Claudette hits Florida; Ana approaches Puerto RIco; Bill becomes our first hurricane

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 14:10 GMT le 17 août 2009

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Tropical Storm Claudette made landfall at about 1:15 am EDT near the eastern end of Santa Rosa Island, just southeast of Fort Walton Beach in Florida. Claudette's top winds were around 50 mph. A Personal Weather Station in Eastpoint, FL recorded sustained winds of 49 mph, gusting to 66 mph last night. So far, the rain from Claudette has had a tough time penetrating inland (Figure 2). Heavy rains of 3 - 4 inches have been confined to a narrow strip of coast, and Claudette is unlikely to cause any major flooding. Apalachicola received just over 4 inches of rain so far from Claudette. Radar animations out of the Florida Panhandle show that heavy rains continue along the coast in association with a main spiral band of Claudette, and these rains will gradually subside today.


Figure 1. Radar reflectivity image of Tropical Storm Claudette as it approached landfall just southeast of Fort Walton Beach shortly after midnight on 8/17/09.

The tropics featured a rare triple threat the past two days--simultaneous named storms beginning with the letters A, B, and C. The last time this occurred was in the slow-starting 1984 hurricane season, when Tropical Storms Arthur, Bertha, and Cesar were all active on September 1. This year's A, B, and C storms all got their names in just a 33 hour span. This is not a record, since in 1995, three tropical storms--Humberto, Iris, and Jerry--got their names in a 27-hour span (thanks to NOAA's Ryan Sharp for looking up this stat).


Figure 2. Total precipitation estimated by radar for Claudette, as of 3:28pm EDT 8/17/09.

Ana not dead yet
Tropical Depression Ana continues to cling to life, and is now approaching landfall in Puerto Rico. Radar animations from the San Juan, Puerto Rico radar show a surface circulation just southeast of the island, with some low-level spiral banding trying to develop to the south. Recent satellite images also show a rejuvenation of the heavy thunderstorm activity near Ana's center, as the storm regroups from being nearly torn apart yesterday. Ana has already dumped up to 4 inches of rain along the north coast of Puerto Rico, according to radar-estimates.

It is unlikely that Ana will survive past today, however, since the storm will move over both Puerto Rico and the rugged terrain of Hispaniola. The high mountains of these islands should act to disrupt the relatively small and fragile circulation of Ana. None of the computer models foresee that Ana will survive passage over Hispaniola. The Dominican Republic can expect 3 - 6 inches of rain from Ana, and Haiti can expect 1 - 3 inches.


Figure 3. Total precipitation estimated by radar from Ana for Puerto Rico.

Bill becomes the first Atlantic hurricane of 2009
Hurricane Bill continues to gather strength, and is now the first hurricane of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season. An eye has appeared on visible and infrared satellite imagery, and Bill is displaying an impressive symmetry, with plenty of low-level spiral banding.

Wind shear is low, 5 - 10 knots, and is forecast to be in the low range through Wednesday. With Sea Surface Temperatures only 27°C today, substantial intensification may not occur until Tuesday and Wednesday, when SSTs warm to 28 - 29°C and ocean heat content sharply increases. By Thursday, Bill is expected to leave the favorable upper-level wind environment it currently finds itself in, and moderate shear of 15 - 20 knots may limit further intensification.

Water vapor satellite imagery shows that there is a modest trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere near 50°W longitude, that Bill is currently approaching. All of the computer models except the UKMET predict that this trough will be strong enough to turn Bill more to the northwest so that the hurricane misses the Lesser Antilles Islands. The UKMET predicts the trough will not affect Bill much, and that the hurricane will pass through or just north of the islands on Thursday. For now, the UKMET solution is being discounted, since the trough at 50W appears substantial enough on satellite imagery to be able to turn Bill more to the northwest.

A much larger trough of low pressure is expected to develop along the U.S. East Coast late this week, turning Bill even more to the northwest. Most of the models predict Bill will pass very close to Bermuda on Saturday as a result. The HWRF model predicts Bermuda will receive a direct hit at Category 4 strength. Until Bill interacts with the small trough at 50°W, it is too early to be confident of the potential threat to Bermuda. By Tuesday, we should have a much better idea of the threat. Likewise, I would like to see the UKMET model come around in line with the other models before dismissing the possible threat to the U.S. East Coast. It currently appears that Bill will miss the U.S. East Coast, but that a strike on the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland or Nova Scotia is possible.

I'll have an update Tuesday morning, or possibly this afternoon.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:


thats an very old image
Member Since: 13 juillet 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 10796
bill is heading right for aruba
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2871. ackee
Quoting stoormfury:
bill LOOKS LIKE IT IS MOVING WSW
agree
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Needs to re filter the dry air out before it can really form an eye.



Bill is "squinting" now, determining his next move !
Member Since: 19 août 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15847
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Satellite image is a day old.
oops, k i removed it. Just installed it and i was impressed with the view, didnt bothered to check the date there. Do you know is there a way to update this?

Thanks.
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Bill LOOKS LIKE IT IS MOVING WSW
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Needs to re filter the dry air out before it can really form an eye.

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2865. Patrap
Tropical Atlantic - AMSU 89 GHz Loop
Member Since: 3 juillet 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
Quoting MeterologistDewon9:
In this blog Florida is not the sunshine state, it is the Hurricane State
you mean the plywood state
2862. P451
Well, I treated myself to 8 hours at the beach at Manasquan NJ today - about 10 miles from where I live.

Water was an incredible 79F. That's very very rare for up here. Usually tops around 74-75 in August. Once or twice a decade gets to 77/78. Several times per decade we get about 72/73. To see 79 is amazing. It won't last with Bill stirring everything up though. Great day.

Am tired (yes, I know, poor me, what a tough day), so, seeing there's not much really going on, here's my lone contribution to the blog tonight:

12KM WV:



And, surface maps from the HPC/DOC/NOAA/NWS/NCEP collaboration.
Remember, the MB readings on tropical lows are always way off with these maps. Just use them for positioning of the storm.

Thursday (Bill not yet on the map)



Friday



Saturday



Sunday (again, this is how they do things there, Bill is the LOW PRESSURE area)



Monday (Yeah, that's Bill interacting with the other storm system. Perfect storm scenario? Doubtful, but, would prove interesting as it shot out to sea. England? Who knows...)




====
And some Bill models:


18Z GFS Model




12Z CMC Model



====

G'night.
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No, I have not gone, before I go, was studying the latest loop a bit more, and yes, will add fuel to the fire and y'all will think me silly but...

In this loop, the 'core' and thunderstorms of Bill seem to have taken a Southerly 'dive'???

What is this, how to interpret, is it real or illusion?

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/catl/loop-wv.html

I'll watch for answers and then off to bed.

Specially as I am in Barbados, right West of that 'dropped convection'.

This storm is strange.
Thanks!
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We have continuous lightning and tropical downpours here in Miami at the moment and probably will for the next three days or so.
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
BrockBerlin, the last major hurricane to make landfall in Georgia was on October 2, 1898.


Thanks for the info, but that is a long streak of luck even for a small area of coast like that.
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2858. Dakster
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
BrockBerlin, the last major hurricane to make landfall in Georgia was on October 2, 1898.


WOW. Georgia is so overdue...
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2857. Relix
Quoting islagal:
If Bill takes a West shift...is there any remote possibility of a N Caribbean storm...Yucatan or S. Cuba?


Nah this outcome is nearly impossible, even an Antilles impact is very hard to fathom, but as all in weather and nature... it can all change in a few hours and we have no way of predicting.
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Quoting HurricaneCavalier:
GO DOLPHINS!!

Go Falcons!
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2855. Patrap
Tropical Atlantic - SSM/I Rain Rate Loop
Member Since: 3 juillet 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
2854. jdjnola
Quoting centex:
It's all about the turn. Turns a day early (history it didn't) it's a fish, turns on time the forecast track to close to call how it will impact people or turns a day late and some people will be in danger. We know they can't call turns exactly, they miss that more than a few times.


These are some wise words. Katrina was supposed to follow Claudette's path once she crossed over Florida but the NHC forecast the turn a little (lot?) too early and look how that turned out... Link
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Hi all

Been lurking for years now. Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for the continuos information and occasional laugh
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
And here we go....


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.8 / 992.7mb/ 61.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
3.7 4.1 5.8

bill not looking too happy right now.
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Quoting islagal:
If Bill takes a West shift...is there any remote possibility of a N Caribbean storm...Yucatan or S. Cuba?


Incredibly remote even a Florida/GA hit would be extremely remote with a west shift, main places affected by the west shift would be New England.
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Well I am off to bed.

Here on the east coast, the Atlantic coast, of Dominica in the Lesser Antilles,the tone of the sea swell is very gradually changing and every half an hour or so there is an upsurge of the trade winds. Bill is a long way off but is now almost on our latitude and the far off signals are starting.
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Quoting islagal:
If Bill takes a West shift...is there any remote possibility of a N Caribbean storm...Yucatan or S. Cuba?


Probably not. But after Ike, NO ONE has any idea.
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Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:



Satellite image is a day old.
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Quoting weatherfan92:
It should be interesting how NHC adjusts its track at 11pm with Bill continuing to move west.


Dont expect a huge turn to the West. The NHC isn't going to change their track considerably until their pretty certain that's what's going to happen.
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
Remember this:

Weak Goes West ... Strong Goes North
crap!
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2845. Patrap


Tropical Atlantic - SSM/I Total Surface Winds Loop
Member Since: 3 juillet 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
Quoting cchsweatherman:
Here are the latest 00Z model runs. They all continue shifting further westward.
Xtrap hasn't changed much, though. Suggests that the forecasted WNW movement is actually happening. Which in turn gives me a bit more faith in the turn actually happening.

NE Antilles are going to need a TS warning / H watch at this rate, though....
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Quoting OnTheFlats:
Thanks. That beast came from the Camino Real bridge in Boca Raton. Well I was fishing from a boat but there are some big girls there now getting ready to finish up the summer spawn. Even bigger females cruising the beaches. A nice swell will really light it up this weekend.


what do you use for bait up there?
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2841. islagal
If Bill takes a West shift...is there any remote possibility of a N Caribbean storm...Yucatan or S. Cuba?
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Back in a couple of hours for the next update. I just got a call from a Rum and Coke hanging out at a local bar. Adios
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2839. SaoFeng
CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.8 / 992.7mb/ 61.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
3.7 4.1 5.8


Once the eye cam out, the raw t# shot through the roof
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I'm more worried about the trof eroding the high and then it quickly building back in when Bill is directly to the west of the high...in fact, depending on how far west it gets now could be extremely important from N.C to points North...

Are storms likely to curve as far to the NE this early in the year?
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.
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2836. Patrap
TRMM missed but were gonna get a pass soon.

Member Since: 3 juillet 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
Quoting HurricaneCavalier:


Speaking of which...that's a nice snook in your avatar. Wow!
Thanks. That beast came from the Camino Real bridge in Boca Raton. Well I was fishing from a boat but there are some big girls there now getting ready to finish up the summer spawn. Even bigger females cruising the beaches. A nice swell will really light it up this weekend.
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It should be interesting how NHC adjusts its track at 11pm with Bill continuing to move west.
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2833. centex
It's all about the turn. Turns a day early (history it didn't) it's a fish, turns on time the forecast track to close to call how it will impact people or turns a day late and some people will be in danger. We know they can't call turns exactly, they miss that more than a few times.
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2832. Patrap
Member Since: 3 juillet 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
Quoting bigtrucker:
When New england gets their hurricanes they take paths like this


Bob in 1992 took a simular path. With Bill trending west and slightly south will be watching from the coast


Hmmm... Bill is south of that track....interesting
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Well I do trust the models keeping Bill offshore--if they were showing all showing a Georgia landfall I would know they are wrong ;)


Lol what is the last storm to make landfall in Georgia anyway? It's quite a small coastal target.
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Well I do trust the models keeping Bill offshore--if they were showing all showing a Georgia landfall I would know they are wrong ;)


Lol what is the last storm to make landfall in Georgia anyway? It's quite a small coastal target.
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Quoting bajelayman2:
Weather456,

I am off now, best wishes to you and other islanders, lets hope the models have an ace in the sleeve, even we are not out of the woods yet, here in Barbados. Nothing is impossible.

But, keep safe and take care.

I will check the sat loop first thing in the am.

Night all.


I have to agree with you on the Barbados quote. later.......
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Quoting OnTheFlats:
Oh and the wonderful humming of generators for days on end. LOL. I like fish storms here in Florida. Good waves and great fishing.


Speaking of which...that's a nice snook in your avatar. Wow!
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In this blog Florida is not the sunshine state, it is the Hurricane State

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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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