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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2432. divdog
Quoting sammywammybamy:


I Have a Feeling that the System will take a Wilma like Track.

most overused phrase already this morning.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 755
What is this, crabby tuesday?

Had a nice thunderstorm this morning and temperatures above average. Forcast to reach 70!
Member Since: August 18, 2010 Posts: 14 Comments: 1602
2429. GS121
Quoting Jeff9641:


Too hard to say 19 days out. I live in Orlando and I have to say beginning to mid October can be rainy but tropical events can happen in C FL come October. Any big hurricane that threatens could do so next week.
was just wondering how orlando would fare if tampa had a direct hit by something in the next 2 weeks
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2425. divdog
Quoting kshipre1:
thanks Scott. yes, I understand the weather pattern is changing but maybe I misunderstood the guy at crown weather. I know he was indicating from New Orleans and points eastward at more risk than west of New Orleans. However, interestingly enough, he favors more of a northward to northwest movement rather than a northeasterly turn

am I not understanding something? sorry
One huge thing you are missing is the models do not a system to initialize so we have no idea what will happen until we get a run with much more data than we have right now.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 755
I figured they might pull the trigger a little faster given its proximity to populated places; we have Invest 95L (aka "Matthew-To-Be"):

BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_al952010.invest
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201009211305
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
INVEST, AL, L, , , , , 95, 2010, DB, O, 2010092112, 9999999999, , , , , , METWATCH, , AL952010
AL, 95, 2010092012, , BEST, 0, 118N, 580W, 15, 1011, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 95, 2010092018, , BEST, 0, 119N, 592W, 15, 1011, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 95, 2010092100, , BEST, 0, 120N, 604W, 20, 1010, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 95, 2010092106, , BEST, 0, 121N, 616W, 20, 1010, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 95, 2010092112, , BEST, 0, 122N, 628W, 20, 1009, DB, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1011, 150, 60, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,
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thanks Scott. yes, I understand the weather pattern is changing but maybe I misunderstood the guy at crown weather. I know he was indicating from New Orleans and points eastward at more risk than west of New Orleans. However, interestingly enough, he favors more of a northward to northwest movement rather than a northeasterly turn

am I not understanding something? sorry
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2419. JRRP
at this time of the season 1995 we have had 13 name storm
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Quoting Jeff9641:


That latest EURO would absolutly devastate the west coast of FL. Hope to god a cat 5 doesn't hit West Central FL as this Euro is suggesting. Tampa would end up just like NOLA after Katrina if not worse. NOt good! Not Good!


As others have stated, it's got Cat 3 pressures, not Cat 5. Don't get me wrong; that would still be very bad. However, Tampa is not New Orleans. For that matter, no other place is New Orleans. Tampa isn't situated below sea level, it isn't protected from flooding by a system of sometimes ancient dikes and levees and pumping stations, and it wasn't built on slow-draining delta mud. So while a Cat 3 would do a lot of damage to Hillborough/Pinellas, it's highly unlikely you'd see anything close to a Katrina scenario playing out...
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2416. myway
Quoting divdog:
wow we are up to cat 4 or cat 5 on an invest. maybe just getting a teeny tiny bit ahead of ourselves. Use the models for cyclogenesis at this point. it is way to early to be predicting doom and gloom on an invest. let the thing develop, get a handle on steering and potiential strength and then we will see from there. please stop being so overly dramatic and saying things like we may have another charley scenario before we even have a tc.


Not even an invest yet. It is just an area of disturbed weather. Until it forms into something that can be properly initialized everything else is just a shot in the dark.
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What the heck are people talking about..Lisa? W coast of FL?
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2414. scott39
Quoting srada:
Good Morning Everyone,

Do I see two systems affecting the East Conus according to the Latest GFS run? So the GOM has been taken out of the equation..thats a big deviation from yesterday..

Link
GFS is all over the place.
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Cape Verde season has 2 weeks left, maybe less. This is a full latitude strong early autumn trough. Anything moving west will be quickly pulled NE. GOM and Carib will be the developmental areas after Oct. 1, which is about normal.


Link
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Good Morning We are celebrating 29 years of Independence today here in Belize .
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2410. divdog
Quoting kshipre1:
thanks Jeff for your explanation. it seem strange because the guy at crown weather did say that from New Orleans and points eastward are at risk. On the other hand, he did say that he favors a more North to northwest track rather than a northeasterly move (as depicted by the GFS).

Seems strange.
Just goes to show that we dont know where our hypothetical storm will go if it forms and becomes a hurricane. There are way too many factors to make a responsible landfall forecast on a storm that does not even exist at this point. Crown has good ideas on forecasts but for now you need to sit and wait , let the storm form, and finally become concerned if you are under the gun because the nhc puts watches up in you area. Until then don't worry be happy.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 755
2408. WXTXN
Quoting srada:
Good Morning Everyone,

Do I see two systems affecting the East Conus according to the Latest GFS run? So the GOM has been taken out of the equation..thats a big deviation from yesterday..

Link
I have a hard time believing that sucha radical patternchange is about to occur the last frame has cross polar flow connecting with the low that ejects the two systems after the double east coast hit.
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Looks like Lisa is gonna miss her next forecast point to the South!!

j/k. everyone have a great day.
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ok, thanks Jeff. so, you do not think the GFS is overdoing the trough?

because for the storm to hit florida it would have to take a northeasterly turn if it is turning slightly west of cuba
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Morning everyone. Was on last night...no lisa..oh how things change in 8 hours.

Morning srada.
Member Since: August 18, 2010 Posts: 14 Comments: 1602
2403. GS121
Quoting Jeff9641:


It looks like somewhere near Tampa. That's my opinion.
how would that affect orlando? got a disney world trip in 19 days. i am more concerned about a strike where i am at. i'm a police officer along the AL coast. a near hit here would most likely have my vacation axed
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thanks Jeff for your explanation. it seem strange because the guy at crown weather did say that from New Orleans and points eastward are at risk. On the other hand, he did say that he favors a more North to northwest track rather than a northeasterly move (as depicted by the GFS).

Seems strange.
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Guess what guys?

We're an above-average season!
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2399. Relix
And for now I depart this blog seeing as there's no danger at all for the next 2 weeks for Puerto Rico ;-). Have a good day WUggers.
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Looks like we'll have Matthew by the start of next week...

One more storm after that to tie the record...(8 named storms)
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Quoting weatherman12345:

no the models cannot accuratly describe how deep the hurricane is and if the model is right, it comes out more strong.


The Euro can have a pretty good go. Those red numbers you see on the isobars are its central pressure estimate.

This isn't the GFS or the CMC which does not predict pressure - at least, not very well.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
2396. WxLogic
Quoting scott39:
With the current ECWMF run, where do you see it making a run for a land strike? Hypothetically speaking of course.


Hypothetically speaking I would take a consensus between GFS and ECMWF and given the forecasted position of the TROF and approaching High from the W... that it could most likely make landfall around KFMY area and head NE from there pretty much running close or on the E CONUS Coast.

Of course the above is just a scenario and does not mean it will occur... specially if we don't have a system yet... but ingredient are coming together.
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Interesting little storm...

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2394. srada
Good Morning Everyone,

Do I see two systems affecting the East Conus according to the Latest GFS run? So the GOM has been taken out of the equation..thats a big deviation from yesterday..

Link
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Jeff,

wondering if you can answer this question. Is the GFS more accurate than the EURO model?

I ask because from what I have been reading this morning and hearing from forecasters, the high is supposed to be stronger and wind shear to be high enough to inhibit significant development.

I ask this based on what you were saying about the EURO at day 5 over western florida. A few forecasters said that the GFS is overdoing the strength of the trough therefore not turning the storm northeast towards Florida.

Did I understand this correctly? thanks
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2392. scott39
Quoting kshipre1:
see that's what I thought but with the high forecasted to be stronger and the system going towards the Yucatan, how could Florida be at more risk?

sorry for the weird question but I thought the further west, Florida is safer
The trough from the N is going to turn it. the weather pattern is changing.
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2389. divdog
Quoting Jeff9641:



Yeah, the disturbed area appears to be ahead of the GFS. If this is the case this could be a perfect scenario of the trough and a powerful hurricane arriving to FL at the sametime kinda like Charley in 04. Guys this is not good. Too much heat potential for this not to be a Cat 4 or 5.
wow we are up to cat 4 or cat 5 on an invest. maybe just getting a teeny tiny bit ahead of ourselves. Use the models for cyclogenesis at this point. it is way to early to be predicting doom and gloom on an invest. let the thing develop, get a handle on steering and potiential strength and then we will see from there. please stop being so overly dramatic and saying things like we may have another charley scenario before we even have a tc.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 755
2388. Jax82
Quoting jasoniscoolman2010xo:
wow tropical storm lisa


lol, i must have 10 jasons on ignore now.

Looks like the Gulf will be getting some action in the new few weeks, I hope the models dont pan out!
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2386. JRRP
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Euro's pretty determined to make Lisa a relative of Julia. Makes it a strong Cat 2.

Compared to the GFS - has been a gulf between them since they started with Lisa - which still barely does anything with it. Looks like the model has also confused itself with the Caribbean storm. Making it like.. 2 at least. Maybe 3. All right next to each other.

Someone switched the 06-07 CMC mode on, maybe.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
Quoting Jeff9641:



Yeah, the disturbed area appears to be ahead of the GFS. If this is the case this could be a perfect scenario of the trough and a powerful hurricane arriving to FL at the sametime kinda like Charley in 04. Guys this is not good. Too much heat potential for this not to be a Cat 4 or 5.


It's all continegent on it's exact tract of whatever develops down there as well. It would have to tack a pretty favorable path for it to be an extreme cane'. Anything crossing over the mts. of Cuba or stalling to long over the Yucatan would limit it's strength to a degree as well.
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2382. JRRP
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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.