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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1861. scott39
Quoting weatherguy03:


My confidence is low all over!..LOL I am being honest with you. But yeah I just cant see that hard right turn right now. I hope the Euro starts to change its mind with the model runs tomorrow!..LOL
LOL, What models have done the best with Home Brew storms this season so far?
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Quoting CaptnDan142:


What's a 5am?


TD. 5AM or 11AM tomorrow?? Or until recon gets in there which will not be until around Noon.
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1858. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
T.C.F.A.
INV95/XX/XL
MARK
13.11N/71.09W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54879
Quoting Seastep:


I think more 13-14N/71-72W based on shortwave.


Thanks. Yep, I see it on the shortwave.
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Quoting weatherguy03:


5AM??


What's a 5am?
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Quoting scott39:
Is your confidence low with a right turn and threatning S FL/E Coast?


My confidence is low all over!..LOL I am being honest with you. But yeah I just cant see that hard right turn right now. I hope the Euro starts to change its mind with the model runs tomorrow!..LOL
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If 95 stalls then FL is in real trouble
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Uncertainty..... All the way down to southern Mexico to all the way up to the panhandle...
Quoting scott39:
All over the place!
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1850. Grothar
Quoting PcolaDan:


Know what you mean. I thought I knew a little about woodworking, but some of these terms the people here use just confuse me.


Sorry, don't know what you mean?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26958
1849. Seastep
Quoting weatherwart:
Anybody? Where's the general coc on this invest? I'm guessing somewhere around 75W 13N?


I think more 13-14N/71-72W based on shortwave.
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Quoting kmanislander:


Run this loop with the lat / lon checked. Easy to see


Oh yeah, very easy to see. I was trying to spot it on the unenhanced channel. Thank you.
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95L real COC is at 14.3N 70.9W you con see the banding starting to really developing

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1841. Nice video. Thx
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
1844. scott39
Quoting weatherguy03:


Very low confidence forecast right now past 72 hours.
Is your confidence low with a right turn and threatning S FL/E Coast?
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1843. docrod
Quoting hahaguy:


Seems like most of the kids left so I'd say yes lol.


Mostly yes - but not all (i.e. 1918)

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1842. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting scott39:
95L up to 35mph and pressure down to 1007. Movement is W/WNW or 281 degrees. A little more organized tonight. Chief Met said 95L may stall in the NW Carribean.
yes it will to gather itself together
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54879
I've heard a few people--okay, more than a few--invoke the name of Hurricane Wilma as a possible analog for 95L. Maybe, maybe not; that remains to be seen. But here's a very quickly patched together trio of short videos I shot the shortly after Wilma passed by to my south. As everyone knows, the storm was worse on the east coast of Florida than it was on the west, where this was taken. Still, if you don't mind choppy video, poor resolution, amateurish composition, and bad lighting, you might find this interesting. If nothing else, the sound will be familiar to anyone who's been through a tropical storm...

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Quoting Grothar:


I told you before, it is Rita.


What's up with the ditch?
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Quoting weatherguy03:


Tomorrow.


5AM??
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1838. Seastep
Quoting NRAamy:
Has the Night Shift clocked in yet?


Appears so. :)
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Quoting scott39:
All over the place!


Very low confidence forecast right now past 72 hours.
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Quoting weatherwart:
Thanks, kman. I was close. lol


Run this loop with the lat / lon checked. Easy to see
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1834. scott39
Quoting sunlinepr:
Ensemble models for 95L

All over the place!
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1832. scott39
95L up to 35mph and pressure down to 1007. Movement is W/WNW or 281 degrees. A little more organized tonight. Chief Met said 95L may stall in the NW Carribean.
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Thanks, kman. I was close. lol
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
You think we have a shot for a TD at 11, maybe?


Tomorrow.
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Quoting weatherwart:
Anybody? Where's the general coc on this invest? I'm guessing somewhere around 75W 13N?


13N 72 W
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Quoting quante:


As per my earlier post, I think that is a different projected system and then a second one to follow, which would be really ugly, but that is all modeling, not based on an existing system.

Its the same system, here;s the link to the run thats shows it skirting Northern Honduras and then hanging out for a while before heading NE and then N through Cuba and either striking or skirting SE Fla.
It's the same system 95L aka MatthewLink
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1827. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)


In most situations, water temperatures of at least 26.5 C (79.7 F) are needed down to a depth of at least 50 metres (160 ft); waters of this temperature cause the overlying atmosphere to be unstable enough to sustain convection and thunderstorms
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54879
Anybody? Where's the general coc on this invest? I'm guessing somewhere around 75W 13N?
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Ensemble models for 95L

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Quoting cat5hurricane:
It's go time
You think we have a shot for a TD at 11, maybe?
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This old Met is calling it quits for the day. Logging off for the night. See you at 5am y'all.
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Quoting Grothar:


Nice! OK, what is your opinion on the future of 95L?
I haven't spent the time required to say much of anything intelligible to be perfectly honest. Way, way too busy at work (just stopped working 30 minutes ago).

And now to bed, g'nite. Will be checking on 95L once the crystal ball gets a little less foggy.
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Quoting Grothar:


Been on for 4 years and still don't know what anyone is talking about.


Know what you mean. I thought I knew a little about woodworking, but some of these terms the people here use just confuse me.
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1814. hahaguy
Quoting NRAamy:
Has the Night Shift clocked in yet?


Seems like most of the kids left so I'd say yes lol.
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Keep on another 4 years and you will reach NIRVANA...


Quoting Grothar:


Been on for 4 years and still don't know what anyone is talking about.
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
It's nice to see you here.
It's safe. Can you summarize your current thinking here or would you prefer we go look at your blog? Either way, it's nice to have your thoughts. You were right on about Wilma, 24-48 hours before the NHC, as I recall.


Hey Cosmic..Post 1801.:-)
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LISA
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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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