WunderBlog Archive » Category 6™

Category 6 has moved! See the latest from Dr. Jeff Masters and Bob Henson here.

Wilma: a hurricane today

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 1:57 PM GMT on October 18, 2005

Wilma continues to intensify. Satellite imagery shows a dense cirrus overcast (CDO) beginning to form and cover the center of the storm, which is characteristic of a tropical storm intent on becoming a hurricane. Spiral banding and upper-level outflow continue to improve and cover a larger area. Some wind shear and dry air are affecting the northwest side of the storm, but Wilma is gaining a more symmetric appearance characteristic of a hurricane. The hurricane hunters left the storm at 3 am EDT this morning and are not due back until about 3 pm EDT this afternoon, so we will have to wait until then to learn Wilma's true strength.

The upper level environment continues to look favorable for intensification, with low wind shear and an anti-cyclone on top generating good outflow on all sides except the norhtwest. Intensification into a Category 3 hurricane by Thursday still seems like a good bet. There is a small chance Wilma could make it to Category 4 status by Friday, but shear will start to increase by then as the upper-level trough of low pressure generates strong westerly winds over her. This shear will likely reduce Wilma's winds by at least 20 mph, and landfall in Florida as a strong Category 2 hurricane seems like a reasonble intensity forecast.

Steering currents are expected to remain weak today, and some erratic motion is possible. All of the forecast models predict a generally west or west-northwest motion over the next two days. Now that Wilma has stopped moving south, this gives me some confidence that this forecast is the correct one, and the danger to Honduras is considerably lessened. Only the northeast portion of Honduras should see heavy rains over ten inches, and since this part of the country is relatively flat, the threat of life-threatening flash flooding and mud slides like killed thousands in Hurricane Mitch and Hurricane Fifi is low. So far, northeastern Honduras has received only one to two inches of rain from Wilma.

The country that has taken the worst pounding so far from Wilma is Jamaica, where Wilma's rains have already caused millions of dollars of damage to the road infrastructure. Widespread flooding and road blockages due to mudslides are being reported, and will continue as Wilma stays essentially stationary or moves very slowly away from Jamaica today.

Next on Wilma's hit list will be Mexico and Cuba, who have already had their share of major hurricanes this season. Mexico is still cleaning up the damage from Hurricane Emily earlier this year, and Cuba took one of its worst hurricane pouundings ever during Hurricane Dennis in July. Heavy rains in the Cayman Islands, Belize, Nicaragua, and northern Guatemala may also create local flooding problems in those nations. If Wilma grows large enough to tap the Pacific as a source of moisture, Nicaragua and Costa Rica could also experience some moderate flooding problems.


Figures 1. Computer model forecasts for Wilma.

The models have reached a strong consensus that a low pressure system currently bringing rain to the western U.S. will move east and exert a strong pull on Wilma, turning her more northwest by Thursday, through the Yucatan Channel, and then northeastward into the Florida Keys or the west coast of Florida by the weekend. Most of the guidance shows the Keys to be the primary region at risk, but the GFDL model has moved its landfall point further north with its most recent run (2 am EDT), and puts the area between Sarasota and Fort Myers in the bullseye. The NOAA jet is scheduled to makes its first flight tonight, and tomorrow morning we should have a better idea of the reliability of the current model forecasts.

Elsewhere in the tropics, there is a large area of disturbed weather midway between Africa and the Leeward Islands. Upper level winds are not favorable for development of this area, which is also too close to the Equator. I'll be back with a update in this afternoon after the Hurricane Hunters report in.

Jeff Masters

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

Will Jax, people in Gainesville are crazy everyday but even crazier during a storm. They can't resist driving around during the middle of a good storm!
Funny, I was just about to comment on the misspelling.

And Wilsden, nice pics. Amazing how bright the rainbow appears!
inpath.... shhh thanks alot... but about irene i think she just was a storm that had an UNBELIEVABLE moisture associated with her. Rain over the wind is exactly right tho...
One of the most important issues in a U.S. hurricane is tidal water. If tidal water might be an issue, evacuate, don't take chances.

This is what has killed so many people in Mississippi and Louisiana with Katrina. Of course there are other important issues as well particular to each area as well.
new vortex soon
Thanks WillJax, it's the only 'weather' we've had in 2005 lol
508. dcw
InPathOfWilma: My boards support IP banning, and though I am somewhat reluctant to do so I will if there are problems. Link

Hey guys, anyone have a clue when the recon is coming in?
commenting on misspelling you guys really arent helping yourselves.... nothing else to do huh?
OK PEOPLE THIS GRAPHIC IS ESTIMATED WINDS IF WILMA STAYS ON CURRENT PATH AND KEEPS THE SAME STREGNTH AS NHC PREDICTED AS OF 11AM


Image hosted by Photobucket.com


its probably being entered in the models right now.... i pretty sure the plane left early this am.... so its wrapping up soon. You should see mention of it in the NHC discussion coming up at 5.....
well, everyone, its been rough in here today. I surely hope that tomorrow, everyone will be nice.
Take care and sweet dreams. :-)
wave hieght & direction ~java loop button on upper right Link
Dropsonde Observations were reported at 3:20 Eastern I believe. The data is coming. Or am I wrong?

000
UZNT13 KWBC 181920
XXAA 68192 99214 70841 08114 99007 28450 04519 00065 28049 04519
92752 23247 05520 85486 18631 06018 70132 11057 07020 50587 03171
03523 40759 14385 03522 30971 29984 03519 25098 40776 04518 20245
52578 04007 88999 77999
31313 09608 81845
51515 10167 01917 10190 15425
61616 NOAA9 0624A WILMA OB 05
62626 SPL 2134N08417W 1858 WL150 04520 085 DLM WND 05019 006173 M
BL WND 04519=
XXBB 68198 99214 70841 08114 00007 28450 11000 28049 22827 17018
33801 16850 44752 13233 55720 12457 66674 10058 77620 05657 88612
05463 99589 03674 11422 12367 22388 15591 33185 56977 44172 609//
21212 00007 04519 11969 04019 22823 07519 33730 05516 44693 07020
55546 06523 66506 03523 77453 01532 88425 05022 99396 03021 11363
04515 22352 05015 33331 02014 44318 03517 55307 02521 66217 06014
77210 05013 88172 12504
31313 09608 81845
51515 10167 01917 10190 15425
61616 NOAA9 0624A WILMA OB 05
62626 SPL 2134N08417W 1858 WL150 04520 085 DLM WND 05019 006173 M
BL WND 04519=
wannabee since you know what your talking about you are wrong and you misspelled something, talk about immature huh?....
Hiya from The Bahamas :)
The new models have the storm tracking towards Freeport, Grand Bahama. They were ravaged by Frances and Jeanne last year!
How strong do you think it could possibly be after it passed through FL ?
ftlpunk go to bottom of that map, interactive button,recenter, zoom in on fl, below that ~add couny lines & could do one for estimated power outages
Not that it will help, but Im offering my blogspace for public use. Anyone from this board that would just like to go chit chat, voice opinion, say what you want, weather related or not, please feel free to do so. At least it wont be on Dr. Masters Board. Its just a suggestion. So, here is an open invitation to whomever is interested.

Link
Hi Bills. Yes, it doesn't look good but it is still a bit out there and we know how things can change. Got to run again. Be back later.
OK THIS IS A GREAT MAP HERE... THIS IS IN A NUTSHELL WHAT FL WILL LOOK LIKE COUNTY BY COUNTY... CREDIT TO SKEPONY


Image hosted by Photobucket.com


"I have never posted previously, but I have garnished much useful information from Doctor Master's blog. I have found especially useful some of the links. As a person who values this blog, I would like to see Dr Masters block the IP addresses of those whose emotional immaturity is rampant, and who are making this blog a very unpleasant place. Is there any one else who supports such an initiative?"

I agree whole heartedly..... but in my case, a simple "IGNORE" button would do just fine! ;)

this blog used to be a great place, before all the troll's took up roost!

I still hope Dr.Masters will get the broom out and clean up the trash abound! LOL
next dropsonde reported at 3:32 East - we will have Vortex soon
g-iv flight was from 2pm till 8pm. the data will be enetred into the 8pm model runs. those mdoels will be out around 130am

so the upper air recon is still out there taking measurements.

Here are some of the latest observations from the National Data Buoy Center near Wilma.

Link
wow lefty comes in and copies wanabee and myself.... awesome. This is why i will not be posting.... plagerising is wrong!
cya guys, wanabee email me anytime my man. Nice talking with you
wanabee b4 i leave let me know your predictions on:

strength at landfall

landfall point... would love to know what you are thinking right now....
OK, here are my "Weatherman65" quotes for the day:

"And more do to."
"(chok full of info)"
"taking the whole penn. of FL."
"it will be only a threat (maybe now.. im not an expert like lefty now) "
"But running of someone like clyde"
"I hope everyone in FL is warry,"
"be quiet its a joke"

Does this look like the spelling and grammar of a college educated (much less degreed) person?

I'm personally satisfied that Weatherman65, ClydeFrog and weatherwannabe are all the same (troublemaking;) person. I'm pretty darned sure that none of them :^) are actually meteorologists. Just my $.02...

Question for the blog administrators: how hard would it be to provide a 20-entry or so "ignore" list in preferences to eliminate posts from worthless sources? Make it so that person is ignored, and all direct replies to that person are (optionally) ignored. This feature is quite useful on Usenet. Also, please provide the signup date, and the last two octets of IP address used for the most recent post on each users blog page...that would make insta-trolls and alias-trolls much easier to spot.

Hope it was interesting...
Weatherman65 - thanks for asking.

Cat 3, landfall between in extreme southern Florida, possible as far south as the keys.
Guygee ya looked into the hurricane straps to tie your trusses to your walls? You can get them at home improvement stores & install pretty easialy yourself if the pitch isn't to flat

~yeah Frances, tornado hit the barn the ponys were evacted to. Lost a little roof, landed acres away. Next to the old dairy between post & Turtlemound rd. The dairy's roof was gone. France had 123 tornadoes ~ holds the record with hurricane with the most.
SCStormWatcher that was a waste of our time. Thanks
wow reddy, degreed huh? word? bye guys off to work. joke all the way around!
THIS IS THE NAPLES NWS FORECAST


Rest Of Today...Partly sunny with a 20 percent chance of showers. Highs in the upper 80s. East winds 10 to 15 mph.

Tonight...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers. Lows in the lower 70s. East winds 5 to 10 mph.

Wednesday...Partly sunny. A chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs around 90. East winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40 percent.

Wednesday Night...Partly cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms in the evening. Lows in the lower 70s. East winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40 percent.

Thursday...Partly sunny. A chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the upper 80s. East winds 5 to 10 mph becoming southeast 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon. Chance of rain 50 percent.

Thursday Night...Partly cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms in the evening. Lows in the lower to mid 70s. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Friday...Partly sunny with a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 80s.

Friday Night...Partly cloudy with showers and thunderstorms likely. Lows in the lower to mid 70s. Chance of rain 60 percent.

Saturday...Cloudy and becoming very windy. Hurricane conditions possible.

Saturday Night...Hurricane conditions possible.

Sunday...Mostly cloudy and windy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms early. Highs in the upper 80s. Chance of rain 40 percent.

Sunday Night...Mostly clear. A 20 percent chance of showers in the evening. Cooler. Lows in the mid to upper 60s.

Monday...Mostly sunny with highs in the mid 80s.



if u want to disscuss the storm u should coem to my blog. here is the new recon

VORTEX DATA MESSAGE
A. 18/19:54:00Z
B. 16 deg 36 min N
081 deg 25 min W
C. 850 mb 1169 m
D. 55 kt
E. 335 deg 020 nm
F. 080 deg 075 kt
G. 348 deg 010 nm
H. 970 mb
I. 16 C/ 1526 m
J. 20 C/ 1526 m
K. 20 C/ NA
L. RAGGED
M. C10
N. 12345/ 8
O. 0.02 / 2 nm
P. AF302 0524A WILMA OB 06
MAX FL WIND 75 KT N QUAD 19:50:40 Z
VERY SMALL WIND CENTER
New Vortex

000
URNT12 KNHC 182009
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE
A. 18/19:54:00Z
B. 16 deg 36 min N
081 deg 25 min W
C. 850 mb 1169 m
D. 55 kt
E. 335 deg 020 nm
F. 080 deg 075 kt
G. 348 deg 010 nm
H. 970 mb
I. 16 C/ 1526 m
J. 20 C/ 1526 m
K. 20 C/ NA
L. RAGGED
M. C10
N. 12345/ 8
O. 0.02 / 2 nm
P. AF302 0524A WILMA OB 06
MAX FL WIND 75 KT N QUAD 19:50:40 Z
VERY SMALL WIND CENTER


OLD VORTEX

000
URNT12 KNHC 180614
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE
A. 18/05:56:30Z
B. 15 deg 40 min N
079 deg 56 min W
C. 850 mb 1278 m
D. NA kt
E. deg nm
F. 241 deg 065 kt
G. 152 deg 009 nm
H. 982 mb
I. 15 C/ 1530 m
J. 23 C/ 1521 m
K. 16 C/ NA
L. NA
M. NA
N. 1345 / 8
O. 0.02 / 3 nm
P. AF309 0424A WILMA OB 14
MAX FL WIND 65 KT SE QUAD 05:53:30 Z
RADAR PRESENTATION POOR DUE TO ATTENUATION

New Vortex

000
URNT12 KNHC 182009
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE
A. 18/19:54:00Z
B. 16 deg 36 min N
081 deg 25 min W
C. 850 mb 1169 m
D. 55 kt
E. 335 deg 020 nm
F. 080 deg 075 kt
G. 348 deg 010 nm
H. 970 mb
I. 16 C/ 1526 m
J. 20 C/ 1526 m
K. 20 C/ NA
L. RAGGED
M. C10
N. 12345/ 8
O. 0.02 / 2 nm
P. AF302 0524A WILMA OB 06
MAX FL WIND 75 KT N QUAD 19:50:40 Z
VERY SMALL WIND CENTER

pressure dropping about 1 mb per hour. Not bad.
Living here in SE Virginia, I am concerned that once Wilma crosses into the Atlantic, she may try and phase with the trough coming in from the west about the same time Sun/Mon. The threat is there that she may try and hand off energy into the trough or some sort of secondary, unnamed storm may try and form on her outskirts. Either case would bring nasty weather to the East Coast. I also believe Wilma may feel the westward pull of the trough and may not go as far out as indicated previously.
1. the last two frames or so of the goes floater is showing CDO, or an eye opening. (look closely)

2. my other concern is watch the forecast pts along with the center of circulation... its alread west of the current track. This will result in a shift in track and something to be watched seeing that the models have had a tough time with storms with weak steering currents.

3. The shear is all what us floridians need to look out for... email clyde he will show you very informative models on shear. This will be floridas only help!

and my info on the westerly shear wilma encountered i guess is all just old information... wow hop please just stop lol... no new info huh? wow
577. dcw
Excellent plan!

What eye, weatherman? Seems to be to be weakening a little to temporarily reorganize. 75kt MFL winds only barely support the 80mph 2:00PM.
Hurricane Wilma Advisory Number 13

Statement as of 5:00 PM EDT on October 18, 2005
...Hurricane watches issued for Cuba and Mexico...

At 5 PM EDT...2100z...the government of Cuba has issued a Hurricane Watch for the provinces of Matanzas westward through Pinar del Rio...and for the Isle of Youth. A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area...generally within 36 hours.

At 5 PM EDT...2100z...the government of Mexico has issued a Hurricane Watch for the Yucatan Peninsula from Punta Allen to Cabo Catoche.

A Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for Honduras from the Honduras/Nicaragua border westward to Cabo camaron.

A Tropical Storm Warning and a Hurricane Watch remain in effect for the Cayman Islands.

All interests in the Florida Keys and the Florida Peninsula should closely monitor the progress of Wilma.

For storm information specific to your area...including possible inland watches and warnings...please monitor products issued by your local weather office.

At 5 PM EDT...2100z...the center of Hurricane Wilma was located near latitude 16.7 north... longitude 81.5 west or about 180 miles... 290 km... south of Grand Cayman.

Wilma is moving toward the west-northwest near 8 mph...13 km/hr. A turn to the northwest is expected during the next 24 hours.

Maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph...130 km/hr...with higher gusts. Wilma is a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours...and Wilma is expected to become a major hurricane during the next day or two.

Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 15 miles... 30 km... from the center...and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles...220 km.

The latest minimum central pressure reported by a reconnaissance aircraft was 970 mb...28.64 inches.

Wilma is expected to produce additional rainfall accumulations of 5 to 10 inches...with isolated amounts of 15 inches...over the Cayman Islands...Jamaica...Haiti...and Cuba. Total rainfall accumulations of 4 to 6 inches...with isolated amounts of 12 inches...are possible over portions of Honduras and Nicaragua.

Repeating the 5 PM EDT position...16.7 N... 81.5 W. Movement toward...west-northwest near 8 mph. Maximum sustained winds... 80 mph. Minimum central pressure... 970 mb.

An intermediate advisory will be issued by the National Hurricane Center at 8 PM EDT followed by the next complete advisory at 11 PM EDT.

Forecaster Franklin


$$



The only thing I find informative about Joe Bastardi's columns is that he dares to go out on a limb where local/TPC people won't, due to concern of scaring people. The models used do not tend to be precise either more than 3 days out and the forecasters use these to make their predictions. With each model run, nothing is ever the same as the previous one. It will never be an exact science, but that's part of the beauty of tropical weather!
I have heard that there are folks out there trying to say that Katrina was less than a Cat 3 at landfall. However, people that were in the area have observed things that only a 4/5 would bring. Does anyone else believe that on the advisories that come out, the wind speeds are manipulated somehow? It seems that to be more accurate, pressure should be used to determine strength, as almost always the wind speed will catch up to what the pressure says it should be, not what someone thinks would be less dramatic to hear.
kilgores97 - I share your concern about the effect of the low pressure system pulling Wilma up the coast in our direction. Happy to acknowlege both my lack of meteorolgical training & love of watching these storms (with a little vested interest as a property owner thrown in). Appreciate the prognostications (& graphics) folks with more background offer up.
Hurricane Wilma Discussion Number 13


Statement as of 5:00 PM EDT on October 18, 2005



an Air Force reconnaissance aircraft has just made its first pass
through the center of Wilma...finding a minimum central pressure of
970 mb and maximum flight-level winds...so far...of 75 kt. A
dropsonde in the north eyewall reported surface winds of 64 kt.
Satellite intensity estimates from TAFB and SAB are 77 kt. The
advisory intensity of 70 kt is a blend of the satellite and
reconnaissance observations.
There has been no change to the thinking regarding the intensity
forecast. Wilma continues to have very strong upper-level outflow
channels to the northeast and southwest of the center. Oceanic heat
content ahead of Wilma is high...including in the southeastern Gulf
of Mexico. In the short term...the only inhibiting factor is the
dry air mass in the Gulf and extreme northwestern Caribbean. A high
likelihood of rapid strengthening continues to be indicated by the
SHIPS rapid intensification index. Wilma could be a major hurricane
by this time tomorrow...and reach category four strength before
entering the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. As Wilma accelerates
northeastward in the Gulf...wind shear is forecast to increase
slightly...but at this time does not appear to be sufficient to
weaken Wilma very quickly. However...it is Worth remembering that
there is little skill in long-range intensity forecasts.

The initial motion is 290/7. There has also been no change to the
track forecast thinking. The mid- to upper-level low that had been
off the Southern California coast continues northeastward...and as
it progresses high pressure over the Gulf of Mexico is expected to
weaken...allowing Wilma to move through the northwestern Caribbean
and enter the southeastern Gulf of Mexico in about three days. Once
Wilma moves north of the subtropical ridge axis and encounters
mid-level westerly flow...an acceleration northeastward is
expected. Only very modest shifts have occurred with the
tightly-clustered model guidance suite...which...at this time...is
focusing the long-term threat to the southern half of the Florida
Peninsula. The official forecast is very similar to the previous
advisory and remains close to the dynamical model consensus.


Forecaster Franklin


forecast positions and Max winds

initial 18/2100z 16.7n 81.5w 70 kt
12hr VT 19/0600z 17.3n 82.3w 90 kt
24hr VT 19/1800z 18.2n 83.5w 100 kt
36hr VT 20/0600z 19.1n 84.5w 110 kt
48hr VT 20/1800z 20.2n 85.2w 115 kt
72hr VT 21/1800z 22.5n 85.5w 110 kt
96hr VT 22/1800z 25.0n 82.5w 100 kt
120hr VT 23/1800z 30.5n 75.5w 70 kt



New Media Download From EOC Director Nathan McCollumIndian River County Tropical Update
Info Specific to Indian River Co and relevant to Martin, St Lucie & Brevard Co.
It almost seems like a 36-year cycle:

1933: 21 named storms (record), 10 hurricanes
1969: 12 hurricanes (record)
2005: 21 (or more) named storms, 12 (or more) hurricanes (ties records)
Wilma could be a major hurricane by this time tomorrow...and reach category four strength before entering the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. As Wilma accelerates northeastward in the Gulf...wind shear is forecast to increase slightly...but at this time does not appear to be sufficient to weaken Wilma very quickly.
I'd say she could be a cat 3 easily at landfall
you nicely spotted a pattern there, chris