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tropics

T.S. Lisa in the E. Atlantic… Activity picks up in the Caribbean

Tropical storm Lisa formed in the East Atlantic yesterday as an area of interest begins to organize in the eastern Caribbean. Lisa is expected to meander around the East and Central Atlantic while remaining far away from the U.S., but the disturbance in the Caribbean has been forecast by the models to have a chance at a U.S. landfall. Beyond that information, there won’t be much to report on the potential system until it develops into a tropical cyclone and begins a definitive motion. There’s still a wide range of possibilities out there, so anyone who says “it will hit X” in the next few days is talking complete bull.

Tonight, Jason and I will be attending the first DC AMS meeting of the 2010-2011 chapter year. Jason will be live streaming the meeting on his site, and I’ll be the tired guy pretending to be fully conscious.

Igor bears down on Bermuda as we look into the future

Igor is currently a category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 85 mph as it slams Bermuda with tropical storm force winds this morning. Don’t let the weakening in wind fool you… the swath of hurricane and tropical storm force winds is so vast that Bermuda will be inundated by Igor for a good 24 hours from the beginning of the event before tropical storm conditions will subside. This is quite a long time for those in the way of a tropical system. Good luck to all those out in Bermuda weathering the storm.

Looking into the future, another tropical wave is trying to form into a tropical system just off the coast of Africa, but this storm is forecast by the models to stay very, very far off to the east. The next real threat to the U.S. could form in the western Caribbean about 8-10 days from now. Both the GFS and ECMWF models have something forming in that area, but the upper-level pattern which would steer the storm is nearly the opposite in the 11-15 day period between these two models, which would greatly affect where this potential storm could make landfall. The only reason why I mention a storm this far out is because of the consistency the models have shown in developing a system in the Caribbean during this time frame, and it stands a chance of making a U.S. landfall. I will continue to monitor the situation with this system, but it remains so far out into the forecast that nothing can be certain.

Karl makes landfall in Mexico as a major hurricane

Major Hurricane Karl broke Bay of Campeche records for being the strongest hurricane that far south into the Bay. Karl came off of the Yucatan Peninsula as a Tropical Storm and quickly spun up over the course of 1.5 days to a category 3 winds, eventually maxing out at sustained winds of 120 mph.

Here’s the official data:

NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL132010
1200 PM CDT FRI SEP 17 2010

…KARL MAKES LANDFALL ON THE SOUTHWEST GULF COAST OF MEXICO…

MEXICAN RADAR OBSERVATIONS AND SATELLITE IMAGES INDICATE THAT THE
CENTER OF HURRICANE KARL MADE LANDFALL ON THE SOUTHWEST COAST OF
MEXICO ABOUT 10 MILES…15 KM…NORTH OF VERACRUZ MEXICO NEAR 1130
AM CDT…1630 UTC. THE MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS AT LANDFALL WERE
ESTIMATED TO BE 115 MPH…185 KM/HR.

SUMMARY OF 1130 AM CDT…1630 UTC…INFORMATION
————————————————–
LOCATION…19.3N 96.2W
ABOUT 10 MI…15 KM N OF VERACRUZ MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…115 MPH…185 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WSW OR 255 DEGREES AT 8 MPH…13 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…976 MB…29.82 INCHES

Initial readings near the core reported weaker winds when the eye came ashore around 12:30pm EDT, so further analysis will have to be done for sure. It was definitely a unique and interesting hurricane.

T.S. Karl hits the Yucatan as it tries to get back to water

Tropical Storm Karl made landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula earlier today as it continues its WNW movement towards the East Pacific. Karl will move over the Bay of Campeche tomorrow and is expected to rapidly intensify before making landfall in central Mexico. Karl stands a good chance of making it to a category 1 hurricane before its second landfall… a feat it almost accomplished this morning as it hit the Yucatan as a strong tropical storm.

Here’s some Karl awesomeness for you all… still a very nice structure despite now having spent about 10 hours over land (taken at 5:45pm EDT).

Igor and Julia continue to chug away in the Atlantic as both weaken slightly from their maximum winds they achieved earlier today. No U.S. landfall should come from any of these storms, but models are strongly hinting at a storm (or two) that could impact the U.S. towards the end of the month.

T.S. Karl forms as Igor tries to go cat. 5

Tropical Storm Karl has formed in the western Caribbean as of 5:00pm ET, and it is forecast to head WNW towards the Yucatan Peninsula, making landfall there sometime tomorrow before sliding into the Bay of Campeche. Once off the Yucatan, Karl will have the opportunity to strengthen into a hurricane before making landfall again in northern/central Mexico early this weekend. Karl is not expected to make landfall on U.S. soil, but clouds and rain associated with the tropical system could impact Texas as it meanders into the East Pacific.

Igor is re-intensifying tonight following a period of weakening, and has another shot at becoming a category 5 hurricane. If successful, Igor will be the first Atlantic Basin category 5 hurricane since Dean and Felix in 2007. Dean had the most impressive center of low pressure at 907 mb, while Felix bottomed-out at 930mb. This year, Earl hit 928 mb as it peaked as a category 4 hurricane, and Igor is currently at its peak of 933 mb with wind speeds of 145 mph.

Not to be outdone, Julia continues to slowly strengthen, and it is currently a category 1 hurricane with wind speeds of 85 mph. Julia has not been talked about much since it is shadowed by the powerful Igor and the practically-imminent landfalls of Karl. Julia is expected to recurve much further east than Igor, and it should not pose any huge threat to land.

IR Satellite:

Igor now a Category 4 Beast

Since becoming a category 1 hurricane as of 11:00pm EDT last night, Igor has rapidly strengthened into a category 4 hurricane as of 1:30pm EDT. Igor is now an absolute beast of a hurricane, and it should continue to be a major hurricane through the next week! The current forecast for Igor is to miss the U.S. as it recurves to the north and east about a week from now.

Here’s a recent shot of Igor on satellite (from wunderground.com):

HURRICANE IGOR SPECIAL ADVISORY NUMBER 18
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL112010
230 PM AST SUN SEP 12 2010

…IGOR RAPIDLY INTENSIFIES INTO A CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE…

SUMMARY OF 230 PM AST…1830 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…17.7N 46.1W
ABOUT 1120 MI…1800 KM E OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…135 MPH…215 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 270 DEGREES AT 14 MPH…22 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…950 MB…28.05 INCHES

Tropics still running hot and heavy

As of the 11am update (AST & EDT) The National Hurricane Center has reported that invest 97L is strong enough to get Tropical Depression status, becoming the twelfth system in 2010 so far.  Tropical Depression twelve is yet another Cape Verde system & another that has been part of this long tropical train. This is also just the peak of the season, with a few more weeks left for more storms to come.

Additionally, Hurricane Igor, which reached Hurricane status just last night at the 11pm update is now, 12 hours later being upgraded to Category 2 status. Igor, having overcome the hurdles earlier with shear is now looking at continued growth over the next few days and the NHC is expecting Igor to become a major Hurricane within that time frame. Of course with many strong early systems, whether or not Igor can maintain that status and will be a risk to any land areas. Models are also not great at that long range on the certainty of the path Igor will take. Expectations are that it will be a ‘fish storm’, staying out to sea, but too many factors that have not evolved yet will make that determination.

Lastly, the continued system that has basically stalled over the lower southeast Caribbean region is actually a little less organized, but is still showing about a 50% chance (according to NHC) of tropical development. This at the moment is the system to watch since it is surrounded by land areas. Forecast models to trend toward moving the system in some sort of westerly direction which is the most favorable for residents in the greater Caribbean region, but threats are still there.