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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2382. JRRP
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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
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2380. scott39
Quoting WxLogic:
I see ECMWF is now trending towards a stronger Tropical Cyclone over the E GOM.

One thing is for sure... if the new designated disturb region over the E Carib does develop, the I got to tell you that NAM/NGP did a heck of a job developing earlier than other major computer models.
With the current ECWMF run, where do you see it making a run for a land strike? Hypothetically speaking of course.
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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!


It isn't a Cat 5.

It's a moderate Cat 3. Of course, more than bad enough.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
Quoting AstroHurricane001:


Wow! The remnants of Igor are expected to head west of Greenland toward Baffin Island! This might be enough to affect the sea ice patterns and could actually affect the trajectory of the Petermann Glacier!


Hey Astro
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Quoting cat5hurricane:
Home grown

Yeah, and there's a great hydroponic system in the Carib right now =)
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2372. tkeith
2368. Jeff9641

Dont let Ike scare ya Jeff, he's a notorius upcaster...
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2371. WxLogic
I see ECMWF is now trending towards a stronger Tropical Cyclone over the E GOM.

One thing is for sure... if the new designated disturb region over the E Carib does develop, the I got to tell you that NAM/NGP did a heck of a job developing earlier than other major computer models.
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Is the system these models keep hinting at a Cape Verde system or home grown?
Member Since: June 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 760
2366. scott39
Quoting WxLogic:
Good Morning...
Good Morning
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2365. scott39
Quoting GS121:
which means what for the GOM? how is alabama/miss coast looking?
Too far off. Still has to develope.
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2364. WxLogic
Good Morning...
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2363. scott39
Quoting kshipre1:
so, maybe Florida is out of the woods after all due to the stronger high pressure?
Fl. is deep in the woods!
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2362. GS121
Quoting mbjjm:

which is more in line with the euro has been saying
which means what for the GOM? how is alabama/miss coast looking?
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2361. mbjjm
Quoting scott39:
Latest GFS run has AOI going farther W and doing a sharp turn N going towards Yucatan channel.

which is more in line with the euro has been saying
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so, maybe Florida is out of the woods after all due to the stronger high pressure?
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2359. scott39
Latest GFS run has AOI going farther W and doing a sharp turn N going towards Yucatan channel.
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Be interesting to see if Lisa does reach minimal hurricane status or not.

Combine history and you typically have roughly 5-6/4/1 left. Leaves you with 16-17/10/6 to go.

If it wasn't, you'd be looking at maybe 4 or 5-4-1 left. Lotsa hurricanes.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
I know this is a little off topic, but I would like to THANK Igor...the last couple of days down here have been fantastic. This year has been amazingly hot and humid, but Igor managed to suck all the moisture out of here and brought us a little relief...it's all about to change back of course with the push of moisture from the south and possible development! LOL
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Of course, Faith did not go extratropical properly until she passed 60N, just prior to hitting the Faeroes.

Basically, on the same latitude as the tip of Greenland and Anchorage, Alaska.

Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
Appears the MJO will remain weak and not focused in the Carribean:

Preliminary Caribbean Discussion

Excerpt:

ON THE LONG RANGE...THE EWP AND CFS MODELS GENERALLY AGREE ON
FAVORABLE MJO CONDITIONS TO WEAKEN BY THE END OF THE MONTH. THE
GFS IS THE MOST OPTIMISTIC...SHOWING FAVORABLE CONDITIONS
PERSISTING... IF NOT INTENSIFYING...BY THE BEGINNING OF OCTOBER.
BUT CURRENT TREND DOES NOT SUPPORT THIS...AS THE OBSERVED PATTERN
HAVE BEEN RANGING BETWEEN 10-15 DAYS BETWEEN PERIODS OF
FAVORABLE/UNFAVORABLE MJO CONDITIONS. IF THE PATTERN HOLDS...THE
EWP/CFS HAVE BETTER ODDS OF VERIFYING THAN THE GFS.


Australian BOM

Excerpt:

Weak MJO activity continues
Over the past week, the MJO has become weak and indiscernible. Guidance surveyed by the Bureau indicates a highly uncertain period of MJO activity over the coming two weeks.

The general tendency of guidance suggests the possibility of a weak MJO reforming in the Indian Ocean over the coming week. If that were to eventuate, we might see one more burst of the Indian monsoon prior to the already-late monsoon retreat.


Weekly MJO Update

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Quoting AstroHurricane001:


Wow! The remnants of Igor are expected to head west of Greenland toward Baffin Island! This might be enough to affect the sea ice patterns and could actually affect the trajectory of the Petermann Glacier!

im thinking its not much different than the big noreasters they get up that way
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Quoting BobinTampa:


looks like it will still be considered a tropical storm? Is that right? If it hit Baffin Island as a tropical storm, wouldn't that be Igor's only official landfall?


No, Igor'll be extratropical within the next 12 hours, let alone by the time it reaches Baffin Bay.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
Quoting AstroHurricane001:


Wow! The remnants of Igor are expected to head west of Greenland toward Baffin Island! This might be enough to affect the sea ice patterns and could actually affect the trajectory of the Petermann Glacier!


looks like it will still be considered a tropical storm? Is that right? If it hit Baffin Island as a tropical storm, wouldn't that be Igor's only official landfall?
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It doesn't really weaken considerably until about 3 or 4 days down the road. Even then, it's still close to 980mb.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300


Wow! The remnants of Igor are expected to head west of Greenland toward Baffin Island! This might be enough to affect the sea ice patterns and could actually affect the trajectory of the Petermann Glacier!
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2347. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
XX/AOI/XL

14L/TS/L/CX

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Quoting Cotillion:
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...960 MB...28.35 INCHES

Drop in pressure?


Actually, based on this buoy, it should be even lower--it just reported 957 mb!
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2344. scott39
Quoting futuremet:


Tropical cyclones often generate their own wind shear. The shear is highest at the periphery of the upper level high above them...
Thanks
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HurricaneIgor's heading had turned northward to (11.3degrees east of) NorthNorthEast
from its previous heading of (4.2degrees east of) NorthEast
H.Igor's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions was ~47.3mph(~76.2km/h)

20Sep 12pmGMT - - 35.2n64.0w - - 75mph - - 957mb - - #49A
20Sep 03pmGMT - - 36.1n63.3w - - 75mph - - 960mb - - #50
20Sep 03pmGMT - - 37.1n62.5w - - 75mph - - 965mb - - #50A
20Sep 09pmGMT - - 38.2n61.5w - - 75mph - - 968mb - - NHC.Adv.#51
21Sep 12amGMT - - 39.0n60.5w - - 75mph - - 968mb - - #51A
21Sep 03amGMT - - 39.9n59.3w - - 75mph - - 968mb - - #52
21Sep 06amGMT - - 41.3n57.5w - - 75mph - - 968mb - - #52A
21Sep 09amGMT - - 42.8n55.1w - - 75mph - - 966mb - - #53
20Sep 12pmGMT - - 44.5n53.5w - - 75mph - - 960mb - - #53A

Copy&paste 35.2n64.0w, 36.1n63.3w, 37.1n62.5w, 38.2n61.5w, 39.0n60.5w-39.9n59.3w, 39.9n59.3w-41.3n57.5w, 41.3n57.5w-42.8n55.1w, 42.8n55.1w-44.5n53.5w, bgr, yyt into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the last 12hours.
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Yep, 6mb.

Probably a bit of baroclinic deepening involved. Should go extratropical pretty quick.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
000
WTNT31 KNHC 211153
TCPAT1
BULLETIN
HURRICANE IGOR INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 53A
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL112010
800 AM AST TUE SEP 21 2010

...IGOR QUICKLY LOSING TROPICAL CHARACTERISTICS...CENTER IS
EXPECTED TO PASS NEAR SOUTHEASTERN NEWFOUNDLAND THIS MORNING...


SUMMARY OF 800 AM AST...1200 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...44.5N 53.5W
ABOUT 150 MI...240 KM S OF CAPE RACE NEWFOUNDLAND
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...75 MPH...120 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NE OR 40 DEGREES AT 45 MPH...75 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...960 MB...28.35 INCHES

Drop in pressure?
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS OVER MUCH OF THE WINDWARD ISLANDS AND THE
SOUTHEASTERN CARIBBEAN SEA ARE ASSOCIATED WITH A TROPICAL WAVE.
ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS APPEAR CONDUCIVE FOR SOME GRADUAL
DEVELOPMENT DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AS THE DISTURBANCE MOVES
WESTWARD AT 10 TO 15 MPH. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...20 PERCENT...OF
THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

I see 95L coming soon
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2337. shawn26
Up to 20%
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2336. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2010 Storms
All Active Year


Atlantic
14L.LISA
11L.IGOR

East Pacific
12E.TWELVE

Central Pacific

West Pacific
13W.THIRTEEN

Indian Ocean

Southern Hemisphere
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would anyone on gulf coast be affected by carribean disturbance?? I sure didnt like what I saw on the ECMWF model...Link
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Quoting scott39:
Thanks, Why doesnt the intensity with the GFS match the wind shear map? Shouldnt it show it being a weaker system?


Tropical cyclones often generate their own wind shear. The shear is highest at the periphery of the upper level high above them...
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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.