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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258. IKE
Panhandle to big bend...

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
257. unf97
One thing we are definitely seeing on the long range GFS runs that we have not seen all summer long is the deeply entrenched ridging across the Tropical Atlantic. Very prominent on the GFS runs long range for sure.
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All is fair in the weather wars xcool.lol
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18Z GFS still shows something developing in the Gulf about 9/26. It's been rather consistent about that.
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Quoting Wxouttacontrol:
Typhoon Tip was the largest tropical cyclone on record, with a diameter of 1,380 mi (2,220 km). At its largest, Tip was nearly half as large as the continental United States. The typhoon was also the most intense tropical cyclone on record with a pressure of 870 mbar.

That is flat out awesome. Good graphic.
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252. xcool


flip-flopping. ALL DAYY
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18Z GFS points it at the FL/AL border
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Quoting hydrus:
Greatest 72-Hr Rainfall 3.929m (154.7") 24-26/2/2007 1968-present Cratère Commerson, La Réunion 21°12'S, 55°39'E 2310m (7579ft) Man that is a lot of rain.


The United States record was on June 22, 1947, when an HP supercell dropped 12 inches of rain on Holt, Missouri, in 42 minutes...or roughly 1/4" of rain per minute. Wet, indeed...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13800
249. xcool
help4u LOL
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LOL who dropped the acid in the NWS water cooler today looks like the guy was peaking when he wrote this or maybe he was drunk

AS IGOR MOVE FAR AWAY FROM THE LOCAL AREA...WINDS WILL SHIFT MORE
EASTERLY BY TUESDAY...WITH NORMAL WEATHER CONDITIONS ACROSS THE
LOCAL AREA. HOWEVER...THINGS COULD GET BUSY AGAIN IN THE LONG
RANGE. AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE LOCATED NEAR 10N AND 40W LATE THIS
AFTERNOON...IS EXPECTED TO MOVE WEST DURING THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS.
THIS AREA OF LOW PRESSURE...NEED TO BE WATCHED...IN CASE SOME
DEVELOPMENT OCCURS. RIGHT NOW...THE GFS COMPUTER MODEL IS THE MOST
AGGRESSIVE...DEVELOPING THIS SYSTEM IN A TC BY THE BEGINNING OF
NEXT WEEK...AND PASSING THE SYSTEM WELL SOUTH OF THE LOCAL AREA.
THE GFS FORECAST A STRONG MID LEVEL RIDGE NORTH OF THE LOCAL BY
MID WEEK...KEEPING THIS SYSTEM TO OUR SOUTH. MEANWHILE...THE ECMWF
MODEL SHOWS A MUCH WEAKER SYSTEM...APPROACHING THE CARIBBEAN BY
TUESDAY. RIGHT NOW..IS TOO EARLY TO KNOW EXACTLY IF THIS SYSTEM
WILL DEVELOP...AND WHICH TRACK WILL TAKE. STAY TUNED FOR FURTHER
INFORMATION DURING THE NEXT FEW DAYS.

or maybe he had to go to the bathroom and started writing really fast
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18z still throwing something in the GOM around the +300 mark
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Yep you have to wait for model xcool. lol!!!!!!!!!!!
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Servicio Meteorológico Nacional (Mexico)
Link
Member Since: January 7, 2009 Posts: 128 Comments: 412
Quoting btwntx08:
yes maybe end of this month if the gfs is correct


What is the gfs predicting?
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243. xcool


NOW SHOWS development
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I have to agree with the others and say FSU for you sammy.
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Quoting Wxouttacontrol:
Typhoon Tip was the largest tropical cyclone on record, with a diameter of 1,380 mi (2,220 km). At its largest, Tip was nearly half as large as the continental United States. The typhoon was also the most intense tropical cyclone on record with a pressure of 870 mbar.


That was just God himself testing his awesomeness...scary!
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Quoting IKE:
132 hour 18Z GFS...



Gee that SE US High is persistant.
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Well Sammy,
I guess you got a lot of answers and the real choice for you would be FSU!


Jed is going there now, Alec graduated there a few years ago and several others (I think) are attending there.
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Typhoon Tip was the largest tropical cyclone on record, with a diameter of 1,380 mi (2,220 km). At its largest, Tip was nearly half as large as the continental United States. The typhoon was also the most intense tropical cyclone on record with a pressure of 870 mbar.

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231. IKE
168 hour GFS....much different run....

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting Hurricanes101:


Interesting, but just 1 run in about 5 days, and its the 18Z run at that

also its only 156 hours out, does not mean it does not develop it yet


true though the 18z and 6z are not as good as 00z and 12z something with the upper air data in the model runs.
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336 hrs. gfs has storm hitting la.
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Quoting JupiterFL:


I'm a Gator and I will say its FSU by a mile. I think I just threw up.


Don't feel too bad, FSU has to be good at something and it sure ain't football ;)

Seriously though, I've heard FSU has a great met program.
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
In About 6 Months i will be Applying to Colleges.

Does anyone Know whats the Best meterology university in the State of Florida?



someone has probably already told you..
I think it is FSU in Tallahassee..
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Quoting JupiterFL:


I'm a Gator and I will say its FSU by a mile. I think I just threw up.
LOL!
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224. KYDan
Quoting hydrus:
Greatest 72-Hr Rainfall 3.929m (154.7") 24-26/2/2007 1968-present Cratère Commerson, La Réunion 21°12'S, 55°39'E 2310m (7579ft) Man that is a lot of rain.


When I first read that, my mind said no way in heck could that be right, but after doing some simple math, I changed my mind. That is 2.15 inches of rain per hour, which is not out of reason at all. Raining for 72 hours straight with that kind of output is still almost unbelievable. I'm glad I was not close to that event.
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223. xcool
Hurricanes101 i wait for ooz
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
From what I've heard...FSU.


I'm a Gator and I will say its FSU by a mile. I think I just threw up.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 2146
Quoting caneswatch:


The U, end of discussion.
Yeah, but for meteorology, I hear FSU is the best.
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Quoting xcool:
18z shows no development


Interesting, but just 1 run in about 5 days, and its the 18Z run at that

also its only 156 hours out, does not mean it does not develop it yet
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Quoting BreadandCircuses:
On that loop you posted, it looks like pouch lows underneath both Igor and Julia..Interesting.
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218. xcool
18z shows no development
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
In About 6 Months i will be Applying to Colleges.

Does anyone Know whats the Best meterology university in the State of Florida?

From what I've heard...FSU.
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Quoting Buzzit:


The additional issue with the 18z is that it actually starts eastward curvature of Igor literally around the edge of bermuda, almost like bermuda was the central pivot point. Extremely nasty situation


Interesting.
That would mean effect from both sides of eyewall (hypothetically speaking, of course)
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
In About 6 Months i will be Applying to Colleges.

Does anyone Know whats the Best meterology university in the State of Florida?



The U, end of discussion.
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
In About 6 Months i will be Applying to Colleges.

Does anyone Know whats the Best meterology university in the State of Florida?


FSU
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Quoting cat5hurricane:
Yep. That thing on the verge of a nice explosive period of rapid intensification once that eye pops out.
And on that map you posted, the population is between 25 and 249 people per square kilometer. Far from being unpopulated. One area there is even higher, hope Karl stays away from there.
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Quoting rainmound:


Not much I can do - cleaned up, dammed the windows, waiting for the rain to stop so I can survey the ceiling... anyone else seen anythink like this?

No never in Florida... neva
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Quoting hydrus:
Greatest 72-Hr Rainfall 3.929m (154.7") 24-26/2/2007 1968-present Cratre Commerson, La Runion 2112'S, 5539'E 2310m (7579ft) Man that is a lot of rain.


Wow.

I can't think how many weeks the British record would take to equal that.

And we're known for rainfall.
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Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre
Link
Member Since: January 7, 2009 Posts: 128 Comments: 412

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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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