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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Thanks for the plug, SJ. Didn't realize nonmembers couldn't see that...
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Quoting JamesSA:

Levi, Excellent analysis as usual. Thanks!


Thank you, and you're welcome.
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Quoting Levi32:


You're right in the potential threat zone, so no. The storm could easily cross Florida and impact the east side.


I agree with you. We should keep a close eye at that system.
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Quoting Floodman:


Hey man! Been a while...yeah, the GOM has cooled...kind of like the difference between 1 burning briquet and 2...LOL


Yeah flood the GOM hasn't cooled a whole lot this year considering we're in late Sept, the last cold front to affect us was in late August here in the SE. Since then it's been 21 days of no rain and temps in the mid to upper 90's, that doesn't give the GOM much chance to cool down. Unfortunately it may take a big storm in the GOM to stir things up and start the cooling process, that's scary in itself because it would have to make landfall somewhere.
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Quoting oceanblues32:
hey levi hello i am located on the east coast of florida and it seems like we might be in the clear for this 95 L?


You're right in the potential threat zone, so no. The storm could easily cross Florida and impact the east side.
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529. Okay...I exaggerated a bit...I should have said 48 burning briquettes!

As to the long time part, I can only take this blog in small doses these days! LMAO
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Quoting Thundercloud01221991:
I think this will be very similar to Karl... it will be overhyped at least till the western carr... not saying it will not be a major problem but I am saying that it will NOT form in the eastern Car.
95L looks a lot more organized at it's current location than Karl ever did at this same location. Karl's moisture was all over the place until it reached the far western Caribbean.
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Quoting Floodman:


I'm with you, dude...too much "GET HIM!" going on in here

How are you, by the way, Squawk?


Just fine Flood! Life is good at 66. Better than I thought it would be. How is your back doing? Thank God that is one problem that I do not have.
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Quoting DestinJeff:


I just scanned the blog archives
Last time I checked the blog archives I alternatively got upset at all the censorship, and occassionally fell asleep at the shear boredom of what remains.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5531
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!


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.
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Quoting WxLogic:
12Z NOGAPS Very close to a 00Z ECMWF Solution

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????
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Looks like 95l wants to fall into Johnny Cash's Burning Ring.
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Quoting pearlandaggie:
512. Hey, dude! Yep, that's true....except I thought you were going to something more like the difference between 50 burning briquettes and 49 burning briquettes. That, IMHO, would be more indicative of the actual temperature! LMAO


LOL
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LOL, sorry to catch you off balance like that.

It's not as bad as that cone of uncertainty someone drew a while back when I believe it was Earl still way out in the E ATL.

Who drew that? I can't remember...
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We here in Florida should keep a close eye on 95L
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Quoting Floodman:


Hey man! Been a while...yeah, the GOM has cooled...kind of like the difference between 1 burning briquet and 2...LOL
Good afternoon Flood..If this NCEP model pans out, The Gulf will not get much of anything....Link
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Quoting Floodman:


I'm with you, dude...too much "GET HIM!" going on in here

How are you, by the way, Squawk?


There was no "get him" in that conversation. I was just noting that there are quite a few posters who's comments get filtered by the show bad setting. Those posts do not show up for the non-members when they view the blogs. That's a result of a lot of minusing of posts. What I'm saying is maybe we should all use the plus feature a little more and the minus a little less. It was quite the opposite of "get him". Below is an example of a post that non-members don't see. Seems like a perfectly good post for this forum.

Quoting BLee2333:
Here's the current that will keep the warm water pulled in under the system to reguvinate it.

Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15656
I think this will be very similar to Karl... it will be overhyped at least till the western carr... not saying it will not be a major problem but I am saying that it will NOT form in the eastern Car.
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522. IKE
12Z NOGAPS...Link
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12Z NOGAPS Very close to a 00Z ECMWF Solution
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518. 7544
95l getting a spin to it ?
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512. Hey, dude! Yep, that's true....except I thought you were going to something more like the difference between 50 burning briquettes and 49 burning briquettes. That, IMHO, would be more indicative of the actual temperature! LMAO
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515. Jax82
ten-day forecast tuesday!
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Quoting BLee2333:
Here's the current that will keep the warm water pulled in under the system to reguvinate it.



That thing should come with a warning, like some Japanese cartoons do.
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Quoting pearlandaggie:
You can see that, although still warm, the GoM has cooled some since August...



Hey man! Been a while...yeah, the GOM has cooled...kind of like the difference between 1 burning briquet and 2...LOL
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Here's the current that will keep the warm water pulled in under the system to reguvinate it.

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510. xcool


October may be the month the southeastern U.S. is battered by multiple tropical storms or hurricanes.
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15624
The "DUDE" Abides.
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507. xcool
GETTING READY GOM PEOPLE
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15624
506. xcool
TUESDAY
WAKE UP HURRICANE DENIERS... YOU'RE PLAYING... HEH, DIDN'T I USE THIS BEFORE.

Another "euro gone wild" run last night and why not? The development of Lisa may be the last, or next to the last, out-at-sea developments as sneaky waves coming west farther south will now use development area number two for our seasonal idea, the one more likely to impact the U.S., as the prime source of development. We probably have another eight left in the gun... five in this development area, two in the third (old fronts systems from the north) and maybe one of the African wave type. Since we are at 12 now, you can do the math as to the big number theory.

The models are focusing, and rightly so, on the wave coming from the east into the Caribbean breeding ground, and a tropical cyclone should take shape this weekend between 80 and 85 west and 15 and 20 north. The GFS is too far east with its development; the Euro ensembles, the GFS ensembles and the Canadian identify the area and it fits nicely with the pattern. The threat is probably the eastern or central Gulf and Southeast in 7-11 days, but farther west, a side development could occur in the southwest Gulf. Once this develops, there may be very few days in the following two weeks where there were no storms on the map west of 65 west and south of 35 north. Do you want to laugh at that? Count how many days there have been no storms since Aug. 21, and how many times two or more were going at once. That statement was made here before the season started, that in the meat of the season there would be a naming frenzy. The naming of Lisa makes the 9th name since Aug. 21.

But now the impact bandwagon should start rolling as others wake up to the threat. I can't wait.

It's ironic because now that the season is off to the races, I am hearing sources that claim authority over such things (these sources issued their forecasts over three months after mine) and they were publicly raising doubt about all this with on-air talk of too much shear for example, and now they are saying they had this all along. There is always shear in July; it's the forecasters that understand why that wasn't going to hold (rather than saying things like, "well if this holds, the numbers have to come down" [duh]) that are the ones that should be listened to. And there will always be those who say one thing then claim another. I went off last night here on the Arctic ice barons... because they will be eating their cold words AGAIN next year but they still get credit somehow. And it's the same thing here. I don't know how many times this year I have gotten email telling me how out of touch I was on this season (still only 50% of the impact idea, but then again, it's a back-weighted season, so we will see if we get all the way to that number) but at least now my readers can see why understanding the overall global pattern (and by the way, that includes where the climate was and where it is going) is vital to being able not to sway in the wind with each shifting puff of wind.

Which is what a lot of on-air pronouncements are today, puffs of wind.

And by the way, there is no authority of earthly source I know of on the weather. I don't claim to be, and I can't stop others from saying that. But I am hard-working, I back it up and I stick to my guns when I believe I am right; I don't sway in the wind with each idea that comes down the road, then claim one of them was right.

The hurricane authority, the climate authority, the winter storm authority, blah, blah, blah. You didn't create it, nor can you control it, and you certainly have no real authority over it.

Notes and asides: I have Henry the Hound Dog watching for when the AOL weather writer jumps on the impact bandwagon. By now, the over/under has to be only a couple of days. We will keep you informed and perhaps even post it to see how well he does editing my past posts and rehashing them for his readers... ha ha!

Ciao for now.

JOE B ;
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15624
You can see that, although still warm, the GoM has cooled some since August...

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Quoting gordydunnot:
All though I must admit I didn't here anyone in the states ask for there drought to be ended by sea water. That doesn't seem to help.


The SE needs a weak system not a strong system like what could be developing in the Caribbean this week. It's been almost a month of no rain for a lot of the SE U.S. with temps in the mid to upper 90's so a weak tropical system to help break the heat and dry weather would be appreciated. We just need to spin up some shear for this system if it gets into the GOM and all will be well! We wouldn't have this problem if Texas would quit hogging all the rain!
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Quoting DestinJeff:


How anyone can forget Bonnie, I will never know.

I remember seeing news footage from one neighborhood -- must have been trash day -- block after block after block of every 10th or so trash can blown over by the violent winds!

I'm sure the History Channel 5-year Retrospective will be compelling television.


You know, Jeff, that "Bonnie was so strong that some trashcans blew over" bit was stale when John Hope was a freshman at UI. In fact, my grandfather told me he first heard Jack Paar do it on The Tonight Show back in 1958. Send me a check--Union scale will work, of course--and I promise to write you some more up-to-date stuff... :-)
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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!
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499. 7544
Quoting oceanblues32:
hey levi hello i am located on the east coast of florida and it seems like we might be in the clear for this 95 L?


?????
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Quoting SQUAWK:


SJ, it is not sad really. Think about it. For the narrow minded and juvenile it is a good thing for them not to see what they do not have the capacity to deal with. So many on here just can't seem to skip what they don't like and move on. Their little lives are full of anger and resentment and I feel sorry for them because they miss the fun and variety of a rich life. That is their problem and not mine nor yours. The ignore feature is for those that aren't smart enough to deal with life as it is and must use some artificial method to get them through.


I'm with you, dude...too much "GET HIM!" going on in here

How are you, by the way, Squawk?
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All though I must admit I didn't here anyone in the states ask for there drought to be ended by sea water. That doesn't seem to help.
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hey levi hello i am located on the east coast of florida and it seems like we might be in the clear for this 95 L?
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back in a few going over to the accupro site to see what jb and others have to say
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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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