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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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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Quoting Objectivist:


Possibly good news is that the Sun is going into an extended lull, meaning significantly lower global temps:

http://www.space.com/11960-fading-sunspots-slower -solar-activity-solar-cycle.html


Define "significantly lower?"
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Quoting usa777:


I was in Bay St louis and saw lots of lightning in Katrina.


I heard really loud, strange thunder during Lee, as though it was coming from really high in the atmosphere. I live just outside of NOLA.
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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.
Member Since: May 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1193
18ZGFS is a left-wing model.
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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 was in Bay St louis and saw lots of lightning in Katrina.
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5:00PM Update
*Click images to magnify (images can further be magnified in Link Window by clicking anywhere on it)


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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
In the 18Z GFS:

* Opehlia develops in the Eastern Atlantic, pass to the north of the Caribbean islands, moves NE parallel to the Caribbean islands, moves back SE, and then fizzles out.

* Philippe moves north of Ophelia, and does the same erractic motion.

* Rina forms in the Western Caribbean, makes landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula as a hurricane.

* Stan develops to the west of the Cape Verde Islands.

WOW..




stan?
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
funny thing is they have never been wrong so if it dont happen it will be the first time they were not right


Good job they're not predicting the apocalypse then ;)
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i think that the western(first to develope) most system may have a chance to reach tha antilles an PR/DR
Quoting wunderweatherman123:
with all those cape verdes tracks all over the place! i dont think all of them will go out to sea but its interesting with the carribean storm...

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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Its 2012 after all..

If them there Mayans are right, could get ugly. LOL.


Well, last time we had four years after a cold PDO switch as well as La Nina we had 1950.

If history repeated itself, then it really would be ugly - like ten majors.
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Does anyone know why thunderstorms are so rare in a hurricane? In Lee recently I did not experience ANY lightening or thunder in NOLA.
Member Since: May 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1193
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
In the 18Z GFS:

* Opehlia develops in the Eastern Atlantic, pass to the north of the Caribbean islands, moves NE parallel to the Caribbean islands, moves back SE, and then fizzles out.

* Philippe moves north of Ophelia, and does the same erractic motion.

* Rina forms in the Western Caribbean, makes landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula as a hurricane.

* Stan develops to the west of the Cape Verde Islands.

WOW..

with all those cape verdes tracks all over the place! i dont think all of them will go out to sea but its interesting with the carribean storm...
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485. JLPR2
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
In the 18Z GFS:

* Opehlia develops in the Eastern Atlantic, pass to the north of the Caribbean islands, moves NE parallel to the Caribbean islands, moves back SE, and then fizzles out.

* Philippe moves north of Ophelia, and does the same erractic motion.

* Rina forms in the Western Caribbean, makes landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula as a hurricane.

* Stan develops to the west of the Cape Verde Islands.

WOW..



Nogaps went nuts too.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
funny thing is they have never been wrong so if it dont happen it will be the first time they were not right


I'll bet you big money it won't be a big bang for Tampa Bay :)
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Its 2012 after all..

If them there Mayans are right, could get ugly. LOL.
funny thing is they have never been wrong so if it dont happen it will be the first time they were not right
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If the 18z GFS is right there could be up to two systems by Tuesday off Africa. Our last tastes of the CV season more then likely. Hints again at development in the Caribbean down the road.
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In the 18Z GFS:

* Opehlia develops in the Eastern Atlantic, pass to the north of the Caribbean islands, moves NE parallel to the Caribbean islands, moves back SE, and then fizzles out.

* Philippe moves north of Ophelia, and does the same erractic motion.

* Rina forms in the Western Caribbean, makes landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula as a hurricane.

* Stan develops to the west of the Cape Verde Islands.

WOW..

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"i can remeber back in school we had 3 teachers and they were all cool... but somehow i never fell alseep to early and loved to watch mchales navy. when i drive i watch the street signs"

"Things were so diffent... i can remeber when ice cream was 10cents and we would all pool out money and have fun"

Obviously these "cool teachers" didn't teach you how to spell!
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hear me now when i say
this season will not go out on a wimper
but with a bang
maybe a very very big bang
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Its 2012 after all..

If them there Mayans are right, could get ugly. LOL.
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Quoting MANYMOREGOOFSTOCOME:
good lord should we stock up now?


Yes, because there will be a hurricane making landfall near Charleston, SC on August 11, 2012.

Dry air is going to be a problem 48 hours a landfall, so it will weaken to a minimal hurricane by the time it makes landfall, after a peak of 145 mph to the north of Puerto Rico.
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Quoting Abacosurf:
So....what is AGW?


If your question is serious, "Anthropogenic Global Warming". The real question is, if warming is occurring is it in fact "anthropogenic"?

Possibly good news is that the Sun is going into an extended lull, meaning significantly lower global temps:

http://www.space.com/11960-fading-sunspots-slower -solar-activity-solar-cycle.html
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i this looked at the 18z and the 18z gos nuts with name storms
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Very random guess:

2012 Atlantic hurricane season:
* 15-19 named storms
* 8-12 hurricanes
* 3-5 major hurricanes
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page7comment31 aspectre "A closer look at HurricaneMaria's 6hour-long straightline projection crossing over NovaScotia.
Copy&paste 47.113n54.077w, yyt, 46.360n52.582w, 46.5n54.0w-50.023n49.204w into the GreatCircleMapper for more info.
Copy&paste yyt airport into GoogleMaps for a more detailed adjustable-scaled look at NovaScotia.
322 petewxwatcher "You meant Newfoundland :) "
332 victoriahurricane "That's not Nova Scotia..."

!THANKS! with 'plus'es. Corrections made.
Usually catch my (copy&paste form-filling) storm-path mistakes... eventually.
But since that wasn't a copy&paste job, very low odds of me catching that without your prompting.
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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.

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