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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521. JLPR2
Also the buoy is reporting sustained winds of 42mph with gusts to 53mph.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8459
015L/MICRO-TS/N/CX

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Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9648
517. JLPR2
Maria is producing some really nice waves.
Wave Height (WVHT): 23.0 ft
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8459
Quoting wxobsvps:


Katia is moving as forecast by NHC.


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.
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Same old yellow journalism......we have had only 2 hurricanes in 2011 so far. How does that rank compared to 2005? Why is the dearth of hurricanes never mentioned?

I think this site is mostly weather sensationalism... these 12 hour tropical storms that form outside the tropics (Gert, Jose, Franklin, Cindy) would likely have never been named before satellites.

Oh well- still a great site to keep a close eye on my waterfront home on the Gulf.
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012L/TS/K/XX
MARK NEAR
31N/70W
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Quoting gulfbreeze:
I am going to need a new F5 key after this season.


Right click and refresh
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Quoting JLPR2:


Then it should dissipate or spin in place. XD


lol.
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507. yoboi
i think in 1596 sept 3rd they had 6 storms form that day i am not sure night have been 1597
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Quoting reedzone:
So why isn't Katia moving NNW to North? Look at the steering and tell me :)

A NW movement continues and the steering pattern agrees. She should start pulling NNW by the morning.



She is and has been for 2 hours now. look at the ADT data, almost due N at about 70W, (69.92 to 69.99)
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Quoting gulfbreeze:
I am going to need a new F5 key after this season.


Click the refresh button instead. Mice are cheaper than keyboards ;-)
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504. JLPR2
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


That would just take her farther south.


Then it should dissipate or spin in place. XD
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8459
I am going to need a new F5 key after this season.
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Quoting Dem86Mets:
I have no clue if anyone has been paying attention to the long range GFS, but it has been consistently spinning up something in the Caribbean, and moving it towards Cuba and South Florida. I would not rule this out sometime towards the end of September.


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.
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i just love how katia is STILL moving nw lol for about like almost 5 days :P if she continued this boom into the US as an almost straight line lol
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Quoting CaribBoy:
I'm wondering what the NHC will write in their 11PM discussion regarding MARIA's future.


Look at the 5 pm discussion. More of the same probably.
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Just posted my first ever tropical update on this site!

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/wn1995/comment.h tml?entrynum=1

Please check it out and leave comments and suggestions if you have any.
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I'm wondering what the NHC will write in their 11PM discussion regarding MARIA's future.
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Quoting hcubed:


I actually had to set my **list** filter to a hundred post minimum. Helps keep out the "returning champions".


How do you do that?
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I have no clue if anyone has been paying attention to the long range GFS, but it has been consistently spinning up something in the Caribbean, and moving it towards Cuba and South Florida. I would not rule this out sometime towards the end of September.
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So why isn't Katia moving NNW to North? Look at the steering and tell me :)

A NW movement continues and the steering pattern agrees. She should start pulling NNW by the morning.


Probably pull more north by daylight. This may come a bit more close to Cape Cod/Nantucket. Reminds me of Edouard in 1996.
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014L/TS/M/CX
MARK next forecast point
14.40N/46.25W
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Quoting DFWjc:


seems kinda fishy to me dewey...i think if the bands hit, it should count. They can still do some damage...
Wumail!
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Quoting JLPR2:
I do hope Maria opens up, some models shifting to the south and over PR.



That would just take her farther south.
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491. THL3
Quoting angiest:


The smoke from magnolia blew over Katy Monday and Tuesday, enough to filter sunlight and smell. Its a few miles further west today.

I was near willowbrook this morning and could see the plume

This is where its coming from:
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..its the Southern Comfort that makes a Fresca worthy of the palate
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Quoting Tazmanian:
Jose is doing what this storm is doing





you guys sould look at what KULAP is doing
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114050
Quoting Hurricanes101:


I think he meant Gaston did not deserve a name


Even still, Gaston was a TS for almost 24 hours. Pointless argument anyway I guess lol
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486. JLPR2
I do hope Maria opens up, some models shifting to the south and over PR.

Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8459
Quoting CaribBoy:


Do you think she will stay a TS?


I do
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Jose is doing what this storm is doing


Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114050
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
I drank a Fresca. Once.
Same # of times most folks drink their Fresca.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


and staying weak may keep her further south

if she does not die out, then she could be a bigger threat to land in the long run


Here is why Maria is racing to the West. The fast forward speed combined with the shear is inhibiting intensification but will not prevent the turn to the WNW and NW once the western periphery of the ridge is reached. That is what will determine how much of a threat the system will be downstream.

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Quoting Hurricanes101:


and staying weak may keep her further south

if she does not die out, then she could be a bigger threat to land in the long run
Indeed. Something similar to what the 12z ECMWF forecasts is plausible should she remain weak until she reaches the Lesser Antilles.
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Quoting kmanislander:


Still a TS though.


Do you think she will stay a TS?
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Quoting interstatelover7165:
Nope. 2010 Gaston. Like Jose or Franklin. Did NOT deserve to be named.


Well Jose and Franklin both had a closed circulation, doesn't matter if they affected any land areas or not, if it has a closed LLC, then it's gonna be named.
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Quoting extreme236:


Wrong. Maria had a closed circulation with confirmed TS force winds. That makes it a named storm.


I think he meant Gaston did not deserve a name
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
...even with my **list** now at 221
I currently have to set the filter at average
to make the experience here viable.


I actually had to set my **list** filter to a hundred post minimum. Helps keep out the "returning champions".
Member Since: May 18, 2007 Posts: 289 Comments: 1639
Quoting Hurricanes101:


and staying weak may keep her further south

if she does not die out, then she could be a bigger threat to land in the long run


And even if she is an open wave, there is a lot of waters for her to track over to possibly regenerate.
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Why is MARIA moving so quickly? Many one told about dry air as well.. initially dry air wasnt supposed to be a problem if I remember what was said yesterday. Moreover wasnt shear supposed to be marginal (not unfavorable).?
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Quoting interstatelover7165:
Nope. 2010 Gaston. Like Jose or Franklin. Did NOT deserve to be named.


Wrong. Maria had a closed circulation with confirmed TS force winds, and organized convection. That makes it a named storm.
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Quoting kmanislander:


Still a TS though.


and staying weak may keep her further south

if she does not die out, then she could be a bigger threat to land in the long run
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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About JeffMasters

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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