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 Weather456:


The deep layer flow does not diver much from the shallow layer over the next couple of days. But

Because the area between the model consensus and western Cuba is small, a small change in intensity, affecting a small change in track could easily result in Ida nearer to the tip of Cuba.
thanks weather is there still a good possibility of Ida making a close approach to the lower florida keys and the SW Florida coast
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Quoting Saltydogbwi1:
Spotts actually south side grand cayman
How are the sea conditions this morning?I'm in N.S Estates.
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2336. divdog
Quoting Seflhurricane:
my fear is that if the Due north component continues we are in trouble in the florida keys and sw florida it would make a closer approach
in trouble from a 45mph ts ???
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Navy Track -- Glad to see the NOLA Shield is working.
I think Dr. Masters will probably be back on today with a new blog.
Is upper ridging taking place?

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How is ida doing
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2331. WxLogic
Quoting P451:


The timing in all of this is the most important factor. Be it for the separate entities themselves or the chance they could merge into a superstorm.

This setup, as it has been for a few days now, is going to generate very high forecasting errors even in the short term.

Wait and See....wait and see...is all we can do. We also cannot trust the computer models they handle these scenarios poorly. We must treat them as an observation at best.



Hehe... like always.
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2330. centex
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
weather if IDA continues to get stronger wouldnt she move more towards the right and closer to western cuba ????


The deep layer flow does not differ much from the shallow layer over the next couple of days. But

Because the area between the model consensus and western Cuba is small, a small change in intensity, affecting a small change in track could easily result in Ida nearer to the tip of Cuba.
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2328. WxLogic
Quoting 786:
some tropical storm force gusts here in cayman, we are def. getting rain now


Well, based on that info. we can definitely agree that her wind field is expanding.
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Quoting StormW:
456,
Your thoughts please.

For all...IDA is stalling, and if I'm correct, based on the following loop, she should pick up on a short NW track, slowly in a few hours, then start a turn to the north.

Go here, click WATER VAPOR...8 IMAGE ANIMATION, then go to the upper right and click enhancements, and use GOES WATER VAPOR ENHANCEMENT.

SSEC
I don't like this word. Could she possibly start to track NE or NNE ?
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my fear is that if the Due north component continues we are in trouble in the florida keys and sw florida it would make a closer approach
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2324. 786
some tropical storm force gusts here in cayman, we are def. getting rain now
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2323. WxLogic
Look at this 850MB VORT loop (Notice how the life of the E PAC disturbance S of Honduras) is being sucked out.
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Quoting Jeff9641:
National weather service is saying IDA is approaching hurricane strength and that an eye is forming. 10am advisory might have winds of 60 or 70mph.
which weather service Miami ????????
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Quoting superpete:
Saltydog,where are you n Sav'?
He said yesterday he is in Spotts/Newlands
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8242
Quoting BenBIogger:
The southern half of the Florida peninsula is in the clear. imo
not quite i always say until it clears our latitude we are by no ways clear we are in the 4-5 day cone
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Quoting P451:


Stop it. I did not. I said it is rapidly intensifying which it is.

I did not say it was undergoing RAPID INTENSIFICATION which is reserved for Hurricanes, usually Majors, that are on their way to becoming Cat 5 monsters.

I know the difference. So just stop it. You're nitpicking like crazy.

And, you still have yet to offer your opinion, a detailed educated opinion, on the BOC Gale/STS that is forming.

I did. You didn't. You just attacked me and continue to do so.

And with that, you're not worth reply to anymore, because you have shown you're more interested in ME than you are in the STORMS.

I will defend myself but I will not be dragged into a slap fight. Find someone else to annoy I'm done being your entertainment outlet.
Be careful before you get banned. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and you stated yours so just move on.
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Spotts actually south side grand cayman
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2314. bjdsrq
Quoting Weather456:


It's kinda tough because even though Ida appeared to have slowed (which is what happens when systems intensify over the NW Caribbean) it really wont account for much because in the long run, Ida will accelerate into the GOM.

However, it gives her more time to strengthen and for the BOC system to amplify so in turn a slowing Ida will turn further south since the trough meets Ida as oppose to Ida meets trough.


Ok. Thanks. This will be interesting to watch how it plays out. It's likely the last interesting thing to follow in the tropical atlantic this year.
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2313. WxLogic
Quoting Weather456:


It's kinda tough because even though Ida appeared to have slowed (which is what happens when systems intensify over the NW Caribbean) it really wont account for much because in the long run, Ida will accelerate into the GOM.

However, it gives her more time to strengthen and for the BOC system to amplify so in turn a slowing Ida will turn further south since the trough meets Ida as oppose to Ida meets trough.


Indeed... so that delay in the front passage will pretty much negate and they will still either meet or miss the trough as some models still show that "looping" pattern.
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The southern half of the Florida peninsula is in the clear. imo
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Quoting Saltydogbwi1:
Nope bright sunshine here in savannah...lol just kidding yup heavy rain/Thunder here
Saltydog,where are you n Sav'?
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Quoting Weather456:


yea the GOM is slightly cooler...but don't forget our friends on the Yucatan and Cuba.
weather if IDA continues to get stronger wouldnt she move more towards the right and closer to western cuba ????
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steve lyons just said she will meet her dimise in the northern gulf and be extratropical
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Quoting Weather456:


It's kinda tough because even though Ida appeared to have slowed (which is what happens when systems intensify over the NW Caribbean) it really wont account for much because in the long run, Ida will accelerate into the GOM.

However, it gives her more time to strengthen and for the BOC system to amplify so in turn a slowing Ida will turn further south since the trough meets Ida as oppose to Ida meets trough.


I guess thats what the models are sensing also.. a lot of them have her halting in her tracks..and actually going south in a few days?
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Quoting StormSurgeon:
IDA looks healthy this morning, but fortunatly the Gulf isn't the boiling pot it was 2 months ago. SST's in the northern third are well below 80. That coupled with the expected wind shear should deliver a solid punch in the nose to IDA.......if she makes it that far. Still could be a mess for some folks though.



yea the GOM is slightly cooler...but don't forget our friends on the Yucatan and Cuba.
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IDA looks healthy this morning, but fortunatly the Gulf isn't the boiling pot it was 2 months ago. SST's in the northern third are well below 80. That coupled with the expected wind shear should deliver a solid punch in the nose to IDA.......if she makes it that far. Still could be a mess for some folks though.

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Quoting amd:


Microwave image of Ida taken at 5:38 a.m. Notice the beginnings of an eye.


Noted that earlier, possibility that Ida might retain Hurricane status..
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Blog Update
TS BUSTED FORECAST, to be used in the event you make a minor discrepancy in your forecast.
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Quoting bjdsrq:


If she slows fwd motion more than forecasted, and also deepens more than forecasted, what do you think that means for track at 72 hours and beyond?


It's kinda tough because even though Ida appeared to have slowed (which is what happens when systems intensify over the NW Caribbean) it really wont account for much because in the long run, Ida will accelerate into the GOM.

However, it gives her more time to strengthen and for the BOC system to amplify so in turn a slowing Ida will turn further south since the trough meets Ida as oppose to Ida meets trough.
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:

Greetings, swCI (and other Cayman folks, is it Caymanians? Sorry, don't know),

First thing I saw when I logged in this morning was the NHC warning for Cayman's. (wondering if/when 1st watch was posted...)

Remember our jittery friend from NC? Just in case, I copied this, below. Embassies/consulates might not be open on weekends, but there is always a Watch Officer on call.

Good luck and stay safe.

Americans living or traveling in the Cayman Islands are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica through the State Department's travel registration web site, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within the Cayman Islands. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Consular Agency in George Town, Grand Cayman or the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consular Agency to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Consular Agency in the Cayman Islands is located at Cayman Centre, Unit B1, 118 Dorcy Drive, George Town, Grand Cayman. Its phone number is (345) 945-8173. Office hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 08:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (except U.S. and Cayman holidays).

American citizens requiring assistance in Cayman may also contact the American Citizen Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica at (876) 702-6000. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy is located at 142 Old Hope Road, Kingston 6. Office hours are Monday through Friday (except Jamaican and U.S. holidays) from 7:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with window services from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Both the Consular Agency and Embassy may provide updated information on travel and security within the Cayman Islands

Hav
Morning, yes it is Caymanians. The warning was issued for Grand Cayman only since we are the furthest west at 7 am this morning. Pouring rain and winds are picking up nicely.
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2298. WxLogic
Ida is hitting a little bit of a wall for now:



But as she intensifies... this wall will be non existent... but it will all depend on the strength it gains.
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i have an intresting question the stronger IDA gets wouldnt she move more to the right ????? IDA looks like she is on her way to becoming a hurricane with the rapid organization she is demonstrating
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Outflow now evident on the SW side....upper winds should diverted that towards the NE if shear was affecting it.

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Quoting Magicchaos:


Since there are tropical storm watches, there will be an update every 3 hours. Even without them, 10AM is when a full advisory comes out.


thanks, was hoping they would now come every 3 hours.
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2290. IKE
Quoting catastropheadjuster:


Hey Ike, sometimes I wonder why they don't really say what they need to or what they really know. Cause we all know they know more than what they say. It just worried me a little bit when he was pointing toward Alabama. I mean the Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers have been above food stage for about a week and a half and just know trying to go down a little know. I mean I have never went thru nothing like this and really don't know what to expect. I mean i know how to get ready for a Hurricane. but this just seems a little different by what all folks are saying. I am a amateur and I am not saying it's coming for Alabama or nothing and i know it's days away. I am just wondering if it does what should we expect?

Sheri


Look for a lot of rain. That is almost a certainty.

Look for winds to be breezy and increasing as we approach the first of the week. Winds could be more significant. Wait and see.

Some models show a landfall in the central gulf coast. Some in the eastern gulf coast. Some come close and never make landfall.

See if the 12Z runs are similar to what the 00Z and 6Z runs said. They may change again.
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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.

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