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 washingtonian115:
Yes.Now I ended up in Antartica.Very cold.I can see penguins from my house.


Phew.. I get it now. For a minute I thought you were a congressman.

Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9700
Quoting PensacolaDoug:


"War and Peace" Leo Tolstoy


The guy's got to sleep sometime.:)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Quoting twincomanche:
I'm still watching both that feature down in the BOC and the one on the South side also.


Watching it.... Hell, I am pulling for it at this point. Never thought I would see the day, where I would be willing to consider something tropical to help fix our big Texas thirst, especially after what happened right around now three years ago....

The more cold fronts that drop down, our chances really begin to diminish (Note: I would normally be pretty happy about this)
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Quoting Grothar:


Try reading, "The Sun Also Rises" by Hemingway.


"War and Peace" Leo Tolstoy
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Quoting MarcoIslandCat5:
wow slow night here.. nothing to read :( off to bed now night all


Try reading, "The Sun Also Rises" by Hemingway.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH NUMBER 849
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
710 PM CDT MON SEP 12 2011

THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF

UPPER MICHIGAN
EXTREME NORTHERN WISCONSIN
LAKE MICHIGAN
LAKE SUPERIOR

EFFECTIVE THIS MONDAY NIGHT FROM 710 PM UNTIL MIDNIGHT CDT.

HAIL TO 2 INCHES IN DIAMETER...THUNDERSTORM WIND GUSTS TO 70
MPH...AND DANGEROUS LIGHTNING ARE POSSIBLE IN THESE AREAS.

THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 100
STATUTE MILES EAST AND WEST OF A LINE FROM 70 MILES NORTH
NORTHEAST OF MARQUETTE MICHIGAN TO 50 MILES WEST OF IRON MOUNTAIN
MICHIGAN. FOR A COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE
ASSOCIATED WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU9).
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Quoting Unfriendly:


Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

PS Sun is just now going down, about 15 mins ago, in Baltimore, 25 lat miles north of DC.
So you are either:
on massive amounts of drugs;
going blind;
or having a stroke.

At 6:30, I was wearing sunglasses driving to the store.


If ya'll gotta expain it, he or she is too dumb to understand it.
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ESL by LSU GOES-13 Low Cloud Image Loop
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wow slow night here.. nothing to read :( off to bed now night all
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


RAIN!


Rain? What is that?
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Is that somthing trying to form in the BOC ?
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Quoting Grothar:


Hey, Pat. The good thing about Tromso is that we never had a sunset in summer. :)


Im still cold though.


The Northern Lights was da best...
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Quoting Patrap:


Hey, Pat. The good thing about Tromso is that we never had a sunset in summer. :)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
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Wow, the blog is really active tonight.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
Quoting ncstorm:


I'm glad to see TEXAS in green!

What part of Texas you talkin' 'bout, honey? Ain't no rain here! (I can almost remember what rain looks, sounds, and smells like. Ah, heaven.)
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Do I have to talk in baby language?.Okay..big big bright round ball go down earlier than 2010.it go down at 6:30 instead of 8:00 P.M.


Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

PS Sun is just now going down, about 15 mins ago, in Baltimore, 25 lat miles north of DC.
So you are either:
on massive amounts of drugs;
going blind;
or having a stroke.

At 6:30, I was wearing sunglasses driving to the store.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting mossyhead:
Is the person a he or she?

she.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Maybe she lives in Washington D.C., Antarctica?

idk, lol..
Is the person a he or she?
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Quoting wildheron:
public blog, expect comments. do a WU mail for private. is it possible that a bigger builing was built that it causing the sensation of the sun setting earlier? back to lurking
2 days ago he said he lived in Washington DC, but now he is saying he is in Antarctica.
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Quoting mossyhead:
He did say that.


Maybe she lives in Washington D.C., Antarctica?

idk, lol..
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


I thought you lived in Washington D.C.? That's what you said a day or two ago.
He did say that.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
THIS.Is exsacally what I said a few months ago on the blog.So since Levi said it doesn't make since several other bloggers have to jump down my friggin throat?.Followrs this was a conversation between two people.Why are others involved?
public blog, expect comments. do a WU mail for private. is it possible that a bigger builing was built that it causing the sensation of the sun setting earlier? back to lurking
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I think those of us living on the Northern GOM are getting near the end of the risk this year for a strong hurricane hit. Fronts are coming, high pressure with dry air is building, SSTs are falling. WHO DAT!
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I see a low has been added to the surface map.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8242
Quoting zoomiami:


This is one of the best posts I've seen in a while!


Glad you enjoyed it. :)

LOL
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


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

Sorry XD


This is one of the best posts I've seen in a while!
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


RAIN!


I'm glad to see TEXAS in green!
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 13451
Quoting ncstorm:


RAIN!
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 13451
HPC is predicting the system off the NC coast in 7 days..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 13451
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


You can "go into town" in Alaska?
LOL, but he won't be back until day after tomorrow.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8242
Evening again all... some sophisticated topic for babies being bruited about here...

I think just about everybody could do with a bit of a break....

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Quoting washingtonian115:
THIS.Is exsacally what I said a few months ago on the blog.So since Levi said it doesn't make since several other bloggers have to jump down my friggin throat?.Followrs this was a conversation between two people.Why are others involved?
Because it is a blog. If it was a conversation between two people you should maybe WUmail Levi instead of on an open blog. BTW, sunset in Grand Cayman today is at 6:33 pm EST or 7:33 EDT.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8242
MARIA! You're not bothering anybody from here on out, so why don't you impressive us?!



EDIT: Well, I can't forget about Bermuda...Hope it passes between the USA and Bermuda, without bringing bad weather to either landmasses.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
Well, 18 Z develops a system again and takes it into Veracruz, MX, but not until 384. Seems like each run, it develops the system later and later.

Link
Member Since: August 27, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1662
Quoting JLPR2:
According to radar estimates, 8 inches have fallen in the last few hours in Ceiba, PR.



Wow. Maria causing a lot of problems.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
THIS.Is exsacally what I said a few months ago on the blog.So since Levi said it doesn't make since several other bloggers have to jump down my friggin throat?.Followrs this was a conversation between two people.Why are others involved?


Me, me, pick me! I think the reason other people are getting involved is because this is a "public" forum. It's kind of like walking on the boardwalk and someone drops trousers for someone else. Even though it wasn't meant for the rest of us, we noticed the silliness and said, "hey! Quit walking round here with your pants on the ground! Looking like a fool with your pants on the ground!"
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I will say this for the current discussion. Down here in the Panhandle we are seeing a lot of cloud formations that normally don't occur for a few months generally given the time of year. Seems the idea of an early winter type of weather setup may very well be occurring.
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Quoting gulfbreeze:
YOU ARE NUTS!!

^

THAT is jumping down your throat ;)
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
Quoting washingtonian115:
THIS.Is exsacally what I said a few months ago on the blog.So since Levi said it doesn't make since several other bloggers have to jump down my friggin throat?.Followrs this was a conversation between two people.Why are others involved?


LOL, it's not because "Levi" said it. It's because it is a well known scientific fact!
You are fighting a battle that is impossible to win. It could be cloudiness/weather or where you are viewing the horizon from that may be skewing your perspective.
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Quoting Levi32:
And the main slips back into pointless bickering....

I'm going into town to buy some things. Back later.


You can "go into town" in Alaska?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
And the main slips back into pointless bickering....

I'm going into town to buy some things. Back later.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
. never mind
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Do I have to talk in baby language?.Okay..big big bright round ball go down earlier than 2010.it go down at 6:30 instead of 8:00 P.M.


If that's the case, tropical cyclones are the least of our worries.

sunrise/sunset doesn't vary 90 minutes from year to year.

Big bright round ball is highly predictable, as is the orbit of the small blue ball around it, as well as the way the little blue ball spins.
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.