, in their cars...


Well I could see that...
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Quoting CaneWarning:


The snow birds couldn't run if that had to. :p
maybe he means run you over, in their cars...
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Every local and non local met i see on the T.V. are too relaxed, and i think are missing getting peoples attention. I live here in the Gulf Coast, and nobody in my immediate family knows about Ida, or is even thinking about a TC this time of year! My grandmother in FL.didnt even think TCs form this time of year! Im not saying forecasters should put gloom and doom out there, but i feel like they should get the word out with a stonger message. IMO
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Quoting Floodman:


Late season features seem to have relatively complex environments, I guess because of the seasonal flow and pattern changes, yes?


The heart of the season we typically see storms being affected by a narrower range of features, such as high pressure, ULL's and shear.

Late in the season things change with the additional elements of digging cold fronts and the shift from Summer to Winter setting in that produces more of a poleward pull on anything in the Caribbean. The steering flow also tends to be weaker for systems coming up from the Southern Caribbean and then accelerating much faster once near the GOM.

You tend to get the unexpected happening more often this time of year than, say, in August or September, like crazy Lenny that went to the East across the Caribbean from a position just South of the Cayman Islands. That was caused by a cold front diving down from the NW across the Yucatan that first stalled Lenny then drove him East at quite a clip.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


GFDL Model.......


Interesting. I think it over does the intensity.
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160. IKE
102 hour 12Z GFS....

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Quoting Weather456:
Some people don't understand a perfect storm is developing over the GOM late next week. I mean c'mon, common sense can tell you that you don't need a tropical system to cause wind, wave, rain, and severe weather over the Gulf Coast. And talk about shear, shear amplifies extratropical systems, its what makes them baroclinic.


Still trying to get caught up. Somewhat agree because of all of the heat and varous factors coming together.
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GFDL Model.......
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Quoting SQUAWK:


Yeah but, then you have the Chamber of Commerce to consider. Don't want all that snowbird money running out of town for nothing.


The snow birds couldn't run if they had to. :p
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Quoting Weather456:


I think I saw some posted NWSs warnings and forecast for the gale system.

What is your opinion on the track of Ida?
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Quoting jdcweatherky:
Im staying on seven mile beach Do I have anything to worry about I leave Sunday to go back to N.C.
Monitor the NHC and if you see watches or warnings go up for Cayman if you can go further inland might be a good idea since SMB is on the west and Ida is west of us and most likely would pass on that side. JMO
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154. IKE
12Z GFS at 90 hours...

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Quoting CaneWarning:


Is that a wave and wind chart?


forgot to label them

top is wave action - about 14-15 ft

bottom is wind action about 30 knots
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
1993


I remember that, had one hellava squall line come thru SE TX, wind damage. Everybody got up that night hearing it roar, that was the beginning of the SuperStorm, was 13 yrs old.
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Over hype is easy to do....But, to underplay just 3 days or so out might be a mistake especially coming into the weekend when people don't watch the media as much.


Yeah but, then you have the Chamber of Commerce to consider. Don't want all that snowbird money running out of town for nothing.
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all i have to say is BE PREPARED!!!!
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149. beell
06Z GFS 500mb
Valid 06Z Wednesday w/500mb trough axis added.
Photobucket
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Quoting kmanislander:


Thanks but I stay away from giving personal advice on this blog.
Well, the best I can tell him is to listen to the radio for updates.
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Dr Lyons on twc just said ida will move up into central gom then stall n turn back to the southwest?? and never hit gulf coast??
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Quoting Weather456:
Next Tuesday





Is that a wave and wind chart?
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1993
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weather 456 mail
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Kman, I leave this for you.


Thanks but I stay away from giving personal advice on this blog.
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Quoting kmanislander:


I certainly understand and share your concern. Any system South of us in the NW Caribbean is a threat until it is long gone, especially late season systems that can be very unpredictable.

Fortunately the crossing over land prevented what would almost certainly have been a major hurricane by now.
BUT, Michelle crossed the same area as a depression. I looked it up this am and she became a major. Correct me if I am wrong please.
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IDA MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH NEAR 7 MPH

3 hours.. just over 20 miles

15:15 UTC



LOOP
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sorta like the end of fireworks on the fourth of july. lots going on. don't have time to go back and read the blog and on another mission to end the week! have a great day everyone.
catch ya later.
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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.