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 Bielle:


That's my only hurricane, and I don't want another one.



not my only one but never want to see another like her
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Quoting will40:



hurricane hazel in October of 1954. not quite a verde storm but came a long way across


That's my only hurricane, and I don't want another one.
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Quoting 996tt:
I am just curious and god knows I really don't want to stir anything up. Didn't the world just experience a rather cold winter. I understand the summer has been hot in places, but hasn't the winter been more extreme in places. What about climate in South America. Has their winters and summers been as extreme?


3rd warmest southern hemisphere winter on record (June to August).
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107. 996tt
Quoting aprinz1979:
anyone seen levi?


Preparing a batch of crow soup. Just kidding
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Quoting aprinz1979:
anyone seen levi?
i think you may be able to contact him on his blog he may not post on main unless there is a significant system out there
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[preceeding blog1930comment946] BankofBrazos "I certainly respect Dr. Master's interpretation of seasonal weather, his sad promotion of climate change as science is quite humorous as well."
59 Buhdog "I love it when I see something like this....a dude from 2002 and no posts till now?
SUPER LURKER wowser! Have you ever seen a more blue sky day SWFL? not in September anyway!


Except for a handful of WUbers, there warn't much interest in Maria since it emerged from the Caribbean.
Mayhap there be a purpose behind Dr.Masters' (lack of) tropical mischief:
mention AnthropogenicGlobalWarming and let "the hijinks ensue."
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Quoting aprinz1979:
anyone seen levi?




he has his own life this like the rest of us so hes likey vary busy with other things in life and dont have time too blog
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103. 996tt
I am just curious and god knows I really don't want to stir anything up. Didn't the world just experience a rather cold winter. I understand the summer has been hot in places, but hasn't the winter been more extreme in places. What about climate in South America. Has their winters and summers been as extreme?
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Quoting hurricanejunky:


Was there some drama on here yesterday?


it's the word on the street. :()
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Quoting daddyjames:


I agree with your statement, and with similar statements from others. The dichotomy that exists in this blog is rather disturbing.

It is Dr. Master's blog (heck, this site is his entire co-creation). However, is this a "tropical weather blog" or a blog to discuss weather in general, and climate change to boot?

There is a Climate Change blog, and (at the risk of questioning any of the higher authorities) fail to understand why - if this is a tropical weather blog - any blog postings about climate change are not made on the Climate Change blog.

I personally believe that any weather related topic should be fair game, including the potential affect that global warming may have on the weather, especially tropical weather, regardless of where you sit on the fence. However, understand the frustration that longtime posters (and longtime lurkers, me until recently) feel when another topic is "introduced" then is "off limits". Pretty schizophrenic if you ask me.

Also believe that many posters here really ought to enroll themselves in a good debate class . . . so as to learn how to disagree with humilty, respect , and grace.

Although I do use it, as I have stated before, the plus/minus system simply allows the same social Darwinism that exists in high school to be recreated here - the formation of cliques and vilification of those that don't belong to them. Express a strong enough opinion, and regardless of whether or not you can back that up with data, you are relegated to the sidelines. It boils down to a popularity contest.

[I certainly won't win Most Popular, or Prom King this year!] :D

The Orwellian method of censorship that occurs (post 16 is definitely inappropriate for this blog yet i would argue should not be removed) certainly does not lend itself to honest and open discussion.


Nice post. It is actually called Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog not specifically tropical. Just pointing that out. Not trying to start an argument, for those with itchy trigger fingers on the minus key. Thanks for the insight, I think that is a very accurate assessment, unfortunately.
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anyone seen levi?
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Bummer, looks like the weather patterns since Lee have resulted in some boring weather which I guess is good news for many. I was kind if hoping on perhaps two nice little GOM systems this year. Haha, boring weather results in hot button political topics or debates. Missed it. Thankfully.
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snow and ice on the rebound now increases significantly over the next two weeks all melt should stop and full refreeze commence
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Quoting bohonkweatherman:
I will have to see it to believe it, the forecast here is for that front to stay East of Texas? Great News for San Antonio area: 1.04" and counting so far at the San Antonio Int'l Airport!

First time i have received a trace of rain since June 22, so I guess i should celebrate. LOL

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Quoting TampaSpin:
Many Bloggers left yesterday with all the bickering going on about Global Warming. When Dr. Masters opens up discussion about GW.......this is always the result. Don't know why the door is opened and then slammed shut on people for posting their opinion on either side of belief. Now the door is completely shut after opening the door yesterday.


I agree with your statement, and with similar statements from others. The dichotomy that exists in this blog is rather disturbing.

It is Dr. Master's blog (heck, this site is his entire co-creation). However, is this a "tropical weather blog" or a blog to discuss weather in general, and climate change to boot?

There is a Climate Change blog, and (at the risk of questioning any of the higher authorities) fail to understand why - if this is a tropical weather blog - any blog postings about climate change are not made on the Climate Change blog.

I personally believe that any weather related topic should be fair game, including the potential affect that global warming may have on the weather, especially tropical weather, regardless of where you sit on the fence. However, understand the frustration that longtime posters (and longtime lurkers, me until recently) feel when another topic is "introduced" then is "off limits". Pretty schizophrenic if you ask me.

Also believe that many posters here really ought to enroll themselves in a good debate class . . . so as to learn how to disagree with humilty, respect , and grace.

Although I do use it, as I have stated before, the plus/minus system simply allows the same social Darwinism that exists in high school to be recreated here - the formation of cliques and vilification of those that don't belong to them. Express a strong enough opinion, and regardless of whether or not you can back that up with data, you are relegated to the sidelines. It boils down to a popularity contest.

[I certainly won't win Most Popular, or Prom King this year!] :D

The Orwellian method of censorship that occurs (post 16 is definitely inappropriate for this blog yet i would argue should not be removed) certainly does not lend itself to honest and open discussion.
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Not seeing much in the next 5 days on NOGAPS,GFS,EURO OR WRF Anything beyond that?
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i have been on this blog for over 4 years. I can't tell you the many very good Tropical and Severe Weather bloggers this blog has lost over those 4 years because of Agendas that people dislike. Many have left on their own and others have been banned. I myself have been banned 48hrs for posting a link somewhere that was directly asked about a weather crisis that was present at the time. Now i just don't respond to many peoples questions except thru my blog.
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Quoting reedzone:
Wow, admin removed my post.. a one sentence post... Talk about aggressive.. Oh well.



You got mail!
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hurricane hazel in October of 1954. not quite a verde storm but came a long way across
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
Are my pics showing up? Or black box of death? showing the pics on my laptop.


They're showing up!
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A new low pressure has been added to the 12z surface analysis just off the coast of Africa.

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14311
Like every year CV season is over by the end of September.

Quoting TampaSpin:


Just looked at the Shear outlook after 8 days and the Atlantic becomes a bit more hostile for anything to develop! The CV Season will be poof in about 2 weeks it appears.

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86. jpsb
Quoting TampaSpin:


Sounds good to me too......as he for sure is 1st but, good SOLID Science would help too.
I don't do not see it as an "either or" choice. Science in many ways, particularly archeology and astrophysics seems to be validating more then a few things in the old testament.
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Are my pics showing up? Or black box of death? showing the pics on my laptop.
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Quoting PakaSurvivor:
#67 Tampaspin

True. Any threat will be non CV storms. Found only three possible CV storms in the years listed.
1996 Hurricane Isidore
2009 TD8
2009 TS Grace


Just looked at the Shear outlook after 8 days and the Atlantic becomes a bit more hostile for anything to develop! The CV Season will be poof in about 2 weeks it appears.
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#67 Tampaspin

True. Any threat will be non CV storms. Found only three possible CV storms in the years listed.
1996 Hurricane Isidore
2009 TD8
2009 TS Grace
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Quoting ScottLincoln:


The science will still be there regardless of how many people are on a blog or respond to its comments. People can choose to avoid the debate, but the science doesn't change. Having an expert in weather/climate changing up the message to cater to what people want to hear seems a little backwards, doesn't it?


Scott the problem with yesterday's discourse was there was very little debate.. it was very mean spirted insults IMO
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Quoting daddyjames:


(signal the ominous music)

that is the perfect start to the horror movie "Hurricanes Hit Florida" - thanks! Can I use it? :D

Sure,You have my blessing...
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Many Bloggers left yesterday with all the bickering going on about Global Warming. When Dr. Masters opens up discussion about GW.......this is always the result. Don't know why the door is opened and then slammed shut on people for posting their opinion on either side of belief. Now the door is completely shut after opening the door yesterday.


The science will still be there regardless of how many people are on a blog or respond to its comments. People can choose to avoid the debate, but the science doesn't change. Having an expert in weather/climate changing up the message to cater to what people want to hear seems a little backwards, doesn't it?
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Thanks for the TROPICAL update Dr Masters.

Keep I love your new avatar
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St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Weather overview
Two-week forecast
Hour-by-hour
Past week
°F
°C
Current Time Friday, September 16, 2011 at 12:35:32 PM NDT
Current conditions 64 °F
Light rain. Fog. Mild.
Change to Celsius
Change Units
Light rain. Fog. Mild.
Location: St. John's
Temperature: 64 °F
Comfort Level: 64 °F
Dew point: 61 °F
Barometer: 29.65 "Hg
Humidity: 88%
Visibility: 1 mi
Wind: 31 mph from 180° South
Last update: Fri 11:30 AM NDT
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Quoting Klolly23:

Feels pretty hot and humid here in Sarasota. Haven't seen rain in a couple of weeks. I think we still might see some sort of tropical system this year. Probably nothing too serious.


(signal the ominous music)

that is the perfect start to the horror movie "Hurricanes Hit Florida" - thanks! Can I use it? :D
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Quoting PakaSurvivor:
Lull in September Since 1995

1996: Sep 16 - 23 after 0/2/3

1997: Sep 16 - 30 after 0/2/0

1999: Sep 23 - 30 after 2/1/3

2008: Sep 15 - 24 after 1/3/3

2009: Sep 13 - 24 after 1/2/1



The Cape Verde systems will be shutting down very shortly. Those closer to home will be the ones to watch.....alot of them form from stalled fronts on the tailends.
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Lull in September Since 1995

1996: Sep 16 - 23 after 0/2/3

1997: Sep 16 - 30 after 0/2/0

1999: Sep 23 - 30 after 2/1/3

2008: Sep 15 - 24 after 1/3/3

2009: Sep 13 - 24 after 1/2/1
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Quoting basti11:



GOOD NEWS FOR YOU next friday we have a major cold front cruising down from canada and its going to bring you some much needed rains and much colder temps...this should help with the fires...
I will have to see it to believe it, the forecast here is for that front to stay East of Texas? Great News for San Antonio area: 1.04" and counting so far at the San Antonio Int'l Airport!

First time i have received a trace of rain since June 22, so I guess i should celebrate. LOL
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014L/XTC/M/CX

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06 UTC Surface analysis. Click link for full size image.
Link
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40.0n62.0w has been re-evaluated&altered for H.Maria's_12pmGMT_ATCF
39.8n62.2w, 42.8n58.2w are now the most recent positions
Starting 15Sept_12pmGMT and ending 16Sept_12pmGMT

The 4 southern line-segments represent HurricaneMaria's path,
the northernmost line-segment is the straightline projection for 16Sept_12pmGMT,
the coastline dumbbell at 47.113n54.077w-YYT is the endpoint of the straightline projection
connected to its nearest airport for the 16Sept_6amGMT*mapping,
and the island blob at 46.804n56.361w-FSP is the same for the 16Sept_12amGMT*mapping.

Using straightline projection of the travel-speed&heading derived from the
ATCF coordinates spanning the 6hours between 6amGMT then 12pmGMT :
H.Maria's travel-speed was 49mph(78.9k/h) on a heading of 43.9degrees(NE)
H.Maria was headed toward passing ~39miles(~63kilometres) southeast of Newfoundland ~4&1/2.hours from now

Copy&paste 46.804n56.361w-fsp, 47.113n54.077w-yyt, 31.2n67.8w-33.7n67.0w, 33.7n67.0w-36.8n64.9w, 36.8n64.9w-39.8n62.2w, 39.8n62.2w-42.8n58.2w, yyt, 39.8n62.2w-46.360n52.582w into the GreatCircleMapper for more info

The previous mapping for 16Sept_6amGMT

* The alteration of the endpoint of a TropicalCyclone's previous path also changes its previous travel-speed &heading, and the endpoint of its previous straightline projection...
...but I'm choosing to preserve the historicity of the mappings.
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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.