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Gonzalo Brushes Newfoundland; Ana Drenching Hawaii

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 4:54 PM GMT on October 19, 2014

Hurricane Gonzalo sped by Southeast Newfoundland, Canada on Sunday morning as a Category 1 storm with 85 mph winds. Cape Race, Newfoundland measured sustained winds of 41 mph, gusting to 55 mph at 8:30 am local time; Cape Pine measured a gust of 66 mph. Despite traversing waters colder than 10°C (50°F), Gonzalo was still maintaining its tropical characteristics on Sunday morning, and had a respectable amount of heavy thunderstorms near its center. The hurricane can't maintain its tropical nature for much longer, and will become an extratropical storm by Sunday night. On Tuesday, the powerful extratropical storm that was Gonzalo will hit the U.K., bringing wind gusts of 50 - 70 mph. The UK Met Office has posted a "Yellow warning of wind" for the islands for Tuesday.

Gonzalo hit Bermuda near 8:30 pm EDT Friday night as a strong Category 2 storm with sustained 110 mph winds. Sustained winds at the Bermuda Airport peaked at 76 mph, with a gust to 96 mph, as the northern eyewall passed overhead between 8 - 9 pm AST. After a calm lasting about an hour, when the pressure sank to 953 mb, the southern eyewall hit, with stronger winds than the northern eyewall--93 mph, gusting to 113 mph, at 11:55 pm AST. No one was killed on the island, and damage was moderate. The airport is scheduled to re-open on Sunday afternoon.

Figure 1. Workers use a chainsaw to remove an uprooted tree from a street in downtown after hurricane Gonzalo hit the island in Hamilton, Bermuda, Saturday Oct. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/David Skinner) BERMUDA OUT

Hurricane Ana bringing heavy rains to Hawaii
Hurricane Ana continues to trek just over 100 miles south of the Hawaiian Island chain as a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds. Satellite loops on Sunday morning showed that Ana was holding its own against high wind shear, and the hurricane was bringing heavy rains to Oahu and Kauai, where Flash Flood Watches are in effect. Rainfall amounts of 3 - 6" with locally higher amounts are expected before Ana finally chugs out to sea. Ana dumped 4.55" or rain on Hilo on the Big Island on Saturday, a record for the date.

Figure 2. MODIS satellite image of Hurricane Ana brushing the Hawaiian Islands on October 18, 2014. At the time, Ana had top winds of 80 mph. Image credit: NASA.

Figure 3. Radar image of Ana at 12:22 pm EDT October 19, 2014, from the South Kauai radar.

Figure 4. Radar-estimated total rainfall from Ana from the Molokai Radar.

Tropical Storm Trudy dissipates after hitting Mexico
In the Eastern Pacific, Tropical Storm Trudy formed Friday night and made landfall on the Pacific coast of Mexico about 75 miles east-southeast of Acapulco on Saturday morning with sustained winds of 60 mph. Acapulco radar and satellite images show that very heavy rains from Trudy continue to affect the coast of Mexico, and Trudy's remnants have the potential to dump rains totaling 6 - 12 inches through Wednesday in the states of Guerrero and Oaxaca in southern Mexico. Trudy's formation gives the 2014 Eastern Pacific (east of 140°W) 19 named storms, 13 hurricanes, and 8 intense hurricanes in 2014. An average Eastern Pacific hurricane season sees just 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes during the entire year, with only one more named storm occurring after October 18.

Two areas to watch in the Atlantic
Moisture from Trudy will move northwards across Mexico into the southern Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche by Wednesday, contributing to the formation of a large area of low pressure that will bring heavy rains to Mexico's Gulf Coast, Western Cuba, and South Florida on Wednesday through Friday. In their 8 am EDT Sunday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave this low 2-day and 5-day odds of development into a tropical or subtropical cyclone of 0% and 30%, respectively. The low should move generally eastward or east-northeastward during the week.

NHC is also watching a non-tropical low pressure system in the Eastern Atlantic between the Canary Islands and Azores Islands. This system was designated 92L on Sunday, and was given 5-day development odds of 20%.

Hurricane expert Steve Gregory has his take on the tropics in a Sunday afternoon post.

Jeff Masters


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