Hurricane Maria rushes towards Newfoundland

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:41 PM GMT on September 16, 2011

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Hurricane Maria is bearing down on Newfoundland, Canada, as a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds. The wind shear over Maria turned out to be much lower than was predicted yesterday, allowing the storm to organize into the season's third hurricane. Latest satellite imagery shows that Maria is steadily degrading, with a hole in the storm's southwest eyewall, and the cloud pattern distorted by 30 - 50 knots of wind shear. The eyewall has collapsed, as seen on recent microwave satellite imagery. Maria's very fast forward speed of 45 mph means that only locations on the right (strong) side will experience hurricane force winds. With the center of Maria expected to pass over the extreme southeast tip of Newfoundland, only a small region of the island near Cape Race will see the powerful right-front quadrant of the storm. Winds at Sagona Island on the south shore of Newfoundland were sustained at 50 mph at 7:30 am local time, but have dropped to 37 mph at 9:10 am. Winds in the capital of St. John's have been rising steadily this morning, and were sustained at 37 mph, gusting to 46 mph, at 10:30 am local time. Winds will probably reach sustained speeds of 55 - 65 mph between 1 pm and 5 pm today in St. Johns, causing considerable tree damage and power failures. Radar out of Newfoundland shows the hurricane has been dumping heavy rains over the southeastern portion of the island this morning; rainfall has been under a half inch thus far at most locations, though. Along with wind damage, heavy rains leading to flash flooding are the main threat from Maria; last year, heavy rains of up to 8 inches from Hurricane Igor caused major damage in Newfoundland. Fortunately, Maria's rains are not expected to be as heavy as Igor's. According to the Canadian Hurricane Center, rivers in eastern Newfoundland are currently at average to below average levels, which will limit the amount of flooding. Maria's storm surge will arrive when the normal astronomical tide will be going out, limiting the damage the expected 3-foot storm surge will do.

Yesterday, Maria brought a brief 8-minute period of sustained winds of tropical storm force, 39 mph, to the Bermuda airport. Bermuda picked up 0.20" of rain from Maria.


Figure 1. Radar image of Tropical Storm Maria taken at 10:13 am EDT September 15, 2011. Image credit: Bermuda Weather Service.

Newfoundland's second consecutive year with a hurricane
If Maria strikes Newfoundland as a hurricane, this will be the province's second consecutive year with a hurricane strike, something that has never occurred since hurricane record keeping began in 1851. Last year, Hurricane Igor killed one person on Newfoundland, and damage exceeded $100 million, making Igor the most damaging tropical cyclone in Newfoundland history. A summary of the impact of Igor prepared by Environment Canada put it this way:

"Hurricane Igor and its severe impacts certainly represent a rare event in Newfoundland history which has been described as the worst in memory. In statistical terms, this was effectively a 50 - 100 year event depending on how one chooses to define it. There are no hurricanes/post tropical events of this magnitude striking Newfoundland in the modern era. Hurricane Juan in Nova Scotia was the last Atlantic Canadian hurricane to cause extreme damage. Prior to the naming of hurricanes, the 1935 Newfoundland Hurricane 75 years ago was of similar intensity."


Figure 2. A ravine carved by Hurricane Igor's flood waters washed out the Trans-Canada Highway, isolating Southeast Newfoundland from the rest of the province. Image credit: CBC News.

Elsewhere in the tropics
All of the models have been sporadically predicting development of a tropical wave 5 - 7 days from now between Africa and the Lesser Antilles. The location and timing of the hypothetical storm have been inconsistent, and there is at present no signs of anything brewing. The NOGAPS model continues to predict a strong tropical disturbance or tropical depression could form in the Caribbean 6 - 7 days from now, near Jamaica. None of the other models is supporting this idea, so the NOGAPS model is probably wrong on this scenario. I'll have an update Saturday afternoon.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting will40:



well it is supposed to show it when you visit the navy site


i thought i saw where some people said they didnt see the warning page with different browsers
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Quoting DFWjc:
Hey fellow Texans? Is anyone else enjoying the downpours of rains?



glad you guys are finally getting it . i doubt anyone else needs it more
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please help us all we have been infested with TROLLS!!
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805. DFWjc
Hey fellow Texans? Is anyone else enjoying the downpours of rains?
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54 people taken to hospital 3 dead so far
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803. j2008
Quoting OopsIDiditAgain:


who is levi?
Levi32, hes probably the most respected blogger on along with Grothar.
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Quoting Skyepony:
You have to tell your computer to always accept that invalid certificate..


And how do you do that. You can use WMail if you think it is too much for the blog. I would be grateful for the help.
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Quoting FrankZapper:
I think he passed away.


No he is still around. just not around here.
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You can watch a live stream at KTVN tv out of Reno
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


I see it everytime I visit the site irregardless of which browser I am using,shows up in all of them. thats just me



well it is supposed to show it when you visit the navy site
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795. j2008
Quoting FrankZapper:
I think he passed away.

I hope not, he sure will be missed.:/ Is Levi still around sometimes??
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Any news about the air-race crash in Reno?


I saw 3 dead 75 injured,25 critically
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Any news about the air-race crash in Reno?
This is speculation but so far it seems maybe he had a high speed stall although he was 74 so it may have been medical.
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Quoting CaptainKid:


The official count is 32 dead and about twice that injured when a P51 had mechanical difficulties and the pilot lost control and it dived into a box in front of the main stands containing people.
It is very sad. The Pilot was a long time veteran of flying and well respected.

Many news agencies have posted eye witness reports on the web if you care to learn more details.

32 dead, wow. latest we have here is 12 dead 75 injured, many critical.
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.
Member Since: May 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1193
Quoting DJMedik91:


I figured. Just thought it was odd that everyone else was seeing it on a regular browser, and I see it on my cell phones internet app. Thanks!


I see it everytime I visit the site irregardless of which browser I am using,shows up in all of them. thats just me
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Speaking of the immense threat posed by our unimpeded burning of fossil fuels, the wonderful Angela Fritz has posted an excellent entry over on her blog. Anyone who cares about the world their children will inherit should check it out. The lady knows her stuff; Dr. Masters chose well. ;-)


Angela Fritz is very nice. She commented on one of my first blog entries.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Any news about the air-race crash in Reno?


The official count was 2 then 6 then 12 dead (so far) there is an estimate that it may go up to 32 or more, and about twice that injured when a P51 had mechanical difficulties and the pilot lost control and it dived into a box in front of the main stands containing people.
It is very sad. The Pilot was a long time veteran of flying and well respected.

Many news agencies have posted eye witness reports on the web if you care to learn more details.
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781. j2008
Quoting NEFLWATCHING:
Knew the day would come, but I have to say that I miss the old regulars. Can't recall the last time that beachfox, surfmom, et al. blogged. Now that everyone's been minused, there is little left to read. Now that Gro pulled the plug, the air is a little thinner. Hopefully pottery, patrap and others will stick around. Aquak, you too - we need ya'. You guys are appreciated.

Grothar is gone?? :/ No wonder the blog is in a state of decline.
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Quoting rkay1:
What is this for? A memorial for the blog?



IMHO, just a relevant commentary on the human condition.
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"just think. Every time an AGWer farts they must feel guilty that they are polluting the environment with emissions! "oops I did it again"

Hey, we all leave...errr...footprints...
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Quoting rkay1:
Nice job on exploiting the situation and spamming your blog.  Mr. Masters will not appreciate you stealing his sheep.

Watch out! Watch out!
Member Since: May 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1193
Quoting AussieStorm:

Any news about the air-race crash in Reno?


Last I heard is that it was an 80 year old pilot in a P51 Mustang. It did a nose dive right next to the grandstand. Definitely mass casualties, and unconfirmed reports of fatalities.
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Knew the day would come, but I have to say that I miss the old regulars. Can't recall the last time that beachfox, surfmom, et al. blogged. Now that everyone's been minused, there is little left to read. Now that Gro pulled the plug, the air is a little thinner. Hopefully pottery, patrap and others will stick around. Aquak, you too - we need ya'. You guys are appreciated.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

is your blog connected WU or somewhere else?
Wunderground.

I've been busy lately, so I haven't been able to update it in a while...but it'll do for now.
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


just ignore it,it dont mean squat


I figured. Just thought it was odd that everyone else was seeing it on a regular browser, and I see it on my cell phones internet app. Thanks!
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Quoting twincomanche:
Most of the old timers and fun folk have left the building.
From what I understand, not of their own choice. Many were banned without explanation in a seemingly willy-nilly way. That's upset some of the "old-timers" or "funny folk" who don't quite understand either. And what's left at the moment is a shell of a community....but maybe that yellow circle in the EATL will resucitate what's left.
That 97L is moving west.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I was posting earlier that in times when that the blog gets hectic, feel free to head over to my blog and post there. It'll be monitored far better than this blog.

is your blog connected WU or somewhere else?
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interesting little spinning cell north of kw
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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.