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 sammywammybamy:
Kman,

Thats Not Good at all Right?

It will have more time over water....


No, that would definitely not be good. If a stall followed a straight run into the NW Caribbean grab your children and travel documents.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15948
Evening kman, good to see ya. Hope 95 doesn't give y'all much trouble.
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


That looks right to me.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15948
Quoting StormJunkie:


Yeah nrti, it's been showing it coming pretty close on many of the past 18 runs or so. Still a lot of wait and see for everyone. I wouldn't be surprised if 95 through us for a little loop at some point...Just not sure what that loop will be...


Yep, but the 18Z run is a significant change in timing, IMO.
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The steering flow is easing some which should allow 95L to lift a bit and perhaps just miss the NE coast near the border of Nicaragua and Honduras.

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15948
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
On the 18Z run, 95L is looking for StormJunkie





On the 12Z run at the same forecast hour, 95L was still over the Yucatan.




Yeah nrti, it's been showing it coming pretty close on many of the past 18 runs or so. Still a lot of wait and see for everyone. I wouldn't be surprised if 95 through us for a little loop at some point...Just not sure what that loop will be...
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1201. breald
Quoting sporteguy03:


Great White Ike?


My my my.
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1200. WxLogic
Well... 18Z GFS is quite something. Let's see how 18Z NOGAPS does.
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Quoting Krycek1984:
Has anyone else read the news from St. John's/Newfoundland? It sounds like it was quite a severe impact there. I feel bad for them. I remember Igor was supposed to pass quite a bit east of them.

The pictures are amazing. It's also amazing what these hurricanes can do in places up North.


Yeah, it was supposed to go well east of Newfoundland, this storm was so tricky, its baroclinic interaction with the upper trough was so much more than predicted that it hooked leftward much earlier than forecasted. I got it so wrong with my last track forecast on Igor, I feel bad about that forecast.

I started okay at track forecasting this season, got better and did much better during Danielle, Earl, and the early part of Igor. Then wham, late life of Igor, Julia, and Karl really tricked me so bad. The forward speed and evolution of steering features doesn't always behave like you think they will.
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1197. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
T.C.F.A.
INV95/XX/XL
MARK
13.13N/70.89W
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1196. IKE
Quoting sporteguy03:


Great White Ike?


Great song.
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37GHz microwave pass from about an hour ago.



IR from 30 minutes later



And Vis from about the same time

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Quoting IKE:
Once bitten, twice shy?

324 hours...




Great Album, Bad Bad Model, lol.
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Quoting IKE:
Once bitten, twice shy?

324 hours...



Great White Ike?
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can someone tell me the various models' strength when it is near or over south florida for the ones that actually are over south florida. it would be very appreciated, thanks in advance.
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18Z GFS is just a hot mess - models just don't latch onto anything. It's gonna be this way until something develops.
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Quoting stormpetrol:

They call it The John Hope Rule, It was observed by the late John Hope (hurricane expert on TWC until his death), That basically if a strong tropical disturbance didn't make/develop TD/TS status by about 62-63W in The Eastern Caribbean, they didn't develop until or usually developed past 75W in the western caribbean, I think this theory/ observation is around 80% correct most the time though I could be wrong.


Hi there,

More than 80% actually. In approximately 30 years only about 5 AEWs that were not classified as cyclones managed to develop into one in the Eastern Caribbean. There were another 4 or 5 TDs that also developed there but not from Easterly waves. They developed on the tail end of late season cold fronts.

I once spent hours pouring over the data for every year going back about 3 plus decades to determine these numbers.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15948
1189. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting EricSFL:


Yes indeed.
i call upon the four winds from the four corners of the earth and unbound thee
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On the 18Z run, 95L is looking for StormJunkie





On the 12Z run at the same forecast hour, 95L was still over the Yucatan.


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1175. NChurricane2009

Thanks for the detailed discussion. I didn't have time to examine and figure out for myself, but looking at the wv as u mentioned makes some stuff really obvious.

Much appreciated.
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1186. IKE
Once bitten, twice shy?

324 hours...

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Quoting sammywammybamy:


95L Getting Better Organized.. Now


Are you sure?

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t3/flash-vis.html

Looks to me its still elongated east-west, and really doesn't have a fully closed spin on its south side.
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1181. EricSFL
Quoting IKE:
A double hit?



That would be JFV's ultimate fantasy fulfilled.
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1180. EricSFL
Quoting sammywammybamy:


95L Getting Better Organized.. Now


Yes indeed.
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Quoting IKE:
A double hit?



Certainly not the first time it has been hinted at in the past 4-5 days.
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Well off for awhile you'll have fun. Still think area just off sw tip of Jamaica needs watching. Looks like organized spin to me.Will concede not much on the vorticity.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Seems the CV Islands have gotten more than usual tropical activity this season. What's motivating this eastward drift, anyway?


An unusually strong deep-layered trough in the eastern Atlantic. Here:

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/natl/flash-wv.html

During the animation, click on HDW-high, those are the real time satellite derived upper level wind vectors. Do you see the really sharp trough just north of Lisa? The trough is most pronounced at upper levels, and is deep-layered enough to have influence at lower levels.

This trough has eroded what would normally be a subtropical ridge in the eastern Atlantic, the ridge would steer CV storms like Lisa westward or WNW. The trough's southward extent is so great that it can actually drag Lisa backwards to the east. You can sort of see that in the water vapor animation.
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1174. docrod
Quoting IKE:
150 hours...



ULL @ 150 hours...



I've literally been hanging on this GFS model for nearly a week now. It's been almost maniacal to throw something through the Florida Keys in most of the runs. I'm not keen on that. This run coming out is starting to look like a late season storm (like Gordon a number of years ago) that meanders.

The other models however as well seem to be focusing at some point on south Florida.

We shall see.

Keep yer powder dry - take care - Rod
Member Since: April 21, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 841
Has anyone else read the news from St. John's/Newfoundland? It sounds like it was quite a severe impact there. I feel bad for them. I remember Igor was supposed to pass quite a bit east of them.

The pictures are amazing. It's also amazing what these hurricanes can do in places up North.
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1170. IKE
A double hit?

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Quoting DestinJeff:


I feel like an avatar change is in order:


It's as Brit as I've got.


Just stay away from the 'Blair' Simpsons image. That could tip me over the edge.

Julia finally dying at 38N 32W.
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Quoting StormJunkie:


I would guess it would make it more accurate than the runs without the dropsondes...Not sure that you can really tie the 00/12z vs 06/18z debate in to that.


Thanks Stormjunkie, I have heard some Mets compare those two runs in that way with the 00z/12z vs 6z/18z but I guess the dropsondes in the 18z may give it a better feel of the system.
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NCH09, I think you re right, but I also think that it is moving from an area of closer to 20knt shear in to 5-10knt.
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Quoting sporteguy03:


Would that make the 18z more accurate then the 12z? I thought the 00z and 12z were the more accurate runs over 6z and 18z?


Generally the 00Z and 12Z are more accurate since they contain upper air observations that the 06Z and 18Z model runs do not have. In this case however there were dropsondes around the area of 95L from the GV research flight. When I look at the 18Z run it appears 95L develops quicker than in the 12Z run. It may and probably will all change on the next run.
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Quoting barbamz:


Hey, Dan! Still remember our fascinating Eyjafalla-times? I'm still watching the scene over there.

And, to contribute at least anything on topic:
Nice site to compare the model runs of 95L. Click animation

http://www.meteo.psu.edu/ewall/COMPSTEERATL_12z/comploop.html


Hi there Barb. Yea, I still that was a fun blog. Interesting conversation when we couldn't see anything. I still keep up, but admittedly, most of it is way over my head.
And yes, I'm keeping a close eye on 95L.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting sporteguy03:


Would that make the 18z more accurate then the 12z? I thought the 00z and 12z were the more accurate runs over 6z and 18z?


I would guess it would make it more accurate than the runs without the dropsondes...Not sure that you can really tie the 00/12z vs 06/18z debate in to that.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
I wish all the pple criticizing each other and complaining about how the blog isn't about weather would either post something about weather, or not post anything about other bloggers.

Since I believe in the positivity.... and since I have to be off here in 8 minutes.... lol... Anybody see any potential here? This is EPac, btw....



The way the clouds are streaked out to the southwest in the satellite image you posted, it seems that disturbance is under norhteasterly wind shear. Maybe some slow development, maybe.
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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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