Igor an impressive Cat 4; 92L running out of time to develop; Julia forms

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:47 PM GMT on September 13, 2010

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There are few sights in the natural world more impressive than a hurricane near maximum intensity. Hurricane Igor certainly fits that description this morning, as it flirts with Category 5 strength in the Central Atlantic. Igor's rapid intensification burst brought the mighty hurricane's winds to 150 mph, just shy of the 156 mph threshold for Category 5 status. Igor is the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic in three years. The last hurricane stronger that Igor was Category 5 Hurricane Felix of 2007.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Igor.

Intensity forecast for Igor
Wind shear is low, 5 - 10 knots, and is expected to remain low for the next four days. Waters are warm, 28.5°C, and will warm to 29°C by Wednesday. Igor has moistened its environment enough to keep the dry air of the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) at bay. These conditions should allow Igor to remain at major hurricane status for the next four days. The hurricane will probably undergo one of the usual eyewall replacement cycles intense hurricanes commonly have, where the eyewall collapses and a new eyewall forms from an outer spiral band. This will weaken the hurricane by 10 - 20 mph when it occurs, but Igor will probably regain its lost intensity when the cycle completes. There's no evidence that an eyewall replacement cycle is imminent today, so Igor could potentially strengthen a bit more. However, I believe Igor has peaked, and will not reach Category 5 status today. By Saturday, when Igor should be nearing Bermuda, the trough of low pressure steering Igor northwestwards should bring moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots to the storm, weakening it.

Track forecast for Igor
The track forecast for Igor remains unchanged. Igor will move west under the influence of a strong ridge of high pressure until Tuesday morning, then turn more to the west-northwest then northwest in response to the steering influence of a broad trough of low pressure moving across the Western Atlantic on Tuesday and Wednesday. This should allow Igor to pass several hundred miles to the northeast of the Lesser Antilles. In the longer range, Igor appears likely to be a threat to Bermuda, and that island can expect tropical storm force winds as early as Friday. Igor does have a small chance of making landfall on the U.S. East Coast or Canada. Climatology shows that about 15% of all tropical cyclones that have existed at Igor's current position have gone on to hit the U.S. East Coast; these odds are about 10% for Bermuda and 10% for Canada. The forecast steering pattern for the period 5 - 10 days from now from the ECMWF and GFS models shows a continuation of the pattern we've seen all hurricane season, with regular strong troughs of low pressure moving off the U.S. East Coast. This pattern favors Igor eventually recurving out to sea without hitting the U.S. or Canada. While the trough expected to recurve Igor out to sea is not as sharp as the troughs that recurved Danielle, Earl, and Fiona, it should still be strong enough to keep Igor from hitting the U.S. However, Newfoundland, Canada could see a close pass. An examination of the tracks of the ten major September hurricanes that have passed closest to Igor's current location (Figure 2) reveals that one of these hurricanes went on to hit the Bahamas and Florida as a Category 2 storm, and another hit Newfoundland as a Category 1 storm. The other eight missed land. One wild card may be the intensification of Julia behind Igor. If Julia develops into a hurricane and moves close to Igor, as some of the models are suggesting, the two hurricanes could interact, affecting the track of Igor unpredictable ways. However, it currently appears the Julia will be much weaker than Igor, and will probably have little impact on her big brother's track.


Figure 2. Historical plot of the tracks of the ten major September hurricanes that have passed closest to Igor's current location.

Caribbean disturbance 92L
Tropical disturbance (92L) over the Central Caribbean, centered about 100 miles south of Jamaica, has changed little over the past day. The storm remains a threat to develop into a tropical depression, but time is running out for it to do so. Satellite loops this morning do not show a surface circulation, but 92L does have a moderate area of intense disorganized thunderstorms that are bringing heavy rain to Jamaica this morning. Kingston, Jamaica has picked up 0.67" of rain thus far this morning from 92L.


Figure 3. Morning satellite image of 92L.

Forecast for 92L
Wind shear over 92L is low, 5 - 10 knots, and is expected to remain low to moderate for the next five days. The waters beneath are hot, 29.8°C, and these warm waters extend to great depth. Water vapor satellite loops show a large area of dry air lies to the north and west of 92L, and this dry air has been interfering with development of 92L. NHC is putting the odds of 92L developing into a tropical depression by Wednesday at 40%. Given the current disorganized state of 92L, it would be difficult for it to intensify quickly enough to become any stronger than a tropical storm with 50 mph winds by Wednesday, when it will move over Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Once 92L crosses the Yucatan, the ridge of high pressure steering it is expected to remain in place, forcing 92L to a second landfall in Mexico several hundred miles south of the Texas border. A Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate 92L this afternoon.

Julia
Tropical Storm Julia formed between the Cape Verdes Islands and coast of Africa yesterday, bringing some heavy rain squalls and gusty winds to the Cape Verdes, but no sustained winds of tropical storm force. Julia is headed northwest, out to sea, and it is unlikely that this storm will trouble any land areas . Shear is low enough over the next few days to allow Julia to become a hurricane, but shear will rise sharply 4 - 5 days from now, limiting the potential for Julia to become a major hurricane.

Elsewhere in the tropics
The NOGAPS model is calling for a new tropical depression to form off the coast of Africa 6 - 7 days from now.

Next post
I'll have a new post Tuesday morning.

Jeff Masters

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I noticed that the level of anger on this blog matches up with how angry the storm appears. IGOR is just plain MAD. He's Unpredictable and will lash out at anybody! ;-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurricaneSwirl:
This isn't on the topic of Igor, but I was browsing hurricane.com and found they had a forum (an extremely inactive one I found out) and I just had to share my rage of the last post on this page: Link

It made me twitch like three times.



WOW!! thats sick
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2123. Ryuujin
Quoting cycloone:


wow.......


If it isn't clear to those that think he's made the turn. watch the replay.. Look at the eye wobble north and south. And yet where does he keep going? West.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurricaneSwirl:
This isn't on the topic of Igor, but I was browsing hurricane.com and found they had a forum (an extremely inactive one I found out) and I just had to share my rage of the last post on this page: Link

It made me twitch like three times.


LMAO!

The admin put 23 named storms, with as many as 14 hurricanes.

Everybody also voted on a quiet season, which is 6-10 named storms...We're already at ten.

LMAO! They need to fix a lot of that...
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32718
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'm new here, but if I were you, I'd be a little careful with statements like "It's clear! Puerto Rico will be anhiliated!" (I actually saw this posted here a few hours ago). Keep in mind that not everyone here is a seasoned hurricane hunter and that some people might be checking this site out for the first time because they're worried about a storm threatening to hit their area.

Take me for example: I first visited this site around 9/5 because I was worried about Gaston in connection with a trip I was about to take to Jamaica. Statements like "GFS is a joke! It didn't even pick this up and I *know* this thing is going to blow Jamaica to pieces!" almost made me cancel my vacation. In the end, we all know that ex-Gaston ended up doing exactly what the global models told us it would do: Slowly drift westwards while doing a whole lot of nothing only to get disintegrated with it hit Hispaniola.

Not trying to be a smart-ass here, but since we're talking about things with a potential deadly impact, we may want to be a little careful...

(BTW... All I saw of Gaston in MoBay was some clouds and about 45 minutes of rain on Thursday last week. Also, I could have sworn the wind picked up a knot or two as I sat on my hobiecat...)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
It appears that Igor maybe making that turn...Looks like it on Satellite images.
or it could just be another wobble
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 249
2118. breald
Quoting StormJunkie:


Oh, it's going to kill me...What's that from??? don't tell me, I know...

Alright, never mind, tell me...

I can see the dude sitting in the basement whining about his stapler...


Office Space. I love that movie...LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting xcool:


PGI45L ^^^^ 174hrs


now that really could be indicative of a pattern change. GFS has been hinting at that for several runs now. Still need to watch it for a few more days. Notice the stronger high to the N and centered more over the central Atl too...
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
Thanks BLee2333... just trying to make heads or tails of this... like handicapping a horse race... appreciate the simple answer.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
It appears that Igor maybe making that turn...Looks like it on Satellite images.
A wobble does not qualify for the turn, but we'll see if it continues.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Murko:


That's what I'm doing. I wish there was a function to ignore everyone except ones you choose not to. My list is up to about 400 now, including you. Sorry, but I live in the zone and need accurate info when there's a storm coming.
Set your filter at the top right corner of the comments section of the blog to best. Of course you can't see this so why did I bother?
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting cat5hurricane:
Let's somehow figure out a way to tow this thing in front of Igor's path...
I love it when 2 disparate things get juxtaposed..whew.

Lots of good posts as I catch up.
Common Sense.
I'll be back... but I won't be Beck.
.
Have the popcorn out and firing up dinner.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2111. xcool


PGI45L ^^^^ 174hrs
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting DestinJeff:
Flood,

Thats a great site, huh?

And I thought I had the Holy Grail of audio clips to myself.


LOL...it's kinda cool in here...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
2109. EricSFL
Quoting DestinJeff:


No way to keep The Chart down.



Would you prefer we go on and on about Pattern Changes that fail to materialize?


I completely agree on this. So many of the forecasters were mentioning this "pattern change" materializing in September: where storms would be steered toward the U.S. Yet we are still looking at the same two dominant tracks of this year: since Alex in JUNE (Mexico-S Texas)and Collin/Danielle in August (recurving before nearing the East coast).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2107. dmaddox
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
It appears that Igor maybe making that turn...Looks like it on Satellite images.
agreed..very hestitant to call it a true WNW heading at this point tho.. may be able to call it in a few hours...
Member Since: May 5, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 445
The storm looks better now than it ever has today...Its been at 150 mph.

That means, it looks stronger than 150 mph.

I believe this is a Category 5, and that the NHC should say it is.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32718
2105. centex
It's been wobbling all day and creeping toward 18N. Motion is W but you could say slightly N of due W. Not sure I would call it a turn yet but if trending more N that is what experts are predicting.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Updated


AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This isn't on the topic of Igor, but I was browsing hurricane.com and found they had a forum (an extremely inactive one I found out) and I just had to share my rage of the last post on this page: Link

It made me twitch like three times.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
92L...Igor entering stage right:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2100. xcool
10:29 PM GMT on September 13, 2010


PGI45L ^^^^^^ /
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
2099. Floodman
10:29 PM GMT on September 13, 2010
Quoting DestinJeff:


AHHHH!

You found my stash!


Yes, yes I did...it's interesting here in the DestinJeff vaults...smells funny, like frustration and old sweat socks, I think...and Thunderbird...there's a distinct tang of Thunderbird in the air...

Umm K sound bite  Office Space sound bitesUmm K sound bite
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
2098. dmaddox
10:29 PM GMT on September 13, 2010
Quoting stormpetrol:
Name Season Max. 1 min. average sustained wind
Knots Kilometers per hour Miles per hour
1920s
"Cuba" 1924 145 270 165
"Okeechobee" 1928 140 260 160
1930s
"Bahamas" 1932 140 260 160
"Labor Day" 1935 160 295 185
"New England" 1938 140 260 160
1940s
"Fort Lauderdale" 1947 140 260 160
1950s
Dog 1950 160 295 185
Easy 1951 140 260 160
Janet 1955 150 280 175
Cleo 1958 140 260 160
1960s
Donna 1960 140 260 160
Ethel 140 260 160
Carla 1961 150 280 175
Hattie 140 260 160
Beulah 1967 140 260 160
Camille 1969 165 305 190
1970s
Edith 1971 140 260 160
Anita 1977 150 280 175
David 1979 150 280 175
1980s
Allen 1980 165 305 190
Gilbert 1988 160 295 185
Hugo 1989 140 260 160
1990s
Andrew 1992 150 280 175
Mitch 1998 155 285 180
2000s
Isabel 2003 145 270 165
Ivan 2004 145 270 165
Emily 2005 140 260 160
Katrina 150 280 175
Rita 155 285 180
Wilma 160 295 185
Dean 2007 150 280 175
Felix 150 280 175
thank you!
Member Since: May 5, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 445
2097. sunlinepr
10:29 PM GMT on September 13, 2010
According to Wikipedia 1899 San Ciriaco hurricane, also known as the 1899 Puerto Rico Hurricane, was the longest-lived Atlantic hurricane and the eleventh deadliest tropical cyclone in the basin. It was an intense and long-lived Atlantic Cape Verde-type hurricane which crossed Puerto Rico over the two day period August 8 to August 9, 1899. Many deaths occurred as a result, due to flooding. The cyclone kept tropical storm strength or higher for 28 days, which makes it the longest duration Atlantic hurricane on record and the second-longest anywhere in the world (behind Hurricane John in 1994). The estimated ACE of 73.57 is the highest ever recorded in the Atlantic basin.
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
2096. cycloone
10:28 PM GMT on September 13, 2010


wow.......
Member Since: March 2, 2003 Posts: 65 Comments: 1009
2095. TropicalAnalystwx13
10:28 PM GMT on September 13, 2010
It appears that Igor maybe making that turn...Looks like it on Satellite images.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32718
2094. dmaddox
10:28 PM GMT on September 13, 2010
i need to see 1 or 2 more IR frames but i think a very VERY slight WNW motion has begun... 290 IMO....
Member Since: May 5, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 445
2093. ShenValleyFlyFish
10:28 PM GMT on September 13, 2010
Quoting DestinJeff:


I thought I used Swingline last time I used that and was corrected to Streamline.

Ah, heck! Green jacket, gold jacket. Who gives a sh-.
Tiger Woods
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
2090. StormJunkie
10:27 PM GMT on September 13, 2010
So wrong???

2100 UTC SAT SEP 11 2010
FORECAST VALID 13/1800Z 17.9N 51.0W

2100 UTC SUN SEP 12 2010
FORECAST VALID 13/1800Z 18.1N 50.8W


Those are minor, minor variations. At no point has Igor been outside of a two or three day cone. And the NHC gives specifics about how far W or N Igor is heading. SW does not have to do that. He generalizes that it is going to head further W (or could) and then leaves it up to interpretation as to what that means. The NHC is spot on with Igor.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
2088. stormpetrol
10:27 PM GMT on September 13, 2010
Name Season Max. 1 min. average sustained wind
Knots Kilometers per hour Miles per hour
1920s
"Cuba" 1924 145 270 165
"Okeechobee" 1928 140 260 160
1930s
"Bahamas" 1932 140 260 160
"Labor Day" 1935 160 295 185
"New England" 1938 140 260 160
1940s
"Fort Lauderdale" 1947 140 260 160
1950s
Dog 1950 160 295 185
Easy 1951 140 260 160
Janet 1955 150 280 175
Cleo 1958 140 260 160
1960s
Donna 1960 140 260 160
Ethel 140 260 160
Carla 1961 150 280 175
Hattie 140 260 160
Beulah 1967 140 260 160
Camille 1969 165 305 190
1970s
Edith 1971 140 260 160
Anita 1977 150 280 175
David 1979 150 280 175
1980s
Allen 1980 165 305 190
Gilbert 1988 160 295 185
Hugo 1989 140 260 160
1990s
Andrew 1992 150 280 175
Mitch 1998 155 285 180
2000s
Isabel 2003 145 270 165
Ivan 2004 145 270 165
Emily 2005 140 260 160
Katrina 150 280 175
Rita 155 285 180
Wilma 160 295 185
Dean 2007 150 280 175
Felix 150 280 175
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8134
2087. TropicalAnalystwx13
10:26 PM GMT on September 13, 2010
Igor is expected to pass to the west of Bermuda as a Category 3 Hurricane. That means winds will possible get up in the 115-130 mph range for Bermuda...Not good.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32718
2086. Floodman
10:26 PM GMT on September 13, 2010
Yeahhhhhh sound bite  Office Space sound bitesYeahhhhhh sound bite
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
2085. dmaddox
10:25 PM GMT on September 13, 2010
Quoting KanKunKid:


Umm, what are YOU looking at?
wow
Member Since: May 5, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 445
2082. NovaScotia33
10:25 PM GMT on September 13, 2010
Quoting 1fromnovasscotia:
Lol i hope the cmc track forecast is wrong in there estimation for there placement of Igor in 123 hours according to the map in stormpulse the cmc model has igor at 26.6 degrees North and 70.0 degrees West. Then again i actually had a meteoroligist call me back 4 days before Earl came to visit us and he told me at that time that they thought either the center or the eyewall feature would pass just to the west or right through Halifax Nova Scotia, he was 100% correct even though the storm made landfall around western Head Nova Scotia to the southwest the eyewall feature or what was left did go through the city, hence the higher wind gusts, we were lucky it wasn't a strong cat 1 or i would probably still be in the dark until they repaired the power infastructure here.


what would that mean to us?
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 42
2081. Murko
10:25 PM GMT on September 13, 2010
Quoting jrweatherman:


Maybe if everybody POOF's everybody, then we could all have intelligent conversations with ourselves.


That's what I'm doing. I wish there was a function to ignore everyone except ones you choose not to. My list is up to about 400 now, including you. Sorry, but I live in the zone and need accurate info when there's a storm coming.
Member Since: July 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 155
2079. Floodman
10:24 PM GMT on September 13, 2010
my stapler sound bite  Office Space sound bitesmy stapler sound bite
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
2077. StormJunkie
10:24 PM GMT on September 13, 2010
Quoting DestinJeff:


Riiiiiiight.

Yeeeeeeeah..... I'm going to neeeeed you to come in on Saturday.


Damn it...I can't get The Office out of my head long enough to remember the name...

Thanks flood!


Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
2076. dracko19
10:24 PM GMT on September 13, 2010
Quoting StormJunkie:


I'm not saying he's a wishcaster and I think he does believe there is a reasonable chance that the storm will continue W. He doesn't say for how long or how far though which is hedging a forecast. Statements like that tend to lead toward the sensationalist style of JB, which I'm just not a huge fan of. It also defies all of the logic of not only the models, but a whole team of paid educated experts with lot's of fun toys at the NHC.


Indeed. It surely would defy them wouldn't it. However....

2100 UTC SAT SEP 11 2010
FORECAST VALID 13/1800Z 17.9N 51.0W

2100 UTC SUN SEP 12 2010
FORECAST VALID 13/1800Z 18.1N 50.8W

These are archival forecasts for position from the NHC. I could post tons of these, but you get my point. How is it that the "models and the NHC boys with all their fancy toys" get this so wrong? And how could StormW be so right? Hmmm? Perhaps he may KNOW something you don't? Hmm?
Member Since: September 21, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 310
2075. stormchaserDAZ
10:23 PM GMT on September 13, 2010
Quoting dmaddox:
which one was that!? WOW!
i cant realy remember it lasted for 2 weeks in tiotal stated just off mexico and hit japan in the end i something it was back in 2005 i think
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 249

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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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