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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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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1326. JNCali
yarghhhh.. another Gilbert- quote...
Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1034
Quoting TexasHurricane:


Yeah, we know. No help for Texas.


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.
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 3 Comments: 946
Quoting thesituation:


Thats racist

Not all muslims are terrorist


"Muslim" isn't a race. Therefore the term racist doesn't apply.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
i have a feeling that there is going too be a big big update comeing too the nhc track comeing from Maria


look at this loop

Link



i think the center of Maria is refroming or had refrom too the too that round ball all so a recon is on the way and may be it can confrom this





all so look at my 850mb vort


wish all so gos what am saying




The big blow up ON THE EAST SIDE OF MARIA has ALSO CAUGHT UP MY ATTENTION
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1322. pcola57
Quoting Skyepony:
Mich. Red Cross Workers Strike In Several Cities.


Quoting AP in Detroit;
"(Union Steward )Cindy Krieger said workers have been without a contract since 2008.

The need for blood and cancellation of blood drives on the East Coast due to Hurricane Irene makes the Michigan strike unconscionable and irresponsible,said Sharon Jaska, chief executive of the Great Lakes Blood Services Region."
End Qoute;

By reading the article and thinking over the facts,I have to say I side on the Union on this issue...Seems to me that if The Red Cross were managing the union ties correctly they would have had an agreement in writing in 2008...
JMO
Thanks Skyepony for the article and heads up..

67.3 and 85%RH now
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1321. defdogz
Quoting CaneHunter031472:


Lake effect is almost a given, but with the below average temperatures, well you can expect quite a bit more snowfall on the lake states.


No, thank you. Seriously. Last winter was bad enough, not looking forward to a repeat.
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Geaux Saints! It's a track meet tonight!
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KoritheMan Orcasystems plzs look at post 1310 and tell me what you think
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115362
Quoting CaneHunter031472:


Lake effect is almost a given, but with the below average temperatures, well you can expect quite a bit more snowfall on the lake states.


Well, as long as it's not *so cold* that the lake freezes over early...that shuts the machine down in a hurry. That is thorny issue for Lake Erie. I used to live in the true snowbelt, still only 45 minutes away. I was alwyas excited when the thundersnow came in late fall/early winter.
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Quoting GilbertAllen:
I will make this statement four more times, and then I will never make it again.

As long as the United States government has the financial resources, a tropical cyclone of substantial intensity will not likely strike the CONUS. The reason being is that it appears that the US government has learned how to modify the atmosphere/weather patterns

1.) The government has somehow learned how to manipulate/control upper air features such as ridges and troughs, there is no natural reason why a storm like Emily would miss the United States in a normal year. They can increase/decrease atmospheric thickness I don't pretend to know how, but I am sure the greatest minds in the government do.

2.) If for some reason an upper air pattern shift cannot be enacted, (for example, Irene/Ike). Then they have figured out how to induce EWRC, I also believe they can influence atmospheric moisture content. This has lead to abnormal pressure/wind relationships which are almost unheard of.

My only evidence is observations nothing solid, so I doubt I will be believed but in 3 years I suspect my claim will gain more popularity. Note, I believe this is a good thing, however, at the same time messing with mother nature can have bad consequences, but I am sure our top atmospheric scientists are well prepared for the consequences.


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?
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1314. Sangria
Quoting clwstmchasr:


Don't let that little turd get to you. Put him on ignore and move on. I have him on ignore but people keep quoting him. BTW - only 3 posts in several years? You are a true lurker.


I guess you are right..I am a "true lurker." I moved from Austin, TX( my heart goes out to the people there) to the west coast of Florida 6 years ago, and had no experience with tropical weather.

I have been reading the WU blog since I moved here to try to educate myself and stay informed. This year, I realized that I was taking advantage of a GREAT site, and became a member to help support WU. I do not have any meteorlogical knowledge, so I just sit back and absorb as much as I can.
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Quoting Grothar:


If it was the "Lucky Snapper" I think I would have remembered that. It was AJ's. The world is getting smaller.


No one gets old enough to forget The Lucky Snapper.
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Barbados still watching and waiting....just had a heavy shower and gusrty winds reported in parts of the island.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


I thought El Nino brought cooler winter? La Nina does the opposite. Last year was a fluke, as the NAO went negative. I'll use that as my comfort. ;)


The answer to that is no and yes. What really happen during either el Niño or la Niña event is a difference in snowfall distribution and above or below normal temperatures for a given winter. And just like during Hurricane season many different factors come into play winter weather depend on several different factors. I mentioned the SE having below to normal cold this comming winter, but you can expect a wide range from above average to normal temperatures in other areas and drier weather over texas as well.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
i have a feeling that there is going too be a big big update comeing too the nhc track comeing from Maria


look at this loop

Link



i think the center of Maria is refroming or had refrom too the too that round ball all so a recon is on the way and may be it can confrom this





all so look at the 850mb vort


wish all so gos what am saying


Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115362
1308. JNCali
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?

Thought Maria was a cape storm..
Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1034
1306. Grothar
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Hey Grothar. It also could have been "HARBOR DOCKS" or "THE LUCKY SNAPPER"> We played both of those as well. Just a lot more at AJ's.


If it was the "Lucky Snapper" I think I would have remembered that. It was AJ's. The world is getting smaller.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26897
Quoting DKICAT:
INTERESTS ELSEWHERE IN THE LESSER ANTILLES...THE DOMINICAN
REPUBLIC...THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS...AND THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS AND WISH,DOOM AND WEST CASTERS ON WU SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF MARIA AS WELL.


Since Maria is going to turn WNW then NW as the NHC says, then why should the DR need to remain vigilant??? LOL. Guess they aren't overly confident in the current forecast either.
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Quoting scooster67:


http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQEJSNMaK rriKjTzUlb_pAe5A8ZshzHu7_RSg8abVfU2ukIaVPs


Yeah, we know. No help for Texas.
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Quoting Krycek1984:


More snow again for Great Lakes, one would assume...love snow, so excited! Although lake effect is a large part of the total so we'll have to see what the patterns look like as far as shear, wind direction, etc. this winter up here.


Lake effect is almost a given, but with the below average temperatures, well you can expect quite a bit more snowfall on the lake states.
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What an interesting Blog tonight...
Band and bar chat...
14 year old kids staying up to late..
And someone calling Levi a wishcaster .. which is about the stupidest remark I have seen on here this season.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


That's probably because of the monetary cost of preparation and evacuation. It takes approximately $1 million to evacuate every mile of the coast.


Which I can understand from 1-3 days out (especially in hard to evacuate areas, like the Keys or OBX where there is only one road in or out), but 5 days out, I dont see the need to do that. There is not the need to start evacuations at 5 days out as a lot can and has changed.
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http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQEJSNMaK rriKjTzUlb_pAe5A8ZshzHu7_RSg8abVfU2ukIaVPs
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Quoting ecflweatherfan:
Does anybody ever notice that when the model consensus shifts even slightly sea-ward, that the NHC is quick to adjust their forecast also sea-ward, but when it shifts land-ward, they are MUCH more hesitant to adjust land-ward? Even if there is better agreement in the scenario, and consistency. It seems like that has been the case with every storm in the ATL this season (and in past).


If there's some credence to that, I guess they don't want to get pinned for creating undue panic.
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 3 Comments: 946
Quoting Grothar:


We are not supposed to discuss sports on here. (Was that some play or what?)




How about babes in bikinis at the Dock, Doug, you agree?
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1293. Skyepony (Mod)
Mich. Red Cross Workers Strike In Several Cities.
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Quoting CaneHunter031472:


Then I got bad news for you this winter my friend. This will be a la niña winter again.

Colder than average in the SE (LA, MS, AL, FL and states above us.

Draught will continue in texas well into next spring and perhaps even 2012 summer (I take absolutely no joy on that)

Just a little preview. It shouldn't be as cold as last year, but it will be cold and these almost record breaking fall weather we are experiencing is a hint of what's to come.


I thought El Nino brought cooler winter? La Nina does the opposite. Last year was a fluke, as the NAO went negative. I'll use that as my comfort. ;)
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Quoting CaneHunter031472:


Then I got bad news for you this winter my friend. This will be a la niña winter again.

Colder than average in the SE (LA, MS, AL, FL and states above us.

Draught will continue in texas well into next spring and perhaps even 2012 summer (I take absolutely no joy on that)

Just a little preview. It shouldn't be as cold as last year, but it will be cold and these almost record breaking fall weather we are experiencing is a hint of what's to come.


More snow again for Great Lakes, one would assume...love snow, so excited! Although lake effect is a large part of the total so we'll have to see what the patterns look like as far as shear, wind direction, etc. this winter up here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1289. DKICAT
INTERESTS ELSEWHERE IN THE LESSER ANTILLES...THE DOMINICAN
REPUBLIC...THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS...AND THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS AND WISH,DOOM AND WEST CASTERS ON WU SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF MARIA AS WELL.
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Quoting scooster67:

What, exactly, is going on with the salt and french fries?


I thought the fries were running from the salt but now it looks like they are doing the Lambada.
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Hey Grothar. It also could have been "HARBOR DOCKS" or "THE LUCKY SNAPPER"> We played both of those as well. Just a lot more at AJ's.
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1285. Bielle
Quoting clwstmchasr:


Maybe true, however, he says he lives in St. Petersburg.


7:30 a.m. there :>)
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1283. Grothar
Quoting Dakster:
42-27 now... Where is Patrap?



We are not supposed to discuss sports on here. (Was that some play or what?)

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26897
Quoting PensacolaDoug:



Where did he say they were?


Just the latest troll, starting to implode.
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Quoting ecflweatherfan:
Does anybody ever notice that when the model consensus shifts even slightly sea-ward, that the NHC is quick to adjust their forecast also sea-ward, but when it shifts land-ward, they are MUCH more hesitant to adjust land-ward? Even if there is better agreement in the scenario, and consistency. It seems like that has been the case with every storm in the ATL this season (and in past).


That's probably because of the monetary cost of preparation and evacuation. It takes approximately $1 million to evacuate every mile of the coast.
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Quoting Altestic2012:

Well it looks like we won't make da Supabole this year,,At least we have da Best President ever in office!


the first half of your comment is correct,,,,,,,,,,LOL
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Being native to Louisiana, I absolutely cannot tolerate cold weather.


Then I got bad news for you this winter my friend. This will be a la niña winter again.

Colder than average in the SE (LA, MS, AL, FL and states above us.

Draught will continue in texas well into next spring and perhaps even 2012 summer (I take absolutely no joy on that)

Just a little preview. It shouldn't be as cold as last year, but it will be cold and these almost record breaking fall weather we are experiencing is a hint of what's to come.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Doug, was that AJ's on the water with docks? I don't remember the street, but friends took us there for a lobster dinner. This may come as a shock to you, but I think I applauded you once. :)


Yes, On the harbor. Smack dab in the middle of the charter fleet. Just off of Hwy 98 about a 1/4 mile east of the bridge.
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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.