Karl dies over Mexico's mountains; Igor bears down on Bermuda

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:28 PM GMT on September 18, 2010

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Hurricane Karl dissipated early this morning over the high mountains east of Mexico City. Karl made landfall yesterday on the Mexican coast about ten miles northwest of Veracruz at 1pm EDT, as a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds. Karl was the first landfalling major hurricane in the Atlantic basin since Hurricane Ike over Cuba in 2008, and the first major hurricane to make landfall on the Gulf of Mexico coast since Hurricane Wilma in Southwest Florida in 2005. Veracruz was on the weak (left) side of Karl's eyewall, and did not receive hurricane force winds, except perhaps at the extreme northern edge of the city. Winds at the Veracruz Airport, located on the west side of the city, peaked at sustained speeds of 46 mph, gusting to 58 mph, at 11:54am local time. Karl has dumped very heavy rains in Mexico's Veracruz state, with 218 mm (8.6") measured at Hacienda Yland Ylang, and 171 mm (6.7") at Japala.


Figure 1. Hurricane Karl as seen in this visible moonlight image from the F-16 polar orbiting satellite at 9:08pm EDT Thursday, September 16, 2010. The bright city lights of Mexico City are visible due west of Karl, and gas flares from the PEMEX drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico to the east of Karl also make a bright splash of light. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Igor
The Hurricane Hunters just arrived in Hurricane Igor, and found that the inner 23-mile wide eyewall had collapsed. Igor now has a huge 92-mile wide eye, thanks to this eyewall replacement cycle. As is usually the case in eyewall replacement cycles, the peak winds of the hurricane have decreased, but hurricane force winds are now spread out over a larger area. Top winds at the surface as seen by the SFMR instrument were Category 1 strength, 82 mph, though the aircraft did see 130 mph winds at 10,000 feet, which suggests the surface winds should be of Category 3 strength, 115 mph. These stronger winds are apparently not mixing down to the surface in the usual fashion. A sonde dropped in the eye at 11:20am AST recorded a central pressure of 945 mb, about 6 mb higher than what NHC was estimating in their 11am AST advisory. Though conditions for intensification will remain favorable through Sunday afternoon, with moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots and warm water temperatures of 28.5°C, we can expect only slow intensification of Igor. With such a huge eye, it will take Igor considerable time for it to bring the winds in this new eyewall back to Category 3 strength, and it will be difficult for the hurricane to be stronger than a high-end Category 2 storm with 110 mph winds when it makes its closest pass by Bermuda Sunday night.


Figure 2. Hurricane Igor as seen from a "radar in space" microwave instrument on the polar-orbiting F-16 satellite at 7:50 am AST Saturday September 18, 2010. A 22-mile wide inner eyewall was collapsing, and being replaced by a huge 92-mile diameter outer eyewall. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Igor's impact on Bermuda
Hurricane warnings are flying for Bermuda, and winds are starting to rise on the island. Winds were blowing out of the northeast and had risen to 22 mph as of noon local time today. Igor's outer rain bands are now visible on Bermuda radar, and will reach the island late this afternoon. Igor is a huge storm, and tropical storm force winds extend out 340 miles to the north of its center. Igor will be moving at about 12 - 13 mph during its approach to Bermuda, so the island can expect a period of 39+ mph tropical storm force winds to begin near 7 - 9pm AST tonight. Hurricane force winds will arrive at the island near 8 - 10pm AST Sunday night, and last for 8 - 10 hours. Igor will speed up to about 15 mph as it passes the island near midnight Sunday night, and Bermuda's battering by tropical storm force winds will not be as long as Igor moves away, perhaps 12 - 14 hours. The Bermuda Weather Service is calling for Category 2 hurricane conditions to arrive at the island on Sunday night, with waves of 20 - 45 feet affecting the island's offshore waters during the peak of the storm. Buildings in Bermuda are some of the best-constructed in the world, and are generally located at higher elevations out of storm surge zones. If Igor remains below Category 3 strength, as currently appears likely, damage on the island may be just a few million dollars. According to AIR Worldwide, "Homes in Bermuda are typically one or two stories and constructed of 'Bermuda Stone,' a locally quarried limestone, or of concrete blocks. Roofs are commonly made of limestone slate tiles cemented together. Commercial buildings, typically of reinforced concrete construction, rarely exceed six stories. In both residential and commercial buildings, window openings are generally small and window shutters are common. These features make Bermuda's building stock quite resistant to winds, and homes are designed to withstand sustained winds of 110 mph and gusts of up to 150 mph."

Bermuda's hurricane history
Igor is similar in strength and projected track to Hurricane Fabian of 2003. Fabian hit Bermuda as a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds. It was the most damaging hurricane ever to hit the island, with $355 million in damage. Fabian's storm surge killed four people crossing a causeway on the island. These were the first hurricane deaths on Bermuda since 1926. The most powerful hurricane on record to strike Bermuda was the Category 4 Havana-Bermuda Hurricane, which hit on October 22, 1926, with 135 mph winds. The hurricane sank two British warships, claiming 88 lives, but no one was killed on the island. The deadliest hurricane to affect the island occurred on September 12, 1839, when a Category 3 hurricane with 125 mph winds and an 11-foot storm surge hit, tearing off the roofs of hundreds of buildings and wrecking several ships. An estimated 100 people were killed (source: Encyclopedia of Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Cyclones, by David Longshore.)

94L
A tropical wave (Invest 94L) off the coast of Africa, a few hundred miles southwest of the Cape Verdes Islands, has developed a broad surface circulation and is threat to develop into a tropical depression early next week. The wave is under a moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear, and is over warm 28°C waters. Dry air from the Sahara is interfering with development, and 94L only has a small amount of heavy thunderstorm activity associated with it. Shear is expected to be low to moderate for the next four days, and 94L should be able to develop into a tropical depression if it can fight off the dry air to its north. The ECMWF model develops 94L into a tropical depression 4 - 5 days from now. NHC is giving the wave a 30% of developing into a tropical depression by Monday. Steering currents favor 94L moving northwest out to sea.

Typhoon Fanapi
The strongest typhoon of the very quiet Western Pacific typhoon season is now Typhoon Fanapi, a Category 3 storm with 120 mph winds. Fanapi is on track to hit Taiwan on Sunday morning as a Category 3 typhoon, then hit mainland China on Monday morning as a tropical storm. The previous strongest typhoon this season was Typhoon Kompasu, a low-end Category 3 storm with 115 mph winds that hit South Korea in early September.


Figure 3. Typhoon Fanapi at 04:45 UTC on September 17, 2010, as it approached Taiwan from the Philippine Sea. Image credit: NASA.

Elsewhere in the tropics
An area of disturbed weather off the coast of South Texas is due to an region of upper level winds that are spreading out, encouraging thunderstorm updrafts to pull more air aloft. I don't expect this region to develop due to its close proximity to the coast. The NOGAPS model is predicting development of a strong tropical disturbance in the Western Caribbean 6 - 7 days from now. The GFS model has backed off developing anything in the Caribbean next week.

I'll have a new post on Sunday.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting CosmicEvents:
NO. A better choice would been Badges...come 'ere Badges...but that also would have been a NO. lol
Badgers! we don't need no stinkin BAdgers!
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1493. scott39
Quoting will40:


GFS is 990mb but would be stronger i think
Thanks, If the high moves E off of the whole Gulf Coast, how does the steering work?
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The name ---pretty please---so I can go to bed
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1490. Grothar
Quoting aislinnpaps:


oh ya!!! My first stop my first morning when I go in June to help my daughter-in-law is the Backerii at the bottom of the hill!


Kamps? They have the best!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27280
Quoting mbjjm:
visit Link if you have google earth
nifty!
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Quoting SherwoodSpirit:
Wow. Look at Julia convecting like crazy.

And... mmmmm... GLOBE!
Hmmm, converging, concurrent, convecting patterns. Now we need an "R" rating, at least.
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1486. xcool


240 00z CMC Global Forecast Model head west
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Quoting NRAamy:
Cosmic, after checking out your avatar, I'm guessing your dogs name is Green Card?

NO. A better choice would been Badges...come 'ere Badges...but that also would have been a NO. lol
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5695
Quoting Grothar:


Oh, yeah!! How you doing Canes?


I'm doing well. Go on chat, for the story ;)
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
Quoting NRAamy:
Cosmic, after checking out your avatar, I'm guessing your dogs name is Green Card?


Amy you should have got it right....
That would be the right name for his dog....

LOL
Taco :o)
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1482. will40
Quoting scott39:
How strong of a TC are the models showing in the GOM?


GFS is 990mb but would be stronger i think
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94L taking some fuel...

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Quoting xcool:


What up Bro!!
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1478. Grothar
Quoting caneswatch:


Grothar, if those were my donuts.............


Oh, yeah!! How you doing Canes?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27280
Has everybody guessed?
Should I reveal the name or let everybody start fresh with a new clue another night...on the late-night shift.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5695
1476. mbjjm
948mb , 90mph so far, hh seems to be heading into Igor eye
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1475. xcool
did not drop it .cmc shows different locations this time.
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1473. WXTXN
Quoting KerryInNOLA:
00z CMC has dropped that Texas storm.
Dang!.....I mean...Good!
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Wow. Look at Julia convecting like crazy.

And... mmmmm... GLOBE!
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1471. scott39
Quoting NRAamy:
Is that a globe in your pocket or are you.....ahhhhh, never mind.....
Were all happy here!
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1470. NRAamy
Cosmic, after checking out your avatar, I'm guessing your dogs name is Green Card?

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Quoting Grothar:
Anybody want to look at my globe?



Your globe is ugly lol just playing
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
Wind pick up at Bermuda 47 knots avg. or 54 mph
At http://199.172.239.3/gemamet/applet.jsp?displayId=3

How to Convert Wind Speed in knots to Miles Per Hour By Craig Brewer, eHow Contributor October 6, 2009
Converting wind speed, or knots, to miles per hour can help you keep perspective on your speed, especially if you are new to sailing. It is relatively easy, whether done with a calculator or in your head. Once you are more comfortable with thinking in terms of knots on the water, however, you should no longer need to convert the velocities at all.
Instructions
1. Know that a knot is about 15 percent faster than going 1 mile per hour. So if a car is going 1 mph and a boat is sailing at 1 knot, the boat will be going slightly faster.
2. Convert knots to miles per hour in your head by multiplying the knots you are traveling by 1.15. So if you are sailing 20 knots, you are going 23 mph (or 20 x 1.15 = 23). An easy tip for mental math in this case is to add 10 percent and 5 percent of your knot speed. So if you are going 20 knots, 10 percent is 2, 5 percent is half of 10 percent (or 1) for an additional 3, making 23 mph.
3. Multiply your knots by 1.15077945 to determine exactly how many miles per hour you are going. Obviously, determining this product will require a calculator, but it can give you exact results if you need them.
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1464. scott39
How strong of a TC are the models showing in the GOM?
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1463. mbjjm
visit Link if you have google earth
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1461. xcool
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1460. Grothar
Anybody want to look at my globe?

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27280
1459. mbjjm
Hurricane Hunters currently in Igor
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1458. JLPR2
Looking healthy:


Shrinking Igor:
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8747
1456. Grothar
Quoting aislinnpaps:


Krappel and sometimes Berliners? *G*

Ein krappel, bitte


Sie schmeckt so gut!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27280
1454. scott39
Quoting Grothar:


Are you kidding, this made me so hungry, I just ate Grothar Jr's. Sunday morning chocolate donuts. Poor little thing. Well at 29, he can buy his own donuts.
Shame on you- Hes still going to get his feelings hurt in the morning.
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Quoting Grothar:


Are you kidding, this made me so hungry, I just ate Grothar Jr's. Sunday morning chocolate donuts. Poor little thing. Well at 29, he can buy his own donuts.


Grothar, if those were my donuts.............
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
test
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1449. Grothar
Quoting scott39:
I want that CAKE!!


Are you kidding, this made me so hungry, I just ate Grothar Jr's. Sunday morning chocolate donuts. Poor little thing. Well at 29, he can buy his own donuts.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27280
1448. scott39
Quoting CosmicEvents:
1 guess. ONE! Even if any of those are right you're automatically DQ'd. 15 minute warning. I'm fading myself. And ready for my milk and cake. Yeeehaha.
Everybody else is guessing more than 1. I thought I would make it easier for you, and I deserve the Cake! LOL Its Cyclone isnt it? HeHeHe
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1447. will40
Quoting Grothar:


Thanks will, I thought I was losing it there for a minute.


lol my bad
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1444. Grothar
Quoting will40:
Link

sorry Goth run the loop under
50 MB Atlantic under quick plots


Thanks will, I thought I was losing it there for a minute.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27280

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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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