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 Skyepony:
You have to tell your computer to always accept that invalid certificate..



yes but why does it show up for someone that is not even visiting the site?
Member Since: September 19, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 4066
709. Skyepony (Mod)
You have to tell your computer to always accept that invalid certificate..
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707. Skyepony (Mod)
Tropical RAMSDIS is zoomed in on a blob in the EPAC.
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Quoting DJMedik91:


I am and I'm using my cell phone.


just ignore it,it dont mean squat
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Quoting Bielle:
Is anyone else getting an "invalid certificate" notification tied to a DND (Navy) url when you refresh this page?

always
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Quoting Tazmanian:


i vote for bams model
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Quoting Tazmanian:




and evere one will start yelling fish storm lol


I'd have to go back and look,but I think all the storms this tear have affected some landmass.

Arlene-Mexico
Bret-Bahamas
Cindy- Bermuda
Don-Cuba,Mexico,USA
Emily-Haiti,Dominican Republic,Bahamas,Florida
Franklin-May be the that didn't affect any landmass
Gert-Bermuda
Harvey-Honduras,Belize,Mexico,Barbados,St Lucia,ey el
Irene-Antigua,Puerto Rico,D.R.,Bahamas,USA,Canada
Jose-Bermuda
Katia-Scotland
Lee-USA
Marie- Virgin Islands,Puerto Rico,Bermuda,Canada
Nate-Mexico
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693. Skyepony (Mod)
19W SONCA
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


You're obsessed with commenting on people who post #666. :P

XD
The accursed comments.
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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. ;-)
Who was speaking? Link please, it would be fascinating.

Please do take it over there.

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Shhh... DONT feed them, please!
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Quoting FrankZapper:
We in the USA have been very fortunate this year, except for Irene and Lee.

We extend our hand to 3rd world countries such as Somalia and Pakistan and stand ready even though we are in great financial crisis ourselves.


Lee doesn't count. At least as a tropical cyclone.
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Quoting EasyRiderX:
Is that cape verde wave the storm the GFS and EMCWF develope and bring to the Caribbean?


They don't bring it into the Caribbean any longer, but yes, it is one of the ones the models develop it.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30245
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Your comment is #666 XD


You're obsessed with commenting on people who post #666. :P
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30245
Quoting twincomanche:
CONUS blocker is still up as far as far as CV storms are concerned.


And it always is this time of year.
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We in the USA have been very fortunate this year, except for Irene and Lee.

We extend our hand to 3rd world countries such as Somalia and Pakistan and stand ready even though we are in great financial crisis ourselves.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Is that cape verde wave the storm the GFS and EMCWF develope and bring to the Caribbean?
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So sorry to hear that Scott, glad you made it thru OK. Sounds like a terrible ordeal. Anyone noticing SFWMD.gov's site is down right now? The hurricane model plots are down as well...
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Quoting RussianWinter:

We in Florida need to watch more than anyone else in the USA in general.

Your comment is #666 XD
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Quoting LargoFl:
we in florida need to watch this one

We in Florida need to watch more than anyone else in the USA in general.
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Quoting FrankZapper:
It is so pleasant here tonight. No GW talk. Just hard tropical talk.


I spoke too soon.
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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. ;-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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.