Hurricane Florence lashes Bermuda

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:32 PM GMT on September 11, 2006

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Hurricane Florence is lashing Bermuda with winds just below hurricane force. The Bermuda airport at 10:55am local time had sustained winds of 66 mph, gusting to 83 mph. The airport is at the extreme eastern end of the island, and the large eye of Florence is passing just to the west. Thus, the western end of the island may be experiencing much higher winds. Bermuda is now feeling the worst Florence has to dish out, and residents can rest assured that a repeat of the pounding delivered by Category 3 Hurricane Fabian in 2003 will not occur. The primary threat from Florence is an expected 6-8 foot storm surge, topped by large battering waves up to 20 feet high. Florence's winds should cause relatively minor damage. Bermuda's infrastructure is well able to withstand winds of Category 1 force, since much of the utility lines are buried underground, and the building codes demand that structures be able to withstand 110 mph Category 2 hurricane winds.

Florence's appearance on satellite imagery has degraded considerably this morning, probably due to an increase in wind shear to 20 knots. The eye is no longer visible, and the upper level outflow is not as impressive. The Hurricane Hunters reported a large gap on the south side of the eyewall on their recent passes, and this can be seen on the Bermuda radar (Figure 1) and the Bermuda radar animation. The Bermuda radar failed at 4:07am EDT this morning.


Figure 1. Last radar image of Florence at 4:07am EDT (10:07 GMT) before the radar failed.

Although Florence is weakening, she will continue to be a prodigious wave maker. Florence's large swath of tropical storm force have been blowing for many days over a huge stretch of ocean. High ocean swells will continue to impact the U.S. East Coast and Canadaian Maritime provinces the next two days. Five to ten foot seas will be common in many nearshore areas on Tuesday. The wave height forecast animation from the global wave model run by the National Weather Service is most impressive, and predicts wave heights up to 30 feet offshore the Newfoundland coast on Tuesday. Florence is expected to gradually weaken as wind shear increases and ocean temperatures decrease, and will pass close or over Newfoundland later this week as a powerful extratropical storm with 60 mph winds.

Bermuda's next worry: Tropical Depression Seven
Florence's acceleration to the north has allowed the area of disturbed weather a few hundred miles northeast of the Lesser Antilles Islands a chance to develop. Visible satellite imagery shows improved organization, and satellite classification of the storm's intensity already put this system at tropical storm strength. A QuikSCAT pass from 5:26am EDT showed numerous wind vectors in the 40-55 mph range, but confined to the southeast side of the circulation center. The Hurricane Hunters will investigate this system at 2pm EDT today. NHC may wait until then to decide whether or not to upgrade this system to Tropical Storm Gordon. Wind shear has fallen to just 10 knots, the waters are a warm 29C, and some continued development is likely today. Tropical Depression Seven is likely to follow a track similar to Florence, and may be a threat to Bermuda.

Bermuda's worry after that: a new African wave
A strong tropical wave with impressive rotation and plenty of intense thunderstorm activity is emerging from the coast of Africa today. Several of the reliable computer models are forecasting that this will develop into a tropical storm or hurricane that heads westward across the Atlantic. Wind shear is a low 10 knots, and water temperatures are warm. If this system does develop, it would likely recurve out to sea and not affect any land areas--expect perhaps Bermuda. However, it is far too early to be confident of this.

Jeff Masters

Flo at Bermuda 1 (survivetheeye)
Flo at Bermuda 1

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427. WPBHurricane05
8:14 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
new blog
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
426. SFlHurricane06
8:13 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
SLU are you talking about Gordon or Helene regarding the GFS model shifting?
Member Since: September 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 47
425. SLU
8:10 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
For all of those who have labelled the new wave as a "fish storm" the GFS model has been shifting more and more to the south and west with this system after each run.
Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 5367
421. SFlHurricane06
8:06 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
Anyone else concerned Gordon gets trapped by the high in a coupled days
Member Since: September 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 47
420. WPBHurricane05
8:05 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
whoo, we had a nice meating at work today about 9-11 attacks, they played Gulf Scotsmans song while showing some clips
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
417. stormchaserDAZ
8:03 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
hi yall
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 249
415. Cavin Rawlins
8:00 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
1009mb African Low
Since there is no quiksat pass, to see if the low has a closed circulation, 850mb streamline winds and visible imagery suggest a well define circulation. Infrared imagery revealed some warming cloudtops, and this is normal for some waves coming off Africa. The low will be steered west along a ridge station near 30W, in the North Atlantic. beyond that is highly uncertain at this time.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
414. Utah2Miami
7:59 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
JP- I already know I am not "a cool" so no worries.

+nerdcore+
413. Utah2Miami
7:58 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
JP- I wasn't picking on him at all. I was just telling him not to worry his pretty little head.

No I don't want it to strengthen. I have NEVER made any sort of comment leaning toward wishcasting, so don't get your panties in a bind as well. I was making a joke. Guess there is no one from my generation to appreciate the Goonies reference.
412. Sprocketeer
7:58 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
Yeah, I'm thinking forecasters are relying a bit too much on Florence's path to designate Gordon's path. Every year Gordon appears, though, it does something nasty.
411. Tazmanian
7:57 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
ok now when are they evere going to put up 94L this is looking like a TD 8 right now dont you all think??????????
lol
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115453
410. Hellsniper223
7:56 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
Why is everyone on this blog a poet suddenly?
Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 16
408. ihave27windows
7:55 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
I hope some of you don't mind the introduction of the poet ee cummings......it is well worth the read.
Member Since: July 19, 2005 Posts: 108 Comments: 14933
407. Tazmanian
7:55 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
thanks jp
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115453
406. SFlHurricane06
7:55 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
Gordon is definentely not a lock to recurve out to sea. Once Florence leaves, a high will build back in possibly leaving Gordon stuck or blocking it.
Member Since: September 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 47
405. Cavin Rawlins
7:54 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
There might be enough ridgeing in place for this system to move west for a while.be back after lunch.


Thats true up until about 55W.....
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
403. SLU
7:53 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
Posted By: littlefish at 7:44 PM GMT on September 11, 2006.

SLU, I did spend a lot of time staring at IOKE!!!!!!!! while it was a monster. Shanshan looks to be kicking in too. One problem with the West Pacific storms is the vis sat feeds. You get big dark patches as the Earth rotates out of sight... Admittedly though, I'm most interested in the Atlantic (except maybe with the exception of IOKE, which was the best-looking storm of the year IMO- great eyewalls, great banding, etc...).


Yeah .. we had several storms like IOKE in the Atlantic last year and the year before. So far this year they have found it hard to develop but I suspect we will see at least 1 major storm this year. It has to happen soon though because the high wind shear will put the hurricane season to sleep early.
Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 5367
402. The32ndDegree
7:52 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
Wow! LOL 27..."Say no moah!" (a la Monty Python)

32*
401. Utah2Miami
7:51 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
Oh lordy! That's precisely the point.
400. Tazmanian
7:50 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
Posted By: Utah2Miami at 12:48 PM PDT on September 11, 2006.

Taz the Spaz! Chill out buddy- with all the eyes watching this thing its not likely to strengthen into a Cat 5 and hit the US overnight.

But yes, Gordo is looking a bit more impressive. I still think he needs to put on a few pounds before he can do his signature move.



what are you talking about? i no it will not go to a cat 5 that fast lol
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115453
395. littlefish
7:44 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
SLU, I did spend a lot of time staring at IOKE!!!!!!!! while it was a monster. Shanshan looks to be kicking in too. One problem with the West Pacific storms is the vis sat feeds. You get big dark patches as the Earth rotates out of sight... Admittedly though, I'm most interested in the Atlantic (except maybe with the exception of IOKE, which was the best-looking storm of the year IMO- great eyewalls, great banding, etc...).
393. ClearH2OFla
7:40 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
Any chance of the ridge building back in and driving Gordon west
392. weathermanwannabe
7:40 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
Still think that TD& will steer west of Bermuda, as presently forecast, and as to the new wave, we need to start looking as the sheer maps again in the area as the moisture is clearly there...............
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9400
391. hurricane23
7:38 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
Iam not sure if you guys have seen the lastest NHC graphic but its showing development possible of the african coast.Models indeed have been showing development for a few days now.There might be enough ridgeing in place for this system to move west for a while.be back after lunch.



Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
390. SLU
7:37 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
The new tropical wave coming off Africa has a great chance to become the 1st classical Cape Verde-type major hurricane since Hurricane Karl in 2004.

I'm actually not surprised Gordon has strengthened so quickly in the last 24 hours because it is a compact system and these small systems can develop very quickly.


Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 5367
389. WPBHurricane05
7:36 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
poor bermuda

first Florence, and now possibly TD 7 now Gordon
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
388. Zaphod
7:35 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
Gordon should have a good night of it tonight. Looks to me that he's crept a bit W and maybe a little N, but in any case the case for him heading N still seems strong.


IH27W, that one I hadn't seen -- I like it! Aren't some of his more baudy? Seems like I recall him one of the more modern, sensual crowd.

Zap
Member Since: October 5, 2005 Posts: 15 Comments: 3239
385. ClearH2OFla
7:30 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
Hey everyone just got home for lunch whats the latest on td7 and anything else
384. Tazmanian
7:30 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
saddlegait good ?
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115453
383. Tazmanian
7:29 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
yes you may be right about it recurveing but we will this have to wait and see
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115453
377. Tazmanian
7:23 PM GMT on September 11, 2006
wow it is me how dos this thing look like it starting to get stong fast?
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115453

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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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