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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A hairy Cane.....now that IS scary!

Quoting spathy:

Florida has some hairy models pointing at it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2140. EricSFL
Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:

Imo, more violent than Frances or Jeanne.


It wasn't too intense at least in my neighborhood in Miami-Dade Co. But I recall glass from the high-rises and flooding all over the Downtown streets. Katrina was actually worse for me as the eye passed right over me; alot of trees down.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting zoomiami:
Hi Chicklet:

I see the models all over the place. Development in this area is really tough to call, there are so many variables in place. Seems like some not very nice storms have come at us from this direction though.

I've forgotten, where are you located?

Hi Zoom,
On a barrier island north of canaveral south of daytona. Where ru? Let me guess...miami?!
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Hi Chicklet:

I see the models all over the place. Development in this area is really tough to call, there are so many variables in place. Seems like some not very nice storms have come at us from this direction though.

I've forgotten, where are you located?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
You know the GFS had a storm of great magnitude in the gulf as far back as 7-9 days ago.

Thats impressive
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Quoting Couillon:
Wilma ripped the roof off my house,with her big dirty ball of convection and pinhole eye.She was clearly annular.

Lord, the P-word and the A-word all in one neat package. Have mercy on our souls.
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Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:
All hail the nighttime!
I've been glued to this blog all day I didn't realize that the sun had set.
Thanks.
Fenneman...give that guy a bottle of Axe.
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Ehh, little to see here.

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Quoting CaptnDan142:


You missed some. The discussion was about tropical birds, their babies of course, are chicks. Some of them are directly descended from a prehistoric time when Thesaurus' roamed the Earth. They're no longer around, because a comet crashed into the Eastern Caribbean. When that happened, it looked like there was going to be a giant hurricane, and all the Thesaurus' started to run north. John Hope, however, calmed them by pointing out that the comet hit East of 77W so they were all safe.

Unfortunately, the models were wrong, and a trough picked up the disturbance and moved it quickly to the west. All the Thesaurus' were of course DOOM, and now all that is left of them are the birds that had already left, and some oil reserves.


lol ...and that's the rest of the story
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Wilma ripped the roof off my house,with her big dirty ball of convection and pinhole eye.She was clearly annular.
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95L is no immediate threat to develop into a tropical cyclone, condtions based upon the elongation of the 850mb vorticity and close proximity to South America, development is not immediate and not expected at least for the next 24 hours. After then, condtions become favorable as it ventures away from South America.
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2119. scott39
Quoting zoomiami:


Almost, not quite there yet. My grandson is two, and is going to kill me before he's three. A few fat lips, and an almost broken nose tonight. Would be sad to survive 4 kids, and be done in by a mini-terrorist.
LOL
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6863
Quoting NRAamy:
Yes, Orange county, Calif.....


I've always wondered, was it founded by the Dutch? ;)
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2116. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting DestinJeff:


I'm just not puttin' up with the mouth garbage anymore. That's all.
really you'll put up with what you get
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Quoting zoomiami:
Hm, birds, chicks, thesaurus, (not only cannot I not say the blasted word, it took me 3 times to spell it), reading lessons, and looking for the walls.

Doesn't sound very tropical in here to me.


You missed some. The discussion was about tropical birds, their babies of course, are chicks. Some of them are directly descended from a prehistoric time when Thesaurus' roamed the Earth. They're no longer around, because a comet crashed into the Eastern Caribbean. When that happened, it looked like there was going to be a giant hurricane, and all the Thesaurus' started to run north. John Hope, however, calmed them by pointing out that the comet hit East of 77W so they were all safe.

Unfortunately, the models were wrong, and a trough picked up the disturbance and moved it quickly to the west. All the Thesaurus' were of course DOOM, and now all that is left of them are the birds that had already left, and some oil reserves.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cat5hurricane:
Wow! Absolutely awesome. I'll keep my fingers crossed for ya then. That's a show you CANNOT miss under any circumstances...


I have seen them 12 times since Presto. Go to Itunes and download there new singles Caravan and BU2B. They are so awesome!!
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2113. gator23
Quoting biloxidaisy:


I just went to his blog and it's banned. :(

why was it banned. he was " a featured blogger"
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Upper Levels
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2108. Grothar
Quoting swampliliy:


In dog years :))


Yo, Swamp. Where you been? Still cruising the Intracoastal??
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Quoting EricSFL:


How bad was Wilma in Port St. Lucie?

Imo, more violent than Frances or Jeanne.
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2106. NRAamy
Yes, Orange county, Calif.....
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
Quoting Orcasystems:


Grandson is 10.....
Does that count?


Almost, not quite there yet. My grandson is two, and is going to kill me before he's three. A few fat lips, and an almost broken nose tonight. Would be sad to survive 4 kids, and be done in by a mini-terrorist.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2102. scott39
Quoting DestinJeff:
You feeling lucky?
Put that away before you hurt yourself.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6863
All hail the nighttime!
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Good night everyone!


Night Miami great forecasting as always, until tomorrow.
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No way rain, wind or whatever can ruin a Rush concert..... you can ask Tom Sawyer
Quoting cat5hurricane:
LOL. Oh man. Brings back the day. Is it still the original three - Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, & Alex Lifeson?
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9821
2096. Grothar
Quoting spathy:
Is there any hint of an anticyclone forming over 95?


Just a hint! Should be soon.
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Quoting zoomiami:


Is that what the problem is? Everyone in my house is grumpy, so I came to hide in the blog where they can't find me.

Not liking the models on this one, seems like it's kind of South Florida's turn.



Hi zoom. It can also end up in Honduras.
So who knows at this point.
One thing for sure is the waters are warm enough for something wicked that way to come, particularly once it gets to the western caribbean.
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2093. EricSFL
Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:
So glad to see the Wilma refs. continuing. Can't get enough. LOL. Some lucky soul may get a new suit of armor.


How bad was Wilma in Port St. Lucie?
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2092. scott39
Quoting DestinJeff:
You feeling lucky?
LOL Not at all Clint!
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6863

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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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