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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583. txjac
Quoting JLPR2:


NE, a few minutes from San Juan.


So that rain should be hitting you soon? How much are others getting there?
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Quoting Grothar:


It was a bad two years. Here is an image of the Blizzard of 78





It must have felt like two years ago to you too. xD god i'm terrible.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3764
581. JLPR2
Quoting txjac:


JL ..what part of the island are you at?


NE, a few minutes from San Juan.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8735
Quoting Grothar:


What are you trying to say, Dan??? :)


Not me, it's "they". You know, the "they" that everyone quotes when they (not "they") don't know who really said something. "They" are trying to keep us grey heads quiet. It's a conspiracy propagated through music. ;)
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579. txjac
Quoting Grothar:



That is terrible. I didn't know it was that bad.


JL ..what part of the island are you at?
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578. txjac
Quoting defdogz:


That particular fellow is too big and too much of a blanket hog to sleep in bed except when/if the power fails during the winter. The littler ones (and a feline nightcap) will do the trick.


Mine is about 73 pounds and sleeps on me everynight. What kind of dog is that ...looks like a sweety.
Just fed mine some leftover prime rib from this weekend ...made a big one as I thought my nephews where coming ...so she had about two pounds worth! Shes a big baby
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Quoting JLPR2:
Getting nasty in the extreme SE and E side of the big Island.


Yet I'm dry, so far only two or three drops.

Here is a link to a local newspaper talking about the flooding occurring in Ceiba, PR.

Of course it is in Spanish.



That is terrible. I didn't know it was that bad.
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Quoting BDADUDE:
No heaters in my house.

Two furnaces and a wood stove here -the Great White North.
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BTW, anybody expecting anything from our Twave getting set to enter the GOM before it goes into the EPac?

It was looking pretty PHAT earlier this evening...
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Quoting txjac:


Just snoggle up to that one in your avatar and you'll be just fine! My doggie puts off quite a bit of heat


That particular fellow is too big and too much of a blanket hog to sleep in bed except when/if the power fails during the winter. The littler ones (and a feline nightcap) will do the trick.
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Quoting Grothar:


There are so many there, we have given them their own zip code.
Wow. And I thought that was because of the airport....
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Quoting weatherh98:


hey gro how are you feeling


As they say in New York, "Don't ask!" LOL
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Quoting defdogz:


Perhaps places, too. I absolutely refuse to turn on the heat until after Oct. 15. Gonna be a couple three dog nights later this week..........
No heaters in my house.
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Quoting twincomanche:
Being a math kind of person I have always been fascinated about how you measure the temperature of a whole Country much less the whole world. I remember reading some I think Swedish physicist saying trying to measure the Earth's temperature was like adding up all the phone numbers in the NY phone book, dividing by the number of numbers, calling that number and be talking to everyone at one time.


I always wondered about that math. I just assumed that people with a whole lot more smarts than me figured out a way to do it.

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Quoting Dakster:


In some places yes. When it gets cold it literally rains lizards.

Is griffin road still covered with thousands of lizards? I remember driving down griffin by the canals and was amazed that I could barely see the sidewalk there were so many of them.


There are so many there, we have given them their own zip code.
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Quoting Grothar:


What are you trying to say, Dan??? :)


hey gro how are you feeling
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566. txjac
Quoting defdogz:


Perhaps places, too. I absolutely refuse to turn on the heat until after Oct. 15. Gonna be a couple three dog nights later this week..........


Just snuggle up to that one in your avatar and you'll be just fine! My doggie puts off quite a bit of heat
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Quoting Grothar:



I mean areas.


Perhaps places, too. I absolutely refuse to turn on the heat until after Oct. 15. Gonna be a couple three dog nights later this week..........
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Quoting PcolaDan:


And how does this correlate to silence being golden? What are they trying to tell us?


What are you trying to say, Dan??? :)
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Quoting Grothar:


We keep our outdoor ground lights on for the little geckos. The actually hover around them when it is cold. It is like they have mini resorts to go to when it is cold. Do you have the iguana problem there like we do up here? Thousands of them now.


In some places yes. When it gets cold it literally rains lizards.

Is griffin road still covered with thousands of lizards? I remember driving down griffin by the canals and was amazed that I could barely see the sidewalk there were so many of them.
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561. JLPR2
Getting nasty in the extreme SE and E side of the big Island.


Yet I'm dry, so far only two or three drops.

Here is a link to a local newspaper talking about the flooding occurring in Ceiba, PR.

Of course it is in Spanish.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8735
Quoting kipperedherring:
Exactly! I believe BDADUDE and Caicosretiredsailor are actually one in the same!
Not really... hundreds of miles of open waters between these 2 guys.....
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Quoting txjac:


I remember 1977 ...was in Ohio at that time ...horrid blizzard that year (might have been 78). We were so snowed in ..snow up the the top of the telephone wires ...scary times


It was a bad two years. Here is an image of the Blizzard of 78



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Quoting Grothar:


Yes, I have seen your posts, and thanks. I just haven't figured out why these are our "Golden Years" yet.


It may have something to do with the amount of gold you need to get through them.
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I am really having a hard time finding the COC of Maria. It was exposed during the day and did not move most of the day at all. From the SW and the AVN I think it is at about 21N 67.5W. What are your estimates?
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Quoting Grothar:


North Dakota.
I know Minnesota has already had frost and is expecting a hard freeze this week
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Quoting Grothar:


Yes, I have seen your posts, and thanks. I just haven't figured out why these are our "Golden Years" yet.


And how does this correlate to silence being golden? What are they trying to tell us?
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AGW - should be called climate change...

But, yes, I get your point. When I was scraping ice off the windshield to get to work last year a big article on AGW hit... Yes, I thought it was VERY ironic.
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Quoting nymore:
what areas are you referring to?


North Dakota.
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Quoting Dakster:
I remember 1977, even though I was only 5...

The last two years down here have been cold, as far as South Florida winters are concerned.

One good thing is that it has been the only thing so far that has been able to put the large iguana and snake population under control!


We keep our outdoor ground lights on for the little geckos. The actually hover around them when it is cold. It is like they have mini resorts to go to when it is cold. Do you have the iguana problem there like we do up here? Thousands of them now.
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551. JLPR2
Quoting KittieCane:


Can Maria develop a new surface low?


Well if it spits out the current one, it could. But there are no indications of that happening at the moment.

Quoting EasyRiderX:


Is Maria going south? It looks like it is going south.


That's the convection dancing around.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8735
guys the gulf is cooling off. look on the wunderground map. any reason why its cooling off?
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Quoting KittieCane:


Can Maria develop a new surface low?


Sure... I think even Dr. Masters mentioned that in his blog.

Maria is so disorganized that a new surface low wouldn't surprise me.

Granted, I am not as talented a forecaster as some other are on here...
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Quoting Grothar:


Starting Wednesday. Possible first frosts in some places.
what areas are you referring to?
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546. txjac
Quoting Grothar:


We did have ice pellets and snow flurries in Broward last winter. Only other time I saw that was in 1977. That whole year was cold.


I remember 1977 ...was in Ohio at that time ...horrid blizzard that year (might have been 78). We were so snowed in ..snow up the the top of the telephone wires ...scary times
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Quoting BDADUDE:
On this site, we are all the same age dude!! Except maybe that taz dude. :)


Thanks, Dude. I feel young when I am on the blog. I get to be silly and meet nice people.
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I remember 1977, even though I was only 5...

The last two years down here have been cold, as far as South Florida winters are concerned.

One good thing is that it has been the only thing so far that has been able to put the large iguana and snake population under control!
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Quoting JLPR2:
It sort of looks like Maria developed a Mid-level circulation in her convection.


Is Maria going south? It looks like it is going south.
Member Since: September 11, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 48
Quoting stormpetrol:
Maria just ain't in a hurry to go anywhere ATM.


Maria was going west today. Now it looks like it is going south.
Member Since: September 11, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 48
Quoting JLPR2:
It sort of looks like Maria developed a Mid-level circulation in her convection.


Can Maria develop a new surface low?
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Quoting Dakster:
That could be a sign of things to come. (early frosts) I wonder if Dade County will get snow flurries/frosts again this year.

Kind of interesting, to say the least last year. Lost a lot of plants too...


We did have ice pellets and snow flurries in Broward last winter. Only other time I saw that was in 1977. That whole year was cold.
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Quoting Grothar:


Yes, I have seen your posts, and thanks. I just haven't figured out why these are our "Golden Years" yet.
On this site, we are all the same age dude!! Except maybe that taz dude. :)
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538. txjac
Quoting Grothar:


Yes, I have seen your posts, and thanks. I just haven't figured out why these are our "Golden Years" yet.


You're "golden" to us groth ...things were just not the same when you were down and out for thos couple of days ..you're a treasure here
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Quoting MelbourneTom:


Grother, I know you don't really know me and have probably only seen a few of my posts over several years. I just wanted to say that I am glad to see you back and I assume that you are feeling better. Good to see you again on a regular basis. Tom


Yes, I have seen your posts, and thanks. I just haven't figured out why these are our "Golden Years" yet.
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TROPICAL WAVE IS ANALYZED FROM 23N52W TO 11N56W MOVING W AT
15-20 KT. THE WAVE IS EMBEDDED WITHIN AN AREA OF MAXIMUM DEEP
LAYER MOISTURE AS DEPICTED ON TOTAL PRECIPITABLE WATER IMAGERY.
LAST VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGERY OF THE DAY SHOWED BROAD CYCLONIC
TURNING IN THE LOW-LEVEL CLOUD FIELD IN THE VICINITY OF THE WAVE
AXIS. SCATTERED SHOWERS/ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS ARE WITHIN 70 NM
ON EITHER SIDE OF THE WAVE AXIS.

Interesting...should be monitored?
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That could be a sign of things to come. (early frosts) I wonder if Dade County will get snow flurries/frosts again this year.

Kind of interesting, to say the least last year. Lost a lot of plants too...
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533. JLPR2
It sort of looks like Maria developed a Mid-level circulation in her convection.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8735

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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.