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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2282. surfmom
Quoting FlyingScotsman:
Anyone still paying attention to Igor? Looks like he's ready to wreak some havoc in Newfoundland today. Winds at St. Pierre already up to 56 mph with gusts to 77. And offshore, significant wave heights are up to 32 ft.


WhOOOOOOOO - that's a whole lot of heavy water!!!!Hope photoman Incogkneetoe isn't out and about in those winds taking pictures --Igor's weather's a bit rowdy up there
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Quoting DestinJeff:
GFS seems a bit confused in the long-range


same theme, slightly different story with each run

kind of like my son getting through college
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2279. surfmom
GeorgefromLosCabos - concerns for flooding? Got the Surfboard waxed?
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Good morning all. From the Lake Charles NWS, 5:30 am update:

FORECAST CONFIDENCE HAS INCREASED A LITTLE FOR THE WEEKEND INTO
EARLY NEXT WEEK...WITH THE GLOBAL MODELS COMING INTO BETTER
AGREEMENT WITH A DEEP TROF/CUT OFF LOW DIGGING INTO THE EASTERN
CONUS AS A RIDGE AMPLIFIES OVER THE CENTRAL/SOUTHERN PLAINS. THIS
TROF RESULTS IN AN INITIAL FRONT PASSING THROUGH THE AREA LATE
SATURDAY...WITH A SECONDARY FRONT COMING THROUGH LATE SUNDAY. THIS
SECONDARY FRONT IS PROGGED TO DRIVE SLIGHTLY COOLER BUT SIGNIFICANTLY
DRIER AIR INTO THE REGION SUNDAY NIGHT. IN FACT...RAW DEWPOINT FIELDS IN
THE GFS AND ECMWF DROP INTO THE 40S BY MONDAY AFTERNOON. I HAVE
NOT GONE QUITE THIS FAR YET...AS I SUSPECT NOTWITHSTANDING THE
FAIR AGREEMENT THIS MORNING THE MODELS WILL CONTINUE TO FLOP
AROUND A BIT WITH THE DEPTH/POSITION OF THE TROF...BUT DID LOWER
DEWPOINTS TO NEAR OR BELOW LATEST MEX GUIDANCE...AND FOLLOWED SUIT
WITH OVERNIGHT LOWS.

MODELS ALSO CONTINUE TO FORECAST TROPICAL CYCLONE DEVELOPMENT IN
THE CARIBBEAN SEA TOWARD THE END OF THE WEEK...WITH THE WAVE OF
INTEREST CURRENTLY NEAR THE LESSER ANTILLES. FOR WHAT IT IS
WORTH...MODEL CONSENSUS THIS MORNING IS THAT THE AFOREMENTIONED
EASTERN CONUS TROF WILL BE DEEP ENOUGH TO DEFLECT ANY SUCH SYSTEM
NORTH THROUGH THE EASTERN GULF OR EVEN ACROSS CUBA AND THROUGH THE
BAHAMAS. CERTAINLY NOTHING CARVED IN STONE THIS FAR IN ADVANCE...SO
WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR TRENDS.


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2276. scott39
Didnt Karl start out where the new AOI is?
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Anyone still paying attention to Igor? Looks like he's ready to wreak some havoc in Newfoundland today. Winds at St. Pierre already up to 56 mph with gusts to 77. And offshore, significant wave heights are up to 32 ft.
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2274. scott39
Quoting IKE:
Here's the extended discussion from Birmingham,AL....

"THURSDAY AND FRIDAY LOOK WARM AND DRY. AS MENTIONED
EARLIER...GUIDANCE IS NOW IN BETTER AGREEMENT THAT RELIEF FROM THE
HEAT IS ON THE WAY. A COLD FRONT IS FORECAST TO MOVE INTO CENTRAL
ALABAMA LATE SATURDAY...PUSHING SOUTH OF THE AREA ON SUNDAY. THERE
WILL NOT BE A TON OF MOISTURE IN PLACE AHEAD OF THIS SYSTEM...BUT
WE SHOULD SEE AT LEAST SCATTERED SHOWERS AND/OR THUNDERSTORMS
SATURDAY AFTERNOON AND OVERNIGHT. A DRY AND COOLER AIRMASS WILL
BUILD IN BEHIND THE FRONT SUNDAY AFTERNOON INTO EARLY NEXT
WEEK...AND WE MAY GET OUR FIRST REAL TASTE OF FALL EARLY NEXT
WEEK. HANG IN THERE."


Come on trough, push it back to Africa!
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Well, Invest96 is getting closer to Los Cabos here in Mexico. It just rained 1.8inches in 12hours. Lets see what happen in a few hours more.
Live from Cabo

Link
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2272. surfmom
Is it a Good Morning? - I think so -
scanning....scanning
Lisa - no worries
the carib/gomex
ahhhhh there's the map & the gulp
and yes,as Neapolitan says, we got a whole lotta heat here
that's had no where to go
(same could be said for local surfers this summer)

we have the ingredients... what going to strike the match? still too early to trust the models - they don't have the catwalk down just yet
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2271. scott39
I hate the waiting game when an AOI has the potential to be a land threat.
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2270. lhwhelk
The 50% chance of rain for Lake Jackson today (50 miles south of Houston) has turned into 2 1/2" since 3 a.m. Whatever that left-over piece of Karl actually is, it sure is persistent.
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Quoting IKE:
Another thing I notice on the long range GFS...fall 2010 will be getting here in the SE USA in the next couple of weeks...IF it verifies.

@ 384 hours....


Well, nothing unusual about that, right? I guess it depends on how "fall" is defined. All I know is we've never had the first real cold front come through SWFL before about October 25th or later than about November 5th, so we've lots of time left here...
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2268. IKE
Here's the extended discussion from Birmingham,AL....

"THURSDAY AND FRIDAY LOOK WARM AND DRY. AS MENTIONED
EARLIER...GUIDANCE IS NOW IN BETTER AGREEMENT THAT RELIEF FROM THE
HEAT IS ON THE WAY. A COLD FRONT IS FORECAST TO MOVE INTO CENTRAL
ALABAMA LATE SATURDAY...PUSHING SOUTH OF THE AREA ON SUNDAY. THERE
WILL NOT BE A TON OF MOISTURE IN PLACE AHEAD OF THIS SYSTEM...BUT
WE SHOULD SEE AT LEAST SCATTERED SHOWERS AND/OR THUNDERSTORMS
SATURDAY AFTERNOON AND OVERNIGHT. A DRY AND COOLER AIRMASS WILL
BUILD IN BEHIND THE FRONT SUNDAY AFTERNOON INTO EARLY NEXT
WEEK...AND WE MAY GET OUR FIRST REAL TASTE OF FALL EARLY NEXT
WEEK. HANG IN THERE."


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2267. MahFL
Quoting BioChemist:


yeah but even a cat 3 or two can be nasty in florida. especially if it gets a large windfield.

so we should know a little more by the weekend huh? meaning, what and how strong it will get



Cat3 ?, strong Tropical Storms will knock power out pretty much anywhere.....
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Quoting IKE:
Another thing I notice on the long range GFS...fall 2010 will be getting here in the SE USA in the next couple of weeks...IF it verifies.


It has to be a strong front to make through Florida.
I am ready for Fall. It's still in the 90's everyday. Usually by now we are getting some high 80's, but that appears to be holding off. The ridge has been protecting us all season so far. I have to admit to a fondness for the ridge.
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2264. scott39
Quoting IKE:


I hope it's wrong. See what the 12Z ECMWF shows.

I know a cold front is going to make it through the northern gulf coast this weekend. I would hope that would turn anything away from here.
I hope so too Ike. The guy from Crown Weather seems to think the trough is overdone with the GFS turning it too soon. I read this on another site yesterday as well. Lets hope it doesnt get bad for anybodys sake. Wind shear is up in the GOM right now.
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2262. IKE
Another thing I notice on the long range GFS...fall 2010 will be getting here in the SE USA in the next couple of weeks...IF it verifies.

@ 384 hours....

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2260. IKE
Quoting rmbjoe1954:
Wha does 12Zecmwf show?


It won't be coming out until 1 pm CDST today.
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What does 12Zecmwf show?
2257. IKE
Quoting scott39:
What do you think about the current ECMWF run?


I hope it's wrong. See what the 12Z ECMWF shows.

I know a cold front is going to make it through the northern gulf coast this weekend. I would hope that would turn anything away from here.
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Quoting IKE:
240 hour 6Z GFS....



wow Ike- still looks like it's all over Florida then he SE coast
Morning guys.

I see Lisa is here. And looks like she's not going to continue the run of majors.

It'll be almost odd to see the Atlantic without a hurricane later today.
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2253. scott39
Quoting IKE:
240 hour 6Z GFS....

What do you think about the current ECMWF run?
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2252. IKE
240 hour 6Z GFS....

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2251. IKE
SYNOPSIS FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
430 AM CDT TUE SEP 21 2010

.SYNOPSIS...A RIDGE WILL EXTEND EASTWARD ALONG THE NORTHERN GULF
COAST THROUGH THE PERIOD. A NW TO SE ORIENTED TROUGH WILL PERSIST
OVER THE FAR SW GULF WATERS THROUGH SAT. A TROPICAL WAVE WILL
APPROACH THE YUCATAN PENINSULA FROM THE NW CARIBBEAN SEA LATE
SAT.
.............................................

SYNOPSIS FOR CARIBBEAN SEA AND TROPICAL N ATLC FROM 07N TO 22N
BETWEEN 55W AND 65W
530 AM EDT TUE SEP 21 2010

.SYNOPSIS...EASTERLY TRADES WILL BECOME ESTABLISHED ACROSS THE
REGION THROUGH THE PERIOD. A TROPICAL WAVE OVER THE LESSER
ANTILLES WILL MOVE W ACROSS THE E CARIBBEAN TODAY THROUGH WED
THEN WILL MOVE THROUGH THE CENTRAL CARIBBEAN THU...REACHING THE
W CARIBBEAN FRI THROUGH SAT.
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2250. scott39
Except for the close proximity to land, conditions look good for developement, concerning the new AOI intrest in the SE Carribean.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Correct. No need to be overly concerned right now. They're just long-range model prognostications, which are subject to change.

Right now, what we know is that it's a very good chance something will coalesce into a tropical cyclone in the central or southwest Caribbean over the next 4-5 days, emanating from the tropical wave over the Windward Islands.


Models had TD 5 a cat 3 when it crossed Miami so chillax for now
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2248. tkeith
Quoting btwntx08:

lol hate them but anyways if they keep barely winning they will find ways to lose this season will find out who is the better team on thanksgiving :)
tisk,tisk,tisk...08. I know you didn't mean that :)

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I actually though tomorrow I'll see Lisa with 40mph winds and 1005mb I'm excited I'm right but it was just a guess, I was wrong about the circles.
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2246. scott39
Goodmorning, Looks like we are getting closer to the reality of possibly having a major hurricane in the GOM. This is due to the consistancy of the Global Models. Most forecasters that I have heard or seen, thinks the trough is overdone with the GFS pulling it N too quick. Lets hope some shear comes in and rips this AOI up!
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Looks like models are hinting on a SW-NE moving caribbean system in early october. Remember 2008 Omar, that's bot impossible at all.
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Good morning, everyone. I see we do have Lisa this morning.
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I think Lisa will repeat her 2004 self. Wiki says Karl's damage is at 3.9 billion that can't be right
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2241. bird72
Quoting markot:
some people were saying on here earlier tonite the season was over.......


Maybe they were talking about some team or something, remember, some people here like to mix weather and balls.
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2239. bird72
Quoting Neapolitan:
With Lisa, we now have seen--of course--six September storms (and there's a likely-busy ten days left in the month). That means this year has seen more September action than any years since the current "active" period began in 1995 except for '98 and '00, which both birthed seven, and '02 and '07, which both saw eight.

However...while it may not happen this year, it's interesting to note that of those four years that produced 30 named September storms among them, their attendant Octobers managed to only come up with six altogether. Even more interesting: the two years with eight-storm Septembers managed to only come up with one single paltry October storm between them. IOW, there seems to be--at least on the surface of things--an inverse relationship going: the more September storms a season has, the fewer October storms that follow. But again, with things as they are this year--particularly the as-yet untapped heat in the Caribbean--one senses that October probably won't be a similar bust this year.

As always: guess we'll have to wait and see...

Hey sir, great analysis.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
With Lisa, we now have seen--of course--six September storms (and there's a likely-busy ten days left in the month). That means this year has seen more September action than any years since the current "active" period began in 1995 except for '98 and '00, which both birthed seven, and '02 and '07, which both saw eight.

However...while it may not happen this year, it's interesting to note that of those four years that produced 30 named September storms among them, their attendant Octobers managed to only come up with six altogether. Even more interesting: the two years with eight-storm Septembers managed to only come up with one single paltry October storm between them. IOW, there seems to be--at least on the surface of things--an inverse relationship going: the more September storms a season has, the fewer October storms that follow. But again, with things as they are this year--particularly the as-yet untapped heat in the Caribbean--one senses that October probably won't be a similar bust this year.

As always: guess we'll have to wait and see...


Interesting. Thanks. :)
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Well, we are having some strong rain from the Invest96, probably tropical storm georgette. Will make landfall in Cabo San Lucas later today.

http://www.wunderground.com/swf/Rapid_Fire.swf?units=metric&station=IBAJACAL4
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With Lisa, we now have seen--of course--six September storms (and there's a likely-busy ten days left in the month). That means this year has seen more September action than any years since the current "active" period began in 1995 except for '98 and '00, which both birthed seven, and '02 and '07, which both saw eight.

However...while it may not happen this year, it's interesting to note that of those four years that produced 30 named September storms among them, their attendant Octobers managed to only come up with six altogether. Even more interesting: the two years with eight-storm Septembers managed to only come up with one single paltry October storm between them. IOW, there seems to be--at least on the surface of things--an inverse relationship going: the more September storms a season has, the fewer October storms that follow. But again, with things as they are this year--particularly the as-yet untapped heat in the Caribbean--one senses that October probably won't be a similar bust this year.

As always: guess we'll have to wait and see...
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2235. markot
did i see nhc discussion turns lisa to the west, in a few days.....
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HurricaneIgor's heading had turned eastward to (4.2degrees east of) NorthEast
from its previous heading of (1.2degrees north of) NorthEast
H.Igor's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions was ~53.7mph(~86.4km/h)

20Sep 09amGMT - - 34.2n64.4w - - 75mph - - 957mb - - #49
20Sep 12pmGMT - - 35.2n64.0w - - 75mph - - 957mb - - #49A
20Sep 03pmGMT - - 36.1n63.3w - - 75mph - - 960mb - - #50
20Sep 03pmGMT - - 37.1n62.5w - - 75mph - - 965mb - - NHC.Adv.#50A
20Sep 09pmGMT - - 38.2n61.5w - - 75mph - - 968mb - - #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

Copy&paste 34.2n64.4w, 35.2n64.0w, 36.1n63.3w, 37.1n62.5w, 38.2n61.5w-39.0n60.5w, 39.0n60.5w-39.9n59.3w, 39.9n59.3w-41.3n57.5w, 41.3n57.5w-42.8n55.1w, pwm, yyt into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the last 12hours.
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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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