Wilma is gone

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:04 PM GMT on October 26, 2005

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Wilma and New England
Wilma is gone. Cold waters and strong winds weakened her to a remnant low pressure system last night, which is now far out over the open Atlantic. Wilma claimed one last victim yesterday in Massachusetts, an unwary body surfer who never returned to shore. In Massachusetts, Wilma and a Nor'easter that developed next to the coast brought winds and rain that knocked out power to 70,000 residents. Winds gusted as high as 66 mph in Massachusetts, and 20-foot high waves and a two foot storm surge caused minor coastal flooding.

Wilma and Florida
You can tell electricity is beginning to return to many of the six million people who lost power during Wilma's rampage over Florida Monday--the number of wunderphotos posted of the damage has increased markedly, and I have made links to some of the more dramatic ones below. I had planned today to discuss in more detail the asymmetries of Wilma's winds on the hurricane's right and left sides as it moved so quickly over Florida, but the images I wanted to use are on a computer at NOAA's Hurricane Research Division, which is on Virginia Key in Miami. Most of Miami is still without power, and this discussion will have to wait until power is restored to the lab. Those of you trying to access the Hurricane FAQ will meet with a similar problem--the FAQ is on a computer in Miami. The National Hurricane Center, however, is still able to provide Internet access to its products.

Damage estimates for Wilma's insured damage now range from $6 - $9 billion in Florida, making it the third most costly hurricane in U.S. history. When combined with the damage done to Mexico and other Caribbean nations, Wilma may turn out to be the second costliest Atlantic hurricane of all time.

Tropical disturbance north of Panama
A tropical disturbance in the extreme south central Caribbean north of Panama has gotten better organized this morning. Two surface circulations have developed, one near 10N 81W just off the northwest coast of Panama, and one at 11N 76W just off the northwest coast of Venezuela. An impressive blow-up of deep convection is occurring this morning, and the QuikSCAT satellite measured winds of 15 - 25 mph, and one wind vector of 50 mph. Wind shear values over the disturbance have dropped to 10 knots, and are forecast to remain low this week. Most of the global forecast models predict that a tropical depression will form in this region later this week, and move slowly west-northwest toward Nicaragua.

Elsewhere in the tropics
A strong tropical wave is approaching the Leeward Islands today, and will spread heavy rains to those islands today and to Puerto Rico Thursday. Wind shear levels are about 10 - 15 knots, which is marginal for tropical storm development. There are no signs of a surface circulation at this time. This system looks similar to the tropical wave that spawned Tropical Storm Alpha, so we'll have to watch it as it moves west-northwest at 15 mph.

I'll be back later this afternoon with an update if either of these systems develop.

Jeff Masters

Hurricane Wilma 2005 (HistoricEvidence)
A Texaco Gas station that was damaged in West Palm Beach Fl by Hurricane Wilma.
Hurricane Wilma 2005
Boat Against Seawall During Storm (stearnspoint)
Boat Against Seawall During Storm
Hurricane Wilma 2005 (HistoricEvidence)
A plane at Palm beach International was pushed into a building during wilma.
Hurricane Wilma 2005

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72. CrazyC83
2:31 AM GMT on October 27, 2005
NineMile - while the intensity of Wilma's damage may be considerably less than Ivan and Charley, the area affected is much larger and much more heavily populated. Charley affected a very narrow swath (the whole storm was smaller than the eye of Wilma at landfall) and Ivan affected a much more rural area with far fewer large communities directly in the path - nothing anywhere near the size of Miami-Fort Lauderdale. Having a much more heavily populated area means that there are far more structures that can be damaged, so moderate damage adds up heavily. That is also why there are so many people without power.
Member Since: September 19, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 142
71. OBXER
1:57 AM GMT on October 27, 2005
Mybahamas Abaco got a very dry hurricane but damage was very minimal
Member Since: September 24, 2001 Posts: 0 Comments: 11
70. NineMile
7:54 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Question for Dr. Jeff-

Wouldn't the actual insured losses from Wilma have to be towards the top end of the estimate to surpass Ivan and Charley? I believe the final reports for those storms had insured losses at $7.1B and $7.5B, respectively. From the photos I've seen so far, Wilma does not appear to even touch Ivan and Charley damage-wise.
69. thebige
7:38 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
"Damage estimates for Wilma's insured damage now range from $6 - $9 billion in Florida, making it the third most costly hurricane in U.S. history."It would be fourth not third.
Member Since: June 12, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
68. FLCrackerGirl
7:33 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Mybahamas, Great To Hear from you!!!
Member Since: August 12, 2004 Posts: 47 Comments: 597
67. mybahamas
7:30 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Hiya finally all!
Thanks for the concern for us in The Bahamas. Nassau only sustained tropical storm force winds and my house had only a little shingle damage, despite the late arrival of my plywood not allowing me to secure the homestead properly. Our electricity and other infrustructure are intact. However, our cable internet service was off nationwide because it is connected through Florida.
Grand Bahama got a beatdown, though. :(
There was severe flooding of areas affected by Frances and Jeanne, including a mother with young children stuck in an attic because of the swell. :(
Graveyards gave up their dead and coffins floated down the road in some communities. My fellow photographers captured some of the destruction from a helicopter and I will link it soon.
Have a great day and all the best to eveyone this hurricane season.
Eric (mybahamas)

66. Pensacola21
7:26 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Thank goodness Weatherdude... I was all alone :-(
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 3912
65. weatherdude65
7:06 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
hello once again all...
64. FLCrackerGirl
6:54 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Caneman, Thanks for Link & LOL from earlier.
a C&D (cease & desist) for Tropical Bl*bs.
Member Since: August 12, 2004 Posts: 47 Comments: 597
63. Pensacola21
6:44 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Dcw - Seems as if it is just you and me... Where did everyone go!
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 3912
62. Pensacola21
6:42 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
DCW - LOL
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 3912
61. dcw
6:40 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
*mutates into Homer Simpson*

Mmmmmmm....Barbeque....
Member Since: August 2, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 3
60. dcw
6:40 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Memo to all tropical residents

To: All tropical residents
From: Me
Subject: Your very life
Date: 10/26/2005

In accordance with the No Storms In The US Act of 2005, you are hereby ordered to find the highest convenient point around you and blow really hard towards the blobs. This is for your own safety. If, for medical reasons, you are unable to blow really hard, please set up a fan, or failing that, grab the nearest LA politician.
Member Since: August 2, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 3
59. stormydee
6:20 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
my computer is acting up...not sure if you'll get this, but logging off...talk to everyone tomorrow.
Have a pleasant night! :-)
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
58. stormydee
6:12 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
stepped out for a minute. WOW, a car just flipped over in front of my shop here at work...the girl is okay, thank goodness!
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
57. weatherdude65
5:59 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
be back in a bit...I'm going to go sit in the break room where I can relax and bit more and finish my lunch, instead of at my desk..........
56. Pensacola21
5:47 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Weatherdude- I heard... I'm jealous!
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 3912
55. weatherdude65
5:45 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Hey 21.....I've BBQ today
54. caneman
5:44 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Caneman would, if he could, go toe to toe with a tropical blob any day of the week. He would strike fear and trembling into the hearts of these ugly manifestations of mother nature.
Member Since: May 27, 2003 Posts: 14 Comments: 100
53. Pensacola21
5:44 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
LOL Weatherdude!
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 3912
52. Pensacola21
5:42 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Caneman - LMAO

Yeah Stormy, you are correct.. I sure hope it doesn't develop...

I just went out to get lunch - Arby's roasted turkey sandwich mmmmm....
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 3912
51. stormydee
5:36 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
ha ha 65 and caneman, good luck! I think we may even have a Dec one this year! Urrrr.....or worse, the season never ends, runs right into next year and doesn't stop...EVER!!!!
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
50. weatherdude65
5:35 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
stormy, probably closer to 20 minutes LOL
49. weatherdude65
5:34 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Memo to canemen

To: Caneman
From: Caribbean blobs
Subject: RE: Your very existence
Date: 10/26/2005

We will not cease and desist!! We have until November 30th to do whatever we want......and we want to PLAY!!!!!!
48. stormydee
5:34 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
65 - Ill be there in a minute (or 20 minutes, right? LOL)
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
47. stormydee
5:33 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Caneman LMAO, :-) And see it worked for you blowing Wilma away, didn't it? All the hard work paid off in the end for you :-)
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
46. weatherdude65
5:30 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Thought I was good at this mind reading thing LOL....wait a minute, if I am so good why have I not won the lottery yet??? hmmmmmmmmmm
Come on over, I'll save you a plate :-)
45. caneman
5:30 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Memo to tropical blobs

To:Carribean blobs
From:Caneman
Subject:Your very existence
Date:10/26/2005
CC:All tropical residents.

It has been brought to my attention that you are attempting to organize. Be as it may, your organization is strongly discouraged at this time. You are hereby ordered to cease and desist any further organization attempts. This includes but is not limited to: Convection, cold cloud tops, turbulence, feeder bands or any and all characteristics of tropical weather.
Failure to comply will result in swift and severe penalties inlcluding but not limited to: UN sanctions, presidential declarations of disaster, and a face to face physical confrontation with Popeye the sailor.

Your cooperation is both expected and appreciated.
Member Since: May 27, 2003 Posts: 14 Comments: 100
44. stormydee
5:25 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Wow 65, yellow is right (LOL)! Mmmm BBQ, I may have to skip out of work and come see you :-)
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
43. stormydee
5:23 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
well, lets just hope Dr Masters is right that we won't get anymore US landing hurricanes the rest of the year.....
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
42. weatherdude65
5:21 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
stormy...food, sure. I have bbq from Woodys :-)..let's see, the color is ....... yellow
41. stormydee
5:19 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
21 , blobby 2 doesn't look to good right now, I don't see any circulation, hopefully it will stay that way...but blobby 1 is getting better , I do see that burger spinning...
Hey 65, Im hungry, missed my lunch break today, can you send some free food my way? PS-what color am I thinking of? LOL :-)
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
40. weatherdude65
5:15 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
be right back....free food in the kitchen here at work!! Can't pass that up! LOL
39. weatherdude65
5:11 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Link Southwestern Caribbean blob VL
38. OGal
5:07 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Hey 12, O Gal here. I know your feelings well. I get totally hyper when something moves our way. After three storms last year, losing my roof, waiting for power, waitng for roofers I had had it. The worst is when these storms hit so hard at night and we can't see what is going on but we hear horrible noises. Remember it all can be replaced. Do better than I did and be patient.
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 72 Comments: 19224
37. Pensacola21
5:05 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Matt - Yeah when Ivan was over here all the leaves were gone! It was eerie.. Then the trees started blooming again, I guess they though it was spring, lol.
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 3912
36. weatherdude65
5:04 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
stormy, yes I am!! Pretty good aren't I? :-)
35. MattInMiami
5:03 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
This was much worse than what we had with Katrina in Miami. I was in a positon where I could see outdoors throughout the storm. Winds I estimated were sustained around 90 with gusts to 100-110 mph. With Katrina we had 85-90 mph peak winds. The wind direction was pretty much the same (SW) as we had with Katrina, but there were about 4 times as many trees down inspite of significant pruning of the trees by Katrina. It was however NOTHING like Andrew which I witnessed as well. With Andrew EVERY tress was down or gone, there we no leaves left on the trees and even the grass lost its blades! (Winds were 165 with higher gusts in Andrew.)
34. MattInMiami
5:03 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
This was much worse than what we had with Katrina in Miami. I was in a positon where I could see outdoors throughout the storm. Winds I estimated were sustained around 90 with gusts to 100-110 mph. With Katrina we had 85-90 mph peak winds. The wind direction was pretty much the same (SW) as we had with Katrina, but there were about 4 times as many trees down inspite of significant pruning of the trees by Katrina. It was however NOTHING like Andrew which I witnessed as well. With Andrew EVERY tress was down or gone, there we no leaves left on the trees and even the grass lost its blades! (Winds were 165 with higher gusts in Andrew.)
33. stormydee
5:03 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Link blobby 1 ir loop
Link blobby 2 ir loop
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
32. Pensacola21
5:02 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
MAN - Blobby #2 models bite!!
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 3912
31. scribblin
5:02 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Hi everybody!

Here in NE Naples, it's a gorgeous day (again). Lows in the high 60s and highs in the low 70s - sweet. Parts of the city are getting power back (outlying areas mostly).

I'm celebrating my 41st birthday today by doing Wilma cleanup in the neighborhood and thanking God that family, friends, neighbors, everybody is safe.

Regarding Dr. Masters' post, I'm wondering about the two circulations - one near Panama, one near Venezuela. Are those part of one larger weather event, or are they individual disturbances with their own characteristics?

Another question: Short of taking courses in meteorology, how does one learn how to read/interpret the various kinds of satellite data? Are there websites that help with this?
30. stormydee
5:01 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
65, reading my mind are you? :-)
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
29. stormydee
4:58 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Link poss Beta blobby 1 computer models
Link poss Beta blobby 2 computer models...
by the look of the i.r. loopLink, blobby 1 may be first...
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
28. weatherdude65
4:58 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Link South western Caribbean wave

Link Eastern Caribbean system
27. weatherdude65
4:54 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
12, glad you are safe....things can be replaced.

Stormy, I'm sure as the power is restored down south we will hear from everyone else
26. stormydee
4:52 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
12, Glad to see you made it! Thank you for sharing your info...now we hope to hear from our other southerly friends :-)
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
25. Pensacola21
4:51 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Miamihurricane- I am glad you are okay!
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 3912
24. caneman
4:50 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Link

Accuweather blurb on Beta potential
Member Since: May 27, 2003 Posts: 14 Comments: 100
23. miamihurricane12
4:20 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
just got power back and all i can say is wow what a storm

i am in palmetto bay which is southeast miami and after reading the wind gauges in miami i cant believe them. Katrina had hgher gusts if those readings were true. I am willing to bet that where i was we had gusts up to 120 and sustained at 95-100 around 8-9 am. It began getting really bad at 5-6 and that is when everyone is s fl lost power and it did not stop with the bad winds until 11:30 to 12 and it was gusting to tropical storm force until 4. It was dark so i could not see anything but i could here my shutters shaking and things hitting my roof which later turned out to be pieces of plywood from my neighbors house which had blown off and hit mine. When the sun came up is when it all set in

The storm was not even at its worst and yet when the sun came up i see that 3 trees are already down in my backyard. My neighbors fence had blown down and had flown into my yard taking my fence with it. My pool had turned a eerie color black b/c durt and debris had blown in there. But when the worst winds hit is when all hell broke loose. I opened up a shutter (i hav the wind up shutters on half the house) in the direction that that the wind was not facing and saw that my car had tiles from the roof on it and had a shattered windshield along with bullet size holes in the roof. But i turned out lucky to only hav that damage for my neighbor across the street lost his shed and part of his roof had holes.

I was not down here for andrew but this storm was the worst that i have ever been in and it was only a 2/3 when it got to my area so i could not imagine what it must hav been like for those whho went through a 4/5. I drove through fort lauderdale to pick up my aunt who is 73 and handicaped. She had no water or power and was on the sixth floor of a building that had most of its windows blown out. Miami was basically the same as fort lauderdale damage wise minus the rain and downtown ft lauderdale was a little worse. But after seeing concrete power poles snapped off at the bottom i knew that it was a really bad storm.

that is my account of the storm and i took pics of the damage so hopefully soon i will post them
22. weatherdude65
4:20 PM GMT on October 26, 2005
Death to all the blobs!!!!! lol

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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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