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 EZ99B5:
Great loop Sammy. I live in northern Broward County and can attest to the fact that Wilma's back end was a whopper. My neighbors to the west had a tree end up on our house thanks to the south/west eye wall. :( Fortunately it was nice and cool afterwards.
When it passed Key West, I awoke at 4 in the morning to the ripping sound of my 40 year old Mahogony tree. Just the branches because we kept it thinned to allow the wind through. But hearing those limbs rip, about as big around as my leg was something else. I wanted to look but since the wind was coming from the front of the house, I couldn't chance opening the door.
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100% agree

post#980
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989. beell
As modeled, this is not an ULL. Deep layer.

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983. No doubt! LOL Didn't even look at it from that perspective the first time!
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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.
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985. unf97
The Tallahassee NWS forecasters bring the frontal system through their county warning area by Sunday evening. They are banking on the deep amplified trough developing next week over the Eastern CONUS

.LONG TERM...
(FRI NIGHT - TUESDAY). THE GFS...ITS ENSEMBLE MEAN AND ECMWF ARE IN
MUCH BETTER AGREEMENT TONIGHT COMPARED TO 24 HRS AGO...WHICH
PROVIDES A LITTLE MORE CONFIDENCE THROUGH THE THE EXTENDED FORECAST.
THROUGH THE WEEKEND...THEY INDICATE THE UPPER-LEVEL PATTERN OVER THE
CONUS BECOMING QUITE AMPLIFIED AS A STRONG SHORTWAVE TROUGH DIVES
SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST OUT OF THE CANADA/GREAT LAKES AREA TOWARD THE
SOUTHEASTERN REGION BY SUNDAY NIGHT INTO MONDAY. THIS BRINGS ITS
ATTENDANT COLD FRONT SOUTH TOWARD THE AREA SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH
SUNDAY NIGHT...THEN THROUGH THE LOCAL FORECAST AREA FROM NW TO SE
THROUGH THE DAY MONDAY WITH A VERY DRY AIR MASS FOLLOWING ITS
PASSAGE. IF THIS SOLUTION VERIFIES...THIS WILL BE THE NEXT BEST
CHANCE FOR RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS ACROSS THE FORECAST AREA...MAINLY
SUNDAY INTO MONDAY. HOWEVER...UNTIL THE MODELS SHOW MORE PERSISTENCE
FROM RUN TO RUN OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS WE WILL CONTINUE TO LEAN MORE
TOWARD CLIMATOLOGY THROUGH THIS PERIOD. THE LATEST TEMPERATURE
GUIDANCE DOES SHOW A TREND BACK TOWARD AVERAGE FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR
(65/86) BY THE VERY END OF THIS FORECAST PERIOD (TUESDAY) NEXT
WEEK...WHICH LINES UP WITH THIS FRONTAL BOUNDARY MOVING THROUGH
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
TAZ! Look Wilma's Pinhole Eye:



Now that's a wobble.
Member Since: August 11, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2315
Quoting Clearwater1:
and the previous runs have been similar. A real trend shaping up. Don't like the looks this for the Gulf States


link?
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981. BDAwx
Bermuda seems well on its way to be back to normal by tomorrow. Damages are expected to be less than $100million.
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Quoting clwstmchasr:
Does someone have the link to the 4:00 radio show?


Link
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Quoting P451:


UULs causes shear and are disruptive to infant systems attempting to form a surface circulation.

They can also inject dry air into a system as well although looking at imagery at the moment - that doesn't look to be an issue for 95L.

It's just if you look back at how the season has progressed, despite warm waters and low shear in many instances, invests had a hard time developing or did not develop at all.

The following obvious inhibitors were always present:

*An ULL in proximity to the invest.
*A lack of a surface circulation.
*A secondary large area of convection close to the invest.

95L presently has 2 of the 3 features present that have prevented organization of systems throughout the season - specifically in the very region it is in.

Now, that doesn't mean 95L won't develop, but it does hint that development will be slow to occur at first, until it does away with these inhibiting factors.


Just observations is all - not forecasting here.

Thanks, Does it have more moisture this time in the E Carribean compared to the others?
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6784
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
Not liking that 12Z ECMWF. Rather formidable hurricane heading towards the SE.
and the previous runs have been similar. A real trend shaping up. Don't like the looks this for the Gulf States
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95L needs too be watch its well on its way be comeing Matthew

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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


Better to be safe then sorry and it's not wasted, you just use the supplies for next hurricane season. Too many wait until a storm is bearing down on them and then grocery stores run out and some don't get the much needed items to prepare. It's stupid if you ask me. Hurricane season starts June 1st and ends November 30th with outliers occurring at the beginning and end. You should be prepared by then and if you don't use the supplies save em for next year.
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Quoting BradentonBrew:


Oct 30th, eh?

10.30.10.
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970. mbjjm
Member Since: August 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 310
Quoting scott39:
How does it have a problem with the ULL to the NE of it?


The ULL usually have decent amounts of dry air with them. It's moving very close to 95L some of the dry air can be ingested into 95L and hamper development in the short term. The ULL can also shear 95L as it goes by to the north.

Remember the models are not developing this until at least 75w.

You can see arc clouds racing away from 95L. the arc clouds are located northwest of 95L.
Link

You can see dry air is north of 95L.
Member Since: August 11, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2315
Quoting DestinJeff:
Oct 30th



Oct 30th, eh?
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Not liking that 12Z ECMWF. Rather formidable hurricane heading towards the SE.
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.
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now here a track you dont see evere day


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A very large anticyclone is supposed to develop over the W Caribbean in the next several days. That is not good news at all.
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Quoting victoriahurricane:


He means at this point of the season we're only 5 behind what 2005 was at.


Aaahh... got it. Thanks.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
According to this, Florida is gonna get nailed they're right in the weakness


what is the most likely track over Florida, if this storm was to head our way, and how big of a storm?
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Quoting Seastep:


Typo? You mean 15, right?

Link


He means at this point of the season we're only 5 behind what 2005 was at.
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Great loop Sammy. I live in northern Broward County and can attest to the fact that Wilma's back end was a whopper. My neighbors to the west had a tree end up on our house thanks to the south/west eye wall. :( Fortunately it was nice and cool afterwards.
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Quoting PcolaDan:


Not too bad all things considered. You can see updates here and here.
This picture was something else though.


No one injured or killed in Bermuda... that is amazing.
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Quoting P451:
The ULL (see post935) could hinder development of 95L. While this go around the ULL is to the NE and not to the West of a disturbance the fact remains that 95L presently has two problems associated with it that many invests had this season: A lack of a good surface circulation, an ULL in the region.

How does it have a problem with the ULL to the NE of it?
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6784
Quoting reedzone:
Do you all know that we are only 5 storms away from 2005?? Amazing!


Typo? You mean 15, right?

Link
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Igor is HUGE!
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942:

LOL. Great pic.
Beach erosion, Bermuda style, eh?
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Quoting squallcat:
road being washed out today on Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula.





Oh my god! And Igor's "only" a Category 1 Hurricane. They seriously need to account rainfall and storm surge into ratings. Hermine did huge damage thanks to her rains and she was only a tropical storm. I feel so sorry for my other fellow Canadians in Newfoundland, hopefully no one is killed.
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Quoting Levi32:


Don't expect Matthew to be the only storm that we see in the Caribbean before season's end. He will be only the first of several.


Just my thoughts on this(I agree with you completely:)

1. You are probably right,La-Nina's tend to greatly affect the Caribbean by lowering the wind shear,with a strong one,wind shear will be lowered greatly.

2. Water temps in the Caribbean are at or near record high,and this water extends down to a great depth.Upwelling will be no problem,minor if anything.

3. The Caribbean tends to be very moist...

That's all!
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Very similar to Alex looking at the outlook posted above. If conditions are right this could be a HUGE storm in the GOM down the road. I think this one is going to take a while to consolidate as well. 95L will be going over the hottest heat content in the Atlantic basin. No telling what could happen if this gets tucked under a anticyclone in the W Caribbean.
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Quoting flsky:
Off topic a bit, but what was the final outcome for Bermuda, damage-wise. I know they took somewhat of a glancing blow, but it still must have been pretty rough.


Not too bad all things considered. You can see updates here and here.
This picture was something else though.
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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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