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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Just as an aside, here in Ithaca, NY, the remnants of TS Lee are causing massive flooding -- possibly the worst in 50 years.

(going back to lurking (since 2005) and bailing)
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

yeah...Tropical Storm Nate is in the Atlantic...and its not going out to sea...


Think Nate is in the GOMEX last I checked
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Quoting Bretts9112:
So it seems like the panhandle of FL is safe from Nate as of right now?


all of CONUS is...as of right now.
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 644
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
So far, I see one major candidate for retirement in the Spring of next year...That would be Irene.

I see a lesser possibility for Lee, which has killed seven, and there will be no telling how much damage it has caused due to flooding. All this going on in the northeast can be contributed to Lee.

Well, they should retire the name Arlene, as well, just to get a replacement. Arlene is getting old after being named for the tenth time.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Hey Fresca, can I drink you?


Not on the first date.
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Quoting Dakster:


Then yes, "they" could be wrong... But we don't know 100% yet. I am suprised that anyone would gaurantee a hit or miss at this point. Too far away.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Hey Fresca, can I drink you?


good thing Fresca is a liquid.
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 644
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Hey Fresca, can I drink you?


I think that's illegal without consent.
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Quoting mcluvincane:


I was talking about the atlantic

The GOM is part of the ATL.
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So it seems like the panhandle of FL is safe from Nate as of right now?
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Quoting mcluvincane:


I was talking about the atlantic

yeah...Tropical Storm Nate is in the Atlantic...and its not going out to sea...
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
So far, I see one major candidate for retirement in the Spring of next year...That would be Irene.

I see a lesser possibility for Lee, which has killed seven, and there will be no telling how much damage it has caused due to flooding. All this going on in the northeast can be contributed to Lee.



So I leave my lurker post and discover that there is a Nate in the Gulf and instead of it going to the North Gulf Coast its heading into Mexico? Wow I guess we have dodged the bullet on this one ...I think??
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Blog Update with video
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Quoting PcolaDan:
I all even numbered posts and all odd numbered posts. Every 17 post gets a .

:)


I was told there would be no math.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 42 Comments: 6269
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Nate isn't going out to sea...Oops, there goes your house.


I was talking about the atlantic. Sarcasm flag ON
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Quoting Fresca:


Well, thanks for stopping bye.


Hey Fresca, can I drink you?
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Quoting PcolaDan:
I all even numbered posts and all odd numbered posts. Every 17 post gets a .

:)


Wow...lol.
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Quoting PcolaDan:
I all even numbered posts and all odd numbered posts. Every 17 post gets a .

:)


you, too?
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 644
don't count out a double loop from nate and than head to south florida..i have no weather experience to back up my opinion..

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252. DFWjc
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


*Cough* MARIA *Cough*


Tropical Storm Maria
Wind: 50 MPH — Location: 13.2N 44.2W — Movement: W

he's/she's still wrong...LOL
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Quoting FrankZapper:
The hypocrisy on this blog is at Cat 5 level!


Well, thanks for stopping bye.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Hurricane Katia: No change:

AL, 12, 2011090800, , BEST, 0, 303N, 699W, 70, 982, HU, 64, NEQ, 60, 50, 40, 50, 1012, 250, 55, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, KATIA, D,
West of Dennis Massachusetts.
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Quoting mcluvincane:


OTS they go. I am willing to bet my house on it at this point. lol


Nate isn't going out to sea...Oops, there goes your house.
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Quoting AussieStorm:


Did you see what's over Cuba, This.

Fla. people, don't get to excited yet. it's 360hrs out.


I don't think FL is excited yet. I find it interesting that this is very close to what Levi was talking about before this model run was out.
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So far, I see one major candidate for retirement in the Spring of next year...That would be Irene.

I see a lesser possibility for Lee, which has killed seven, and there will be no telling how much damage it has caused due to flooding. All this going on in the northeast can be contributed to Lee.
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245. JLPR2
Quoting FLdewey:
Possible sea-storm and a squashed spider... good time keep on rollin.





I see the GFDL and the UKM shifted south, I actually expect a slight shift towards the south taking into account Maria's current heading and speed.
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Quoting mcluvincane:


OTS they go. I am willing to bet my house on it at this point. lol

so you think Maria and Nate will be a fish????
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243. DFWjc
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


*Cough* MARIA *Cough*


dang it, i hate doing this from my phone...
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Quoting AussieStorm:


Did you see what's over Cuba, This.

Fla. people, don't get to excited yet. it's 360hrs out.


Ah, just after my coworker gets back from vacation there, I see. Lucky for her (if this pans out), unlucky for me, though: I'm going to be hearing many ear-damaging stories of her belated "honeymoon" with her husband. =P
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Quoting P451:


The crazy thing is that at 4pm et they had it as Tropical Storm Nate.

Now they have two entries for it: Tropical Depression Invest --- and Invest 96L as well.


They screwed up. Big time.
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Quoting wxobsvps:


Yeah.... CONUS looks to be in a rather safe, threatening Pattern.


More time on the long board for me.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 42 Comments: 6269
Quoting AussieStorm:


Did you see what's over Cuba, This.

Fla. people, don't get to excited yet. it's 360hrs out.

Im sorry but this is rather exciting. =D!

Hopefully it will mimic the Irene from 1999 and we'll get a similar amount of rain.
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Quoting DFWjc:


WU disagrees

Hurricane Katia
Wind: 80 MPH — Location: 30.2N 69.9W — Movement: NW


*Cough* MARIA *Cough*
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Quoting justalurker:


gravy train just keeps on coming..



OTS they go. I am willing to bet my house on it at this point. lol
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235. txjac
Quoting marmark:
I am a wishcaster in that I hope Nate heads to Texas as a cooling, slow, rainmaker...


Count me in your wishcasting group!
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Quoting FLdewey:
Possible sea-storm and a squashed spider... good time keep on rollin.





Yeah.... CONUS looks to be in a rather safe, threatening Pattern.
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 644
233. P451
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:
lol...FAIL
AL152011 - Tropical Depression INVEST
They'll fix it soon, probably XD


The crazy thing is that at 4pm et they had it as Tropical Storm Nate.

Now they have two entries for it: Tropical Depression Invest --- and Invest 96L as well.

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Quoting avthunder:
Looks like paradise. Hope Maria stays as far away as Katia has.
Thanks
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Quoting txjac:


Okee-dokee ...
I love Nea's and Skye's posts ..they really make me think outside of the box
I think Neo is very interesting even if leftward leaning to the point that his very bright intellect is dimmed by his ideology.
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Quoting weatherjr:
I see maria moving WNW now Somebody agree with me?


I see maria spinning around in circles. lol
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228. DFWjc
Quoting weatherjr:
I see maria moving WNW now Somebody agree with me?


WU disagrees

Hurricane Katia
Wind: 80 MPH — Location: 30.2N 69.9W — Movement: NW
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hurricane Katia: No change:

AL, 12, 2011090800, , BEST, 0, 303N, 699W, 70, 982, HU, 64, NEQ, 60, 50, 40, 50, 1012, 250, 55, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, KATIA, D,
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Quoting BDADUDE:
Devonshire Bay
Looks like paradise. Hope Maria stays as far away as Katia has.
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Possible sea-storm and a squashed spider... good time keep on rollin.



Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 42 Comments: 6269
Quoting txjac:


It's all just so surreal (sp?) ... like living in hell ...scary stuff
I am a wishcaster in that I hope Nate heads to Texas as a cooling, slow, rainmaker...
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223. DFWjc
Quoting GTcooliebai:
That's what I'm wondering is any of that hitting the ground?


it looks like East Texas will get some, it's not drying up, but up North of Denton, it's fizzling out, rrgh!
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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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