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 PlazaRed:

Possibly the biggest problem humanity has ever had to deal with, Awesome to say the least.
If its true then the future direction of all nations and commercial existence will be in jeopardy.
Might just be caused by an increase in the burning of carbon based compounds in an oxygen rich atmosphere, leading to an increase in CO2.
The rest might just be history,one day.


Are you scared?
"Yes!!"
Well, you shouldnt be.
"Why?"
Because you're on Scare Tactics!
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Quoting ScottLincoln:


Define "significantly lower?"


yay.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


Going back to the old avatar, huh?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
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479 tropicofcancer "Obviously these "cool teachers" didn't teach you how to spell!"

We don't do Whack-a-Typo here...
...unless the typo itself ends up converting a sentence into a nonsequitur that tickles the funnybone*.
We all typo, we all misspell. Waste of weather/geophysics blog space to point them out.
Plus you've just risked getting severely stomped on by "those in the know" around here.

* Yes, I do know about 'non sequitur' and 'funny bone'. I prefer my own variants, as well as my own punctuation rules.

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Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
5:00PM Update
*Click images to magnify (images can further be magnified in Link Window by clicking anywhere on it)


Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5313
"The Chart" really tells the story.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
Indeed.




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024
WHXX01 KWBC 170004
CHGHUR
TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
0004 UTC SAT SEP 17 2011

DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.
PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE
AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.

ATLANTIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR

DISTURBANCE INVEST (AL972011) 20110917 0000 UTC

...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...
110917 0000 110917 1200 110918 0000 110918 1200

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 10.7N 21.0W 11.2N 22.8W 11.5N 25.0W 11.9N 27.7W
BAMD 10.7N 21.0W 11.0N 22.8W 11.2N 24.8W 11.3N 26.7W
BAMM 10.7N 21.0W 11.2N 22.7W 11.6N 24.7W 11.7N 27.0W
LBAR 10.7N 21.0W 11.5N 23.8W 12.5N 26.9W 13.4N 30.0W
SHIP 20KTS 26KTS 34KTS 41KTS
DSHP 20KTS 26KTS 34KTS 41KTS

...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...
110919 0000 110920 0000 110921 0000 110922 0000

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 12.8N 31.1W 15.3N 39.2W 18.3N 47.0W 21.0N 52.8W
BAMD 11.7N 28.7W 14.2N 33.2W 17.1N 38.1W 18.9N 41.6W
BAMM 12.2N 29.8W 14.2N 36.2W 15.7N 43.1W 15.6N 50.0W
LBAR 14.6N 32.9W 18.3N 37.8W 23.8N 38.8W 29.4N 38.2W
SHIP 45KTS 45KTS 38KTS 38KTS
DSHP 45KTS 45KTS 38KTS 38KTS

...INITIAL CONDITIONS...
LATCUR = 10.7N LONCUR = 21.0W DIRCUR = 280DEG SPDCUR = 18KT
LATM12 = 10.0N LONM12 = 17.3W DIRM12 = 281DEG SPDM12 = 20KT
LATM24 = 9.3N LONM24 = 13.3W
WNDCUR = 20KT RMAXWD = 60NM WNDM12 = 20KT
CENPRS = 1009MB OUTPRS = 1011MB OUTRAD = 150NM SDEPTH = S
RD34NE = 0NM RD34SE = 0NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
wind shear is low it seems like

Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
Quoting Tazmanian:





NO
cool
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Quoting BDADUDE:
Theres another fish storm already?





NO
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
544. JLPR2
Quoting Tazmanian:




and evere one will start yelling fish storm lol


LOL!

Also, 97L seems to be a mid-level low.

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Quoting Tazmanian:




and evere one will start yelling fish storm lol
Theres another fish storm already?
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Quoting JLPR2:


Yeah.
But nice, now we'll get weather model maps. :D




and evere one will start yelling fish storm lol
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
The full file:

BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_al972011.invest
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201109170000
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
INVEST, AL, L, , , , , 97, 2011, DB, O, 2011091618, 9999999999, , , , , , METWATCH, , AL972011
AL, 97, 2011091600, , BEST, 0, 93N, 133W, 15, 1010, LO, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 97, 2011091606, , BEST, 0, 97N, 153W, 15, 1010, LO, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 97, 2011091612, , BEST, 0, 100N, 173W, 20, 1009, LO, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 97, 2011091618, , BEST, 0, 104N, 192W, 20, 1009, LO, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 97, 2011091700, , BEST, 0, 107N, 210W, 20, 1009, LO, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1011, 150, 60, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,
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540. JLPR2
Quoting Tazmanian:




that was fast


Yeah.
But nice, now we'll get weather model maps. :D
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Here you go, Taz:

BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_al972011.invest
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201109162353
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
INVEST, AL, L, , , , , 97, 2011, DB, O, 2011091618, 9999999999, , , , , , METWATCH, , AL972011
AL, 97, 2011091618, , BEST, 0, 104N, 193W, 20, 0, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,




that was fast
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
Well the first week of jr year was GREAT! i went to jr gg and put meteorology/atmospheric studies as my masters and i hope i can get somewhere with him in colleges and whatnot... it was cold here in Staten Island a chilly 47 from my personal weather station brrrrrr.....
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


Poignant tune, our Friend.
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Quoting FrankZapper:
You're lucky to be alive. Sure it wasn't transformers blowing?


Yes I am lucky to be alive. No It was lightning. I had a great view of it from a tree I spent several hrs in.
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Here you go, Taz:

BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_al972011.invest
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201109162353
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
INVEST, AL, L, , , , , 97, 2011, DB, O, 2011091618, 9999999999, , , , , , METWATCH, , AL972011
AL, 97, 2011091618, , BEST, 0, 104N, 193W, 20, 0, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MANYMOREGOOFSTOCOME:
6 to 8 more? hahahaha and out of the 14 storms this 2 might have real lol the rest garbage


I believe they all met the criterion needed by the NHC to name them.Albeit a lot of the storms this year have had atmospheric issues of one kind or another,making them appear as"garbage", they have all met NHC requirements.They don't sit around over at NHC and say this wave looks like crap,let's name it,to piss off the folks on Doc Masters Blog.
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5234
Quoting Objectivist:

Perhaps 2 deg C globally? The other solar Grand Minima (Maunder and Dalton) produced temperatures sufficient for the Thames River to freeze in the wintertime. :-)


The solar cycle is responsible for almost an order of magnitude less than that.... something like 0.2-0.3C. The difference in solar forcing between today and the Maunder Minimum would be completely overtaken within just a few years to a decade of greenhouse gas emissions at today's present rate. Considering that this lull in solar activity has been ongoing for some time, the effect would probably be even less than that, and it wouldn't be immediate due to the climate system's thermal inertia.
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If you post it.....it will come.


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in the mean time we now have 20% so we could see 97L some time tonight


ABNT20 KNHC 162344
TWOAT

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 PM EDT FRI SEP 16 2011

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER HAS ISSUED THE FINAL ADVISORY ON
HURRICANE MARIA...LOCATED ABOUT 145 MILES NORTH-NORTHEAST OF CAPE
RACE NEWFOUNDLAND. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS SYSTEM CAN BE
FOUND IN HIGH SEAS FORECASTS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE...UNDER AWIPS HEADER NFDHSFAT1 AND WMO HEADER FZNT01 KWBC.

A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM LOCATED ABOUT 400 MILES SOUTHEAST OF THE
SOUTHERN CAPE VERDE ISLANDS IS PRODUCING SCATTERED SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS. SOME GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT OF THIS DISTURBANCE IS
POSSIBLE DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AS IT MOVES WESTWARD AT
10 TO 15 MPH. THIS SYSTEM HAS A LOW CHANCE...20 PERCENT...OF
BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
Quoting Objectivist:

Perhaps 2 deg C globally? The other solar Grand Minima (Maunder and Dalton) produced temperatures sufficient for the Thames River to freeze in the wintertime. :-)

Wow, that's quite a drop. I've read tons of literature, but that's not anything I've seen; can you please provide a link to the page(s) where you've read this? That would be fascinating...
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Quoting FrankZapper:
Does anyone know why thunderstorms are so rare in a hurricane? In Lee recently I did not experience ANY lightening or thunder in NOLA.


I believe the explanation is that hurricanes/tropical systems tend to be dominated by warm rain processes, or collision-coalescence. Static charges that cause lightning are generally related to ice formation in higher clouds, and most thunderstorms and stratiform rain events have their rainfall source with high cloud tops and melting ice. Warm rain processes generally produce infrequent lightning, which makes that type of storm particularly dangerous in flash flooding situations as radar may show a weak thundershower and people may not be alerted by frequent thunder/lightning.
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Quoting FrankZapper:
The entire continental USA is in a VERY tranquil pattern right not. Moderate temperatures and dew points and NO severe weather. Truly the best of times.



Vertical instability rising.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
dont you guys mean Sean? stan was Retired in 2005


I believe you are correct. The "S" storm is supposed to be "Sean".
Member Since: September 5, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 78
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Quoting ScottLincoln:


Define "significantly lower?"

Perhaps 2 deg C globally? The other solar Grand Minima (Maunder and Dalton) produced temperatures sufficient for the Thames River to freeze in the wintertime. :-)
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Quoting FrankZapper:
I often dream about a perfect season 0-0-0 !




AMEN!!!!!
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Quoting usa777:


I was in Bay St louis and saw lots of lightning in Katrina.
You're lucky to be alive. Sure it wasn't transformers blowing?
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dont you guys mean Sean? stan was Retired in 2005
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
Quoting FrankZapper:Does anyone know why thunderstorms are so rare in a hurricane? In Lee recently I did not experience ANY lightening or thunder in NOLA.

Tropical cyclones are warm-core. You need cool air aloft to get electrical storms. I don't know why. Usually lightnig is only found in the outer bands.
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511. JLPR2
Quoting Tazmanian:



stan?


Good point Taz, if Stan forms then that means the time travel machine worked and we are back at 2005. XD
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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.