Nate almost a hurricane; Maria remains disorganized

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:05 PM GMT on September 08, 2011

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An Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft is in Tropical Storm Nate, and has found winds much stronger than the storm's satellite appearance would suggest. At 2:17 pm EDT, the aircraft measured winds at their flight level of 1500 feet of 93 mph, which would ordinarily support upgrading Nate to a Category 1 hurricane. Surface winds measured by the SFMR instrument were about 70 mph, suggesting that Nate is indeed very close to hurricane strength. However, latest visible satellite loops show that if Nate is a hurricane, it's only half of a hurricane. Nate's low-level center is exposed to view, due to northeasterly upper-level winds that are creating a moderate 10 knots of wind shear. This shear is keeping all of Nate's heavy thunderstorms pushed to the south side of the center, and the northern half of the storm almost cloud-free. Sustained winds at Buoy 42055, about 140 miles to the northwest of the center of Nate, were just 28 mph at 3:50 pm EDT this afternoon. Water vapor satellite loops show that there is a large area of very dry air from Texas to the north of Nate, and this dry air is keeping the northern half of the storm dry.

Nate will meander in the Bay of Campeche for several days, and the computer models are sharply divided on what happens early next week to the storm. A ridge of high pressure is expected to build in to the north of the storm, potentially forcing it westwards to a landfall in Mexico. However, our two best-performing models last year, the GFS and ECMWF, predict that a weak trough of low pressure expected to move across the U.S. early next week will be strong enough to turn Nate northwards towards an eventual landfall along the northern Gulf Coast. We will have to wait until the NOAA jet makes its first mission to sample the steering currents in the Gulf of Mexico to get a better idea on how probable this northern path might be; their first flight will be tonight, and the data will make it into the 8 pm models runs that will be available first thing Friday morning. As far as intensity goes, the very dry air to Nate's north should begin being less of a problem for it by Friday, when the upper level winds shift more to blow from the southeast, and the shear drops to the low range, 5 - 10 knots. Since the storm is moving very slowly, it will upwell cooler waters from the depths that will slow intensification, though.


Figure 1. Afternoon satellite image of Nate.

Tropical Storm Maria
Tropical Storm Maria barely survived as a tropical storm today, but is now making a bit of a comeback. Satellite loops show that Maria has been badly ripped up by the 10 - 20 knots of wind shear affecting it. The low-level center has been exposed to view most of the day, and surface arc-shaped clouds have been racing away from the storm to the west this afternoon, indicating that dry air has been getting into Maria's thunderstorms and disrupting the storm. However, the areal coverage and intensity of Maria's thunderstorms have increased a little in the past two hours. Maria is passing close to buoy 41040, which measured sustained winds of 36 mph, gusting to 45 mph, at 2:50 pm EDT.

Wind shear is predicted to fall to the low range on Friday as Maria approaches the Lesser Antilles. In addition, as I noted in this morning's post, Maria will be encountering an atmospheric disturbance known as a Convectively-Coupled Kelvin Wave (CCKW) that is currently passing through the Lesser Antilles Islands. There is a great deal of upward-moving air in the vicinity of a CCKW, and will help strengthen the updrafts in Maria's thunderstorms, potentially intensifying the storm. None of our models are detailed enough to "see" CCKWs", so we may see more intensification of the storm than the models are calling for. I believe Maria will continue to organize and arrive in the Lesser Antilles Islands as a tropical storm with 50 - 60 mph winds. The latest run of the GFDL model predicts that Maria will be a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday afternoon when it moves through the Virgin Islands, and a Category 2 hurricane Sunday night when it moves through the Turks and Caicos Islands. This is on the high end of what is possible, and I think it more likely that Maria will be a tropical storm with 50 - 60 mph winds in the northern Lesser Antilles, 60 - 70 mph winds in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, and a Category 1 hurricane in the Turks and Caicos Islands--assuming passage over Puerto Rico and the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic does not significantly disrupt the storm. A lower intensity, as forecast by NHC, is certainly quite possible, as Maria may continue to struggle with the dry air and wind shear besetting it.

The latest computer model runs have been trending more southwards, and the Northern Lesser Antilles, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Bahama Islands are all at high risk of a direct hit by Maria. The models are split on how strong the steering influence a trough of low pressure along the U.S. East Coast will have once Maria approaches the U.S. East Coast. Most of the models foresee that Maria will turn north before arriving at Florida, and potentially threaten North Carolina, Bermuda, or Canada. The latest run of the GFDL model, though, brings Maria through the Bahamas to a point just 100 miles southeast of Miami as a hurricane on Tuesday afternoon. While this forecast is an outlier, and it is more likely that Maria will turn north before reaching Florida, it will be another two days before we will have a fair degree of confidence on when Maria will curve to the north.

Lee's rains trigger historic flooding in New York and Pennsylvania
An extreme rainfall event unprecedented in recorded history has hit the Binghamton, New York area, where 7.49" of rain fell yesterday. This is the second year in a row Binghamton has recorded a greater than 1-in-100 year rain event; their previous all-time record was set last September, when 4.68" fell on Sep 30 - Oct. 1, 2010. Binghamton has also already broken its record for rainiest year in its history. Records go back to 1890 in the city. The rain has ended in Binghamton, with this morning's rain bringing the city's total rainfall for the 40-hour event to 9.02". The Susquehanna River at Binghamton has risen to 25.69', its highest level since records began in 1847, and is now spilling over the flood walls protecting the city, according to media reports. In Hershey, Pennsylvania, Swatara Creek is 19' over flood stage, and more than 9' above its record flood crest. Widespread flash flooding is occurring across the entire area, and over 120,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.


Figure 2. Seven-day precipitation amounts from Tropical Storm Lee and its remnants. Image credit: NOAA/AHPS.


Figure 3. The Susquehanna River at Binghamton has crested this afternoon at its highest flood height on record, 25.69'. Records at this gauge go back to 1847. Image credit: NOAA/AHPS.


Figure 4. In Hershey, Pennsylvania, Swatara Creek is 19' over flood stage, and more than 9' above its previous record flood crest. The river is forecast to crest at 27.2' (green lines are the predictions.) Records at this gage go back to 1930. Image credit: NOAA/AHPS.

The extreme rains are due the the remains of Tropical Storm Lee interacting with a stationary front draped along the Eastern U.S. Adding to the potent moisture mix last night was a stream of tropical moisture associated with Hurricane Katia that collided with the stationary front. You don't often see a major city break its all-time 24-hour precipitation record by a 60% margin, according to wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, and he can't recall ever seeing it happen before. It's worth noting that the Susquehanna River Binghamton stream gage, which has been in operation since 1847, is due to be shut off in 3 weeks due to budget cuts. Here's the note at the USGS web site:

NOTICE (03/23/2011)--Data collection at this streamgage may be discontinued after October 1, 2011 due to funding reductions from partner agencies. Although historic data will remain accessible, no new data will be collected unless one or more new funding partners are found. Users who are willing to contribute funding to continue operation of this streamgage should contact Rob Breault or Ward Freeman of the USGS New York Water Science Center at 518-285-5658 or dc_ny@usgs.gov.

I'll have an update in the morning.

Jeff Masters

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1377. Grothar
Quoting BrockBerlin:
Just lob it to Jimmy Graham he is 6'7" and has a 40 inch vertical. I am biased being a Miami student but he should be the Saints go to red zone target.


Hard to ignore a guy with stats like that.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26541
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Quoting KoritheMan:


There does appear to be some vorticity farther west of her initialized position, but I dunno if I would call that a center reformation, as satellite imagery does not really show any low cloud motions that would hint at such.

In my opinion, it resembles a disorganized tropical cyclone with multiple vorticity centers, similar to Emily.

I respect your opinion though, Taz, and you could be right.
I notice that too...it looks like it's still undergoing speed shear and if indeed the 850 vort. is right the COC may have outrun its convection, thus leaving it behind, perhaps maybe a new center will reform in that convection.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting GTcooliebai:
should've never been a pass interference, he made a play on the ball regardless if he came over the top of the back.


But you cannot run through the receiver to make a play on the ball. If he went over the back then he ran through the receiver to get to the ball.
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1373. JNCali
Quoting 7544:
hi evryone will there be aplane going to check out maria tonight tia


link for planned recon friday
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1372. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting TexasHurricane:


Yeah, I know the Hurricane season isn't over but I have pretty much given up hope. Hopefully before the season is over we can get something (preferably a TS or Cat 1 and big enough to cover much of the state) but I am not holding my breath.
well after this weekend the season is in its downward turn in activity i expect cv season to end as normal last week of sept first week of oct then pattern shifts more towards GOM nw sw carb sw atlantic north of antilles and a tracking pattern from sw towards the n ne primarily only way you could get something if it forms coastal in boc and tracks n off the coast to tx/la border then ne after that there is not much hope maria in fact may be last chance
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Mission 3 into Nate is feet wet from NOLA
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Quoting KoritheMan:


I'm not a fan of conspiracy theories, to be honest. You even admit your claim has no evidence.

If you want, I can pull out the historical record where similar instances have occurred. Surely we didn't know how to modify weather then?


Actually, that makes good sense KoritheMan..Your suggestion is a good idea. I am sure as well that there are other historical examples of large weather systems that missed the CONUS long before such technology could have been 'in use'.

I am also not a believer in conspiracy theory. There is a reason why it is called theory. A theory is not fact, it remains as a 'best guess' according to the data, even if no data is available. discussions like this don't even belong here at a place where actual professionals [and regular folks] can discuss real factual data.

Also, if you have to repeat your message FOUR times, perhaps no one is listening? In fact there's probably a forum or site just for the topic that you are discussing where your posts on 'weather related conspiracy theory' would likely be more welcome.

Repeating your message at a forum where no one is interested in conspiracy theory seems like a waste of internet space and is probably a good indicator that you didn't read the TOS which states that off topic conversation is a good road to getting banned. Even though your topic is weather related, it deals with fictional conspiracy theory which has nothing to do with factual data, and this blog is obviously for the discussion of weather related phenomenon based on factual data. The Rules of the Road including the type of posts that are appropriate here, can be read via this link -> Blog Rules
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1369. JLPR2
Katia looking nice pretty far north.

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Quoting Grothar:


Go back to your post and hit modify comment. You may have to hit is twice. Delete the post and put a period and repost it. I have to do that all the time.
Thanks Gro. I got it :)
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latest gfs has Maria moving nw from her initialized position. hour 00 to hour 45. Over Guadeloupe. Looking at, that could be the nw turn the nhc predicted after 24 hours, just more pronounced.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Taz, you know I don't pretend to be a forecaster. I have no training or background. I have seen Jeff/Levi and a few other competent people say it could go either way. I have watched the models go in all 360 degress of track also.

I think they actually have no firm idea at this time. Anyone who says its "NOT" going any place in particular... is obviously wrong.



ok
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115252
Quoting Tazmanian:



nop She reformed S not N has 850mb vort has comfrom this


There does appear to be some vorticity farther west of her initialized position, but I dunno if I would call that a center reformation, as satellite imagery does not really show any low cloud motions that would hint at such.

In my opinion, it resembles a disorganized tropical cyclone with multiple vorticity centers, similar to Emily.

I respect your opinion though, Taz, and you could be right.
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Quoting JNCali:
is that a SW flow I see south of the Maria's big convection?


looks like yes
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1359. Grothar
Quoting scooster67:
Sorry. how do I retract a statement?


Go back to your post and hit modify comment. You may have to hit is twice. Delete the post and put a period and repost it. I have to do that all the time.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26541
Although Weather manipulation (either we agree or not) is an agenda and there are official programs in various countries....


Link

China has long tinkered with Mother Nature's waterworks, even establishing a state organ -- the Beijing Weather Modification Office -- whose sole purpose is to meddle with the weather. The purpose behind weather modification is less megalomaniacal than it sounds at first pass; a large swath of northeast China, including Beijing, has been mired in a drought for nearly a decade, and the party leadership would like to reverse that trend for both practical reasons and to show the Chinese people exactly who is in charge.

To do so, they've turned to cloud seeding, a controversial practice that involves launching (or dropping) chemicals into the atmosphere -- silver iodide in China, though dry ice and liquid propane also work -- that cause water vapor in the air to crystallize at temperatures it otherwise would not. Its effectiveness is dubious; while it's generally accepted that it works to some degree, it can only increase precipitation by 20 percent. Sometimes.

Weather manipulation is actually not as rare as one might think. Currently, 24 countries practice some kind of cloud seeding. Moscow's mayor keeps the Russian Air Force on cloud seeding duty to make sure it never rains on his parades (literally). The U.S. has dabbled with weather manipulation in attempts to curb the intensity of Gulf hurricanes back in the '60s, and the military seeded clouds over North Vietnam during the war there to extend the monsoon season. Oh, and the CIA seeded clouds in 1969 in an attempt to rain out the hippies gathering at Woodstock, but they partied right through it anyhow (that instance is unconfirmed, but groovy to think about).

China prefers to deliver its silver iodide to the sky via rockets or artillery. For the residents of Beijing, those armaments deliver all the headaches that go along with big snowstorms: traffic problems, flight delays, cancelled classes and various transportation issues. While the government claims the seeding is for the good of the country, that claim is about as dubious as the practice of seeding itself; in 2005, a snow melting agent killed 10,000 trees in Beijing, and experts worry it could be eroding the city's infrastructure. As of last night, highways in and around Beijing were closed and many roads were blocked, bringing day-to-day commerce to a grinding halt.
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1357. 7544
hi evryone will there be aplane going to check out maria tonight tia
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Quoting Tazmanian:
KoritheMan Orcasystems plzs look at post 1310 and tell me what you think


Taz, you know I don't pretend to be a forecaster. I have no training or background. I have seen Jeff/Levi and a few other competent people say it could go either way. I have watched the models go in all 360 degress of track also.

I think they actually have no firm idea at this time. Anyone who says its "NOT" going any place in particular... is obviously wrong.
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1355. JNCali
is that a SW flow I see south of the Maria's big convection?
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Quoting CaptnDan142:


"Muslim" isn't a race. Therefore the term racist doesn't apply.
So would ignorant suit you better?
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Sorry. how do I retract a statement?
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Quoting nofailsafe:


I've kind of given up hope on getting any rain this summer, or fall, or winter really. Spring and summer are of course also well up in the air. I don't doubt that we'll get SOME rain this fall and winter, but I don't think we'll get anywhere near enough to make up the deficits.

With the looming threat of another la nina event coming up it doesn't really improve things in the long run either.

Yep.


Yeah, I know the Hurricane season isn't over but I have pretty much given up hope. Hopefully before the season is over we can get something (preferably a TS or Cat 1 and big enough to cover much of the state) but I am not holding my breath.
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Awwwww.....
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One last shot for Breez!
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1345. HrDelta
Quoting CaribBoy:
Center of MARIA may be relocating eastward.


When the center going that quickly, and much the convection was lagging behind it, that was bound to happen.
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Quoting Orcasystems:



Now that's funny. Thanks for the laugh.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


I don't think she is going to reform, as microwave data does not indicate that. Additionally, vertical shear is stronger over the mass of convection to the north; center reformations typically occur in areas of convection that have better upper-level conditions to work with than the location of the initial center.

However, assume she did reform north -- the implication would be one away from the United States.



nop She reformed S not N has 850mb vort has comfrom this
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115252
Quoting PrivateIdaho:


No one gets old enough to forget The Lucky Snapper.

Are you sure about that.
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Quoting defdogz:


No, thank you. Seriously. Last winter was bad enough, not looking forward to a repeat.


Lol, sorry it's just the way things are looking. But, weather is not a very exact science, so who knows maybe we get a mild winter. Things can change fast. I will be posting more as winter gets closer, but for now I'll keep myself entertained looking at how the patterns are setting up and I will also lurk here to learn more about Tropical weather. Goodnite all, soon will be time to get those coats out (make sure they are thick this year) but for now let us keep out raincoats on.
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Quoting Altestic2012:
Whenever it's a Cape Verde storm the northcasters/fishcasters always win and whenever it's a low rider storm the westcasters always win. Ever notice that?


I was just thinking that today, sheesh...
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Quoting Tazmanian:
KoritheMan Orcasystems plzs look at post 1310 and tell me what you think


Are thinking they will downgrade Her Taz?

She looks FUBAR to me.
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So, La Nina or El Nino, I just want some snow this year down here on the coast!..lol
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I have asthma too......

At least I have some Xopenex around.
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Quoting Altestic2012:
Whenever it's a Cape Verde storm the northcasters/fishcasters always win and whenever it's a low rider storm the westcasters always win. Ever notice that?


Lately that seems to be the case, but you go back to Wilma, Katrina, Ike, etc. and they won - a lot of others lost though.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
KoritheMan Orcasystems plzs look at post 1310 and tell me what you think


I don't think she is going to reform, as microwave data does not indicate that. Additionally, vertical shear is stronger over the mass of convection to the north; center reformations typically occur in areas of convection that have better upper-level conditions to work with than the location of the initial center.

However, assume she did reform north -- the implication would be one away from the United States.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


I'm not a fan of conspiracy theories, to be honest. You even admit your claim has no evidence.

If you want, I can pull out the historical record where similar instances have occurred. Surely we didn't know how to modify weather then?

Kori... Not only that... Every country will copy whatever technique is being used and every country will be deviating hurricanes out of their way...
Example of that is that the supposed HAARP "weather manipulation" facilities in Alaska, have been cloned in about 7 different countries...
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Center of MARIA may be relocating eastward.
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Could someone post the GFS on Maria when it initializes? thanks! :)
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We assisted to a center relocation with IRENE when she was just east of Dominica.. And the same could happen with MARIA.
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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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