Igor spares Bermuda; Fanapi hits China; exceptionally quiet in the Pacific

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:29 PM GMT on September 20, 2010

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The core of Category 1 Hurricane Igor passed approximately 40 miles west of Bermuda at 11 pm AST last night, bringing winds just below hurricane force to the island. Winds at the Bermuda Airport peaked at 68 mph, gusting to 93 mph, at 11:22 pm AST last night. Tropical storm force winds of 39 mph began at 10 am AST on Sunday, and were still present as of 9:38 am AST (44 mph, gusting to 53 mph.) Bermuda radar shows that the core of Igor is now well past Bermuda, with only a few spiral bands to the south that will bring occasional rain squalls to the island this morning. Pressures are rising rapidly, and the storm is almost over for Bermuda. No injuries or major damage has been reported from Bermuda thus far, though Igor's waves are being blamed for two deaths in the Caribbean, one on Puerto Rico and one on St. Croix.

Igor is headed northeastward, out to sea, but will pass close enough to southeast Newfoundland to bring tropical storm force winds there on Tuesday night. Rainfall amounts of 3 - 5 inches are possible for the capital of St. Johns.


Figure 1. The eye of Hurricane Igor as seen by the International Space Station at 9:56 am EDT September 14, 2010. At the time, Igor was a Category 4 hurricane with 135 mph winds. This image ranks as one of the top-five most spectacular hurricane images ever taken from space, in my mind. To see the full-size image, visit the NASA Earth Observatory web site.

94L
A tropical wave (Invest 94L) off the coast of Africa, a few hundred miles west of the Cape Verdes Islands, has developed a well-defined surface circulation and is threat to develop into a tropical depression. The wave is under a low 5 - 10 knots of wind shear, and is over warm 28°C waters. Dry air from the Sahara is interfering with development, and downdrafts created by mid-level dry air getting ingested into the storm are creating surface arc clouds on the west side of the storm, as seen in recent visible satellite loops. 94L only has a modest amount of heavy thunderstorm activity associated with it, and the amount of thunderstorm activity will have to increase in order for this system to be considered a tropical depression. Shear is expected to be low for the next four days, and most of the major forecast models develop 94L into a tropical depression 1 - 4 days from now. NHC is giving the wave a 80% of developing into a tropical depression by Wednesday.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of Invest 94L.

Julia
Tropical Storm Julia is being ripped apart by wind shear from Igor, and will likely dissipate on Tuesday.

Typhoon Fanapi hits China
Typhoon Fanapi made landfall in mainland China about 150 miles east-northeast of Hong Kong this morning as a Category 1 storm with 75 mph winds. Fanapi was the strongest typhoon so far this season, peaking at Category 3 strength with 120 mph winds shortly before weakening to a Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds when it hit northern Taiwan early Sunday morning, local time. Fanapi killed three people on the island, and brought rains of up to 1400 mm (4.6 feet) to mountainous regions in the interior. Taipei 101, the second tallest building in the world with more than 100 stories, reportedly swayed some 15 cm in Fanapi's winds.

A remarkably quiet Western Pacific typhoon season and Eastern Pacific hurricane season
It has been an exceptionally quiet Western Pacific typhoon season. Before Fanapi, the strongest typhoon this season was Typhoon Kompasu, a low-end Category 3 storm with 115 mph winds that hit South Korea in early September. According to statistics forwarded to me by NOAA meteorologist Paul Stanko on Guam, by this point in an ordinary typhoon season, we should have had 17 named storms, 11 typhoons, and 2 super supertyphoons (winds of 150+ mph.) This year, we've had just 11 named storms, 5 typhoons, and no supertyphoons. The record low for a typhoon season was 18 named storms (set in 1998), 9 typhoons (set in 1998), and no supertyphoons (set in 1974.) We have a chance of beating all of these records this year. The peak date for the Western Pacific typhoon season is August 28, so we are well past the peak.

It's a similar story out in the Eastern Pacific, where a near-record quiet hurricane season is occurring. So far there have been 6 named storms, 3 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. Ordinarily, we should have had 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricane by this point in the season. Since reliable satellite records of Eastern Pacific hurricane activity began in 1970, the quietest season on record was 1977, when just 8 named storms occurred. The fewest hurricanes occurred in 2007 (four), and there have been two years with no intense hurricanes. The peak of Eastern Pacific hurricane season is around August 25, and on average we can expect just 3 more named storms this year. Thus, we could set records for the fewest named storms and hurricanes this year.


Figure 3. Typhoon Fanapi at landfall in China at 5:15 UTC on September 20, 2010. Image credit: NASA.

Elsewhere in the tropics
The NOGAPS, ECMWF, and GFS models have been predicting development of a strong tropical disturbance or tropical depression in the Central Caribbean 6 - 9 days from now. However, the timing, location, and track of the potential development have been inconsistent from run to run. We should merely take note of the fact that these models predict that the Caribbean will be ripe for tropical storm development late this week and early next week, and not put much faith in the specifics of these highly unreliable long-range forecasts.

I'll have a new post on Tuesday morning.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Chicklit:


WoW. incredible. Bermuda must be counting its lucky stars about now.
See correction...
(just to be sure I don't mislead)
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Any model can predict his trajectory??

Jupiter's anular Hurricane
the hurricane is 75,855 miles which is three times the size as earth
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Quoting Patrap:
WHO DAT SAY DEY GONNA BEAT DEM SAINTS?

SAINTS 25

SAN FRAN 22


WE DAT!!!

And I'm concerned about the latest GFS runs, seems like other models are trying to show same.
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GFS is getting confused this run. It runs the initial low into Nicaragua and reforms one in the CNTRL CARIBB.

00ZGFS 156hrs

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Quoting atmoaggie:
Yes. Those are streamlines showing the winds. (Cannot remember what level those streamlines are for...)


WoW. incredible. Bermuda must be counting its lucky stars about now.
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Quoting Chicklit:

really...igor did that?!
Yes. Those are streamlines showing the winds shear direction. (Cannot remember what level those streamlines are for...)

Right, difference between upper level and lower level winds. When a large tropical system brings up winds, in an obviously round pattern, at lower levels, this is the result.

G'Nite, all.
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also interesting is the much smaller swirlygig down by the lesser antilles.
According to NHC TD14 is headed N.
oh well. i'm dun.
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2022. WXTXN
Yall don't forget to go glance at JUPITER tonight it's as close as it gets. Won't be this close again till 2022.
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Favorite view; one of them, open link, and click on image...

Link

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Quoting atmoaggie:
That's Igor's finger print...

really...igor did that?!
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Quoting Chicklit:
Just finished a 17 hr. day...holy cow.
This is interesting. Why is it so large?!
That's Igor's finger print...
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Finally got it right! Thanks SJ!
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Just finished a 17 hr. day...holy cow.
This is interesting. Why is it so large?!
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2016. tkeith
* double post...ummm repeat?
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2014. beell
Some increase in vorticity in both basins near Panama today. N of 10N.

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2013. tkeith
Quoting GTcooliebai:
man Saints got lucky, they're overrated, & I guarantee there not repeating this yr!
written in stone, huh...

where's the love?
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Quoting hydrus:
mOre potential rain for Texas and Mexico..They wanted rain, they got it...


Ummm, next time can we have it spread over a year or so, instead of a month?
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WU GFS Ensemble Model

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man Saints got lucky, they're overrated, & I guarantee there not repeating this yr!
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Quoting jason2010xxxx:
its cold at my house tonight i live in new haven ct. the temp is 50F AT 12:06AM ITS GOING IN THE LOW 40s tonight..


So sari for ju. It's 73 in San Antonio.
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Even NAM getting into this party. At the bottom at 60 hours out:



Not really surprising given that it's initialization and boundary data come from GFS...
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Would love to stay and chat, but have to sleep at some point. Overrated, I know. Night der eh?
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Morning night shift.

108hrs...

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AFR ICA
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Quoting CaptnDan142:


With all due respect sir, prior to realizing that Lake Superior is filled with not water, but liquid oxygen, I dove into it once in July. Once.

(still shivering 35 years later just thinking about it) lol


Too early! Right around August 12th...one day only event for non-natives.
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2000. JLPR2
Wow, the abundance of models for TD14 is amazing!

LOL!
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Quoting CaptnDan142:


mhmm... Land of 2 seasons. Winter and the 4th of July.

I know this because I am from slightly south where our 2 seasons were Winter and Road Construction.

Originally from just north of Detroit, but I was stationed at Wurtsmith AFB for a while down (from you) by Oscoda. A friend's mom lived up around Ingadine I think it was.

Beautiful area all around there. When it isn't buried under 20 ft of snow that is. ;-)


True that.

Quoting PcolaDan:

3 months = June 30, July, August 1 :)
And swimming???? Who you kidding, I'd need a dry suit!


We've got pretty thick skin up here. Applies to skulls in some. The Polar Bear Club (otherwise known as crazy people) go swimming in the big lake on New Years.

Quoting leu2500:
SuperYooper - That's odd. Because the western UP is the only area in the US where Finnish is the dominant ethnicity. It's German in the rest of MI, except for Detroit where it's African American.


You weren't the only one suprised. It might pertain only to when it was first settled, not later on or present day. Took me 3 weeks of research to get that done.
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1995. JLPR2
Quoting CaptnDan142:


With all due respect sir, prior to realizing that Lake Superior is filled with not water, but liquid oxygen, I dove into it once in July. Once.

(still shivering 35 years later just thinking about it) lol


LOL!
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Quoting SuperYooper:


Have never had to evacuate here...usually don't go swimming in September though unless you want a severe case of shrinkage. 3 months of summer, who hoo!


With all due respect sir, prior to realizing that Lake Superior is filled with not water, but liquid oxygen, I dove into it once in July. Once.

(still shivering 35 years later just thinking about it) lol
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1991. leu2500
SuperYooper - That's odd. Because the western UP is the only area in the US where Finnish is the dominant ethnicity. It's German in the rest of MI, except for Detroit where it's African American.
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Quoting SuperYooper:


Have never had to evacuate here...usually don't go swimming in September though unless you want a severe case of shrinkage. 3 months of summer, who hoo!

3 months = June 30, July, August 1 :)
And swimming???? Who you kidding, I'd need a dry suit!
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Quoting taco2me61:
Evening SJ
ok "Look" I have been fighting these darn Ant Hills for about a week now in my back yard..... It has not rained for about the hole month of September and the "Hills Are Alive"...
What more can I watch, heck I have used that Ant killer Stuff and it does not work....
So I'm tired of the Ant Hill Stuff, I'm getting the Gas Can Out Now....

Taco :o)



Taco,
Get a shovel full of ant mound from one area and dump it on another area. Keep doing this until all the mounds are mixed. The ants will kill each other off.
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Quoting SuperYooper:


Have never had to evacuate here...usually don't go swimming in September though unless you want a severe case of shrinkage. 3 months of summer, who hoo!


LOL
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Quoting SuperYooper:


Ding! Must have heard of it from somewhere. Land of trees, snow and water.


mhmm... Land of 2 seasons. Winter and the 4th of July.

I know this because I am from slightly south where our 2 seasons were Winter and Road Construction.

Originally from just north of Detroit, but I was stationed at Wurtsmith AFB for a while down (from you) by Oscoda. A friend's mom lived up around Ingadine I think it was.

Beautiful area all around there. When it isn't buried under 20 ft of snow that is. ;-)
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Our frontyard...

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Quoting PcolaDan:

True, but we can evacuate. :)
I've done the cruise thing, and you're right though.


Have never had to evacuate here...usually don't go swimming in September though unless you want a severe case of shrinkage. 3 months of summer, who hoo!
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1982. JLPR2
PGI47L
13.3N 17.7W
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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.