Hurricane Ida hits Nicaragua

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:31 PM GMT on November 05, 2009

Hurricane Ida intensified at one of the fastest rates on record, and plowed ashore this morning in central Nicaragua as a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds. It took just 24 hours from when the first advisory was issued for Tropical Depression Eleven until Ida reached hurricane strength. Since reliable satellite measurements began in 1970, Hurricane Humberto holds the record for fastest intensification from first advisory issued to hurricane strength--18 hours. (Actually, Humberto did the feat in 14 1/4 hours, but this was rounded off to 18 hours in the final data base, which stores points every six hours). There have been six storms that accomplished the feat in 24 hours--Hurricane Florence of 2000, Hurricane Erin of 1995, Hurricane Bonnie of 1992, Hurricane Earl of 1986, Hurricane Kate of 1985, and Hurricane Kendra of 1978. Ida now joins that short list of rapidly intensifying storms.

Ida will dump very heavy rains of 10 - 15 inches over northern Nicaragua and northeastern Honduras over the next two days, which will likely make it the deadliest storm of the 2009 hurricane season. However, Ida is a relatively small storm, and has not tapped the Pacific Ocean as a source of moisture. I think the NHC forecast of 15 - 20 inches of rain is overdone. The greatest rainfall disasters in Honduras history--caused by Hurricane Fifi of 1974 and Hurricane Mitch of 1998--were caused because these were large storms that were able to pull in moisture from both the Atlantic and Pacific. Ida will not approach these disasters in magnitude.


Figure 1. Microwave "weather radar in space" image of Ida at landfall this morning, at 6:17 am EST. Image credit Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

The forecast for Ida
Ida will likely spend a full two days over Nicaragua and Honduras, and there is a chance that Ida will dissipate. The HWRF and ECMWF don't show much surviving of Ida after crossing into the Western Caribbean. However, the other models like Ida's chances of surviving, and it is the case that the storm's core will be tracking over relatively low elevation land (Figure 2), increasing the chances that Ida can survive the crossing intact. If Ida survives the crossing and emerges into the Western Caribbean on Saturday, moderate wind shear of 15 - 20 knots and warm waters await it, and some modest strengthening is likely. A trough of low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico this weekend should be able to propel Ida northwards into the Gulf of Mexico. The long-term fate of Ida if it reaches the Gulf of Mexico is hard to guess at this point, though the odds are against Ida hitting the U.S. as a hurricane, due to high wind shear.


Figure 2. Projected track from the 10am EST NHC advisory from Thursday, 11/05/09, overlaid on a topographical map of Central America. Image credit: Wikipedia.

Looking at the past to predict the future
Perhaps the best way to estimate the chances of Ida surviving the crossing of Nicaragua and Honduras is to look at past storms that have followed similar tracks, to see if they dissipated or not. History favors Ida surviving the crossing. The two best analogue storms occurred in 1906 and 1908. Hurricane Eight of October 10, 1906, hit Nicaragua as a Category 3 hurricane, spent two days over land, weakening to a tropical storm, then emerged into the Western Caribbean and re-intensified into a Category 3 hurricane that hit Cuba and South Florida. On the other hand, Hurricane Nine of October 18, 1908, which hit Nicaragua as a Category 2 hurricane, dissipated after spending 1.5 days over land. Three other weaker systems have followed paths similar to Ida's, and all survived the crossing and re-intensified once over the Western Caribbean. Tropical Storm Gert of 1993 hit as a 40 mph tropical storm, spent two days over land, and survived to re-intensify to a tropical storm before hitting the Yucatan Peninsula. Hurricane Alma of June 1996 hit Nicaragua as a tropical depression, spent two days over land, and survived. Alma later intensified into a major Category 3 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Tropical Storm Six of 1940 hit Nicaragua as a 45 mph tropical storm, spent 1.5 days over land, and survived the crossing. So, of the five storms to follow a path similar to Ida's projected path, four survived to re-intensify over the Western Caribbean.

I'll have an update Friday morning.

Jeff Masters

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I think a new center may be trying to form under the deep convection. If that happens, this could bomb right back up to a cat 1.

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everyone needs to stay calm and have patience... its not like this is going to be a Cat 3 or higher. Forecast is it being a moderate tropical storm... which means little wind..little surge (if any) and alot of rain. Right now the NHC has this as no big deal.

Now I think it may become a hurricane.. but I still want to see how fast this develops over the next 12-48hrs... shear will be a slight problem..but not as much early on as it will be moving in tandam with the shear axis. Dont ask me or really anyone about landfall..its still 5 days away (if at all).. we will know more by Sunday morning.
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i dis agree with you kmanislander
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Just a rainmaker is your forecast....LOL....OK I believe it will cause a little more damage somewhere besides just being a rainmaker....
In Adrian's comment he said "rain/SEVERE WEATHER."
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Quoting kmanislander:


No, I do not. Paloma was picked up by a front that was digging to the SE across the Yucatan when it was near 17 N. If you think back to then, Paloma started accelerating from about that position and came up from the SW.

I can remember seeing the SW windflow aloft digging South very quickly as Paloma came up and based on that I made the call of a pass 25 miles off East End at a time when it was forecasted to pass W of us.

While there is always a chance of a track change I place the odds at less than 20% of it happening. I see N to NNW through 20 degrees
Thanks.
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Quoting hurricane23:


20kts of shear is not ideal for rapid intensification.


Shear has been retreating to the N
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Stormwatcher there where very few deaths with Andrew a lot of people followed Brain Norcross tip to get in bathtub and take shelter.Thats what made him famous. It was basically a small storm geographically speaking. So not a lot of flooding damage. One of the interesting pictures was black point marina. You have not and probably never will see such a pile of boats. I had a friend who had a large boat down there his insurance agent told not to even try to look for his boat.
Well, I believe you about the boats because after Ivan in Cayman boats were found miles away from where they were and even buildings were found a few miles away.
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Quoting hurricane23:
conditions across most of the gulf will be very hostile to say the least for any significant development. Looks like a big rain/severe weather maker for parts of florida next week.

adrian


Just a rainmaker is your forecast....LOL....OK I believe it will cause a little more damage somewhere besides just being a rainmaker....
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Dr. Masters has a new blog
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
This is my biggest fear. You think any chance of a Paloma scenario ?


No, I do not. Paloma was picked up by a front that was digging to the SE across the Yucatan when it was near 17 N. If you think back to then, Paloma started accelerating from about that position and came up from the SW.

I can remember seeing the SW windflow aloft digging South very quickly as Paloma came up and based on that I made the call of a pass 25 miles off East End at a time when it was forecasted to pass W of us.

While there is always a chance of a track change I place the odds at less than 20% of it happening. I see N to NNW through 20 degrees
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2128. WxLogic
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Good Morning All,

Ida looks as if she will exit land and emerge back over open water a little sooner than expected. Visible imagery Link suggests that Ida's center is a little east of the forecast points.

Heavy convection persists in Ida's northern and north-western semi-circle. While most of the deep convection had diminished over the center, strong bands of thunderstorms off to Ida's north and east have continued to draw moisture into the system. The center has been partially insulted which seems to have helped the depression to maintain its closed center of circulation. The topography of that particular area of Honduras and Nicaragua has also allowed for less disruption of the center. The center should re-emerge sometime this afternoon and providing the TD can continue to maintain good structure over the next few hours, I believe it could become a TS quite quickly upon it’s exit. Cyclones in relatively favorable environments tend to respond quickly to water once they exit land.
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Quoting mikatnight:


Can't seem to find a map like the ones for the US. Check out this: Climatology of Caribbean Hurricanes
Thanks. I noticed Grand Cayman was one of the ones in red.
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Post 2059-Kman.
Good morning Kman.Do you anticipate a more easterly componant to Ida as it moves north? Currently around 83.7W,it wouldn't take much movement to see it at 81 W (by the time it reaches 19N),if it started shifting eastward upon leaving the Honduran coast.
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Quoting kmanislander:


I agree. I've seen too many systems exhibit rapid intensification in the NW Caribbean and this year nothing has traversed that area to cause any upwelling.High octane awaits Ida once it clears land.


20kts of shear is not ideal for rapid intensification.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
You guys are like hobos who just found a "C-Note". MEAT'S BACK ON THE MENU BOYS!!!!
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Quoting kmanislander:


I agree. I've seen too many systems exhibit rapid intensification in the NW Caribbean and this year nothing has traversed that area to cause any upwelling.High octane awaits Ida once it clears land.




Kman wait till it hits the Gulf Stream Loop...watch how fast she explodes......that is like a bomb just in front of her.
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Quoting IKE:


And hopefully that will be the end of the hurricane season.

I hope. I didn't say it would be. Don't flame me.

you should be flogged... how dare you wish/down...
Ok Im with you
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Ida is commencing a NNE motion now imo and is very close within about 3-4 hours of emerging offshore.
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Stormwatcher there where very few deaths with Andrew a lot of people followed Brain Norcross tip to get in bathtub and take shelter.Thats what made him famous. It was basically a small storm geographically speaking. So not a lot of flooding damage. One of the interesting pictures was black point marina. You have not and probably never will see such a pile of boats. I had a friend who had a large boat down there his insurance agent told not to even try to look for his boat.
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2118. MahFL
Extra tropical normally means stronger winds away from the center, thus affecting a larger area.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Can you find this for the Caribbean too ?


Can't seem to find a map like the ones for the US. Check out this: Climatology of Caribbean Hurricanes
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New blog
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Quoting P451:


Not in the LEAST.



Why don't you believe NHC, because they aren't forecasting a hurricane to hit Florida. This isn't August in the Gulf. As Adrian just posted, the Gulf will be very hostile next week for any kind of strengthening, especially with another front coming down. This will be nothing more than a beneficial rainmaker for central and south Florida.
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IKE mail
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The Gulf for the first time this season will be churned into a frenzy with all the mess setting up. If you came on here in May/June for the 09 season and I'd tell you that you would have to wait till November for the action you'd think I was nuts.
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Quoting kmanislander:


I agree. I've seen too many systems exhibit rapid intensification in the NW Caribbean and this year nothing has traversed that area to cause any upwelling.High octane awaits Ida once it clears land.
This is my biggest fear. You think any chance of a Paloma scenario ?
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2110. WxLogic
10:00 AM EST Fri Nov 6
Location: 15.0°N 84.0°W
Max sustained: 35 mph
Moving: N at 7 mph
Min pressure: 1007 mb
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Quoting TampaSpin:


I don't think i agree with NHC forecast in strength at this time now...before i did, but not now!


I agree. I've seen too many systems exhibit rapid intensification in the NW Caribbean and this year nothing has traversed that area to cause any upwelling.High octane awaits Ida once it clears land.
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I do not agree with the NHC forecast in the near term but I'm not sweating. Did not agree with their track in the first place and for good reason.
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2106. SQUAWK
Why does there appear to be such a disparity between the consensus on this blog and the NHC? Seems most here are calling for rapid strengthening to a hurricane and NHC is TS at best. WTFO??????
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The EXTRATROPICAL NHC is because it emereges with the cold front....this not going to play out well for someone...SEVERE Weather with Tornado's are for sure a very strong possibility likely to occur.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
conditions across most of the gulf will be very hostile to say the least for any significant development. Looks like a big rain/severe weather maker for parts of florida next week.

adrian
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Quoting TampaSpin:


I don't think i agree with NHC forecast in strength at this time now...before i did, but not now!


Read post 2029.
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With each new forecast, the track gets faster and further right...
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Winds forecasted are way below my expectations
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:
Extra-tropical doesn't mean weaker though lol

looks like that could be the point where all the energy comes together


Exactly, an extratropical storm could eventually be more powerful than Ida due to wind shear
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


Which could be worse for Florida than if she were just a tropical storm


My thinking exactly. This has the potential to be a very large severe weather event.
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Quoting Weather456:
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 06/1500Z 15.0N 84.0W 30 KT
12HR VT 07/0000Z 15.7N 84.1W 30 KT...OVER WATER
24HR VT 07/1200Z 16.8N 84.5W 35 KT
36HR VT 08/0000Z 17.9N 85.1W 40 KT
48HR VT 08/1200Z 19.1N 85.8W 45 KT
72HR VT 09/1200Z 22.5N 87.5W 45 KT
96HR VT 10/1200Z 25.0N 87.5W 45 KT
120HR VT 11/1200Z 27.0N 86.0W 40 KT...EXTRATROPICAL

$$
FORECASTER BLAKE/FRANKLIN


I don't think i agree with NHC forecast in strength at this time now...before i did, but not now!
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2095. IKE
Quoting IKE:


Sure do...

120HR VT 11/1200Z 27.0N 86.0W 40 KT...EXTRATROPICAL


And hopefully that will be the end of the hurricane season.

I hope. I didn't say it would be. Don't flame me.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


So it looks like they expect all these systems to merge and be one big mess. That's how I read that.


Which could be worse for Florida than if she were just a tropical storm
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They continue to keep the intensity at 45 knots, which is a slight underestimation, IMO.
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2091. crankin
TampaSpin, what are the local mets saying? How do you find their blogs? I am in Odessa, FL
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The center will move offshore around 5 pm est this afternoon.
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Quoting IKE:


Sure do...

120HR VT 11/1200Z 27.0N 86.0W 40 KT...EXTRATROPICAL


So it looks like they expect all these systems to merge and be one big mess. That's how I read that.
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Quoting IKE:
...IDA MOVING OVER EASTERN HONDURAS...
10:00 AM EST Fri Nov 6
Location: 15.0°N 84.0°W
Max sustained: 35 mph
Moving: N at 7 mph
Min pressure: 1007 mb
.4 N and .2 E
Is this right ?
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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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