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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1222. ncstorm


thats a big shift for Maria



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0z CMC

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Quoting basti11:




ok i would love to hear your your opinion how you think NATE is going somewhere else but MEXICO...just give me one good reason NATE could take a north path all the way to the gulfcoast just one...im dying to hear it..


Cause GFS has totally changed from saying it was going to Mexico and now says it will go north? ... just passing by... continue on with your discussions... out of here :-D weee

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1217. Gearsts
Quoting SPLbeater:
Maria really need to slow down. can anybody explain the fast movement?
The high building strong north of her.
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Quoting Jax82:
Uh oh, who dat.

lol. Gorgeous, clear skies and the clutter on the radar gives a max reflectivity of 60 to 70 dBz.

Lends one to have less than complete faith that this particular bit of information has any accuracy. Not a new feeling as we have 60+ dBz showing on a highway bridge 90% of the time in the NWS NOLA radar.
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1214. 996tt
Last week, I was asking whether this deep diving front and seemingly the end of summer heat in Northern GOM has for all intents and purposes shut the GOM down for storm activity. In years past, such a deep front did end Atlantic threats, but left the door open for GOM storm development. These storms usually end up in Yucitan or Mexico. Is that what models are struggling with to overcome the prevalence of such activity to remain very far South after such a front?
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1213. SLU
Quoting MoltenIce:
Something is telling me that this year will be the only other year that uses the Greek alphabet.
Arlene
Bret
Cindy
Don
Emily
Franklin
Gert
Harvey
Irene
Jose
Katia (active)
Lee
Maria (active)
Nate (active)
Philippe (unused)
Rina (unused)
Sean (unused)
Tammy (unused)
Vince (unused)
Whitney (unused)

Where's OPHELIA?
Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 5367


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1210. hydrus
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Quoting Caner:


There is more to a storm than its barometric pressure, Nate still doesn't have any good mid-level inflow on the north or eastern side.

I think the low level inflow moistened from the unusually high evaporative clouds we are seeing to the North and NW, in that 'dry' air are helping compensate for that.

That is quite a bit of moisture and cloudband it is picking up from 'dry air'...

all very interesting, thanks! i do think geography is playing a major role in keeping Nate a 'player'... i like how Chicklit put it, in his incubator ;)

without that bump in spin, i'd imagine some of the environmental factors could take him down.. but with the spin he can keep splashing in those warm waters, mixing it up and causing the blog to stir. (only a modest amount of anthropomorphicizationism)
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Quoting Jax82:
This tells the whole story with Nate...dog.



If he gets stronger, he's about to make some bodies turn cold.
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Most of the HH are in the air right now re positioning for a buy weekend.
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1156 islander101010 "no one ever is going to remember katia"

The best kind of hurricanes are the ones that only "stamp collectors" remember.
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1202. Caner
Quoting basti11:


that wont happen i can assure you of that no place for nate to go except into MEXICO...


I remain unassured, despite your assurances ;^p
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1201. hydrus
Almost looks like a frontal low forming N.E. of Nate...
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lol, how useless does MJO look, now?


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Something is telling me that this year will be the only other year that uses the Greek alphabet.
Arlene
Bret
Cindy
Don
Emily
Franklin
Gert
Harvey
Irene
Jose
Katia (active)
Lee
Maria (active)
Nate (active)
Philippe (unused)
Rina (unused)
Sean (unused)
Tammy (unused)
Vince (unused)
Whitney (unused)
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Quoting saintsfan06:
When are they predicting Nate will make up his mind and start moving? Going out of town this weekend and not returning until Sunday night. Don't want to come home to Nate in NOLA's backyard!!
Very little movement expected until tomorrow night by NHC:

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so by looking at the Climate prediction center,we could have Ophelia soon? pfft, great.....
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Folks, if you ignore someone, there is no reason to quote them with a "Poof" statement. Seriously, it's childish and it wastes comment space. Especially when you have several people doing it. You aren't making that person feel any worse by telling them you put them on your ignore list. They don't care, get over it. Just ignore them and move on. No need to brag about it. All that does is draw more attention (Remember, trolls thrive on attention) to the problem.
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Quoting Caner:


There is a lot more moisture at the low levels than the water vapor sat lets on.

That cool front pulled some unseasonably cool air out over the gulf, the water temp is much higher than the ambient air temp.

Due to that, a very high evaporation factor is occurring at the surface level.

That's why you are seeing cloud streets forming in that 'dry' air and pumping into Nate.
The link provided by Minniemike is Total Precipitable Water. This satellite product is not blocked by clouds, nor grossly attenuated by water vapor as it is from Microwave sounding instruments, unlike satellite water vapor products. Thus, it is capable of measuring the entire column of the atmosphere down to the surface.

You are partly correct, however, that a thin surface layer may have more moisture than the TPW leads one to believe. This is due to the layer being relatively thin and the atmosphere above it being so very dry.

See the 74 F dewpoint to the NW of Nate:

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Quoting SPLbeater:
Maria really need to slow down. can anybody explain the fast movement?


she cant develop if she is moving fast...let her race... no one wants a cane on the coast, had enuf with irene
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1190. Dakster
Quoting saintsfan06:
When are they predicting Nate will make up his mind and start moving? Going out of town this weekend and not returning until Sunday night. Don't want to come home to Nate in NOLA's backyard!!


A couple of days... By Saturday...
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10765
Quoting ryang:
What time is Recon going into Maria?

TIA

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. TROPICAL STORM MARIA.......(NO CHANGES)
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 08/2000Z
B. AFXXX 0114A MARIA
C. 08/1700Z
D. 14.3N 52.0W
E. 08/1930Z TO 08/2230Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

2. TROPICAL STORM NATE........(CHANGED FROM SUSPECT AREA)
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 76 FLIGHT TWO -- NOAA 49
A. 08/1800Z A. 09/0000Z
B. AFXXX 0215A NATE B. NOAA9 0315A NATE
C. 08/1530Z C. 08/1730Z
D. 20.1N 91.9W F. 41,000 TO 45,000 FT
E. 08/1730Z TO 08/2200Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

FLIGHT THREE -- TEAL 77....(ADDED)
A. 09/0600Z
B. AFXXX 0415A NATE
C. 09/0330Z
D. 20.4N 92.1W
E. 09/0530Z TO 09/1000Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

3. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY:
A. MARIA: BEGIN 6-HRLY FIXES AT 09/1200Z....(NO CHANGES)
B. NATE: A G-IV MISSION FOR 10/0000Z. CONTINUE
12-HRLY FIXES IF SYSTEM REMAINS A THREAT....(CHANGED)
4. REMARKS:
A. MISSION FOR HURRICANE KATIA AT 07/1700Z
CANCELED AT 07/1110Z.
B. 08/1800Z INVEST MISSION IS NOW A FIX MISSION.

They will also head into Katia today.
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Maria really need to slow down. can anybody explain the fast movement?
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1186. hydrus
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1185. Caner
Quoting Minnemike:
at ~1003mb, would you consider Nate weak and/or at it's formative stage?


There is more to a storm than its barometric pressure, Nate still doesn't have any good mid-level inflow on the north or eastern side.

I think the low level inflow moistened from the unusually high evaporative clouds we are seeing to the North and NW, in that 'dry' air are helping compensate for that.

That is quite a bit of moisture and cloudband it is picking up from 'dry air'...

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Quoting wxobsvps:
Speaking of two Nates:

12Z NAM


Look at WV - there are two discrete spins.

I don't know what's up with LSU's ESL, been hinky for
two days now, splits the screen and wraps it.
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What a change.Maria's center far south of the track.Crazy models.And now what next for the islands.
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1181. Evinrue
No launch, it's a bit windy here at KSC. There's also quite a lot of very low cloud cover. It seemed fine closer to the launch pad, but north by the VAB continues to have pretty dark clouds. It missed its two launch windows for today, so we'll see about future dates in the coming weeks, pending Maria and Nate of course :)
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1180. WxLogic
Quoting 19N81W:
so when will marie turn?


By 2PM today... but with her moving at 20MPH+. Not quite sure that turn would be that dramatic. The cone might need to be shifted further W at 11AM.
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1178. Dakster
Quoting P451:
lol... 3 day hazard area, Nate.



Might as well just draw the circle around the entire GOM at this point.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10765
When are they predicting Nate will make up his mind and start moving? Going out of town this weekend and not returning until Sunday night. Don't want to come home to Nate in NOLA's backyard!!
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1176. hydrus
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1175. ryang
What time is Recon going into Maria?

TIA
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1174. WxLogic
If Nate is able to keep moving N to NE as Maria approaches then we could have Nate intensifying the subtropical ridge N of Maria and keeping her on a more W to WNW displacement a lot longer.
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Maria looks sickly.
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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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