Tropical Storms Nate, Maria have formed; 2011 season on the heels of 2005's numbers

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 11:25 PM GMT on September 07, 2011

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Tropical Storm Nate formed in the southern Gulf of Mexico this afternoon after Hurricane Hunters found a well-defined surface circulation in Invest 96L. Nate is the 14th named storm this year, and comes three days before the climatological half-way point of the Atlantic hurricane season, September 10. A typical hurricane season has just 10 - 11 named storms, so we've already had 35% more than a whole season's worth of storms before reaching the season's half-way point. At this rate, 2011 will see 28 named storms, equalling the all-time record set in 2005. Nate's formation date of September 7 puts 2011 in 2nd place for earliest date of arrival of the season's 14th storm. Only 2005 had an earlier formation date of the season's 14th named storm (September 6, when Hurricane Nate got named.) Third place is now held jointly by 1936 and 1933, which got their 14th storm of the season on September 10.

This afternoon's Hurricane Hunter mission into Invest 96L/Nate found maximum sustained winds of at least 45 mph, and minimum central pressure of 1003 mb. Wind shear in the region is low and is expected to remain low for the next 48 hours. Sea surface temperature is toasty in the Gulf at around 30°C (86°F) and more than ample to support intensification. Nate will bring heavy rains and potential flooding and mudslides to Mexico, and according to some weather models, also has the potential to be a U.S. landfall threat. Nate's surface circulation is apparent on satellite loops, although the thunderstorm activity in the storm is displaced from the center. It appears the strongest storms are to the southwest and northeast of the center. East of the storm, thunderstorms are churning associated with the stationary front that's draped across Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and over the Yucatan Peninsula. This stationary front is left over from the cold front that pushed south through the central and eastern U.S. earlier this week, and created a focal point in the Gulf of Mexico for Tropical Storm Nate to form. It's notoriously difficult for weather models and forecasters to predict tropical cyclones that spin up in the Gulf of Mexico, but lead-time for both Nate and our previous Gulf cyclone, Lee, was generous.


Figure 1. Infrared satellite image of Tropical Storm Nate at 6:15pm EDT.

Forecast for Tropical Storm Nate
Given the favorable environment, in addition to a very warm pocket of sea surface waters in the central Gulf of Mexico, we expect that Nate will intensify modestly over the next few days. The National Hurricane Center forecasts that Nate will become the third hurricane of the season by Friday. The HWRF and ECMWF agree with this forecast—both of these models bring Nate to a category 2 hurricane by Saturday. The IVCN/ICON consensus models that the Hurricane Center relies on are more conservative, peaking at category 1 intensity. Nate's maximum potential intensity is heavily dependent on its track, which, according to the weather models, has been up in the air for the past few of days. Until this afternoon's run, the ECMWF has held true to its forecast that Nate will track north and make landfall anywhere from Louisiana to Florida. This afternoon, it backed off of that solution and is now forecasting a northern Mexico landfall. The GFS has consistently forecasted a track that lingers in the Bay of Campeche for a few days before ultimately making dive to the west into Mexico. Over the past few days the Canadian CMC model has been reluctant to develop Nate at all, but today is forecasting the system to track north into the Southeast U.S. states. Now that there is Hurricane Hunter data to ingest (as well as confirmed 45 mph surface wind speeds), we expect the models will come into better agreement on both track and intensity for Tropical Storm Nate.

Tropical Storm Maria

Tropical Depression 14 was named Tropical Storm Maria late this morning, as well. The storm is still pretty far east in the Atlantic, 1,200 miles east of the Leeward Islands, but is moving quickly to the west at 23 mph. According to the National Hurricane Center, Maria looks well-organized on satellite, "but not really." If you look closely at satellite loops (especially the loops that you can catch before the sun sets in that area), you'll see the surface circulation is located to the west of the strongest thunderstorm activity. Well-organized tropical cyclones will be vertically stacked in the atmosphere, with the strongest thunderstorms directly on top of the surface circulation. Maria's disjointed-ness is likely due to a pretty strong clip of wind shear (30 knots worth) in the area. This would usually be deadly for a tropical cyclone of Maria's strength, but since the storm is moving so quickly to the west, the Hurricane Center is forecasting the storm to remain somewhat intact for the next 5 days, although the forecast is for no intensification. Models are coming into better agreement on the track of this system. Prior to today, the ECMWF was forecasting a track south of Puerto Rico, but has since changed its mind and is now in agreement with many of the other models on a track skirting the northern Leeward Islands and missing the Greater Antilles to the north. Beyond this, there is quite a bit of uncertainty depending on steering winds in the Atlantic. It's still too early to guess which track the models will eventually converge on. Climatology favors a track that would miss land, with Dr. Bob Hart's track history pages suggesting Maria has a 22% chance of hitting Canada, 19% chance of hitting Bermuda, and an 11% chance of hitting North Carolina.

Angela

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Quoting 3211976:
Can some body explain me the purpose of this model plot



"X" marks the spot
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Quoting kmanislander:


Hi there pal, long time no speak. How's it going down South ??. After a very wet spell here last week the heat is back in full force.What a year this is.
What about the mosquitoes ? They are eating us alive up here.
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MJO is forecasted to be coming back for the peak of the season


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568. Kearn
is it just me or are steering currents crazy weak in the gulf? lee and nate are hardly moving
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Must be a full-house at the NHC. Have to put out 3 advisory packages.
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None of our three storms are looking very sexy right now. Maria is reminding me a lot of Emily, and Nate's COC looks to have migrating north to where the remainder of the trough is tugging at it and exposing it to the hostile environment just to the north. Katia still has a nice presentation, a weak hurricane at best, but she's slowly but surely feeling the effects of more stable air and cooler SSTs.
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evening everyone
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im waiting.....why they takin so long
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Quoting pottery:


Hi there pal, long time no speak. How's it going down South ??. After a very wet spell here last week the heat is back in full force.What a year this is.
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they should be out soon...
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560. Skyepony (Mod)
Looking at Nate storm model verification.. This maybe the HWRF's storm with only 11.8nm of error so far. GFDL showing skill with 18.7nm. All the rest are lost with mid 30s to high 40s. NAM is trailing with 57.2nm of error.
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advisorys out yet?
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Can some body explain me the purpose of this model plot

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Quoting wxobsvps:
00Z



18Z


Good gravy, the high centered in NE CO is 1028mb!

The highest pressure around when Hermine came to TX last year was 1012. Nate already made his landfall decision, anyway. Although at least he didn't get N and dissipate any of the heat and energy of the WGOM.. saving it for a future system.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


oh relax, sti back and have a Fres- oh wait would that be cannibalism in your case? lol


I can hear the clicking refrain of many F5 keys being pressed Lol
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Quoting reedzone:


Sorry, I disagree, she should be moving NNW per the NHC but she continues the NW movement for now. Again, I'm not saying it's gonna hit the USA. Though it'll be a close call for New England from what it looks like.
huh? If anything she's moving NNW/N and she is east of the NHC forecast

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Quoting kmanislander:


Yes, but Maria is about 60 miles South of this buoy which makes the readings all the more impressive

See href="http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?s tation=41041" target="_blank" onclick="if(!checkUrl(this.href)) return false;" rel="nofollow">buoy data here

Indeed!
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24028
Quoting Fresca:


5700 posts, and 5680 are simply condescending remarks about the blog. Surely you can find another blog worthy of your your golden ego?


oh relax, sti back and have a Fres- oh wait would that be "can"nibalism in your case? lol

but I do feel flattered that you took the time to look through every one of my posts lol
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Nam is backing off on a west run and is trying to agree with the canadian and GFS ensembles in moving nate NE that was my projected path. guys the 2nd day katia formed, what was YOUR forecasted track for her? even if your wrong its fine :) also your tracks for maria and nate?
i had katia from day 2 moving west of bermuda east of haterras like now and then into canada. i got all of that right except the canada part :)
Maria im think into the northern leewards north of puerto rico then a recurve east of the bahamas west of bermuda east of hatteras out to sea.
nate ive had from day one as an invest moving northeast because the pattern would favor lee's old trough and remnants to pick up anything in the gulf and send it NNE into the Gulf coast thats what i have now :) intensity i hate forecasting lol i had katia a 3, maria at a 1 and nate as a 1 its entire lifespan :) i failed on katia lol
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Quoting NolaJoniW:
Where does everyone here think Nate will end up?


In a coffin of dry air.

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Quoting FLdewey:


Well anyone who considers a blog as journalism has some problems right off the get go. There's your problem.


Boy, if this blog gets us into another Spanish-American War.....


(That's the extent of my knowledge about yellow journalism)


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Quoting Hurricanes101:


but but but...she is RIP right?


I mean the blog said so lol, don't go ruining their exceptional logic with factual data. you know better!! lol



:-(. LOL
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If some one have doubts about Maria here she is.

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Quoting kmanislander:


Yes, but Maria is about 60 miles South of this buoy which makes the readings all the more impressive

See buoy data here


but but but...she is RIP right?


I mean the blog said so lol, don't go ruining their exceptional logic with factual data. you know better!! lol

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When will Kathia begin changing its track....

Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9695
Quoting yoboi:
i think in 1596 sept 3rd they had 6 storms form that day i am not sure night have been 1597



Check with Grothar. He was around then.
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535. Relix
Maria packs a little punch surprisingly. Any change in strength won't affect the forecast now. After 55W is when we may see those changes, but now? Pff that high won't budge be it a Cat 4 or a weak TS. Its gonna keep the same heading until that longitude.
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534. JLPR2
Quoting wunderweatherman123:
what storm is this buoy for? maria?


Yep.
It's at 14.1N 45.9W
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Quoting wunderweatherman123:
what storm is this buoy for? maria?


Yes, but Maria is about 60 miles South of this buoy which makes the readings all the more impressive

See buoy data here
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Where does everyone here think Nate will end up?
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Quoting kmanislander:


what storm is this buoy for? maria?
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Quoting FLdewey:
Pays the doctas booyyyyyy...



I like the model that takes Katia to Russia. How apropos. Let the Yakov Smirnov jokes commence.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Yes, Levi has been watching it particularly closely. Has me a bit concerned, given the circumstances and pattern. We have to remember, even if we do have troughs set up along the East Coast, which shields us from Cape Verde storms, guess what we get instead? Storms that come from the Caribbean.

just noticed 2010 are similar and different. we have the east coast troughs but sometimes a storm or two could sneak bye one and get further west (irene making landfall in NC as a hurricane) and last year the texas ridge covered ALL OF THE GOMEX meaning alex karl hermine richard paula everything that formed in the carribean and gulf MEXICO. this year we have the texas ridge trying to cover the gulf states but never does and sometimes moves west ALLOWING tropical storms to take advantage don (no comment on the impacts :P) Lee huge flooding in the US possibly nate... and maybe a new system in 10 days...
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Quoting reedzone:


Sorry, I disagree, she should be moving NNW per the NHC but she continues the NW movement for now. Again, I'm not saying it's gonna hit the USA. Though it'll be a close call for New England from what it looks like.


She is moving NNW to N.

Link
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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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