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 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: 15948
Looking at the nice banding of deep convection over the waters, I say Ida becomes a Hurricane a day after she exits CA. This would make the perfect storm much stronger then anticipated.
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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.


Sure as hell dont wanna be on a rig or boat in the coming days thats for sure.
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For a small core Ida bands reach pretty far out.
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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.



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.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
Quoting Chicklit:

Hi Kmanislander!
Yes, Ida stayed pretty close to the coast so shortened the time she crossed land.


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
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15948
Quoting kmanislander:


Yes they can change but you have to base your conclusions on prevailing as well as near term forecasted conditions aloft and at present they do not support a move to the east of N before passing through 19N.

I am not saying that we could not see a couple of points to the E of N as wobbles but in general I still see N to NNW as a blended track to our West. I am watching that high over the Colombian coast though. If it edges to the NW from where it is now it could change the medium term steering but probably not enough to push it to the NE before passing us.
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 ?
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Maybe this season has just worn the NHC down to the point where they dont expect anything to organize and that is the reason for their forecast
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I always read the Docs post usually pretty accurate although this time he seems to leave a lot of wiggle room and I suppose that is because this is a complex situation. I would say it is interesting to note he said he will be back this afternoon if it warrants. I believe the intensification question will work itself out over the next 12 to 18 hrs. No rapid intensification nhc right. Intensification new ball game.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Thanks for that but I still don't feel encouraged. I know how quickly these things change as I know you do too.


Yes they can change but you have to base your conclusions on prevailing as well as near term forecasted conditions aloft and at present they do not support a move to the east of N before passing through 19N.

I am not saying that we could not see a couple of points to the E of N as wobbles but in general I still see N to NNW as a blended track to our West. I am watching that high over the Colombian coast though. If it edges to the NW from where it is now it could change the medium term steering but probably not enough to push it to the NE before passing us.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15948
Quoting Weather456:


good
Good in terms of re-intensification right ?
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SSTs in the GOM as of 11-4; the loop is at 26N90W:

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Quoting mikatnight:


Sorry Hanna, wasn't so much directed at you - yours was the easiest quote to grab - and it came out unintentionally caustic. Debate is what it's all about, and far be it from me to squelch the "entertainment", as it were.

understood :)
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Quoting hurricanehanna:

Yo Mik, I read Dr. M's post......I was asking a specific question about the warm loop eddy's....


Sorry Hanna, wasn't so much directed at you - yours was the easiest quote to grab - and it came out unintentionally caustic. Debate is what it's all about, and far be it from me to squelch the "entertainment", as it were.
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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.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
P451, do you have a link to that wave forecast animation's page? Thanks!
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Quoting kmanislander:


New update says this evening and based on the current position that looks about right

Hi Kmanislander!
Yes, Ida stayed pretty close to the coast so shortened the time she crossed land.
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Quoting kmanislander:


Ida is approximately 160 miles due W of our position now. It would need a significant track change to give us anything more than rain and there are no indications that anything is out there that would cause that.
Thanks for that but I still don't feel encouraged. I know how quickly these things change as I know you do too.
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Quoting Weather456:


good

cool...thanks.
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Quoting hurricanehanna:

okay - this will be a stupid question, but in the case of Ida, is this good or bad?


good
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting P451:
A crude look at what could happen.




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



I don't want but.. Oh boy.. was Tacoman ... right??
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DAY 3 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0126 AM CST FRI NOV 06 2009

VALID 081200Z - 091200Z

...S THROUGH SERN TX AND SRN LA...

UPPER LOW APPROACHING THE BAJA AREA IS FORECAST TO DEAMPLIFY AS IT
MOVES EAST THROUGH NRN MEXICO AND S TX SUNDAY.
MODEL CONSENSUS IS
THAT A SURFACE WAVE WILL DEVELOP IN VICINITY OF BOUNDARY OVER THE
WRN GULF
IN ASSOCIATION WITH AN IMPULSE LIFTING NWD AHEAD OF THE
UPPER LOW. DEEP TROPICAL MOISTURE WILL INCREASE ACROSS S AND SERN
TX...POSSIBLY SPREADING INTO SRN LA SUNDAY NIGHT.
INCREASINGLY MOIST
THERMODYNAMIC PROFILES MAY BECOME SUFFICIENT FOR A THREAT OF
THUNDERSTORMS. HOWEVER...THE SURFACE WAVE IS EXPECTED TO STAY
OFFSHORE
WHICH WOULD LIMIT DEGREE OF LOW-LEVEL MOISTURE RETURN AND
DESTABILIZATION POTENTIAL. IT APPEARS INSTABILITY WILL LIKELY REMAIN
TOO MARGINAL FOR A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM THREAT IN THIS REGION.

..DIAL.. 11/06/2009
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I still see a little pull to the E and think the CI might get a little more than expected.


Ida is approximately 160 miles due W of our position now. It would need a significant track change to give us anything more than rain and there are no indications that anything is out there that would cause that.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15948
Quoting mikatnight:


Does anyone actually read Dr. M's posts? One more time for emphasis...


Yo Mik, I read Dr. M's post......I was asking a specific question about the warm loop eddy's....
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TampaSpin, you mentioned the local mets were saying crazy things. Can you give me an idea of what and is there access to their blogs?
Thanks
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62. IKE
SYNOPSIS FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
930 AM CST FRI NOV 06 2009

.SYNOPSIS...STRONG HIGH PRESSURE IS CENTERED OVER THE SOUTHEAST
U.S. WHILE A LARGE AREA OF LOWER PRESSURE REMAINS IN THE
SOUTHERN PORTION...AND SOUTH OF THE AREA. THIS WILL MAINTAIN A
TIGHT PRESSURE GRADIENT WHICH WILL RESULT IN STRONG NE TO E
WINDS ACROSS MUCH OF THE GULF THROUGH THE PERIOD. THE LOW IS
FORECAST TO MOVE SLOWLY N THROUGH TUE. TROPICAL DEPRESSION IDA
CURRENTLY WELL S OF THE GULF OVER NE NICARAGUA IS FORECAST TO
REGAIN TROPICAL STORM STRENGTH AND MOVE THROUGH THE YUCATAN
CHANNEL LATE SUN THROUGH MON...AND INTO THE SOUTHERN WATERS OF
THE MIDDLE GULF LATE MON REACHING TO THE NORTHERN WATERS OF
MIDDLE GULF BY LATE TUE NIGHT.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting Weather456:


much much quicker

okay - this will be a stupid question, but in the case of Ida, is this good or bad?
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


I would say in this instance no

I believe this event will be worse for Florida if Ida is extra-tropical and mixes with the extra-tropical low and front than she would be if she was just a tropical storm


I see 3 different possibilities.
1. She races northeast as a hurricane and actually hits Florida as a cat 1+. (Possible 20%)

2. She gains a little strength and the gets absorbed/absorbes the STS. Turns into a nor easter (possibly strong) and gives the gulf and east coast heck. (My current pick at the moment 50%)

3. She gains a little strength/stays the same then just dies over the gulf from the shear. The STS remains seperate and gives the west gulf some rain and wind. (Possible 30%)

Note: all percents are my opinion only. Take with a grain of salt.
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Quoting hurricanehanna:

*taps mic* is this thing on? Just asking if it would be a factor in strenghthening. I know shear is supposed to be high, but...


Does anyone actually read Dr. M's posts? One more time for emphasis...

Quoting mikatnight:
This bears repeating:

Quoting Dr.Masters:
"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."
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Remember the aftermath...
Link
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Heck the Right front is coming off now...here we go!
I still see a little pull to the E and think the CI might get a little more than expected.
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


yes, NHC forecasted Ida to not be off the coast until tomorrow morning


New update says this evening and based on the current position that looks about right
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15948
So no chance of Ida tracking west of north? The rains take a huge toll on us in Belize so sometimes it almost better for it to just come and go as a TS instead of churning rains here for days. We are very prone to flooding and have poor infrastructure.
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Blog Update
Reflector site for those at work, includes Dr. Masters & Weather456, daily update.

Seismic Monitor

AOI

AOI
Seismic Monitor
Humor in Comments
TS BUSTED FORECAST, to be used in the event you make a minor discrepancy in your forecast.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Yes....anything warm will add to intensity...most diffiently......Shear will be the only thing holding IDA back...Thats to be soon yet.

Thanks Tampa.
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456, thanks! Looks a little warmer now...
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49. IKE
Quoting mikatnight:


You too Ike

TGFI!


Yo bud.

Thanks...same to ya.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Thanks Doc.

# 19 Hanna

I can't speak for this one, but others in the past have spun up as they fed on a warm eddy in the Gulf.
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Quoting hurricanehanna:

Isn't this much quicker than expected?


yes, NHC forecasted Ida to not be off the coast until tomorrow morning
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Quoting hurricanehanna:

Isn't this much quicker than expected?


much much quicker
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:
Not past 84W He He!

Morning All.


lol, oh so it was you that said it.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting hurricanehanna:

*taps mic* is this thing on? Just asking if it would be a factor in strenghthening. I know shear is supposed to be high, but...


Yes....anything warm will add to intensity...most diffiently......Shear will be the only thing holding IDA back...Thats to be soon yet.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
DAY 4-8 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0239 AM CST FRI NOV 06 2009

VALID 091200Z - 141200Z

...DISCUSSION...

MODEL CONSENSUS IS THAT UPPER LOW WILL CONTINUE TO WEAKEN AS IT
EJECTS EWD THROUGH THE GULF COASTAL STATES AND PHASES WITH NRN
STREAM UPPER TROUGH. A WEAK SURFACE LOW IS FORECAST TO DEVELOP IN
ASSOCIATION WITH THIS FEATURE AND TRACK EWD ALONG FRONTAL BOUNDARY
NEAR THE GULF COASTAL REGION. THIS COULD RESULT IN A SMALL WARM
SECTOR MOVING INLAND MONDAY-TUESDAY (DAY 4-5). HOWEVER...DOMINANT
LOW LEVEL CIRCULATION COULD BE WITH REMNANTS OF IDA AS IT EMERGES
INTO THE GULF WHICH COULD POTENTIALLY LIMIT ONSHORE ADVECTION OF
RICHER MOISTURE. NET RESULT IS THAT ANY SEVERE THREAT WITH THE
EJECTING UPPER LOW WILL PROBABLY REMAIN SMALL.

BEYOND DAY 5 SEVERE POTENTIAL IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN LOW...EXCEPT
POSSIBLY ALONG PORTIONS OF THE GULF COAST WHERE REMNANTS OF IDA
COULD POSE SOME THREAT. HOWEVER...PREDICTABILITY OF THE INTENSITY
AND TRACK OF THIS FEATURE IS LOW BEYOND DAY 5. SEE DISCUSSION FROM
NHC FOR MORE DETAILS REGARDING IDA.

..DIAL.. 11/06/2009
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Almost off shore!

Isn't this much quicker than expected?
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Quoting IKE:
Cue the Bastardi response to the NHC updated forecast.

Have a nice weekend Dr. Masters.

TGIF.


You too Ike

TGFI!
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Not past 84W He He!

Morning All.
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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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