Igor pounding Newfoundland; dangerous 95L forms; 3rd hottest August for the globe

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:13 PM GMT on September 21, 2010

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Hurricane Igor is tenaciously hanging on as a Category 1 hurricane, and is causing trouble in Newfoundland, Canada. Winds at Sagona Island, over 100 miles to the northwest of Igor's center, were sustained at 68 mph, gusting to 86, this morning, and were 56 mph, gusting to 84, at St. Pierre. Offshore, at the Newfoundland Grand Banks Buoy, winds peaked at 56 mph and significant wave heights hit 39 feet as the center of Igor passed by. Rainfall amounts of 3 - 5 inches are possible for the capital of St. Johns, where winds are already at 29 mph, gusting to 43 mph. Weather radar out of St. Johns is estimating rainfall amounts of up to 1/2 inch per hour from Igor.


Figure 1. Hurricane Igor as seen by the MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite at 11:15 am EDT Monday September 20, 2010. Image credit: NASA.

Potentially dangerous Caribbean disturbance 95L forms
A tropical wave (Invest 95L) moving westward at 10 - 15 mph though the Lesser Antilles Islands is bringing gusty winds and heavy rain to the islands this morning, and has the potential to develop into a dangerous Caribbean tropical storm or hurricane late this week. The wave brought sustained winds of 30 mph to Barbados this morning, and heavy rain squalls will continue over the Lesser Antilles today. Radar from Curacao and satellite loops show that 95L's thunderstorm activity is disorganized, though increasing in areal coverage and intensity. Wind shear over the Caribbean is very low, less than 5 knots, and is forecast to remain low for the rest of the week. Water temperatures and oceanic heat content in the Caribbean are at their highest levels in recorded history, so there is plenty of fuel for development. NHC is giving the disturbance a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Thursday. I'd put the odds higher, at 30%.

The wave should continue moving westward near 10 - 15 mph through Friday, when it will arrive near the northern coast of Nicaragua. Most of the models show some development of 95L by Thursday or Friday, and the disturbance will bring heavy rains to the Netherlands Antilles Islands and north coast of South America on Wednesday and Thursday as passes to the north. Heavy rains may also spread to Southwest Haiti and Jamaica on Thursday. When 95L reaches the Western Caribbean Friday, steering currents will weaken and the storm will slow, potentially bringing life-threatening heavy rains on Friday and Saturday to northern Nicaragua and northern Honduras. If the center of 95L remains over water, the storm could easily develop into a powerful and dangerous hurricane over the Western Caribbean this weekend. With a strong trough of low pressure expected to dive southwards over the Eastern U.S. and form a "cut-off" upper level low over the Southeast U.S. this weekend, this potential hurricane could get drawn northwards across western Cuba into the Gulf of Mexico. Equally likely scenarios are that 95L will stay in the Western Caribbean, or that the storm will make landfall over Nicaragua and dissipate on Friday, and never reach the Western Caribbean. It is too early to assign probabilities on which of these three scenarios is the most likely.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of the potentially dangerous Caribbean disturbance 95L.

Tropical Storm Lisa forms
Tropical Storm Lisa, the 12th named storm of this exceptionally active 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, is now churning over the waters of the far Eastern Atlantic. Lisa is currently in an environment of low wind shear, 5 - 10 knots, which is expected to continue through Thursday. Sea Surface Temperatures are a little cool, just 27°C, and there is some dry air to the north which may slow down development. Lisa is not likely to intensify into a hurricane, which would break our string of three straight major hurricanes that have developed (Igor, Julia, and Karl.) By Thursday, upper level winds out of the west are expected to increase, bringing high wind shear of 20 - 45 knots over Lisa for the remainder of the week. It appears unlikely that Lisa will affect any land areas.

Typhoon Fanapi deluges China
Typhoon Fanapi made landfall in mainland China about 150 miles east-northeast of Hong Kong Monday morning as a Category 1 storm with 75 mph winds, dumping the heaviest rains seen in a century to the southern Guangdong Province of China, according to the provincial weather bureau. Rainfall amounts of 550 mm (21.6") were recorded in the hardest-hit Shuangyao Township in Yangchun City. Thousands of people are stranded due to washed out roads and bridges in the region. In Taiwan, where Fanapi struck as a Category 2 typhoon with 105 mph winds on Sunday, the damage total is estimated at $210 million. 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.

Georgette soaks Baja
Tropical Storm Georgette has formed in the Eastern Pacific, just off the coast of Baja California. Georgette is just the seventh named storm of a near-record quiet season, and the first storm in the Eastern Pacific since Hurricane Frank died on August 28. Georgette's main threat is heavy rain, as the storm is expected to make landfall over Baja California later today and rapidly weaken into a tropical depression by Wednesday.

Elsewhere in the tropics
The GFS model predicts a series of three tropical distubances will develop in the Caribbean over the next 1 - 2 weeks. The NOGAPS model predicts a new tropical depression will form off the coast of Africa about seven days from now.

Third warmest August on record for the globe, and 2nd warmest summer, says NOAA
August 2010 was the globe's third warmest August on record, behind 1998 and 2009, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies rated August 2010 the seventh warmest August on record. Both NOAA and NASA rated the year-to-date period, January - August, as the warmest such period on record. August 2010 global ocean temperatures were the sixth warmest on record, land temperatures were the second warmest on record, Northern Hemisphere temperatures the warmest on record, and global satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere the warmest on record (Remote Sensing Systems data) or 2nd warmest on record (University of Alabama Huntsville data.)

The summer of 2010 was the second warmest summer on record, behind 1998, according to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), and the 4th warmest summer on record according to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. It was the warmest summer on record over land areas, and fifth warmest for ocean areas, according to NOAA.

For those interested, NCDC has a page of notable weather highlights from August 2010.


Figure 3. Departure of surface temperature from average for August, 2010. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

La Niña intensifies and approaches the "strong" category
The equatorial Eastern Pacific Ocean is nearing strong La Niña conditions. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) over the tropical Eastern Pacific in the area 5°N - 5°S, 120°W - 170°W, also called the "Niña 3.4 region", dropped to 1.5 - 1.6°C below average during the first two weeks of September, according to NOAA. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology put this number at 1.3°C below average (as of September 19.) Moderate La Niña conditions are defined as occurring when this number is 1.0°C - 1.5°C below average. Temperatures colder than 1.5°C below average would qualify as strong La Niña conditions. NOAA is maintaining its La Niña advisory, and expects La Niña conditions to last through the coming spring.

Both El Niño and La Niña events have major impacts on regional and global weather patterns. For the next month, we can expect La Niña to bring cloudier and wetter than average conditions to the Caribbean, but weather patterns over North America should not see much impact. Globally, La Niña conditions tend to cause a net cooling of surface temperatures. Thus, while the past twelve month period has been the warmest globally since record keeping began in 1880, the calendar year of 2010 may end up just shy of being classified as the warmest year ever.

August 2010 Arctic sea ice extent 2nd lowest on record
Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent in August 2010 was the second lowest in the 31-year satellite record behind 2007, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Strong high pressure centered north of Alaska, combined with low pressure over Siberia (the Arctic Dipole Anomaly), acted together to produce a strong flow of warm air into the Arctic, causing the near-record melting. Ice volume in August was the lowest on record for August, according to University of Washington Polar Ice Center. Arctic sea ice is currently near its annual minimum, and 2010 will end up having the second or third lowest extent on record, behind 2007 (and possibly 2008.) The fabled Northwest Passage through the normally ice-choked waters of Canada, as well as the Northeast Passage along the coast of northern Russia, remained open for ice-free navigation as of September 21, and have been ice-free for a month. This is the third consecutive year--and third time in recorded history--that both passages have melted open. Mariners have been attempting to sail these passages since 1497, and 2005 was the first year either of these passages reported ice-free conditions; 2008 was the first year both passages melted free.

"Hurricane Haven" airing this afternoon
Tune into another airing of my live Internet radio show, "Hurricane Haven", at 4pm EDT today. The call in number is 415-983-2634, or you can post a question to broadcast@wunderground.com. Be sure to include "Hurricane Haven question" in the subject line.

Today's show will be about 30 minutes, and you can tune in at http://www.wunderground.com/wxradio/wubroadcast.h tml. The show will be recorded and stored as a podcast.

My next post will be Wednesday morning.

Jeff Masters

More pictures of distant Hurricane Igor surf at Newport RI # 4 (RIWXPhoto)
More pictures of distant Hurricane Igor surf at Newport RI # 4
distant Hurricane Igor surf at Newport, RI # 9 (RIWXPhoto)
distant Hurricane Igor surf at Newport, RI # 9

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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting reedzone:


New Jersey at 276 hours.


Cuba, then maybe extreme SE Fl, then NC, then NJ...To be a little more precise about it.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
2439. EricSFL
Thanks reed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2438. Seawall
From Lake Charles Weather Service...
Previous discussion... /issued 300 PM CDT Tuesday Sep 21 2010/


Discussion...
latest radar pics show widely scattered showers and a few
thunderstorms have developed with daytime heating across the
forecast area. With this activity being mainly diurnally
driven...would expect activity to diminish after sunset. Although
once again would expect some nocturnal showers and a few
thunderstorms to develop over the coastal waters overnight with
some of the activity making its way into coastal sections before daybreak.


High pressure over the southeast U.S. Will ridge into the forecast
area over the next few days...keeping decent Gulf moisture over
the area. No real focus at the middle levels or the surface...so any
shower activity will be diurnally driven by daytime heating...so
will keep rain chances in the slight chance category.


Over the weekend...rain chances will increase a little as a cold
front will near the forecast area on Saturday and move across the
forecast area on Sunday. Enough moisture hanging around to
interact with the front to call for a chance of showers and thunderstorms.


Much drier air will move in behind the front allowing for less
humid conditions along with more seasonable temperatures for early
next week.


Rua

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hunkerdown:
i don;t know, has Dallas ever felt the effects of a TC...I am sure we could tie it in some how

Her name was TD Hermine, dropped between 6-12 inches of rain in our DFW Metro area, along with 4 tornadoes and massive flooding, yes we have felt the effects of a TC!!!!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting reedzone:


New Jersey at 276 hours.
I knew the odds would catch up with Atlantic City one day.
Final answer?
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5680
Early morning,

Its been a while since I posted here, but boy I know its been crazy out there. Major Hurricanes Igor, Julia, Karl, and now Tropical Storm Lisa. And then 95L seems to pop out of nowhere, wow!

However, I have been keeping up with the Atlantic tropics with writings in my personal tropical weather journal. On my blog, I am thinking about posting (from my journal) the histories of Igor, Julia, Karl, and Lisa to review the recent outbreak of activity.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
"don't knocker yourself out with that unlikely run

Lie, intial alndfall, SF, but he is so inafcytauted with the northeast
"


FIU really needs to have their accreditation taken away.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hunkerdown:
thats a 15 yarder


As KanKunKid said, that wasn't sarcasm, but satire.

That 00z track is actually a little better than it tracking in to the GOM. A system that large may not ramp up to a Cat 4-5; but even as a 2 it would push a whole lot of water around if it headed in to the GOM.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
Quoting Grothar:


Hey Bord, think this will be the new "Cone of Uncertainty"


Yes, that looks about right, we're concerned about a tropical wave that looks horrible at the moment with pockmark convection all over the E Caribbean Sea, sitting over 86F water, with no shear, and a weak mid level circulation, in a moist, albeit stable atmospheric environment, just waiting for it to ramp up, then explode, then terrorize a land mass somewhere from Nicaragua to FL.

The folks at the NHC may want to get a prescription for anti-anxiety medication, for at least the next 2 weeks!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting 2ifbyC:


All I know is that R. Lee Ermey is an awesome headshrink! 8-)
maybe we should chug on over to mamby pamby land...you jack wagon !
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2426. Grothar
Quoting Bordonaro:

Three words came to mind when I saw that, the first one was "Ahh" the last 2 words are not nice, beginning with the 6th and 19th letter of the English alphabet....


Still a real New Yorker, I see! ROFL.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting EricSFL:


Where does it make landfall initially?


New Jersey at 276 hours.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NRAamy:
Geico commercials rule....

;)



The latest is the greatest with the little piggy, smart gecko.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KerryInNOLA:
I think we are a "little bit" off topic. Oh well, we be banned too! :)
i don;t know, has Dallas ever felt the effects of a TC...I am sure we could tie it in some how
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2420. 2ifbyC
Quoting KerryInNOLA:
Do woodchucks chuck wood?


All I know is that R. Lee Ermey is an awesome headshrink! 8-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2418. EricSFL
Quoting reedzone:
00Z GFS has a Hurricane all the way up to the NE


Where does it make landfall initially?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NRAamy:
"it's always Wilma, Wilma, Wilma"....

Would you prefer Marsha, Marsha, Marsha?
oh, my nose; oh, my nose; oh, my nose...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If the 00Z verified, which is possible, NYC would be crippled.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2415. Grothar
Quoting Bordonaro:

The computer models weren't sure, so they all chose very unique and unusual paths, knowing that one of the is bound to be close to correct!!


Hey Bord, think this will be the new "Cone of Uncertainty"

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormJunkie:


Do hurricanes pump the ridge?

I'm sorry...But I couldn't resist
thats a 15 yarder
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2412. NRAamy
"it's always Wilma, Wilma, Wilma"....

Would you prefer Marsha, Marsha, Marsha?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting xcool:
i'm more interesting in cmc ECMWF,

What concerns me is that there is now a general consensus with almost all the latest model runs that 95L will be aimed into the Gulf of Mexico!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
00Z GFS has a Hurricane all the way up to the NE
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KerryInNOLA:
Do woodchucks chuck wood?
is Ed "Too Tall" Jones too tall ?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Couillon:


It's always Wilma Wilma Wilma!
This is headed to the Reedzone
If It is as big as Igor you would not have to worry about what state it would hit, it would it them all! Tx, La Ms Al, Fl
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2406. xcool


any way.
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting Grothar:
Models are beginning to shift North.


those damn spiders...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
One more

Three words came to mind when I saw that, the first one was "Ahh" the last 2 words are not nice, beginning with the 6th and 19th letter of the English alphabet....
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
2402. Grothar
Models are beginning to shift North.


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2401. xcool
i'm more interesting in cmc ECMWF,
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting weatherwart:
Just checking in. Are we still doom?
nah, we all just finished putting up our shower curtains...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2398. will40
Quoting Grothar:


Want more?



kewl
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bordonaro:

Is this going to follow a similar path as Hurricane Wilma did in 2005, sorry I had to ask the question?


Still way out but its possible.
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Just checking in. Are we still doom?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2395. EricSFL
Quoting Grothar:


You nailed that one right!


:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2394. xcool
move ne 180hrs
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
2393. EricSFL
I went on the ship in my avatar to Cozumel, MX in December. The locals were telling me how long it took to rebuild the port terminal and part of the town after Wilma's devastation. It would be very destructive to have another strong storm sitting over Cozumel for such a long period of time, if this were to materialize.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hurricane23:


The amplitude of the trough is (obviously) going to be be the key as to where, when and even if it does turn NW or N. To me it doesn't look like it will happen until it gets in the Western Carib between Columbia and Central America. Just looking at the current forecast outputs from EC GGEM even the UK (but less so)...the system is currently forecast to move thru the Hebert Box #2 (for late Sept-Nov) storms. If this track did indeed materialize it could pose a threat to South Fla if the trough is both in a favorable location and has enough amplitude.


Evening h23...At the very least, it is looking more and more likely that 95l will pose a serious threat for someone E of Ms...Guess there is still a chance it cuts across Cuba and goes straight for the Bahamas, but that is seeming less likely with each run.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874

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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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