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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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.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11035
could Ida be the fasted name storm going from hurricane too a TD in less then 24hrs time???
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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.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
Quoting Floodman:


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


thats what i think, also makes models useless to an extent
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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.
Kman, I leave this for you.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8242
Quoting stormpetrol:

Personally imo I think this is going be a much closer clip for Grand Cayman than most expect, probably alot stronger too, not being a prophet of gloom & doom its the last thing I/we want or need but watching how these systems behave in the month of Nov has me on alert.


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.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
Quoting P451:
A crude look at what could happen.




Nov 6 1p - Nov 13 1p - Wave forecast.



I like this. If you look at the visible of the area it looks like it could really happen that way.
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Quoting stormpetrol:

Personally imo I think this is going be a much closer clip for Grand Cayman than most expect, probably alot stronger too, not being a prophet of gloom & doom its the last thing I/we want or need but watching how these systems behave in the month of Nov has me on alert.
I am watching it closely. One post will make me feel like nothing to worry about and then another one makes me wonder.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8242
Quoting kmanislander:


I have referred to that anticyclone a few times this morning for two reasons. If it expands to the NW any time soon it could do two things. The first is improve conditions aloft for Ida's return offshore and the second is affect the meduim term steering to a more Easterly heading than currently forecasted.

Just one other element to keep in the back of one's mind.


Late season features seem to have relatively complex environments, I guess because of the seasonal flow and pattern changes, yes?
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000
NOUS42 KNHC 061545
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1045 AM EST THU 06 NOVEMBER 2009
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 07/1100Z TO 08/1100Z NOVEMBER 2009
TCPOD NUMBER.....09-162

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. TROPICAL DEPRESSION IDA
FLIGHT ONE - TEAL 70
A. 07/1600Z
B. AFXXX 0211A IDA
C. 07/1115Z
D. 17.2N 84.7W
E. 07/1500Z TO 07/1900Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO - TEAL 71
A. 08/0600Z
B. AFXXX 0311A IDA
C. 08/0145Z
D. 18.7N 85.4W
E. 08/0500Z TO 08/0900Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK: POSSIBLE 6 HRLY
FIXES BEGINNING AT 08/1800Z

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY.....NEGATIVE.

III. NOTE: WINTER STORM REQUIREMENTS ARE NEGATIVE.
CAD


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Quoting TampaSpin:
IDA is coming off now......look at interactive loops.....zoom in
Give it until this evening and the whole core of the system will be completely offshore. Not much will happen until then.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
But maybe closer than anticipated, correct ? I don't mean it will hit us directly but maybe close enough to cause more damage then some are thinking ?
Im staying on seven mile beach Do I have anything to worry about I leave Sunday to go back to N.C.
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Quoting TampaSpin:
IDA is coming off now......look at interactive loops.....zoom in


Yep JUST starting to go off shore.
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Next Tuesday



Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting kmanislander:


I have referred to that anticyclone a few times this morning for two reasons. If it expands to the NW any time soon it could do two things. The first is improve conditions aloft for Ida's return offshore and the second is affect the meduim term steering to a more Easterly heading than currently forecasted.

Just one other element to keep in the back of one's mind.
Is this a good possibility ?
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8242
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Thanks. 120 miles if it is a hurricane is still close enough or too close for me. LOL

Personally imo I think this is going be a much closer clip for Grand Cayman than most expect, probably alot stronger too, not being a prophet of gloom & doom its the last thing I/we want or need but watching how these systems behave in the month of Nov has me on alert.
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Quoting Floodman:


Hey, wait a minute...I thought the season was over...LOL

How you doing RitaEvac?


Well I'm doing fine because I ate a census takers livers with some fava beams and a nice chianti :).
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
I doubt it. Although it seems that the media is downplaying the situation, the hurricane center and the national weather service offices have been buzzing over the situation.


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

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IDA is coming off now......look at interactive loops.....zoom in
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
Quoting Floodman:


Hey, wait a minute...I thought the season was over...LOL

How you doing RitaEvac?


It was! but Ida decided to screw with me. I'm good.
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Quoting Chicklit:

I saw that, too. So far it's been a benevolent season; let's hope it stays that way. I was wondering about that area by Columbia. Shear map in the area is interesting. That anticyclone, or whatever it is, has been gaining circles over the past couple of days.


I have referred to that anticyclone a few times this morning for two reasons. If it expands to the NW any time soon it could do two things. The first is improve conditions aloft for Ida's return offshore and the second is affect the meduim term steering to a more Easterly heading than currently forecasted.

Just one other element to keep in the back of one's mind.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
119. beell
TROPICAL DEPRESSION IDA DISCUSSION NUMBER 9
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL112009
1000 AM EST FRI NOV 06 2009

...ALTHOUGH SOME OF
THE MODELS HAVE SHIFTED WESTWARD SINCE THE LAST RUN...CLIMATOLOGY
AND THE FORECAST STRONG UPPER- LEVEL SOUTHWESTERLY WINDS SUGGEST
THE EASTERN SOLUTIONS ARE LIKELY CLOSER TO REALITY. THE NHC
FORECAST REMAINS CLOSE TO THE PREVIOUS ONE...AND ON THE EASTERN
SIDE OF THE GUIDANCE ENVELOPE.
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everyone needs to stay calm and have patience... its not like this is going to be a Cat 3 or higher. Forecast is it being a moderate tropical storm... which means little wind..little surge (if any) and alot of rain. Right now the NHC has this as no big deal.

Now I think it may become a hurricane.. but I still want to see how fast this develops over the next 12-48hrs... shear will be a slight problem..but not as much early on as it will be moving in tandam with the shear axis. Dont ask me or really anyone about landfall..its still 5 days away (if at all).. we will know more by Sunday morning.
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Could Tallahassee geta whiff of this nor easter?
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Quoting P451:
48 Hours of Ida (approx 1 hour old)

If it was August or September, I believe Ida would become a category 5 storm as it moves across the Caribbean and Gulf.
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I know that Mets are not suppossed to dramatize any kind of weather! But it seems like most Mets really downplay it too much when it comes to tropical systems. I feel like they are making people too relaxed, especially when it comes to folks who dont know what to expect!
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Here are the precursors



Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
113. IKE
54 hour 12Z GFS....

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting RitaEvac:
NHC and mets along the Gulf coast gonna be caught with pants down?


Hey, wait a minute...I thought the season was over...LOL

How you doing RitaEvac?
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Quoting RitaEvac:
NHC and mets along the Gulf coast gonna be caught with pants down?
I doubt it. Although it seems that the media is downplaying the situation, the hurricane center and the national weather service offices have been buzzing over the situation.
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Not really the exact same thing, but many things are similar.

The 1993 storm started as a gale in the northwestern Gulf that deepened into a hefty low and followed the Gulf coast dragging a very intense derecho with it across Florida. After moving up the East coast of the US it merged with a tropical system in the atlantic, deepening the low further over the out banks.

Our current system, on the other hand, will merge with Ida in the Gulf probably preventing a derecho, but increasing moisture and flooding potential.


LOL you read my mind....see the post below yours......LOL....your correct.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
Link
look at this visible what i think is the actually coc is around 14.8N/83.5W pprobably about 20 miles onshore at the most, moving slightly east due north .
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Quoting ElConando:


You seem worried?


I would never be able to grasp the full potential of such a system since i dont live on the Gulf coast.

But an injection of a tropical system into a gale system never results in anything good.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting kmanislander:


Hi Chicklit

Indeed, and also allowed it to tap energy from low lying hot swamp land and warm sea water to the E and N

I saw that, too. So far it's been a benevolent season; let's hope it stays that way. I was wondering about that area by Columbia. Shear map in the area is interesting. That anticyclone, or whatever it is, has been gaining circles over the past couple of days.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11035
Quoting kmanislander:


I would be shocked if it came any closer than 120 miles to the West. I really do not think this is a risk for anything other than rain but if I see anything that changes my mind you will be the first to know.
Thanks. 120 miles if it is a hurricane is still close enough or too close for me. LOL
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8242
NHC and mets along the Gulf coast gonna be caught with pants down?
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Don't get me wrong the storm developing in the GOM may not be as intense possibly as was the PERFECT STORM but, all the players will be in place that made that storm.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
Quoting TampaSpin:



Your absolutely correct! ONe Met and others are underplaying what is coming together. YOur right 456 the PERFECT STORM and we all have seen the movie as it was very real is the exact thing coming together in the GOM. Exact same thing.
Not really the exact same thing, but many things are similar.

The 1993 storm started as a gale in the northwestern Gulf that deepened into a hefty low and followed the Gulf coast dragging a very intense derecho with it across Florida. After moving up the East coast of the US it merged with a tropical system in the atlantic, deepening the low further over the out banks.

Our current system, on the other hand, will merge with Ida in the Gulf probably preventing a derecho, but increasing moisture and flooding potential.
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The blog is moving fast today. Thanks Dr. Masters for the update. It looks like the COC of Ida will be in open water a lot quicker and will be to the right of the forecast. Just trying to get caught up. It will also be interesting to see what Invest 96 does as it may get pulled by the tehuantepec winds (I think that is what 456 called it) through the Chivela Pass into the BOC.
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Quoting stormsurge39:
456 how come nobody is talking about this on different other weather sources? Seems like they need to.


I think I saw some posted NWSs warnings and forecast for the gale system.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
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.


A very good point, 456
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Considering the source, this bears repeating also (plus I had to look up baroclinic):

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.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Good in terms of re-intensification right ?


well yea. remember Ida was suppose to still be over CA, well inland. This shift to the right we saw, cut 1 day off emergence.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
96. IKE
Quoting stormhank:
Link Is this possible?


I would say yes. Good soaking rains.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
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.
456 how come nobody is talking about this on different other weather sources? Seems like they need to.
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Quoting TampaSpin:



Your absolutely correct! ONe Met and others are underplaying what is coming together. YOur right 456 the PERFECT STORM and we all have seen the movie as it was very real is the exact thing coming together in the GOM. Exact same thing.


I just saw a met on TV say the Tampa area may get a shower or two from whats left of Ida on Thursday next week...
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93. IKE
I guess Honduras survived Ida with no deaths?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
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.


You seem worried?
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Link Is this possible?
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
But maybe closer than anticipated, correct ? I don't mean it will hit us directly but maybe close enough to cause more damage then some are thinking ?


I would be shocked if it came any closer than 120 miles to the West. I really do not think this is a risk for anything other than rain but if I see anything that changes my mind you will be the first to know.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.