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Bertha Headed Out to Sea; Iselle a Major Hurricane; Halong Hits Category 5

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 5:00 PM GMT on August 03, 2014

Tropical Storm Bertha was cruising northwest out of the Southeast Bahama Islands at 20 mph on Sunday morning, and was spreading gusty winds and heavy rain showers across the Southeast Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands. A personal weather station at Cockburn Harbour in the Caicos Islands reported a wind gust of 34 mph and 0.48" of rain as of noon Sunday. Rainfall amounts of 1 - 3" on Saturday and Sunday were common over Puerto Rico from Tropical Storm Bertha, and rainfall amounts of 6 - 8 inches over the center of the island brought several rivers close to flood stage. However, there were no reports of major damage or flooding from the storm, and Bertha's rains were welcome in an area that has suffered significant drought this year. Visible satellite loops on Sunday morning showed that Bertha was growing slightly more organized, with increased heavy thunderstorm activity and more low-level spiral bands, despite high wind shear of 25 knots. The atmosphere surrounding Bertha is now quite a bit more moist, and this extra moisture is likely allowing the storm to grow more organized. On Monday and Tuesday, Bertha is expected to encounter lower wind shear and a moister atmosphere, and these conditions may allow the storm to briefly intensify into a Category 1 hurricane. Bertha will not be a threat to any more land areas.


Figure 1. Rainfall amounts over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands from Tropical Storm Bertha. Image credit: National Weather Service.

Hurricane Iselle becomes 3rd major hurricane of 2014 in the Eastern Pacific
In the Eastern Pacific, Hurricane Iselle put on a bout of rapid intensification that brought the storm to Category 3 strength with 115 mph winds at 11 am EDT on Sunday. Iselle is headed westwards towards Hawaii, and could affect the Hawaiian Islands as a tropical storm by Thursday night. Satellite images show that Iselle has developed impressive symmetry and a large eye. Wind shear is expected to stay light to moderate for the next five days, but ocean temperatures will slowly cool to 26°C and the atmosphere will dry significant by Wednesday. Iselle is likely to slowly weaken beginning on Monday, but will probably remain a hurricane through Wednesday. The NOAA Hurricane Hunters' jet is scheduled to fly a dropsonde mission on Tuesday evening out of Honolulu, and an Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft is scheduled to fly a low-level mission into the hurricane early Wednesday morning. It's been a very active hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific, which has seen 9 named storms, 4 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes so far in 2014. On average, we expect to see 6 named storms, 3 hurricanes, and 1 intense hurricane by August 3 in the Eastern Pacific.


Figure 2. Latest satellite image of Iselle in the Eastern Pacific.

Super Typhoon Halong headed towards Japan
In the Western Pacific, Super Typhoon Halong put on an impressive burst of rapid intensification on Saturday, topping out as a mighty Category 5 super typhoon with 160 mph winds between 2 pm EDT Saturday - 2 am EDT Sunday. Halong weakened slightly to a Category 4 super typhoon with 150 mph winds at 8 am EDT on Sunday, due to an eyewall replacement cycle. Satellite loops show that Halong's eye has grown less distinct, but the typhoon still has a large area of very intense eyewall thunderstorms. The storm is expected to turn northwards today, and will encounter higher wind shear and cooler waters over the next few days, which will likely weaken the storm to Category 2 strength before is reaches Japan's Ryukyu Islands on Thursday.


Figure 3. Super Typhoon Halong at 08:32 UTC Sunday, August 3, 2014. At the time, Halong was at peak strength: a Category 5 storm with 160 mph winds. Image credit: NOAA/NESDIS.

Jeff Masters

Hurricane

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Quoting 426. TropicalAnalystwx13:


It looks like Iselle may scrape or pass just north of the islands, while it looks like 97E may scrape or pass just south of the islands.* Hawaii has a shield!

* Subject to change
Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the big island act as a buffer to tropical systems that come from the east. They're both in the 13,000ft range and tend to push the storms either north or south, depending on there trajectory's. Example is tropical storm Flossie last year. She was on track to hit the big island and as she approached she wobbled to the northwest and made landfall on Maui. Well, the low level center went north and the mid level center went south. This will be very exciting though. I wonder if Iselle being annular will chnage anything.
Short good Monday morning hello folks. European weather apparently gains monsoonal characteristics this year ....

should be a hurricane real soon now
Good Morning Bertha You are looking better now.

Getting closer to Hawaii

Meanwhile in the West pacific
506. VR46L
Quoting 503. bigwes6844:

should be a hurricane by tomorrow now



I don't like those Off the east coast Trackers ...




Quoting 506. VR46L:



I don't like those Off the east coast Trackers ...





have you seen levi's video on august 2nd bound to be a crazy season!
Looks to be flattening out to the NE as the High pressure moves into place. loop to come or a push slightly to the west we will see....
Quoting 509. KoritheMan:

Blog update if anyone's up.
go to my response on 491 on you
Morning all. No trash hurricane yet?
bertha is insignificant unless your a surfer. real weather news is the flash floods in east los angeles people getting hypothermia sitting in their flooded cars. never know when your going to need your springsuit
Unbelievable ...

Driver Killed, 2,000 Stranded By California Floods
Among the stranded were 500 children and adults spent the night at a church camp after roads became blocked by mudflows.
NBC Video report, Monday, Aug 4, 2014 - Updated at 3:33 AM PDT
A flash flood swept a car off a mountain road and into a creek, leaving one person dead inside as heavy downpours from a summer storm hit Southern California and stranded around 2,000 people on Sunday. ...
Quoting 514. barbamz:

Unbelievable ...

Driver Killed, 2,000 Stranded By California Floods
Among the stranded were 500 children and adults spent the night at a church camp after roads became blocked by mudflows.
NBC Video report, Monday, Aug 4, 2014 %u2022 Updated at 3:33 AM PDT
A flash flood swept a car off a mountain road and into a creek, leaving one person dead inside as heavy downpours from a summer storm hit Southern California and stranded around 2,000 people on Sunday. ...


Crazy. The way things are going, hurricane season my just be a side story this year. This strange weather cycle seems to have started last winter and carried into summer.
Quoting 513. islander101010:

bertha is insignificant unless your a surfer. real weather news is the flash floods in east los angeles people getting hypothermia sitting in their flooded cars. never know when your going to need your springsuit


Always keep a hoody or cap...lose a lot of heat through your head. Bertha to bring some fun waves to the right coast. Europe setting up for a great summer swell from her 5-7 days. Always wanted to surf Ireland...
Bertha is starting to look much more symmetrical...



Quoting StormJunkie:
Morning all. No trash hurricane yet?


Maybe you should try fully waking up first.
The Landslide Blog, 4 August 2014
Sunkoshi landslide crisis: latest news and images
Over the last few days there have been several developments in the Sunkoshi landslide crisis, some positive and some less so. The very high direct cost of the landslide is now becoming clear. Whilst only 18 bodies have been recovered to date, the number missing is thought to be about 155, making this the most costly landslide in Nepal for many years. ...
cyclones like florida! wonder if the leftovers of typhoon rammansun has anything to do with this severe flooding in nepal?
522. 7544
morning looks like bertha is now a 70mph strom ?
I believe Bertha might be stronger than the 75mph storm the NHC is predicting. I believe she might push it to upper cat 1 or low cat 2 like I said yesterday.
The sun is now up over Tropical Storm BERTHA now up to 70mph and down to 999mb moving N at 16mph looking like it will become the second Hurricane of the season soon! ‪
Quoting 522. 7544:

morning looks like bertha is now a 70mph strom ?
Quoting 522. 7544:

morning looks like bertha is now a 70mph strom ?
It is a 70mph storm.
Bertha going to be a hurricane soon. watch out for a cat two hurricane by Tuesday night!
527. 7544
Quoting 525. allancalderini:

It is a 70mph storm.


still on my first cup didnt see that lol then i say she looks like a hurricane now opps

Mission 10 into Bertha


Mission 11 into Bertha

Source
Iselle looks great right now with a big eye!
Good morning guys check out my blog and look at some of these "official" rainfall totals across C FL for July. Some areas got nearly half a years worth of rain in a month!

Link
Link
94.8 degree water at Naples pier yesterday afternoon. 92.5 now. HOT.



805 AM EDT MON AUG 04 2014

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION FOR NORTH AMERICA...CENTRAL
AMERICA...GULF OF MEXICO...CARIBBEAN SEA...NORTHERN SECTIONS OF
SOUTH AMERICA...AND ATLANTIC OCEAN TO THE AFRICAN COAST FROM THE
EQUATOR TO 32N. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS BASED ON SATELLITE
IMAGERY...WEATHER OBSERVATIONS...RADAR...AND METEOROLOGICAL
ANALYSIS.

BASED ON 0600 UTC SURFACE ANALYSIS AND SATELLITE IMAGERY THROUGH
1015 UTC.

...SPECIAL FEATURES...

THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM BERTHA IS NEAR 6.1N 73.6W AT
04/0900 UTC...OR ABOUT 190 NM TO THE EAST OF GREAT ABACO ISLAND
IN THE NORTHERN BAHAMAS. BERTHA IS MOVING NORTHWARD...OR 350
DEGREES...14 KNOTS. THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS
999 MB. THE MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WIND SPEEDS ARE 60 KNOTS WITH
GUSTS TO 75 KNOTS. CONVECTIVE PRECIPITATION...NUMEROUS STRONG
FROM 24N TO 27N BETWEEN 71W AND 75W. PLEASE READ THE LATEST NHC
INTERMEDIATE PUBLIC ADVISORY UNDER AWIPS/WMO HEADERS
MIATCPAT3/WTNT33 KNHC AND THE FORECAST/ADVISORY UNDER AWIPS/WMO
HEADERS MIATCMAT3/WTNT23 KNHC FOR MORE DETAILS.

...TROPICAL WAVES...

AN ATLANTIC OCEAN TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 16N20W 10N18W...
MOVING WESTWARD 10 TO 15 KNOTS. CONVECTIVE PRECIPITATION...
SCATTERED MODERATE ISOLATED STRONG FROM 8N TO 13N BETWEEN AFRICA
AND 22W.

AN ATLANTIC OCEAN TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 52W/53W FROM 21N
SOUTHWARD. THIS WAVE IS MOVING WESTWARD 20 TO 25 KNOTS.
CLOUDINESS THAT IS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS TROPICAL WAVE COVERS THE
ATLANTIC OCEAN FROM 10N TO 24N BETWEEN 40W AND 60W. CONVECTIVE
PRECIPITATION...ISOLATED MODERATE FROM 10N TO 17N BETWEEN 38W
AND 62W. RAINSHOWERS ARE POSSIBLE ELSEWHERE IN THE AREA OF THE
CLOUDINESS.

A CARIBBEAN SEA TROPICAL WAVE EXTENDS FROM THE VIRGIN ISLANDS...
TO 14N66W AND 10N66W...MOVING WESTWARD 20 TO 25 KNOTS.
CONVECTIVE PRECIPITATION...RAINSHOWERS ARE POSSIBLE IN THE
WESTWARD-MOVING LOW CLOUDS THAT ARE FROM 72W EASTWARD.

...ITCZ/MONSOON TROUGH...

THE MONSOON TROUGH PASSES THROUGH COASTAL SECTIONS OF GUINEA-
BISSAU NEAR 13N16W TO 9N28W AND 10N33W. THE ITCZ CONTINUES FROM
10N33W TO 12N42W AND 11N47W. CONVECTIVE PRECIPITATION...
SCATTERED MODERATE ISOLATED STRONG WITHIN 60 NM TO 90 NM ON
EITHER SIDE OF 10N22W 6N30W 4N34W 6N44W 4N50W.

...DISCUSSION...

FROM THE WESTERN ATLANTIC OCEAN...ACROSS FLORIDA...INTO THE
EASTERN AND SOUTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO...

A SURFACE TROUGH EXTENDS FROM NORTHEASTERN FLORIDA...INTO A 1012
MB LOW PRESSURE CENTER THAT IS JUST TO THE WEST OF LAKE
OKEECHOBEE...CURVING TO 25N84W IN THE GULF OF MEXICO.
CONVECTIVE PRECIPITATION...NUMEROUS STRONG FROM 24N TO 26N
BETWEEN 82W AND 85W...OFF THE COAST OF SOUTHWESTERN FLORIDA.
SCATTERED MODERATE ISOLATED STRONG IS ELSEWHERE FROM 23N TO 32N
BETWEEN 76W AND 87W...INCLUDING ACROSS FLORIDA AND PARTS OF THE
BAHAMAS...THE GEORGIA COAST...AND IN THE SOUTHEASTERN GULF OF
MEXICO.
Just woke up to find Bertha at 60kts! So close to hurricane status when I woke up. :P

Recon also found pressure of a 997.5 mb just outside the center, so still strengthening. She's certainly starting to look more like Big Bertha now. :)
Quoting Envoirment:
Just woke up to find Bertha at 60kts! So close to hurricane status when I woke up. :P

Recon also found pressure of 997.5 mb just outside the center, so still strengthening. She's certainly starting to look more like Big Bertha now. :)
yep. :-D
535. beell
Good sign as far as system health goes. Good convection-along some old boundaries on the NW side which has struggled.

Good Morning. Bertha on the way out and the Central Atlantic clear and dry again with another SAL plume and a weak/suppressed ITCZ. Notice how the SAL has once again proliferated into the Caribbean; they need more than Bertha produced for them:

And the E-Pac continues to produce; look at that eye on Iselle:



Bertha

And finally Africa.........Not much in the form of follow-up waves on the horizon at the moment..............It's going to take several weeks for the Central Atlantic middle passage to moisten up at this rate but it somehow always manages to get there come late August:
Good morning everyone! Of course I'm not busy on the days when Bertha's struggling through the Caribbean...but yet I AM when she starts to strengthen and look good. Go figure.

I personally think she'll get stronger than 75mph winds. Something like 90 is even reasonable.



Good Morning all..

998.9 mb from the most recent mission, but also just outisde the center. I think a pressure of 998 mb is reasonable. Mission 10 is going to make a pass at the center again soon.
Quoting 516. HaoleboySurfEC:



Always keep a hoody or cap...lose a lot of heat through your head. Bertha to bring some fun waves to the right coast. Europe setting up for a great summer swell from her 5-7 days. Always wanted to surf Ireland...


North Florida should be fun for a surf today and tomorrow. making the drive!
If this dry -stable environment persists in the Central Atlantic going into the peak Cape Verde season, the CV storm count might even come in lower this year than expected and/or we could have a slew of struggling tropical storms, as opposed to major hurricanes, like we did last year during the peak. Those dry-air anomalies and fast trade winds really did a number on several Cape Verde storms last year; Berth's struggles in the Central Atlantic and Caribbean (even though in early-August) was very similar to what we saw last season on several occasions during the peak period.



Thank God this isn't in the Gulf..or the east coast..
Or anywhere NEAR land..
TRMM pass on ISELLE this morning.. click pick for extra huge quicktime.

Bertha really starting to fill up in her NW-W flank now:
well I'll be back later..work calls..

Joe Bastardi @BigJoeBastardi · 10h

Actually have a couple of ECMWF ensemble members taking Bertha very close to Hatteras.
996.9 mb from the latest recon pass. The lowest so far I think?
Quoting 543. waveRoller:



North Florida should be fun for a surf today and tomorrow. making the drive!


Good call!
Quoting 546. JrWeathermanFL:



Thank God this isn't in the Gulf..or the east coast..
Or anywhere NEAR land..
Looks like a cat 4.
Iselle looking very annular right now...

Quoting 550. Envoirment:

996.9 mb from the latest recon pass. The lowest so far I think?
Have recon found sustained hurricane winds?
Quoting 401. SavannahStorm:



Honestly, 15-25 years ago you wouldn't see many of these coastal troughs in September, either. October is really when you used to see these types of persistent troughs. now they seem to come earlier every year.


i remember that one well.
556. MTWX
Quoting 541. ncstorm:
Good Morning all..



Like the storm that forms over the Florida Panhandle, and splits cleanly in two moving in opposite directions...
Showing a 1013 low over the Antilles


Quoting CybrTeddy:
Vortex message down to 1006 mb. Gradually getting better organized. Bertha's still quite a small storm, however.

Meaning she's prone to large intensity swings, by the way.
Quoting 555. hydrus:

i remember that one well.
This may change too.
560. Siker
While Bertha demonstrates that she is the little engine that could, Iselle continues to show that she is the little engine that really, really could. Up to 115kts, Cat 4 per latest Best Track:
For all those who are always asking "Is [insert storm's name here] annular?" This is what an annular hurricane looks like. Big round eye surrounded by a ring of fairly deep convection and very little outer banding. Beautiful:

Who was the the blogger the wrote 5 days ago Bertha would be at least a Cat 1 after passing the Bahamas?

NCstorm and I will give Bertha a tropical wave as she goes by
Quoting 561. MAweatherboy1:

For all those who are always asking "Is [insert storm's name here] annular?" This is what an annular hurricane looks like. Big round eye surrounded by a ring of fairly deep convection and very little outer banding. Beautiful:




If only she didn't have that little bit of banding on the north and south west sides..



Now THIS is annular.

Iselle is basically there lol
Bertha still has a very limited west side. Lopsided storm, but yet still looking better.
Atlantic warming turbocharges Pacific trade winds

New research has found rapid warming of the Atlantic Ocean, likely caused by global warming, has turbocharged Pacific Equatorial trade winds. Currently the winds are at a level never before seen on observed records, which extend back to the 1860s.
The increase in these winds has caused eastern tropical Pacific cooling, amplified the Californian drought, accelerated sea level rise three times faster than the global average in the Western Pacific and has slowed the rise of global average surface temperatures since 2001.


Link
569. silas
Can't wait to see what this looks like on visible! What amazing storms the Eastern Pacific has produced this year...

.
Quoting 561. MAweatherboy1:

For all those who are always asking "Is [insert storm's name here] annular?" This is what an annular hurricane looks like. Big round eye surrounded by a ring of fairly deep convection and very little outer banding. Beautiful:




I was just going to ask what that means. Thanks.
Since the 06 hurricane season if we had not have troughs high pressure system trade winds wind shear and dry air in the atlantic I believe the east coast florida and the gulf coast could have been looking for a destructive landfalling system every season we have been quite lucky
Flight level winds:

86 knots
(~ 98.9 mph)

SFMR:

72 knots
(~ 82.8 mph)

Reduced from flight level:

69.4 knots (~ 79.8 mph)
Category One Hurricane

Pressure:

999.1 mb
(~ 29.50 inHg)


Bertha appears to be a hurricane.
999.1 mb and just missed the center. Surface level winds of 65-72kts:


133930 2724N 07322W 8434 01538 0083 +167 +167 163080 086 069 026 00
134000 2725N 07321W 8423 01545 0080 +158 +158 162079 082 072 023 00
134030 2727N 07319W 8427 01547 0068 +167 +157 164084 085 069 012 00
134100 2728N 07318W 8429 01547 0073 +164 +161 167083 086 068 009 00
134130 2730N 07316W 8436 01546 0077 +170 +156 168079 084 065 007 03

Looks like we have Hurricane Bertha!
Canadian Hurricane center..needs your help,you guys are good at this........................Link
Bertha appears to be a hurricane cat 1!! that was fast
997mb, 75mph at 11am is what I'd go with.

Blog is deadly quiet for a possible second hurricane of the season.
Quoting 561. MAweatherboy1:

For all those who are always asking "Is [insert storm's name here] annular?" This is what an annular hurricane looks like. Big round eye surrounded by a ring of fairly deep convection and very little outer banding. Beautiful:




It's forecast to pass just north of Hawaii at 96 hours as a 50 knot storm and exit as a 40 knot storm. Been awhile since at least a depression, let alone a T.S. as affected Hawaii.

Quoting 571. SFLweatherBen:

I was just going to ask what that means. Thanks.



Hurricane Isabel of 2003 showing the circular, symmetric eye associated with annular hurricanes
An annular tropical cyclone, also known as a truck tire or doughnut hurricane, is a tropical cyclone that features a large, symmetric eye surrounded by a thick ring of intense convection.[1] This type of storm is not prone to the fluctuations in intensity associated with eyewall replacement cycles, unlike typical intense tropical cyclones. Annular tropical cyclones also tend to persist, even when encountering environmental conditions which easily dissipate most other tropical cyclones.


It will be interesting to see how she stands up to the adverse conditions out ahead of her towards Hawaii. She still has 26-27C SST, which isn't all the different from what she's been eating up to until now. Shear and dry air are beginning to attack her already, but how much will she fend off given her solid structure?



Quoting 578. CybrTeddy:

997mb, 75mph at 11am is what I'd go with.

Blog is deadly quiet for a possible second hurricane of the season.

It's still kind of early...
Quoting 563. K8eCane:

NCstorm and I will give Bertha a tropical wave as she goes by


LOL..let's hope we dont have to shake hands..
Quoting 567. ColoradoBob1:

Atlantic warming turbocharges Pacific trade winds

New research has found rapid warming of the Atlantic Ocean, likely caused by global warming, has turbocharged Pacific Equatorial trade winds. Currently the winds are at a level never before seen on observed records, which extend back to the 1860s.
The increase in these winds has caused eastern tropical Pacific cooling, amplified the Californian drought, accelerated sea level rise three times faster than the global average in the Western Pacific and has slowed the rise of global average surface temperatures since 2001.


Link


15-20 years ago the big talk in Hawaii was that the trade winds were disappearing Lots of "kona winds." The science of global weather patterns is still in its infancy. Much to learn.
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
Quoting 578. CybrTeddy:

997mb, 75mph at 11am is what I'd go with.

Blog is deadly quiet for a possible second hurricane of the season.


I believe most are looking up crow recipes ..some have already started with the grand speech of nothing is developing in the MDR for the next upcoming weeks..
Bertha almost fully wrapped with t-storms around the core..............Just has to mix out the dry air from the SW shear that is hindering the storms in that quadrant at the moment.
586. JLPR2
Impressive Betha is stronger than what she looks. I will go with a 80- 90mph Cat 1 at 11am.

1006mb (29.71 inHg) Sea Level (Surface) 24.4°C (75.9°F) 23.3°C (73.9°F) 140° (from the SE) 83 knots (96 mph

Go Bertha!
Quoting 577. hurricanes2018:

Bertha appears to be a hurricane cat 1!! that was fast
Yeah finally. I still believe it can make it to an upper cat 1 or low end cat 2.
Active Hurricane Era Likely To Continue says NOAA:

Warmer than average surface temperatures and low wind shear, enhance hurricane activity. This increase in the number and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes can span multiple decades (approximately 20 to 30 years.

This article was written by NOAA April 13 2006. What happened to there prediction and many others from extreme to nothing. Can our environment be that messed up to change so drastically so fast. Climate change or what?

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2005/s2540.ht m
589. beell


Still some alignment problems with Bertha per the CIMSS products. 850 mb Relative Vorticity (left), 500 mb Relative Vorticity (right). If this is accurate, some limit to the intensification trend at some point.
(click for larger images)
I know, I know. It's a hurricane. Just found it interesting, ADT #'s.