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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Vorticity is stacked all the way up to 500mb, but the 850mb vort is still not very rounded. It's better than 3 hours ago, though. When 95L moves over into the Gulf of Honduras and stops sucking air off South America, it will have a much more favorable environment. South America just disrupts the circulation of a developing system.
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Quoting BenBIogger:
Well finally the pressure is dropping over Aruba right now, though no west wind as of yet....


there was a west wind earlier
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Well finally the pressure is dropping over Aruba right now, though no west wind as of yet....
Member Since: March 19, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1421
Wish the world could leave politics out of science. PREDICT research flight yesterday could not go to all of the areas they would have liked to.

Link

Excerpt:

Today was our second flight (RF21) into PGI46.
Unfortunately, we were unable to fly within near the sweet spot
because of FIR restrictions with Venezula airspace

(Their mis-spelling not mine)
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that center is be comeing better and better evere loop
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745. JLPR2
Quoting MississippiWx:


Can't undergo rapid intensification without a closed surface circulation, which it is far from having yet. Just looks like a lot of intense thunderstorm activity being caused by upward motion and extremely warm SST.


Which could help the circulation tighten up a bit.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8493
Quoting reedzone:
Ok, being real here...

95L still has ways to go and it's really too early to tell where it will head. Eventually it will draw north into the Southeast whether it be moisture or a full sized storm. So the good news with the invest, much needed rain headed for those who desperately need it down here. Bad news, could be a bigger problem, but again, too early to tell.


I'll take moisture for $500, Bob. ;)
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not sure how much risk Florida has now. With the storm trending south and west, seems difficult for 95L to make a run, intensify and take a N/NE turn right in between Cancun/Western Cuba
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Quoting PanhandleChuck:
I see there is a war going on in here. Hope all of the drama ends soon, the blog has gone to H E Double Hockey Sticks


Radar O'Reilly, M A S H
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Quoting Tazmanian:
some one has tick off 95L


Link

95L is puting on a show for us now i think 95L is going under a RI



Can't undergo rapid intensification without a closed surface circulation, which it is far from having yet. Just looks like a lot of intense thunderstorm activity being caused by upward motion and extremely warm SST.
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The problem is that there is not really much to talk about until it gets a coc and the models are handling it better.Until then it is all speculation and number crunching trying to get a handle on something that may or may not form. Keep pumping those numbers all you mets something will stick eventually!!!IMO
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733. JLPR2
whoops LOL!
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8493
some one has tick off 95L


Link

95L is puting on a show for us now i think 95L is going under a RI

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I wouldn't bank on 95L developing too quickly. I think another two days is probably a good bet. Systems like these just have too much heat to consolidate and it makes development much slower.
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Afternoon all

nrti-Any idea when we get the next microwave pass?
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Ok, being real here...

95L still has ways to go and it's really too early to tell where it will head. Eventually it will draw north into the Southeast whether it be moisture or a full sized storm. So the good news with the invest, much needed rain headed for those who desperately need it down here. Bad news, could be a bigger problem, but again, too early to tell.
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722. JLPR2
Quoting reedzone:


Here we go! BIG storm! Major Category 10 Hurricane headed for Florida, darn, I gotta GO PREPARE now, run for your lives, we are doomed I tell ya!!!!!!! Waters have not been touched so this is a very likely possibility :P


hmm... Category 10? That makes the water swirl tornado style right? XD
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8493
Quoting reedzone:


Here we go! BIG storm! Major Category 10 Hurricane headed for Florida, darn, I gotta GO PREPARE now, run for your lives, we are doomed I tell ya!!!!!!! Waters have not been touched so this is a very likely possibility :P


LOL and before any trolls comment, this is obviously sarcasm on Reeds part. If you actually ever took the time to read his forecasts and not just the parts about hitting land or moving west, you would realize he knows his stuff.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
ok find be that way

look what we have

Link
.....posted last night at midnight...
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TropicalDepressionGeorgette's heading had turned westward to (4degrees north of) North NorthWest
from its previous heading of (8.1degrees north of) NorthNorthWest
TD.Georgette's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions was ~19.3mph(~31.1km/h)

21Sep 06pmGMT - - 23.0n109.7w - - 40mph - - 1001mb - - #2A
21Sep 09pmGMT - - 23.3n109.9w - - 40mph - - 1000mb - - #3
22Sep 12amGMT - - 24.0n110.0w - - 35mph - - 1000mb - - #3A
22Sep 03amGMT - - 24.6n110.3w - - 35mph - - 1000mb - - NHC.Adv.#4
22Sep 06amGMT - - 25.3n110.4w - - 35mph - - 1000mb - - #4A
22Sep 09amGMT - - 25.8n110.7w - - 35mph - - 1000mb - - #5
22Sep 12pmGMT - - 26.1n110.8w - - 35mph - - 1000mb - - #5A
22Sep 03pmGMT - - 26.8n111.0w - - 35mph - - 1000mb - - #6
22Sep 06pmGMT - - 27.6n111.3w - - 35mph - - 1000mb - - #6A

Copy &paste 23.0n109.7w, 23.3n109.9w, 24.0n110.0w, 24.6n110.3w, 25.3n110.4w-25.8n110.7w, 25.8n110.7w-26.1n110.8w, 26.1n110.8w-26.8n111.0w, 26.8n111.0w-27.6n111.3w, gym into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the last 12*hours.
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Quoting Thaale:
GFS ensembles trending S and W.




These don't come with intensity avaialble, do they? I'd be interested to know if the FL scenarios keep it weak like in the ECMWF.


Yes they do, in text format. Since it is a global model (and a lower resolution one at that) don't know how much to put into their intensity. Available here labled AP01, AP02.... Intensity is after longitude.
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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.