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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(sigh) I wish people on here would take me seriously and not a joke or troll. Thank you so much scottsvb for ruining my reputation on here.
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Quoting CaptnDan142:


Well, if you're an hour from P'cola over there, either I haven't driven it in a while, or we have very different driving styles. lol

Anyway, Panama City here, so I still find P'cola to be an undesirable solution. ;-)


Pensacola is still closer of a drive despite 98 being 4 lane between PC and FWB. PC beach is an hours drive from Fort Walton, but to drive into PC its over an hour. Though, they have raised the speed limit to above the standard 55mph between PC and FWB. But I guess if you want to get accurate. FWB is roughly 40 miles East of Pensacola and 66 miles West of Panama City. In traffic, P'Cola is an hour away.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Didn't think so either. What about a Donna type track?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Donna

Donna came in from the Bahamas. But, could 95L imitate somthing like Donna from Florida, northward?


Difficult to speculate on a storm that hasn't even formed yet, but given how far west it will be if and when it develops, a Charley or Wilma-type track seems more likely as many people have been saying on here tonight. Worst case for NC would be a Charley-type situation where the storm reemerges off the Florida East coast and rapidly strngthens ove rthe Gulf Stream before reaching NC. Could happen but I wouldn't be too worried about it right now.
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2539. will40
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Didn't think so either. What about a Donna type track?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Donna

Donna came in from the Bahamas. But, could 95L imitate somthing like Donna from Florida, northward?


yea Donna looks closer to GFS run
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Quoting Grecojdw:


I am 6 miles to the West of Destin, Florida. In Fort Walton Beach, Florida.


Well, if you're an hour from P'cola over there, either I haven't driven it in a while, or we have very different driving styles. lol

Anyway, Panama City here, so I still find P'cola to be an undesirable solution. ;-)
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2537. xcool
oh cool
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Quoting natrwalkn:


No, seriously doubt a Hazel-type track.


Didn't think so either. What about a Donna type track?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Donna

Donna came in from the Bahamas. But, could 95L imitate somthing like Donna from Florida, northward?
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Quoting xcool:
Grecojdw locations


I am 6 miles to the West of Destin, Florida. In Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
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Quoting StormJunkie:
Evening CE, and thanks...And you too bcy.


Welcome and thanks for your story. Weather binds us all together. g'night.
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Quoting CaptnDan142:


Hour and a quarter west of me.

OK, that's two of us that don't like it. Toss that run out and try again please.


woops...how embarassing..Its really late and my internal directional compass is waaayyyy off. I meant an hour to the West of me. Even worse:0
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2531. xcool
Grecojdw locations
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Wait a minute, are y'all saying 95L could be like Hazel in track? I though Hazel came from the Atlantic Ocean like a CV storm, not the Caribbean.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Hazel

Okay, yeah, Hazel did come from the Caribbean. Huh! I add to my knowledge of hurricane history every day. Except for some landmark storms, my Atlantic hurricane history knowledge is sharpest right now between 1990 to present, I am now just starting to study now before 1990.


No, seriously doubt a Hazel-type track.
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Quoting Grecojdw:


yuck!! that's an hour east of me:0


Hour and a quarter west of me.

OK, that's two of us that don't like it. Toss that run out and try again please.
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I did remark in an earlier post that most storm like 95L, that is if 95L materializes, tend to not be bad for folks north of Florida, except in rare cases where the steering upper trough amplifies into an upper low, which bends the storm track from NE to NW. That's what looked like what happened with Hazel 1954.

You can see Igor turned from NE to NW today as the upper trough amplified into an upper low. Is that what models do with 95L, amplify the steering upper trough into an upper low?
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Quoting MiamiThreater:
Right..... Pensacola, :(.


yuck!! that's an hour east of me:0
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2525. xcool


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2524. will40


Hazel track
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2521. xcool
MiamiThreater you poor baby do what a cookie
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Quoting will40:
Hazel came in at an angle that took her well in shore


Wait a minute, are y'all saying 95L could be like Hazel in track? I though Hazel came from the Atlantic Ocean like a CV storm, not the Caribbean.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Hazel

Okay, yeah, Hazel did come from the Caribbean. Huh! I add to my knowledge of hurricane history every day. Except for some landmark storms, my Atlantic hurricane history knowledge is sharpest right now between 1990 to present, I am now just starting to study now before 1990.
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long range CMC = pensacola
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2517. will40
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


I've never been through a tornado before, the only real bad tornado in Raleigh my parents told me about was some tornado that hit the local K-mart in the 1980s, but I didn't live in Raleigh at the time.

Oh yeah, there were some suspect tornadoes that uprooted trees in the area during Fran in 1996, but know one knows for sure.

Hope good old 'nesto did not ruin your roof to bad.


yup had to replace it. but still could have been a lot worse
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2516. will40
And Hazel was moving 30mph when she hit which pushed her further inland
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Quoting will40:
Hazel came in at an angle that took her well in shore


Yes, and developed a little farther East and turned north before 95L is expected to. Still, contrary to what one would normally expect, the worst cane to affect NC came from the Carribean.
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Cosmic no no not you lol! I am talking about new people coming on and being rude to people who have been on the blog for years (Not talking about myself)I am sorry that I did not word that correctly.
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Quoting will40:


Emerald Isle


I've never been through a tornado before, the only real bad tornado in Raleigh my parents told me about was some tornado that hit the local K-mart in the 1980s, but I didn't live in Raleigh at the time.

Oh yeah, there were some suspect tornadoes that uprooted trees in the area during Fran in 1996, but know one knows for sure.

Hope good old 'nesto did not ruin your roof to bad.
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2512. JRRP

TD south Haiti
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2510. crunja
RE: Third warmest August on record for the globe



Ice Age Now recants:

iceagenow.com



||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||



~Freak cold snap in Britain

18 Sep10 - "The freak cold snap has come weeks early, after the coldest August for 17 years. Temperatures could plummet to -1C (30F) at night – 12 degrees C below the seasonal average."




~Unprecedented Warming in US and Russia ... Not

During July, Moscow was burning up, as well as a major portion of the U.S. - Clear evidence of what the last 3 decades of massive CO2 emissions have done to the climate.
Oooops, we bad - OMG, the above image (see web page) isn't for July 2010, it's for July 1936! On the right is the temperature anomaly map for July 2010.



~New Zealand - Heaviest snow in decades - 19 Sep 10

NZ stadium collapses under heavy snowfall
"We've never had a snow fall this big before, in our history" "Farmers have been particularly badly hit."


18 Sep 10 - Heavy snow collapses the roof on the main netball court at the world-class Stadium Southland in Invercargill.
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2509. will40
Quoting natrwalkn:


Hazel, 1954.
Hazel came in at an angle that took her well in shore
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:
The model runs of 95L sort of remind me of the tracks of storms like Charley 2004, Ernesto 2006, Wilma 2005, a storm born in the Caribbean that then has potential to affect up and down the eastern seabaord upon turning north. Except for Floridians, such storms tend to not be that bad for folks north of Florida because its an upper trough that draws the storm northward from the Caribbean.

The upper trough tends to push the storm northeastward, or parallel and offshore of the eastern US coast. The only time such a storm would be bad would be if the upper trough highly amplifies into an upper low, which would change the storm track from northeastward to more northward or northwestward. Does anyone know if the models are hinting at the upper trough driving 95L north amplifying into an upper low?


Hazel, 1954.
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Evening CE, and thanks...And you too bcy.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16828
Quoting Want2learn:
Thats awesome, thnx


NP, what happened to Igor and Julia's remnants is a good example of two scenarios of what happens when a remnant low interacts with an upper trough. Where the remnant low ends up in relation to the upper trough has huge implications.

Julia's remnant is caught in the west side of an upper trough, and the west side is opposite of the east side, there is upper convergence on that side, which weakens the surface low. That's why Julia's remnant was not impressive.

Now, Igor, that ended up on the east side of an upper trough. Upper air divergence on the east side of an upper trough, well you can see Igor's remnant tonight is so much more impressive than Julia's.
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Quoting StormJunkie:
21 years ago...About an hour ago...On my Mom's birthday...I brought her a muffin with a candle in it. Huddled in the hall way...Well actually, right about now we were likely walking out in to the clear eyewall. Dad was working for the town so it was just me and her at the house. Scary night, but I wouldn't trade the experience. Happy Birthday Mom.


That is poetry. Thanks for sharing your story.
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2503. will40
Quoting xcool:
to moon



lolol xcool
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2502. xcool
to moon
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Quoting TropicalWeatherGrl:
Cosmic: I have read this blog for so long, and so much that I feel like I know most of you. Anyway it upsets me when new people come on here and are just rude for no reason.
What? Who was I rude to? If it was you or to anyone I apologize. It's just a misunderstanding. Perhaps a lil' joke taken the wrong way. These things can happen as different people read the same words differently..
.
.
If you'd like I can direct you back to 5 posts, today alone, where someone announced that they were posting for the first time, and in 5 of the 5 cases I was the first one to welcome them. In 4 of the 5 the only one.
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2499. xcool


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Quoting StormJunkie:


It actually looks like SE Fl or NC would get the worst on that 1 particular run...So many days out it is only useful in order to start building more consistency and a more exact consensus.


Darn, I thought hurricane season was over for me. Usually after mid-September, hurricanes don't affect NC that bad (with the exception of Hazel in October 1954). Well, time to put on my tinfoil watch hat with 95L, LOL!
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2497. will40
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Where do you live at? I imagine down east of Raleigh (where i live) 'cause I know Ernesto was event for the folks down east than it was for Raleigh.


Emerald Isle
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2495. xcool
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Igor is one of the most impressive tropical to extratropical (non-tropical, post-tropical, whatever you want to call it) transition cases I have seen. An extratropical cyclone intensifies using upper air divergence (acceleration) on the east side of an upper trough. An upper trough is associated with a cold air mass.

So Igor was already massive and powerful before merging with the east side of the upper trough. It "perfectly" aligned itself with the upper divergence maximum on the east side of the upper trough, becoming the dominant extratropical cyclone supported by the trough.

Did you notice that the central pressure of Igor was actualy falling even though it was moving over cold waters?! That's because Igor was intensifying due to the upper divergence max. of the upper trough. And as a remnant extratropical cyclone, it still maybe strengthening, producing even stronger winds after leaving Canada.
Thats awesome, thnx
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Quoting will40:


Yea i remember Ernesto. He spawned a tornado and ruined my roof


Where do you live at? I imagine down east of Raleigh (where i live) 'cause I know Ernesto was event for the folks down east than it was for Raleigh.
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2492. xcool
i really hate cold weather..
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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.