Hurricane Ida hits Nicaragua

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

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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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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Looks like it's spinning to me.
Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 10 Comments: 3665
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1785. bjdsrq
Looks like Ida is wasting no time tapping into that hot water to the north of honduras. It might be a TS again before the COC even exits the coast. lol

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Quoting IKE:


Yes.


Thanks. I'm still getting this straight. :)
Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 10 Comments: 3665
Good morning Mister Johnny, 456.
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1781. IKE
Quoting homelesswanderer:


Ya know, Ida and the blob are starting to look alike. Is the ULD good for development?


Yes.
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Quoting StormW:
Good morning 456,
Good to see you. Looking forward to forecasting with you today.


In terms of track Guidance with storms I have tracked...Ida is up there on my list. The storm did not went too far inland and it did not move due north from the SW Caribbean. That is a personal best.
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Quoting IKE:
LLC....




ULD....





Ya know, Ida and the blob are starting to look alike. Is the ULD good for development?
Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 10 Comments: 3665
1778. WxLogic
There could be a possibility
Quoting Weather456:
Look at the convection north of Ida....that is a sign of how much energy lies to the north.



Definitely, I do believe NHC will be changing those (D)epression and (S)torm symbols in the track to (H)urricane rather quickly.
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Look at the convection north of Ida....that is a sign of how much energy lies to the north.

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1774. IKE
LLC....




ULD....



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Quoting BadHurricane:
Interesting...

Michelle 01 Nov 2001


Ida 06 Nov 2009





But look at the missing component. That BoC mess is so significant...it's bound to have influence on Ida.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3892
Quoting StormW:


Not really...I forgot which one, but one of the Major's this year got whipped by shear. If the shear is coming at the storm, even a major will succumb. Now, if it's moving in tandem, and varying on the forward speed of the system and strength of shear, the system can maintain (i.e. OPAL)...OPAL had a mid-upper level low directly to her west in the GOMEX, and all the parameters involved actually aided in outflow.


Yeah...but that was when the storm was headed directly into the shear (i forget which one, too)

Ida is moving perpendicular to the present shear. It's more likely that Ida's track would be affected more than intensity with this set up....
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3892
1770. Dakster
Quoting StormW:


Not really...I forgot which one, but one of the Major's this year got whipped by shear. If the shear is coming at the storm, even a major will succumb. Now, if it's moving in tandem, and varying on the forward speed of the system and strength of shear, the system can maintain (i.e. OPAL)...OPAL had a mid-upper level low directly to her west in the GOMEX, and all the parameters involved actually aided in outflow.


Stormw - What about an Annular Hurricane? I thought those were a little shear resistant?
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Quoting StormW:


Well, I don't like what I'm seeing again...let's hope the CMC wind shear forecast is right vice the current 06Z GFS. 06Z GFS would support what Rob from Crown weather just posted on here. Shear fcst keeps flucutating. Also, TD IDA still has a very tight circulation. I hate referencing past systems, cause each is a different critter, but HUMBERTO didn't look anywhere near what IDA looks, and when the upper pattern reversed, well, you saw what HUMBERTO did.

This is all going to hinge on wind shear as far as strength. SST's for the first 72 hours won't let it weaken.


Memories... Lol.
Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 10 Comments: 3665
In the end maybe NOGAPS is only missing a few GAPS

HPC Preliminary Forecast Discussion


CURRENT T.D. IDA IS EXPECTED TO STRENGTHEN TO TROPICAL STORM
STATUS AS IT TRACKS INTO THE GULF OF MEXICO FROM THE NWRN
CARIBBEAN DURING THE SHORT RANGE PERIOD. MANUAL FCST REPRESENTS
INTERPOLATION FROM THE 03Z TPC ADVISORY... WITH DAYS 5-7
EXTRAPOLATION ACCOUNTING FOR CONSENSUS THAT INDICATES HIGH
PRESSURE BUILDING INTO THE ERN CONUS/NRN GULF SHOULD EVENTUALLY
SUPPRESS THE SYSTEM AND FORCE IT WWD.



HPC Preliminary Graphics
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11274
Quoting BadHurricane:
Interesting...

Michelle 01 Nov 2001


Ida 06 Nov 2009




Sure has a similar look, thats for sure.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8017
I think Ida is right on Honduran/Nicaraguan border at this time, with less 60 miles left to reach the ocean,jmo.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8017
Good Morning

WOW, Ida is about to emerge
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1763. IKE
THE DEPRESSION IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH NEAR 6 MPH...10 KM/HR.
THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE WITH A SLIGHT INCREASE
IN FORWARD SPEED OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.
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Interesting...

Michelle 01 Nov 2001


Ida 06 Nov 2009



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HMMMM? How might this play out every model except wrong-way NOGAPS sends this into our basin. The CMC is the only one I'd seen till now to do this.
Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 10 Comments: 3665
I think we've all seen this before.

A strong-core system, beaten down, survives. Then, the system emerges with nothing ahead of it to disrupt re-strengthening. 24 hours later, the system is a monster.

Been there, done all that...but in this case...it's a November storm that's very hard to predict on both track and intensity.

Ida's putting on a great show and if I didn't have to leave, I'd spend the day watching it regroup.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3892
It appears to me after looking at the latest satellite that Ida is about to emerge off shore very soon. There is a ton of moisture and energy waiting to wrap around the center. IMO she gets into the water by this afternoon. Any thoughts on this?
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1757. IKE
...IDA APPROACHING THE HONDURAS/NICARAGUA BORDER...
7:00 AM EST Fri Nov 6
Location: 14.6°N 84.2°W
Max sustained: 35 mph
Moving: N at 6 mph
Min pressure: 1005 mb
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1756. unf97
I live inland in North Jacksaonville near the airport. It is much cooler inland than near the river and the beaches away from the influences of the warmer waters.

I measured 43.4 degrees here at my home.

I just wanted to point that out.

Have a good day folks!
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Good morning, I have Ida at 14.8N/84W moving due North with less than a degree to emerge into the warm waters of the NW Caribbean, looks like Ida survived intact and is probably going to RI once it emerges offshore this afternoon, jmo of course.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8017
Quoting StormW:


This is all going to hinge on wind shear as far as strength. SST's for the first 72 hours won't let it weaken.


Correct me if I'm wrong here...but there is a worst case scenario where wind shear will have a minimal effect on the storm

That scenario is if Ida becomes a major cat storm, right? Then, it would be less affected by shear?
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1753. IKE
Convection is really firing up off of the Guatemala coast. This thing is headed for the Caribbean within 12 hours.
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1752. unf97
I live inland in North Jacksaonville near the airport. It is much cooler inland than near the river and the beaches away from the influences of the warmer waters.

I measured 43.4 degrees here at my home.

I just wanted to point that out.

Have a good day folks!
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1750. WxLogic
Ida is almost getting ready to emerge on the NW Carib later tonight, unless it speeds up some.
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1749. MahFL
Some parts of FL are pretty dry.

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Ida is emerging with both spin and structure.

Yeah, she may be just a TD right now, but she's spinnin' like she was still a 'cane.

That system really fought through that land...and if you'll notice, she did in fact take a shorter route across Nicaragua.

This baby is playin' like she's on a mission.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3892
Miracles never cease. Not only did they mention a low in the gulf, they also actually mentioned the warning. I never watch that channel except for football games. They just became my favorite weather station

A coastal flood statement will go into effect Saturday night for coastal counties and parishes.

An area of low pressure is expected to produce winds of 20-30 knots across the northern gulf through Sunday.

The tide levels will be one half to one foot above the predicted astronomical tides.

By Sunday chances for rain start to develop.

We'll keep that chance for rain in the forecast through Monday.

Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 10 Comments: 3665
1746. unf97
I live inland in North Jacksaonville near the airport. It is much cooler inland than near the river and the beaches away from the influences of the warmer waters.

I measured 43.4 degreres here at my home.

I just wanted to point that out.

Have a good day folks!
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1745. unf97
I live inland in North Jacksaonville near the airport. It is much cooler inland than near the river and the beaches away from the influences of the warmer waters.

I measured 43.4 degreres here at my home.

I just wanted to point that out.

Have a good day folks!
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According to the model run, Ida could hit anywhere from Tampa on down,...Sarasota...Ft. Myers...Naples as a pretty big system.

It really is going to depend on what the trough does. It's been around for some time now!

The farther north Ida goes, the weaker it will be as the SSTs start to cool off on the panhandle side of the Gulf.

Trends, right?

Wow....
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3892
1743. WxLogic
Good morning...
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Quoting StormW:


Boy, are you in for a surprise!


LOL!! Morning Storm, this is going to be fascinating to watch!

Look at the energy developing to the north of the coast. just waiting for the center to emerge....



I am really out now !!
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1741. 789
Quoting CycloneOz:


YOU DA MAN!!!!

And a very nice good morning to you, also! :)
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Quoting StormW:


Boy, are you in for a surprise!



well see


Im your neighbor in tampa. water cool up here, Ida maybe a cool air conduit though. not much more.. but since Im a roofer I kinda hope your right LOL
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1739. IKE
Quoting StormW:


Morning!

Hey IKE, Oz, Aqua and all!


Good morning.

Here's the 6Z GFDL.

Both the GFDL and HWRF have Ida as a cane in the GOM on the end of the run. Looks like it's all about the trough coming in as to where she goes.
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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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