Tropical Storm Ida a major flood threat for Nicaragua and Honduras

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 21:33 GMT le 04 novembre 2009

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Tropical Storm Ida has arrived, the ninth named storm of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season. Visible satellite loops show that Ida continues to steadily organize, with surface spiral banding and upper-level outflow now obvious over the northern portion of the storm. An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft is in the storm, and found a large area of surface winds in the 45 - 50 mph range, with a smaller area of 60 mph winds, prompting NHC to upgrade the storm.


Figure 1. Afternoon satellite image of Ida.

Ida is currently under low wind shear, 5 - 10 knots, and shear is expected to remain in the low to moderate range in the Western Caribbean for the remainder of the week. Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) are 29°C and the Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential is about 40 kJ/cm^2, which is enough energy for a hurricane to form, if the center remains over water long enough. The Western Caribbean is plenty moist, and dry air is not an issue for Ida. Ida is currently too small to be affected by tropical disturbance (Invest 96E) 500 miles to its west, over the Eastern Pacific.

The forecast for Ida
The 1 - 3 day forecast for Ida has come into better focus now that the storm has formed, and models have come into better agreement. The current west to northwesterly motion of Ida should carry it inland over northeastern Nicaragua early Thursday morning. Ida is too small to tap the Pacific as a source of moisture, and it is just the northeastern portions of Nicaragua and Honduras that need to be concerned with heavy rains and mudslides. With Ida expected to spend a full two days over land, rainfall amounts of 10 - 15 inches over northeastern Nicaragua and Honduras will likely make Ida the deadliest storm of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season. There is a medium chance (30 - 50%) that Ida will dissipate while over land. If Ida survives the crossing and emerges into the Western Caribbean on Saturday, low to moderate wind shear and warm waters await it, and strengthening is likely. An extratropical storm is forecast by GFS and ECMWF models to form in the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche on Saturday, and the counter-clockwise flow of air around this storm may propel Ida northwards into the Gulf of Mexico by Monday. However, both of these models show a high pressure ridge building in and forcing Ida southwards, back into the Caribbean, by the middle of next week. The long term fate of Ida, should it survive the crossing of Nicaragua and Honduras, remains murky.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Patrap:


Depends on a lot of variables,..a relatively flat inland Plain wont create the friction a Higher,rugged Topography would.


So how would a higher rugged topography affect it? Would the storm bounce off, turn inwards, slow, etc etc.

I know nothing about this stuff, sorry. :x
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Quoting clwstmchasr:
I can not see how Ida will miss land. It is still heading WNW and would have to turn due N without any additional westward movement. The NHC forecast points are significantly inland.
On the NHC animated SAT pic,the storm is going N of the first tropical point right now! IMO its going NW NNW.
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I gracefully bow out for dinner, while we all enjoy the Kum-bah-ya moment..LOL
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Ida's going to REALLY have to do a sudden N turn to even skirt the coast imo. Landfall imminent followed by a weakening, possibly dissipation. But if it does survive land, then we'll really have to watch out.. those SST's in the Caribbean are still warm.


I agree.
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Ida's going to REALLY have to do a sudden N turn to even skirt the coast imo. Landfall imminent followed by a weakening, possibly dissipation. But if it does survive land, then we'll really have to watch out.. those SST's in the Caribbean are still warm.
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Quoting Bordonaro:

Thank you! As a young meteorologist I want to impart some wisdom to you, as a 48 yr old man.

Remember, "As a man thinks, so he is"! I have been following weather almost double the number of years of your life. You ARE a professional meteorologist
+1
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


what kind of effect would it have? thanks


Depends on a lot of variables,..a relatively flat inland Plain wont create the friction a Higher,rugged Topography would.
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Quoting clwstmchasr:
352. xcool 7:14 PM EST on November 04, 2009
i seeing nnw weather456 ??? help me out ?


The NHC put out an advisory 15 min ago and the heading was wnw.


and if you compared the coordinates from 5PM to 8PM, the storm is heading NW.
Member Since: 24 juillet 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
361. xcool
clwstmchasr iknow :)~~!
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Quoting Patrap:
Also,..as more of TS Ida's western circ gets over land,some Land friction will also play a role in the track as well.

Should be a cool one to observe,but the prolific rains will create havoc in the Areas affected with a slow mover.


what kind of effect would it have? thanks
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300 Degrees

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358. xcool
Weather456 thank alot :)
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Also,..as more of TS Ida's western circ gets over land,some Land friction will also play a role in the track as well.

Should be a cool one to observe,but the prolific rains will create havoc in the Areas affected with a slow mover.
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Quoting Weather456:


professional is strong term. I'm a forecaster as of 2009.

Systems like these will wax and wane but is the trend of organization which showed be noted. You describe Ida has holding steady with room for continued strengthening.

Thank you! As a young meteorologist I want to impart some wisdom to you, as a 48 yr old man.

Remember, "As a man thinks, so he is"! I have been following weather almost double the number of years of your life. You ARE a professional meteorologist
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Quoting xcool:
i seeing nnw weather456 ??? help me out ?


at the moment that is what I am observing

Member Since: 24 juillet 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
352. xcool
i seeing nnw weather456 ??? help me out ?
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Ida stronger


...SUMMARY OF 700 PM EST INFORMATION...
LOCATION...12.2N 82.9W
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...65 MPH
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WEST-NORTHWEST OR 300 DEGREES AT 6 MPH
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...996 MB
Member Since: 24 juillet 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Drakoen:


Exactly.


and the shape of Central America in that area makes clear cut decisions

Member Since: 24 juillet 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
How TS Ida tracks the next 24 will play a Major role in any solution downstream.

I'd wait to see a trend or a definite deviation from the current heading as those near COC Up Pulses at Night,well..can make one see what you want,sometimes.

But a trend to stay just offshore would show up on the next track update by the NHC.

Till then,..we watch and observe as per usual.

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Quoting StormFreakyisher:

I always get tornado warnings here in southeast Florida yet I never see a tornado.
Be thankful for that.
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Classical CDO going on with Ida. Thinking the next recon might find a Hurricane.
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Latest Steering currents (21Z):


Member Since: 14 août 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5030
I think Ida is bordering on becoming a hurricane.. She's starting to develop a CDO
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Quoting Weather456:


If you are seeing the same thing, the storm is slowing and moving more north than west.

In reference to high angle meaning, instead of NW, it may just skirt the coast in a NNW heading.


Exactly.
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Just because you get a tornado warning does not necessarily mean there is a tornado on the ground. The NWS issues them when doppler radar detects strong rotation within a thunderstorm. Because of the angle of the radar it is impossible to tell whether that rotation extends all the way to the surface. Especially the further you get away from the radar site.

Quoting StormFreakyisher:

I always get tornado warnings here in southeast Florida yet I never see a tornado.
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Why would that weak trough pick it up more north? especially if it intensifies a little? Then maybe it will move into an area of higher wind shear and weaken.
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Looks like she'll go just a tad north of her next forecast point.
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Check out the TPW Mimic... more energy will be injected shortly into the Ida.

Link
Member Since: 14 août 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5030
Quoting Drakoen:


Look at the storm motion on this loop:

Link


If you are seeing the same thing, the storm is slowing and moving more north than west.

In reference to high angle meaning, instead of NW, it may just skirt the coast in a NNW heading.
Member Since: 24 juillet 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
It's the late season caribbean storms that worry me.. Their target area is much narrower than the average atlantic storm.. Time will tell though.. And as always anything can happen :)
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TS IDA Floater - RGB Color Infrared Java Loop
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
A hurricane to the west of the peninsula is of course not as bad as a landfall, but the outer spiral bands can cause a lot of havoc as well. They are ideal for the formation of tornadoes.

I always get tornado warnings here in southeast Florida yet I never see a tornado.
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Quoting Bordonaro:

I'd like to ask, as you are a preofessional meteorologist, what do you think about the recent cooling of Ida's cloud tops over the last 2 hours? Do you think that intensification is ocurring?


professional is strong term. I'm a forecaster as of 2009.

Systems like these will wax and wane but is the trend of organization which showed be noted. You describe Ida has holding steady with room for continued strengthening.
Member Since: 24 juillet 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
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Quoting Weather456:


That or comes it at higher angle.


Look at the storm motion on this loop:

Link
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The motion is still wnw at 300 degrees true,and what we may be seeing is a classic CDO blow up that appears to be more N thru the Pulse,..only time and those NHC updates can determine the motion trend thru 3 hour,increments.

Ida sure is doing here thing tonight though.


Impressive for sure.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Quoting Weather456:
The right forward band of convection maybe a sign of where Ida wants to go.

I've heard DR.Lyons make reference to this same thing with several storms/hurricanes also.


these convective bands are also sign of continued intensification since the area ahead is favorable for convective development.
Member Since: 24 juillet 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Weather456:
Small CDO with banding


I'd like to ask, as you are a preofessional meteorologist, what do you think about the recent cooling of Ida's cloud tops over the last 2 hours? Do you think that intensification is ocurring?
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Quoting StormFreakyisher:
Eeekk!Ida just gave me the goosebumps!Nice banding features, lets hope Ida moves more north so it won't affect Nicaragua and Honduras...but at the same time we don't want it to strengthen.Wow if the models are correct Florida will certainly see some outer bands being affected by it. Good I need the rain!I need to keep an eye on this one because that loop kinda freaks me out if it would loop right into Florida.
A hurricane to the west of the peninsula is of course not as bad as a landfall, but the outer spiral bands can cause a lot of havoc as well. They are ideal for the formation of tornadoes.
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327. xcool


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Quoting Weather456:
The right forward band of convection maybe a sign of where Ida wants to go.

I've heard DR.Lyons make reference to this same thing with several storms/hurricanes also.
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Quoting Drakoen:


Are you thinking it may just ride along the coastline?


That or comes in it at higher angle.
Member Since: 24 juillet 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Eeekk!Ida just gave me the goosebumps!Nice banding features, lets hope Ida moves more north so it won't affect Nicaragua and Honduras...but at the same time we don't want it to strengthen.Wow if the models are correct Florida will certainly see some outer bands being affected by it. Good I need the rain!I need to keep an eye on this one because that loop kinda freaks me out if it would loop right into Florida.
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Current GOM IR loop

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Quoting Weather456:


sometimes you can tell where a storm is going by looking the banding features. Usually a westward moving storm like Dean had intense banding feature just west of it. Re-curving storms like Bertha have some convective bands on the NW facing sides.

With Ida the convective band covers between NW and N so it might foretell where Ida is going. It is one of those rule of thumbs that is useful but never always right.


Are you thinking it may just ride along the coastline?
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6-10 day climo tracks

Member Since: 24 juillet 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076

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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.