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 will40:


np and i understand


ok . np= no problem. I guess?
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1560. Grothar
Quoting FLdewey:

Ewwwww.


I just post em, I don't draw them. LOL
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Quoting shawn26:
I really think Florida is the bullseye for this storm, unfortunately.

That sounds like we are in trouble then in Florida if what you say holds up?
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Most... models have 95L as a TS in 24 hours.
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


Thats a CAT 5 or 4 Riding up South Florida's East Coast..


Look at the Windfeild..

If this Model Holds True ...

This Senerio would be worse than andrew


But that says 976 millibars. That's not a 4/5.
Or am I missing something?
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i disagree....everything is NOT moot. upper air pattern.
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in light of recent events...Can we please spell out "Center of Circulation"?
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1550. shawn26
I didn't say it would hit Florida, but by the looks of it, we are at the highest risk right now in the Conus
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1549. will40
Quoting HurricaneGeek:


If that's the case I stand corrected.
No offense or anything, but do you know for sure? How?
Just trying to learn.
Thanks.


np and i understand
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Quoting Grothar:


In what direction is it headed there?
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95L will need to pull away from South America before we see the convection consolidate over a low center. It has a lot going for it right now with moisture and warm waters and low shear. I think Florida will be watching this one early next week, it just might be that scary one if it slips through the Yucatan, that forecasted trough is consistently looking strong since all the models keep stopping the cyclone when it gets to Nicaragua, after that the cone will be huge and unpredictable. At least we have several days to prepare.
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Quoting will40:



like i said earlier there is no waiting period. If the center is closed off with organized deep convection it is a cyclone


If that's the case I stand corrected.
No offense or anything, but do you know for sure? How?
Just trying to learn.
Thanks.
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Quoting DestinJeff:
Why is nobody saying Miami is safe since they are in the bullseye this far out?

I thought that was part of the script. Do I have an old copy?


Yup, you need the new one... Zoo is writing an addendum.. something about web feet
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1542. xcool
yep
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Quoting Grothar:


That does not look good for us here in Florida at least at the moment according to this!
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1539. BDADUDE
Quoting shawn26:
I really think Florida is the bullseye for this storm, unfortunately.
There is no storm dude. Wait till there is a storm before predicting such doom and destruction.
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Quoting osuwxguynew:
No circulation yet, and not TD.


Au contraire:

CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE

Tropical weather-related image


If not all the way there, then almost...
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1534. BDADUDE
Lisa may hit the conus down the road.
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1532. will40
Quoting HurricaneGeek:


Yeah but I'd wait to see until we have a TD.
I mean, I enjoy looking at these systems just as much as the next guy but until we get at least a TD, the track can be pretty far off, let alone the intensity. I'm not sure how one predicts the size of a storm, but we shall see.

Just a guess, but I'd say a TD tomorrow night or Friday.
Convection, although yes it's DMIN, is not too strong. And once it does have convection, don't they wait a period of time before declaring it? Looking for consistency?
I'd say between either 5 pm or 11pm tomorrow night.



like i said earlier there is no waiting period. If the center is closed off with organized deep convection it is a cyclone
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1531. Patrap
Once we get a Defined circ,and if we do...then the consensus will become better defined in time.

G-4 and HH plus Grip will be all important if this one develops.

It hasnt yet,so everything is moot till we get a defined system established.

But the CONUS Trof/front will play a large role if the timing is right downstream.
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1529. Grothar
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1528. shawn26
I really think Florida is the bullseye for this storm, unfortunately.
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Quoting Patrap:
00z Invest95y Cycle NHC model tracks
Invest95
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)




Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)






Pat isnt that a really tight cluster for this far out? Doesn't that mean a fairly simple pattern is expected?
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Hi Pat

Been wondering where you've been.
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1525. Grothar
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


Hey Buddy. Yea those new models.. it looks bad for south florida..

It looks like matthew will stay over that Hot water + He will be a Large Storm.

I Think he Will be Larger than wilma.. Judeging by:

1) TCHP

2) Current Size

3) Amount of MJO


Yeah but I'd wait to see until we have a TD.
I mean, I enjoy looking at these systems just as much as the next guy but until we get at least a TD, the track can be pretty far off, let alone the intensity. I'm not sure how one predicts the size of a storm, but we shall see.

Just a guess, but I'd say a TD tomorrow night or Friday.
Convection, although yes it's DMIN, is not too strong. And once it does have convection, don't they wait a period of time before declaring it? Looking for consistency?
I'd say between either 5 pm or 11pm tomorrow night.
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hey coolio..

JB says rest of the season SE-US needs to watch.
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1522. Patrap
95L Rainbow

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1521. xcool
CoopNTexas heyy
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Quoting Neapolitan:
ATCF says 95L is down yet another notch to 1007mb, and winds are up to 30 knots (from 25). Should go to TD at the 0200 EDT update...

AL, 95, 2010092300, , BEST, 0, 128N, 716W, 30, 1007, DB, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1010, 130, 60, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,


95L is moving into an area of lower ambient pressures so the pressure fall is insignficant. The 30 knt winds are associated with the strong trade winds between the strong Bermuda High and 95L.

No circulation yet, and not a TD.

It is starting to look better overall though with the center of the 850 vorticity pulling north a bit away from South America.

If it flares convection during Dmax tonight it may get named tomorrow morning, but more likely late tomorrow early Friday as it moves towards 80W and the westerly moisture pumping in on westerlies from the Pacific.
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1517. Patrap
00z Invest95y Cycle NHC model tracks
Invest95
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)




Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)




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1515. xcool
okay 18z gfs ensembles shifted to west..
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gfs a complete farce...gfdl could be concerning.
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sits quietly under her ridge waiting for the cold front.
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AL, 95, 2010092300, , BEST, 0, 128N, 716W, 30, 1007, DB,
nearly a TD
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12151

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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.