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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183. txjac
Quoting Grothar:
Anytime you see a strong high pressure over the NE US, like this image shows, you can expect extreme pressure falls in the Caribbean basin. This is a stong high pressure coming up this week.





Okay, here is where I have problems understanding the weather ...you are showing us this coming Saturday right? So we will have lower pressure then? Does that mean that it will be easier for it to rain or just easier for any system to come this way (that is if there is one)

What causes the highs and lows to move around, up and down?

Thanks to whomever has the patience for this
Member Since: April 24, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 2624
Quoting hurricanehanna:

in other words, more chance for development Grothar?


Yes.
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This is record cold. This is a big deal.

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Quoting CCravey01:


I just looked at the update and saw that, and she's moving at a snail's pace now. I jumped on here to see what people might be saying about that. A couple of people earlier were saying from what they were seeing, she was moving west, or west-northwest. That was around 9ish this morning, EST.


as long as she stays shallow that ridge is gonna have to come pretty far south to pick her up
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Quoting EasyRiderX:
I thought this blog discussed tropical weather? No one watching Maria go west?


I just looked at the update and saw that, and she's moving at a snail's pace now. I jumped on here to see what people might be saying about that. A couple of people earlier were saying from what they were seeing, she was moving west, or west-northwest. That was around 9ish this morning, EST.
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178. txjac
Quoting RitaEvac:


Definitely. I wonder if we receive deep powerful blue northers this winter, that would have serious fire weather impacts with howling winds with dead/dry trees and brush ready to ignite. Then when winds die down, we plummet into the teens


Hopefully people pay attention and start removing some of the dead or near dead vegitation.
Member Since: April 24, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 2624
Quoting cellman007:



The difference between 2005 and 2011 on here is like night and day.


I disagree. It's exactly the same...blogger gets recognized by the masses, gets an inflated ego until another blogger challenges them....and then WHAMMO!!!! FLAMEOUT!!! I have heard the story 20x since 2005 and i bet 20x more in the next 6 years.

No one blogger is bigger than the community as a whole I guess. Congrats to those who participate and follow the rules of the road. I do miss destin jeff the most though.

strange seeing a frontal boundy below us in swfl! Link
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Quoting aprinz1979:
Since the blog is pretty slow right now, I would like to ask a stupid question..... Looking at some of the models, the high pressure builds in right after Maria goes north. If she were not to be pulled by the trough, could she continue west?


yes or stall and wait for another ridge
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Quoting yoboi:
are most of the fires out in texas??


Link
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Since the blog is pretty slow right now, I would like to ask a stupid question..... Looking at some of the models, the high pressure builds in right after Maria goes north. If she were not to be pulled by the trough, could she continue west?
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Quoting yoboi:
are most of the fires out in texas??


nope, just not big enough to show up on satellite
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Still have hope of a wet October, get a front to stall over TX and pull that deep tropical moisture into the state. October not always but is notorious for flooding rains, like in 1994 October in Houston
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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.


Soaker hoses are the only thing keeping my house from literally breaking in half. I can see by next spring there will be no water for soaker hoses, and barely any to drink.

We are scroomed!
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170. yoboi
are most of the fires out in texas??
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Quoting Tygor:


So the same weather for the past 7-8 months? Good to know.


More like...

BREAKING NEWS!

MORE TRIPLE DIGIT HEAT AND DROUGHT
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Quoting pottery:
This 'fish storm' debate is getting a little out-of-hand.

Truthfully, ALL tropical Storms probably affect land somewhere even in minor ways.
Maria "affected" Trinidad by pulling the rainclouds north of here so it did not rain that day.....

I was always under the impression that a "fish storm" (not a very pretty name, to be sure) was a storm whose CENTER DID NOT ENTER ANY LANDMASS.

Can we leave it at that and move on?

The Tropical Atlantic and the Eastern Pacific are really very quiet for Sept 12th.

Strange and Unexpected stuff and whatnot.



Some people will always find something to disagree with, I have come to the conclusion that they spend the day looking for things that they think are wrong so they can Ah-ha! I agree that it has diminished the character of this blog over the long term -- but ignore works rather well.

It is interesting to see Katia affecting Ireland and Scotland. Katia was really a long tracking storm, having come from Cape Verde all the way back to Europe.
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167. Tygor
Quoting RitaEvac:
Houston highs are supposed to be 100+ today thru Thursday, a 4 day stretch of hot dry sunny pounding with hardly any clouds if any. Same goes for central and north TX


So the same weather for the past 7-8 months? Good to know.
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Quoting Grothar:
Anytime you see a strong high pressure over the NE US, like this image shows, you can expect extreme pressure falls in the Caribbean basin. This is a stong high pressure coming up this week.




in other words, more chance for development Grothar?
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Quoting RitaEvac:


What a lot of people fail to realize is that during times when temps are pleasant and cool the ground is still getting drier because of the dry air and low dewpoints and don't water. As the trees drop their leaves and the grass goes dormant and turns... the ground still needs to be getting water.


Yep, I've replaced several hoses this year already. Not to mention the sprinklers that keep breaking when I try to job them into the concrete coil. But that was my dumb mistake for getting the kind that stake.
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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.


What a lot of people fail to realize is that during times when temps are pleasant and cool the ground is still getting drier because of the dry air and low dewpoints and don't water. As the trees drop their leaves and the grass goes dormant and turns... the ground still needs to be getting water.
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Hard to believe that it has been 32 years since Frederic made landfall on the Al/Ms state line. It was the year before I was born. It was the only storm I heard people in Mobile, Al talk about until Katrina in 2005. We had other storms hit between them time frames, Georges, Danny, and Ivan, although we got lucky here in Mobile with Ivan when right before landfall it took a turn to the east and hit Baldwin County, Al and P-cola extremely hard
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Houston highs are supposed to be 100+ today thru Thursday, a 4 day stretch of hot dry sunny pounding with hardly any clouds if any. Same goes for central and north TX
It was 100 here Saturday and 104 yesterday and it is 102 now. Texas will get some rains soon it wont be the rains they really need but drizzle to me is a Huge improvement where my house does not have the threat to burn down for 1 day. I will take any rain i can get and be happy since I have not even had a trace since early June.
La Nina is not the end of the world and it is not the end of any rain chances.
Member Since: July 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1348
The GFS, NOGAPS and the Euro are all calling for the same high pressure. Unusual to see them all agree that far out on such a strong high.


img src="">
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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.
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Anytime you see a strong high pressure over the NE US, like this image shows, you can expect extreme pressure falls in the Caribbean basin. This is a stong high pressure coming up this week.



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Quoting tristanh72:
Something I haven't seen explained, and perhaps there isn't really one.

What has made this high pressure ridge over Texas so bad this year, compared to other La Nina years? Is it mostly positioning?

Is there any way to guess what it'll be like in 2012, provided we have a weak La Nina? Even if we get less rainfall in a La Nina year, we normally get a ton more than what we've ended up with so far.

I know this happened before in the 50s.



I don't know if anyone knows this answer. Last La Nina (2008) wasn't as bad. The summer of 2009 had horrible high pressure over South Central Tex. (El Nino)

This summer: Tucson & the Southwest have gotten decent persistent rain.
Since Tucson is a desert I assume that would be plagued with high pressure, but not this summer.
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Quoting txjac:


I know, but there really isnt anything we can do about it ...I'm at a loss. I am looking forward to the next cool front once again. I'm tired of being scorched ..tired of smelling smoke, tired of seeing overworked firemen, tired of seeing water breaks and I'm most certainly tired of my high dollar electric bill!


Definitely. I wonder if we receive deep powerful blue northers this winter, that would have serious fire weather impacts with howling winds with dead/dry trees and brush ready to ignite. Then when winds die down, we plummet into the teens
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156. txjac
Quoting RitaEvac:


It only gets worse I'm afraid


I know, but there really isnt anything we can do about it ...I'm at a loss. I am looking forward to the next cool front once again. I'm tired of being scorched ..tired of smelling smoke, tired of seeing overworked firemen, tired of seeing water breaks and I'm most certainly tired of my high dollar electric bill!
Member Since: April 24, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 2624
Quoting pottery:

True!
What are your thoughts on the Season so far?
Plenty activity, with no majors (in terms of windspeed) as yet.
Not what we thought would happen.
A little shear, but apart from that everything else has been Prime Conditions.
And yet... ?????

Any ideas?


Dry air inhibiting the development of storms. Particularly in the GOM.
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Quoting txjac:



Well gee thanks Rita ...like I already wasnt depressed enough! ...lol


It only gets worse I'm afraid
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Houston highs are supposed to be 100+ today thru Thursday, a 4 day stretch of hot dry sunny pounding with hardly any clouds if any. Same goes for central and north TX
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Quoting HIPPOCRITT:

Season's a Bust.


Tell that to everyone who's been impacted by flooding from Irene and Lee. Let's see if you can convince them.
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151. txjac
Quoting RitaEvac:
Texas, you are now in the Red, failure to moisture up will cause permanent damage to the point of never recovering. 2011 hurricane season has now ended for you. Dry fall thru spring is in store and shall spiral completely outta control into oblivion.



Well gee thanks Rita ...like I already wasnt depressed enough! ...lol
Member Since: April 24, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 2624
Quoting basti11:
LEVI i agree with you about action picking up in the nw caribbean sea...what i disagree is the direction you say its going to move..we have a strong cold front heading down here this weekend on the gulfcoast.ssts continue to cool ..so if something did form it would put a CAP on anything moving into the GOM...i do agree a more west are ne path would take place if and when this develops..IMO hurricane season is over for the north and ne gom.we have broke 100 year temp. records here for september......i do enjoy your opnions though...


???
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Reading Squid28, whose comments seem very wise, I'm reminded of a question on an old quiz show.

At your house, in which direction does the sun rise?
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Texas, you are now in the Red, failure to moisture up will cause permanent damage to the point of never recovering. 2011 hurricane season has now ended for you. Dry fall thru spring is in store and shall spiral completely outta control into oblivion.
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Quoting basti11:



IMO its the whole gom after this next shot of cold air this weekend
You're very inexperienced if you believe that.
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As the North Gulf sees cold fronts and drying air and Texas continues to burn and die, tail end of fronts spinning up in the BOC will either go into Mexico or NE to Florida or sit and die down there. NW Carribean systems will stay down there or go into Mexico or Florida.
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Even if the tropics aren't super active just yet, it's interesting to learn about how storms have long-lasting impacts even after their passage. Here on the US East Coast we've had cooler land and sea temperatures after Irene and Katia left, and although I really don't know much about these phenomena, I wonder if that high pressure up here will cause effects further down the line in the GOM.

I'm no meteorologist but weather is interesting no matter what's happening.

Actually I find the lack of activity in the Atlantic basin to be very exciting, since I got quite enough excitement from Irene for one year (or decade!) The East Coast is still struggling to dry out and it's nice to see that we'll have a break for the time being.
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also as long as maria looks like this shes gonna keep moving west causes shes really weak..but convection i guess could catch up anytime and tighten up some
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140. 7544
like ive been saying the peak was a coulpe of weeks agonot sept 10 lol not looking for much this month to form
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6874
139. JLPR2
Quoting pottery:

True!
What are your thoughts on the Season so far?
Plenty activity, with no majors (in terms of windspeed) as yet.
Not what we thought would happen.
A little shear, but apart from that everything else has been Prime Conditions.
And yet... ?????

Any ideas?


Check the WPAC, last Typoon had a really strange appearance and this one has been struggling for days.

Plus the EPac is dead.

But here comes the late season and that 2-2 should become at least a 4-3.
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Quoting basti11:



IMO its the whole gom after this next shot of cold air this weekend


probably, southern Florida still in it because of systems in the NW carribean/BOC
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isent there a 2pm update someone can post or something haha or a visible sat. animation or something haha
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in fact was shut down after the cold front
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Quoting pottery:

True!
What are your thoughts on the Season so far?
Plenty activity, with no majors (in terms of windspeed) as yet.
Not what we thought would happen.
A little shear, but apart from that everything else has been Prime Conditions.
And yet... ?????

Any ideas?


All input/comments welcomed.
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NW Gulf Juuuuuuuuuuuuuuust about shut down for the rest of the hurricane season
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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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