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 Neapolitan:
Igor lives yet: his pressure is down 10 mb to 950, and his winds are up 5 knots to 70.

What a, er, trooper...


Now beats Gert of 1999 in ACE. Just shy of Fabian.
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Quoting notverylikely:


you mean misleading



No, optimistic that we'll have a good stormchase. How are we being misleading?
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Morning Flood :)

NRA - there was a 3.3 near Mexicali at 2:22.
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18z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Invest95
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)




Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)



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787. flsky
Quoting robert88:
The best model to look at in the short term for 95L is the TVCN. Every pro met and professional hurricane chaser that i have heard so far thinks this will most likely be a E GOM landfall. The alley way looks to be setting up shop there.

Can you cite who you've talked to? Thanks.
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Quoting IKE:
91 degrees at my location this afternoon.
91 at my house too! (central Illinois!) so much for fall weather!
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Quoting IKE:
Keeps it there for day 8....


Maybe a northeast shot out?

Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11667
783. IKE
Forget that one...wrong run.
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Quoting IKE:
Keeps it there for day 8....



Reminds me of Wilma.
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Quoting 1fromnovasscotia:
geez our poor newfy friends got pounded today from igor, my brother in law can't even get into st.johns because some of the roads in there have been washed out as well some bridges and some reports of over 8 inches or rain have fallen, no wonder. thank god he pulled the tractor off the road.Cause the stubborn guy would have tried even with a empty trailer, but he is safe that is the main thing.
Thanks for the update. I was wondering how things were going up there.
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Quoting 1900hurricane:
Ridging and troughing in 12Z ECMWF @168 hours:



There is your alley way. Straight towards FL.
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Quoting IKE:


It says 168 hours...which is Tuesday. It's the correct frame.


Never mind. It was old when first posted, but it is now updated.
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777. IKE
Keeps it there for day 8....

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Don't know if anyone noticed this but look at IGOR's danger area lol.

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Ridging and troughing in 12Z ECMWF @168 hours:

Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11667
95L won't hit Texas...
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Igor lives yet: his pressure is down 10 mb to 950, and his winds are up 5 knots to 70.

What a, er, trooper...
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770. IKE
Quoting futuremet:


That was from yesterday. It should be updated soon.


It says 168 hours...which is Tuesday. It's the correct frame.
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Igor is a very impressive storm. Still a Hurricane near Newfoundland, clearly amazing!
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Lisa's tentacles... according to your favorite model
Quoting cmahan:


Is that the "squashed spider" path for Lisa?
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765. JRRP
Quoting sunlinepr:
I just signed in and Man,,,, this is getting complicated.....


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Quoting BobinTampa:


no offense to Central America, but.....better them than me.
It looks like 95L could stall close to Belize witch is what TD 16 did 2 years ago . We were not able to leave our town for 3 weeks because all roads were under water . And we were practically living on a island
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Quoting IKE:
Stays in the same location on day 7...



That was from yesterday. It should be updated soon.
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Quoting sunlinepr:
I just signed in and Man,,,, this is getting complicated.....



Is that the "squashed spider" path for Lisa?
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
I live in VA too and my son farms so I understand BUT don't wish us up a Camille.


Of course I don't want a Camille. I just want a good 1-2 day long soaker. I would like something similar to Gaston in 04
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Quoting Chicklit:
Afternoon, and I'm outta here again...
I see 95L went from 20% this morning to 50% this afternoon, though...and where is goes, nobody knows:

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.

Jeff Masters
Ha, I think I was the only one to choose 50% on the poll back a few pages.
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Quoting NRAamy:
Did anyone else feel the earthquake inn Calif last night just before 2AM? It was a jolt, not a roller. I can't find where it was centered.


Didn't feel a thing last night but I have been sleeping through them lately.
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Quoting tropicfreak:


I live in VA and you look at this and tell me i should be careful.

I live in VA too and my son farms so I understand BUT don't wish us up a Camille.
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I just signed in and Man,,,, this is getting complicated.....

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749. IKE
Stays in the same location on day 7...

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geez our poor newfy friends got pounded today from igor, my brother in law can't even get into st.johns because some of the roads in there have been washed out as well some bridges and some reports of over 8 inches or rain have fallen, no wonder. thank god he pulled the tractor off the road.Cause the stubborn guy would have tried even with a empty trailer, but he is safe that is the main thing.
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747. unf97
Here is the 2:00 p.m.long range discussion from the NWS Miami


EXTENDED FORECAST...
THE LONG RANGE MODELS SHOW THE TROPICAL DISTURBANCE MOVING WEST
FROM THE CENTRAL CARIBBEAN SEA INTO THE WESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA THIS
WEEKEND INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK...AS THE HIGH MOVES SLOWLY EAST INTO
THE WESTERN ATLANTIC WATERS. THIS WILL KEEP THE EASTERLY WINDS IN
PLACE ALONG WITH THE DEEPER TROPICAL MOISTURE IN PLACE OVER SOUTH
FLORIDA THIS WEEKEND INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK. SO WILL CONTINUE THE
CHANCE POPS OVER SOUTH FLORIDA THIS WEEKEND INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK
WITH EASTERLY WIND AROUND 10 TO 15 MPH. HOWEVER...THE WINDS COULD
BE POSSIBLE BE HIGHER THIS WEEKEND DEPENDING ON THE PRESSURE
GRADIENT BETWEEN THE HIGH TO THE NORTH AND THE TROPICAL
DISTURBANCE TO THE SOUTH.
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Quoting will40:


theres no research planes scheduled for today

There will be some data in the OOZ model runs.

SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS LOCATED OVER THE WINDWARD ISLANDS AND MOST OF THE SOUTHEASTERN CARIBBEAN SEA ARE ASSOCIATED WITH A VIGOROUS TROPICAL WAVE MOVING WESTWARD AT ABOUT 15 MPH. NEARBY SURFACE OBSERVATIONS...ALONG WITH DATA FROM A NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION AIRCRAFT CONDUCTING A RESEARCH MISSION INTO THIS SYSTEM...INDICATE THE CIRCULATION OF THE DISTURBANCE HAS BECOME BETTER DEFINED. A WIND GUST TO 48 MPH WAS RECENTLY REPORTED ON THE ISLAND OF ST. LUCIA DURING A HEAVY SQUALL.
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Quoting reedzone:
144 hours, 95L a category 1-2 storm, aiming for the Yucatan.



Once it gets to the Yucatan, could it curve towards the NNE, bc I heard a trough was going to push it a little. This reminds me of wilma.
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Quoting NRAamy:
Did anyone else feel the earthquake inn Calif last night just before 2AM? It was a jolt, not a roller. I can't find where it was centered.

Hiya Amy.
Look here and see if you can find it. I don't see anything significant though. 2.3 SE of Pinnacles is the worst I see. Times are UTC so look at the ones around 09:00
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Quoting Cotillion:


Giving you a +1 just for saying 'redux'.

Haha, I couldn't pass up the alliteration there! XD
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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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