Igor delivers punishing blow to Newfoundland; 95L growing more organized

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:21 PM GMT on September 22, 2010

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Hurricane Igor delivered a punishing blow to Newfoundland Canada, which suffered one of its worst poundings by a hurricane in the past century. Igor made it all the way to southeast Newfoundland yesterday as a Category 1 hurricane, bringing a peak wind gust of 107 mph to Cape Pine in Southeast Newfoundland. Igor brought sustained winds of 58 mph, gusting to 85 mph, to Newfoundland's capital, St John's. The city recorded a remarkably low pressure of 958 mb, and picked up 3.99" of rain during Igor's passage. Widespread rain amounts of 5 - 9 inches fell over much of southeast Newfoundland's rocky terrain, which is unable to absorb so much water. The resulting severe flooding washed out hundreds of roads, collapsed several major bridges, and forced numerous rescues of people trapped on the second stories of their homes by flood waters. Igor generated swells of 6 - 8 meters (20 - 26 feet) that pounded the southern coast of Newfoundland last night and this morning; significant wave heights reached 39 feet at the Newfoundland Grand Banks Buoy, and a storm surge of a meters (3.28 feet) hit the northeast shores of Newfoundland last night. Igor is now a large and powerful extratropical storm off Greenland and Labrador, and continues to generate hurricane force winds over water--winds at Angisoq, Greenland were sustained at 66 mph this morning.

It is not that unusual for hurricanes to penetrate as far north as Newfoundland's latitude; over 40 hurricanes have done so. The last time this occurred was in 2003, when Hurricane Fabian made it to latitude 48.7°N as a hurricane. The all time record is held by Hurricane Faith of 1966, which followed the Gulf Stream and maintained hurricane status all the way north to latitude 61.1°N, just off the coast of Norway.


Figure 1. Little Barsway bridge 10 km north of Grand Bank, Newfoundland, after floodwaters from Hurricane Igor swept it away. Image credit: George J.B. Rose.


Figure 2. Hurricane Igor at 11:47am EDT on Wednesday, September 21, as it pounded Newfoundland as a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds. Image credit: Environment Canada.


Figure 3. Video of impressive flooding on Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula, whose 20,000 residents were cut off from the rest of the province by flooded roads and closed bridges.

Dangerous Caribbean disturbance 95L growing more organized
A tropical wave (Invest 95L) moving westward at 15 mph though the south-central Caribbean is bringing gusty winds and heavy rain to the northern coast of Venezuela and the islands of Curacao, Aruba, and Bonaire this morning. A wind gust of 38 mph was recorded at Curacao last night. Radar from Curacao and satellite loops show that 95L's thunderstorms have a pronounced rotation, with a center of circulation located just off the coast of South America. Thunderstorm activity is fairly limited, but is slowly increasing in areal coverage and intensity. Wind shear over the Caribbean is low, 5 - 10 knots, and is forecast to remain low to moderate, 5 - 15 knots, for the rest of the week. NHC is giving the disturbance a 60% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Thursday. I'd put the odds higher, at 70%. The Hurricane Hunters are scheduled to investigate 95L this afternoon.

The wave should continue moving westward near 15 mph through Friday afternoon, 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 today and Thursday as passes to the north. Heavy rains may also spread to Southwest Haiti and Jamaica on Thursday, and the Cayman Islands, Cuba, Honduras, and Nicaragua on Friday. When 95L moves over or just north of Honduras on Saturday, a trough of low pressure diving southwards over the Eastern U.S. will weaken the steering currents over the Western Caribbean and cause 95L to turn more to the northwest and slow. If the center of 95L remains over water, the storm could easily develop into powerful and dangerous Hurricane Matthew over the Western Caribbean early next week. Even if the center stays over land, the circulation of the storm may be capable of generating dangerous flooding rains over Central America. Steering currents will be weak over the Western Caribbean through the middle of next week, and 95L may spend up to a week over the Western Caribbean, drenching the region with very heavy rains. Another possibility is that the trough of low pressure over the Eastern U.S. will be strong enough to draw 95L northwards across western Cuba and into the Gulf of Mexico 6 - 8 days from now. This solution is not being emphasized as much in today's model's runs as yesterday's, and the danger to the U.S. is uncertain at this point.


Figure 4. Morning satellite image of 95L.

Tropical Storm Lisa
Tropical Storm Lisa continues to churn the waters of the far Eastern Atlantic. By Friday night, upper level winds out of the west are expected to increase, bringing high wind shear of 20 - 45 knots over Lisa. The high shear may be capable of destroying the storm by early next week. It appears unlikely that Lisa will affect any land areas.

Georgette headed towards Arizona
Tropical Depression Georgette hit the tip of Baja California as a weak tropical storm with 40 mph winds yesterday, but dropped little rain. Georgette is in the Gulf of California, headed northwards, and could bring heavy rains to Arizona on Thursday.

Hurricane Karl's aftermath
Mexico continues to clean up from Hurricane Karl, which made landfall last Friday in Veracruz state as a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds. Karl dumped approximately one foot of rain in the Sierra Madre Oriental Mountains, which cause some rivers to rise to unprecedented levels. The death toll from Karl's flooding and mudslides stands at 16, and ten of thousands remain in shelters after being displaced from their flooded homes. Insurance company AIR Worldwide is estimating insured losses at $100 - $200 million. Actual damage is estimated to be as much as $3.9 billion, since insurance take-up rates are low in Mexico. Karl is the second billion-dollar hurricane to hit Mexico this year; in June, Hurricane Alex hit just south of the Texas border as a Category 2 storm, killing 51 and doing $1.9 billion in damage.

Elsewhere in the tropics
The GFS model predicts a new tropical depression might develop in the Central Caribbean about seven days from now. The NOGAPS model predicts a new tropical depression will form off the coast of Africa about seven days from now.

My next post will be Thursday morning.

Jeff Masters

Uprooted Buoy (Maciejewski)
A buoy is left stranded on the beach from the storm waves of Hurricane Igor...
Uprooted Buoy

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Quoting bcycsailor:


Thanks. So, Charley hit a trough at a crucial moment...and if the current troughs are predicted to be weak, steering currents are not going to affect the developing system to such a dramatic degree I guess. Hmm. Appreciate your response.


personally these models have been shifting wildly in terms of the strength of the trough. the problem is that strong troughs usually don't occur till mid-October that far South. They can't really figure it out until they find out the relative weakness and strength of the trough versus the genesis of the storm. We will know more about the movement in roughly a day and a half to two days.
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Panama City has a pretty mild record when it comes to hurricanes, compared to some other places around here.

1877 115mph Oct 2nd
1896 direct hit by hurricane july 7th causes heavy damage 90mph
1924 sept 15th 75mph,
1929 sept 30th 100mph press 28.80 heavy coastal damage
1936 july a storm surge of 6 ft bar 28.47 in a cat 3
1950 aug 30th gusts to 98mph rainfall=14.96 inches heavy flooding
1953 florence sept 26thsustained winds of 87mph while just west of here,press 29.35
1972 Agnes 85mph July 19th
1975 sept 23rd hurricane Eloise hits just west of here with 130mph winds.Winds here were gusting over 130mph &a 16 ft storm surge caused very heavy dmage
1994 t.s beryl hit with 50mph winds bar 29.59 4 ft storm surge
1995 opal oct 4th 125mph winds hit just west area has bad damage when it hit ft walton bch 50 homes destroyed in mexico bch
1998 hurricane Earl hits in early sept with 80mph winds moving from s.w fast causes minor to moderate damage here.

Source
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2359. mkmand
95L is looking much better. Maybe a depression within 12 hours????
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Quoting jonelu:
a trough came thru and drew it NE...That will happen here too...just when? where? and how strong...


Thanks for your reply. Man, these are fascinating and scary systems.
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Quoting cirrocumulus:


This year the troughs have been somewhat effective in drawing storms north. They are a bit weak though and seem to be a bit north providing the storms a slower recurve to the right. Therefore, I currently favor Panama City and west. I'll change to Tampa and east if necessary. Climatology favors Panama City and east for about ten more days.


Thanks. So, Charley hit a trough at a crucial moment...and if the current troughs are predicted to be weak, steering currents are not going to affect the developing system to such a dramatic degree I guess. Hmm. Appreciate your response.
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2356. leo305
95L is consolidating.. strong convection forming/converging over the center
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EURO could be dead wrong on the intensity. I don't see how this doesn't become at least a strong Cat 2 with low shear and hottest water temps on the planet. It would have to be land interaction with SA to really keep it in check.
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2353. xcool
yea
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2351. xcool
how can EURO shows one min hurricane their shows weaker storms
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2350. jonelu
Quoting bcycsailor:
Is it safe to come into this forum? (dips toe in water :) I have a question to whomever cares to answer: What were the dynamics that caused Charley to make that sudden right turn? And should we be watching for those atmospheric conditions while 95L gets (his) act together?
BTW, I always enjoy the Night Shift banter and info. Appreciate any answer and sorry if this question was already asked. Thanks.
a trough came thru and drew it NE...That will happen here too...just when? where? and how strong...
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Quoting bcycsailor:
Is it safe to come into this forum? (dips toe in water :) I have a question to whomever cares to answer: What were the dynamics that caused Charley to make that sudden right turn? And should we be watching for those atmospheric conditions while 95L gets (his) act together?
BTW, I always enjoy the Night Shift banter and info. Appreciate any answer and sorry if this question was already asked. Thanks.


This year the troughs have been somewhat effective in drawing storms north. They are a bit weak though and seem to be a bit north providing the storms a slower recurve to the right. Therefore, I currently favor Panama City and west. I'll change to Tampa and east if necessary. Climatology favors Panama City and west for about ten more days.
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2348. xcool
i do rember nhc was think about retire gfld
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2347. xcool
lol
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Quoting xcool:
time to retire gfld


lol...hiya bud!!
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agree! LOL...maybe gfs and a few others..leave EURO alone! LOL
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2342. xcool
time to retire gfld
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Is it safe to come into this forum? (dips toe in water :) I have a question to whomever cares to answer: What were the dynamics that caused Charley to make that sudden right turn? And should we be watching for those atmospheric conditions while 95L gets (his) act together?
BTW, I always enjoy the Night Shift banter and info. Appreciate any answer and sorry if this question was already asked. Thanks.
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2339. jonelu
Quoting cirrocumulus:


My current estimate is Panama City. Apalachicola is usually too far east for a prediction. However, Tampa is far enough west for a prediction. In other words, the boundaries are usually around Panama City and west and Tampa and south and east. Even Panama City is kind of on the eastern edge of the envelope. In the mean time, this one looks like a slow mover. Floods may be rampant around the Yucatan, Jamaica, and Cuba.

im feeling west coast tooo....i just need to be ready...because when then come from that angle a degree or 2 to the right is a whole dif story..
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time to retire HWRF
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2337. leo305
Quoting KerryInNOLA:
00z GFDL has 134 knot monster in Yuc Channel in 5 days headed for Fla W Coast


wilma 2.0

but wilma stalled over the yucatan for days.. dropping it down from a NEAR CAT 5 MONSTER to a cat 2
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Looking at little exJulia out there, and I'm wondering if perhaps Igor didn't somehow electrify some sort of rebirth mechanism. Shear is decreasing in her path, and warmer waters lay ahead. Not to mention the fact that her structure is improving rapidly, seemingly against all odds. Add to that the monster high pressure that is unfolding to steer her, with a zonal pattern, and what do you have? What will we name this child of Igor and Julia. I vote "ABnormal."






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2334. xcool


nott muchh
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2333. xcool


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2332. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #21
SEVERE TROPICAL STORM MALAKAS (T1012)
15:00 PM JST September 23 2010
====================================

SUBJECT: Category Two Typhoon near Bonin Islands (Ogasawara shoto)

At 6:00 AM UTC, Severe Tropical Storm Malakas (975 hPa) located at 20.4N 140.9E has 10 minute sustained winds of 60 knots with gusts of 85 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving north at 6 knots

Dvorak Intensity: T4.0

Storm Force Winds
===================
80 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
==================
270 NM from the center in eastern quadrant
180 NM from the center in western quadrant

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
24 HRS: 24.8N 140.7E - 70 knots (CAT 3/Typhoon)
48 HRS: 33.0N 144.6E - 75 knots (CAT 3/Typhoon)
72 HRS: 42.5N 153.1E - EXTRATROPICAL
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Quoting jonelu:
OIC....yikes! I have a business and 2 houses to board up (Mom is one of them) ugh...


My current estimate is Panama City. Apalachicola is usually too far east for a prediction. However, Tampa is far enough west for a prediction. In other words, the boundaries are usually around Panama City and west and Tampa and south and east. Even Panama City is kind of on the eastern edge of the envelope. In the mean time, this one looks like a slow mover. Floods may be rampant around the Yucatan, Jamaica, and Cuba.
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2330. xcool


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2329. leo305
Quoting KerryInNOLA:
00z CMC has this gigantic hurricane or something, whose size extends from Tampa to Honduras. Never seen this. Can anybody explain?



link?
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2328. leo305
remember karl, it had a taste of those conditions and it blew up while it was moving inland..
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2327. xcool


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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
Time's up. I was about to give you the WU trauma certificate.

Ans: Subdural hematoma. Remember Elway is an alcoholic.


not enough info...could have been a sub arachnoid hematoma or bleed, concussion, stroke, tia...all kinds of stuff!!

alas....no prize
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2324. leo305
Quoting CoopNTexas:
out to lunch by blowing it up...heading NE thru channel.




I wouldn't say its out to lunch, the conditions there probably do support rapid intensification
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2322. jonelu
Quoting cirrocumulus:


Yes, around 73.3 soon. However, it is increasing in strength before it reaches prime growth territory at 75.
OIC....yikes! I have a business and 2 houses to board up (Mom is one of them) ugh...
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Quoting jonelu:

That makes me think of Wilma...which was the worst Hurricane I experiences in PB County...Im thinking FL but more like a Charley track...intensity? Who knows? But Im nervous?


Wilma was a monster....went down and helped clean up....wow what a mess!!
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Quoting btwntx08:
wow gfdl bombs it out that could happen given record tchp there notice the ne hook near the end of the run


That could certainly happen given the favorable upper atmospheric parameters (namely vertical shear) and the fairly high relative humidity values forecast by the SHIPS. But it will, obviously, depend upon any potential interaction with the Central American landmass.
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...and I'm out. Good night peeps!
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Quoting PrivateIdaho:
So Elway is drunk and brought a large pupil home...My diagnosis is he is gettin jiggy with it!


;)
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2317. JLPR2
95L is popping, Ex-Julia remains interesting, Lisa looks disorganized and I'm off to bed. :D

Night all!
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
No Elway doesn't have a glass eye. But I see your sharp. His alcohol is 224
So Elway is drunk and brought a large pupil home...My diagnosis is he is gettin jiggy with it!
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It is not out of the possibility that 95L gets near the strength shown by the GFDL... if conditions are right especially with those water temps.
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
No Elway doesn't have a glass eye. But I see your sharp. His alcohol is 224


Elway..my hero....be over there in three weeks....buy elway drink!!
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2311. xcool


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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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