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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Quoting FLDART1:
The State of Florida devotes more resources towards our Emergency management programs than most others. While any system can and will be overwhelmed by a major event, I am proud of what we have accomplished here. I agree that no one can be 100% prepared but our systems are tweaked and improved on an ongoing basis.


I agree and I have seem it first hand.
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#1016 thanks for posting this:
Quoting StormChaser81:


I live in St. Petersburg, FL.

You talk about bad storm surge it would be unreal to watch it happened here.

Trust me no body is prepared for storm surge like that.



most people, even here do not realize the potential catastrophe. Many trailer parks,filled with old people, under water.
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1038. sngalla
Quoting FLDART1:
The State of Florida devotes more resources towards our Emergency management programs than most others. While any system can and will be overwhelmed by a major event, I am proud of what we have accomplished here. I agree that no one can be 100% prepared but our systems are tweaked and improved on an ongoing basis.


Well said!
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On the issue of ULLs and 95L, there is a TUTT cell (clearly visible on the WV loops and 250mb CIMMS chart) rotating south of Cuba but too far away to affect it at this point; basically, 95L has a clear shot across the Caribbean for the time being and vorticity has increased....Proxmity to land at the moment might be a short term issue but conditions should continue to improve for it as it keeps on moving West as there is plenty of moisture, and, low sheer ahead. IMHO, it needs a little more persistent convection to add to the current ingredients.
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1036. FLDART1
Quoting Neapolitan:


The Island of Pinellas. Wow...
One of the biggest concerns in the state would be a Major rolling in and up the mouth of Tampa Bay... Lets hope we dont see that any time soon.
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1035. unf97
Quoting WxLogic:


If 95L stays over water... what it could become might not be pretty if the ingredients are just right.


Dr. Masters just pointed that out in his broadcast. He stated that if 95L/future Matthew lingers for any prolonged period of time over the Western Caribbean, he could become a very large cyclone and it potentially could tap moisture from the Eastern Pacific and become a very huge problem for many of the Central American countries in terms of flooding rains.

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1029. Yes, and it also appears to get warmer as it moves westward :(
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95L's 850mb vorticity maxima is consolidating and becoming stronger looking at the latest charts from CIMSS; a good sign that the system is developing a circulation.

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1030. FLDART1
Quoting StormChaser81:


Ya right, FL had Oil problems too, where do you come up with this.

FL is the most prepared. That's really funny. Why would you even say that.

Nobody is prepared for a hurricane, evac orders tells the story there.

Plus the west coast has serious sea level problems.
The State of Florida devotes more resources towards our Emergency management programs than most others. While any system can and will be overwhelmed by a major event, I am proud of what we have accomplished here. I agree that no one can be 100% prepared but our systems are tweaked and improved on an ongoing basis.
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Quoting pearlandaggie:
Interesting eddy of warm water moving in the same general direction as 95L is forecast to go...



That eddy is a normal occurrence in that area.
If you look at the image I just posted, you can see the stronger currents entering the Caribbean and because of the bathymetry it causes it to spin across the southeast Caribbean, you can see an older one southeast of Jamaica.

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Quoting StormChaser81:


I live in St. Petersburg, FL.

You talk about bad storm surge it would be unreal to watch it happened here.

Trust me no body is prepared for storm surge like that.


The Island of Pinellas. Wow...
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1025. WxLogic
Quoting pearlandaggie:
Interesting eddy of warm water moving in the same general direction as 95L is forecast to go...



If 95L stays over water... what it could become might not be pretty if the ingredients are just right.
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1024. Bayside
Quoting sammywammybamy:


Yesterday Afternoon (You Problay Missed it).. I Made a Plea on the Blog to Have a Seawall for Downtown Miami


I am surprised that it hasn't been built yet, this blog is getting lazy :p
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Quoting Grecojdw:
I'm glad Dr. M is being the voice of reason on his hurricane haven broadcast currently. He states that there is an array of scenarios that could happen with this storm and its pretty much a wait and see.


As he should, we don't even have a storm to track yet.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Most of the models now keep 95L over water? That won't have a happy ending if that verifies.
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Stormchaser, you have WUmail!
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I'm glad Dr. M is being the voice of reason on his hurricane haven broadcast currently. He states that there is an array of scenarios that could happen with this storm and its pretty much a wait and see.
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Interesting eddy of warm water moving in the same general direction as 95L is forecast to go...

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Station 44251 (NFLD - Kanada)

3:00 pm WNW 44.7 56.3 24.9 17 - - 28.77
2:00 pm NW 52.4 73.8 26.9 15 - - 28.55
1:00 pm NW 44.7 62.2 26.6 14 - - 28.35
12:00 pm W 23.3 36.9 26.6 14 - - 28.12
10:00 am ESE 31.1 40.8 19.0 12 - - 28.30
9:00 am ESE 29.1 36.9
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


I Live in Florida, And our Local EMS and Government Did Exeptionaly Well for Wilma and Katrina in 2005.

I Never Said that we would be prepered. I Said that Florida is the Most Prepared.



I live in St. Petersburg, FL.

You talk about bad storm surge it would be unreal to watch it happened here.

Trust me no body is prepared for storm surge like that.

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1015. NOLaHSE
Looking at all the Caribbean storms of 2005 - there was RI on most, especially Wilma and Dennis. I don't know where it will go when it finally does spin up, but the scenarios for RI and severe damage are certainly in place.
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000
NOUS42 KNHC 211600
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1200 PM EDT TUE 21 SEPTEMBER 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 22/1100Z TO 23/1100Z SEPTEMBER 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-113

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. SUSPECT AREA -- CARRIBBEAN
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70 FLIGHT TWO -- TEAL 71
A. 22/1800Z A. 23/0600-1200Z
B. AFXXX 01FFA INVEST B. AFXXX 0215A CYCLONE
C. 22/1700Z C. 23/0400Z
D. 12.5N 68.5W D. 12.6N 71.0W
E. 22/1730-2300Z E. 23/0500-1200Z
F. SFC TO 10,000FT F. SFC TO 15,000FT

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK: CONTINUE 6 HRLY FIXES IF SYSTEM
DEVELOPS.

3. REMARKS:
A.THE NCAR G-V MAY FLY A RESEARCH MISSION INTO THE
SAME AREA TOMORROW MORNING 41,000 AND 45,000 FT.
. B. NASA DC-8 MAY ALSO FLY THIS AREA DEPARTING AT 22/1600Z.

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Quoting sammywammybamy:


Doesnt Wilma Still Hold the Record for the Lowest Hurricane Pressure recorded in the Atlantic Basin?
Right, and looking some of the model runs, looks like 95 may hang around in the same area as Wilma did. Where she gained a lot of strength. Just need a troff to pick 95 at that point, up and off the he goes.
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


Poor Texas and Mexico.. ..

NOLA, Alabama and Missispi havent Recovered from Katrina and the Oil Volcano..

Out of Everyone on the Gulf Coast... I Think Florida is the Most Prepared and Equiped to Handle the Situation


Well that is yet to be seen.. The construction after Andrew is much better and the codes are great for high winds, thats not the problem. I believe people not being prepared will be the problem. We haven't seen a storm in 5 years, everyone thinks we are under a protective bubble. Most people don't even have their supplies. Every time a storm is mentioned the response seems to be the same "It's not coming here, we are not gonna get hit by anything".. Its been many years since Andrew and people seem to forget until its to late.
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1006. kwgirl
Quoting sammywammybamy:


I Think Its Too Early to Get My Hurricane Supplies Ready.. Once/if 95L Becomes a TS and the Projected Path takes at Florida then i will get Supplies..

I Dont Want to Repeat the Same thing with Ike...

Ike was Forcasted to Hit South Florida as a CAT 4.

I Bought Supplies.. and it veered away (Thankfully) but i wasted money
Well, maybe that is what turned the storm....buying supplies! I'll try it when we are threatened.
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If one follows climatology.


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Quoting sammywammybamy:


Poor Texas and Mexico.. ..

NOLA, Alabama and Missispi havent Recovered from Katrina and the Oil Volcano..

Out of Everyone on the Gulf Coast... I Think Florida is the Most Prepared and Equiped to Handle the Situation


Ya right, FL had Oil problems too, where do you come up with this.

FL is the most prepared. That's really funny. Why would you even say that.

Nobody is prepared for a hurricane, evac orders tells the story there.

Plus the west coast has serious sea level problems.
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992. Yes. 882 mb.



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Quoting Hurricanes101:
95L has a very good chance to develop, this nonsense about it not developing due to other factors is unfounded

oh and that is not a ULL and should not factor much in the future of 95L. I expect a TD by Friday the latest.



+500 well said
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Hurricane Haven with Jeff MastersLink
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
The Models are Aiming this Still at South Florida... The Fourth Day+ in a Row...

Looks like a Wilma Senerio...


watch the caribbean disturbance head north towards the Fla panhandle.. it would have to be pulled ne for a wilma-like scenario to happen
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


Doesnt Wilma Still Hold the Record for the Lowest Hurricane Pressure recorded in the Atlantic Basin?


Yes.
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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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