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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1442. scott39
Quoting IKE:


I downcast for a reason....95L is a perfect example of why.

This has got trouble written all over it for a lot of people.
The force is with you Ike. Do not flinch!
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6775
Quoting WthrBearSF:
I've been using WU Tropical for years (since 2003), but just "discovered" the blog section during Hurricane Earl this year. Being an armchair weatherman, I've appreciated all of the weather links and comments; I'm learning a lot. Thanks to all of you who seriously post your knowledge and/or desire to learn.
Welcome to the blog comment section. I apologize on behalf of the blog for the craziness the last week or so....that's not normal. We're currently in red alert status, at about the highest state of pre-storm panic that I've never seen with the exception of Katrina, and that was only after that beast became a major. Here we have full-fledged panic with clouds and computer models.
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Tis definitely a concern and time to double and triple check your hurricane prep if you're anywhere within the potential cyclones potential cone of potential doom.
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Be safe
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Quoting xcool:
I was in Biloxi,Miss for Eloise. It was supposed to be a direct hit on Biloxi, but turned and went to Ft Walton Beach? Got lots of rain moderate wind got out of Air Force Tech School that day
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Quoting kmanislander:


Sort of like interstellar travel


Just don't mention it to my wife...
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1438. viman
Dont know if this was mentioned or caught before but either someone needs more coffee or a break...

TROPICAL STORM LISA DISCUSSION NUMBER 4
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL142010
500 PM EDT TUE SEP 21 2010

AFTER A SHORT-LIVED DECREASE IN THE CENTRAL CONVECTION...A BURST
OF STRONG CONVECTION HAS RECENTLY DEVELOPED OVER THE WELL-DEFINED
LOW-LEVEL CIRCULATION CENTER. RECENT TRMM AND AMSU MICROWAVE
OVERPASSES INDICATE THE LOW- AND MID-LEVEL CIRCULATIONS HAVE
TIGHTENED UP AND BECOME MORE VERTICALLY ALIGNED...SUGGESTING THAT
THE VERTICAL SHEAR AFFECTING THE SYSTEM HAS DECREASED. UPPER-LEVEL
OUTFLOW CONTINUES TO IMPROVE IN ALL QUADRANTS. THE INITIAL
INTENSITY REMAINS AT 40 KT BASED ON A BLEND OF DVORAK SATELLITE
INTENSITY ESTIMATES OF T2.5/35 KT FROM BOTH TAFB AND SAB...AND
UW-CIMSS ADT CURRENT INTENSITY ESTIMATE OF T3.4/53 KT.

THE INITIAL MOTION ESTIMATE IS 360/2. LISA HAS BEEN WOBBLING BETWEEN
A NORTH AND NORTHEAST DIRECTION...PROBABLY DUE TO RE-ORGANIZATION
OF THE SYSTEM CENTER. NOW THAT THE VERTICAL CIRCULATIONS APPEAR TO
BE MORE VERTICALLY ALIGNED...HOPEFULLY THIS WILL RESULT IN LESS
SCATTER IN THE SATELLITE FIX POSITIONS. LISA IS EXPECTED REMAIN IN
VERY WEAK STEERING FLOW FOR THE NEXT 48-72 HOURS. AFTERWARDS...A
MID-LEVEL TROUGH SITUATED JUST NORTH OF THE CYCLONE IS FORECAST TO
SLOWLY LIFT OUT TO THE NORTHEAST...ALLOWING THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE
TO BUILD WESTWARD TO THE NORTH OF LISA...WHICH SHOULD NUDGE THE
CYCLONE ON A SLOW WESTWARD OR WEST-NORTHWESTWARD TRACK. THE NHC
MODEL GUIDANCE REMAINS WIDELY DIVERGENT BETWEEN THE NORTHWARD HWRF
AND THE WESTWARD GFDN MODEL SOLUTIONS. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST TRACK
IS SIMILAR THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY...AND REMAINS NORTH OF THE MODEL
CONSENSUS AND BETWEEN THE GFS AND ECMWF TRACKS.

THE VERTICAL SHEAR IS FORECAST TO REMAIN BELOW 10 KT FOR THE NEXT
48 HOURS...WHICH USUALLY FAVORS SIGNIFICANT INTENSIFICATION.
HOWEVER...MID-LEVEL MOISTURE IS FORECAST TO DECREASE WITH HUMIDITY
LEVELS BELOW 40 PERCENT AFTER 24 HOURS. DESPITE THE PRESENCE OF DRY
AIR...JULIA IS FORECAST TO STRENGTHEN FAIRLY QUICKLY IN THE NEXT 24
HOURS DUE TO THE IMPROVED INNER-CORE STRUCTURE NOTED IN THE
AFOREMENTIONED MICROWAVE IMAGERY. GIVEN THAT A 75-PERCENT EYEWALL
FEATURE EXISTED 6 HRS AGO AND CLOUD TOPS HAVE RECENTLY COOLED TO
BELOW -80C NEAR THE CENTER...A PERIOD OF RAPID INTENSIFICATION CAN
NOT BE RULED OUT. THE ECMWF MODEL CONTINUES TO KEEP LISA SOUTH OF
20N LATITUDE AND BENEATH AN UPPER-LEVEL ANTICYCLONE. THE OFFICIAL
INTENSITY FORECAST IS ABOVE THE OBJECTIVE INTENSITY GUIDANCE THROUGH
48 HOURS AND CONTINUES TO LEAN TOWARD THE STRONGER ECMWF SOLUTION.
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round 1


90L bust


91L bust


92L bust

93L be comes Alex

94L bust

95L bust

96L be come TD 2

97L be comes BONNIE

98L bust

99L bust


round 2



90L bust

91L be comes .COLIN

92L bust

93L bust

94L be comes TD 5

95L be comes Danielle

96L be comes Earl

97L be comes FIONA

98L be comes Gaston

99L bust


round 3


90L be comes hermine

91L be comes IGOR

92L be comes .KARL


93L be comes JULIA

94L be comes LISA


95L ????



not bad for the 3rd round
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115084
Quoting kmanislander:


Yes, but did he consider a 60 hr stroll across the hottest and deepest waters probably in the world at this time ?

Nah. He didn't say anything about that. Guess he was leaving that part up to our imaginations. Thankyouverymuch. lol
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1433. IKE
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
What happened to our resident downcaster? Someone's hacked IKE's account. <);#)}


I downcast for a reason....95L is a perfect example of why.

This has got trouble written all over it for a lot of people.
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1432. Seastep
Quoting amd:
Is there any scientific reason why the GFS keeps on forming a secondary low in the Caribbean just east of 95L.

Also, before 95L could become a problem, this system is going to be interesting to track because 100 miles could separate 95L being torn up by the Central American mountains, to 95L becoming a major problem in the western Caribbean and southern gulf.


Levi discussed the GFS w/ two systems in his blog and makes perfect sense to me.
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Quoting weatherwart:
Hi Kman. I was watching one of TWC mets earlier today and that's exactly what he had 95L doing. Slowing way down around Honduras at a minimal TC, spinning around and then getting picked up and thrown north into the GOMEX.


Yes, but did he consider a 60 hr stroll across the hottest and deepest waters probably in the world at this time ?
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15816
Quoting IKE:
The entire state of Florida may be evacuated on this one.

Stay tuned!
$$$
What happened to our resident downcaster? Someone's hacked IKE's account. <);#)}
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Hi Kman. I was watching one of TWC mets earlier today and that's exactly what he had 95L doing. Slowing way down around Honduras at a minimal TC, spinning around and then getting picked up and thrown north into the GOMEX.
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Quoting scott39:
That will feel like years in blog days.


Sort of like interstellar travel
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15816
Quoting kmanislander:
The 18Z GFS keeps 95L in the Gulf of Hondurs from hr 126 to hr 180 meandering around.


There might be a worse place to meander around, but offhand I can't think of one:

from NOAA for today. It's off the scale:

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Quoting kmanislander:


Yeah, right on top of this. I wonder why the intensity forecasts are so low with the models showing this system just sitting and spinning over historically high TCHP ?. It will be interesting to see how SHIPS responds to a stall scenario in this area.




this may be are 1st cat 5 well 2nd if Igor geets upgrade at post season
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115084
Quoting cat5hurricane:
Sluggish storms are the worst for the surge


Turns surge into a surge river, pushing further inland.
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1421. scott39
Quoting IKE:


This may be going on for 7-14 days.
That will feel like years in blog days.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6775
Quoting IKE:


This may be going on for 7-14 days.


Yeah, right on top of this. I wonder why the intensity forecasts are so low with the models showing this system just sitting and spinning over historically high TCHP ?. It will be interesting to see how SHIPS responds to a stall scenario in this area.

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15816
Quoting cat5hurricane:
Can't tell if that's Tampa Bay underneath all the isobars?...


Unfortunately, yes it is!!
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So, the 18Z we're still doom? Great. lol
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but in the long run the good news is that it will put on some nic AC
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115084
man 95L could be a vary bad storm and a slow slow moveer
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115084
1412. IKE
Quoting kmanislander:
The 18Z GFS keeps 95L in the Gulf of Honduras from hr 126 to hr 180 meandering around.


This may be going on for 7-14 days.
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D-Min at it's finest.
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1409. bassis
Quoting brainpimp:


I think it's time to discuss anything we darn well please. Who made you the board arbiter of right and wrong?


not necessary !!
Member Since: September 8, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 423
Quoting Tazmanian:




all so it looks like i see the N storm and O storm


I see the rest of the alphabet actually. Nasty looking.
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The 18Z GFS keeps 95L in the Gulf of Honduras from hr 126 to hr 180 meandering around.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15816
Fixed :)

A couple of the late models like to make life interesting :)



Blog Update
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Quoting cat5hurricane:
Can't tell if that's Tampa Bay underneath all the isobars?...



That's Tampa Bay. =(
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1403. WxLogic
18Z GFS sure is takings its time moving 95L to its next destination.
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1401. IKE
144 hour 18Z NOGAPS...Link

Looped....not good....
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crud
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Quoting IKE:


He's in the Greek alphabet in 2010.


LOL
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15816
1397. scott39
What about the "slope" along the W FL. Coast that Hurricanes dont like to climb? I saw a picture of that on here the other day. Im not talking about an incoming direct hit. Im talking about a "climb" up the FL. W Coast.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6775
1394. oakland
Quoting cat5hurricane:
Can't tell if that's Tampa Bay underneath all the isobars?...



Close enough to be very disconcerting and scary.
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I've been using WU Tropical for years (since 2003), but just "discovered" the blog section during Hurricane Earl this year. Being an armchair weatherman, I've appreciated all of the weather links and comments; I'm learning a lot. Thanks to all of you who seriously post your knowledge and/or desire to learn.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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.