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 PSLFLCaneVet:


SJ, you asked for news about ants. You have mail.


Thanks PSL, saw it. Keep me posted.

The GFS has continued to hint at the idea that as 95 travels N, it could loop back at some point around 30-35N. If it even takes the up the seaboard route. Or if it survives it's land interaction.
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My my, GFS has certainly gotten very strange at 12Z...
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12z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Invest95
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)




Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)





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Quoting SweetHomeBamaGOM:



It may be the case in most years that the odds are low for this time of year but this isn't an average year. There has been no break in the heat down here (i am in Mobile) and the gulf waters are still extremely hot. I think odds are based on variables and prevalent factors, so maybe those facts should be taken into consideration.
good point.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6860
I say 80%
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Quoting WxLogic:
12Z CMC


was that stalling it and then trying to bring it north in the BOC?
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I'm thinking at 2pm the % will go up on 95L.

I'm thinking 70%

Any thoughts?
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Yeah dmh1026 that just goes to show how fast a small storm can intensify as many have mentioned here. Not many leaves left on the tress and bushes after that one if they were standing. Maybe there where a few tornadoes in that one people didn't know about that tell later.
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You guys need to go look at Wilmas track....She never really moved at a northward motion ever.... that i can remember. She went up and made out with the Yucatan for a day or so and then started drifting NE towards Fla.....
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12Z CMC
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Quoting scott39:
Its really just for fun. But you have to admit the odds are low this time of year of being hit by a major home brew on the US Gulf Coast.



It may be the case in most years that the odds are low for this time of year but this isn't an average year. There has been no break in the heat down here (i am in Mobile) and the gulf waters are still extremely hot. I think odds are based on variables and prevalent factors, so maybe those facts should be taken into consideration.
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Quoting rmbjoe1954:


It may run northward like Wilma.


It could also go south like my 401K.
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Quoting rmbjoe1954:


It may run northward like Wilma.


Can you elaborate why you think that?
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Quoting scott39:
So your saying Weather patterns from the past, at certain times of the year, does not show us or dictate anything for the present patterns and the future ones? LOL


If the forecast pattern is different than what climatology says it should be, then showing past storms in this time period is pointless.

Considering that we do not yet know all the variables that will steer this storm, showing something like you did is even more pointless

you are trying to give odds to something when we do not yet know how the variables are going to set up. That is like trying to predict a the Winner of Super Bowl 46, 2 days after Super Bowl 45
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Quoting Cotillion:


I can go further back, if you wish.
Please do
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6860
Quoting reedzone:
Oracle28,

It really depends what it does down there to determine it's future strength. It will eventually pull north. Will it be just moisture? Possibly, or maybe it won't hit land and become a Hurricane as the HWRF shows... Too early to tell right now, there was no need for the sarcastic mocking.


It may run northward like Wilma.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


since 1995, we have seen many things that have never happened before even once in history, let alone 3 times.

the # of majors to hit the US in the time period you described means nothing really

I found several that hit just a few days before or after the time you described; as well as finding storms that were strong CAT 2s that hit during the time period.

When you break something down enough, you will always end up with a small sample size.
So your saying Weather patterns from the past, at certain times of the year, does not show us or dictate anything for the present patterns and the future ones? LOL
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6860
Before 95L 'became', the models had pretty well settled down. As things progress, the models are starting to move around a bit. This will continue to happen as the system develops further.

Even after it gets developed as an established TD, there will be model shifting again as it strengthens. Assuming it does, of course.

It all makes for interesting discussion, and there is a lot of opportunity here for ideas to be exchanged and knowledge to be gained. But to say that anywhere is either under the gun, or out of the woods at this point is pure folly.

It was cool to see the models come together on this. And as time goes on, I think we will see that happen a few more times with this system.
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Quoting scott39:
Have you found any more?


I can go further back, if you wish.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
The lower cloud base is really starting to spin up.

The lower clouds are the yellowish ones.

Link
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thanks Levi!
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Cleo came of Cuba in 64 as a moderate tropical storm. Look at the radar when she hit ne Dade she was a cat3 IMO.
I went through the eye of Cleo in North Miami...it was unreal to say the least.
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Quoting StormJunkie:
As far as Wilma goes, you can look at my video on Stormjunkie.com

Some of WeatherboyFSU's Wilma footage.


SJ, you asked for news about ants. You have mail.
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Special weather summary message for Newfoundland and Labrador issued
by Environment Canada at 4:47 AM NDT Wednesday 22 September 2010.

The following is a preliminary summary of hurricane igor and its
effects as it passed by just south and east of Newfoundland on
Tuesday September 21 2010...

Hurricane igor began impacting Newfoundland late Monday night into
Tuesday morning with heavy rain and strong winds as it approached the
region from the southwest. As igor tracked just south of Cape Race
around noon on Tuesday it remained an extremely powerful storm with
intense and heavy rainfall extending well north and west of the storm
centre and a very large area of hurricane force winds immediately
behind it. Even after completing post-tropical transition northeast
of the province in the afternoon, igor continued to pummel the entire
eastern half of Newfoundland with extremely high winds which
continued over most areas well into the evening.

Adding to igor's impacts was a pre-existing trough of low pressure
that tracked slowly eastward across Newfoundland and brought an
initial band of heavy rain to parts of Southern Newfoundland earlier
on Monday. This trough began to interact with igor as it approached
drawing moisture and some energy from the hurricane and contributed
to some of the extremely heavy rates of rainfall observed over parts
of the province on Tuesday. For example, in the five hour period
between 7:30 AM and 12:30 PM NDT the weather station at Bonavista
received 135 millimetres of rain, including 69 millimetres in a
two-hour period just before the station stopped recording rainfall
when it is believed its rain gauge overflowed.

Reports of extensive flooding, wind damage, and power outages were
received from all over the eastern half of Newfoundland Monday night
and Tuesday as a result of hurricane igor.

Here are some unofficial storm totals from this system as of 2:30 AM
NDT.

Total rainfall
--------------------------------------------------------
St. Lawrence 239 mm
Bonavista 197 mm (* see note below)
Lethbridge (private station) 174 mm (up to 5:00 PM Tuesday)
St. Pierre 160 mm
St. John's west 134 mm
Gander 124 mm
St. John's airport 120 mm
Brownsdale (private station) 104 mm (up to 5:30 PM Tuesday)
Port union (private station) 79 mm (up to 8:30 AM Tuesday)
Bay d'Espoir (private station) 76 mm (up to 4:00 PM Tuesday)
Cape Race 51 mm (** see note below)
Burgeo 41 mm

* stopped reporting rainfall amounts at 1:30PM Tuesday however
significant rainfall still occurred for several hours after.

** did not report between 16Z and 20Z on Tuesday as igor was pulling
away.

Peak wind gusts
--------------------------------------------------------
Cape pine 172 km/h
Sagona Island 163 km/h
Bonavista 155 km/h
Pool's Island 146 km/h
St. John's airport 137 km/h
Grate's cove 135 km/h
St. Pierre 135 km/h
Argentia 132 km/h
Twillingate 131 km/h
St. Lawrence 124 km/h
St. John's west 120 km/h
Winterland 111 km/h
Englee 111 km/h
Gander 109 km/h
Cape Race 106 km/h
Burgeo 100 km/h
Stephenville 98 km/h
Port aux Basques 95 km/h
St. Anthony 81 km/h

End/
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I still have the 6 hours of footage of wilma but havent condensed it down. I should, maybe get that done....might have a something of value..... ;-)
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Quoting bajamex24:


I live in the Baja Peninsula, the NHC has never issued an Aviso Publico in Spanish for the 10 East Pacific hurricane seasons that I've been through. Our national weather office does always the translations of the reports for us, usually 30 mins later than they are issued in the NHC page. I guess the NHC is pretty much doing us a favor by reporting the Tropical action on here since it is almost impossible that a Hurricane will hit directly the US West coast... but what do I know.


Thanks for that. As long as translations are being sent to where they need to be, that's what matters, I suppose.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
Levi, you da bomb . I'm in N central FL, so I'm checking out the gen set, and stocking up on sardines . BTW, I have DSL and your videos run just fine . Scary but fine.
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Quoting Cotillion:


Of course they are. But as I said, what does that actually mean?

I appreciate the historical references, I do it often on this blog for people to get a grasp on things differently.

However, this is a pretty narrow 'what if?' to ask. As said, the United States simply doesn't get that many majors hitting as majors. Let alone from late September onwards. The last was in 2005, as we know. 2004 before that, yep.

Before that? Bret in 1999. (Storms like Floyd, Isabel etc. did not hit as majors on the US Coast).

In the last 15 years, the only storms to hit the United States as majors are: Opal, Fran, Bret, Charley, Jeanne, Ivan, Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. 10 in total, 7 of which were in 2 years alone.


Also important to note is how many of those years described had no majors hit in the Gulf at any time during the season. Looking back the Gulf was bare in quite a few of them.

Also interesting that you noted that even in the hyperactive period, we have seen 10 majors in 15 years and if you leave 2004 and 2005 out of the equation we have only seen 3 and that is at anytime during the season
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Quoting scott39:
You have to go back and read the posts to understand.

Uh.. I did. Thats why I posted. As Hurricanes 101 mentioned, when you make the filter incredibly restrictive, you create a data set that is statistically invalid, due to small sample size.
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Back later.

Tropical Tidbit for Wednesday, September 22nd, with Video
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Quoting kshipre1:
ahhh, got ya Levi. thanks. so, this is not your typical run of the mill trough coming down. basically, trough is getting held up and might not be as strong to pull Matthew northward before hitting CA?

Is this also the reason model runs have it going straight west?


The storm will head west until it reaches central America, at which point that cut-off trough should weaken the ridge, inducing a break through which Matthew will slowly move towards the Gulf of Mexico. Since the models usually handle cut-off lows poorly, they are going to have disagreements on how far south it is able to reach, how fast it will be able to bring Matthew northward, and what his angle of recurve will be.
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Quoting Cotillion:
Actually a question on the East Pacific:

Why is TD Georgette - whilst about to dump rains on Mexico - without an Aviso Publico when it is going to be directly affecting an Hispanophone country?

Did I miss it or something?


I live in the Baja Peninsula, the NHC has never issued an Aviso Publico in Spanish for the 10 East Pacific hurricane seasons that I've been through. Our national weather office does always the translations of the reports for us, usually 30 mins later than they are issued in the NHC page. I guess the NHC is pretty much doing us a favor by reporting the Tropical action on here since it is almost impossible that a Hurricane will hit directly the US West coast... but what do I know.
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There's a pretty good agreement on a Cut Off Low getting situated across the SE states which in turn assist on getting whatever disturbance that forms in the NW Carib a chance to lift N to NE.

We'll see how the ECMWF behaves at 12Z. 12Z CMC should be coming out shortly.
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interesting, but this only the NOGAPS model. The other models like the GFS and EURO do not show this
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ahhh, got ya Levi. thanks. so, this is not your typical run of the mill trough coming down. basically, trough is getting held up and might not be as strong to pull Matthew northward before hitting CA?

Is this also the reason model runs have it going straight west?
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Quoting scott39:
Its really just for fun. But you have to admit the odds are low this time of year of being hit by a major home brew on the US Gulf Coast.


Of course they are. But as I said, what does that actually mean?

I appreciate the historical references, I do it often on this blog for people to get a grasp on things differently.

However, this is a pretty narrow 'what if?' to ask. As said, the United States simply doesn't get that many majors hitting as majors. Let alone from late September onwards. The last was in 2005, as we know. 2004 before that, yep.

Before that? Bret in 1999. (Storms like Floyd, Isabel etc. did not hit as majors on the US Coast).

In the last 15 years, the only storms to hit the United States as majors are: Opal, Fran, Bret, Charley, Jeanne, Ivan, Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. 10 in total, 7 of which were in 2 years alone.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
Quoting IKE:


It has 95L just sit down there for days. You could throw a dart at a dartboard and have as good a luck as these models are, long-range. Just too far in advance, IF it's going to dance around the Yucatan for a week.

Like Mitch did - we were in shelters for five days....luckily for Belize and unluckily for Honduras it went south....
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Quoting WxLogic:
12Z NOGAPS


Every model run shows FL getting hit. There is no escape from this one folks get your plans ready now
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Quoting scott39:
You have to go back and read the posts to understand.


since 1995, we have seen many things that have never happened before even once in history, let alone 3 times.

the # of majors to hit the US in the time period you described means nothing really

I found several that hit just a few days before or after the time you described; as well as finding storms that were strong CAT 2s that hit during the time period.

When you break something down enough, you will always end up with a small sample size.
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Hurricanes101..........

your exactly right......my bad i will change it
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As far as Wilma goes, you can look at my video on Stormjunkie.com

Some of WeatherboyFSU's Wilma footage.
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Quoting kshipre1:
Thanks Levi. can you explain what a cut-off cold low is?


That would be this over the southern plains on the Day 5 GFS forecast.

It is basically an upper trough that split away and became a cut-off upper low. Such features are usually slow movers because they are cut off from the main stream flow and can meander around an area for days before moving out.

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12Z NOGAPS
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Quoting jeffs713:

Um... I'm still struggling to understand your intent by posting a statement such as that.

I could say that only 2 majors have ever hit the Galveston area in the last 50 years... but that leaves out Ike, which was 5mph short of major status, and did more damage than the other 2 combined.
You have to go back and read the posts to understand.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6860
Thanks Levi. can you explain what a cut-off cold low is?
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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.