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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211. HCW
Quoting StormChaser81:


Spotters are trained weather spotters people by the NWS.

Just letting them know to keep a look out and report anything important.


Speaking of that the BMX NWS will offer advanced spotter training online NOV 30th


The next Graduate Spotter Class (GSC) has been scheduled for November 30th at 6 pm.**
To sign up for the GSC, please send an email to john.deblock@noaa.gov . John is our Warning Coordination Meteorologist

Member Since: August 10, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1408
Quoting angiest:


Whether or not the weather situation will require trained storm spotters to report severe weather.


For all weather situations?
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The last major La Niña happened in 1988-89. A record drought occurred in the US.

Named and non named storms from that year:
Tropical Depression One - 30 May
Tropical Storm Alberto - 4 August
Tropical Storm Beryl - 7 August
Tropical Depression Four - 12 August
Tropical Depression Five & Six - 20 August
Tropical Storm Chris - 21 August
Hurricane Debby - 31 August
Tropical Storm Ernesto - 3 September
Tropical Storm Ten - 3 September
Hurricane Florence - 7 September
Hurricane Gilbert - 8 September
Tropical Storm Unnamed - 7 September
Hurricane Helene - 21 September
Tropical Depression 15 - 27 September
Tropical Storm Isaac - 28 September
Hurricane Joan - 10 October
Tropical Depression Eighteen - 20 October
Tropical Storm Keith - 17 November
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
12Z GFS Current Initialization:

Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4972
Quoting breald:
Hey I have a weather related non-tropical question. What is spotter activation under the NWS regional weather info?



Spotters are trained weather spotters or observers by the NWS.

Just letting them know to keep a look out and report anything important.
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What do the latest computer models show on 95L? He is starting to spin, a surface L pressure are has developed.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
For those interested, the Vancouver Sun has an interesting collection of photos of storm damage to "The Rock" (aka Newfoundland).

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Photos+Hurricane+Igor+hits+east+coat/3558466/story.html
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Quoting P451:
95L Cyclogenesis will be slow to occur.

*Feature heading toward PR will disrupt the system.
*Proximity to South America
*Location in the ECar is known to be unfavorable for development regardless of shear and SSTs

--

95L Will likely begin to organize more quickly as it reaches the region south of Jamaica.

--

Caribbean 60HR WV Loop (95L)


Java intensive loop here save your work before clicking.

Caribbean: 60 Hour WV Loop with 1 hour increments.

Courtesy of the U of Hawaii


====
Have a good afternoon...
How are you feeling about the Current ECMWF and GFS going towards S Fl. and up the E Coast?
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6775
Morning everyone,
I don't really have a detailed forecast, heck there is no center yet. I think the models will lock on when "Matthew" forms. I have a good feeling this will effect Florida either as a remnant low, or a Hurricane. If it stays in Central America, the moisture is likely to lift north, maybe redevelop, or not. However, the GFS and EURO show the storm staying away from CA and catching the trough, heading towards Florida. It's a complex situation.. Oh and don't scream out out to sea if it misses Florida because the high in the Atlantic, the high we were supposed to have earlier this season is dominant and should keep 95L close to the coastline. That is my current thinking on the invest, soon to be "Matthew". I don't believe it will turn out to sea after hitting or missing Florida, if it even does that.
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Quoting breald:
Hey I have a weather related non-tropical question. What is spotter activation under the NWS regional weather info?



Whether or not the weather situation will require trained storm spotters to report severe weather.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey I have a weather related non-tropical question. What is spotter activation under the NWS regional weather info?

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ok, thanks
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http://www.theweathernetwork.com/your_weather/details/620/3241355/Newfoundland/upload/

to anybody that is interested here is a link to some pictures to give you an idea of the desruction caused by igor in Newfoundland.
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T.C.F.A.
INV95/XX/XL
MARK
13.33N/68.21W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53827
Quoting weatherboyfsu:
After we get a plane in the area to more data then we can look to the models which should be later tonight....

Everyone will have a better idea then.....


Yesterday's model runs had dropsonde data on 95L from the GV research flight.



That was yesterday!!!!!!
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Vorticity starting to consolidate
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Quoting weatherboyfsu:
After we get a plane in the area to more data then we can look to the models which should be later tonight....

Everyone will have a better idea then.....


Yesterday's model runs had dropsonde data on 95L from the GV research flight.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11162
Quoting kshipre1:
true but I thought the GFS and ECMWF models were in much better agreement of a strong trough coming down. If that is the case, wouldn't that cause the storm to start turning earlier?

I also heard that the trough will slowly come to the SE USA. The slower it comes, the further west Matthew goes?

Heres my very very amatuer forecast 95L going into the GOM. I think the GFS and ECMWF is over doing the strength and the diving of the trough with 95L. Its going to stay weak until it gets in the far Western Carribean. it may die in Central America or it may start feeling the weakness to the N and head into the Gulf coming out a little W over the Yucatan Tip. I dont think its going to make a sharp right and head towards the FL. Keys and go thru FL. up the E Coast this early in the fall. "Look at post 37." With this being said, I think land impact will be from New Orleans to the west Coast of Fl. Take this with a grain of salt!!
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6775

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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.