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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LISA
Member Since: January 10, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 918
1809. Grothar
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Just wanted to see how many ppl sayed Katrina but somthing happened with the pic it is not showing the pic.


I told you before, it is Rita.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26010
AVN showing the center filling in



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Quoting weatherguy03:


Thanks, just thought I would pop in if its safe..LOL
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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormJunkie:


Thanks nrti. Can you or anyone explain what the three different descriptions are?

TIME (HR) 0 6 12 18 24 36 48 60 72 84 96 108 120
V (KT) NO LAND 30 34 39 44 50 64 79 91 101 106 110 112 115
V (KT) LAND 30 34 39 44 50 64 79 91 101 106 82 45 33
V (KT) LGE mod 30 33 38 43 49 63 82 101 117 129 103 51 34



I'm not absolutely certain, but I would think that the first means how strong it is forecast to get if it doesn't run into land. The second is for how strong it will get if it runs into land. The last one is how strong the LGEM model forecasts it to get.
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1805. Grothar
Quoting atmoaggie:
Yes. I know you wouldn't say that without a good reason.I cannot truthfully answer that in mixed company, sorry.


Nice! OK, what is your opinion on the future of 95L?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26010
Quoting weatherguy03:


If it can go North of Honduras and sit off the coast for a bit then it could get stronger. If it goes farther South and into Honduras or Nicaragua then I dont see it happening.


Evening 03, good to see ya.

I get that land interaction will be a limiting factor, but I was wondering if the shear size of the system could also be a limiting factor. Bigger wheel, harder to get spinning, etc...
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16348
Quoting weatherguy03:


I posted some thoughts about todays models in my comments. Not much really. The picture is still cloudy in the long range. My initial thinking is that this trough will not be as strong as the models are showing right now. We may see them back off and have a less progressive pattern. But man the Euro has been very consistent!


And that could mean not a big swing off to the NE like the GFS and Euro have been showing. Maybe a more gradual turn to the North. The Canadian has a less progressive pattern and so does the UKMET.
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Quoting Grothar:


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


Well, that should make me feel better, LOL LOL.
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Convective gap over the center just about filled now.

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Just wanted to see how many ppl said Katrina but somthing happened with the pic it is not showing the pic.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Look at latest SHIPS and GFDL


Thanks nrti. Can you or anyone explain what the three different descriptions are?

TIME (HR) 0 6 12 18 24 36 48 60 72 84 96 108 120
V (KT) NO LAND 30 34 39 44 50 64 79 91 101 106 110 112 115
V (KT) LAND 30 34 39 44 50 64 79 91 101 106 82 45 33
V (KT) LGE mod 30 33 38 43 49 63 82 101 117 129 103 51 34

Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16348
Quoting Grothar:


Been on for 4 years and still don't know what anyone is talking about.
lmao.
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Quoting weatherman12345:
i watched your video this morning. anything you want to add or change. all your videoes are great by the way. i live in south florida so i like to know whats going on.


I posted some thoughts about todays models in my comments. Not much really. The picture is still cloudy in the long range. My initial thinking is that this trough will not be as strong as the models are showing right now. We may see them back off and have a less progressive pattern. But man the Euro has been very consistent!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormJunkie:
Evening all

So are there any thoughts on the possibility that should 95 maintain itself without too much land interaction that it may only be able to attain Cat 2 or so do to it's size?

We know both Ike and Igor had a hard time reattaining major status...But they were also major's at one point prior to that.
Gustav, too, among others.

(I saw wg03's response)

I agree. "Threading the needle" is bad news for someone...otherwise, yeah, could have trouble building back up, especially if it isn't going all the way across the Gulf.
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1790. Grothar
Quoting OceanMoan:
This is the second evening in a row that I have visited the blog and had no idea what everyone was talking about. :-) Y'all are awesome.


Been on for 4 years and still don't know what anyone is talking about.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26010
Hope the best for him,, after all, we should be here to learn from the masters and to support and help those who can learn from our daily experience in the blog....

Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:


It seems we may be saved from The Hammer. The sheer feral animosity from a pitiful few, hopefully, will not engulf the virtuous.
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9798
1788. Grothar
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
This is my fav picture can you guys guess what storm it is?



Could it possibly be Rita????
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26010
Quoting atmoaggie:
good to see ya, wg03


Thanks, just thought I would pop in if its safe..LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
This is my fav picture can you guys guess what storm it is?



The storm that doesn't exist.
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Quoting StormJunkie:
Evening all

So are there any thoughts on the possibility that should 95 maintain itself without too much land interaction that it may only be able to attain Cat 2 or so do to it's size?

We know both Ike and Igor had a hard time reattaining major status...But they were also major's at one point prior to that.


If it can go North of Honduras and sit off the coast for a bit then it could get stronger. If it goes farther South and into Honduras or Nicaragua then I dont see it happening.
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This is the second evening in a row that I have visited the blog and had no idea what everyone was talking about. :-) Y'all are awesome.
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Quoting kmanislander:


Pretty peachy for now LOL


Yes, we're all praying to the 'cane gods it stays that way, n'est-ce pas?
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Quoting StormJunkie:
Evening all

So are there any thoughts on the possibility that should 95 maintain itself without too much land interaction that it may only be able to attain Cat 2 or so do to it's size?

We know both Ike and Igor had a hard time reattaining major status...But they were also major's at one point prior to that.


Look at latest SHIPS and GFDL
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Shes stormkat/debbykat/katrinakat, ignore her.
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Quoting kshipre1:
which models are showing the west coast of florida at risk?


In the long range the GFS and Euro.
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
This is my fav picture can you guys guess what storm it is?



Rita
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
This is my fav picture can you guys guess what storm it is?

1900 Galveston Hurricane?

(Duh, it's in the filename for the pic, visible if you know where to look)
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This is my fav picture can you guys guess what storm it is?

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Quoting Grothar:


Hey, I asked you about what you thought of a strong system developing in the Caribbean last week, remember?
Yes. I know you wouldn't say that without a good reason.
Quoting Grothar:


What do you think of me now. LOL
I cannot truthfully answer that in mixed company, sorry.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Evening all

So are there any thoughts on the possibility that should 95 maintain itself without too much land interaction that it may only be able to attain Cat 2 or so do to it's size?

We know both Ike and Igor had a hard time reattaining major status...But they were also major's at one point prior to that.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16348

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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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