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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Quoting Tazmanian:



hi moon



Hello, Taz! Are we doom yet? ;)
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Quoting SamWells:


They are Meeses, right?

Whoa, who gave Maria the Viagra? Wow.


Uhhhh, not quite right. :|
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Looks like we have southcasters :)
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6453
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Oh...I guess Mooses do drink. XD


In Pensacola, You kiss the moose!
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Quoting moonlightcowboy:




Hello, Kman! Hope you are well, friend. See you're still dodging spinners! :) It's been busy and lots of season left.


Man, you are a sight for sore eyes !. Where the @#$%^ have you been LOL ?
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Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
Quoting hurricanehanna:
How much trust do we put in the models for Nate?


Well, if the model is has Nate heading in your direction then you believe it. If it has it going somewhere else then you don't believe it. That is what happens mostly on this blog.
Member Since: May 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1063
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
Quoting defdogz:




Nah, I just posted it too. Quote, and edit out all but the img src tag.




can we plzs stop with that
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Kman
to be honest i don't think maria will make that turn. the present steeing currents does not support that turn and the system will croos into the caribbean over martinique or just slightly norh of it
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:


What do you think ?


I don't see the turn coming where the models currently call for it. The flow is too zonal IMO. I think that Maria could get to 70W and 17N, all depends on how quickly it reorganizes.

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Quoting sunlinepr:
Posts 840 & 843, LAna woman and Ms. Tatcher, shows a big hole in the WU blog security...

The Trolls are able to open as many accounts and post them from the same place, maybe from the same machine.... Both accounts posted the same pics...


Attacks are now every day, every hour....



...?
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Quoting moonlightcowboy:




Hello, Kman! Hope you are well, friend. See you're still dodging spinners! :) It's been busy and lots of season left.



hi moon
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Maybe I wanted to call it a Mooses. Did ya ever think about that?

Anyways, Mooses do not drink.


They are Meeses, right?

Whoa, who gave Maria the Viagra? Wow.
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Quoting robert88:
This pattern seems like it will never end. We have been stuck in it for almost 3 years now. Irene got lucky and barely made it through. The ridge over TX is not moving and the trough can't retrograde W...so the Bermuda high can't build. No signs of a pattern change as well. Maybe in October we will see something change. Until then...yaaaaaawn


I hear ya. I live in St. Petersburg and it seems like FL is always talked about a good hit and then they either go east or west. We need a good hurricane right now.
Member Since: May 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1063
Quoting kmanislander:
The really interesting thing to watch for is if it makes the turn or just continues on its way into the central Caribbean.




Hello, Kman! Hope you are well, friend. See you're still dodging spinners! :) It's been busy and lots of season left.
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Quoting hahaguy:
Why am i not surprised the ukmet is the farthest west with maria.


Dunno? Maybe because it seems to do that with everything this year?
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10631
Hey, Admin


Posts 840 & 843, LAna woman and Ms. Tatcher, shows a big hole in the WU blog security...

The Trolls are able to open as many accounts and post them from the same place, maybe from the same machine.... Both accounts posted the same pics...


Attacks are now every day, every hour....

Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
Quoting kmanislander:
No vortex message from the HH that investigated Maria but the system is still maintained as a TS. This tells me that the NHC probably consider the current state of organization to be temporary only and that Maria will reorganize sufficiently to warrant maintaining a TS classification.

The convective blow up tonight would support that approach in the event that was the thinking.This reminds me some of Dolly with 50 mph winds but no closed circulation. It too was maintained as a TS and the circulation closed off again about 12 hours later.

The really interesting thing to watch for is if it makes the turn or just continues on its way into the central Caribbean.


What do you think ?
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How much trust do we put in the models for Nate?
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This pattern seems like it will never end. We have been stuck in it for almost 3 years now. Irene got lucky and barely made it through. The ridge over TX is not moving and the trough can't retrograde W...so the Bermuda high can't build. No signs of a pattern change as well. Maybe in October we will see something change. Until then...yaaaaaawn
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Quoting JLPR2:
What is wrong with this blog tonight?
So off topic!

Maria is firing up little individual cells of convection on its western side. Seems primed for D-max.


We're not off-topic, we're only talking about drunk mooses, sports, trolls, and everything else besides weather.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Maybe I wanted to call it a Mooses. Did ya ever think about that?

Anyways, Mooses do not drink.


Holiday shoppers in Anchorage, Alaska, were treated to an unusual spectacle -- a moose, apparently drunk on fermented crab apples, tangled in Christmas lights.
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No vortex message from the HH that investigated Maria but the system is still maintained as a TS. This tells me that the NHC probably consider the current state of organization to be temporary only and that Maria will reorganize sufficiently to warrant maintaining a TS classification.

The convective blow up tonight would support that approach in the event that was the thinking.This reminds me some of Dolly with 50 mph winds but no closed circulation. It too was maintained as a TS and the circulation closed off again about 12 hours later.

The really interesting thing to watch for is if it makes the turn or just continues on its way into the central Caribbean.
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Quoting PcolaDan:




Oh...I guess Mooses do drink. XD
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Maybe I wanted to call it a Mooses. Did ya ever think about that?

Anyways, Mooses do not drink.
All mammals drink??
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Why am i not surprised the ukmet is the farthest west with maria.
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 2838
.
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847. JLPR2
What is wrong with this blog tonight?
So off topic!

Maria is firing up little individual cells of convection on its western side. Seems primed for D-max.
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Quoting Matt1989:
Nate crashing into mexico.. Maria fizzling. Katia going out to sea. Sure this season has been active as far as named storms goes. but it has been a bust so far for the US which is good.


Seriously? What about Irene and Lee?
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Mooses? The plural of moose is moose.


Maybe I wanted to call it a Mooses. Did ya ever think about that?

Anyways, Mooses do not drink.
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Quoting twincomanche:
I thought it was meese.
everyone know it's FISH
Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1034
Nate crashing into mexico.. Maria fizzling. Katia going out to sea. Sure this season has been active as far as named storms goes. but it has been a bust so far for the US which is good.
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Quoting twincomanche:
I thought it was meese.

LOL
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Mooses? The plural of moose is moose.
I thought it was meese.
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:


...Per Johansson says he heard a roar from his vacationing neighbor's garden...
did not know that a moose could roar.... Maybe Levi has heard one?
Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1034
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Mooses don't drink...

?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Mooses don't drink...

Mooses? The plural of moose is moose.
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GOOD NIGHTS COME BACK AT THE MORNING
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
A seemingly intoxicated moose is discovered entangled in an apple tree by a stunned Swede in Goteborg, Sweden late Tuesday Sept. 6 2011.

STOCKHOLM (AP) - A seemingly intoxicated moose has been discovered entangled in an apple tree by a stunned Swede.

Per Johansson says he heard a roar from his vacationing neighbor's garden in southwestern Sweden late Tuesday and went to have a look. There, he found a female moose kicking about in the tree. The animal was likely drunk from eating fermented apples.

http://www.komonews.com/news/offbeat/129462358.ht ml


Mooses don't drink...
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832. HCW
00z Model runs from the NHC Go Saints



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May be the true identity of Maria is Mario... (just a joke)
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:

A seemingly intoxicated moose is discovered entangled in an apple tree by a stunned Swede in Goteborg, Sweden late Tuesday Sept. 6 2011.

STOCKHOLM (AP) - A seemingly intoxicated moose has been discovered entangled in an apple tree by a stunned Swede.

Per Johansson says he heard a roar from his vacationing neighbor's garden in southwestern Sweden late Tuesday and went to have a look. There, he found a female moose kicking about in the tree. The animal was likely drunk from eating fermented apples.


That is some FUNNY stuff there... Seems like home owners ought to clean up fermenting/fermented apples.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10631
Quoting Grothar:
Anybody know what that feature is above Puerto Rico>

img src="">
ok, so we have some responses in:
1. its a tropical wave (2 "votes")
2. its a Kelvin wave
3. its a blob
4. it an ULL

Come on people, what a joke...
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Quoting JNCali:
I hope admin does not perform a mass blogger ejection tonight

We have been pretty benign.
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:

A seemingly intoxicated moose is discovered entangled in an apple tree by a stunned Swede in Goteborg, Sweden late Tuesday Sept. 6 2011.

STOCKHOLM (AP) - A seemingly intoxicated moose has been discovered entangled in an apple tree by a stunned Swede.

Per Johansson says he heard a roar from his vacationing neighbor's garden in southwestern Sweden late Tuesday and went to have a look. There, he found a female moose kicking about in the tree. The animal was likely drunk from eating fermented apples.

A drunk moose? lol
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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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