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 Abacosurf:
So....what is AGW?


Shhh.
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Quoting Tazmanian:


nop
It may
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Quoting PlazaRed:

I think we might be up to 4 of those quakes now.
Evening Everybody.

You are correct; there have now been five decent-sized quakes off the northeast coast of Japan in the past two hours: a 6.6, a 5.2, a 5.5, a 6.2, and a 5.6.
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i want too see a name storm
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
There is a very good chance our current lull will end within the next week. All of the models show development of at least one tropical system out in the Eastern Atlantic by 120 hours out. Additionally, the NOGAPS, CMC, GFS, and ECMWF all show TWO systems developing out in the Eastern Atlantic by the weekend (next week).

People are getting caught off guard by this lull, which won't last much longer.


nop
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
There is a very good chance our current lull will end within the next week. All of the models show development of at least one tropical system out in the Eastern Atlantic by 120 hours out. Additionally, the NOGAPS, CMC, GFS, and ECMWF all show TWO systems developing out in the Eastern Atlantic by the weekend (next week).

People are getting caught off guard by this lull, which won't last much longer.
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OK then.
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It is becoming more evident everyday that the hurricane season in the northern GOM is OVER for this year. The fronts are coming down on a regular basis now. Time to use those batteries and have a flashlight party. All those crackers, cookies and chips and dips get ready!
Member Since: May 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1193
Quoting milo617:
Please don't GrO.

Link


plus 1 billion. Please dont gro....:)
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Quoting WeatherWx:
Taz why is it when someone disagrees with you, you treat them like a troll? Wasnt it you who ridiculed someone for saying that Maria was going to be a fish storm, and it ended up being true?


Maria just hit Newfoundland.
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That can't be a good sign. 6.2, 4.7, 4.6, 6.6, 5.2, 5.5, 6.2 starting yesterday.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Keeper would normally do this, but in the past hour, there have been three earthquakes off the eastern coast of Japan a bit north of March's monster: a 5.2, a 5.5, and a 6.6.

I think we might be up to 4 of those quakes now.
Evening Everybody.
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Quoting JLPR2:


LOL! True!

That one at the lower latitude inside Africa just got my attention.



That one is two days from emerging. The one with the 10% looks good right now. Maybe invest tonight or tommorow morning.
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383. JLPR2
Quoting KoritheMan:


Meh. How many times does the MJO behave as forecast?


LOL! True!

That one at the lower latitude inside Africa just got my attention.

Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8733
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 MiamiHurricanes09:
Caribbean development is going to find difficulty materializing throughout the next week or two.



Meh. How many times does the MJO behave as forecast?
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 584 Comments: 20829
I got another question:

1. Which hurricane model is the most trust worthy?
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There was a hail storm in Yauco and Lajas, Puerto Rico at 3:30pm
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I got 3 questions:

1. Will Hurricane Irene be retired when the World Meteorological Organization reunites in 2012?

2. Will Tropical Storm Lee be reitred when the World Meteorological Organization when they reunites in 2012?

As i observed they are the storms that have caused the most damage this year, also for my last question

3. There's a Tropical Wave coming out of Africa that has a 10% chance of formation in the next 48 hours any news our any thoughts where this African wave is heading?
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Quoting hurricanejunky:


You call yesterday insanity? Heck, I've seen it alot worse on here than that. Back when JFV was in his prime this place was chaotic with profanity flying and all kinds of fun stuff. Yesterday was just some heated debate. There are alot of very sensitive people on here these days.



True. Some people get mad very easily and start calling other people names.

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Quoting Chicklit:


It's starting out pretty low so may have a chance against the projected wind shear. Also may be stronger earlier than expected.

Why do they use the same color for the CONUs and the wind. Makes it really hard to read.
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Quoting Neapolitan:

Correct. Igor peaked on the 15th, and Julia was also a major most of the day. Karl was a major for a single TWO on the 17th. Between the 15th, 16th, and 17th last year, ACE rose by a pretty remarkable 32.2775 to 116.26. (After trailing most of the season, 2010's ACE surpassed 2011's back on the 12th.)


I didn't realize it was more than 30 points in 3 days. That must be incredibly rare.
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373. JLPR2
ULL bringing rain to the islands.

Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8733
Quoting WeatherWx:


Nice site name "wunderground" Go research the history of what this name means and come back and lecture us! Hint:The history has nothing to do with weather


I'm not lecturing anyone. Just stating the fact that if he could do as he pleases in his site. As simple as that
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Caribbean development is going to find difficulty materializing throughout the next week or two.

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368. JLPR2
Quoting 3211976:
The GFS has performed much better than the EURO this year.



Yeah, I still consider the EURO a great one, but the GFS has done better.

Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8733
The GFS has performed much better than the EURO this year.
Quoting JLPR2:


Yeah, this year I'm trusting the GFS till 90hrs.

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please dont feed the trolls
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I think if the wave near CV has a good chance of moving west like the GFS is hinting. The Euro is moving another system west and then NW.

The diference between the GFS and EURO is the timing and speed of  the system they develop.

The Euro is developing a wave that will come out of Africain a couple of days and the GFS is developing the system that is currently near CV. The GFS also develops another system behind the current CV wave and move it NW .
Quoting JLPR2:


Look at the model run before posting.

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Quoting petewxwatcher:


There was a big burst of ACE last year about this time. Almost 30 points in 3 days.

Correct. Igor peaked on the 15th, and Julia was also a major most of the day. Karl was a major for a single TWO on the 17th. Between the 15th, 16th, and 17th last year, ACE rose by a pretty remarkable 32.2775 to 116.26. (After trailing most of the season, 2010's ACE surpassed 2011's back on the 12th.)
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Quoting MANYMOREGOOFSTOCOME:
i trust the models up to 1 hour after that its a crap shoot


*facepalm*
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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.