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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Afternoon all. A beautiful fall like day here in the northeast.

95L looks to be a real pain for Florida.
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Quoting 69Viking:


IKE I remember that one on Oct. 4th, 1995 all too well! Never thought I'd see huge sailboats sitting in the median of Hwy 98 but I did. We don't need another one like that but the timing of it won't be that far off from being the same time of year, kind of scary when you think about it.


I remember clearly, I stayed for it. At the time I lived near Bruner Middle School and it was rough. Now I live even closer to the sound:0
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Wilma's track come to my mind..
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There are a lot of variables with this forecast to even think about before determining what the end result is

-First off, how quickly does it develop and where?
-Second, how strong does the system get?

Both of these can affect the track.

-If the storm goes over Central America, for how long does it stay over land?
-At what intensity does it go into and come out of Central America?

-Then if it gets pulled north, how strong will the trough be that pulls it north?
-Will the trough just open a weakness or will it actually pull the storm north and northeast?


There are way too many questions at this point
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Quoting reedzone:
You have to be insane to like any of the model runs at this point. No one wants a storm, well at least after you've been through one. Hopefully this will stay weak, but odds are that it becomes a powerful storm do to all that heat in the Caribbean that has NOT been touched this year.


TWC met likes the models. He just sent 95L "possibly" north into the GOMEX in a week or so.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


I think it is a bit too soon to look for analog tracks

Agreed. How about a circulation first, at least.
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635. IKE
Quoting GeauxGirl:


Oh, Ike, when YOU start making these comparisons...it makes me very nervous.


Sorry...I'm not trying to scare anyone. I probably shouldn't have put that on here. Just the same(close to), possible track and the same time of year.
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Ignoring the loop back, here's a possible (though it takes it over Central America perhaps a bit too much - also swings it over Cuba rather than the GoM. That said, it was nasty for the Keys):



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Quoting presslord:
I was curled up in the fetal position sucking on a bottle of warm bourbon...that, too, was an awesome sight, I suspect....

LOL
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
In think it should stay tropical at 5 PM ... still has some tropical characteristics... we will see what it looks like closer to 5. By the way why didnt they go higher when a buoy is reporting 97 mph winds?
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Quoting IKE:
95L may wind up with a track similar to this beast...



IKE I remember that one on Oct. 4th, 1995 all too well! Never thought I'd see huge sailboats sitting in the median of Hwy 98 but I did. We don't need another one like that but the timing of it won't be that far off from being the same time of year, kind of scary when you think about it.
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You have to be insane to like any of the model runs at this point. No one wants a storm, well at least after you've been through one. Hopefully this will stay weak, but odds are that it becomes a powerful storm do to all that heat in the Caribbean that has NOT been touched this year.
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Igor back up to 80 mph
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626. HCW
HWRF model runs for 95L with Intensity. Will this one shoot the gap ?

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Quoting Cotillion:


Been trying to look through for a dead ringer of the supposed track.

If it develops by the Yucatan then shoots up, then there are numerous examples as we all know.

If it develops just above Panama and takes a more northerly route whilst going through the Yucatan Channel, there are also numerous examples (Tampa Bay Hurricane of 1921 is just one of those - there are a fair few).

But a storm to clip Honduras/Nicaragua, then go onto around the Yucatan, then be drawn north....

That's a bit rarer, it seems. Have a couple of potential candidates.


I think it is a bit too soon to look for analog tracks
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Quoting IKE:
95L may wind up with a track similar to this beast...


Oh, Ike, when YOU start making these comparisons...it makes me very nervous.
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Another possible analog storm is Hurricane Irene of October 1999:

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Quoting bird72:


Don't worry about your owner, he is not going to leave you behind. :P


Pretty funny that someone named "Bird" said that lol
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Quoting IKE:
95L may wind up with a track similar to this beast...



Been trying to look through for a dead ringer of the supposed track.

If it develops by the Yucatan then shoots up, then there are numerous examples as we all know.

If it develops just above Panama and takes a more northerly route whilst going through the Yucatan Channel, there are also numerous examples (Tampa Bay Hurricane of 1921 is just one of those - there are a fair few).

But a storm to clip Honduras/Nicaragua, then go onto around the Yucatan, then be drawn north....

That's a bit rarer, it seems. Have a couple of potential candidates.
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616. IKE
Quoting Grecojdw:


Nononono Ike the Storm whisperer...Your directing it to my realm.....:0


I'm up here too.

Walton county,FL.
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Quoting cmahan:


It's available if you have an account but haven't paid for no-ads. It isn't available if you're browsing without an account (which is partly why I made one).


OK, Got it. Duh me!
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Quoting IKE:


Opal was a beast...same time period...maybe the same scenario.

Hope I'm wrong.


Nononono Ike the Storm whisperer...Your directing it to my realm.....:0
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Quoting Grecojdw:
So does that mean we in the Northern Panhandle are safe this time around. All the models seem to be aimed at the W.Coast of Florida away from us in the C.Gulf?


As many as we've had over the years it's about time we start sending some to Tampa, aren't they due LOL!?
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Quoting rmbjoe1954:


I have certificate issues- so let me know what the models are agreeing to? what possible path will 95L take now-although it will change over the next few days unless there is unanimity in the models.

Yes, and you can allow that program to run, it is from the US Navy and it is safe to allow that program to run on your computer..
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Quoting WxLogic:
12Z NOGAPS Very close to a 00Z ECMWF Solution


I like the looks of that model run.
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608. IKE
Quoting gbreezegirl:
bite your tongue Ike!


Opal was a beast...same time period...maybe the same scenario.

Hope I'm wrong.
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Quoting SQUAWK:


Not to worry DJ, almost no one here is old enough to remember Jack Parr. It is all fresh material to them. LOL


Unfortunately some of us ARE old enough to remember him...lol
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Quoting IKE:
95L may wind up with a track similar to this beast...




Nonononononononononononono
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Almost to Code red
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Northern Panhandle IS NOT in the clear. Someone said earlier that NO and points East. (Maybe Levi, but I don't recall) I'm thinking MS/AL border and points East. But either way, that definately includes NWFL.
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Quoting Bordonaro:

That is a very, very scary model run!!

Both ECMWF & NOGAPS agree, we may have a serious problem!!

Does GFS, SHIPS or any other models push this scenario????


I have certificate issues- so let me know what the models are agreeing to? what possible path will 95L take now-although it will change over the next few days unless there is unanimity in the models.
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Quoting IKE:
95L may wind up with a track similar to this beast...

bite your tongue Ike!
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TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT TUE SEP 21 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON HURRICANE
IGOR...LOCATED ABOUT 75 MILES NORTH-NORTHEAST OF ST. JOHNS
NEWFOUNDLAND...AND ON TROPICAL STORM LISA...LOCATED ABOUT 530 MILES
WEST-NORTHWEST OF THE CAPE VERDE ISLANDS.

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.
ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO
BECOME MORE CONDUCIVE FOR A TROPICAL DEPRESSION TO FORM DURING
THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. THERE IS A MEDIUM CHANCE...50 PERCENT...
OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48
HOURS. LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL AND STRONG GUSTY WINDS WILL BE
POSSIBLE ACROSS THE WINDWARD ISLANDS THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT...
AND GRADUALLY SPREAD WESTWARD ACROSS THE NETHERLANDS ANTILLES...AND
OVER THE NORTHERN COASTS OF VENEZUELA AND COLOMBIA ON WEDNESDAY.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER STEWART/AVILA
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Quoting Grecojdw:
So does that mean we in the Northern Panhandle are safe this time around. All the models seem to be aimed at the W.Coast of Florida away from us in the C.Gulf?
The models usually change almost every day.
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Oh, wait...I am one of those "Carolinians"
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Quoting DestinJeff:


Dewey. I'm trying, man. But, dude, Nea's after me. Tried taking me down with a Jack Parr reference, calling my material tired. THE NERVE, right? That reminds me, have you see my The Chart?

Anyway, it's a battle, but I think we have a strong-hold now. I'll send for reinforcements!

And some better material.


Not to worry DJ, almost no one here is old enough to remember Jack Parr. It is all fresh material to them. LOL
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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.