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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341. IKE
Quoting MiamiThreater:


He never said that, stop putting words in his mouth. He's watching the situation like everyone else is, in case it affects him, right, Ike?


Yes.

12Z GFS @ 114 hours...

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Models.



thanks
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Good morning all.

Tropical Tidbit for Tuesday, September 21st, with Video
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Quoting KanKunKid:


I appreciate that. But sometimes you have to walk away.
I prefer to think of my posts as being more Satirical than sarcastic. The ancient Greek word that the English word "Sarcasm" comes from, is a reference to somone verbally tearing something apart as a dog tears meat asunder with its teeth, which is the direct connotation. I don't think that is me. I like hyperbole and satire which are much funnier and can also carry a hidden or confluent message of profound wisdom, if found by the reader. Mostly, people read the funny part and go on. Still, it's there for the observent. Occasionally, someone will find it and comment on it. Then you know who the real clever ones are here on the blog.


Excellent post and point. I never looked at it that way. Thanks for the lesson Kid!!
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330. Great post.

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TS Lisa ... is looking kinda STS-ish imho.
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My Elderly Aunt and Grandmother who live in Palm Bay, Fl. have a Genterator built into thier house that runs on natural Gas. It is sweet to have after a hurricane. Cost to have it installed is outrageous!
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6779
Tropical Storm Georgette: live stream from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico Link
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Quoting cat5hurricane:
September 20th Caribbean TCHP's



there's enough fuel there.
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Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:
Morning. Spoke too soon. Hear you on the remote. Using the timer can make you tear your hair out.


Well now I'm confused...It seems it does have remote shutter operation. I found it hard to believe it didn't.

12z GFS 48hrs

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Quoting BioChemist:
no one can help me out with some of the long range models? I really need the ecmwf and nogaps, thanks


Models.
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no one can help me out with some of the long range models? I really need the ecmwf and nogaps, thanks
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319. IKE
Quoting xCat6Hurricane:
IKE on the other hand is calling this to die out without making it to the yucatan


I never said that.

Wrong.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Good morning all.
Thanks for the updates, Doc. It's cool when you describe invests as "potentially dangerous".
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Quoting KanKunKid:


Umm. Page 4. A bunch of em. Unusual too, even got the venerable DJ on one. WTH? New sherriff in town or someone with a burr in their saddle? Don't know, but with 95L bearing down on me, I need all the humor and weather I can get. Somebody keeps scaring off all the good help.
Man, I read through all, and thought it would be ok. Guess I must have somehow jinxed it. My apologies.
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Quoting cat5hurricane:
pretty cool. thnx for that link!


No prob Cat5 ... should be useful link to watch Post-Igor in the next few days.
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Quoting StormJunkie:


Morning PSL, good to see ya. Hate to be the bearer of bad news...Post 228.

I'm frustrated. T2i apparently does not have remote shutter capability. Going to have to go with the 7D...Hard to shoot night/lightening/low light shots without a remote.
Morning. Spoke too soon. Hear you on the remote. Using the timer can make you tear your hair out.
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Good Afternoon...........Too early to nail down (even for the models) where 95L will go in the long term (Yucatan/CA/Gulf) until it fully develops but assuming that it develops a "large" circulation, and with all of the moisture down there, it could bring major flooding issues for portions of the Caribbean as noted by Dr. M......Not looking good at the moment in terms of potential impacts from this one. Glad to see that the folks at NCEP are back at it after a several week absence; here is their discussion from this morning......This will probably take a different tone over the next few days as 95L develops further but notice the great summary of the related MJO issues at the bottom;

TROPICAL DISCUSSION - INTERNATIONAL DESKS
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
613 AM EDT TUE SEP 21 2010


AT 700/850 HPA THE PERTURBATION IN THE EASTERLIES IS QUITE EVIDENT...BUT STRONG PRESENCE OF SUBTROPICAL RIDGE PATTERN WILL
GENERALLY KEEP THIS WAVE TO THE SOUTH OF 16N AS IT MOVES ACROSS THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN DURING THE NEXT 36-42 HRS. DUE TO STRONG PRESSURE GRADIENT...A WIND SURGE IS TO ACCOMPANY THIS PERTURBATION AS IT MOVES ACROSS THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN...WITH UKMET PROJECTING 850 HPA WINDS OF 25-30KT THROUGH TOMORROW AFTERNOON. THE GFS IS NOT FAR OFF FROM THIS FORECAST...WITH BOTH SHOWING THE STRONGEST WINDS TO THE SOUTH OF SAINT CROIX. AS THE GRADIENT SLACKENS LATER
THIS WEEK...EXPECTING TRADES TO GRADUALLY DROP TO 10-15KT BY THE WEEKEND. AHEAD OF THE TUTT LOW A SUBSIDENCE CAP WILL ESTABLISH ACROSS THE NORTHEAST CARIBBEAN...WITH FORECASTED PWS EXPECTED TO DROP BELOW 40MM DURING THE EVENING HOURS TODAY. THEY ARE TO REMAIN LOW THROUGH THURSDAY...WITH A SURGE IN MOISTURE FRIDAY TO
SATURDAY.

THE STRONG TRADES ARE LIKELY TO INHIBIT ORGANIZED/HEAVY RAINFALL AMOUNTS ACROSS THE USVI/PUERTO RICO DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF
DAYS. ANY SHOWERS THAT DEVELOP WILL TEND TO BE BRIEF AND NOT EXPECTED TO LINGER FOR LONG ACROSS A GIVEN AREA. BEST CHANCE FOR ORGANIZED CONVECTION WILL BE ON FRIDAY TO EARLY SUNDAY...MAINLY AS THE TUTT ALOFT ENHANCES LOCAL EFFECTS-SEA/LAND BREEZES.

ON THE LONG RANGE...THE EWP AND CFS MODELS GENERALLY AGREE ON FAVORABLE MJO CONDITIONS TO WEAKEN BY THE END OF THE MONTH. THE
GFS IS THE MOST OPTIMISTIC...SHOWING FAVORABLE CONDITIONS PERSISTING... IF NOT INTENSIFYING...BY THE BEGINNING OF OCTOBER.
BUT CURRENT TREND DOES NOT SUPPORT THIS...AS THE OBSERVED PATTERN HAVE BEEN RANGING BETWEEN 10-15 DAYS BETWEEN PERIODS OF FAVORABLE/UNFAVORABLE MJO CONDITIONS. IF THE PATTERN HOLDS...THE EWP/CFS HAVE BETTER ODDS OF VERIFYING THAN THE GFS.
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Quoting weatherman12345:

Still no circulation what so ever

never caught , if there is a circulation it is more like around 12.5N/61W, JMO
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Guys, i just spoke to reed, he's calling this to go directly west into the pacific ocean and slam into san diego CALI as a cat 5
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Link

Wow Igor is an amazing storm! Check this satellite image...and run the animation. It "almost looks like" he is developing an eye as he makes his closest approach to Newfoundland. Also, if you look closely, you can see Igor merging with the approaching frontal boundary from the west.

Wish there was a better image.
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Quoting cat5hurricane:
...and nail biting. lol


Yeah, they need to go ahead and perfect perfect forecasting...Oh, wait...Didn't someone already do that

Seriously though, the wait, watch, and see is always frustrating for all in the potential "zone"
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hey kids, can I get a link to he long range ecmwf. I am trying to collect all of them, and I only have the long range gfs right now.... anyothers would be appreciated
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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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