Cat 5 Hurricane Maria bears done on Puerto Rico

NOAA Satellite image of Hurricane Maria

NOAA Satellite image of Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria at 5 PM EDT (2100 UTC) has continued to strengthen with max winds now at 145 knots (165 mph) and with a central pressure of 916 mb.  Maria was moving towards the west-northwest (300 degrees) at 9 knots over the eastern Caribbean Sea.

Hurricane force winds currently extend outward about 30 NM while 50 knot (58mph) or higher winds extend outward 80 NM to the north and about 60 NM to the south.  Max significant wave height 41 feet (12.5 meters).Maria track

The eye of Maria is forecast to move near the U. S. Virgin Islands tonight and across Puerto Rico on Wednesday, followed by a track just north of the eastern Dominican Republic Wednesday night and Thursday, then turning towards the northwest then north Friday and Saturday.

Maria’s core is expected to move near or over St. Croix and Puerto Rico tonight and Wednesday, bringing life-threatening wind, storm surge, and rainfall impacts to portions of those islands.

A gradual weakening trend is forecast after the eye passes over Puerto Rico.

Risk for encountering sustained winds of hurricane force.

Risk for encountering sustained winds of hurricane force.

Latest NOAA NHC Advisories on Maria can be found here

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New Hurricane threat for Leeward and Virgin Islands

NOAA NHC Satillite Image

NOAA NHC Satillite Image

A developing tropical disturbance over the central tropical North Atlantic is forecast to become a tropical depression or a tropical storm today so tropical storm watches have been issued for portions of the Leeward Islands. Max winds are currently estimated to be 30 knots (35 mph) as it moves westward.

The current NHC forecast tracks brings this system across the Leeward Islands in a few days and then near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.  Environmental conditions will be favorable for strengthening during the next several days and this system could reach hurricane strength by the time it reaches the Leeward Islands.

In the longer-term this will pose a threat for Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and the Bahamas and possibly portions of the US Southeast Coast.

NOAA NHC Forecast Track

NOAA NHC Forecast Track

 

 

 

 

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TS Jose Thursday Update

NOAA Satellite image TS Jose

NOAA Satellite image TS Jose

Tropical Storm Jose as of 2100 UTC (5PM EDT) on Sept. 14th was moving towards the west-northwest at 7 knots over the western North Atlantic with a max wind of about 60 knots. Jose is moving over an area that favors some strengthening during the next 72 hours and should regain hurricane strength as a Cat. 1-2 hurricane.

Jose should turn northwestward by Saturday and northward by early Monday while it moves around a ridge over the western Atlantic Ocean staying off the US East Coast, however, there is some indication that the forecast track could be adjusted farther west.

NOAA NHC Forecast Track

NOAA NHC Forecast Track

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Hurricane Jose to do clockwise loop over Atlantic

jose satSeptember 13, 2017 – As of 11 am EDT (1500 UTC), Hurricane Jose is being affected by strong wind northwesterly shear and the current max wind is estimated at 65 knots. Jose has been moving slowly southeastward, however, most models show that Jose will complete a clockwise loop to the south then west then today and Thursday, then start to track northward after 48 hours. The official forecast keeps Jose either as a Cat. 1 hurricane or a strong tropical storm over the next several days, however, there is still some room for strengthening as it turns loops west then northward.

NOAA NHC Offical Forecast Track

NOAA NHC Offical Forecast Track

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Typhoon Tali to intensify over Western North Pacific

Typhoon Talim Satellite Image

Typhoon Talim Satellite Image

Typhoon Tali was located at 2100UTC 12 September, 2017 about 171NM S-SW of Kadena AB on Okinawa and was moving northwest at 12 knots with max winds of 70 knots.  Hurricane force winds extend outward about 30 NM to the southwest and about 50 NM to the northeast.

Tali is forecast to move northwestward for another 48 hours before turning northward then northeastward reaching a peak intensity of 100-120 knots over the next 48 hours.

JTWC forecast track for Typhoon Talim

JTWC forecast track for Typhoon Talim

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Major Hurricane Irma Update 07 Sept. 0300UTC

irma sat1Major Hurricane Irma at 0300UTC Sept 7th (11PM EDT Sept. 6th) was centered near 19.4N  66.8W  and was moving towards the west-northwest at 14 knots (16mph) with a minimum central pressure of 916 MB and max sustained winds of 160 knots (185 mph) with gusts possible to 195 knots (225 mph).

The radius of hurricane force (64kt or higher winds) currently extends out 45NM except 30 NM to the southwest.  The radius of storm force (50 knot) winds extends outward 100 NM to the northeast and 50 NM to the southwest. Gale force (34kt or higher) winds extend outward 160 NM to the northeast and 80 NM to the southwest. Maximum significant wave heights estimated to be 53 feet (16 meters).irma nhc track 1

Comments:
As Irma moves towards the WNW the circulation will start to interact with the larger islands of Hispaniola and Cuba which should tend to weaken the max winds over time, however the center is moving over warmer sea temperatures which will tend to try to counter that.   Irma is expected to maintain a west-northwest track for 48-72 hours, and then start to turn more towards the northwest to north due to an upper-level trough moving into the southeastern US.

Latest Hurricane track forecast models

Latest Hurricane track forecast models

Model runs this afternoon and this evening continue to show tracks mostly up along the east coast of Florida or just offshore then heading northward, eventually towards the Georgia and South Carolina coasts.

Florida Impact:  Current model trends suggest somewhat reduced risk for the Florida West Coast but continued risk for the Florida east coast.  The highest risk for encountering hurricane force winds along the coast of Florida is currently between Marathon northward to West Palm Beach. If the center remains east of the Florida coast then the impact to the Florida East Coast might be diminished, however, position forecast out 3-4 days have an average error of 100-175 miles so even the Florida West Coast is not yet out of the woods on this one.

Click here for the latest NOAA NHC Advisory

 

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Tuesday 11pm EDT Hurricane Irma Update

Tuesday 11pm EDT Hurricane Irma Update

NOAA Satellite Photo Hurricane Irma

NOAA Satellite Photo Hurricane Irma

Major Hurricane Irma located near 17.4N/61.1W was moving towards the west-northwest at 13 knots (15 mph) with a min pressure of 916 MB and max winds to 160 knots (185 mph) and possible gusts to 195 knots (225 mph).

The radius of hurricane force winds are currently 45NM to the northeast and 30 NM to the southwest. Storm force 50 knot or higher winds extend out 80 NM to the northeast and 40 NM to the southwest. Gale force (34 knot) winds extend out 150 NM to the north and 90 NM to the southwest.

On the forecast track, the extremely dangerous core of Irma will move over portions of the northern Leeward Islands tonight and early Wednesday, move near or over portions of the northern Virgin Islands Wednesday, and pass near or just north of Puerto Rico late Wednesday and Wednesday night. As Irma starts to interact with the larger islands of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and later Cuba, max winds could start to slowly diminish, however, Irma will still likely remain a major hurricane over the next few days.

irmatracknoaaComments: As Irma approaches Cuba, the mountains will tend to reduce the wind flow on the south side of the storm causing it to turn more into Cuba which in turn will tend to weaken it more. Once it moves away from the Cuban coast the upper winds will try to pull it northward towards Florida. If this occurs then the highest risk are the Keys and the southwest portion of Florida then as it interacts with Florida the eye will tend to track somewhat more towards the north-northeast taking it across Florida.

 

A fair number of models, however, turn Irma northward sooner either coming up the Florida East Coast or even offshore. Keep in mind that 5 days out the average position error is about 225 miles. Either way hurricane force winds will likely occur over some or much of South Florida as well as parts of Central and Northeastern Florida while at least tropical Storm Force winds are likely over most of the Florida peninsula. Given the large track errors with models I would say to continue to prepare for the worse and we can all pray for the best. irma50ktrisk

 

 

Timing for Florida looks like most of the impact will be from late Saturday through Sunday into Monday.

NOAA Hurricane Track models

NOAA Hurricane Track models

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Hurricane Irma Monday update

Hurricane Irma IR satellite photo: NOAA

Hurricane Irma IR satellite photo: NOAA

Major Hurricane Irma, currently with max winds to 105 knots (120 mph) and a minimum pressure of 944 mb continues to move west-southwestward at about 11 knots. Hurricane force winds extend outward 20-30 NM while gales extend outward 60 NM to the southwest and up to 120 NM to the northeast. Max significant wave height estimated at 38 feet (11.6 meters)

Irma will be moving westward in a very favorable environment for several days and should bring Irma to a Cat 4 storm within 24 hours. A turn to the west is expected later today or tonight then a more west-northwest track is expected for the next few days. Beyond 5 days, a turn to the northwest or north is anticipated by most models.

NOAA NHC Forecast track for Hurricane Irma

NOAA NHC Forecast track for Hurricane Irma

Current Warnings and Watches

A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* ANTIGUA…BARBUDA…ANGUILLA…MONTSERRAT…ST. KITTS…AND NEVIS
* SABA…ST. EUSTATIUS…AND SINT MAARTEN
* SAINT MARTIN AND SAINT BARTHELEMY

A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* GUADELOUPE
* BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
* U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
* PUERTO RICO…VIEQUES…AND CULEBRA

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* DOMINICA

Longer-term risk currently appears to be from the southern Bahamas, Hispaniola, Cuba and South Florida.  The current track projections remind me of Hurricane Donna in 1960.Donna_1960_track

 

 

 

 

Below is the risk for encountering at least 50 knot or higher winds:

Risk for encountering at least 50 knot wind during the next 5 days

Risk for encountering at least 50 knot wind during the next 5 days

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Major Hurricane Irma presses westward across North Atlantic

 

NOAA Hurricane Irma satellite photo

NOAA Hurricane Irma satellite photo

Hurricane Irma is tracking towards the west-southwest with max winds of about 100 knots. The first recon flight will enter Irma late this afternoon so a better picture on intensity will be available this evening.

Strong high pressure to the north is pushing Irma west-southwest but a return to a west then west-northwest track is likely in about 2-3 days. Irma is forecast to move into an area of more favorable conditions which should allow for gradual strengthening during the next 2 to 3 days with max winds increasing to around 120 knots.

Hurricane Irma Forecast track

Hurricane Irma Forecast track

Over the next few days the highest risk for 50 knot or higher winds will be for the Islands of St. Martin, Barbuda, Antigua, St. Thomas and St Kits Tuesday into Wednesday (See graphic).  In the longer term the treat will be for Puerto Rico and Haiti (Wednesday-Thursday), then the Bahamas Friday to Sunday and eventually the US East Coast, south of Cape Hatteras (next Saturday to Tuesday).

NOAA NHC forecast risk for encountering at least 50 knots or higher winds

NOAA NHC forecast risk for encountering at least 50 knots or higher winds

Keep in mind there is a high uncertainty in tracks beyond 4-5 days and subject to major changes.  In any case this will be a real issue for shipping between the USEC and Puerto Rico and later between Europe and the USEC.

Click here for the latest NOAA NHC update on Irma

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Irma becomes a hurricane over the eastern North Atlantic

NOAA Satellite image Hurricane Irma

NOAA Satellite image Hurricane Irma

Irma has intensified rapidly and is now a Hurricane with max winds to 85 knots as it moves WNW at about 9 knots. Hurricane force winds are estimated to extend outward 10-15 NM on the east side of the circulation. The forecast track takes Irma over somewhat cooler ocean temperatures, however, max winds could still reach or exceed 100 knots. In a few days, the hurricane will be moving over warmer waters again so additional strengthening is likely.

Irma is forecast to track westward or west-southwestward for several days before turning back towards the west-northwest.  Irma will likely threaten the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico as a major hurricane next Wednesday and Thursday and eventually could threaten Cuba, the Bahamas and Florida thereafter.

NOAA NHC Hurricane Irma forecast track

NOAA NHC Hurricane Irma forecast track

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