#Irma at Category 5: hoping the forecasts are wrong – #uncertainty

The news of the day of course is that Florida is bracing for a Category 5 hurricane impact, and the governor has declared a state of emergency along with all that entails.

It is still quite far east, and it still has a long way to go, as evidenced from this GOES 16 satellite image this morning:

The backstory is that many, many, people, including myself, are hoping the trajectory forecasts are wrong, and that the uncertainty displayed in model output like this (from http://spaghettimodels.com/) , puts Irma outside of an impact in Florida, and out to sea.

From NHC:

BULLETIN
Hurricane Irma Advisory Number 26
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL112017
1100 AM AST Tue Sep 05 2017

…POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE IRMA HEADING
TOWARD THE LEEWARD ISLANDS…
…PREPARATIONS SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION IN THE HURRICANE
WARNING AREA…

SUMMARY OF 1100 AM AST…1500 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————–
LOCATION…16.8N 58.4W
ABOUT 225 MI…365 KM E OF ANTIGUA
ABOUT 230 MI…370 KM ESE OF BARBUDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…180 MPH…285 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 270 DEGREES AT 14 MPH…22 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…931 MB…27.50 INCHES

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
——————————
At 1100 AM AST (1500 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 16.8 North, longitude 58.4 West. Irma is moving toward the west near 14 mph (22 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue today, followed by a turn toward the west-northwest tonight. On the forecast track, the extremely dangerous core of Irma is forecast to move over portions of the northern Leeward Islands tonight and early Wednesday. Reports from an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds are near 180 mph (285 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is a an extremely dangerous category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity
are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles (260 km).

The latest minimum central pressure reported by reconnaissance aircraft is 931 mb (27.50 inches).

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18 thoughts on “#Irma at Category 5: hoping the forecasts are wrong – #uncertainty

    • John,
      Strongly agree.
      This looks a Beast.
      Thoughts are with those likely to be hit.
      Prepare well. You know that a big Hurricane – and Cat. 5 is BIG – needs protection AND a bit of luick.
      DO have good luck!

      Auto – affected by light rain and Beaufort Force 4 winds currently.
      So, so, grateful I do not generally get hurricanes.

  1. Warmunists are hoping and praying. For the hurricane to cause as much damage and loss of life as possible of course. Fuel for their anti-human ideology.

    • I’ve had one disgusting little cretin say –
      “it needs something big like this to kill a few 1,000s to prove you deniers wrong”
      she’s off my Xmas list.

    • Maybe we can keep the climate wars out of this discussion, Bruce, and save our energy for the important stuff.

  2. Track I saw forecasts 145 MPH winds at landfall in U.S. Pressure still a lot higher and winds less than Camille (900 MB, 175MPH) at landfall. Looks to cover max amount of land in Florida, which means rapid diminuation of winds. MAx damage always caused by storms that stand still and pump water and have little wind – like Harvey – not those that have high winds and pass quickly. Remember, Sandy was a big nothing in terms of winds – wasn’t even a hurricane at landfall, and Harvey’s winds dropped very quickly once ashore. Categorizing a storm’s potential impact by using wind as a metric is very misleading.

  3. Appreciate Pielke, Sr., referencing the 1938 NY Hurricane (Long Island Express) which struck Long Island as a monster Cat 3. Made a second landfall in Rhode Island – still a Cat 3. Estimated deaths was put at 700. Storm surges were much more widespread and higher than anything in Sandy – and damage was horrific and widespread.

    Was very telling that following Sandy (which followed much the same track) our national media would not look back and present a little historical perspective. And then, we have the likes of these dangerous fear mongering politicians spreading their lies – unchecked by our national media:

    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, also a Democrat, was visiting a Brooklyn neighborhood devastated by

    Superstorm Sandy when Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the climate pact on Thursday.
    “All that occurred in that superstorm was because of climate change,” De Blasio said during the opening of a new ferry service in the low-lying Red Hook neighborhood. “We’ve already borne the brunt here in New York City. It’s only going to get worse if something is not done quickly to reverse the course the Earth is on.’’

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo: Nor’easter made ‘bad situation worse’

    “When we built New York, we didn’t think about floods, about storms. We didn’t have hurricanes and floods,” the governor said. “Extreme weather is here to stay. Climate change is a reality. Political gridlock has held us back too long…. Maybe Mother Nature is telling us something. One time, two times, three times. There are places that are going to be victimized by storms. We know that now.”

    LAT’s – “Sandy is an example of a weather phenomenon we have not seen before — a confluence of hurricane, cold air and an altered jet stream that created a monster storm stretching from the Caribbean to Canada and from the Atlantic to Chicago.”

    The public buys into this crap, because they don’t know the history; which is why the media didn’t produce the history of the 1938 Long Island Express.

    • The terrible hurricanes of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s led Providence, RI to build a storm surge barrier. NYC didn’t, out of fear of environmental effects on the Bay. The mad fools! Its cost would have been less than the damage wrought by Sandy.

      • Yes indeed. Had that in my hands following Sandy and was forwarding it to a number of non-appreciative journalists and friends. They just don’t want to be confronted with history.

  4. Blaming the damage by Hurricane Sandy on “global warming” is contrary to the facts.

    Most hurricanes which do not make landfall in Florida, Georgia, or the Carolinas move northward or northeastward with the eye remaining off the coast of New Jersey. As long as the eye is off the coast, winds along the New Jersey shore are out of the north or northeast, and there is only a relatively short stretch of water northeast of the New Jersey shore (blocked by Long Island and the southern Massachusetts coast), so that a northeast wind cannot develop much of a storm surge.

    While Sandy was moving northward from Jamaica in the open Atlantic, an unusually COLD high-pressure area formed over the North Atlantic between Newfoundland and Iceland, with easterly winds along its southern edge. These winds forced the eye of Sandy to move westward, making landfall near Atlantic City, NJ, and winds to the north of the eye were out of the east and southeast. Since there is no land directly to the east of the New Jersey shore for thousands of miles, this provided a long “fetch” of water for Sandy to develop a damaging storm surge, which piled up into Raritan Bay (between Sandy Hook and New York harbor) and caused extensive flooding in New York City and northeastern New Jersey.

    If the North Atlantic had been at its usual temperature, Sandy would have stayed off the coast as a “nor’easter” and tracked into Newfoundland, causing minimal damage to the New Jersey shore. Sandy caused a high storm surge because it was steered westward by a COLD high-pressure area, which obviously can’t be blamed on “global warming”. Incidentally, Sandy also caused heavy snow in West Virginia in October–should that be blamed on “global warming”?

    • “Incidentally, Sandy also caused heavy snow in West Virginia in October–should that be blamed on “global warming”?”

      of course! /sarc

  5. The unpleasant thing is that TS José may become a hurricane also impacting the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico just hours later.

  6. Here in England, the BBC radio station I’m listening to(BBC radio 5 Live), are saying that, should it make landfall, Irma will be most powerful storm ever to hit the US mainland. I offer sympathy and thoughts to all who may suffer if it hits, but is this true? The most powerful ever? I realise that there has to be one, but is Irma in the running?

    • It will have to go some to beat the most intense of the past. Irma is liable to weaken before making landfall.

      Officially, the top five most intense are Wilma (2005), Gilbert (1988), Labor Day (1935), Rita (2005) and Allen (1980). Camille (1969) was demoted in 2014 as being un-PC since too long ago, but she literally broke recording devices where she made landfall, so is probably still really the most intense since met records have been kept.

      The most intense in recorded history was the 1780 Great Hurricane, but it didn’t hit continental North America.

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