Florence near hurricane strength

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:48 PM GMT on September 09, 2006

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Florence has begun the long-expected intensification phase that was forecast for the past week, much to the relief of hurricane forecasts who worried that their basic understanding of hurricane intensification processes was flawed--but much to the dismay of residents of Bermuda. Bermuda is under a tropical storm warning today, and this will almost certainly be upgraded to a hurricane warning tonight. Florence managed to get rid of its large lopsided shape that was inhibiting organization, and adopt a more a symmetric cloud pattern conducive for development. Satellite imagery this morning shows good outflow to the north and east, but no eye yet. Satellite intensity estimates already put Florence at hurricane strength, but the NHC is waiting until the Hurricane Hunters arrive in the storm at 2pm EDT to verify hurricane force winds exist before upgrading Florence to a hurricane. The forecast track of Florence puts the storm over or just west of Bermuda on Monday, and that island is bracing for its worst weather day since Hurricane Fabian of 2003 hit the island as a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds.

Florence has a very large swath of tropical storm force winds that have been blowing for many days over a huge stretch of ocean. These factors, when combined with the storm's expected intensification into a Category 2 hurricane, will create very high ocean swells that will impact the entire Atlantic coast from the Lesser Antilles to Canada. Five to ten foot seas will be common in many nearshore areas, and the wave height forecast from the global wave model run by the National Weather Service predicts wave heights of 15-20 feet offshore the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts by Tuesday. Bermuda can expects waves of 15-25 feet on top of a 6-8 foot storm surge on Monday when the center of Florence passes.


Figure 1. Forecast wave heights for Monday night at 8pm EDT, from the Global Wave Model of the NWS.

Elsewhere in the tropics
An area of disturbed weather 900 miles east-southeast of Florence has a pronounced surface spin one can see on visible satellite imagery, and was declared "Invest 93L" last night by NHC. This disturbance is under 40 knots of vertical wind shear from its big sister, Florence, and has a limited chance of survival. If it does survive, it is likely to follow its sister northward then northeastward, out to sea. There are no other threat areas to discuss. The computer models forecast a new development off the coast of Africa by the middle of next week, but anything developing in this region is likely to recurve out to sea.


Figure 2. Preliminary model tracks for Invest 93L, 900 miles east-southeast of Florence.

I'll have an update Sunday morning by 10:15am EDT.

Jeff Masters

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1848. ch2os
2:33 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
Gatorx,Good Morning. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but did I read a post within the past few days where you mentioned something about Round Island? That is Vero correct? Ft Pierce here. I have been around the WU blogs for a couple years but rarely post, so I guess you could call me a newbie at this.
Nice Florida sunshine this morning.
Member Since: August 31, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 90
1846. PensacolaBuoy
2:27 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
I'll have an update Sunday morning by 10:15am EDT.
Jeff Masters

The good doctor is sleeping in this morning.
Member Since: July 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 370
1845. caribbeanweather
2:25 PM GMT on September 10, 2006

Posted By: IKE at 2:21 PM GMT on Septiembre 10, 2006.

93L looks more impressive every frame. Seems headed toward the islands.

Gordon???

i believe as times run..more chance to have something there....and the latest intensity models..intensified the system in 5 days to nearly hurricane strength
1844. IKE
2:22 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
Looks to me like it's at 19N, 53.5W...moving WSW.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1843. BahaHurican
2:22 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
Looking at the XTRP, it becomes obvious that 93L is moving to the SW as several people in here have mentioned. It's just that the models don't figure it will continue to do so.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20744
1842. caribbeanweather
2:22 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
Posted By: Rickster3d at 2:19 PM GMT on Septiembre 10, 2006.
caribbeanweather it sure looks to me like it wants to head SW or WSW & pass south of Puerto Rico.


yes i agree with you..looks more WSW than west..thats for sure!!
1841. WPBHurricane05
2:21 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
NEW BLOG
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
1840. IKE
2:21 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
93L looks more impressive every frame. Seems headed toward the islands.

Gordon???
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1839. Dan187
2:21 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
whens the next recon flight?
1838. Rickster3d
2:19 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
caribbeanweather it sure looks to me like it wants to head SW or WSW & pass south of Puerto Rico.
1837. Gatorx
2:19 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
Dodabear-
Thats a good one....I think I might go with

The girl formerly know as Gatorx...but I don't know if it will fit..too many letters!!
1836. BahaHurican
2:19 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
Rickster,

u should be able to pull them up here, here, or here.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20744
1835. Dodabear
2:17 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
Gatorx..
How about "GrrrlGator" ? I know it is a little late but sometimes I am slow on the uptake.
Member Since: July 28, 2001 Posts: 0 Comments: 2279
1834. caribbeanweather
2:16 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
Posted By: Rickster3d at 2:11 PM GMT on Septiembre 10, 2006.

Has anyone seen any recent computer models for 93L?

check the grpah at the top of the blog..those are the models for AL93...that right now i totally disagree with them..first...the circulation doesnt looks to me like is at 20.7 like the models said..looks to me that is near 19.0....and also...is moving west...and 3...models normally sucks..when they initialize systems...lol
1833. Rickster3d
2:11 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
Has anyone seen any recent computer models for 93L?
1832. BahaHurican
2:11 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
Hey, I just realized Cantore had actually gone to Bermuda. Hope his hotel isn't one of the low-lying ones . . . . I just watched a little video clip they did about 1/2 hour ago. I couldn't really see his face (like that even matters); what was interesting was the winds in the trees in the background. Looks like they are already gusting to TS or near TS strength already.

I have a feeling that no matter how near the centre of Florence actually passes to Bermuda, it's the size of this baby that will determine how extensive the damage is there. From N to S, Florence is more than 400 miles wide. That's a pretty long time to have TS+ winds pounding on your buildings / vegetation. Not to mention the storm surge, which could be pretty bad, especially since it seems the worst of it is likely to occur at the same time as a high tide.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20744
1831. Gatorx
2:11 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
Hi everyone..just got back from Church and it looks like from the last few previous posts...I need to go back for prayer...geez take your trash talk to your own blogs guys..give the rest of us a break...not taken any side but my own.
1830. caribbeanweather
2:09 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
Just impressive AL93...looks like a TD right

nowLink
1829. Rick54
2:07 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
Posted By: Fl30258713 at 1:49 PM GMT on September 10, 2006.
fsu model is showing some developement south of LA in GOM and then in BOC, interesting.


Do you have any graphics? What kind of time frame are we looking at?

Rick
1822. weathermanwannabe
2:00 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
Good Morning All....Below is some information on Flo, from FSU met, to add to the discussion..I'm sorry to see Bermuda in the zone but I would provide kudos to NHC for their good track forcasting on this one....As for the potential Gulf scenario, conditions seem ripe for something but it would depend on what happens to the remnants of the current trough...We don't often see significant GOM activity this late in the game (and particularly with this suppressed year) but you never know...........I'm off to church for the day but will check in later...



Colleagues,

FORECAST: Hurricane FLORENCE is now 1,000 miles east of Palm Beach and
will get no closer to the US than Bermuda. FLORENCE has winds now of
about 80 mph and will probably be a Category 2 storm as it passes nearly
over Bermuda on Monday morning. FLORENCE is currently moving NW at 15
mph, but since it is nearly at the longitude of Bermuda, it shortly will
be headed north, and after passing Bermuda, it will head NE.


DISCUSSION: While not a wind threat to the US, significant waves, say 10
feet, are expected along the Mid Atlantic east coast. Any storms that
form off the coast of Africa in the forseeable future will recurve out to
sea, and not threaten the US.

NEXT FORECAST: Monday, September 11, 6:30 am
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8311
1820. PalmHarbor
1:59 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
Link I'm sorry it was the one that is posted with the updates.. Link above.
1817. Fl30258713
1:56 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
PalmHarbor, I think you might be looking at chart for 93L, look underneath chart.
Member Since: July 24, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 981
1816. Patrap
1:55 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
..President Jonson was here the Next Day..I remember seeing the footage years later of Him..with flashlight in Hand..at a school At night and saying.."I am your President..I am here to help"..a class act for sure.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125753
1814. Patrap
1:53 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
..Betsy passed right over New orleans 41 yrs ago last Night..I was a 5.5 yr old..and that started the Hurricane bug for me.Betsy was last major Impact on New orleans till last years devastaing blow..Betsy also put 8-9 ft of wter in the 9th ward then..and Upper St.Bernard..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125753
1813. weatherguy03
1:53 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
I know Cayman. They will be fine. I was just trying to dig at Randrewl:)
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 589 Comments: 29691
1811. PalmHarbor
1:52 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
Question guys.. On the models posted at the top of the blog, one of the models is showing a run back straight east. IF it were to do that, what does it do, go back to Africa or just desolve somewhere along the way? Thanks for any answers:)
1810. BahaHurican
1:51 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
Looks like Bermuda is getting that first brush of rains associated w/ the large area of showers on the northern side of Florence, according to Bermudan radar.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20744
1809. Patrap
1:50 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
..out fer Chow..later/././.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125753
1808. sebastianjer
1:50 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
Thanks-patrap just looking at some of the models that show the beginings of a loop.
JER
Member Since: August 26, 2005 Posts: 1030 Comments: 11197
1807. Patrap
1:50 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
..saw the GOM scenario yesterday and has said the GOM has best potential..next 6-7 days...
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125753
1806. Fl30258713
1:49 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
fsu model is showing some developement south of LA in GOM and then in BOC, interesting.
Member Since: July 24, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 981
1805. Patrap
1:48 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
..the Best place for a Loop in the Atlantic ..is the S,Atlantic..only there can a system temporarily bybass the westerlies..loop around..and be picked up again..AKA..Betsy in 65..a perfect xample of a long-lived looping Hurricane..that made Landfall as aCAT-3
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125753
1802. Cavin Rawlins
1:46 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
None
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1800. caymanguy
1:45 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
03,
island folks take these things in stride, i betcha Bermuda has been ready for at least a week, most have permanent storm shutters, cisterns filled with fresh water, tons of food stuffs, and generators. right now most are playing dominos and watching TWC, and drinking rum!
prepare..YES....worry...NO....
1799. Patrap
1:45 PM GMT on September 10, 2006
.lops will still bring a cyclone around to face another CONUS trough..not a viable scenario..99.98 percent of the time..a system will likely be swung out towards the Azores...
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125753

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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.