Hurricane expert Dr. Ryan Maue on Irma: ‘plausible track & worst case scenario’

Models have lately been trending hurricane Irma to hit southern Florida, with a turn to the north, driving it through the center of the state as a Cat4 or Cat5 Hurricane. Hurricane expert, Dr. Ryan Maue notes:

“GFS 00z track shifted considerably to west. Regardless of intensity issues, still a plausible track & worst case scenario”

Indeed, it is a worst case scenario for Florida. Let us hope the model is wrong.

He adds:

Similar track from ECMWF 00z (w/input of aircraft recon data) as GFS. South Florida should closely monitor progress of Hurricane

And he adds most recently this morning:

Latest ensembles from U.S. GEFS model system continue trend west w/many solutions over south Florida & in eastern Gulf of Mexico.

Some other model output has much greater uncertainty. Dr. Roy Spencer notes on his Facebook page:

Latest GFS pushes Irma even farther west before turning north. It crosses Cuba, then goes north through the Keys and then roughly up the middle of Florida:

However, while shorter GFS model runs makes it look like Irma is headed right for south Florida, this longer forecast has it landing in Virginia, which would require a strong northward curve later this week–which GFS and NHC both discuss as likely. But EVERYONE in eastern Caribbean and entire US east coast south of, say, Massachusetts should be watching and preparing.

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98 thoughts on “Hurricane expert Dr. Ryan Maue on Irma: ‘plausible track & worst case scenario’

  1. They typically move every storm a little west each run….this one started out to sea, then NY, then Washington, then the Carolina’s, then up the coast of Florida…now the Keys.
    ..and morning runs always have it more west than afternoon runs…

      • New record? Not exactly. It had the lowest ground based wind gusts of any Cat 4 in US history. It did not have the most intense rains. In thec1960s a tropical storm dropped 43 inches in 24 hours. Numerous tropical systems have dropped more intense rains, had far higher winds, and had greater storm surge.

        So Harvey was not unprecedented by any intensity standard relative to US tropical systems.

        However Harvey hovered. Harvey hovered over a city built on a swamp that has been subsiding rapidly.

        Griff, I have found exactly ZERO peer reviewed reports that predict CO2 would cause Hurricanes to hover around Houston. Have you?

      • Griff, you realize that in the 40 years ending in 2017 the U.S. has experienced 4 CAT 4 LANDFALL hurricanes. In the 44 years prior to that 14!

      • Hurricane Harvey wasn’t really much of a hurricane – more like tropical storm that got stuck and sucked up lots of moisture. Nor is there any way to determrine whether the amount of water it dumped on land was “unprecedented,” even if it was unprecedented for the Houston area, a relatively small area, crossed not once, but twice by Harvey. You have to understand that the media hype everything to create “important, not to be missed stories.” The media intrinsically
        functions as a megaphone, and always has.

      • Stop with the facts…Griff doesn’t want to hear it nor CNN or WaPo…face it, CO2 ppm is 400 and that’s why all ‘this’ is happening, to refute otherwise is heresy

      • The worst-case-scenario is not a a hit in Florida, where people can remember the storms a decade ago, but a repeat of the 1938 storm up in New England, where people haven’t a clue of the damages they’d face.

        And, yes, Alarmists will milk such natural disasters for every drop of cream they can squeeze from the government teat. I’d repeat myself, and go through all the facts once again, but it is easier to just go into the WUWT archives and reread what I wrote in 2012:

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/21/hurricane-warning-mckibben-alert/

      • Griff: Harvey’s rainfall was definitely “historic” for the region. But it doesn’t come close to historical records world-wide. According to Accuweather the World record rainfall for 48 hours is 98 inches. I don’t know why it wouldn’t be a world record, but in 1967 Typhoon Clara dumped 108 inches of rain in 48 hours in China. In 2009, Typhoon Morakot dumped 109 inches of rain in Taiwan and according to this news report

        http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national-news/2009/08/09/219677/record-rains.htm

        It made landfall Friday night and exited the island Saturday afternoon, which sounds like less than 24 hours!

        Call Harvey “historic” for the region, but it is not unprecedented.

      • Griff: The answer to your question is “no.” In 1963, hurricane Flora dumped 100 inches of rain on Cuba. Click image to see a graph of the rain totals at that time:

        CO2 was notably lower at that time. Moreover, the team at WeatherBell.com (see Joe Bastardi – great meteorologist) called this storm with amazing accuracy based on historical patterns that they recognized (i.e. something precedented – that’s been seen before). Back in the spring, they also for this to be the end of the historical drought of storm hits we’ve benefited from. In fact, they said it would be very active.

        Michal Mann & Co. are opportunistic frauds, who look more and more like desperate con men than anything else (that’s respectable). I used to defend them (to my shame), but after being challenged two years ago to dig deeper by some people whom I’ve learned to trust on other matters, my mind has changed and I’m embarrassed at how much I used to argue, while actually knowing far too little about the topics at hand.

        If you really care about these issues, as it seems you do, I wish the same for you…and God help Florida.

        All the best.

      • Griff has been informed of all this multiple times before here and elsewhere. Her “question” is merely another disingenuous attempt to highjack a post thread and not a valid attempt to elicit information or learn.

      • At blcjr, Harvey was not unprecedented even for Texas with regard to storm surge, winds, or rain intensity per hour or 24 hours.

        Harvey simply hovered over Houston.
        ( a sinking city built on a swamp)
        Zero CAGW scientist wrote papers predicting CO2 would cause hurricanes to hover.

      • The rain from Harvey was not a record. other non hurricane meteorological conditions trapped it in one spot. This means it dropped its water all on one spot instead of dragging it over 3 or 4 states. Actually, measuring total rain of ‘canes is not a bad metric. H Hazel in 1954 started as a Cat 4 (a real one) at landfall in mid Atlantic US and swept over Toronto, Ontario as a Cat 1 killing 81 people there, many drowning in the floods of the Don and other rivers. Now there was a rain!

        If Ryan is reading this comment, imagine measuring all the water that falls out of a huricane that makes landfall and moves right in over land. Having this info and knowing the category of it, what a model one could make of such a hurricane.

      • Griff,

        Have you been able to look at Arctic sea ice extent lately, or can you not handle the truth?

        At the moment, 2017 is tied with 2008 as the sixth lowest year, far from the new record you predicted would be a “sure thing”.

        Extent yesterday was a lot higher than in 2016, 2015, 2012, 2011 and 2007. This is the longest that Arctic sea ice extent has gone without a new lower low since the dedicated satellite record began in 1979. The record set in 2012 is liable not to be exceeded any time soon. Freak storms could of course produce a new record in coming years, but that’s not the way to bet.

      • To those below that stated that Harvey did not set a new rainfall record – which other storms have exceeded the 27 trillion gallons that Harvey dumped on Texas and Louisiana?

      • Chris I see multiple posts citing multiple examples. Now here’s my post:
        To people with such severe cognitive dissonance that they are literally unable to see words directly in front of their eyes, why are you even here wasting our time and yours?

      • Dutch said: “Chris I see multiple posts citing multiple examples. Now here’s my post:
        To people with such severe cognitive dissonance that they are literally unable to see words directly in front of their eyes, why are you even here wasting our time and yours?”

        Hey Dutch, can you come back after you’ve completed an introductory course in comprehension? You see, there is a difference between the words inches and volume. Totals in inches is certainly one way to compare storms. The problem, however, is that it gives no indication of the amount of land over which the rain has fallen. By looking just at rainfall in inches, one would conclude that a storm that dumped an average of 100 inches of rain over a 100 square mile area was a bigger storm than one which dumped an average of 80 inches over 1000 square miles. So volume is also an important indicator of the overall land footprint of the storm.

        That’s so fundamental and basic I can’t believe I’ve had to waste 5 minutes of my time explaining it to you.

    • When Alarmists use a word like “unprecedented” it means just what they choose it to mean, neither more nor less.

  2. Been in Key West during a tropical storm and had to walk back to my B&B in knee deep water.

    Can’t imagine being there in a cat 2 or 3 hurricane.

    • EW3, tis not good to even think about being there, …….. to wit:

      The Great Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 was so powerful that it sand-blasted clothing off of people who got caught in its vicious winds, destroyed nearly every structure in the Upper Keys and killed about 500 victims.

      “People were picked up and thrown around like rag dolls,” said Brad Bertelli, curator of the Keys History & Discovery Center in Islamorada. “Bodies were blown all the way across Florida Bay to Cape Sable.”

      When it barreled across the Upper Keys on Sept. 2, 1935, the Labor Day hurricane was packing sustained winds of 185 mph, the same destructive power as an EF4 tornado.

      http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-labor-day-hurricane-anniversary-20150827-story.html

      • How much worse that would be today? It’d be classified cat 6 and be unprecedented! Pictures of the sandblasted people were mercilessly used by greenpeace. Wwf and UN would use the event to attack fossils. Social justice warriors would use it to raise hate and violence against scientists and politicians not in the CAGW train.

        Horror. And it is a feasible scenario.

      • And what about all of the Spanish ships laden with gold that were sunk by powerful storms long before global warming ?

    • Independence for the Florida Keys :-)

      What keys residence should remember is to evacuate if needed and stock up on the booze otherwise because they reflexively prohibit liquor sales after the storm.

      I don’t know what they call the other side of storm surge but had a friend who parked his boat in the shark river to have it grounded with the outflow. Spent several days land/river locked but he was better off than the sail boat next to him that of course was heeled over because of the keel.

    • Since, after the fact, ‘everyone’ will want to know “Why didn’t the President (or Governor, or mayor, or dogcatcher, or Black Lives Matter or whatever) call for and evacuate the city of Miami (or wherever else it hit – or didn’t hit)? it is time to begin the evacuation now. If the population is 10 million and there are 30 people – plus belongings per bus it will only take 333,000 buses. Each bus will only be able to make 1 trip because of the crowded highways.
      Anyone know where to find 333,000 spare buses? (the school buses in New Orleans don’t count because they were ruined in Katrina)

      • NW sage

        I realize your post is rhetorical, but in reality, my guess is the large uncertainty in the estimated track.

        It costs significant amounts of money to move a family hundreds of miles away; if you give the evacuation order too often and it’s a false alarm, you soon lose credibility & your audience.

      • Evacuation orders have been made and everyone I know in SoFla is already packed and leaving. My parents home in Orlando will be a hotel this weekend.

  3. i hope it goes east and is mainly a fish storm…yeah with rain along the coast.

    I didn’t know Ryan had moved to CATO.

    Finally, I can no longer countenance the lunatics that immediately invoke their G_d CAGW even for the 1st landfall in what? 10 years? Have we never had Hurricanes prior to man made Carbon emissions? Oh…I guess that was Eden.

    I aver my eyes to anything whose head line has Climate Change. Although it has cheered me that AlGore’s new effort got $23000 this past Saturday, for a total of $3.4M and change

  4. Great. Fort Lauderdale here, I knew the lull since the insane 2004-2005 seasons wouldn’t last forever, I was just hoping to spend my holiday catching up on sleep.

    • Were you expecting a holiday next Monday?
      Prepare this Tuesday. Fly to Seattle on Wednesday or Thursday.
      Visit Mt. Rainier and other wonders.
      That sounds glib. Still getting out of the way is good advice.

  5. The European models disagree with ours apparently and believe the storm will make a sharp northward turn and hit Virginia. One thing is obvious – weather forecasting, even for a
    large event and a short time frame, pretty much sucks. I mean, when , only a few days out, you don’t know which communities to warn that aren’t within 1200 miles of one another, you have a
    prediction technology that is almost medieval.

    • From an outsider’s viewpoint; not mediaeval, but rather an inexact science. This means from a marketing perspective,‘facts’ are up for grabs.The highest bidder with the biggest budget gets to own the ‘brand’ and defeat opposing views.

    • The weather guessers here in Wisconsin can’t get it exact from morning to afternoon. I’m just glad they know there’s a hurricane out there in the first place.
      Not to put too fine a point on it but if you live in hurricane country and aren’t prepped to the gills or taking a trip soonish you’re a victim waiting to happen. Apply for your Darwin Award before the rush.

    • As the great Yogi Berra so aptly stated: “Predictions are hard, especially about the future!” As a forecasting meteorologist, I will say that out of all the professions that try and predict the future, we are the best. Arthur, you sound like we should do better. Perhaps we should, and we are working on it. Yet is no small task to predict the precise location and intensity of a massive tropical cyclone interacting with with multiple levels of semi-chaotic, nonlinear air flows comprised of changing temperature and humidity levels resulting from fluctuating solar energies over surfaces comprised of changing variables themselves, while factoring in the fact that the cyclone itself influences all of these variables by just being there, but not necessarily in a predictable way, 5 days in advance, from atmospheric data that is never thoroughly sampled at any one time.

      Just say’n!

  6. Dr Ryan Maue,
    I go to your web site to check on the current ACE. It has been down the past few days. Have you removed it or is it a technical glitch? Hope it will be back up soon.

    Go Home

  7. One thing’s for sure, if a Cat 4 or 5 hurricane hits the US mainland, especially so soon after Harvey, the wailstorm from the Alarmists will be an unprecedented Cat 6.

    • It has already happened. Someone posted an Irma article on Facebook with “Category 6?” in the title. There was a quote from someone on the Weather Channel saying that it could be the strongest Atlantic hurricane of the year. Fair enough. They then quoted him as having called Irma a “super typhoon,” which he later blasted as never having said (and he’d know better than to call it a “typhoon” in the first place). He had lots of people contact him about the article, and he blasted the whole “Category 6” garbage.

  8. I noticed that Joe Bastardi did a daily update video on Sunday after having already done a Saturday Summary video. I can’t remember him doing that before and take it as a sign of his concern about this storm. He has been projecting track cones showing it striking the US for days now. Seems that he and Dr. Maue agree that Irma is a clear and present danger to the US.

    I notice that Michael Mann nor any other “climate scientist” is not out there explaining to us in real time how “climate change” is making this storm worse or effecting it’s formation or track. Nope, they will come crawling out of the woodwork after the strike to tell us how much worse it was because of our SUVs.

  9. Just re-read Caleb Shaw’s 2012 post linked below. Very enjoyable. Remember to be prepared and also to be calm. There is nothing new under the sun.

  10. Slightly off-topic, but I thought you’d like to have news of the brave Arctic explorers who are rowing between Norway and Iceland to demonstrate how clement the weather is.

    Unfortunately it turned out to be VERY wet and cold in the Arctic, so they started to suffer. And then… well, let us hear their own explanation:

    …On 7 August, the group began the next part of their expedition, and three days later they reached the Arctic sea ice, becoming the first recorded rowing boat to reach such a northerly latitude.
    But soon after, the weather became overcast, and after five days of no visible sun the boat’s solar-powered batteries had drained.
    Eight days after leaving Svalbard, the power had stopped all electrical equipment from working….

    …and so the expedition had to be rescued by the coastguards… http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41147038

      • I think the fun bit was going up to the 60/70s latitude and expecting a solar system to work. And these are ‘professional explorers and men of science. Risking their lives on their faith that Global Warming is true, and that somehow solar power will work… ????

    • “becoming the first recorded rowing boat to reach such a northerly latitude”

      Pure unadulterated bullshit. Jan Mayen is actually slightly south of North Cape in Norway. Do they think nobody has ever used a rowing boat there? Not to mention Siberia….

    • very stupid and dangerous of them to leave land without a manual method to charge their devices. Even a wind-powered generator would be expected. How about a pedal-powered generator, or one built off of their rowing platform? Stupid people do stupid things.

    • These rowers should have had a boat with an internal combustion engine. Depending on sunlight to maintain electric things–in the Arctic? Who planned this trip?

  11. Take a note from my grandparents. A simple day trip to the woods to gather wood required the camp kitchen with supplies in dry storage, warm clothing, water proof oiled cloth with tie downs and poles for support, a tarp, warm sleeping equipment, and water/gas cans along with an assortment of repair supplies for vehicle issues. That’s not counting what it takes to cut down, block, and split wood. And I probably have forgotten some of the stuff we took with us when I was a kid. Oh. Guns and ammo.

    Why? Because Grandma’s dad and his brother came over the Oregon Trail. She knew how to prepare just in case.

    So for everyone along the Southeast Corner and along the East Coast, lay in your supplies and keep them portable. Now batton down the hatches. Grandma says so.

  12. Been watching this develop, using four different services: NHC, Weatherbell, Wunderground, Weather Channel. Each model update, the ensemble track slides further west before turning north. The Bermuda high is pushing Irma west. The developing dip in the jet stream will help decide when and how sharply it turns north. I am developing an unfortunately frightening scenario where it slides past south Florida over Cuba then turns north with Naples, Sarasota, and Tampa all on the dirty side. The really awful scenario is that Irma will continue to recurve toward the Northeast dragged by the jet stream. That could mean a direct hit up Tampa Bay, potentially catastrophic. Tampa is as poorly situated as Houston. Lots of development in low lying coastal plains that should never have been allowed, because Tampa Bay naturally amplifies any coastal storm surge.

      • Track of Donna

        Track of Charlie

        A little shift can make a big difference in Florida.

        I won’t pretend to know where it will go or prognosticate a difference of 100 miles in the track right now. I know that Joe Bastardi showed Donna on todays daily update but don’t think he was saying it would go exactly that way but just using it as a general example.

    • The difference with a direct hit on other parts of the Gulf coast is that if this storm would hit Tampa it will be coming from the south skirting the coast rather than straight in. This is what Charlie did in 2004. It was skirting the coast and turned into and up Charlotte Harbor. But even though it was rated as a Cat 4, the storm surge was only a few feet, again because it was skirting the coast rather than slamming directly into it from a long way off so there was a lot less build up of surge. The biggest danger for Tampa would be as in Houston, heavy prolonged rain. Even with a small surge the area just will not drain quickly. St Pete is even worse. Their sewer system has been neglected for so long even as little as 5″ of rain in a day will overwhelm it and flush all that crap out into Tampa Bay and the Gulf as it did the last time with just a strong tropical storm hit.

      • Hey Tom. Charlie was a very small hurricane. It its peak, the hurricane force winds extended out less than 20 miles from the center. It intensified dramatically just before it hit, and never had the chance to develope a significant surge. Surge is more the product of the size of the storm, as well as the duration. Sandy produced a huge surge because it was a very large storm and had plenty of time to accumulate the water underneath it. Irma will be more like Donna, a large storm moving moving moderately slowly. If it were to go into or just west of Tampa Bay, the storm surge flooding would be devastating in the Bay area, in my opinion.

  13. Just hope the models are wrong. But wherever she goes, it will be bad. The only advantage of the Yucatan is fewer people than in FL, the Carolinas and Virginia. although perhaps with less capability of fleeing.

    • I imagine people in the Yucatan are praying that Irma tracks directly over Venezuelan government buildings.

  14. Here is an interesting thought derived from observations. Did the blocking eastward flowing surface winds around 55 N and below Greenland lead to a hurricane track that will have a higher probability to strike within the Gulf of Mexico and the US eastern seaboard?…https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-43.50,40.69,581/loc=-34.859,53.815

    That pattern of eastward moving surface winds started in early July and has persisted ever since. It was one of the clues which led me to think that the Greenland SMB melt would end early, perhaps as early as mid month and that is exactly what took place. The main change that these surface winds brought about was that north flowing streams were blocked below Greenland and to the east. That went hand in hand with southern flowing arctic air flows down into the North Atlantic. I think that another consequence of this change was that temps in Greenland dropped, and so the gain in SMB. Consider the difference in hurricane track patterns where in the last 3 years many hurricanes moved straight up the Atlantic, which meant strong north flowing surface winds moving into the North Atlantic waters, then into the eastern arctic region.

    Around 3 years ago I also commented on a related post that this year would likely be the first hurricane season where land falling hurricanes would strike. My reasoning for that had to with the my projection for a return to negative ENSO conditions, and that the hurricane record indicated to me that the most likely times for increased land falling hurricanes is during a cool period, such as between the mid 1940s to the mid 1970s. The hurricane record also looked like La Nina/negative ENSO conditions are a component of increased probability for land striking hurricanes. Do the blocking winds at 55 N lead to an increase to the south in sst and air temps thus leading to more hurricane conducive, temp/wind conditions?

  15. Nice analysis, Goldminor, but your final sentence is a little off. Sea surface temperatures and air temperatures are almost always conducive for tropical cyclone development during the hurricane season over the Tropical Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Those aren’t the limiting factors. Atmospheric conditions are much more important. Tropical waves generally need a very calm (relative to the wave movement) upper atmosphere in order for the system to get better organized. It doesn’t take take much wind in the mid and upper levels to shear a developing cyclone and kill it. Dry air from any direction can also have a major impact on a storm. It doesn’t matter how warm the water is. If the atmosphere isn’t right, no storm will form.

    Bill Gray pioneered our understanding of ENSO and tropical cyclone behavior in the Western Hemisphere back in the 80s. Indeed, hurricanes are generally more prevalent in La Nina and La Nada years than they are in El Nino Years, precisely because El Ninos tend to keep the upper atmosphere moving more, creating more shear over the tropics.

    Since 2005 there has been a fairly persistent upper level trough over the Western Atlantic or Eastern US Seaboard during the heart of the hurricane season, recurving storms before reaching the US. This year, the trough has set up a little more to the west, allowing the subtropical ridge to grow west and steer more storms towards the US mainland. I believe this is linked to your observations of the North Atlantic.

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