Igor pounding Newfoundland; dangerous 95L forms; 3rd hottest August for the globe

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:13 PM GMT on September 21, 2010

Share this Blog
3
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 742 - 692

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59Blog Index

Quoting Cotillion:


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

Haha, I couldn't pass up the alliteration there! XD
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
741. IKE
95L moving NW on day 6 of the ECMWF. Looks like a rather ominous track.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Instead of wondering where it will go, lets talk about how its looking at this very moment.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1900hurricane:

Very rare indeed. But like you said, it was not unique. This storm from 1867 followed a very similar path. So similar that I like to call it Racer's Redux!



Giving you a +1 just for saying 'redux'.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting robert88:


I think 95L has the best chance for US landfall since Earl. Going to be interesting days ahead. I am looking forward to the 00Z model runs with the data collected by the research planes.


theres no research planes scheduled for today
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting robert88:


I think 95L has the best chance for US landfall since Earl. Going to be interesting days ahead. I am looking forward to the 00Z model runs with the data collected by the research planes.


Bonnie made landfall on the US, in FL, yet it was a dud.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
736. IKE
91 degrees at my location this afternoon.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
144 hours, 95L a category 1-2 storm, aiming for the Yucatan.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Cotillion:
715:

The Racer's Storm's track isn't actually that much of an anomaly.

There are a couple more examples back in that century with similar tracks.

Still, rare and not been seen for a long time.

Very rare indeed. But like you said, it was not unique. This storm from 1867 followed a very similar path. So similar that I like to call it Racer's Redux!



Still though, such a track can only be achieved if it misses the trough in the vicinity of the Yucatan.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:


Sorry if this sounds self-centered, but all of those runs are east of here...which is good news for the western Florida panhandle, IF that verifies.

ECMWF slams it into Central America.


no offense to Central America, but.....better them than me.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting reedzone:


There's alot of things that can happen, but I feel eventually a trough will catch 95L and turn it north, but will it have weakened enough if it stays over CA? That's the big question, the strength of the system.


I think 95L has the best chance for US landfall since Earl. Going to be interesting days ahead. I am looking forward to the 00Z model runs with the data collected by the research planes.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Did anyone else feel the earthquake in Calif last night just before 2AM? It was a jolt, not a roller. I can't find where it was centered.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
any update on to be Matthew?

looks like the models out by the NHC show an earlier curve?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormJunkie:


The ignore feature yes (I don't have anyone on ignore, although I may not like what you say today...I'm intelligent enough to realize that you might make me laugh or teach me something tomorrow ...What I am talking about is the hidden posts. These posts don't show up for non-members; so they are missing out on some pretty decent parts of the conversation.



I dont use the "ignore" feature either.
For pretty much the same reasons.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting bird72:
692. hurricanes101

you have WUmail.


I got it, no worries
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
692. hurricanes101

you have WUmail.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
XX/INV/95L
MARK
14.62N/63.33W
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
724. HCW
Quoting btwntx08:
ecmwf is silly


What do you feel that the ECMWF is silly ?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
715:

The Racer's Storm's track isn't actually that much of an anomaly.

There are a couple more examples back in that century with similar tracks.

Still, rare and not been seen for a long time.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
720. HCW
Quoting IKE:


Sorry if this sounds self-centered, but all of those runs are east of here...which is good news for the western Florida panhandle, IF that verifies.

ECMWF slams it into Central America.


I don't think that you sounded self centered at all. Nobody wants to see a storm hit them cause of all the storm prep and then the 7 to 10 days without power after landfall of a major storm in your location. Looks like I will be headed to FL next week for an intercept at this point and time but that's subject to change with the unpredictable tropics.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Seastep:


Not sure about Karl, but the track (the line) is forecast by NHC based on models, etc.

Then the cone is statistically based on that track using the 5-year average error at each "so many hours out" to determine the width of the cone.


Thanks, so the uncertainty is just a constant number for a given time. I still think that some information is lost when it's displayed like that.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormJunkie:
the most awesome hurricane chase in history!

No one has a clue what or where 95 is going to end up. The crossing Cuba, through the Bahamas, and out to sea is just as possible as any other scenario...Including dissipating over Nic/Hond...That's just comical to me to make a statement like that at this point.



Just consider us optimistic SJ.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
There's really been no track - should it occur - for a considerable time as I far as I could tell from quickly scanning through.

This storm is the most recent that had any potential similarities:



Again, it's FL(I believe it is the last major to hit Florida as a major and not be retired; indeed, with the possible exception of Alma in 1966, it was the last major to hit the US as prior to Bret in '99 and not be retired. That said, Isbell is very close to Isobel. For pub quizes worldwide).

The only thing that could close and hitting more west would the NO 'cane of 1915 - but that didn't really get that close to Central America or Mexico.

So, that gives you: 1877 Hurricane #4, 1887 Hurricane #4, 1906 Hurricane #8, and Isbell.

Some harmless historical comparisons and references. With most of those you've probably never seen or heard.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I know that climatologically, Texas isn't a very favored landfall location from October on, but that doesn't mean that it is impossible for a storm to make it over here. For instance, one of Texas's most infamous hurricanes of both the 19th century and ever occurred in October. I'm talking about Racer's Storm:



Racer's storm may indeed be an anomaly, but if the trough that is supposed pull 95L (if it develops) out to the northeast doesn't get the job done, a track similar to this one does become a possibility. In fact, at one point Hurricane Isidore of 2002 was forecast to possibly follow a similar path in late September of that year.

Now, with that being said, a path similar to that of 1837's Racer's Storm remains a far-fetched possibility. However, it cannot be ruled out, especially for a system that hasn't even developed yet, and possibly maybe never will. However, residents of the Western Gulf still need to watch this until it becomes apparent that it will not affect them. Climatology is a good tool, but it is not the law.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
714. unf97
Tampa Bay NWS forecasters unsure about the strength and location of the trough next week depicted by the GFS and Euro

Forecast Discussion

Long Range (Sept 23 - Sept 28)

LONG TERM (THURSDAY NIGHT-TUESDAY)...
A VERY BROAD RIDGING PATTERN OVER MUCH OF THE SOUTHERN U.S. WILL
REMAIN IN PLACE THROUGH MUCH OF LONG TERM. TOWARDS THE END OF THE
PERIOD BOTH THE GFS AND ECMWF DEPICT A FAIRLY STRONG MID LEVEL LOW
DIGGING TOWARDS THE SOUTHEAST FROM CANADA WHICH COULD POTENTIALLY
ALTER THE SYNOPTIC PATTERN OVER THE PENINSULA. WHILE BOTH MODELS
SHOW THIS FEATURE NORTH OF THE STATE BY MONDAY...PLACEMENT IS
INCONSISTENT. GFS HAS THE SYSTEM PUSHING THROUGH THE SE STATES
WHILE THE EURO IS MUCH MORE NORTH WITH THE FEATURE PUSHING IT
THROUGH THE MID ATLANTIC. B/C OF THE DIFFERENCE WITH THE MODELS
AND BEING A WEEK OUT...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I think that is the kind of track we will see, WNW towards Nicaragua and Honduras but then bending it NW and then north after it hits that area and it goes back into the NW Caribbean
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
711. Jax82
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting robert88:
Notice how the ensembles show that N turn and curve it toward W FL. There is your target.


There's alot of things that can happen, but I feel eventually a trough will catch 95L and turn it north, but will it have weakened enough if it stays over CA? That's the big question, the strength of the system.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
709. srada
Quoting NASA101:
Latest 12Z Dynamical/Statisticalmodels for 95L have it hitting Yucatan and south!
So, lets not get carried away with East Gulf/FL hit just yet!


The 12z run only had the Statistical run and not the dynamic runs..the 18z starts at 230..will be interesting to see the dynamic view of 95L
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
708. IKE
120 hour 12Z ECMWF....

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
12Z EURO has 95L hitting CA, then catches a trough, steers it NW back into the WC.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Notice how the ensembles show that N turn and curve it toward W FL. There is your target.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting erdben:
Hi, newbie here. I have two questions: first, did Georgette form from the remnants of Karl meaning that Karl eventually did cross into the Pacific through the high mountains of Mexico?

The other question is about the cone of uncertainty. Is this calculated somehow using an algorithm and data from all the models, or it's "hand-drawn" by forecasters based on the available information? If it's based on statistical calculations, how come that the uncertainty around a future position of a storm is always circular? One would think that sometimes the speed of the storm is quite predictable, while the track is not so much or other times the track can be predicted with great confidence, while the speed of the system is less certain. In these cases if we would like to graphically display possible future location of a storm with a given certainty, the shape would not be a circle. I just think it would provide more information that way, but maybe there is a reason it's not done like that. Thanks!


Yes Georgette formed from the remnants of Karl. And to the other question, leave it to the experts, I know weather but not an expert at it. Welcome to wunderground by the way.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grecojdw:


Ever since I saw what Katrina did to the Southern Mississippi towns near their sound. I've been a little weary of something like that happening in FWB:0


I live 3 miles West of Hurlburt and the water from Katrina stopped about 50 feet from actually touching the back of my house. To have a storm that far a way do that was another warning sign for me. When I move I plan to be at least 20' above sea level somewhere in the center of Fort Walton Beach, enough is enough!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
701. bwi
From the 2pm NHC Tropical Weather Discussion:

AN EASTERN CARIBBEAN SEA TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 18N64W 12N63W
9N61W. A 1009 MB LOW PRESSURE CENTER IS ALONG THE WAVE NEAR
12N63W
.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting victoriahurricane:


Be careful what you wish for, you may get more than what your bargained for.


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

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
699. IKE
Quoting HCW:


Sorry if this sounds self-centered, but all of those runs are east of here...which is good news for the western Florida panhandle, IF that verifies.

ECMWF slams it into Central America.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting barbamz:


I'm not an expert. I just found this on wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tropical_cyclones#Extreme_latitudes



Nice one. Thanks a lot.

Faith hitting the Faeroes as a hurricane in 1966 is going to take some beating.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
697. IKE
96 hour 12Z ECMWF...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
696. HCW
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting anyotherliestotell:
the "storm" is forecast to go straight west and not even come close to the US. but go right ahead and board up now. might as well get in the closet with the mattress too. emerge on Nov. 30.


So your Ouija board is telling you that this system is going straight west? And that's before this thing even forms well...wow, there must be some way to monetize this talent of yours...I know! Can you apply it to the stock market?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tropicfreak:


I hope it brings us some plentiful rain!


Be careful what you wish for, you may get more than what your bargained for.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting bird72:


Oh sorry, lately the cheap shots are the order of the day, sorry again, lol:!


It's ok, it happens

Intent does not always come across when typing
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 742 - 692

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Mostly Cloudy
76 °F
Mostly Cloudy