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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1276. skook



more can be found here Link
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1275. pcola57
Quoting thesituation:


Thats racist

Not all muslims are terrorist


I don't see the word Muslim anywhere in HIS comment...do you?

Partly cloudy here too...
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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).
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Tatch... I mentioned terrorists.... You were the one mentioning Muslims.... Your hands have blood stains.... look at the keyboard.... look at your posts...

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Quoting PrivateIdaho:


Are you certain?

What, exactly, is going on with the salt and french fries?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kmanislander:
The 11 pm discussion on Maria is out. Looks like a blend of everything. Maybe we need the Osterizer model to tie this one down.



THE INITIAL MOTION IS 275/18. THE DYNAMICAL MODELS FORECAST THE
CYCLONE TO TURN WEST-NORTHWESTWARD DURING THE NEXT 12-24 HOURS
TOWARD A WEAKNESS IN LOW/MID-LEVEL SUBTROPICAL RIDGE TO THE
NORTH...A WEAKNESS POSSIBLY CAUSED BY AN UPPER-LEVEL LOW SEEN IN
WATER VAPOR IMAGERY NEAR 23N61W. WHILE THE NEW FORECAST TRACK
FOLLOWS THIS SCENARIO...THE CURRENT RAPID MOTION SUGGESTS THIS TURN
WILL BE MORE GRADUAL THAN THE MODEL GUIDANCE IS FORECASTING...AND
THUS THE FIRST PART OF THE NEW TRACK IS ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE
GUIDANCE ENVELOPE. AFTER 24 HOURS...ALL OF THE GUIDANCE FORECASTS
MARIA TO MOVE WEST-NORTHWESTWARD TO NORTHWESTWARD TOWARD THE
WESTERN END OF THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE AS A DEEP-LAYER TROUGH MOVES
THROUGH THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES. AFTER SHIFTING TO THE LEFT
FOR THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY...THE GUIDANCE FOR THE POST-24 HOUR
PERIOD HAS SHIFTED TO THE RIGHT FOR THIS ADVISORY. THE END OF THE
FORECAST TRACK WILL SHOW A SMALL RIGHT TURN...BUT STILL LIES TO THE
LEFT OF THE CENTER OF THE GUIDANCE ENVELOPE. IT SHOULD BE NOTED
THAT THE UKMET AND ECMWF MODELS ARE STILL TO THE WEST OF THE NEW
FORECAST AT 120 HOURS.


What did they say,,,,,,,,,,,,,,LOL.....it gonna move WNW THEN NW i think......LOL
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1269. help4u
no one said anything about muslims ,you did.
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Quoting thesituation:


Thats racist

Not all muslims are terrorist



Where did he say they were?
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Could Maria be Emily #2?

It really is surprising how much trouble almost every single storm this season has had with dry air + stable air + shear.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:


The DOCK was fun. Watching 50 girls in bikini's dancing in front of us on Sunday afternoons was always a hoot!


Good Times ... Good Times ..............
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1263. Grothar
Quoting PensacolaDoug:


The DOCK was fun. Watching 50 girls in bikini's dancing in front of us on Sunday afternoons was always a hoot!


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. :)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 68 Comments: 25086
The Saints take the "D" out of defense. We just play "e-fense."
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1258. Dakster
42-27 now... Where is Patrap?

Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10028
1257. Bielle
Quoting clwstmchasr:


I agree, he's an obnoxious little kid. I have to wonder why is a 14 yr old posting on the internet at 11pm on a school night. Where are his parents?



Perhaps it is not 11:00 where he is.
Member Since: September 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 615
Quoting clwstmchasr:
Very surprised to see Maria's track shifted slightly north. Everything seems to be shifting south and west. Shows how much I know:)


YA, i too don't get it. HUM......
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That posible terrorist plot announced in Yahoo...
I would definitely take extra precautions on 11/11/11.... Those bastards like dates like that....

Big cloud mess here...

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The 11 pm discussion on Maria is out. Looks like a blend of everything. Maybe we need the Osterizer model to tie this one down.
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Quoting Grothar:


Story of my life, Dak. I am now officially in the cone of Uncertainty.




Are you certain?
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1251. Sangria
Quoting jrweatherman:



I'm 14 yrs old sir. I'm not old enough to have an ego.


If you are not old enough to "have an ego," nor old enough to "be in your right mind," then I would suggest that you are not old enough to be posting the comments that you are posting on this blog.

I have been reading this blog for the past several years, and I don't believe I have seen anyone use as many "excuses" as you for your immature behavior. If you wish to post a comment, then stand by it....do not use your age, or "lack there of" to be your crutch.
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Quoting CaneHunter031472:


Lol, I take offense on that, since I'm more of a winter weather aficionado :P although I must admit I'm fascinated by Tropical systems but I rather consider myself a summer lurker and Winter poster.


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



The Dock is where I seen you play. Several times


The DOCK was fun. Watching 50 girls in bikini's dancing in front of us on Sunday afternoons was always a hoot!
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I don't know if the Saints D is really that bad or Green Bay O is really good ??? btw I live on the northern gulf coast. I do not want Nate here. No wishcasting here.
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1243. liljade
Quoting scooster67:
NHC is having trouble with Nate. Tomorrow it will be heading north again. I'll keep praying it clips Texas somehow.
Yes everyone pleas please pray that Nate hits Texas.At least with water damage you still have something to work with, but with Fire , well there is just nothing left. So lets all do a storm dance for Texas!
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Quoting hahaguy:
.


very thought provoking there ha ha... j/k :P
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1240. pcola57
Quoting PensacolaDoug:


We played THE DOCK on Sundays for Rum and Reggae also FLOUNDERS alot.


I had to have seen you for sure...been a long time...still playing?

Quoting 69Viking:


Arrived here in 92 and spent a lot of time at AJ's from 92-97. First son was born in 97 and that was the end of regular partying!


Thats about the time I moved away...ahhh the times...well you know.. o_O

69 degrees w/89%RH my way...
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Quoting txjac:


Dont laugh at us "casters". Just want some rain ...whats so bad about that?

Nothing, and Nate going into MX is probably better for us as




There is a lot to mix up with the EPAC now, and gives a better teleconnection (really short-distance) capacity. That stupid dry air mass blasted most of the GOM and Carib's moisture off some wretched one-tree island SW of nowhere.

This leaves us with preserved GOM heat and energy for a system that really wants to take advantage of it, and it may well come from the EPAC.
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I got out of Ba'Nana in summer of 2000 and they went on to be the house-band at BAMBOO WILLIES untill about 3 years ago. I still play 3 nights a week w/Crossfire at GENE's. It's my part-time job these days.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


I vehemently disagree with your statement. I hope winter stays away as long as possible. :P

Although I am rather enjoying this sudden taste of fall, admittedly.


Lol, I take offense on that, since I'm more of a winter weather aficionado :P although I must admit I'm fascinated by Tropical systems but I rather consider myself a summer lurker and Winter poster.
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Quoting clwstmchasr:
The NHC must be choosing their words carefully with Maria's discussion. I have to admit, I really thought that she would go through the uprights but now I'm not so sure.




It is the NHC PARTY TIME LINK
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1234. hahaguy
.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


For some reason WU seems to update before the NHC site does. Look a couple pages back; hahaguy posted it.


They just updated it, almost the exact same cone as before lol..
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1232. JNCali
Quoting aspectre:
912 JNCali "ok ok we get it you like STRAIGHT lines"

But do you get why?


I'd seen where you previously explained that it is to better determine the actual turn of a storm, or something to that effect... Which IMO is easily observed by viewing said storms track...
Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1034
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:


We played THE DOCK on Sundays for Rum and Reggae also FLOUNDERS alot.



The Dock is where I seen you play. Several times
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Quoting charlottefl:
Am I missing the track update for Maria for 11pm? Only see the intermediate from 8pm...


For some reason WU seems to update before the NHC site does. Look a couple pages back; hahaguy posted it.
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Somebody earlier today made a good point that they models get it right once they are north of the Islands, but south of them they haven't got a clue.
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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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