Tropical storm Lee and hurricane Katia status and tracking

Well it seems the Gulf coast is in for a wet and windy weekend, no joy though for Texas and rain. Katia has regained hurricane strength. Here’s the latest tracks and bulletins:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/overview_atl/refresh/atl_overview+gif/1314986244.gif

Track:

Tracking map in high definition (updates every 3-4 hours, click to enlarge)

Track map in HiDef – click to enlarge:

http://www.intelliweather.net/imagery/intelliweather/hurrtrack-sat_atlantic_halfdisk_1280x960.jpg

Model:

The Models have it following a similar track to Irene towards the coast, but more eastward, with a sharp right turn:


ECMWF 10-day Maximum wind speed swath map

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Bulletins

BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM LEE INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER   4A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL       AL132011
100 PM CDT FRI SEP 02 2011

...DEPRESSION STRENGTHENS INTO TROPICAL STORM LEE SOUTH OF THE
LOUISIANA COAST...HEAVY RAINBANDS CONTINUE TO SPREAD ACROSS MUCH
OF SOUTHEASTERN AND SOUTH-CENTRAL LOUISIANA...

SUMMARY OF 100 PM CDT...1800 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...27.4N 91.5W
ABOUT 200 MI...320 KM SE OF CAMERON LOUISIANA
ABOUT 210 MI...340 KM SW OF THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH...65 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 325 DEGREES AT 2 MPH...4 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1003 MB...29.62 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

NONE

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* PASCAGOULA MISSISSIPPI WESTWARD TO SABINE PASS TEXAS...INCLUDING
THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS...LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN...AND LAKE MAUREPAS

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA...IN THIS CASE WITHIN THE
NEXT 24 HOURS.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE
INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY
YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE. 

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 100 PM CDT...1800 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM LEE WAS
LOCATED BY AN AIR FORCE RESERVE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT AND
OBSERVATIONS FROM OIL RIGS TO BE NEAR LATITUDE 27.4 NORTH...
LONGITUDE 91.5 WEST. LEE IS DRIFTING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 2
MPH...4 KM/H. A CONTINUED SLOW AND POSSIBLY ERRATIC MOTION TOWARD
THE NORTHWEST OR NORTH IS EXPECTED TODAY AND SATURDAY. ON THE
FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF THE TROPICAL STORM IS EXPECTED TO
APPROACH THE COAST OF SOUTHERN LOUISIANA DURING THE WEEKEND.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 40 MPH...65 KM/H...
WITH HIGHER GUSTS.  GRADUAL STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS. WIND GUSTS TO NEAR 60 MPH ARE BEING REPORTED ON OIL
RIGS NORTH AND EAST OF THE CENTER AT ELEVATIONS OF A FEW HUNDRED
FEET ABOVE THE OCEAN SURFACE.

TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 200 MILES...325
KM...MAINLY NORTHEAST THROUGH SOUTHEAST OF THE CENTER.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE BASED ON REPORTS FROM NEARBY
OIL RIGS AND AN AIR FORCE RESERVE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT IS 1003
MB...29.62 INCHES.

Bulletin:

BULLETIN
HURRICANE KATIA ADVISORY NUMBER  18
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL       AL122011
1100 AM AST FRI SEP 02 2011

...KATIA REGAINS HURRICANE STATUS...

SUMMARY OF 1100 AM AST...1500 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...17.5N 52.4W
ABOUT 705 MI...1135 KM E OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...75 MPH...120 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 14 MPH...22 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...991 MB...29.26 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 1100 AM AST...1500 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE KATIA WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 17.5 NORTH...LONGITUDE 52.4 WEST. KATIA IS
MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 14 MPH...22 KM/H AND A MOTION
TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST OR NORTHWEST AT A SLIGHTLY SLOWER RATE OF
SPEED IS ANTICIPATED FOR THE NEXT TWO DAYS.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 75 MPH...120 KM/H...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS.  KATIA IS A CATEGORY ONE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON
HURRICANE WIND SCALE.  SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS. 

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 35 MILES...55 KM...FROM
THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 155
MILES...250 KM.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 991 MB...29.26 INCHES.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
SURF...SWELLS GENERATED BY KATIA WILL BEGIN AFFECTING THE LESSER
ANTILLES BY LATE TODAY.  THESE SWELLS ARE LIKELY TO CAUSE
LIFE-THREATENING SURF AND RIP CURRENT CONDITIONS.  PLEASE CONSULT
PRODUCTS FROM YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

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52 Responses to Tropical storm Lee and hurricane Katia status and tracking

  1. P Walker says:

    The models for Katia have been all over the place – this am most of them (except GFS) had her headed on a more westerly path . This afternoon they have Katrina curving north and east well offshore . Here’s hoping that Lee will bring some much needed rain to SW GA .

  2. PhilJourdan says:

    Irene was kind of a dud rain wise. It was good, but just not enough (my sump pump barely got going). They are saying both Lee and katia have a possibility of bringing rain (not wind) to us. GOOD! We can use it. I think the only track for katia that comes to us is if it weakens, so that is what I am hoping for! Lee could have turned west for Texas, but I guess they will have to wait for another rain maker.

  3. PhilJourdan says:

    P Walker – You can have Katia or Katrina – but not both! ;)

  4. Ian E says:

    ‘PhilJourdan says:

    September 2, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    P Walker – You can have Katia or Katrina – but not both! ;)’

    Unless you are a Mormon!

  5. Leon Brozyna says:

    Looks like whoever’s got his hands on the weather machine is feeling a bit sadistic, as it appears that TS Lee will be running through the least drought-striken part of the South.

  6. Twiggy says:

    ‘PhilJourdan

    You should have been in VT if you didn’t get enough rain.

  7. Keith says:

    At least Lee is drawing a lot of that dry Texas air into its western circulation. Taking on a very lopsided appearance at present.

  8. The Texans need some water. Along with the Ogallala aquifer… try capturing some rain from Lee, or do they need EPA approval? Either way, looks like La Nina will keep Texas dry. Maybe the folks up the Missouri River or Red River will help build a waterway/reservoir system for irrigation. Similar to the central Washington reclamation project. Everyone needs water…

  9. Anything is possible says:

    To heck with the USA! (j/k) I’m more worried about those hurricane-force winds crashing into Western Ireland.

    WUWT?

  10. P Walker says:

    PhilJourdan ,
    Guilty as charged .

  11. Makes me wonder just how much oceanic heat is being pumped into the upper atmosphere by these enormous storms.

  12. coaldust says:

    Ian E says:
    September 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    P Walker – You can have Katia or Katrina – but not both! ;)’
    Unless you are a Mormon!

    This is an offensive comment. I see the smiley. It’s still not funny.

  13. Dave Worley says:

    East winds are cranking up here and it’s overcast with fast moving clouds. A drizzle is falling.
    I saw a Bobardier CRG crabbing about 20 degrees on a crosswind approach so the winds aloft appear fairly strong.
    We’re ready!

  14. Dave Worley says:

    I think it’s funny coaldust…most jokes offend someone.

  15. Bennett says:

    Actually, “Muslim” or “polygamist cult” would have been less offensive (to members of LDS) as everyone know that the Mormans haven’t allowed that sort of thing since the 1890 Manifesto, whereas it is still culturally acceptable in some Muslim, Asian, and African countries.

  16. tchannon says:

    Simple question.

    The “huge” Australian and the recent US hurricanes seem to have had great lateral size, an eye, but both seemed mild. Is there a rule of some kind about intensity vs. spread?

  17. LazyTeenager says:

    Anthony, can we count on a followup post to see how the model projections of the trajectory and strength compares to the actual?

  18. Ric Werme says:

    Here’s something for all you folks who think the NHC purposely inflates tropical storm wind speeds:

    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT2+shtml/022051.shtml

    THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS KEPT AT 65 KT…A MINIMAL
    HURRICANE…THOUGH IT IS QUITE POSSIBLE THAT KATIA IS SLIGHTLY
    WEAKER.

    Read the full discussion if you care about context.

  19. Dave Worley says:

    A little more northerly component to the wind here now, indicating Lee may be shifting to the East of here.

  20. Rhoda Ramirez says:

    tchannon says:

    Hurrican Andrew was large and Katrina was huge. Each hurrican is unique.

  21. Ric Werme says:

    tchannon says:
    September 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Simple question.

    The “huge” Australian and the recent US hurricanes seem to have had great lateral size, an eye, but both seemed mild. Is there a rule of some kind about intensity vs. spread?

    Not so simple, and it pertains to an area I’m not very familiar with.

    A general rule of thumb is that the greater the pressure gradient (the closeness of the isobars), the stronger the winds. I haven’t looked closely at the pressure gradients, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see that area abnormally wide and the winds abnormally low over that area. In the absense of friction, there would still be strong winds near the eye, but with friction, the wind speeds might be more even spread out.

    Some small storms can be very intense, Hurricane Camille is the best example.

  22. NovaReason says:

    I can’t help but look at the weather patterns and see how Katia is just going to drift eastward into the ocean and totally miss the US… but if that hits anywhere along Irene’s path, watch thousands of people die to flooding because the “last one” was a dud, after all the news hype, in so many places.

  23. Ian E says:

    ‘coaldust says:

    September 2, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Ian E says:
    September 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    P Walker – You can have Katia or Katrina – but not both! ;)’
    Unless you are a Mormon!

    This is an offensive comment. I see the smiley. It’s still not funny.’

    Well then I apologize – can’t see it myself, but offense is a tricky business.

  24. Dr. John M. Ware says:

    Here in central Virginia, even though the Richmond Airport recorded ca. 5.73″ of rain from Irene, we here, 12 miles northeast, got more like 10″. Rain fell and winds blew hard for 16-18 hours; long storm. Fortunately, we have sandy soil, not saturated, so even that much rain soaked in soon. Thousands of trees down; power out for days for millions; a serious storm even if not technically a hurricane here. Predictions did not forecast the severity of the storm this far inland; if anything, many here under-prepared, though no preparation is sufficient for a 200-year-old tree falling through one’s house. I would be quite content for Katia to miss the coast altogether, and for Lee’s rains to come here quietly and moderately, if at all. Our rain needs have been met, certainly for the immediate future.

    What bothers me most about the weathercasters, particularly from The Weather Channel, is their apparent intent to scare us all to death. The truth, delivered in a realistic way, is quite sufficient; but of course, with today’s predictive models, truth is hard to come by or verify.

  25. Keith says:

    From the NHC 0900Z discussion:

    THE CYCLONE
    CONTINUES TO HAVE AN ELONGATED CENTER OF CIRCULATION AND A LARGE
    RADIUS OF MAXIMUM WINDS…AND THIS…COMBINED WITH THE GENERAL
    APPEARANCE IN SATELLITE IMAGERY…SUGGESTS THAT LEE HAS AT LEAST
    SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF A SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE.

    Certainly looks like one on the satellite images, more so than a TC. No real convection to speak of near the circulation centre, wide field of winds well away from the centre. I guess they’re waiting to see if any central convection redevelops, but the dry air to the west may make that tricky.

    If the satellite presentation remains as it is, I’d expect a reclassification this afternoon/evening. Winds have continued to strengthen to 60mph, which for a TC with no central convection is unusual to say the least. Baroclinic energy in the mix? Another hybrid like Irene?

    Another interesting snippet:

    LATER IN THE FORECAST PERIOD…LEE IS FORECAST TO MERGE
    WITH AN ONCOMING COLD FRONT AND BECOME EXTRATROPICAL…A SOMEWHAT
    UNUSUAL OCCURRENCE IN THIS AREA AT THIS TIME OF YEAR.

    Will this be a one-off?

  26. beng says:

    Wow. Tropical storm Lee might yield some rain for western MD!

    Where I’m at (well inland) it’s more likely to get rain from a Gulf of Mexico storm than an Atlantic one.

  27. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    So it looks like this time is there not only a discrepancy in what is being reported for wind speed by the NOAA and what is actually happening but the rain forecast looks to be overblown too.

    Whatever the problem is at the they have the responsibility of correcting it posthaste. There could come a storm that really is a powerful one and folks might not believe them because of this poor track record.

  28. Keith says:

    Katia clinging onto hurricane status by the fingernails, seemingly struggling with shear and dry air to the south. Strong convection is continuous from the centre though, so even if it’s downgraded soon I’d expect the system to persist strongly enough to see this through and restrengthen at some point, though the Cat 4/5 system potential doesn’t seem to be there anymore.
    An Irene path continues to look unlikely, but Maine and Nova Scotia may feel something from her.

    TS/STS Lee is a mess, but a dangerous mess. Winds aren’t going to be particularly damaging in the main, but the rainfall from such a slow-moving bugger could cause really bad flooding for several days throughout the southern and eastern states. Seems that parts of LA have already have 7in of the stuff, and there’s a lot more to come.
    The main centre of Lee appears to have come onshore now around Marsh Island from the satellite views, but given the nature of the system I don’t suppose this’ll induce much weakening for a good while. Once it merges with the cold front there could be some renewed vigour too – I’m sure the good people of that part of the world know the hazards when such warm moist GoM air collides with colder stuff from the west…

    The long-range GFS forecast shows another strong TS developing in a couple of weeks and heading somewhere near the Yucutan Channel from the central Caribbean. Not the strength or the early genesis, but perhaps a similar path to Ivan in 2004. One worth bearing in mind nearer the time, particularly for those areas getting drenched by Lee in the next few days.

  29. J Solters says:

    Look at the NHC, 11 am, Sat. Sept. 3 “Discussion” report on hurricane Katia. It says, “Based on the current forecast and recent NHC intensity errors…”. The overall discussion section is also beefed up and more uncertainty elements are presented. A better product, I think, than reporting on Irene. Hmmm.. Is NHC reading this blog?

  30. Kevin says:

    Leave our TS alone! Louisiana needs this.

  31. Leon Brozyna says:

    Interesting style, post-Irene …

    Not so much with Lee, which appears to be one huge mass of thunderstorms dumping heaps of water. Katia, on the other hand, is being treated on a much lower key … describing it as “barely a hurricane”. Of course, it could also be due to the fact that most models have it staying out to sea.

  32. RPeter says:

    what are the chances of the 2 low pressures joining in a few days?

  33. tty says:

    Whatever is going on with the ECMWF forecast? It has Katia reaching maximum size and strength (>100 knots) off Newfoundland and persisting as a hurricane into Denmark Sound just shy of the Arctic Circle where water temperatures are around zero.

  34. Werner Brozek says:

    An earlier article talks about the heat loss in a part of the Atlantic due to Irene:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/29/irene-takes-a-bite-out-of-ocean-heat/#more-46144

    Is it possible that if Katia crosses this part, it will lose some of its strength?

  35. otter17 says:

    “The Models have it following a similar track to Irene towards the coast, but more eastward, with a sharp right turn:”

    Good models or bad models? Doesn’t matter, I predict Katia will stop and go backwards towards Africa.

  36. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    otter17

    Good models or bad models?

    I dated a bad model for a few months. ;^)

  37. eyesonu says:

    Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    September 3, 2011 at 1:45 pm
    otter17

    Good models or bad models?

    I dated a bad model for a few months. ;^)

    ________________

    You want her back? Might be the same one I had. Totally unpredictable and usually inaccurate. Will likely be obsolete soon. :-)

  38. Dave Worley says:

    Lee is a pussycat so far. It’s been a steady moderate rainfall with 20-30 mph winds here, but very little in the way of violent squalls. It should get rougher tonight as the center passes overhead, but we’ve seen real hurricanes here, so no one is too concerned.

  39. Bennett says:

    I remember that the 10 day forecast had Katia turning north-east and sprinting toward Newfoundland ahead of what had become TS Lee. The latest position forecasts have Lee moving to the NE before Katia begins to turn NE. I wonder if Lee is going to do a blocking run to the NE and thereby pull Katia closer to the east coast?

    Not predicting this, just noting how the timing of the storms could lead to a problem. Your thoughts on this?

  40. Aerianne says:

    We need more computer models, they’re an enhanced form of reality!

    http://failblog.org/2011/09/03/epic-fail-photos-hurricane-path-fail/

  41. Leon Brozyna says:

    From the NHC:

    AT 6 AM AST…1000 UTC…NOAA BUOY 41044 LOCATED TO THE NORTHEAST OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS REPORTED A 1-MINUTE SUSTAINED WIND OF 69 MPH…111 KM/H…AND A GUST TO 83 MPH…133 KM/H…JUST TO THE NORTHWEST OF THE CENTER OF KATIA. BASED ON THIS INFORMATION…KATIA IS UPGRADED AGAIN TO A HURRICANE.

    Just because there was a wind GUST of 83 mph, they upgrade Katia back to a hurricane? Because a sustained wind speed of 69 mph certainly isn’t a hurricane. Or do they guess that at a height of 10 m the wind speed would be greater than 69 mph?

  42. Keith says:

    Bennett, you’re right about the potential of Lee to pull Katia closer to the States. Still a lot of uncertainty about the track at this stage. Just as importantly, Katia has speedily got her act together and is now up to Cat 2 at 100mph. The eye can now be seen and the central pressure has dropped arond 20mb in the last several hours.

    Come this time next week onwards, eyes will turn to the Caribbean and the Gulf.

  43. J Solters says:

    Yesterday I observed that NHC’s 11 am, Sat. Sept 3 “Discussion” report on Hurricane Katia seemed more comprehensive and explanatory. That was then. A day later, the 11 am report, Sun Sept 4 “Discussion” (different NHC analyist) is an excellent example of their usual, poorly written, cryptic gibberish that reads little better than a description of randomly scattered chicken bones. An 8 th grade science student could exceed this effort. So much for hoping the bureaucracy can perform self-improvement. Just wishful thinking.

  44. Bennett says:

    Thanks Keith. I just noticed the development of the eye but the warnings above do not yet reflect the upgrade to cat2. It will be interesting to watch the interplay of these storms in the days ahead.

  45. TXRed says:

    Here Katia, Katia, Katia, good storm, nice storm. Here Katia, Katia, Katia, come on to Texas, please. Just sail up here and give us a nice soaking rain, please.

  46. Bennett says:

    As of 8:00 EST Sunday it looks like Katia is already headed in a more northward track than the projections have it. Even though it is entering a warmer patch of water and may strengthen, I see no reason why it would turn more westerly from this point onwards. It may graze Maine, but I doubt it will impact the eastern seaboard.

    The remnants of TS Lee do look to drop a lot of rain from the gulf to Quebec and beyond. This is not good as VT needs a respite.

  47. Bennett says:

    “…but I doubt it will impact the eastern seaboard.”

    I may regret that comment.

    In other news, there is more flash flooding in southern VT from rain ahead of the arrival here of TS Lee.

  48. Dave Worley says:

    The strongest winds we have gotten from Lee were today.
    25-30 from the NW. It’s very comfortable and cool! We expect cool temperatures for the rest of the week, and have had some drought relief, so overall this storm was a plus for this area.

  49. Anything is possible says:

    And, almost unnoticed, Katia becomes the first major hurricane of the 2011 season.

    Amazing how much apathy a hurricane can generate when it poses no threat to land (:-

  50. Ric Werme says:

    Katia is now Cat 4 in discussion #32:

    SATELLITE IMAGES INDICATE THAT KATIA HAS STRENGTHENED CONSIDERABLY DURING THE PAST SEVERAL HOURS. AS THE ASSOCIATED DEEP CONVECTION BECAME MUCH MORE SYMMETRIC AND THE EYE WARMED DURING THE EVENING HOURS…DVORAK CLASSIFICATIONS FROM TAFB AND SAB INCREASED TO 6.0/115 KT AT 0000 UTC. DESPITE SOME FLUCTUATIONS IN THE APPEARANCE OF THE EYE OVER THE LAST HOUR OR TWO…ADT ESTIMATES FROM UW-CIMSS ARE STILL 6.2/122 KT…SO THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS INCREASED TO 115 KT…MAKING KATIA A CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE.

  51. Smokey says:

    Ric,

    We are experiencing annual weather events, nothing more. It should be remembered that the peak of hurricane season occurs on Septembr 10th every year. There is nothing unusual happening this year. It’s just routine hurricane season. Happens every year the same, more or less. Best to relax and enjoy the show.

  52. PhilJourdan says:

    @Twiggy says:
    September 2, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    From the reports, we got as much as VT did. The only difference was we were very dry, so the ground soaked it all up. Virtually no flooding, even though we got about 6″ of rain. Just a lot of wind damage (80% without power – the last ones connected just yesterday).

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