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 tropicfreak:
Names so far.

Alex
Bonnie
Colin
Danielle
Earl
Fiona
Gaston
Hermine
Igor
Julia
Karl
Lisa
Matthew?


No Matthew yet...
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560. xcool
lol 12z gfs
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15670
tick..tick..tick..tick... =0
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Names so far.

Alex
Bonnie
Colin
Danielle
Earl
Fiona
Gaston
Hermine
Igor
Julia
Karl
Lisa
Matthew?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
168 hours 12Z EURO


Yeah, looks to be missing Florida, but again... Look at the high, it's not going out to sea.
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Quoting tropicfreak:
Have any of the models been showing future matthew sitting off the GA coast line. This may look to be a charley/ wilma setup.


It looks like GFS at 12Z no longer moves Matthew back to the east, it dies over the Yucatan after interacting with Nichole, which makes landfall in North Carolina, then moves back into the Atlantic, heads south, and looks poised make make a landfall in the South Carolina/Georgia area, though the run ends before that point.
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553. JLPR2
impressive
west it goes, or tad north of due west

Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8690
Quoting tropicfreak:
Have any of the models been showing future matthew sitting off the GA coast line. This may look to be a charley/ wilma setup.


And what would have to happen in order for this setup? Thanks.
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Quoting angiest:
If my count is correct, by October 8th GFS says we should be at least at Richard.



We may even make it to the w name.
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Quoting reedzone:


Hmm, no land interaction there, further NE of the other runs.


Nevermind, that image is after it interacts with CA.. My mistake.
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Have any of the models been showing future matthew sitting off the GA coast line. This may look to be a charley/ wilma setup.
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Thanks Levi. Great update. Since the day you made the comment that you didn't understand the lag a lot of people were having watching your updates...it has not lagged one bit. Not sure if you changed anything but everything is smooth. Anyways, apprecatied as always.
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Quoting 2ifbyC:


I respectfully disagree, as I was there. BTW, agreed, we did not suffer hurricane force winds.


I was not there. But my family has been in bradenton for 150 years, and I have heard many stories about donna. Maybe you meant Port Charolette?
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Quoting IKE:
144 hour 12Z ECMWF...



Great. So according to that, I'll be dealing with snow in 6 days. Lovely.
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If my count is correct, by October 8th GFS says we should be at least at Richard.

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Quoting IKE:
144 hour 12Z ECMWF...



Hmm, no land interaction there, further NE of the other runs.
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Quoting clwstmchasr:
Could this unexpected shear throw a kink into the forecast?



Cheer for Shear!
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ATCF says the pressure for 95L is down another notch to 1008, though winds are still at 25 knots. I'd expect a TD by morning, if not--based on an increasingly healthy-looking satellite presentation--this evening.

AL, 95, 2010092218, , BEST, 0, 126N, 713W, 25, 1008, DB, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1010, 160, 50, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,
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538. IKE
144 hour 12Z ECMWF...

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Quoting BioChemist:


The eye of Donna was no where near bradenton... I am from there. We have not had Hurricane force winds in Bradenton in 80 years or better. Gabrielle, Jeanne, marco, were the closest we got.


I respectfully disagree, as I was there. BTW, agreed, we did not suffer hurricane force winds.
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536. flsky
Just watched Levi's "tidbit" for the first time today. All I can say is wow! It's so nice to hear and intelligent person delivering an understandable analysis. Thanks again, Levi, for sticking with WU while you're busy w/your studies.
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Quoting KanKunKid:


Good afternoon Reed!
As you can probably tell, I am keenly aware of the progress of this one. It seems the tracks keep moving steadily north with each run. We have squally TSTM conditions now and pretty high winds off the Sea. I can just imagine a 3 out here.
The only hurricane the locals talk about (for comparison) is Wilma. She was a monster. Of course, not much chance of 95L behaving like her, Bastard iand Levi both were comparing the scenario to Isbell in '64.
What do you think?


Possible, it won't move out to sea as a large high in the Atlantic keeps it close to the coastline, all the way up the East Coast. Could make landfall in NC though if the high budges west a bit. Still too early to tell but I got to admit the GFS had this idea from the beginning.
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Quoting hurricanejunky:


The eye of Donna passed thru Fort Myers, well south of Bradenton by 90+ miles.


yeah, I am pretty sure Bradenton never reached hurricane force winds... strong tropical storm force for sure.
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Quoting tropicfreak:


Why was one of your comments removed, what did you say that was wrong. I thought the comment flagging episode was over with, now starting back up again. I'm tired of it.


None of my comments were removed from this blog entry, I checked everything.. I don't know what you're seeing. I was just stating some opinions based on the model runs today, and called someone a moron, but that wasn't removed amazingly.
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Quoting BioChemist:


The eye of Donna was no where near bradenton... I am from there. We have not had Hurricane force winds in Bradenton in 80 years or better. Gabrielle, Jeanne, marco, were the closest we got.


The eye of Donna passed thru Fort Myers, well south of Bradenton by 90+ miles.
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Quoting usa777:


That is whats called a "sundog" usually means bad weather is coming.

Wow thanks - I did not know this....the bad thing for us is that a wave will cross our area tomorrow and Friday so our grounds will be saturated...
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Very lengthy discussion of 95L and GFS futures:
Link
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Quoting FLdewey:

LOL! Now you've got it!



anyways do you think you will participate in the game...
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Quoting 2ifbyC:


My Dad and I stood outside in the eye of Donna, 1960, which passed through west Bradenton, FL. Eerily, there was not a sound until the south eye wall approached.


The eye of Donna was no where near bradenton... I am from there. We have not had Hurricane force winds in Bradenton in 80 years or better. Gabrielle, Jeanne, marco, were the closest we got.
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Quoting WxLogic:


Based on the current steering, not too surprised, there appears to be some easterly shear preventing a quicker organization:




Thank goodness too.
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Quoting BenBIogger:


Waiting for pressure to drop.

That's around 1009 mbs if i remember correctly, which is respectable for a weak, non-depression status low pressure system. Hopefully it stays around 1009 mbs.

I think regardless of the time frame, at some point 95L will get its act together and become a very wet and potent tropical system. And unfortunately, i have the feeling that Matthew will be a retired name come this time next year. While many are saying that they hope this dies over CA (sparing the US), that is a worst case scenario with regard to the loss of human life. Frankly, I would much rather have the richest country in the world sustain $30 billion in damages than have some of the not so rich lose 10,000 people due to mudslides, mountainous regions, mudslides, etc.
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orcasystems,

thanks for this info. can you please send me the exact website so I can view this as well? thanks
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Quoting JRRP:

wow
do you know what that means ??


That is whats called a "sundog" usually means bad weather is coming.
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Quoting DookiePBC:
Forget ants...squirrel activity is key. If squirrels are behaving as in my avatar, it's time to head to the grocery store and stock up.


I have a pregnant lizard on my patio...What does that mean?

All joking aside, there does (from my experience) tend to be some correlation between the ants moving and remounding when a rain event is coming, but I haven't conducted a scientific study, yet... I'll get right on that.
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The GFS has 95L going to Tampa....Naturally It is way out, but the slow movement is interesting..Link
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I started a weather contest on my blog... let me know what you all think please as I would love to get people participating
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Quoting TOMSEFLA:
the 12z hmrf keeps the system weak {lower ts } over nw carib. what are the reasons none of the recent runs show 95l making to cat1. even though the hmrf run has the system over water
throughout.
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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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