Wilma drenches New England

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:11 PM GMT on October 25, 2005

Wilma continues racing northeast at 55 mph towards Canada, and is still maintaining Category 2 winds of 100 mph. Wind shear of 50 knots is beginning to take its toll, though, and the top potion of the storm is being ripped away from the surface portion, resulting in steady weakening. By tonight, Wilma will pass north of the warm Gulf Stream waters into waters of just 20 C, resulting in rapid weakening to a tropical storm and then to a regular extratropical cyclone. The forward speed of 55 mph means that the winds on the east side of the storm are blowing at 100 mph, and the winds on the west side just 45 mph--quite an asymmetry!

Wilma and New England
Today and tonight, Wilma will dramatically affect New England's weather. A separate powerful Nor'easter storm is developing next to the coast of New England, and moisture feeding back from Wilma into the Nor'easter will drench much of Rhode Island, southeast Massachusetts, and surrounding areas with 2 - 4 inches of rain. In the northern portions of Maine and New Hampshire, the precipitation will come as snow, and reach 6 - 8 inches depth. Snowfall amounts in the Adirondacks will exceed 12 inches, and heavy snow of six inches has already been reported in the Laurel Highlands east of Pittsburgh.

Winds from the combined Nor'easter/Wilma storm will reach sustained levels of 40 - 50 mph over the waters near Cape Cod, and bring wind gusts of 50 mph to New York City, Providence, and Boston. A storm surge of 3.5 feet with 26 foot waves is expected to cause moderate flooding along the coast of southeast Massachusetts, similar to what was experienced with the blizzard of December 2003. Wilma and the Nor'easter will merge on Wednesday, bringing Nova Scotia and Newfoundland tropical storm force winds, heavy rain, and coastal flooding. New England residents, take heart: the
second Nor'easter the computer models were predicting for Sunday now appears to be a non-threat. Yes, the same computer models that have trouble with long range hurricane forecasts also do poorly on winter storms sometimes!

Were the winds on Wilma's backside stronger?
I heard numerous reporters and eyewitnesses say that that after Wilma's eye passed, the winds on the back side were much stronger. A check of the wind history at Fort Lauderdale shows that this was the case there. Sustained winds peaked at 66 mph before the eye's passage, and were 69 mph after. However, most other wind traces I have examined show the opposite trend. For example, West Palm Beach reported peak sustatined winds of 82 mph before eye passage, and 76 mph after. In general, this is what we would expect, since the storm weakened as it passed over Florida. However, there were enough asymmetries caused by friction and interaction with land that some intense thunderstorms wrapped around to the back side of Wilma causing stronger winds there for some areas. In many cases, the perception that stronger winds occurred on the backside was incorrect. After a long lull, the sudden onset of hurricane force winds makes the winds seem stronger, compared to the slow build up of winds that occurs when the storm is first approaching.

Are we done with hurricane season yet?
No. Hurricane season runs through the end of November. On average, we get one tropical storm every other year between now and the end of the year. Given that this is no ordinary year, I think we can expect at least one more tropical storm. However, I do think that the hurricane season for the United States is over. An strong cold front behind Wilma has spread unseasonably cool air across the Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas, Cuba, and into the northwest Caribbean. This cool air will significantly chill the ocean waters surrounding the U.S., making it difficult for a tropical storm to form or maintain its strength near the U.S.

Tropical disturbance north of Panama
While hurricane season may be over for the U.S., it is definitely not over for the Caribbean. A tropical disturbance in the extreme south central Caribbean north of Panama bears watching this week. Currently, the cloud pattern is disorganized, and wind shear values of 20 knots are too high to allow development. However, wind shear values are expected to drop the next few days, possibly allowing some tropical development to occur later in the week. Most of the global forecast models predict that a tropical depression will form in this region later this week. Any development in this region would be a threat to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, northeast Honduras, and the islands to their north.

Jeff Masters

Wilma and Cape Cod (bahabamaine)
Chatham Fishing Boat
Wilma and Cape Cod
Roof gone (shewhodreams67)
This Roof came off a several businesses near our house in Palm Beach Gardens.
Roof gone

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119. thelmores
12:58 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
rhbrandon, you may be on to something..... considering tropical storm vince, which was a rare event itself, making landfall in spain!!!

the next ten years, at least, may bring us much more rare, or never seen weather phenomenon..... exciting to follow, but potentially costly and deadly.
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3832
118. StormSurfer
12:54 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Does anyone know what the latest a hurricane ever formed is??
117. rhbrandon
12:41 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
From looking at recent NHC modeling (well, yesterday), at one point it looked like tropical storm force winds from Wilma could persist east of 15W Longitude. Is that still a possibility, and what would that mean for future storm seasons? Has this happened in the past, or is this part of the brave new world of global warming?

I can't imaging the Irish Tourism Board being particularly pleased with the prospects of fall tropical storms lashing the Emerald Isle on a routine basis.
116. dcw
12:02 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
About the front strengthening her:

Ever wonder where polar lows get their energy? Certainly not warm water :) Storms can also feed off of differences in temperature, which is the normal source of energy for extratropical systems. Essentially, Wilma went subtropical for a while before reaching the Atlantic.
Member Since: August 2, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 3
115. cTampa
3:19 AM GMT on October 26, 2005
Oops: I'll try that again... sorry.

a href="http://www.keysnews.com/hurricaneedition/1024_KWflooding.htm"
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24
114. cTampa
3:16 AM GMT on October 26, 2005
Looks like the grotto's protection finally ran out! Informative article about Key West damage to anyone that is interested!


a href="http://www.keysnews.com/hurricaneedition/1024_KWflooding.htm"

I hope I did the link correctly!
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24
113. snowboy
1:56 AM GMT on October 26, 2005
FloridaFox7 she (Wilma) is now an extratropical storm, so hurricane categories no longer apply. But she is still roaring along (having combined wirth the East Coast low). An excerpt from the marine forecast in Nova Scotia, Canada:

Laurentian fan.
Hurricane force wind warning continued.
Easterly gales 40 to 50 knots increasing to southeast gales 50 to
65 late this evening then veering to southwest gales 50 to 65
Member Since: September 21, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2555
112. scribblin
1:53 AM GMT on October 26, 2005
Hey everybody! Greetings from NE Naples. Day 2 of Wilma cleanup went well, in a blisters and sore muscles sort of way. We are blessed. We have power, water (never lost water), land line phone, and broadband - only cellular is still out. But most of the metro area has only land line phone service at best - no power, etc. I hope services are restored to everyone soon.

To give you an example of SW FLorida resiliancy and humor: I saw a sign today in someone's destroyed yard. It said, "Free firewood. Bring chainsaw." Good stuff!

Someone asked why the storm intensified when it was forecast as a Cat 1, maybe 2 at landfall. During the storm, as everyone began to realize that the back eyewall was pounding us much harder than the front had, local weathermen put their heads together and began postulating that the cold front was actually feeding Wilma instead of weakening her - soemething about the storm drawing energy from the cold air. They actually went into much greater detail about the dynamics of the situation, but I can't recall exactly what was said. (I'm a heartfelt but rather green weather newbie, and I was sort of preoccupied with a major hurricane that was trying to have my house and family for dinner. Actually, most of what I remember from last night involves stress eating massive quantities of Funions, deep and sincere praying to God for safety, and adrenaline-enhanced listening to every creak and groan of a home under hurricane assault. But I digress....)

I'm really anxious to hear from GoldenGate and nightbloomingjasmine, as well as other SW Floridians.

Regarding storm names...it would really be something if we got to delta. Remember, the Greek alphabet goes alpha, beta, gamma, delta - or a, b, g, d. Delta would really be something!
111. snowboy
1:41 AM GMT on October 26, 2005
never mind NOLAinNC, Wilma is combining with the NE US low/trough and is aiming to make a 3rd landfall in Canada...

... as for Beta-to-be, bring out the crystals and tinfoil hats and shades
Member Since: September 21, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2555
110. FloridaFox7
1:38 AM GMT on October 26, 2005
Mmmmmm.....Taking bets on Beta, just kiddin.

Wilma is one scary storm, shes STILL a two?!
109. NOLAinNC
1:19 AM GMT on October 26, 2005
The tracking map shows Wilma will still be a TS on Thursday, way up there in the North Atlantic. If Beta blows up into a Cat 5, I'm definitely buying some crystals and making a tinfoil hat. (end of the world preparations, lol)
Member Since: October 19, 2005 Posts: 9 Comments: 900
107. dcw
1:09 AM GMT on October 26, 2005
I'm initiating advisories on Beta at 11, probably. Well, TD26Z anyway.
Member Since: August 2, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 3
106. snowboy
1:06 AM GMT on October 26, 2005
you know StSimonsGAGuy that this season any chance for a storm to blow up will be utilized, and that if there's any chance of Beta-to-be clearing the N/H angle then it will happen and then Beta-to-be will ramp straight up to Cat. 5...
Member Since: September 21, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2555
103. lobcarl
12:20 AM GMT on October 26, 2005
HurryKaneKata,the wind and rain are letting up. So it should not be a bad night. NE winds never bother us much here. And in northern Maine it is snowing hard.
102. 8888888889gg
12:13 AM GMT on October 26, 2005
any one no this one why did we get a high cat 3 or even a low cat 4 at land fall when we where forcasting a cat 1 or low cat 2 at land fall and this one more from last year form 2004 when the I storm made land fall did it made land fall at a high cat 3 or a low or high cat 4 and is winds of 130 mph a cat 3 winds or a cat 4 winds any one with this ? let me no thank you
101. snowboy
12:04 AM GMT on October 26, 2005
As we bid Wilma farewell, we have Beta-to-be to keep an eye on (thanks for the heads up StSimonsIslandGAGuy). NSgal, how are things up your way tonight? Wilma has linked with the NE low/trough and her stormtrack is veering westward toward NS.

530 PM EDT TUE OCT 25 2005



Member Since: September 21, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2555
98. HurryKaneKata
11:57 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
To Lobcarl:

Hope you have a safe and not too terrible night up there!

Don't lose power!

and to all those down in Mexico:

Cuidado....con Beta!
96. SarahFromFLA
11:42 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
Anybody know where I can find some accurate info on top wind gusts in Brevard County during Wilma?

Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 86
95. Destiny
11:32 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
How in the hec is Wilma maintaining so much strength with the water temperatures what they are in that area?
Member Since: September 1, 2002 Posts: 10 Comments: 1
94. TampaSteve
11:16 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
squeak wrote:

Regarding the statement about winds; was most likely a typo. If Cat 2 w/sustained winds of 100mph (which would be close to the eye), and forward speed of 55mph, and say moving northward, then winds on the east side would be 155mph, and on the west side, 45mph.

93. Hecker
10:32 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
Winds on the E side still weak, but getting more organized.
Member Since: June 29, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 313
91. Bukwurm
9:52 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
I just reconsidered - I'll put the above comment in my blog (I'll start a blog/whatever) and let everyone post their guessses/forecasts there.

Then we can have them all in one place, and I'll put the resulys in a graph format next spring, and compare it to what really happened.

I think I'd prefer to keep it off Dr Jeff's blog, as most of us want to make sure everyone made it through Wima safely, so no need for me to junk up this blog with an off-topic thread.
90. Bukwurm
9:48 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
Any bets ('"Gentlemen Bets" only) on how many storms this season? I think it will get to Delta, and that will occur after 30 Nov. Since 28 Feb/1 Mar is the cutoff between "this" season and "next season, that gives us four months, not one, and this year seems tho one it will occur in. Every month of the year has had hurricanes at least once, so why not? Everything else has happened this year, it seems...[g]

After 8 hurricanes in 15 months (and maybe some tropical storms? I can't remember - must be hurricane overload), Florida gets a break, however.

I know "they" say storms won't approach the US again til next year, but "they" also say Vince-type storms can't happen at all. [g] Even so, I'll also say no more storms south of Charleston, SC. If nothing else, Dennis and Katrina swamped the panhandle, also, and I want to ignore the weather for a few months.

So, let's share the wealth.. Nothing below Charleston til after Billy Bowlegs next year, at least...

89. ricstevenson
9:40 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
hey all, ric in bonita. just got cable modem back
88. code1
9:19 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
From our radar, looks like it may get worse lobcarl. Hang tight. Someone with real knowledge will repond, I feel sure. Good luck. Also, check Leftyy420's blog. On WU as well. This site is up to the minute with great knowledgable people who will help you.
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 66 Comments: 13872
87. lobcarl
9:13 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
update on the Maine coast. Gusting 50 to 60, my own personel guess. There isn't any info being sent from the gomoos.com weather bouys. We have power and my lobster boat is riding fine on the mooring.
86. dcw
9:06 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
Looks like plenty of heat potential if it can follow in Wilma's footsteps.

Has anyone else noticed that Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma all went through the same spot on the map and went through rapid intensification within a few hours? Pheer the Gulf Loop!
Member Since: August 2, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 3
85. coastie24
8:49 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
Hey everyone,

Finally took some time to catch up on the blog. Glad to see that your ok Dee. I hope all of the other Southern Florida bloggers came through the storm ok as well. Looks like its going to be quite for a little while.
84. Hecker
8:41 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
As to what might conceivably yet happen this year due to SSTs, I offer the following and encourage the viewer to draw his or her own conclusions.

Member Since: June 29, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 313
83. dcw
8:14 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
I think it'll be like that mid-december storm a couple years back. Formed in the same area and immidiately hit central america. I still think it'll be Beta before then though, maybe even Hurricane Beta.
Member Since: August 2, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 3
82. dcw
8:09 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
To the rotation thing:

Assume that the center is rotating at a speed of n and a forward motion of f. Either the NHC issues advisories based on the center's rotation (so wind speed=n) or on the max speed found anywhere (wind speed=n+f, min speed |n-f|).

Thus, Wilma should have *either*:

160 on right, 50 on left
100 on right, 10 on left (|-10|=10)
Member Since: August 2, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 3
81. code1
8:04 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
Been watching "Beta" for a couple of hours. Hope our experts are correct in that it won't affect the USA.
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 66 Comments: 13872
80. dcw
8:01 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
2:30 discussion mentions the SW Caribbean wave as a "special feature", aka tropical cyclone. Advisories will start within 24 hours, its really gotten together. Say hi to Beta!
Member Since: August 2, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 3
79. Pensacola21
7:59 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
I wonder how CoconutCreek is too... Did that area have bad damage??
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 3912
78. weatherdude65
7:17 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
skye, you're right, a reinforcing blast of cool are..temps here are supposed to bottom out in the low 40's in the morning
77. Skyepony (Mod)
7:13 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
i guess it's a second little drier troff ~let the even dryer air invade!
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 346 Comments: 42060
76. Skyepony (Mod)
7:10 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
i had just seen that on wu radar!
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 346 Comments: 42060
75. weatherdude65
6:55 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
looks like we are being invaded lol

74. code1
6:54 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
I hear you. My last bill was $132 and I was gone for 3 1/2 weeks with thermostat turned up to 82!
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 66 Comments: 13872
73. weatherdude65
6:52 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
code...nice thing about this weather is that I can turn off the AC for about a week!!!
72. code1
6:47 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
Dude65, will be there on Fri. Only 61 here in the panhandle. waaaayyyyy to cool for now!! Good note is forecast to be back to normal this weekend. Bye Stormy. 21 check my earlier post :)
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 66 Comments: 13872
71. weatherdude65
6:46 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
hecker, good thing that if anything does form there it will continue west
70. Hecker
6:44 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
North of Panama: not exactly a circulation yet, but suggestive.
Member Since: June 29, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 313
69. weatherdude65
6:37 PM GMT on October 25, 2005
Well it is a bit after 2:30 here on the Space Coast and the temp is only at 61 degrees.

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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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