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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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.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
2289. bjdsrq
Quoting Weather456:
Ida has also slowed.


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?
Member Since: July 26, 2003 Posts: 3 Comments: 428
Quoting StormW:


Quite the show. Though these past couple of systems have been painstaking as far as predicting track, this one's a pleasure, watching her overcome things that say it won't develop.


It continues to follow instructions, lol. This storm is a personal best.
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Something to think about for the Gulf States,
When Ike passed 250 miles south of Mississippi, we still havd 6-9 feet of flooding so as Ida gets closer just have to watch for localized flooding. Not saying we will get anything like Ike since it was a beast but if you live on water, I would expect a few feet esspecially the farther north it gets.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
East End, Grand Cayman is POURING!

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

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2285. Ossqss
If interested, here is an alternate discussion on Ida from this AM. Have a good one.

Tropical Weather Discussion
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How can an Orlando Met make a statement like that. It is way too early to say it will not affect Central Florida. This is the kind of stuff people in Orlando heard before Charley came through and reaked havoc with no warning.
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2281. amd


Microwave image of Ida taken at 5:38 a.m. Notice the beginnings of an eye.
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Ida has also slowed.
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Quoting Weather456:


you have not miss it. I will post an update at noon.


thanks!


Also others of you here that have some real knowledge on these systems.. I appreciate your updates also... StormW, 451, Tampsspin, etc.. too many of you to list.


all of us Weather Geeks who have been watching storms all our lives can also contribute our thoughts and opinions and they are appreciated.

the "silly nonsense".... not so much,
you are just cluttering up this space...
and normally that is ok but now we have a
serious system to watch.

Not trying to be ugly and I appreciate humor
and a little stress relief every now and then.


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Rapid organization is underway...

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Quoting IKE:


I saw that too.

He did seem more concerned about it then I thought he would. He seemed to be focusing on the NE GOM as the bulls-eye, IF it makes landfall.

He also said shear would be a factor as it heads to the NE GOM.


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
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orlando met said ida no real concern for central florida
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2275. bjdsrq
Quoting SouthFLNative:
I expect Ida to be up to 80 mph by tonight as she is in an environment with low shear and warm waters and then the upper levels winds will shear this storm when it reaches the central GOM. Storms in this position almost always cross the Florida Peninsula at this time of year. We could still use the rain for Lake Okeechobee.


Amen... I see that as the best case scenario for FL. We are entering the dry season and the end of tropical season, so willing to take all the rain we can get now with the deficit we're running. I'm somewhat hoping El Nino ramps up a bit more this winter as it usually means more of a wet winter for FL too. Unfortunately, it also means more severe weather. Recall the 1998 tornado outbreak in Orlando area.
Member Since: July 26, 2003 Posts: 3 Comments: 428
Quoting seflagamma:
Ida looks like a very small and compact storm;
Charlie & Andrew were both small in size storms, thank goodness.
We do not need some monster storms out there.

Hope we get another update before 1 pm.



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.
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Nope bright sunshine here in savannah...lol just kidding yup heavy rain/Thunder here
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Morning. Lots of rain down there ?
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Cane or no cane, Ida can't penetrate the high pressure sitting over Florida until the trough comes in an weakens it. If the trough slows down, Ida goes to the central gulf ie. AL,MS & LA.
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Ida is affecting the upper winds associated with the BOC system. Ida is fighting wind shear. This is a show.
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Quoting SouthFLNative:
I expect Ida to be up to 80 mph by tonight as she is in an environment with low shear and warm waters and then the upper levels winds will shear this storm when it reaches the central GOM. Storms in this position almost always cross the Florida Peninsula at this time of year. We could still use the rain for Lake Okeechobee.


I agree. Looks like Wilma.
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does look like a little wobble to NW in past few hours.
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Quoting Saltydogbwi1:
Morning everyone
Morning. Lots of rain down there ?
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8392
2266. Ossqss
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Quoting seflagamma:


So 456, been waiting to hear your thoughts this morning.. or have you been here already and I missed it.
I am at work so can only pop in and out as I can.



you have not miss it. I will post an update at noon.
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that is true...gfs has caught up a bit. cmc isnt bad on track but usually too strong on intensity. We will see. I am intersted to see 12z charts. I have a weird feeling we are going to see them creep up again.

The high may not have time to build in if Ida moves at this pace.
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2261. bjdsrq
Quoting XL:


So is Northwest point. Such a shame as I have visitors this week.


That's too bad. It will be over by tomorrow night for you. I would welcome the heavy rain here in SW FL as I'm about 12" below normal for the year. If it stalls and weakens in the eastern GOM, I might get exactly what I need next week... some decent rain over a few days w/o anything destructive.
Member Since: July 26, 2003 Posts: 3 Comments: 428
Dont know if im correct or if you can even say this about tropical storms but, she looks like she is becoming a annular storm now, looking at the map in post2234. Is this correct? If so, does that have any effects on her potentially weakening or further strengthening?
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Morning everyone
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I expect Ida to be up to 80 mph by tonight as she is in an environment with low shear and warm waters and then the upper levels winds will shear this storm when it reaches the central GOM. Storms in this position almost always cross the Florida Peninsula at this time of year. We could still use the rain for Lake Okeechobee.
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I will update my blog around 12PM EST time since I really to give as much info and accuracy for the Gulf coast states.

Ida is really organizing in the face of modest shear.

Now look what is happening. Ida convection is so intense it is warping the environment. Ida is forming an upper anticyclone or anticyclonic outflow.

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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
East End, Grand Cayman is POURING!

Good Morning. I just put the my hurricane on the east & nothern end of my house for now as thats where most of the wind and rain come from , Ida looks to be moving faster now and will probably be soon pass out lattitude, also looks like a more w of North movement, but who knows.
BBL, out to town.
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2252. IKE
Memo to NHC: Jump in the recon and head to Ida. Input needed. She won't bite...I hope.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting Weather456:
Wow



So 456, been waiting to hear your thoughts this morning.. or have you been here already and I missed it.
I am at work so can only pop in and out as I can.

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Ida go to Idaho!
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2247. XL
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
East End, Grand Cayman is POURING!


So is Northwest point. Such a shame as I have visitors this week.
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Wow

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2245. IKE
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

Normally I would agree with you but the GFS hasnt been close yet with this one.


Last 2, maybe 3, model runs of the GFS has sped up the motion of Ida. Making a Tuesday landfall.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
on a side note...good morning all haha.
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2242. WxLogic
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
Anyone else notice the models are keeping the storm closer to the gulf coast each run now? The still have the nice candy cane hook but so much closer to the coast now. Should be interesting. Tomorrow afternoon we will know a lot.


Indeed... I'm wondering if this one could be on that rides the gulf coast and never entering land from Miss. to the east before looping... of course it will depend on how fast the high builds after the frontal passage.
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Buoy 42056 will be the one to watch.

The current Bar. rise is nominal starting at sunrise, but will be interesting to see its trace today.



This buoy at 19°52'27" N 85°3'33" W is about 180 miles out in front of IDA right on her projected track.

http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=42056
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2240. bjdsrq
Quoting Ameister12:
Ever sense I woke up this morning I noticed this circle where the strongest convection is and it continues to grow.
BR


I love those early morning and late day vis pics that show the shadows of the various cloud tops. Give's a nice 3D perspective doesn't it?

Member Since: July 26, 2003 Posts: 3 Comments: 428

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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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