A rare triple threat: three simultaneous Atlantic hurricanes

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:47 PM GMT on September 16, 2010

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For the first time in twelve years, we have a rare triple threat in the Atlantic--three simultaneous hurricanes. Hurricane Karl joined Hurricanes Igor and Julia in the steadily expanding Hurricanes of 2010 club this morning, becoming the sixth hurricane of the season. The last time we had three simultaneous hurricanes in the Atlantic was in 1998. That year also had four simultaneous hurricanes--Georges, Ivan, Jeanne and Karl--for a brief time on September 25. There has been just one other case of four simultaneous Atlantic hurricanes, on August 22, 1893. According to Phil Klotzbach at Colorado State, three simultaneous Atlantic hurricanes is a rare phenomena, having occurred only eight other times since 1851. The other years were 1893, 1926, 1950, 1961, 1967, 1980, 1995, and 1998.


Figure 1. Triple trouble: From left to right, Hurricanes Karl, Igor, and Julia roil the Atlantic. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.

Karl
Hurricane Karl continues to intensify. The latest Hurricane Hunter flight, flying at 12,000 feet, found flight level winds of 95 mph. This suggests surface winds of 85 mph, though the top surface winds seen by their SFMR instrument were about 80 mph. Mexican radar out of Alvarado shows the outer spirals bands of Karl are dumping heavy rains on the Mexican coast along the Bay of Campeche.


Figure 2. Afternoon radar image from the Alvarado, Mexico radar. The eye of Karl is visible in the upper right, and rain bands are affecting the coast to the east of the radar site. Image credit: Mexican Weather Service..

Forecast for Karl
Conditions for intensification are ideal in the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche, with wind shear expected to be low, 5 - 10 knots, SSTs warm, 29°C - 30°C, and the atmosphere very moist. These conditions, combined with the topography of the surrounding coast which tends to enhance counter-clockwise flow, should allow Karl to intensify into Category 2 hurricane before making landfall between Tampico and Vercruz, Mexico Friday afternoon. Karl is a small storm, and is unlikely to bring any rain or wind to Texas.

Igor
The Air Force Hurricane Hunters made their first foray into Hurricane Igor this afternoon, and found a high-end Category 3 storm, with a central pressure of 940 mb and top winds at 10,000 feet of 150 mph. The southwest portion of the eyewall was open, so Igor has the potential to intensify once again if it can close off the gap. There are no major changes to the track or intensify forecast for Igor in the latest set of model runs. Igor is expected to remain a major hurricane for the next two days, and is headed northwest at 7 mph. This motion will carry the core of the hurricane close to NOAA buoy 41044 between 9 - 11 pm EDT tonight. Top winds at the buoy so far today have been 65 mph, gusting to 81 mph, with a significant wave height of 38 feet (the significant wave height is the average of the highest 1/3 of the waves.)

Elsewhere in the tropics
The ECMWF model develops a new tropical depression a few hundred miles off the coast of Africa 2 - 4 days from now. The GFS is suggesting the eastern Caribbean could see a tropical depression 6 - 7 days from now.

I'll have an update Friday morning.

Jeff Masters

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A deadly tornado-like storm battered the city late this afternoon — snapping and uprooting trees and tossing them like twigs into cars and homes, authorities said.

One woman died at the height of storm in Queens, on Grand Central Parkway near Jewel Avenue, when a tree struck a car.


Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/storm_with_heavy_winds_sweeps_through_ss47jvwlwjcSlVAmG8kI8J#ixzz 0zk8DKD35
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SFMR
85 knots
(~ 97.7 mph)
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972mb found by recon in Karl, no real change from last vortex fix.

003500 1941N 09408W 8425 01252 9720 202 138 013002 006 028 001 00
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The storms in New York are crazy. So much damage. They issued a tornado warning for these storms, but I believe a lot of the damage is from straight line winds with gusts near 80mph.

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local-beat/A-Tornado-Grows-in-Brooklyn-103091884.html
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Quoting BaltOCane:
a T# at 5.0 is a 90kt storm. 90kts=103mph

Cat 2 and getting stronger


Need to see 5.5 for a major; I think the little guy will make it, if you ask me...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13526
Video from NY Post

img src="">
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Quoting coffeecrusader:
The GFS has been eerily consisten for the last 6 days in developing a large hurricane in the Carribean that gets into the Gulf of Mexico. Most runs (including most recent 18z) have had it hitting the west coast of Florida. Anyone have any idea what wave the GFS is referring to? Is it still over Africa or is is the one that just came off yesterday?
No, that particular system being developed by the GFS is currently located near 39W.
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The Dvorak showing the well organized C.D.O. of Karl.
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Quoting Barefootontherocks:


Neo,
Don't miss this one. What a photo! Amazing.Link


Ha! An LP, high-base midwest supercell photoshopped onto an image of the Statue of Liberty. Nicely done, but the various videos I've seen from today's NYC event show a very strong, very wet, very low-base microburst rolling rapidly through the city. Ah, well, the artist best get back to work and try again... ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13526
Quoting extreme236:


No, there was just an estimate from SAB a half hour ago that was T4.0

16/2345 UTC 23.1N 41.9W T4.0/4.0 JULIA -- Atlantic


It looks better because it got rid of dry sir. Doesn't mean strengthening.
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The GFS has been eerily consisten for the last 6 days in developing a large hurricane in the Carribean that gets into the Gulf of Mexico. Most runs (including most recent 18z) have had it hitting the west coast of Florida. Anyone have any idea what wave the GFS is referring to? Is it still over Africa or is is the one that just came off yesterday?
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Recon is approaching Karl's circulation as pressures begin to decrease. Now down to 992.9mb and still ways away from the eye.

003000 1927N 09411W 8430 01413 9928 +158 +113 289071 072 061 010 00
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Yup. Areas along the Gulf are likely in for a nasty latter half of the season due to the stronger/more amplified trofs that we've been saying throughout the season.

Does Charley, Wilma, Ivan, etc ring a bell?
lol...They rang a few bells.
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Quoting AstroHurricane001:
514:

I'm noting that the last estimate at 4.0 for Julia was at 1:45 pm EDT, when the storm was at a weak 80 kt. The storm has actually strengthened past that after weakening, and underwent possible RI after 5:00 pm advisory. The satellite appearance, despite looking like a cross between extratropical and annular, is not much unlike when Julia was cat. 4 (see post 465).


No, there was just an estimate from SAB a half hour ago that was T4.0

16/2345 UTC 23.1N 41.9W T4.0/4.0 JULIA -- Atlantic
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GOES-15 has switched over from Igor to Karl:



Click the image for a loop
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525:

Karl's eye is developing like crazy. A cat. 3 is not out of the question.
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539. amd
looks like recon is going back through Karl from SW to NE, just after going through NE to SW. It seems to me that recon may be trying to confirm whether the 100 mph reading was truly representative of the strengthening Karl.
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Quoting Barefootontherocks:


Neo,
Don't miss this one. What a photo! Amazing. Link

How apocalyptic and timely (many believe we're under siege after all).
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Quoting Barefootontherocks:


Neo,
Don't miss this one. What a photo! Amazing. Link


Spectacular Photos, man NY, the day after....
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I'm sorry but Julia is no way no how a major. I see looks nice but she is lacking lots of deep convection, she has that ring look that makes her appear weak, I think she will remain at 85 mph at 11.
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2372
Quoting sunlinepr:
Water Vapor & outflow between them
One of the computer models hit it right with Julia. It showed Julia running right into Igor. Sorta like Bambi running into Godzilla.
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I went through Charlie too. I live in NW Cape Coral.
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514:

I'm noting that the last estimate at 4.0 for Julia was at 1:45 pm EDT, when the storm was at a weak 80 kt. The storm has actually strengthened past that after weakening, and underwent possible RI after 5:00 pm advisory. The satellite appearance, despite looking like a cross between extratropical and annular, is not much unlike when Julia was cat. 4 (see post 465).
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Julia is holding tough! Her structure still looks very good, and she might even strengthen a little too!



This should be relatively short lived though, as she is getting dangerously close to the behemoth Igor. Here is a size comparison, Julia is right and Igor is left:

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531. Vero1
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Quoting Clearwater1:
Yea, but @ 324 gfs has storm right over FL, 12gfs over nola, 06 over fl . . . good at predicting future storms developing. so far this year. But who knows with the next run, could be nothing, or over mx or back over FL

do u think u can post a link? thanks
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Quoting pilotguy1:


OK, went thru Charley so I get it if you are there. It's just that Karl is going to effect a whole lot less people due to it's size.
Cheers.
You went through Charley? Where were you when he hit?
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Water Vapor & outflow between them
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Yup. Areas along the Gulf are likely in for a nasty latter half of the season due to the stronger/more amplified trofs that we've been saying throughout the season.

Does Charley, Wilma, Ivan, etc ring a bell?

After 2 millions of Corexit being sprayed and oil that lingers under the surface, nasty doesn't even begin to describe how bad it could get for the Gulf states and likely beyond. ;(
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
Yep I'm all good. Dry, Dry, Dry here though. Farmers are coming up eligible for disaster funds. State capital on water restrictions. Local municipalities not yet but could be coming. Daren't pray for rain as the only place it comes from this time of year is from tropical storm and one big enough to make it here means trouble for folks in the Gul

Great to hear you're good, but I understand where you're coming from, Its like being between a rock and hard place, KInda liked damned either way!
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Karl is not a big storm, but sure looks potent! I guarantee wherever this comes ashore, will be a bit windy! LOL

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Pretty nasty storm in NY today....
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Quoting Neapolitan:


Here's a link to a constantly updated bunch of photos purportedly showing damage from today's NYC tornado. There's one image of a supposed funnel cloud (near the Statute of Liberty) being retweeted all over, but since there's only the one pic, I wouldn't trust it...yet. Otherwise, the damage could be a low-end tornado, or straight-line winds...


Neo,
Don't miss this one. What a photo! Amazing. Link
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Quoting sunlinepr:
What will be the next Invest number, the new storm name???

Lisa...And I can only hope that the name "lisa" does not become Household name like Andrew, or any of the other infamous hurricane names.
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a T# at 5.0 is a 90kt storm. 90kts=103mph

Cat 2 and getting stronger
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Quoting CaptnDan142:


Oh, I agree that in the very small area it hit, there would certainly be significant destruction.

I guess what I am looking at is more on the order of public perception / public safety. People tend to 'remember the last time'. If this thing were heading over to say, Destin, here in Panama City, we would barely notice it other than a few hours of blustery weather. Destin, of course, would see it differently than us. The problem is, next time a major hurricane is heading our way, a real one, people will recall the most recent...

I guess I am more sensitive to this kind of thing after our experience with Dennis. For those who don't know, the local media was told that the County Emergency Management people would be meeting in the morning at 7am to discuss mandatory evacuations should it become necessary. Unfortunately, someone on the news said that there was a mandatory evacuation ordered to begin at 7am the next morning. One media outlet after another jumped on that and everyone freaked. Dennis was, of course, a non-event for us. There hasn't been an evacuation called since, real or imagined... But I really wonder what will happen when the time comes? Maybe it's been long enough for people to have gotten over that. Only time will tell I guess.

For that reason, I really hate to see stuff get over-hyped.


Oh me too I hate to see stuff get over-hyped, I catch your drift as they= I understand.
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Mike Theiss is in Bermuda and Jim is on his way.
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Wow, a new low is forming to the SSE of Julia. Going to be an interesting three-storm interaction.
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It's Only Sept. 16.... way to go....
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Quoting AstroHurricane001:
473:

Now wouldn't this really be something. I can't wait for the 11 pm advisory, because Karl's a cat. 2, Igor's a cat. 4 and Julia is a possible cat. 3. In fact, I'll say there's a 15% chance of there being three simultaneous cat. 4 hurricanes, and now there's another storms forming?!


Julia is not a cat 3. Look at the satellite estimates. T4.0 is cat 1. Igor's T-numbers are indicative of a cat 3
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Good for the Cape Verde season, BAD BAD for the Caribbean season right around the corner. If the GFS holds true you'll be changing your tune in a week or so.
Yup. Areas along the Gulf are likely in for a nasty latter half of the season due to the stronger/more amplified trofs that we've been saying throughout the season.

Does Charley, Wilma, Ivan, etc ring a bell?
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I&J are now within 1100 miles of one another...this is getting exciting.
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Quoting stormpetrol:

1 BTW my friend How are you doing? I assume you're just fine :)
Yep I'm all good. Dry, Dry, Dry here though. Farmers are coming up eligible for disaster funds. State capital on water restrictions. Local municipalities not yet but could be coming. Daren't pray for rain as the only place it comes from this time of year is from tropical storm and one big enough to make it here means trouble for folks in the Gulf.
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Satellite estimates indicate strengthening.

16/2345 UTC 19.9N 94.2W T5.0/5.0 KARL -- Atlantic
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473:

Now wouldn't this really be something. I can't wait for the 11 pm advisory, because Karl's a cat. 2, Igor's a cat. 4 and Julia is a possible cat. 3. In fact, I'll say there's a 15% chance of there being three simultaneous cat. 4 hurricanes, and now there's another storms forming?!
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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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