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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The whole point to trival pursuit of Majors hitting the US Gulf Coast at this time of year is rare!
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6875
Quoting scott39:
Really?? In the last 30 years. LOL


Um no, you said late September to Mid October

Wilma hit the US on the 24th of October, if you are considering the 24th of October as Mid-October then you need to include storms from September 15th on as Late September too, which would increase your numbers
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309. IKE
Quoting sporteguy03:

GFS is having problems with the heat energy notice the two systems it develops that seems unlikely.


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.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting westernmob:


Wasn't Opal a Cat. 3 ?
yes post 291
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6875
Quoting cmahan:
I'm thinking the blog could use a good "TOO SOON TO TELL" graphic. Maybe a big banner with blinky-text.

I'm thinking you're absolutely correct.

Can you get ahold of a banner that says 'STOP THE RAIN IN S. TX'?
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Quoting scott39:
The only 2 major hurricanes to hit the US Gulf Coast Late Sep/Oct in the last 30 years, were both in 2005. Rita and Wilma


Wasn't Opal a Cat. 3 ?
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Quoting IKE:
276 hour 12Z GFS...


GFS is having problems with the heat energy notice the two systems it develops that seems unlikely.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


Wilma didnt even hit during the time period you are describing
Really?? In the last 30 years. LOL
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6875
Quoting Kristina40:


Opal was a Caribbean homebrew and hit Florida as a three in 95.
Look at post 291
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6875
Good morning all.

Tropical Tidbit for Wednesday, September 22nd, with Video
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301. IKE
276 hour 12Z GFS...

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting scott39:
LOL Go back on this site and look at all of the Western Atlantic Home Brew Storms that hit the USA Gulf Coast as a MAJOR Hurricane after September20th--thru Mid October for the last 30 years. Opal ,Rita, Wilma Does this help?


Wilma didnt even hit during the time period you are describing
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


how about breaking it down a bit further, can they only start with letters after "F"

you can narrow anything down to only 1 or 2 occurrences if you have enough defining parameters lol
LOL Go back on this site and look at all of the Western Atlantic Home Brew Storms that hit the USA Gulf Coast as a MAJOR Hurricane after September20th--thru Mid October for the last 30 years. Opal ,Rita, Wilma Does this help?
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6875
Quoting pensacolastorm:

Think Ivan, Dennis, Opal, Erin.....
I really wish you hadn't brought them up - Arrgh! I was here for all of them.
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Oh, for the Wiki changing enthusiasts (As I know there are a few on here) as Opal was mentioned:

From Opal's article:

' It deepened to a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 150 mph (240 km/h) and a central pressure of 916 mbar[1] (the lowest ever recorded in a hurricane that never reached Category 5 intensity)'

That might not be strictly speaking true.

I use the word might because the 1932 Cuba Hurricane's final category is still disputed.

However, it's currently recorded as a Category Four with a pressure of 915mb, a millibar stronger than Opal. That said, it may be upgraded to a Category Five in future with 160mph winds (instead of 135mph).

In doing so, it'd become the 5th season to ever have 2 Category 5s or more. Joining 1960 (Ethel is a bit debatable, but going with the records), 1961, 2005, and 2007.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
296. MahFL
Note, being a trained spotter does not give you the right to use flashing lights on your vehicle. Some states will ticket you if you light up.
Normal hazard lights are of course acceptable if needed.
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Quoting scott39:
Yes, and I was referring to TCs that are home brew in the W Atlantic not CV TCs. I forgot to say that.Quoting scott39:
Yes, and I was referring to TCs that are home brew in the W Atlantic not CV TCs. I forgot to say that.


Opal was a Caribbean homebrew and hit Florida as a three in 95.
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I think the two most confusing things are the models shifts to the left going towards Mexico this morning and now compared to yesterday when almost all the models on the dynamic look had Matthew splitting the Yucatan and western tip of Cuba

strange. wish we had a better idea of when and how strong that trough is going to be. should be interesting to say the least.
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Quoting scott39:
Yes, and I was referring to TCs that are home brew in the W Atlantic not CV TCs. I forgot to say that.


how about breaking it down a bit further, can they only start with letters after "F"

you can narrow anything down to only 1 or 2 occurrences if you have enough defining parameters lol
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Quoting pensacolastorm:
And Opal
Thanks
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6875
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Quoting Cotillion:


What do you classify as 'late September'?

From the 20th onwards?
Yes, and I was referring to TCs that are home brew in the W Atlantic not CV TCs. I forgot to say that.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6875
Quoting Cotillion:


What do you classify as 'late September'?

From the 20th onwards?


He must. Ivan hit Alabama on Sept 16.
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Quoting Kristina40:


Wasn't Ivan a major?

I believe it was.
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Quoting Livyer:
Hi all,

This is my first post, although I've read this blog since about Katrina.

Here in Newfoundland, no one recalls a storm quite like this one (and we get a lot of storms). In addition to the flooding caused by the intense rains, the wind damage here in St. John's was very high. Thousands of trees are down throughout the city, and the power is still off in many areas. And as one person mentioned, there was one fatality. I hope there aren't more caused by fact that most of the traffic lights in the city aren't working.


Thanks for the update, and sorry for your area's troubles. I've been reading some of the damage reports coming out of local media; needless to say, Igor left a path of destruction and chaos that'll likely keep being tallied for weeks or months. It's odd there was so much attention focused on Bermuda even after Igor departed, when not to much happened there. But that's the media, I guess. Anyway, keep the board posted, and best of luck in your cleanup and repair efforts...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13597
Quoting scott39:
The only 2 major hurricanes to hit the US Gulf Coast Late Sep/Oct in the last 30 years, were both in 2005. Rita and Wilma


What do you classify as 'late September'?

From the 20th onwards?

(You missed Opal at least)
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
Quoting kshipre1:
where's Levi?


Hi in college filling his brain with knowledge.
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And Opal
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where's Levi?
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Quoting scott39:
The only 2 major hurricanes to hit the US Gulf Coast Late Sep/Oct in the last 30 years, were both in 2005. Rita and Wilma


Wasn't Ivan a major?
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http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t3/loop-rgb.html

NOAA RGB loop

There is no doubt his COC is much more defined than yesterday, that was step one, now he's mixing out some dry air it looks like. His thunderstorms are collasping as they try to wrap around the COC. I still think pre-Matt is a step or two ahead of Karl when he was near the same longitude. Just my opinoin but tonight maybe the signs of when he gets a crankin.
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95L's current position appears to be in the area of 12.5N 70W. This could be one of those systems that appears to be moving at a fairly rapid rate, but keeps relocating east ever so often. Does anyone agree?
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Quoting pensacolastorm:

Think Ivan, Dennis, Opal, Erin.....

I remember Ivan very well had roof damage during that storm.
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The only 2 major hurricanes to hit the US Gulf Coast Late Sep/Oct in the last 30 years, were both in 2005. Rita and Wilma
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6875
12z GFS @ 108hrs. Has it spending a lot of time over land this run. Not sure it could survive that.

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Quoting belizewunderfan:
Hi KanKunKid...this season has us busy watching! Any thoughts on 95L? Doesn't look too good for poor little Belize (who incidentally celebrated 29 years of Independence yesterday :)).


From those evil, evil Brits?

Tsch, I know what they're like...
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
Quoting jeffs713:
Maybe because it is expected to impact Mexico directly, and Mexican authorities are handling advisories on their own... also, maybe because its a TD?


Well, just had a look and in tiny print below it says that the San Juan office deals with Spanish translations (The TWO for the E-Pac also has no translations linked).

Considering that these storms - should they hit land - are almost certain to impact Hispanophone countries alone (Hawaii as the only possible exception), it seems kinda odd to not include the translations alongside.

As I'm not a Spanish speaker, I've only just realised it. Maybe because these storms rarely affect land, I don't know. Just seems a bit... odd.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
Quoting MississippiBoy2:
what kind of a threat could we face on the north gulf coast with 95l?

Think Ivan, Dennis, Opal, Erin.....
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What I think is this. The history of the past 4-5 years is that very few troughs have affected storms all that greatly while in the CARIB especially Majors. The trough info has been fed to the hungry Comp Models and they are spitting out it's possible effects. If this storm actually develops it will ignore most of the current model predictions other than the fact that it's headed for the mountains. If it is minimal strength Then we see Cat 1 parked by the Yuke early next week.
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Quoting scott39:
Yes, More than 2 to 1 chance N/NE Gulf Coast landfall over W/SW Fl. Gulf Coast landfall. Then again 95L may die in Central America.
Or W Fl. may get another one on the board for this year.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6875
Quoting Times2:

AHH!So your saying there is a chance??
Yes, More than 2 to 1 chance N/NE Gulf Coast landfall over W/SW Fl. Gulf Coast landfall. Then again 95L may die in Central America.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6875
Hi KanKunKid...this season has us busy watching! Any thoughts on 95L? Doesn't look too good for poor little Belize (who incidentally celebrated 29 years of Independence yesterday :)).
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Quoting Livyer:
Hi all,

This is my first post, although I've read this blog since about Katrina.

Here in Newfoundland, no one recalls a storm quite like this one (and we get a lot of storms). In addition to the flooding caused by the intense rains, the wind damage here in St. John's was very high. Thousands of trees are down throughout the city, and the power is still off in many areas. And as one person mentioned, there was one fatality. I hope there aren't more caused by fact that most of the traffic lights in the city aren't working.


Good to hear from you! I hope the cleanup goes well.
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what kind of a threat could we face on the north gulf coast with 95l?
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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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