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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back in a few going over to the accupro site to see what jb and others have to say
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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.
Hey, not so fast there, buddy. I had my 10x10 pop-up canopy broken by that witch. Heartrending. Had to perform major reconstructive surgery. It won't fold up right anymore. Life here will never be the same!
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490. srada
Quoting WxLogic:
Round 2:



Sure appears that GFS doesn't or may be want to take all the build up energy from the NW Carib and develop another system to may be take care of the left overs.


this was on the last run..not looking good for the East Conus if this scenario comes to play..back to back hits..
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Well regardless of the outcome it's looks like we won't have a rainfall deficit anywhere in the state of Florida after the next couple of weeks. Did all the wait tell it develops before you can trust the models bloggers get banned.
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Quoting Levi32:
Back in a bit.

Tropical Tidbit for Tuesday, September 21st, with Video

Levi, Excellent analysis as usual. Thanks!
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WOW 12Z GFS is very very WET
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We are all DOOM!



Again, the models are all over the place.

Everyone in the Caribbean and GOM should be paying full attention to developments, but to give a landfall location more than a week out... wow...
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True, but that sheer comment was in referrence to the climatic average of sheer in the GOM.

It'll redevelope in the W CARIB right there by the loop current.
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Quoting scottsvb:
You guys talking about 95L after 3-4 days out from now is laughable. In Meteorology..we look out to 72hrs 120hrs if models are all agreeing. Anything more than 5 days out will change 90% of the time. So with 95L the short term 3-5 days will be, Will this come inland in Honduras or miss it to its NE. That's the question of debate.


It's not "laughable". Most on here know that longer range forecasts can have huge error.

Nonetheless, there is interest in developing a thesis(forecast) and seeing how it plays out. As long as one recognizes it for just that and not gospel, there is nothing "laughable" associated with it.

Hope that helps.
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Quoting scottsvb:
You guys talking about 95L after 3-4 days out from now is laughable. In Meteorology..we look out to 72hrs 120hrs if models are all agreeing. Anything more than 5 days out will change 90% of the time. So with 95L the short term 3-5 days will be, Will this come inland in Honduras or miss it to its NE. That's the question of debate.
Is it also open to hitting Honduras, and then it getting back over water?
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
12z GFS turns the system into a large Nor-Easter and slams NYC.

Gonna wait for the 12z ECMWF.


2009, the remnants of Ida turned into a nasty Nor'easter that brought more surge than Hurrican Isabel to the Chesapeake Bay, if it peak surge would have happened at high tide like Isabel it would have been even worse for the area than it was. We had flooding in our garage and in the crawl space, but it was a few inches short of making it into the house.
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Quoting weatherwart:
Levi, if you're still around, thanks for another great update. Just... quit drawing those arrows across the top of my house, please.
LOL, seconded.
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If they keep Igor alive for another advisory we will see winds go up to 95 mph - 100 mph according to a 97 mph sustained at a buoy
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You guys talking about 95L after 3-4 days out from now is laughable. In Meteorology..we look out to 72hrs 120hrs if models are all agreeing. Anything more than 5 days out will change 90% of the time. So with 95L the short term 3-5 days will be, Will this come inland in Honduras or miss it to its NE. That's the question of debate.
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Quoting Levi32:


It could, if the little trough lifts out and the ridge builds back in to direct it more westward, but at this point that seems like a more unlikely scenario. Although the western gulf should still be watching, I think New Orleans eastward is the threat zone.


gotcha - thanks again
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Quoting BLee2333:
20 kt sheer is nothing to a developed system. It's just not conducive for developement.
Doesnt it have to redevelope after hitting land the first time?
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473. xcool
LOL GFS
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
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Quoting Grecojdw:


Well he did say from NO and east. Your close enough so definitely don't put your guard down.


No, actually I was thinking even points more west(e.g. Texas).
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Quoting Matt1989:

I just find it weird for such an active year. Not one storm not even a tropical storm has made a us landfall..


Very thankful it's been quiet here on the panhandle so far. Also, my yard here in Pace is dead brown. I have forgotten what rain drops look like. :p
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Quoting weatherman12345:

Levi, is the japanese model still running on this system of did it drop it?


The 12z JMA for today isn't out yet (it doesn't do 0z runs).
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20 kt sheer is nothing to a developed system. It's just not conducive for developement.
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Back in a bit.

Tropical Tidbit for Tuesday, September 21st, with Video
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Quoting swlaaggie:
Nice job Levi.

You seem to have "some?" confidence regarding a more eastern gulf direction for this system. I assume that can could all change depending on the timing and degree of strength of both the western ridge and the eastern trough?

tia


It could, if the little trough lifts out and the ridge builds back in to direct it more westward, but at this point that seems like a more unlikely scenario. Although the western gulf should still be watching, I think New Orleans eastward is the threat zone.
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Quoting swlaaggie:
Nice job Levi.

You seem to have "some?" confidence regarding a more eastern gulf direction for this system. I assume that can could all change depending on the timing and degree of strength of both the western ridge and the eastern trough?

tia


Well he did say from NO and east. Your close enough so definitely don't put your guard down.
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thanks Levi. You brought up a good point on the amount of dry air present in the GOM right now due to the High above.

That is what I find strange is that the models would have or should have factored this in as a major inhibiting factor. I am going to venture and say practically the central and EGOM is pretty dry
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Anybody can post what JB's dramatic thinking over this situation currently. On Accuweather, they're theme for this month is "Troptober." Way to hype it and scare the public through the media.:0
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Quoting medic2luv:


Great Video Levi32, Hope to see more in the future, very informative and realistic!
Quoting weatherwart:
Levi, if you're still around, thanks for another great update. Just... quit drawing those arrows across the top of my house, please.


Thank you :)

I'll try to avoid it in the future weatherwart lol.
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Quoting cheetaking:
Wow, Igor has a pressure of 952 mb, and yet is only a category 1 hurricane?

Is that some kind of record? I've never seen a cat 1 with such a low central pressure.


21/0545 UTC 40.9N 56.6W EXTRATROPICAL IGOR
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Nice job Levi.

You seem to have "some?" confidence regarding a more eastern gulf direction for this system. I assume that can/could all change depending on the timing and degree of strength of both the western ridge and the eastern trough?

tia
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449. HCW
Recon for 95L

00
NOUS42 KNHC 211600
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1200 PM EDT TUE 21 SEPTEMBER 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 22/1100Z TO 23/1100Z SEPTEMBER 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-113

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. SUSPECT AREA -- CARRIBBEAN
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70 FLIGHT TWO -- TEAL 71
A. 22/1800Z A. 23/0600-1200Z
B. AFXXX 01FFA INVEST B. AFXXX 0215A CYCLONE
C. 22/1700Z C. 23/0400Z
D. 12.5N 68.5W D. 12.6N 71.0W
E. 22/1730-2300Z E. 23/0500-1200Z
F. SFC TO 10,000FT F. SFC TO 15,000FT

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK: CONTINUE 6 HRLY FIXES IF SYSTEM
DEVELOPS.

3. REMARKS:
A.THE NCAR G-V MAY FLY A RESEARCH MISSION INTO THE
SAME AREA TOMORROW MORNING 41,000 AND 45,000 FT.
. B. NASA DC-8 MAY ALSO FLY THIS AREA DEPARTING AT 22/1600Z.


II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK......NEGATIVE.
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Levi, if you're still around, thanks for another great update. Just... quit drawing those arrows across the top of my house, please.
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426. That was cool! Thanks!
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Look what the model shows after Matthew exits: It leaves loose low pressure behind suggesting another system by Day 12, and yet another area of low pressure by Day 16 as the 2nd one moves north. This is showing that the pattern isn't going to just let up after one big breath. This is something that we will have to be worrying about throughout most of October.

12z GFS Day 12:



12z GFS Day 16:

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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.