Maria pulling away from the Antillies; Ex-Katia pounding the U.K.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:04 PM GMT on September 12, 2011

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Tropical Storm Maria continues to struggle with moderate wind shear of 15 - 20 knots that is preventing the storm from organizing. The center of circulation lies fully exposed to view this morning, with satellite loops showing that all of Maria's heavy thunderstorms lie to the east of Maria's center. Spiral bands from Maria are bringing heavy rains to the Virgin Islands and northern Lesser Antilles, as seen on long-range radar out of Puerto Rico and Martinique radar. Radar-estimated rainfall amounts of three inches have occurred in the Virgin Islands; 0.94" has fallen in St. Thomas, which experienced a wind gust of 39 mph at 9:14 am local time.

Maria's center has been tracking more to the west than the forecast has been calling for, but since the center is so far from the heaviest thunderstorms, I wouldn't be surprised to see the center reform more to the east or east-northeast later today. The models are in unanimous agreement that Maria should resume a more northwesterly motion later today, and turn to the north by Tuesday. The trough of low pressure that is bringing hostile wind shear to Maria is predicted to slowly weaken over the next few days, which may allow the storm to grow to Category 1 hurricane strength by Wednesday. Intensification will be hampered by the fact that Maria will be passing over the cold water wake left by Hurricane Katia, though. On Wednesday, Maria will be making its closest approach to Bermuda. If Maria does manage to organize into a hurricane, Bermuda could see an 8-hour period of sustained winds of 35 - 40 mph beginning near 2 pm local time on Wednesday. Most of the models show that Maria will brush or strike Newfoundland, Canada on Friday morning. Heavy rains will be a flooding threat to the west of where Maria passes, and wind damage from high winds of 50 - 60 mph will be a concern to the east of where the center goes.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Tropical Storm Maria.

Extratropical Storm Katia pounding Britain
Hurricane Katia brushed by Newfoundland, Canada on Saturday, and made the transition from a tropical system to a powerful extratropical storm. Extratropical Storm Katia maintained strong winds of 50 - 65 mph as it crossed the Atlantic, and is now lashing the northern British Isles with high winds and heavy rain. At 1 pm local time, the center of ex-Katia was over northern Scotland, and Malin Head, Ireland on the north coast of Ireland, was experiencing sustained winds of 49 mph. Winds in western Scotland were also high, with Aonach Mor recording sustained winds of 51 mph at 12:50 pm local time. The UK Met Office is warning that wind gusts up to 80 mph can be expected in Scotland today, as well as flooding rains of 2 - 4 inches. Ex-Katia's strong winds will likely cause significant tree damage and power failures across Northern Ireland and Scotland today.


Figure 2. Surface wind estimate from the Windsat satellite at 4:04 am EDT on Monday, September 12, 2011. The center of Extratropical Storm Katia is marked by an "L", and winds in excess of 50 knots (58 mph, purple triangles) were occurring to the southwest of the center, near the west coast of Ireland. Image credit: NOAA.

Britain's hurricane history
Hurricanes that transition to powerful extratropical storms hit the British Isles several times per decade, on average. In September 2006, two major hurricanes named Gordon and Helene transitioned to strong extratropical storms that hit the British Isles. Only once since accurate records began in 1851 has an actual hurricane with full tropical characteristics hit Europe. This happened on September 16, 1961, when Category 1 Hurricane Debbie hit northwestern Ireland. Wind gusts reached 106 mph at Ballykelly and 104 mph at Tiree and Snaefill, and coastal radio stations reported the airwaves were jammed with calls for help from small ships and fishing craft. Eleven people were killed and 50 injured in the storm. The only other tropical cyclone recorded to have hit Europe since 1851 was Hurricane Vince of 2005, which hit southern Spain as a tropical depression on October 11, 2005. Historical documents also suggest a hurricane hit Spain on October 29, 1842.

As reported by UK Met Office forecaster John Hammond in a post on the BBC 23 degrees blog, Britain has been affected at least eight times in the past twenty years by extratropical storms that were once tropical storms or hurricanes. The most recent one was Hurricane Bill of 2009, which hit Ireland on August 25 with sustained winds of 45 mph. Bill was a Category 4 hurricane northeast of the Lesser Antilles five days prior. In 2006, a record three extratropical storms that had once been tropical cyclones hit Britain:

Extratropical Storm Alberto, which had been a strong tropical storm that hit the Florida Panhandle, hit northern Ireland and Scotland as an extratropical storm with 35 mph winds.

Extratropical Storm Gordon hit Ireland on September 21, 2006, with sustained winds of 65 mph. Gordon brought record warm temperatures as tropical air pushed north across the UK, and also strong winds that brought down power lines in Northern Ireland. Wind gusts to 60 mph (97 km/h) occurred in the Isles of Scilly off the southwest coast, and 81 mph (130 km/h) on the mainland.

Extratropical Storm Helene hit Northwestern Ireland on September 27, 2006, with sustained winds of 45 mph.


Figure 3. Path of Hurricane Lili of 1996, which caused $420 million in damage to the U.K. as an extratropical storm.

Other post-tropical cyclones that have the U.K. in the past twenty years include Hurricanes Isaac and Leslie of 2000, Hurricane Karl of 1998, and Hurricane Lili of 1996. The most severe of these storms was Extratropical Storm Lili, which hit Ireland on October 28, 1996, with sustained winds of 65 mph. Lili caused $420 million in damage (2011 dollars) in the U.K. According to Wikipedia, Lili produced a 92 mph (148 km/h) gust at Swansea, South Wales, while bringing a four ft (1.20 m) storm surge that inundated the River Thames. In Somerset, 500 holiday cottages were severely damaged. A United States oil drilling platform, under tow in the North Sea, broke loose during the storm and nearly ran aground at Peterhead. On the Isle of Wight, a sailing boat was beached at Chale Bay; luckily all five occupants were rescued. It was the most damaging storm to have struck the United Kingdom since the Great Storm of 1987, which killed 22 and did $660 million in damage (1996 dollars.) However, Lili also broke a four-month drought over southwest England.

Elsewhere in the tropics
Several of the models predict the development of a tropical depression or strong tropical disturbance 4 - 5 days from now off the coast of Africa. The NOGAPS model is predicting the Western Caribbean could see the development of a strong tropical disturbance 6 - 7 days from now.

I'll have an update Tuesday morning.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Levi32:


The GFS had turned a cold shoulder to upward motion in the Atlantic, actually. In my mind this is the only inhibiting factor on development in the Caribbean given this overall pattern.



Still won't there be Upward Motion in the Caribbean because of the high pressure to the north, which forces upward motion in that area?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32553
Quoting Grothar:



You forgot Camille!!!!!


i thought camille was a trackable tw that fought shear all the way from n africa before it developed in the carib. the setup coming up is different
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Quoting Dakster:
.


No, you could work for the METS down here, in South Florida... We have sensationalist newscasters here.

Doom and Gloom is their game...
I personally think I have some of the best local meteorologist in the entire nation.After watching videos of your meteorologist I have come to this conclusion.
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Thanks, Levi!
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Quoting washingtonian115:
I think my winter here will be cold.I mean the days are shorter than they were last year.Some of the trees are turning colors.And the cold out breaks have been coming early this year.


What? Lol.
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Quoting Chucktown:


You should know this by now - this is a doom and gloom blog. The worst case scenario is always what is forecast on here. If I did that every day, I be out of a job.
.


No, you could work for the METS down here, in South Florida... We have sensationalist newscasters here.

Doom and Gloom is their game...
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10572
Quoting Levi32:


Well chances are overall that this cold outbreak will be a short-lived event and the warmth will return, and La Nina generally favors stronger ridging, and thus warmer than normal temperatures across the south and eastern United States. Now when we get into really long La Ninas like the one we've had since last summer (it never really went away), then sometimes it is gets a lot colder in New England due to arctic outbreaks, but down in Florida the ridging generally holds strong even in deep multi-year La Ninas. Thus, I would expect a mild winter for you guys.
I think my winter here will be cold.I mean the days are shorter than they were last year.Some of the trees are turning colors.And the cold out breaks have been coming early this year.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Where do you get the idea MJO is leaving our basin? Most of the reliable ones are predicting it staying for the next two weeks. Anyways, you know a lot about weather..You know the pattern with the high over the Northern USA and Atlantic means that upward motion is forced into the areas south of it, which favors development.


The GFS had turned a cold shoulder to upward motion in the Atlantic, actually. In my mind this is the only inhibiting factor on development in the Caribbean given this overall pattern.

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Quoting OrchidGrower:
re: #181, Levi's post: This is record cold. This is a big deal.


Is this something that is classically "La Nina", to be happening this time of year? What should be we looking at this winter here in Florida, if in fact a stronger La Nina than last year appears to be shaping up? (I thought I saw a model here a couple weeks ago that indicated this next La Nina would be stronger than the one we just had).

Thanks In Advance


Well chances are overall that this cold outbreak will be a short-lived event and the warmth will return, and La Nina generally favors stronger ridging, and thus warmer than normal temperatures across the south and eastern United States. Now when we get into really long La Ninas like the one we've had since last summer (it never really went away), then sometimes it is gets a lot colder in New England in the winter due to arctic outbreaks, but down in Florida the ridging generally holds strong even in deep multi-year La Ninas. Thus, I would expect a mild winter for you guys.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Where do you get the idea MJO is leaving our basin? Most of the reliable ones are predicting it staying for the next two weeks.
Quote from another site :Elsewhere, models have been hinting on and off with development somewhere in the Caribbean next week. This will remain to be seen, as the MJO is forecast to remain weak and over the Indian Ocean for the next 2 weeks.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8435
Quoting Chucktown:


12 Z Euro has already dropped the Caribbean system and the 18 Z GFS will be the 3rd run in a row in which there is no significant development. There may be some sort of a weak system late next week, but I don't see a full blown hurricane coming out of this. Plus with the MJO now trending away from our octant next week, its gonna be tough to support much.


Where do you get the idea MJO is leaving our basin? Most of the reliable ones are predicting it staying for the next two weeks. Anyways, you know a lot about weather..You know the pattern with the high over the Northern USA and Atlantic means that upward motion is forced into the areas south of it, which favors development.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32553
Quoting twincomanche:
Let's face it boys and girls, the models are not very good when you get out past three to five days. I believe the last statistics I saw were less than fifty percent.


12 Z Euro has already dropped the Caribbean system and the 18 Z GFS will be the 3rd run in a row in which there is no significant development. There may be some sort of a weak system late next week, but I don't see a full blown hurricane coming out of this. Plus with the MJO now trending away from our octant next week, its gonna be tough to support much.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
That is the worst possible set-up when looking at a CONUS landfall.


mhm..And it gives favorable conditions for strengthening too.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
That is the worst possible set-up when looking at a CONUS landfall.
And that's bad for me because I have to deal with cool tempetures during that time and not my 80's like I love it.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


I know you didn't...I made that sound rude, didn't I?

Sorry XD


Naw, it's all good :)
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Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5725
Quoting Grothar:
Anyone who tracks the tropics is aware that a strong high pressure system over New England can have an affect on the pressures in the Caribbean. All the models are calling for an extremely strong high pressure there.


That is the worst possible set-up when looking at a CONUS landfall.
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Quoting starbuck02:


I meant no disrespect. Was just implying that everyone is seeing the same thing which is not always the case when looking 10-15 days out.


I know you didn't...I made that sound rude, didn't I?

Sorry XD
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32553
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I don't believe that but glad you seem to be feeling better. I mentioned earlier that today is 7 years since Ivan hit us. Very sad time and something I do not care to repeat.


That was a scary storm and a weird track.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26952
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
9/11/2005 Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential:



9/11/2008 Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential:




9/11/2010 Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential:



9/11/2011 Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential:



hey man could you post a pick of the Gulf SSTS during this time for those 4 years? id really apreciate it :) Thanks!
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


I can't help we are monitoring the same thing. But guess what? So is The Weather Channel, AccuWeather, and several other weather sites...Its easy to see in the computer models.


I meant no disrespect. Was just implying that everyone is seeing the same thing which is not always the case when looking 10-15 days out.
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re: #181, Levi's post: This is record cold. This is a big deal.


Is this something that is classically "La Nina", to be happening this time of year? What should be we looking at this winter here in Florida, if in fact a stronger La Nina than last year appears to be shaping up? (I thought I saw a model here a couple weeks ago that indicated this next La Nina would be stronger than the one we just had).

Thanks In Advance
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Link Link to the are of disturbed weather east of Belize
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Quoting Grothar:


And I'm cranky, too! :)
I don't believe that but glad you seem to be feeling better. I mentioned earlier that today is 7 years since Ivan hit us. Very sad time and something I do not care to repeat.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
:) Glad to see you back on the blog.


And I'm cranky, too! :)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26952
msnbc is the funny network.
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Haha, I hear ya. A little encouragement does one good though ^_^. Don't worry, I'm far from full of myself, I haven't gotten to the point of EXPECTING everyone to agree with me yet ..

( maybe one day I can be like Joe B though ;) )
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Quoting Grothar:


See what I mean, South. There's always one in the crowd to burst your bubble.
:) Glad to see you back on the blog.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I think he meant later in the year. Camille was in August.


See what I mean, South. There's always one in the crowd to burst your bubble.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26952
Quoting Grothar:



You forgot Camille!!!!!




Thats a good analogue track too, but not necessarily date. Then again, I'm not really worried about date. :P

Quoting washingtonian115:
Thank godness in 2010 that no storms got in that part of the carribean to really use that.Even though Don was a weakling ittill proved that even when the smallest of systems get a taste of TCHP they don't know how to act.


Yeah, even though once TCHP gets to about above 75-80, it doesn't really matter how much higher it is. A storm in the Caribbean Sea right now, under right atmospheric conditions, would be capable of rapid intensification.

Quoting SouthALWX:
340: Standing out is that loop current this year.


Yep, definitely stands out this year.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32553
Quoting SouthALWX:
Aww come on Gro, you say it like it's a bad thing. When guys that you look up to get behind YOU for a change, it's a good kind of ego boost =P


I guess it does. But from experience, South, Egos can be a detriment. It sometimes gives one a false sense of never being wrong. I would rather have a little vinegar with my honey. Gives one a better perspective and makes one aware of all the variables.
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Quoting belizeit:
I wonder if something will come of off this in the gulf
I was thinking about that earlier. Another Nate ?
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Quoting Grothar:



You forgot Camille!!!!!


I think he meant later in the year. Camille was in August.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8435
340: Standing out is that loop current this year.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
9/11/2005 Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential:



9/11/2008 Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential:




9/11/2010 Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential:



9/11/2011 Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential:


Thank godness in 2010 that no storms got in that part of the carribean to really use that.Even though Don was a weakling it still proved that even when the smallest of systems get a taste of TCHP they don't know how to act.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Went back to look for some analogues for a potential storm in the Caribbean...here are some I found.

- Mitch ('98)
- Wilma ('05)
- Ida ('09)
- Paula ('10)
- Harvey ('11)
- Matthew ('10)
- Karl ('10)
- Richard ('10)
- Paloma ('08)



You forgot Camille!!!!!


Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26952
Quoting CosmicEvents:
Is there a resource to look up how many AOI's formed and fizzled. Or all the "L's" that fizzled? Or the weak depressions that never got their spin on?


Not that I know of.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32553
Aww come on Gro, you say it like it's a bad thing. When guys that you look up to get behind YOU for a change, it's a good kind of ego boost =P
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9/11/2005 Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential:



9/11/2008 Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential:




9/11/2010 Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential:



9/11/2011 Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential:


Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32553
Maria is looking good.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26952
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Went back to look for some analogues for a potential storm in the Caribbean...here are some I found.

- Mitch ('98)
- Wilma ('05)
- Ida ('09)
- Paula ('10)
- Harvey ('11)
- Matthew ('10)
- Karl ('10)
- Richard ('10)
- Paloma ('08)
Is there a resource to look up how many AOI's formed and fizzled. Or all the "L's" that fizzled? Or the weak depressions that never got their spin on?
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Quoting SouthALWX:
haha 327! I hadn't seen that, but am encouraged that it jives up with my own thinking. (I'm only a Junior meteorology student, good to see the professionals agreeing, roughly, with my own thinking.)


I know how you feel South. I always like when the professionals come around to my way of thinking, too. It really inflates one's ego. Sometimes I look like the Pillsbury Dough boy. All of the models are in agreement with development in the Caribbean, which is not unusual for this time of year anyway.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26952
332:
While I agree that is the most likely track (and climo agrees too), I would hesitate to make that forecast. With blocking over the NE US, we could easily see shortwaves rotating through a mostly stationary trough over the central US as opposed to zonally moving troughs. (Think Omega block)
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I wonder if something will come of off this in the gulf
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Here is the Tropics discussion from Crown Weather from early this morning:


Elsewhere In The Tropics:
The next tropical cyclone may develop in the eastern Atlantic by late this week as a couple of tropical disturbances over the western coast of Africa and the far eastern Atlantic are tracking westward. The GFS and the brand new experimental GFS/EnKF model forecast that these disturbances will consolidate into a tropical cyclone by Friday and Saturday with the GFS/EnKF model forecasting it to make it west of 35 West Longitude by late this weekend. The European model says no to development, however, environmental conditions are favorable in this part of the Atlantic and this will be something to keep a close eye on.

As for the Caribbean: The western Caribbean will be an area to really watch over the next 10 to 14 days. The entire pattern that will be setting up which consists of a large high pressure system over New England are notorious for leading to falling barometric pressures over the western Caribbean and thus leading to tropical cyclone genesis. The GFS and European model guidance continue to forecast that tropical cyclone development will occur in the western Caribbean next week. The GFS model is forecasting lowering barometric pressures in the western Caribbean by this weekend which leads to tropical development there sometime next week. The European model forecasts the same type of scenario with a tropical cyclone developing in the far northwest Caribbean in 10 days from now or right around September 21 or 22.

This will be something to really keep a close eye on as we get into this coming weekend and especially next week.

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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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