Nate almost a hurricane; Maria remains disorganized

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:05 PM GMT on September 08, 2011

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An Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft is in Tropical Storm Nate, and has found winds much stronger than the storm's satellite appearance would suggest. At 2:17 pm EDT, the aircraft measured winds at their flight level of 1500 feet of 93 mph, which would ordinarily support upgrading Nate to a Category 1 hurricane. Surface winds measured by the SFMR instrument were about 70 mph, suggesting that Nate is indeed very close to hurricane strength. However, latest visible satellite loops show that if Nate is a hurricane, it's only half of a hurricane. Nate's low-level center is exposed to view, due to northeasterly upper-level winds that are creating a moderate 10 knots of wind shear. This shear is keeping all of Nate's heavy thunderstorms pushed to the south side of the center, and the northern half of the storm almost cloud-free. Sustained winds at Buoy 42055, about 140 miles to the northwest of the center of Nate, were just 28 mph at 3:50 pm EDT this afternoon. Water vapor satellite loops show that there is a large area of very dry air from Texas to the north of Nate, and this dry air is keeping the northern half of the storm dry.

Nate will meander in the Bay of Campeche for several days, and the computer models are sharply divided on what happens early next week to the storm. A ridge of high pressure is expected to build in to the north of the storm, potentially forcing it westwards to a landfall in Mexico. However, our two best-performing models last year, the GFS and ECMWF, predict that a weak trough of low pressure expected to move across the U.S. early next week will be strong enough to turn Nate northwards towards an eventual landfall along the northern Gulf Coast. We will have to wait until the NOAA jet makes its first mission to sample the steering currents in the Gulf of Mexico to get a better idea on how probable this northern path might be; their first flight will be tonight, and the data will make it into the 8 pm models runs that will be available first thing Friday morning. As far as intensity goes, the very dry air to Nate's north should begin being less of a problem for it by Friday, when the upper level winds shift more to blow from the southeast, and the shear drops to the low range, 5 - 10 knots. Since the storm is moving very slowly, it will upwell cooler waters from the depths that will slow intensification, though.


Figure 1. Afternoon satellite image of Nate.

Tropical Storm Maria
Tropical Storm Maria barely survived as a tropical storm today, but is now making a bit of a comeback. Satellite loops show that Maria has been badly ripped up by the 10 - 20 knots of wind shear affecting it. The low-level center has been exposed to view most of the day, and surface arc-shaped clouds have been racing away from the storm to the west this afternoon, indicating that dry air has been getting into Maria's thunderstorms and disrupting the storm. However, the areal coverage and intensity of Maria's thunderstorms have increased a little in the past two hours. Maria is passing close to buoy 41040, which measured sustained winds of 36 mph, gusting to 45 mph, at 2:50 pm EDT.

Wind shear is predicted to fall to the low range on Friday as Maria approaches the Lesser Antilles. In addition, as I noted in this morning's post, Maria will be encountering an atmospheric disturbance known as a Convectively-Coupled Kelvin Wave (CCKW) that is currently passing through the Lesser Antilles Islands. There is a great deal of upward-moving air in the vicinity of a CCKW, and will help strengthen the updrafts in Maria's thunderstorms, potentially intensifying the storm. None of our models are detailed enough to "see" CCKWs", so we may see more intensification of the storm than the models are calling for. I believe Maria will continue to organize and arrive in the Lesser Antilles Islands as a tropical storm with 50 - 60 mph winds. The latest run of the GFDL model predicts that Maria will be a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday afternoon when it moves through the Virgin Islands, and a Category 2 hurricane Sunday night when it moves through the Turks and Caicos Islands. This is on the high end of what is possible, and I think it more likely that Maria will be a tropical storm with 50 - 60 mph winds in the northern Lesser Antilles, 60 - 70 mph winds in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, and a Category 1 hurricane in the Turks and Caicos Islands--assuming passage over Puerto Rico and the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic does not significantly disrupt the storm. A lower intensity, as forecast by NHC, is certainly quite possible, as Maria may continue to struggle with the dry air and wind shear besetting it.

The latest computer model runs have been trending more southwards, and the Northern Lesser Antilles, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Bahama Islands are all at high risk of a direct hit by Maria. The models are split on how strong the steering influence a trough of low pressure along the U.S. East Coast will have once Maria approaches the U.S. East Coast. Most of the models foresee that Maria will turn north before arriving at Florida, and potentially threaten North Carolina, Bermuda, or Canada. The latest run of the GFDL model, though, brings Maria through the Bahamas to a point just 100 miles southeast of Miami as a hurricane on Tuesday afternoon. While this forecast is an outlier, and it is more likely that Maria will turn north before reaching Florida, it will be another two days before we will have a fair degree of confidence on when Maria will curve to the north.

Lee's rains trigger historic flooding in New York and Pennsylvania
An extreme rainfall event unprecedented in recorded history has hit the Binghamton, New York area, where 7.49" of rain fell yesterday. This is the second year in a row Binghamton has recorded a greater than 1-in-100 year rain event; their previous all-time record was set last September, when 4.68" fell on Sep 30 - Oct. 1, 2010. Binghamton has also already broken its record for rainiest year in its history. Records go back to 1890 in the city. The rain has ended in Binghamton, with this morning's rain bringing the city's total rainfall for the 40-hour event to 9.02". The Susquehanna River at Binghamton has risen to 25.69', its highest level since records began in 1847, and is now spilling over the flood walls protecting the city, according to media reports. In Hershey, Pennsylvania, Swatara Creek is 19' over flood stage, and more than 9' above its record flood crest. Widespread flash flooding is occurring across the entire area, and over 120,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.


Figure 2. Seven-day precipitation amounts from Tropical Storm Lee and its remnants. Image credit: NOAA/AHPS.


Figure 3. The Susquehanna River at Binghamton has crested this afternoon at its highest flood height on record, 25.69'. Records at this gauge go back to 1847. Image credit: NOAA/AHPS.


Figure 4. In Hershey, Pennsylvania, Swatara Creek is 19' over flood stage, and more than 9' above its previous record flood crest. The river is forecast to crest at 27.2' (green lines are the predictions.) Records at this gage go back to 1930. Image credit: NOAA/AHPS.

The extreme rains are due the the remains of Tropical Storm Lee interacting with a stationary front draped along the Eastern U.S. Adding to the potent moisture mix last night was a stream of tropical moisture associated with Hurricane Katia that collided with the stationary front. You don't often see a major city break its all-time 24-hour precipitation record by a 60% margin, according to wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, and he can't recall ever seeing it happen before. It's worth noting that the Susquehanna River Binghamton stream gage, which has been in operation since 1847, is due to be shut off in 3 weeks due to budget cuts. Here's the note at the USGS web site:

NOTICE (03/23/2011)--Data collection at this streamgage may be discontinued after October 1, 2011 due to funding reductions from partner agencies. Although historic data will remain accessible, no new data will be collected unless one or more new funding partners are found. Users who are willing to contribute funding to continue operation of this streamgage should contact Rob Breault or Ward Freeman of the USGS New York Water Science Center at 518-285-5658 or dc_ny@usgs.gov.

I'll have an update in the morning.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:

A seemingly intoxicated moose is discovered entangled in an apple tree by a stunned Swede in Goteborg, Sweden late Tuesday Sept. 6 2011.

STOCKHOLM (AP) - A seemingly intoxicated moose has been discovered entangled in an apple tree by a stunned Swede.

Per Johansson says he heard a roar from his vacationing neighbor's garden in southwestern Sweden late Tuesday and went to have a look. There, he found a female moose kicking about in the tree. The animal was likely drunk from eating fermented apples.

A drunk moose? lol
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826. SLU
08/2345 UTC 13.3N 53.7W T2.5/2.5 MARIA
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Quoting JNCali:
commo se dis "troll" en espanole??

Retardado, narsicista

There are 3,000 other posible definitions

Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
I hope admin does not perform a mass blogger ejection tonight

Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1034
A seemingly intoxicated moose is discovered entangled in an apple tree by a stunned Swede in Goteborg, Sweden late Tuesday Sept. 6 2011.

STOCKHOLM (AP) - A seemingly intoxicated moose has been discovered entangled in an apple tree by a stunned Swede.

Per Johansson says he heard a roar from his vacationing neighbor's garden in southwestern Sweden late Tuesday and went to have a look. There, he found a female moose kicking about in the tree. The animal was likely drunk from eating fermented apples.

http://www.komonews.com/news/offbeat/129462358.ht ml
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Quoting DFWjc:


Have you seen those wind up flash lights?

Cool, it's got an air raid siren built in. :)
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Quoting Dakster:


That is where the smell is coming from...

LOL!
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Quoting JupiterFL:


Coronal Mass Ejection?
BABY BARF.... nice1 JF
Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1034
Quoting Dakster:


That is where the smell is coming from...



lol yup
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Quoting JupiterFL:


Coronal Mass Ejection?




heh heh
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Northwestern St. Mary's county is getting dumped on. Is this Lee's doing?

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Quoting Tazmanian:
i this farted


That is where the smell is coming from...
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10646
Quoting Tazmanian:
i this farted


Coronal Mass Ejection?
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Quoting weatherjr:
The term troll in spanish mean: eventos sucesivos, en hilera, uno detras del otro...or events in sucession


or like we say in Miami "Eres tremendo come mierda"
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Quoting JupiterFL:


This.... but can we stick to the good looking avatars? This year has been brutal.

HEY!!!
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810. JLPR2
So... A question.

Did the HHs find a circulation in Maria or not?
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I know a lot of Canadians too... When I retire, I am moving up north and driving slow...
--
Hopefully they get the power situation under control out west...
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Quoting interstatelover7165:
Well, what is Nate's ADT number?



am not sure what storm that was for lol
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the structure of Maria is improving, while it continues west.that wnw track does not seem likely and maria will go through the central windwards as a strong storm. if it continues on it's present track watches will be issued south of martinique
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804. HCW
LOL


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Quoting ncstorm:
The blog will only see the one outlier and think----->



Hmm. . Katrina and Hugo combination headed to NE? Nice. LOL
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Quoting Dakster:


All of them?

At least it seems that way.


My neighbor is from Quebec. She goes there for 7 months of the year and she is always gone for hurricane season. I'm the one who has to watch over her house =/.
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 2838
Quoting Tazmanian:



that Maria
Well, what is Nate's ADT number?
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800. JLPR2
Quoting interstatelover7165:
What ADT number is Nate 3.0, 4.0....?


Believe it or not.
2011SEP09 004500 2.9 1001.0/ 0.0 / 43.0 2.9 3.1 3.7 0.7T/6hr OFF OFF -60.76 -48.78 CRVBND
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Quoting interstatelover7165:
What ADT number is Nate 3.0, 4.0....?



that Maria
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I wanna see the same troll have a conversation with all its handles.

Need some entertainment...the Saints getting their butts whooped ain't cutting it...


This.... but can we stick to the good looking avatars? This year has been brutal.
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Quoting Jedkins01:


I honestly would say that Florida has been the best place over the last several years. Unlike most of the country, we are getting less extreme weather/flooding events than we used to. I remember when I grew up,( and yes I do remember correctly because I was always a science freak even as a little boy) that we used to have a lot more extreme rainfall events and we got more severe thunderstorms.

Now we get less of both, whereas the rest of the country seems to be getting more. We also are even getting less tropical systems than we used to.

And yet if anyone is likely to get hit by a category 5 it's us. The more north you go the colder the waters get on the east coast. If a category 5 hurricane is in the gulf and it heads north, chances are it weakens to category four. But if a category five approaches florida, florida being a swamp, doesn't weaken it much. Hence why florida has been hit by 2/3 category 5 hurricanes.
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Quoting JLPR2:
Now that Maria has convection over the center ADT's estimates are rising.

2011SEP09 004500 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.8 3.0 3.5 0.7T/6hr OFF OFF -61.16 -58.64 CRVBND
What ADT number is Nate 3.0, 4.0....?
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Nate looks like he is moving Northeast



And might be defying the models



I would wait on the Gulfstream IV data to get inputted into the models before jumping on the Mexican Train ;P
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Quoting Dakster:


Maybe. But South Florida has its other drawbacks as a place to live. For one, it is getting cost prohibitive.

Baha - Canada... No, too darn cold and full of snow. Unless I am missing an area that doesn't get that way in the winter, which is possible.


Not nearly as expensive as it was a few years ago. Its substantially cheaper overall to live in South Florida then many other places in this country. I had to live in California for two years and that place is a complete waste of money.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
I gotta agree with you on the snow.... I think it snows everywhere there. Do u know how many Canadians live / snowbird in S FL???



All of them?

At least it seems that way.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10646
789. JLPR2
Now that Maria has convection over the center ADT's estimates are rising.

2011SEP09 004500 2.8 1002.0/ 0.0 / 41.0 2.8 3.0 3.5 0.7T/6hr OFF OFF -61.16 -58.64 CRVBND
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Quoting Bielle:


Vancouver and Victoria (southern British Columbia) are relatively mild in winter.



Maybe if your from Yellowknife!!
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787. DFWjc
Quoting PcolaDan:



Have you seen those wind up flash lights?
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Nate is getting a good appearance to him, could intensify tonight into a hurricane overnight.
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Quoting JNCali:
commo se dis "troll" en espanole??


TuMama
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Maria


Katia


Nate
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Quoting Dakster:


Maybe. But South Florida has its other drawbacks as a place to live. For one, it is getting cost prohibitive.

Baha - Canada... No, too darn cold and full of snow. Unless I am missing an area that doesn't get that way in the winter, which is possible.
I gotta agree with you on the snow.... I think it snows everywhere there. Do u know how many Canadians live / snowbird in S FL???

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I wanna see the same troll have a conversation with all its handles.

Need some entertainment...the Saints getting their butts whooped ain't cutting it...
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Quoting Dakster:


Maybe. But South Florida has its other drawbacks as a place to live. For one, it is getting cost prohibitive.

Baha - Canada... No, too darn cold and full of snow. Unless I am missing an area that doesn't get that way in the winter, which is possible.


Vancouver and Victoria (southern British Columbia) are relatively mild in winter.
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Quoting JNCali:
commo se dis "troll" en espanole??


se dice un trol
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Quoting TuMama:
Is power outages a possible terror attack I saw on news there is a new threat.

I live in SoCal. Regardless of root cause, it tips me closer to investing in a battery bankfor my grid attached solar panels. :(

Oops....Tropical Storm blog......and so when Eastern Pacific Cyclones start making it up stream (against the cold California Current) and start making landfall in my neck of the woods.....I won't need a gas generator for electricity (grid down....roof survived?).
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jajaja!!!!!!!! chupacabra no creo que se llame asi

Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

lol
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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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