Ida survives its Central American crossing

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:04 PM GMT on November 06, 2009

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Hurricane Ida rumbled ashore over eastern Nicaragua yesterday morning as a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds--the first November Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in an El Niño year since 1925. Now just a tropical depression, Ida has crossed over into Honduras, dumping heavy rains of 6 - 10 inches along the coast of Nicaragua and northeast Honduras, according to satellite estimates. The rains have pretty much ended over Nicaragua, thanks to the collapse of Ida's heavy thunderstorm activity on the south side of the center. Thunderstorm activity is still strong to the north of the center, over coastal Honduras and the waters of the Western Caribbean. Satellite loops show that Ida still has a vigorous circulation, and with the center due to move offshore tonight, it is apparent that Ida will survive the crossing of Nicaragua and Honduras.


Figure 1. Tropical Storm Ida at 1 pm EST November 5, 2009. In this MODIS image captured seven hours after landfall, Ida was a tropical storm with 65 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

The forecast for Ida
Ida will dump another 1 - 2 inches of rain over northeastern Honduras today. The Cayman Islands, Belize, and the rest of the Honduras coast can expect occasional heavy rains of 1 - 4 inches over the next two days as spiral bands from Ida bring squally weather. Much heavier rains of 4 - 8 inches are likely to affect Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and Western Cuba beginning Saturday, as Ida heads north towards the Yucatan Channel. Higher rain amounts may occur if Ida intensifies more than forecast.


Figure 2. Total heat content of the ocean (the Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential, TCHP) for November 4, 2005 compared to November 4, 2009. TCHP values in excess of 80 - 90 kJ/cm^2 (yellow, orange, and red colors) are often associated with rapid intensification of hurricanes. This year has higher heat content in the Western Caribbean than the record-breaking Hurricane Season of 2005. The higher heat content this year is partially because we haven't had any tropical cyclone activity in the Western Caribbean, while 2005 had some record strong storms--particularly Hurricane Wilma--that churned up cold water from the depths. Image credit: NOAA/AOML.

Moderate wind shear of 15 - 20 knots and warm waters await await Ida when it emerges over the Western Caribbean tonight, and some modest strengthening is likely. It is a concern that Ida could reach Category 1 hurricane strength before it reaches the Yucatan, as the total heat content of the ocean in the Western Caribbean is very high this year (Figure 2). However, given Ida's current disorganized state and the presence of 15 - 20 knots of shear, the odds of the storm reaching hurricane strength before passing the Yucatan on Sunday night are probably low, less than 30%.

The current wind speed probabilities for Cozumel give the Mexican resort island a 26% chance of receiving tropical storm-force winds of 39 mph of higher, Sunday or Monday. I expect Ida will be a tropical storm with 45 - 65 mph winds as it passes Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and enters the Gulf of Mexico on Monday. Passage over the Yucatan or western Cuba may cause significant weakening. With the shear expected to increase to a high 20 - 30 knots once Ida reaches the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, and with cooler water temperatures there, landfall of Ida as a hurricane on the U.S. coast is unlikely. The long-term fate of Ida once it reaches the Gulf of Mexico is hard to guess at this point, with the models offering a wide range of solutions. While a landfall along the Gulf Coast of Florida is a good bet, the trough of low pressure pulling Ida to the north may speed eastwards fast enough to strand Ida in the Gulf, where it would be forced westwards or southwestwards away from Florida, eventually hitting Texas or Mexico, or simply dissipating in the Gulf due to high wind shear. I give Ida a 50% chance of eventually hitting the U.S. Gulf Coast.

I'll have an update Saturday morning, or this afternoon if there's some interesting development to report.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Country & Western is better than Over the Edge and closer too.
What kind of food and how long by car???
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Quoting Floodman:


Here's the shear forecast for 96 hours (4 days) out:



And 120 hours (5 days) out:



I don't think the shear is going to be that big an issue...seems to open out as she arrives. This forecast may be taking into account that she will be modifying the immediate environment, but she won't have that big an effect...no, if this holds, shear is not going to be the issue you think it is...


Can I change those maps Flood? I don't like them.
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Tampa forecast for Wednesday & Thursday doesn't seem to show anything out of the ordinary.

Veterans Day: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 82.

Wednesday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 62.

Thursday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a high near 81
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Quoting CaneWarning:


I am in downtown at the moment for work, but I live on Davis Islands.


As you know, Davis Islands is the most at-risk part of Tampa bay. A 40mph SW wind will flood it. Good luck.
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Quoting beell:


Course one could take the opinion that we were looking at the 500mb reflection of the storm itself lol. But, I did check, and the shortwave begins to appear over the central Gulf coast at about 84 hrs on the 12Z as a separate entity.


lol :)
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Say, this thingee's fun.

You know, this Caymen WeatherWatch on CayCompass.com isn't that bad; helpful since the Islands' gov. is on holiday.

Link
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Link issued at 8 this morning by HPC
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582. IKE
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
12Z ECMWF





Ugh.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting gordydunnot:
ssmate give me 6hrs I am not hungry yet. I didn't realize drudge had real news on it, maybe I'll have to check but it hard to believe he could be worse on hype than s.fl. weatherman.
Well, probably not as bad as S. FL but once he puts these thinks up that's when the networks go with it. I read an article from a network exec. that adimitted as much, it was quite funny actually.
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
I'm talking track.


So am I. It's off. Listen to what I said and look again. I'm done w/ you. poof.
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Quoting HurricaneNewbie:

What part of Tampa. I really want to move there. Grandkids are in Atlanta. Makes the choice difficult.


I am in downtown at the moment for work, but I live on Davis Islands.
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578. beell
Quoting Drakoen:


I see the too Beell. Interesting dynamics from the GFS that would trend more towards climatology. I'm not buying the loop track but with a shortwave diving down would favor a ENE or Eastward track of a system in the GOM.


Course one could take the opinion that we were looking at the 500mb reflection of the storm itself lol. But, I did check, and the shortwave begins to appear over the central Gulf coast at about 84 hrs on the 12Z as a separate entity.
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Quoting Drakoen:


She moved faster off the coast than I expected.


Yes, it appears the center may be relocating more towards the heavier convection.
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Quoting Floodman:


Bastardi, is that you?


Good afternoon,

LMAO!!!
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4881
Quoting Floodman:


Bastardi, is that you?


Nope. But he did say 36 hours ago that she was going to stay much closer to the coast and move faster back over water than what NHC was calling for. Obama would hate to admit it, but it's obvious the best talent is in the private sector where the competitive money is.
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i saw an outlook sayin 1 - 3 " of rain here in panhandle area is that possible???
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The forecast I prepared:

Very strong divergence aloft should help "ventilate" Ida and allow her to quickly build deep convection over the entire storm later this evening and overnight as the storm moves completely back over water. This increase in convection should allow it to quickly become a tropical storm again this evening (only needs 5 mph higher winds) and then slowly strengthen over the next 24-36 hours.

Right now, looking at all the models and current oceanic/atmospheric condition leads me to believe that Ida will again become a minimal hurricane on Saturday and should maintain that intensity (cat 1 or possibly 2) through the day on Sunday. As it enters the Gulf on Monday, the combination of a cooler ocean and dryer mid-level environment should very slowly weaken the storm. I still anticipate a strong tropical storm or minimal category 1 hurricane to impact somewhere between Alabama and Southwestern Florida later on Monday or Tuesday (best guess currently is the Florida Panhandle).

Models suggest that there will be increasing southerly shear in the next 24 hours that will probably stop the storm from intensifying much further in spite of the very warm water. If however, the storm moves fast enough with the flow that the circulation doesn't not become tilted then there is certainly the possibility of Ida becoming a Category 2 or even 3 storm. Even though this is a less likely occurrence (25% or so), it bears close watching.
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JMO. If a met gets the forecast correct 50% of the time they are very good.
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Quoting Patrap:
Both Frays on the GOM IR Loop


Fascinating, yet somehow frightening
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Quoting Floodman:


Bastardi, is that you?
LOL.
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Quoting futuremet:
The higher heat content this year is partially because we haven't had any tropical cyclone activity in the Western Caribbean, while 2005 had some record strong storms--particularly Hurricane Wilma--that churned up cold water from the depths. Image credit: NOAA/AOML.


It is also because above there have been above normal low level divergence over the area. The month October was dominated by strong ridges over the SE coast, as a result of a negative NAO. This caused a lot of sunny days and adiabatic warming in the Caribbean. The subtropical ridge has also been farther south than average this season.
futuremet do you see Ida becoming a bigger storm than she was?
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Quoting Drakoen:


She moved faster off the coast than I expected.


She was supposed to move out by 18Z...you were close.
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ssmate give me 6hrs I am not hungry yet. I didn't realize drudge had real news on it, maybe I'll have to check but it hard to believe he could be worse on hype than s.fl. weatherman.
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Quoting bjdsrq:


Sorry. Their call on track was off. Go back and look at their projected track 24 hours ago. As much as I hate to say it, if anyone has nailed it so far it's Accuweather's Joe B.


Bastardi, is that you?
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


You also need to consider timing, they are off by about 12 hours from yesterdays 4 PM EST forecast.


She moved faster off the coast than I expected.
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Quoting SSideBrac:


Now instead of being concerned about IDA - I am getting hungry.
Other places are Champion House & Seymour's Jerk - but area they are in is a little roughish! If driving try "Over the Edge" on North Side - but could be adversely affected by squally weather there.
Big blow just scooted thru on Brac South Side but still dry
Country & Western is better than Over the Edge and closer too.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8242
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
I'm talking track.


track talker
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The higher heat content this year is partially because we haven't had any tropical cyclone activity in the Western Caribbean, while 2005 had some record strong storms--particularly Hurricane Wilma--that churned up cold water from the depths. Image credit: NOAA/AOML.


It is also because above there have been above normal low level divergence over the area. The month October was dominated by strong ridges over the SE coast, as a result of a negative NAO. This caused a lot of sunny days and adiabatic warming in the Caribbean. The subtropical ridge has also been farther south than average this season.
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u got mail Drakeon
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
I'm talking track.


You also need to consider timing, they are off by about 12 hours from yesterdays 4 PM EST forecast.
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Quoting CaneWarning:
It's windy here in Tampa today. The bay looks a little low too. I remember one storm a couple of years ago and all the water in the bay went out. It was strange to go down Bayshore Blvd and see people walking where there should be water.

What part of Tampa. I really want to move there. Grandkids are in Atlanta. Makes the choice difficult.
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Lastly for now Kman as usual doing a good job specially with the high south of the system.
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Quoting bjdsrq:


You're wrong by your own evidence. Look again at your own link. That arrow pointing at her just off the coast says 7am SATURDAY, and that is where she is now. This puts their 11/5 10am forecast track off to SW of where she is TODAY, which is FRIDAY.
I'm talking track.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Welly's Cool Spot is some of the best local food. Ask anyone for directions.


Now instead of being concerned about IDA - I am getting hungry.
Other places are Champion House & Seymour's Jerk - but area they are in is a little roughish! If driving try "Over the Edge" on North Side - but could be adversely affected by squally weather there.
Big blow just scooted thru on Brac South Side but still dry
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Quoting beell:
500mb shortwave easing of to the east/southeast next Tuesday/Wednesday. By the very roughest of guesses and using the NHC 5-day, whatever is left of Ida should be somewhere off the central FL coast and southeast of the trough axis (in red). Does offer this system an opportunity to follow climo without all the loopy stuff and would put the southern half of FL in line for "Landfall". Looks good on paper to me anyway.

Pressure gradient getting pretty tight between the surface low and strong ridging to the N. Windy on the east coast of FL also.

12Z GFS 500mb
Valid Wednesday 00Z

Photobucket

And 12 hrs later:



I see the too Beell. Interesting dynamics from the GFS that would trend more towards climatology. I'm not buying the loop track but with a shortwave diving down would favor a ENE or Eastward track of a system in the GOM.
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Not off. Right on. Link


You're wrong by your own evidence. Look again at your own link. That arrow pointing at her just off the coast says 7am SATURDAY, and that is where she is now. This puts their 11/5 10am forecast track off to SW of where she is TODAY, which is FRIDAY.
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Tropical Storm Keith 1988.
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It's windy here in Tampa today. The bay looks a little low too. I remember one storm a couple of years ago and all the water in the bay went out. It was strange to go down Bayshore Blvd and see people walking where there should be water.
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Quoting gordydunnot:
I concur mini forecast next 6hrs. its going to crank and the media will go into panic mode s. fl.. May eat the usual crow. Myself going to home depot need some new interior door knobs.
It's not on Drudge yet and he's obsessed with weather. If it's not on Drudge, it's usually not news.
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549. beell
500mb shortwave easing of to the east/southeast next Tuesday/Wednesday. By the very roughest of guesses and using the NHC 5-day, whatever is left of Ida should be somewhere off the central FL coast and southeast of the trough axis (in red). Does offer this system an opportunity to follow climo without all the loopy stuff and would put the southern half of FL in line for "Landfall". Looks good on paper to me anyway.

Pressure gradient getting pretty tight between the surface low and strong ridging to the N. Windy on the east coast of FL also.

12Z GFS 500mb
Valid Wednesday 00Z

Photobucket

And 12 hrs later:

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Quoting nishinigami:


Heavy rain in the midwest are sending the surge of water downstream, and is expected to crest at New Orleans at 13.5 feet by Nov. 17th. Flood stage in New Orleans is 17 feet.

I hope they don't leave the busses parked in a flood plain this time. Use them to evacuate if needed.
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Thanks! Im from North Carolina And We have had our share of storms.
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The ECMWF didn't do a good job with the last system that was in the Caribbean.
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Quoting jdcweatherky:
Thanks very much any ideas for a local Resturant ?(local food)need to get away from the tourist ha!
Welly's Cool Spot is some of the best local food. Ask anyone for directions.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8242
Quoting stormsurge39:
Why does the NHC forecast such a weak Ida?


Because NHC is conservative in strengthening storms. One does not know how much a certain storm may strengthen or how little, best to keep it safe.
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Quoting bjdsrq:


Sorry. Their call on track was off. Go back and look at their projected track 24 hours ago. As much as I hate to say it, if anyone has nailed it so far it's Accuweather's Joe B.
Not off. Right on. Link
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If Ida does stall does that mean she will experience higher shear? Possible development for the next three days, but shear building in.
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Quoting SSideBrac:


Run over to Triple Crown and watch some sports on TV - but do not ruin your last 2 days - all of u guys will be fine.
BTW - advice from the Bar Staff on IDA is not likely to be all that pertinent or up to date -they normally have not been on island long and are very often from Canada so are not necessarily Hurricane savvy
Well said. Best thing to do is look for an old timer and they can give you better information.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8242
Quoting Patrap:
Sun Night thru Monday Morning the Ne Texas Coast to the Mouth of the Miss River will be getting the Brunt of the GOM System.
" alt="">


It is also worth mentioning that the Mississippi is unusually high right now.

From Nola.com today.
An unusually high rise in the Mississippi River has levee districts on alert and has already resulted in the closure of some parts of the Bonnet Carre Spillway in Norco.

"It's normally eight to 10 feet lower this time of year," said Chris Brantley, manager of the spillway for the Army Corps of Engineers, who said the water is likely to cover the Spillway Road just north of the control structure over the weekend.

Heavy rain in the midwest are sending the surge of water downstream, and is expected to crest at New Orleans at 13.5 feet by Nov. 17th. Flood stage in New Orleans is 17 feet.
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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.