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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I've seen some posts about potential subtropical development off the North Carolina coast in about 7-10 days. That is of little significant compared to what may be brewing in the Caribbean 10-15 days from now. Yes, I do realize that is a very long way away, and the important little details are to be ignored for the time being. HOWEVER, the computer models are beginning to come into agreement with a potential storm developing in the Western/Northwest Caribbean, due to high pressure farther north over the United States, and high pressure/subsidence creating from Irene's, Katia's, and Soon-to-be-Maria's cool wake. What this does is force upward motion over the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and Bahamas. In addition, with high pressure farther north, subsidence, which can be attributed to Don's death, conditions would be favorable for development.

The 12Z GFS has dropped the system it has shown for the past couple of runs, however it does show lower pressures near the Yucatan peninsula. Given the pattern, a hypothetical storm could take two tracks: 1.) West into the Yucatan peninsula, and then into the Bay of Campeche, before moving into Mexico. Or, which is a more likely track at this time, a track into the central Gulf of Mexico before being picked up northward, and then northeastward into Florida. I am not going to focus on intensity, since it is a long way out. However, given the pattern, it appears conditions would be favorable for intensification, with the only limiting factor being land interaction.

Just something to watch next week..
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32001
Quoting CosmicEvents:
ok...I get it already.
There's going to be high pressure over the NE, so there's going to be low pressure in the Caribbean. Then what?
My blood pressure's been low for 30 years and I haven't started spinning.


Ha! Ha!! That's about it right now Cosmic. We wait and see. I am waiting for an early season Noreaster here in Northeast Florida! Gonna feel good!!
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
ok...I get it already.
There's going to be high pressure over the NE, so there's going to be low pressure in the Caribbean. Then what?
My blood pressure's been low for 30 years and I haven't started spinning.


How about Linda Blair?
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"Nothing for the deer to eat or drink"

I wish, I wish, I could wave a magic wand and send all this Scottish rain to Texas and Somalia and the parts of Australia that need it. Sheep and cows here are miserable when the weather's so wet, but they're just miserable, maybe foot-rotted, but not dying. It must be heartbreaking to see livestock and wildlife suffering - so sorry.
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Did the hurricane hunters go into Maria today?
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ok...I get it already.
There's going to be high pressure over the NE, so there's going to be low pressure in the Caribbean. Then what?
My blood pressure's been low for 30 years and I haven't started spinning.
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277. DDR
Good afternoon
heavy rains in Trinidad and Tobago again

Date: Monday 12th of September 2011

As a result of an active Inter-Tropical
Convergence Zone, Trinidad is experiencing
intermittent showers and isolated thundershowers,
some of which are moderate to heavy.



There is a high potential for street and/or flash
flooding in areas of heavy downpours. Some areas
in the nation’s capital are already
experiencing flooding. Gusty winds in excess of
45 km/hr are possible in showers and
thundershowers. These conditions are expected to
persist for the next 2 to 4 hours. Partly cloudy
to cloudy conditions will continue into the night
with periods of light rain over Trinidad and
isolated showers over Tobago.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Good Afternoon all.

(Wait, maybe I should take that back, may get me banned. :S)


Should be ok as long as there is no humor involved. ;-)

Maria looks like an absolute mess right now. Could be a while before we see anything else in the tropics. Been a very strange season so far!
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SUMMARY OF 500 PM AST...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...21.0N 67.5W
ABOUT 360 MI...580 KM ESE OF THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS
ABOUT 800 MI...1285 KM SSW OF BERMUDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...50 MPH...85 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 315 DEGREES AT 2 MPH...4 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1006 MB...29.71 INCHES

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What model was showing a storm hitting the Florida Panhandle like 10 days out? I think it was the GFS. I know they are not to be trusted this far out, so my question is why do they run them that far out knowing how inaccurate they are with that kind of time span? I guess it gives folks something to talk about anyways, what is the chances of anything forming in that region around that time anyways? I have heard Levi32 mention possible formation in the NW Car. around that time
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A nursery rhyme verse for Maria tonight

Here comes a candle to light you to bed.
Here comes a chopper to chop off your head!

I hope the shear finally kills her for good. Maria's been an irritating storm.
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Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11149
On September 20 1995 Grand Island NE had 3" of snow. They're not on the high plains either.
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Quoting EasyRiderX:


Where is that? That's really early for snow.


looks like dust from the fires to me imo
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Quoting EasyRiderX:


Where is that? That's really early for snow.


uhhh that's not snow, it's ash.
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Quoting EasyRiderX:


Where is that? That's really early for snow.


I don't think that is snow. Me thinks it is ash.
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I think Maria is still going west. Storms over her center now too.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
This what's left in Bastrop State Park



Nothing for the deer to eat or drink


Where is that? That's really early for snow.
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Quoting falloch:
w. of Scotland in firth of clyde 72-75 mph gusts still - thought they'd be over with by now. not hurricanes, of course, just scarey when trees are still in full leaf. Even a couple of weeks from now, winds would take leaves away, but not yet - so loads of scarey swaying trees. Expect the tail end of Maria next weekend - could these storms figure out a way of arriving mid-week so I can get out in the garden on the weekends? :-)


Models so far do not make Maria as powerful and extratropical storm as Katia has been. But keep an eye on it. We know how long term forecasts can change.
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Quoting TBird78:
Texas heat is back. Gotta get some more soaker hoses to put around the foundation....the one I bought 2 weeks ago has already cracked in half.


I buy the fabric ones, the kind made from tires always tear....Plus, you can move the fabric hose around...
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w. of Scotland in firth of clyde 72-75 mph gusts still - thought they'd be over with by now. not hurricanes, of course, just scarey when trees are still in full leaf. Even a couple of weeks from now, winds would take leaves away, but not yet - so loads of scarey swaying trees. Expect the tail end of Maria next weekend - could these storms figure out a way of arriving mid-week so I can get out in the garden on the weekends? :-)
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Looking around the northern UK the lowest pressure I found was 972 mb. Numerous reports of wind gusts to hurricane force. But nothing approaching the ferocity of the 1987 storm.
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i remember because they said they thought it was going to be a bad one
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Quoting mobhurricane2011:
yeah my grandparents stayed in Bayou La Batre, Al during Frederic. They tell the stories of the wind howling and the trees snapping. It was definitely the worst here as far as wind. From what I hear anyways. But just from pure damage it is Katrina that I hear about now. I mean they was launching boats in the middle of the highway to go save people. The power of the water from storm surge is unreal. My house was destroyed from water in Katrina. It was there during Frederic and nothing happened to it. But you are right, as far as wind Frederic is the worst, but the damage goes to Katrina. My family and myself were homeless for 7 months after Katrina. Slept on my screen porch for 2 months before we finally got a FEMA camper. And them campers are small when you got 3 people and 2 dogs.
when fredrick was south of puerto rico water blew through my parents windows in san juan
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Quoting Rainwalker:
I pause to remember the last direct hit on Jamaica by a hurricane none other than "Wild Gilbert". To many who lose their lives before and after, this date 23 years ago.
Today is also 7 years since the Cayman Islands received a direct hit from Ivan. I remember Gilbert well. Sad time for Jamaica.
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
a little exaggerated ...




Nice knowing you St. Augustine!
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3718
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Quoting Levi32:
This is record cold. This is a big deal.



Do you have Joe B on twitter??;)

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Dallas TX has reached 100 and has tied their record for the most 100+ degree days in a year. They will break it tomorrow.

Waco TX has annihilated their record for most 100 degree days in a year. A few more seems like it won't make much difference.
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12Z ECMWF Ensemble:

@196HR


@240HR


Lower than normal pressures (departure from mean not that deep but lower pressures nonetheless) creeping up into the W/NW Carib starting early next week (Monday/Tuesday).
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Looks like Maria had her head chopped off.

What sort of environment would she find if her low level center just drifted west for a couple days to near 22N 73W or so? Would the shear be less there allowing her center to reenergize, or would she continue to be sheared apart?
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
St Augustine waves like this?
offshore winds
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I pause to remember the last direct hit on Jamaica by a hurricane none other than "Wild Gilbert". To many who lose their lives before and after, this date 23 years ago.
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yea dog im ready for another music fest it better not rain
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St Augustine waves like this? Kidding of course.
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Quoting caribbeantracker01:
levi32 sorry to having to ask this after you did a Tibet but in terms of the eastern Atlantic what are your take on a system tracking west in that region also
since we will be experiencing a change in the pattern such as the strengthening of the Bermuda high?


of course anyone else could answer i will be greatful thanks



that strengthening high should bring pressures down in you area
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levi32 sorry to having to ask this after you did a Tibet but in terms of the eastern Atlantic what are your take on a system tracking west in that region also
since we will be experiencing a change in the pattern such as the strengthening of the Bermuda high?


of course anyone else could answer i will be greatful thanks
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Quoting Levi32:
Good morning.

Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Monday, September 12th, with Video


Thanks Levi..but dislike.. trip to The Keys the 21st..did I get travel insurance? Hating the fires and no rain for Texas ..sigh..
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Quoting ncstorm:
12Z Euro is also hinting at development off NC coast in the same time frame as the CMC and NOGAPs


Whats that "x" by the western gulf? Is that the rain texas could finally be gettin?
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Quoting tropicalnewbee:
Thanks everyone for the info and insight it helps alot! Looking at that trough, maria should be pulled north about the time she gets to the western bahamas. I am still a bit new at this and don't pretend to know how to predict the weather but does that seem right?



close but a lil north of Bahamas
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Quoting islander101010:
thanks good chance we will see development in that area this season



PANAMA! Link

ease the seat back
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Quoting mobhurricane2011:
yeah my grandparents stayed in Bayou La Batre, Al during Frederic. They tell the stories of the wind howling and the trees snapping. It was definitely the worst here as far as wind. From what I hear anyways. But just from pure damage it is Katrina that I hear about now. I mean they was launching boats in the middle of the highway to go save people. The power of the water from storm surge is unreal. My house was destroyed from water in Katrina. It was there during Frederic and nothing happened to it. But you are right, as far as wind Frederic is the worst, but the damage goes to Katrina. My family and myself were homeless for 7 months after Katrina. Slept on my screen porch for 2 months before we finally got a FEMA camper. And them campers are small when you got 3 people and 2 dogs.


Yes Frederic was a wild night. I was just across the state line in MS. The last 15-20 min before the eye was the worst. A non stop howl of wind, to this day I can hear a tone, such as a weird cell phone ring or a grating sound, will give me goose bumps. We also fought a house fire during the storm, it was across the street an old house with a lot of heart pine lumber, we could not save it, but tried to keep it from spreading to other houses. It was not a fun night.
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Thanks everyone for the info and insight it helps alot! Looking at that trough, maria should be pulled north about the time she gets to the western bahamas. I am still a bit new at this and don't pretend to know how to predict the weather but does that seem right?
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Quoting SunnyDaysFla:
The worst hurricane in Tampa's history hit Oct 25 1921. It developed north of Panama. I am not letting my guard down yet.
thanks good chance we will see development in that area this season
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12Z Euro is also hinting at development off NC coast in the same time frame as the CMC and NOGAPs

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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
a little exaggerated ...




COWABUNGA! Surf's up at St. Augie...
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Quoting tropicalnewbee:


I am hoping before she will skirt the central east coast of florida-thats where I live. I do not mind a little wind and rain but others here do.


well the NHC seems pretty sure of it happening. I do think they will shift the track a lil farther west.
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233. Jax82
Quoting tropicalnewbee:
anyone know if this miraculous turn is going to happen with maria? seems she is moving a lot farther west that everyone thought.


Take a look at the WV loop, the trof is digging all the way to central FL, the east coast is safe for now.
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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.