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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1826. HrDelta
Nate's structure is looking good. Now, the question is how strong his wind are.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Gearsts:
Nope thats wrong.41mph has been the max on a small spot


Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 39 knots (~ 44.8 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 40 knots (~ 46.0 mph)

Tropical storm.
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6456
Quoting rushisaband:


Both teams better work on the D if they want to be contenders down the road.


That's what I took away from the game new. Was a hell of a shootout for teams that were supposed to have good defenses. Woodson form GB needs to be suspended for those sucker punches he threw!
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Do you think i work for Faux spews or something? BTW...Where is my political attack in my statement?


Dude, if you want anyone who isn't a staunch liberal to take your posts seriously I suggest you leave out the term "faux news". That is the political diatribe the other guy was referring to.
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1821. Caner
Very good symmetrical convection building in around Nate's LLC.

Will be surprised if he is not hurricane by eod.

Member Since: June 27, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 179
1820. Patrap
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1819. Gearsts
Quoting 7544:


weaker maria more west track ?this could be why the nhc says the models may shift west again makes sense ?
First we need to find a center and the HH havent found much of a center, Maria could be a TD.
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2003
Quoting Gearsts:
Can youuse this?Link


Yes. that's not a strong and well organized TS, but that's still one
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6456
Quoting CaribBoy:
Maria isn't a TD. Maria is not going west. Maria is doing want she wants to...


You're right, she's not a TD she's a TS.

And she's not going west, she's moving WNW.
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1816. Gearsts
Quoting CaribBoy:


UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 8.1.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 09 SEP 2011 Time : 111500 UTC
Lat : 13:57:05 N Lon : 56:45:37 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.2 / 997.8mb/ 49.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
Nope thats wrong.41mph has been the max on a small spot
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2003
Quoting wilburo33:
We fought hard but, Green Bay was the better team!
There are still 15 games left...


Both teams better work on the D if they want to be contenders down the road.
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1813. HrDelta
Quoting CaribBoy:


UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 8.1.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 09 SEP 2011 Time : 111500 UTC
Lat : 13:57:05 N Lon : 56:45:37 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.2 / 997.8mb/ 49.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#


For some reason, that's not translating to wind speed, at least according to current Hurricane Hunter reports.
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1812. ncstorm
Quoting BioWeather:


Is the GFS just slow to come on board or are the other two slow to follow GFS? B/c it doesn't look good for you :(


the GFS is still out to sea with its scenario in relation to the CONUS..I'm still not sold on the westward shift just yet until I see consistency with those models predicting it..just like they shift west last run, they can easily shift back to the east next run..
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1811. aimetti
katia definitely didnt take the wicked sharp turn out to sea that all the models were pushing. Or perhaps more accurately it shifted east later than expected?
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1810. 7544
Quoting Gearsts:
There's almost none TS force winds found with Maria.


weaker maria more west track ?this could be why the nhc says the models may shift west again makes sense ?
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1808. Gearsts
Quoting CaribBoy:


link?
Can you use this?Link
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2003
Time: 12:29:00Z
Coordinates: 13.8333N 55.1333W
Acft. Static Air Press: 842.8 mb (~ 24.89 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,577 meters (~ 5,174 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1010.6 mb (~ 29.84 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 79° at 39 knots (From the ENE/E at ~ 44.8 mph)
Air Temp: 16.7°C (~ 62.1°F)
Dew Pt: 11.0°C (~ 51.8°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 39 knots (~ 44.8 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 40 knots (~ 46.0 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 8 mm/hr (~ 0.31 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data
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Complete Update

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI





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Whats the deal with maria? Looks almost like a bannana slug on sat imagery. But those cloud tops are extremely cold.
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1803. Caner
Quoting usa777:


Seems like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.


Not at all.

I don't put ad-hominid political diatribe into my posts, it is against the rules.

I don't subject others to it, and i shouldn't have to be subjected to it.

It has no bearing or relevance.

Period. There is no reason for it.
Member Since: June 27, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 179
Quoting Gearsts:
There's almost none TS force winds found with Maria.


UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 8.1.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 09 SEP 2011 Time : 111500 UTC
Lat : 13:57:05 N Lon : 56:45:37 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.2 / 997.8mb/ 49.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6456
Quoting basti11:



i said yesterday NATE was going to go into MEXICOGEE not to get the people excited on the northern gulfcoast or that lady in HOUSTON...so im sure all this hype that 50% of you were pushing a landfall on the central gulfcoast will stop now that you know NATE IS GOING INTO MEXICO...we have nothing to be concerned about with any tropical weather for at least 10 days...a strong cold front will be down next weekend...that will cool the gulf ssts even more..something to look forward to...


How about if I'm not talking to you directly you don't quote me again. You act like an annoying little kid that just won't go away.
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1800. Patrap
TS Nate Low angle Sunrise RGB

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Maria isn't a TD. Maria is not going west. Maria is doing want she wants to...
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6456
Quoting Buhdog:


but your handle says you joined 6 days ago...?? huh?

Funny isn't it, maybe he was banned and surpassed the ban rules and made another handle. Been done before.
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1796. Gearsts
There's almost none TS force winds found with Maria.
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2003
1795. Caner
Quoting Patrap:
TS Nate

Storm Relative 1km Geostationary Visible Imagery



Starting to fill in nicely.
Member Since: June 27, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 179
1794. will40
to all who think the season has been boring come up here and look at the destruction on the east coast
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1793. usa777
Quoting Caner:


Disregarded everything after. If you feel the need to preface the comment with political diatribe, it gets flushed, sorry.

Do you not understand that your political opinions have no relevance or bearing on your question?

Do you find it impossible to make a statement /question without incorporating a political attack?


Seems like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.
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1792. Buhdog
Quoting spinningtop:
well i said 3 months ago florida wont get anything this season but alot of hook storms and so far im accurate


but your handle says you joined 6 days ago...?? huh?
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1791. Caner
WV image reveals a slight N/NE motion on Nate.

Very small, but out of agreement w/ models, even the most Nward NOGAPS.

Link

Curious to see how the day develops.
Member Since: June 27, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 179
One's first glance at Maria and one would think this is heading for the Central Caribbean.
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1789. Patrap
TS Nate

Storm Relative 1km Geostationary Visible Imagery

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1787. 7544
is there a plane checking out maria now tia
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1786. HCW
Quoting WeatherInterest:
Is this accurate-local mets/Crown Weather and Henry Margusity all are saying Maria=OTS. Do you agree?


Crownweather is not a met and should not be included in the same sentence with Henry Magusity and your local mets
Member Since: August 10, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1409
1785. markot
has anyone looked at latest sat. photos, there has been a big blowup in maria, also center is much farther sw than earlier, and it looks like a eye may be near...13.6 58.5
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Looks westward bound to me.....

Quoting Patrap:
Maria




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Quoting Caner:


I'm more curious as to whether the trough's passage will exert a pull on Nate, wobbling down there in the Gulf.
He's just waiting for a nudge in any direction.


I think I might have figured out the answer to my own question. Where is this front now? If it's not going to be to the East coast until the end of the week why does the NHC have Maria turning so sharply between today and tomrrow? I understanding her turning when the front gets there by the end of the week but would think she would progress mostly West for now. Time to go find this front and see why it's not going to turn Nate but will turn Maria, missing something here, timing maybe.
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Quoting 69Viking:


Should be some good surf up and down the East coast!


Yep
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Quoting ncstorm:


if this was just the NOGAPS depicting this path, I would discount it but the Euro is showing it curving back hitting NC as well..not very strong though on the Euro as far as intensity


Is the GFS just slow to come on board or are the other two slow to follow GFS? B/c it doesn't look good for you :(
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Quoting Fishaholic25fl:
What a boring hurricane season.....................


That is one nice size Flounder in your photo/avatar. Did you filet it up???

good morning everyone, just getting caught up this morning on our storms.

Is Maria going to make that sharp turn to NW this morning???

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Any chance the same thing happens with these two that happened with Lee and Katia? Gulf storm makes it north which then kicks the Atlantic storm out to sea?
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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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