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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1641. xcool
omg stop asking about stormw taker to pm plz thankss.
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
1640. quante
This has a deja vu feeling of Wilma . . .Ugh.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Yup, looks like we'll have another named storm coming behind Lisa.

It would be amazing to see 95L form into Matthew, then the wave behind Lisa become whatever the "N" storm is. That would make 8 named storms in September if timing was right, that would set a record.

This year is really amazing, you know that?

We had a Category 2 Hurricane with a pressure of 946.

We had Igor become the largest hurricane ever.

Julia went through Rapid Intensification when it was basically impossible.

Well on our way to another named storm like I said above...



And no, thats not Lisa's circulation either.

Just wanted to quote that amazing comment you have posted. +1
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Doorman you probably should closely watch this system but then again it may not really be necessary. I hope that clears things up.
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
go to yahoo.com and type colorado state university hurricane computer model, and the first link will be there

Please check your WU mailbox, I sent you some specific information, you were asking about :O)!
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Quoting beell:


Spurious vorticity rears its ugly head again...

Don't you just love it? XP
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Quoting beell:


Spurious vorticity rears its ugly head again...
I hate when that happens...
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1630. beell
Quoting Levi32:
I see the 18z GFS is back with the program on a deeper low moving into the east gulf instead of stringing out east of Florida. The model is still having problems handling this much energy and handing it off to the north. Notice the 2nd low still sitting east of the Bahamas....that likely won't be there, as the GFS thinks that's a split-off from the storm when it moves into the western Caribbean. It can't bundle all the heat together which is a problem this model has.

Now if that 2nd low is a separate wave coming in behind Matthew, then it would be a different story, but we'll have to see.

18z GFS Day 12:



Potentially spurious vorticity rears its ugly head again...
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1629. shawn26
Levi, this is a silly question but with the information you have right now on soon to be Matthew, would you say the west coast of Florida is at a very high risk for this storm?
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1628. Levi32
Quoting SunnyDaysFla:
So Levi, you are saying wait for 7-10 days then look at the map and have an OH ---- (fill in the blanks) moment?


Possibly....let's hope not, but honestly this is likely to go down as a big deal for somebody.
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1627. quante
Latest shear map shows some hefty upper level winds in the Gulf.

Link
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
so far you are in good shape , we are concerned about the northwest carribean, cuba and florida


Well the forecst models though aren't set in stone right?? They can change all the time.....
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So Levi, you are saying wait for 7-10 days then look at the map and have an OH ---- (fill in the blanks) moment?
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1624. xcool
12z cmc ensemble




Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
1622. xcool
Levi32 /convective feedback hmmm
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
1621. Levi32
Notice how long it takes the storm to get out of there too. At Day 12 on the GFS it moves into the eastern gulf, and by Day 16 it's still hugging the SE US coast because the jetstream is screaming by to the north and ignoring it, in no hurry to carry it out. This is the pattern I have been mentioning where the ridge tried to build over top of the trough in the east, cutting it off over the SW Atlantic Basin while everything else cruises by to the north. We're literally seeing the embodiment of that on the GFS, and if this pattern unfolds this way it means we could be looking at a slow-mover, which would not be fun.

Day 12:



Day 16:

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Quoting hunkerdown:
if I remember right, Wilma meandered and festered down there for a good time period before being shunted off to the NE.





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Blog Update

Lisa continues to intensify; Invest 95L a very significant threat
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1616. scott39
Quoting Levi32:


Likely the central gulf eastward, meaning that the coastline from New Orleans eastward is where I think the most risk is right now. The pattern makes sense to favor a break near the eastern US that would draw the storm straight north or NNE out of the Caribbean and into the eastern gulf somewhere.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6912
1614. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting anyotherliestotell:
i've been here 12 years and there's been at least 20 big threats coming my way . . . and only one that panned out as anything significant. south florida is different it doesn't flood easily. storm get trashed by cuba and other islands near it. wilma was a fluke with a once in a lifetime path. i can't speak for central america or the gulf states they have less ways to escape trouble than we do.
flukes sometimes happen twice in one lifetime
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Quoting anyotherliestotell:
i would quote the email that fellow neapolitacn sent me but it's far too graphic. i would NEVER email someone here with an attack. funny how this fellow has the gall to attack me for trying to tell people not to worry too much about a cloud 500 miles away.
You have a different way of coping with a potential cyclone arriving at your potential door at some time in the future. The blog would say you're in the denial stage before grief sets in...like after a death. This time from the coming MOAS. I say....you have every right to deal with things in your own way. We all do. I would advise filling up the water jugs though, just in case. lol
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i am out!!!i shall see what happens to 95L tomorrow
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1610. robj144
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Yup, looks like we'll have another named storm coming behind Lisa.

It would be amazing to see 95L form into Matthew, then the wave behind Lisa become whatever the "N" storm is. That would make 8 named storms in September if timing was right, that would set a record.

This year is really amazing, you know that?

We had a Category 2 Hurricane with a pressure of 946.

We had Igor become the largest hurricane ever.

Julia went through Rapid Intensification when it was basically impossible.


How is the size of a hurricane defined? By the diameter of gale force winds, or by the extent of the cloud field? Also, does anyone know how large Floyd was when compared to Igor? Floyd was gigantic too.
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1609. quante
18Z GFS and HWRF show track to yucatan. A pause before it hits land and then a right turn. Should be interesting.

Guess it is all about that trough??
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Quoting RufusBaker:


link??
go to yahoo.com and type colorado state university hurricane computer model, and the first link will be there
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1606. Levi32
I see the 18z GFS is back with the program on a deeper low moving into the east gulf instead of stringing out east of Florida. The model is still having problems handling this much energy and handing it off to the north. Notice the 2nd low still sitting east of the Bahamas....that likely won't be there, as the GFS thinks that's a split-off from the storm when it moves into the western Caribbean. It can't bundle all the heat together which is a problem this model has.

Now if that 2nd low is a separate wave coming in behind Matthew, then it would be a different story, but we'll have to see.

18z GFS Day 12:

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Quoting pilotguy1:

Yes.
can i please have it
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
i See the Models have shifted to the right, looks like 95L will be a big problem 5-8 days out hopefully it stays away from cuba they have had there fair share of damage over the years, hope it leaves everyone alone


link??
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Quoting will40:


i wish admin would throw the quote button in the garbage. They would still copy and past but it would make them work for it



i been trying too tell them that for a few weeks now and they still wont do it
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115455
1599. Levi32
Quoting scott39:
Levi when the trough breaks the high over the N Gulf Coast and Fl., where does 95L gravitate to?


Likely the central gulf eastward, meaning that the coastline from New Orleans eastward is where I think the most risk is right now. The pattern makes sense to favor a break near the eastern US that would draw the storm straight north or NNE out of the Caribbean and into the eastern gulf somewhere.
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Quoting donna1960ruled:
Igor is Russian. He enjoys the cold water.
That brought a wry smile to my face.
I don't believe that the hall monitors allow for these things anymore.
No soup for you.
You have a 50/50 shot of being censored.
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i See the Models have shifted to the right, looks like 95L will be a big problem 5-8 days out hopefully it stays away from cuba they have had there fair share of damage over the years, hope it leaves everyone alone
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1596. Mikla
95L parameters:

Shear - Low (mid & upper)
Vorticity - Good
Convergence - Very little
Divergence - Good
Moisture - High
Water Temp - Excellent

Except for convergence, all are excellent for development and given the other parameters, I would expect convergence to pick up. This could pretty quickly become a TD.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Yup, looks like we'll have another named storm coming behind Lisa.

It would be amazing to see 95L form into Matthew, then the wave behind Lisa become whatever the "N" storm is. That would make 8 named storms in September if timing was right, that would set a record.

This year is really amazing, you know that?

We had a Category 2 Hurricane with a pressure of 946.

We had Igor become the largest hurricane ever.

Julia went through Rapid Intensification when it was basically impossible.

Well on our way to another named storm like I said above...



And no, thats not Lisa's circulation either.




it would be tide


from 07

. September had a record-tying eight storms, although the strengths and durations of most of the storms were low
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115455
Quoting doorman79:


Ok, you covered east and west of NOLA. What if I am in NOLA? Is that like "who's on third"?
Link
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1593. will40
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
I've begun to wonder if they don't want to adopt them as pets.


i wish admin would throw the quote button in the garbage. They would still copy and past but it would make them work for it
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Quoting Joanie38:
Ummmm...hello all....hope I didnt come in at a bad time....and I sure hope in the heck that thing down in the Carribean..doesnt come to SWLA!!!!!
so far you are in good shape , we are concerned about the northwest carribean, cuba and florida
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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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