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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Does anyone has the latest shear forecast for the Caribbean?
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14545
1210. Patrap
LSU Earth Scan Lab



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Quoting DJMedik91:


Oh I know it's a cycle. But we've also seen increased solar activity the past century. I know right now it is not a favored explanation due to a lack of firm evidence, but thats just because we've only recently began investigating it.

I guess I like to explore all possibilities before I make conclusions.

Nothing wrong with exploring; that's the best way to learn, if you ask me. But just be sure what you read is valid. It's not correct to claim that "we've just now begun investigating" solar activity's part in overall warming; scientists have for many decades been tracking and looking at that effect (sunspot record have been kept since the 1600s). The fact is, there is no correlation between solar activity and the strong warming during the past 40 years. (And if there is, it's a negative one: as the sun's activity has faded, global temperatures have risen.)

I wish you the best of luck in your quest.
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1208. Patrap


NOAA Climate Change Indicators




Global surface temperature (top, blue) and the Sun's energy received at the top of Earth's atmosphere (red, bottom). Solar energy has been measured by satellites since 1978.


The amount of solar energy received at the top of our atmosphere has followed its natural 11-year cycle of small ups and downs, but with no net increase. Over the same period, global temperature has risen markedly. This indicates that it is extremely unlikely that solar influence has been a significant driver of global temperature change over several decades.
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1206. txjac
I apologize for breaking in with a rain statement while others are watching the waves ...

It rained for about 10 minutes at my place ...and I have total cloud cover ...nice, gentle rain. I had to go outside and watch it ...it smelled wonderful!
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Quoting Skyepony:
"Solar effects from the sun can create an extra drag on satellites in space because they can heat the Earth's atmosphere, causing it to expand, agency officials have said."

This is a well understood cycle..not what is currently causing the sea ice & glaciers to melt more than normal.


Oh I know it's a cycle. But we've also seen increased solar activity the past century. I know right now it is not a favored explanation due to a lack of firm evidence, but thats just because we've only recently began investigating it.

I guess I like to explore all possibilities before I make conclusions.
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1204. Skyepony (Mod)
Fresh OSCAT
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"Parts of England are still considered to be experiencing a drought, with low ground water levels despite the wet summer, the Environment Agency said.

Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, west Norfolk and parts of Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire remain in drought due to 2011's exceptionally dry spring.

September's rainfall for central and eastern England has so far been about 30% of the long-term monthly average.

Other areas in England and Wales had received between 41% and 65%."

Link

Lincolnshire's just south of here, guess they've been a bit unlucky.

Coolest since '93, yet some places still not getting rain.
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

1928 Okeechobee hurricane. It hit PR as a Cat 4/5.
That hurricane is known in our history and tradition as "huracan de San Felipe", the anenometer in San Juan broke down,when it registered a 180mph gust, so it's consider in the island a cat 5, sustained winds were estimated around 155-165 mph. It caused hundreds of casualtities and total destruction of the island.As a child I heard my mother and grandmother narrating their experience, over and over again during hurricane season.
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PR gets it again, very far out in time though!

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GFS similars solutions for the past several days

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Quoting HuracandelCaribe:
I think what the models are hinting is a combination of the wave at 30w and 97l to start moving west as one system on Monday/Tuesday



Yes,12z GFS does the same.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14545
GFS has been very consistent in bringing 97l to the islands, going to have to keep an eye on this one....

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Quoting scooster67:
Everyone have a great day. Heading out to a Gator Football party and wearing my UT shirt and hat. Maybe i live through it maybe not :)


Good luck with that! At least the party will have some Gator bait! :)
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1196. Skyepony (Mod)
"Solar effects from the sun can create an extra drag on satellites in space because they can heat the Earth's atmosphere, causing it to expand, agency officials have said."

This is a well understood cycle..not what is currently causing the sea ice & glaciers to melt more than normal.
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Quoting JNCali:

I was hoping no one would notice that sentence :/


Lol... And no I don't like those odds either. I wonder if people in those areas will pull out helmets?
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1193. JNCali
Quoting txjac:



Interesting and probably the only kind of rain that we can get.

Thing is, do these come down as a large piece or do they break up?

The article indicates that there could be some large pieces.. they have calculated that there is a 1/3,200 chance of anyone getting hit.. I'm not sure if I like those odds or not ?!
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I think what the models are hinting is a combination of the wave at 30w and 97l to start moving west as one system on Monday/Tuesday
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
That wave near 30W needs to be watched if 97L does not catch up with it and combine. An earlier ASCAT pass caught a closed circulation, albeit broad, with the area of thunderstorms, and vorticity is strong.


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1191. JNCali
Quoting DJMedik91:


Gotta be careful with that article.

"Solar effects from the sun can create an extra drag on satellites in space because they can heat the Earth's atmosphere, causing it to expand, agency officials have said."

A statement like this from NASA might make the AGW faithfuls heads explode.

I was hoping no one would notice that sentence :/
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Everyone have a great day. Heading out to a Gator Football party and wearing my UT shirt and hat. Maybe i live through it maybe not :)
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To the fishes
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
That wave over Western Africa is going to be a problem..Look at it, already has a lot of spin to it:


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Quoting jpsb:
The self righteousness that accompanies quite a few of the AGW alarmists posts is very annoying. I think the skeptic arguments can be summed up in two sentences. 1) The climate system is too complex and chaotic to fully understand. 2) The data does not indicate that the Earth is in a positive feed back warming loop. Now if anyone wishes to dispute this I am more then happy to listen. Just don't bring Big Oil, George Bush, Fox News or any of your other personal baggage into the conservation. And I won't bring in Big Government, Al Gore or MSNBC.

Telling someone they are stupid because they do not agree with you is well stupid. Not to pick on anyone but as an example a poster here wrote the following "I agree with him too on the AGW thing. It's mainly unscientific types who don't get it" Really? Talk about a demonstrably false, self righteous, stupid thing to say on a public blog.

I fully understand being passionate about ones beliefs, but one should always be capable of entertaining the thought that you just might be wrong. One of our times greatest minds Steven Hawkins, the worlds foremost expert on black holes, passionately believed and argued that information would be lost in a black hole. Most people believed him a few did not since they seemed to think that violated one of the basic laws of the universe. Hawkins argued his case for years, guess what, he was wrong. Now if the world foremost expert can be passionately wrong in his field of expertise maybe you and I can be wrong too. Just saying.

There has been a lot of discussion lately on people leaving the blog. It is the nastiness, the personal attacks and the self righteousness of a minority of the posters here that drives some folks away. Yes it is Dr Master blog and yes Dr Masters in an expert climatologist any yes Dr Master is a believer in AGW. Is Dr Master wrong about AGW? I don't know that he is, but he might be. Thus far I am unconvinced. I very much enjoy reading his opinions on the subject and just in case he might be right I have done all I personally can to reduce my carbon foot print.

I intend to post a lot more on the subject of global warming. I am not a troll, it is not settled science and I won't be (willingly) leaving this blog any time soon (knock on wood).
Well is good that you admit that you are not convinced, but that you respect those of us that are convinced otherwise,just stay tune, open minded, and try not mix your political views with science.
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That wave near 30W needs to be watched if 97L does not catch up with it and combine. An earlier ASCAT pass caught a closed circulation, albeit broad, with the area of thunderstorms, and vorticity is strong.

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Michigan, West Virginia, and South Carolina are the only states in the USA that have not had a disaster declaration so far this year.

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1185. txjac
Quoting JNCali:
interesting 'rain' in the forecast.. NASA has a satellite getting ready to re enter the atmosphere on or about the 23rd of this month.. anywhere from N. Canada to Tiera del Fuego.. I think Texas is right in between.. NASA Article link here oh, and they suggest that if you do find any of the debris.. not to touch it!



Interesting and probably the only kind of rain that we can get.

Thing is, do these come down as a large piece or do they break up?
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That wave over Western Africa is going to be a problem..Look at it, already has a lot of spin to it:

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Quoting aquak9:
hi basti- our Doc is doing well, running a pharmacy dept at a big new hospital- she stays real busy

We took 8.10 inches of rain between 7pm and 1am last night. I am not kidding. It was the worst drive ever, at 11pm. All the curbs were underwater for at least ten miles. Like a firehose spraying on my windshield, lightning blinding me, power out everywhere. Thank Goodness for the Subaru.

They say there's more coming but I am too numb from last night to believe it.


Hey wet doggy. Heard you got a bit of rain, very glad to hear that. I just hope that baking heat doesn't come back to quickly and suck it all back out of the ground.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
While I'm here:

Click for larger image:

Appropriate tropical weather-related image.

Quadruplets, wow.
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While I'm here:

Click for larger image:

Appropriate tropical weather-related image.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:


Some form of "Eco-Socialism" is what you seem to be advocating here. I agree that de-forestation is a problem. But what do we do about it? Order the governments of places like Indonesia and Brazil and others to stop cutting down there forests? How do we do that? At gunpoint? What about individuals here in the US who own lumber producing tracts of land? They can no longer sell their timber? What's your home made of?

"Eco-Socialism"? I didn't get that at all; I interpreted his comment to mean that it's obvious to anyone who's intellectually honest that the way we are doing things now simply isn't sustainable.

We're all on this planet together whether we like it or not, and--for now--it's the only planet we have. So when any one of us treats it like a dumpster, we all smell the stench. That needs to stop.
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1177. JNCali
interesting 'rain' in the forecast.. NASA has a satellite getting ready to re enter the atmosphere on or about the 23rd of this month.. anywhere from N. Canada to Tiera del Fuego.. I think Texas is right in between.. NASA Article link here oh, and they suggest that if you do find any of the debris.. not to touch it!
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1174. Tropicsweatherpr 3:39 PM GMT on September 17, 2011 1
That is new pouch P30L.


cool site, thanks TWPR.
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Quoting RussianWinter:


I think it needs to be within satellite visibility, a bit west of the cape verde islands first.

I have never seen a floater right by africa.


Penn State goes further east with a wider view.
Link
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Quoting Chicklit:
Hey, look what's behind our AOI!



That is new pouch P30L.

Link
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14545
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Quoting txjac:
Tropicsweatherpr, are you seeing much of that hail that they mention where you are?


I am in San Juan and the hail mainly is to the western to northwestern part of the island. In the past,I have seen small hail in San Juan,but the larger events always occur to the west.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14545
Quoting Chicklit:
No Floater yet.


1. A BROAD LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM LOCATED ABOUT 400 MILES SOUTHEAST OF THE SOUTHERN CAPE VERDE ISLANDS IS PRODUCING DISORGANIZED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. SOME SLOW DEVELOPMENT OF THIS LOW IS POSSIBLE DURING
THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AS IT MOVES WESTWARD AT 10 TO 15 MPH. THIS SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM CHANCE...30 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.



I think it needs to be within satellite visibility, a bit west of the cape verde islands first.

I have never seen a floater right by africa.
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Hey, look what's behind our AOI!

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1169. txjac
Tropicsweatherpr, are you seeing much of that hail that they mention where you are?
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Quoting aislinnpaps:
Morning Aqua and other friends!

Aqua, glad you're not in a flood plain! That's a lot of water coming down!


+1 been there done that :P
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No Floater yet.


1. A BROAD LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM LOCATED ABOUT 400 MILES SOUTHEAST OF THE SOUTHERN CAPE VERDE ISLANDS IS PRODUCING DISORGANIZED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. SOME SLOW DEVELOPMENT OF THIS LOW IS POSSIBLE DURING
THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AS IT MOVES WESTWARD AT 10 TO 15 MPH. THIS SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM CHANCE...30 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

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078 jps "...the Sahara was a lush landscape. It is thought that as the climate changed and the Sahara dried up it forced people to move to the Nile and learn how to cultivate crops. The article I recall reading had a picture of a very old tree in the middle of the desert, the last remaining survivor of days long ago that somehow had tapped into a water source far beneath the sands."

And shortly after that photo was published and its location released, the tree was deliberately killed by some folks hitting it with a truck.
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1165. txjac
Quoting DVG:


We are.



Awesome, happy to hear it.
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1164. DVG
Quoting txjac:



While we cant and shouldnt dictate to other countries, however we can lead by example. We should be planting and replacing the trees that are being cut down.


We are.
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Is that really big spin just NE of the Antilles the ULL we had the other day come back to life? Or a different one?
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1161. txjac
Quoting scooster67:
Nice blob of rain moving into Texas. I hope it rains like crazy for y'all in its path.




Been watching that myself this morning scoots ...coming in from the west. Hoping that it doesnt rain out as it moves this way ..fingers crossed!
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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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