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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Big high!!

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Quoting butterflymcb:


I am confused...these models from orcasystems look nothing like the models I am seeing?

Are there two systems down there? Or is this a long range model?

Can someone help me understand this?


Thanks so much!


If you have time I point to alot of the models on my video blog....Link
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 590 Comments: 29698
GFS simulated water vapor loop.

Final image

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Quoting Orcasystems:


Just to keep life interesting... one of the late models is pointed at Texas, and a bunch more at Florida..



P.S. I assume you meant Central America, and not South America.


I am confused...these models from orcasystems look nothing like the models I am seeing?

Are there two systems down there? Or is this a long range model?

Can someone help me understand this?


Thanks so much!
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Quoting cat5hurricane:
Timing could mean a lot. If it gets it's act together, it might become formidable enough to withstand any significant interaction w/ land near Honduras. If it takes it's sweet time becoming a TD until late Thursday nite/early Friday (which I think at this point it will based on imagery...i'm not impressed), then it could die out & only remnants will be steered north toward the gap.


Not only that, but the weaker it stays, the further S it should stay, which would tend to make me think it would spend more time over land. Lot's of variables in play here and a lot of wait and see.
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ECMF at 192 hours

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Thanks Dr. Masters.A wait at see for 95L.I whole heartedly agree.Many scenarios possible at this point.A Fred-like track is not out of the question as are many others.IMO.
Thanks again,
Moe
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Quoting cat5hurricane:
Timing could mean a lot. If it gets it's act together, it might become formidable enough to withstand any significant interaction w/ land near Honduras. If it takes it's sweet time becoming a TD until late Thursday nite/early Friday (which I think at this point it will based on imagery...i'm not impressed), then it could die out & only remnants will be steered north toward the gap.
Is the trough coming down going to be a deep one?
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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)





Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
anyone notice that THE GFS CMC ECMWF ALL hint possible low or TD south of Hait or in central carrbbean 5 to 6 that intresting to watch as well
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GFS at 216 hours



GFS at 228 hours:

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IT looks like 95L will make the headline for the next week this could flood stiuation for the westrn carrb and cenntral America if 95L parks in westrn carrbean while intensfying this would be worst case sernario
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Quoting utilaeastwind:
95L is looking allot like Hurricane Greta 1978.



I don't quite understand how a cluster of thunderstorms looks like a Hurricane..? And how you can think 95L will follow a similar track as that hurricane...?
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Quoting Cotillion:


Not sure. It's possible, but some of it was caused when he went extratropical. Borderline, depends on what the damage totals up to afterwards.


The damage seems pretty severe, particularly in Newfoundland, of which Dr. Masters wrote: "...[it] suffered one of its worst poundings by a hurricane in the past century". It was extratropical and/or transitioning, true, but 2003's Juan--the only other storm for which the MSC has requested retirement--was transitioning, as well. But you're right; we'll see...
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What is with all of the incredibly stupid cooments on the blog lately? Levi has already showed what is going to be the most likely scenario, and for as young as that kid is, he's as sharp as a tack at this stuff. So before jumping on any models I'd listen to him. Also remember that if IKE is taking this seriously, then it is definitely something you want to watch if you live on the Gulf Coast
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Morning all

Quoting Buhdog:
I smell that doc thinks this may go East of the US? Waiting is the hardest part.


I'm not sure BD...He could also be thinking it may just end up dying out over Nic/Honduras. 95l has been tracking S of guidance thus far. Still a lot up in the air right now.
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2000--2009 TCs that hit the Gulf Coast in Late Sep thru Oct.
West Coast FL.--1

E Central N/NE Gulf Coast--6
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I don't se a GOM storm at all with 95L. It's just not going to happen.
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 150
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Quoting Buhdog:
I smell that doc thinks this may go East of the US? Waiting is the hardest part.


What???
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Link
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Tropical Update Sept. 22nd. 2010
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 590 Comments: 29698
Quoting Neapolitan:
That's a nasty mess in Canada, and yet another reason I think that nation's meteorlogical service might request retirement for the second time ever.


Not sure. It's possible, but some of it was caused when he went extratropical. Borderline, depends on what the damage totals up to afterwards.

Looks like Karl will be. Alex is another possible (I'd be surprised if it wasn't). Earl depends on what St Maarten and the BVI think (principally).
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
i see a west wobble
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Thanks for the info on New Foundland and the follow-up on Karl!! Sometimes we forget about the impact these storms have besides the U.S..
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 590 Comments: 29698
Quoting Neapolitan:
That's a nasty mess in Canada, and yet another reason I think that nation's meteorlogical service might request retirement for the second time ever.

An interesting feature I bring up only for curiosity's sake, and not because there's any chance of regeneration: has anyone noticed the remnants of Julia still spinning around the Atlantic? The RGB wide shot clearly shows her COC at around 33.0N/38.5W, or a thousand or so miles NNW of Lisa. She's got good low-level circulation, but some very hefty shear is ripping off what tiny bit of convection she can produce and smearing it into a cirrus plume several hundred miles to her south. Strange to think that she and Igor were close to kissing last week, but now he's off to visit Santa's workshop while she's headed toward the Mediterranean... ;-)

CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE

Tropical weather-related image


NHC just updated their tracking of x-Julia

AL 12 2010092212 BEST 0 333N 388W 25 1008 LO
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Thx Doc.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4929
Quoting Neapolitan:
That's a nasty mess in Canada, and yet another reason I think that nation's meteorlogical service might request retirement for the second time ever.

An interesting feature I bring up only for curiosity's sake, and not because there's any chance of regeneration: has anyone noticed the remnants of Julia still spinning around the Atlantic? The RGB wide shot clearly shows her COC at around 33.0N/38.5W, or a thousand or so miles NNW of Lisa. She's got good low-level circulation, but some very hefty shear is ripping off what tiny bit of convection she can produce and smearing it into a cirrus plume several hundred miles to her south. Strange to think that she and Igor were close to kissing last week, but now he's off to visit Santa's workshop while she's headed toward the Mediterranean... ;-)

CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE

Tropical weather-related image


+1 interesting thought...ur right!
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Jamaica radar.
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That's a nasty mess in Canada, and yet another reason I think that nation's meteorlogical service might request retirement for the second time ever.

An interesting feature I bring up only for curiosity's sake, and not because there's any chance of regeneration: has anyone noticed the remnants of Julia still spinning around the Atlantic? The RGB wide shot clearly shows her COC at around 33.0N/38.5W, or a thousand or so miles NNW of Lisa. She's got good low-level circulation, but some very hefty shear is ripping off what tiny bit of convection she can produce and smearing it into a cirrus plume several hundred miles to her south. Strange to think that she and Igor were close to kissing last week, but now he's off to visit Santa's workshop while she's headed toward the Mediterranean... ;-)

CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE

Tropical weather-related image
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Quoting utilaeastwind:
95L is looking allot like Hurricane Greta 1978.



If it wasn't going to be drawn north, then I'd agree. (Track wise in the Atlantic; intensity and EPac regeneration will be different)

However, the hints are that it will.

So, you're looking at a blend of: Hurricane #4, 1877; Hurricane #4, 1887; Florida Keys Hurricane of 1906; Hurricane Isbell, 1964.

Based on the current hints.

If it does end up running itself over in Central America, then you discard those.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
I smell that doc thinks this may go East of the US? Waiting is the hardest part.
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95L is looking allot like Hurricane Greta 1978.

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What a great year for US! Troughs have picked everything up along the eastern seaboard and very strong high pressure has forced everything in the Gulf/Caribbean West away from US. This appears to be the case with 95L as well as most of the models are trending towards the mountains of Central America:-)
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Quoting tacoman:
i agree with ike this won't even affect the the gulfcoast or fla it's mainly a s american storm..


Just to keep life interesting... one of the late models is pointed at Texas, and a bunch more at Florida..



P.S. I assume you meant Central America, and not South America.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting scott39:
Thanks-- concerning 95L--- Dr. Masters says, "Danger to the US is uncertain at this point."
This should make you feel a little better.
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Great update! Thanks again.
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Thanks-- concerning 95L--- Dr. Masters says, "Danger to the US is uncertain at this point."
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Thanks for the update Dr. M!

Also, anyone interested in looking at the immortal remains of Julia?
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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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