Hurricane Expert Maue: '#Irma may bomb to Cat 5' again

Yikes. Half of Florida is covered by clouds from Irma already.

As predicted, Irma is intensifying in the warm waters north of Cuba. Dr. Maue has been very accurate though both Harvey and Irma (not to mention many others), but in this case I hope his opinion is dead-wrong.

In other news:

Some comparison, size matters:

UPDATE:

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RAH

What a monster. Pressure dropping again. If Dr. Maue and Joe Bastardi are right this storm will be talked about for a very long time.

Sixto

Lying scuzzbag Mikey Mann will dine out on it for years to come, and none dare ask him about the 12 seasons without any major land-falling US hurricanes.

RAH

Why would anyone that doesn’t have to misfortune to be in one of his classes be afraid of that little turd? He is afraid to debate and only makes bombastic statements and give lectures. The only time he seems to publically get questioned is before a congressional committee! Little wimp has probably blocked more people on his twitter account than he has followers.

Sixto

He is quick to sue, but delays forever when countersued.
He will regret suing Steyn.
Like all bullies, especially little bullies, he can dish it out but can’t take it.

Greg

who gives a damn what Mickey mann may say in years to come or what you think he may say? There is a major storm heading for landfall and its going to be destructive.
Having defied most modellers and predictions in turning very late to make its northward turn, it now looks to be heading back to a more central hit on south Florida .
http://weather.cod.edu/satrad/exper/?parms=meso1-07-24-1-100
Current heading at time of posting looks like NNE.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/09/05/us/hurricane-irma-map.html?mcubz=0
While latest track predictions show it just brushing the west coast near St Petersburg the current movement will take it on a much more central path into the Everglades.

Greg

BTW, click that map to get current path prediction, the still is from days ago.

Don’t forget Loony Limbaugh and his advice to ignore hurricane warning. Apparently such warnings are a Liberal plot. Interestingly he has legged it out of Florida pretty quickly though.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/irma-hurricane-rush-limbaugh-climate-change-conspiracy-sell-batteries-radio-latest-news-a7932976.html

RAH

Actually tracking now to hit the Keys east of Key West. The feature that has caused the turn eating into the convective bands on the storms west side. Seeing that makes it less likely it will reach CAT 5 before landfall I think.

the Exorcist

Going straight to Houston.

Robert Barrow

About five decades ago a contract employee working at the Johnson Space Center showed me a map of strike probabilities of hurricanes located in various parts of the tropical and sub tropical Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea. The distant location that had the best chances of hitting the Texas coast was located in the Florida Straights. The probabilities were based on past hurricane history.

the Exorcist

Going to be interesting what happens overnight(day for E Hemi)

Robert Barrow

Looks like the center is poised to pass must north of Veradero Cuba. It has been moving directly west since two P.M. according to the readar picture I have been watching. The NWS track posted then placed the track through the center of Tampa at that time. They said it would heading WNW and projected a nearly immediate radical turn to the north. This storm just keeps moving west of the projections. The trend of discarded tracks have steadily have been moving west. It has missed the turn to hit Miami. Now it looks like it is trending to do the same with Tampa. If I lived in Pensacola I just might be starting to feel just a little nervous. And If I lived in Mobile I might be sitting up straighter and looking closer. Storms in the Florida Straits have been known to track rather well to the west for a time.

Brad

It is a monster. What I keep wondering is how it is going to make almost a 90-degree turn north? What has the ability to make something this massive “turn on a dime”. The modeled paths look almost like a “hockey stick” to me?
I was in Atlanta for Opal in 1995, not a fun time.
Regardless, my prayers are for everybody in its path.

The other Mark W

The low pressure system that dove thru TX on Wed is rotating counter clockwise over Mississippi-ish. This will turn Irma to the north.

SteveS

Have a look here..you can see the resistance causing the already started turn.
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/floaters/11L/html5-wv-long.html

I Came I Saw I Left

Here’s another view. Really impressive how it starts to ‘walk up’ the resistance wall.
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/floaters/11L/imagery/rb-animated.gif

RAH

Now about the only thing that may slow it’s development a little is an eye wall replacement cycle which is appears may be happening.

joelobryan

It’s night time, so it will likely strengthen as the tropopause-stratosphere boundary drops a bit and it cools as the sunshine is gone.

Hugs

I don’t see any eye any more, but it seems the remains are going back to Atlantic. Could it reform there?

Hugs

NOAA says the eye is on the west coast of the panhandle. So not going to Atlantic, it is only rain that’s going there. They still claim it is a hurricane, but you can’t see that in the map above any more. The eye has opened up and is not rotating.

Hugs

The graphic at NOAA was upgraded to say it is a storm. There is an eyeish center that’s on the Atlantic now, far from the reported center. Weird.

Dave

So care to update your comment now? Its been tracking due north for quite a few hours now. All credit to the long range model forecasts I would say.

Mardler

Have been wondering if the track would be further west than predicted e.g. into the Gulf. The track has been generally westward so far (now roughly WNW) and strong winds are coming from the north east so will Irma swing nearly 90deg to track straight through Florida?
I’m no meteorologist but am following this closely on windy.com:-
https://www.windy.com/?20.530,-71.147,5

hunter

Ouch. This part is going to hurt. Godspeed to those who have to deal with tonight and tomorrow.
Miami and Ft. Lauderdale have been spared, but Tampa, St. Pete, etc. are in for a rough time.

EW3

Am monitoring NOAA buoys in the keys and south FL, and seems like many are off line or broke.
The ones that appear broken, seem to fail in under 50kts of wind.

eyesonu

Take some notes and screen shots. There has been a pattern for several years. With the way Irma has been presented there will most likely be a lot of high level CYA. I hope Irma is a squib but many are likely praying for the disaster they forecast.

EW3

mod – yes

JohnKnight

Hmm . . I’m seeing some people online talk about low (considering) wind speeds reported in Cuba, and inconsistent radar info . . as though some sort of pysop intended to scare the heck out of us is perhaps being played out . . ????

EW3

Not pysop. Just playing with numbers to create an impression.
Strange a PWS at Marathon airport is up and running after a 77MPH gust. Just 1 gust.
But the NHC says hurricane force winds have hit the keys. Guess a gust is all that is needed.
Can’t find any buoy stations that indicate anything above 60 kts, and most are in the 30s and 40s.
[PWS = ??? (Private Weather Station) ? .mod]

JohnKnight

“Not pysop. Just playing with numbers to create an impression.”
Put options come to mind . . .

JohnKnight

This is the most creepy stuff I’ve seen thus far;

EW3

John, Is she single?

Bill J

Radar seems to indicate the long awaited turn to the north is finally happening. Nothing to stop it from strengthening now.

John M

It does appear to be turning. It has slowed to 7 mph from 9 mph, pressure is slightly falling yet wind speed is also falling. Eye wall replacement cycle?
Wish it would just turn south and self destruct!

Mike Flynn

I have to say I’m a wee bit confused –
“Satellite objective intensity estimate from Auto Dvorak went from 5 to 6 in . .
.”
As far as I know, the usual intensity scale (Saffir-Simpson, I think) only goes as far as 5. Obviously, someone may have a scale which goes from 1 to 100, and claim that this hurricane is “unprecedented. Look, it’s a category 14 . . ”
– according to the Mike Flynn Hurricane Assessment Algorithm, which no-one’s ever heard of.
Why use Auto Dvorak? Bigger, more terrifying number? A “normal” category 5 is quite scary enough, thank you very much.
Cheers.

TonyL

Auto Dvorak is a method of estimating hurricane strength from satellite imagery alone. The intensity numbers so derived gave been calibrated against aircraft observation.
Here is a quick explanation by Chris Landsea.
http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/H1.html

Phil

Wikipedia has a description of the Dvorak Technique. It is an alternate method of rating hurricanes.

Intelligent Dasein

These hurricane scales go to 11.

I’ve been following the storm tracks on Weather Underground. The motion of the center of the storm has been gradually slowing. Two days ago the center was moving at 16 MPH. Now (10pm Eastern time) it’s just 6 MPH.

Dave Fair

Creedence Clearwater Revival: “Bad Moon Rising”
Lyrics:
I see a bad moon a-rising
I see trouble on the way
I see earthquakes and lightnin’
I see bad times today
Don’t go ’round tonight
It’s bound to take your life
There’s a bad moon on the rise
I hear hurricanes a-blowing
I know the end is coming soon
I fear rivers over flowing
I hear the voice of rage and ruin
Don’t go ’round tonight
It’s bound to take your life
There’s a bad moon on the rise
I hope you got your things together
I hope you are quit prepared to die
Look’s like we’re in for nasty weather
One eye is taken for an eye
Oh don’t go ’round tonight
It’s bound to take your life
There’s a bad moon on the rise
There’s a bad moon on the rise
I hope everyone got their things together and got out of Dodge.

Brad

Always thought there was “a bathroom on the right”???/sarc

taxed

Am still of the view that this hurricane will track more westwards then the models are suggesting.
Noting the way the winds are blowing between the surface and 250 hPa. lts only the winds at 250 hPa which l would say suggests a northward track from where lrma presently is.
Note also how the clouds pick up speed(hence the wind) to the east of the eye of this hurricane. Which l believe will have the effect of pushing the nose of this hurricane downwards, So forcing this hurricane to move westwards rather then northwards. That’s my ideas anyway, only time will tell if am right or not.

taxed

Sorry l mean to the west of the eye not the east.

SteveS

My thoughts exactly, but there is possibly more to it than just the 250Hpa wind flow. As Irma moves north, the flow has more of a chance to “grab” it and swing it north, and Null School has a large portion of the wind under Irma in a few hours time. As the “tug of war” evens out, there is possibly another force (coriolis) that nudges Irma north. What I would find interesting is to hear a point by point explanation about Irmas movements as it seemingly and repeatedly bounced off the coast of Cuba. Really the NHC does an excellent job, for us armchair quarterbacks, kind of easy when we can see what happens 3 hrs after the fact. Fascinating stuff though, Hope all remain safe and heed the warnings.

I appreciate the arm-chair quarterbacking of this thread. It is fun to speculate. I don’t know much about hurricanes, but I do know something about reading trends. I see two trends here:
1. The westward trend. Every time they have revised the storm track of Iris, they have redrawn the new track to the west of the last track. A few days ago, it was going to go up the Atlantic coast of Florida. Then it was going to go right up through the center of Florida. Now it’s going to go up the Gulf coast of Florida. So I’m guessing that the next time they redraw the track it will be drawn west of the Gulf coast of Florida.
2. The deceleration. Over the last two days there has been a steady 5 MPH per day deceleration in the speed that the eye of Irma is moving. Now (10pm Eastern Time) it is crawling along at just 6 MPH. If the linear deceleration continues it will stop in its tracks sometime tomorrow night. There was a precedent: Hurricane Mitch stopped in its tracks in 1998 before skittering off to the east-north-east.

joelobryan

There is a drag effect when the eye wall is partially over land as Irma was over Cuba for most of the day.
The cyclonic vortex is of course a fluid and not a rigid or semi-rigid tire. But the land under the eye wall imparts an orographic lift to the horizontally directed surface boundary flow. This in effect drags on that portion of the vortex. The drg effect would be greater if the land were on the advancing side of the vortex, so this setup it is weaker with the land on the retreating side of the eye wall (relative to forward motion).
My question is do the forecast models model this land-eye wall effect? Or do they simply model using pressure patterns and measured winds and SSTs?

Dave

Well, time and the objective evidence seems to suggest that you were not right after all….

Mike Maguire

Dr. Maue knows a great deal more about hurricanes than I ever will but it doesn’t appear to be strengthening yet. Slowed way down and probably about to make the turn north into water that’s in the U-80’s and away from Cuba, the land mass that helped to weakened it.
It’s possible to get back to much of its previous strength very quickly. Hurricane Charlie did this with extremely warm waters in a similar location back in 2004…..going from 110 mph to 145 mph in just 3 hours……but time is running out.
It’s obvious that over the past few days, the guidance has been too far north and east and has had to be continually adjusted farther south and west. Going from the east coast of FL to even off the East, to now along or even west of the west coast. The intensity has also had to be lowered, especially quite a bit today. Sometimes, observations/now casting can be very useful to improve upon computer models that are clearly having a consistent bias/error in the same direction.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Charley
https://radar.weather.gov/Conus/southeast_loop.php

Latitude

Don’t know what’s happened to him….but he has certainly turned into a drama queen

Neo

Irma seems to be headed to Nashville.
Hours after NBC announced that Irma was “locked and loaded” for Mar-A-Lago, Irma has decided to become a Gulf storm instead.

joelobryan

Left social media has been in twitter nirvana with the thoughts of Mar-A-Lago getting trashed. But like November 8 2016, they will need to go cry in their wine.
And the Left needs to understand that hurricanes and weather don’t care about climate change or who supports the alarmism. Point them to the thrashing Sir Richard Branson’s luxury island took.

Intelligent Dasein

Unlesss every one of those Left-leaning, twittering twits loses their job, Ken Storey has a heck of a lawsuit on his hands.

Jtom

Just a stray thought: How are the Tesla-owning people in southern Florida doing with their evacuation efforts? Bet it’s wonderful to try to find a charging station every 200 miles or so (maybe fewer miles, considering how slow the traffic is moving), wait your turn, then sit for, what, four to six hours (?) to charge the batteries.
I can easily carry four, five-gallon cans of gasoline in my car, along with my more valuable possessions, and drive for over a thousand miles, if I start with a full tank. With two people taking turns driving, that could be done in less than a day. What’s the best a Tesla-owner can do?

I doubt there is a large percentage of households with only a Tesla. They are likely to be the second or third car in a household.

Greg

Anyone with a vehicle that expensive probably drove it out of state last week.

Don K

It’s not just EV owners that have a problem y’know. Hydrocarbon fueled vehicles are going to get lousy mileage crawling along in traffic at maybe 20kph (12mph) in a tropical climate with the A/C running. So every few hundred miles, you have to find an open gas station that has gas. And possibly wait for hours to get to a pump that can service maybe 15-20 vehicles per hour (at most).
I’m kind of dubious about evacuation as the survival strategy. If we give each vehicle 10m of lane (need a bit of separation) and assume 20kph, and assume an average of two people per vehicle (probably about right for a rather elderly population), we find that we can evacuate about 2000 vehicles per outbound lane per hour = 4000 folks per hour.
How many outbound lanes? For the Florida Keys, it’s two max. One if you want to get supplies like bottled water and gasoline to Key West. Maybe one can evacuate the Keys in a day or so. But that just dumps the folks from the Keys into Miami-Dade where they can join the folks trying to leave an area with a population of almost 3 million. How many lanes out of Miami-Dade excluding US1 South to the Keys? Pragmatically – maybe 10. — That’s 40,000 people per hour. And that assumes no breakdowns or accidents or vehicles that run out of gas. And many of those 10 lanes run through areas where people are also evacuating.
Not a great situation I think.

Carbon BIgfoot

My wife’s Mercedes GLA 250 mini-SUV shuts down in stopped traffic–re-starts itself when you remove your foot off the brake. I find it uneasy give the fact that my 55 Ford would do the same until I finally figured out the idle setting. I suggest that it is a real great advantage when other vehicles are idling their fuel away in long traffic lines trying to get out of Dodge or Ford (sarc).

David Riser

http://tropicalatlantic.com/recon/recon.cgi?basin=al&year=2017&storm=Irma&product=hdob
take a look at the hurricane hunters flight data. click on the icon for google earth if you want to see what they see.

Intelligent Dasein

If this hurricane manages to thread the Straits and miss Florida altogether (an event which now cannot be entirely ruled out), then not only are the forecasters going to look ridiculous, but their warnings are going to be all the less heeded when Irma finally does make a US landfall God knows where. Additionally, the massive scale of the Florida evacuation is going to do significant damage to the state’s economy in terms of lost wages and productivity, hurricane or no hurricane. The social dynamics post-Irma have the potential to turn quite nasty depending on what happens over the next 6-12 hours.

Rich Wright

“Irma’s intensity has been conservatively lowered to 105 kt, and I’d rather wait to lower further until we’ve seen the full data set from the Air Force mission.” From NHC at 11 pm.

Brad

In reading all the news, even NHC, the amount of “potential” death and doom adjectives is stunning.
I understand the need to be cautious but all the “mights, coulds, etc” are getting weary.
Even those espousing potential flood surges are all of a sudden hedging their claims with a lot of qualifiers.

EW3

As I listen to the breathless meteorologists on TV right now, I’m reminded of this.
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”
― H.L. Mencken

Brad

+10

EW3
” Breathless” Is the perfect word.
Living on the East coast I was pretty happy to go from getting run over by a 150 mph eye wall, to projected hurricane gusts. You would never there was any difference by listening to the local TV meteorologists.

Richard G.
RAH

I don’t agree with that assessment in this case. IMO most of the meteorologists are just excited and enthusiastic and I know the feeling from being a soldier. You train and study and learn the science and art in your field for years and then when the time comes and there is an opportunity to use it you want to do so. You want to prove your mettle and professional competence and test yourself even though you know that the very situation that is allowing you to do so is a terrible human disaster.. I think many of those you are referring to face a similar conundrum.

ren
Brad

IMHO, The time-lapse seems to show Irma is getting pushed maybe SW?

ren

Jetstream pushes in the northeast.

Bill Ballinger

Just a small point, but most of the cloud cover over the northern half of Florida is from a NorthEaster that came in yesterday, high wind, bands of rain. My sense is that the NorthEaster is stronger than expected and is playing a role in shifting Irma west.

Brad

Maybe not a small point?

Dave

Photo of tree with bark stripped in San Martin, see with photo in http://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/9/7/162643.
It is the with photo in the series and shows bark stripped off a tree at fit off the ground. It is the photo of a grey SUV in the foreground with the tree in front of it bent double. Shot taken by Gerben van Es
This is reputed to require 200 mph according to the wiki on the 1780 hurricane & many other sources
Is it time to revise either the speed of IRMA or the 200 mph figure for bark stripping?

I Came I Saw I Left

Is this is the picture you are referring to?comment image

Dave

Yes

Hugs

Definitely not 200 mph. Flying rubbish instead.

MarkW

Could have been an embedded tornado.

deebodk

200 mph winds? Yeah right. Those houses would be leveled.

Dave

Sorry eight foot off the ground for the stripped bark, photoalso available fron ABC7 Chicago, but takes ages to load

JCalvertN(UK)

Bark gets stripped off trees by flying sheets of roofing iron. They’re everywhere in a strong hurricane and they are a major cause of death. A good hit from one of those can be enough to completely break a tree trunk.

I don’t think so – it got zapped by landfall in Cuba. (I hope)…

I would like to see the actual data for MPH at landfall in the keys and up the west coast of FL…Hope it’s not as bad as predicted…I hope that the Key West to FL highway doesn’t break…

Greg
Rik Gheysens

Irma is the logical result of nature. When sea surface temperatures rise to 31.7°C (89.1°F) in Key West (Florida), as an example, then the conditions for strong hurricanes are created. The heat of the water is energy for hurricanes.
What has to be done is prevent that such situations can ever happen.
1. Know the facts. Sea surface temperatures are more significant than temperatures above land and have to be available at every time..
2. By all means one has to prevent sea surface temperatures reaching that high. The inhabitants of the coastal areas have to take profit of this huge energy, not hurricanes! Example: a sea water heating installation extracts heat from the sea water and uses it to heat houses. The cooled water flows back to the sea. More information: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/clues/files/hague
3. By all means, the sea surface temperature in the environment of civilization has to remain below a certain level. Why not move an iceberg to a region in case of urgency?
So, a whole (new?) discipline has to be elaborated. If people want to avoid yearly catastrophies regarding economic and social welfare, such studies are very urgently needed and have to be implemented immediately.

Brad

Rik, how much would it cost me to have you cool the seas???

Greg

1. Know the facts.:
Folks in Florida don’t need to heat their homes in August and September ! An iceberg is a drop in the ocean [sic].
“By all means one has to prevent sea surface temperatures reaching that high. ”
That “new” discipline is called geo-engineering and will a catastrophic sorcerers apprentice job since we have very little true understanding of how climate works. Untill you understand something ( REALLY understand ) you can not fix or adjust it.
Look at how much temps drop after Irma passes and you will get an idea of the scale of what you would need to do to achieve the same result.

Greg

I know, if you could take air from high pressure systems and inject it into cyclonic depressions we could stop hurricanes forming !! 😉

Greg

Central eye looking rather ragged in IR and SW images just now.
http://weather.cod.edu/satrad/exper/?parms=meso1-07-24-1-100
wind speed at Key West hovering around 35 mph for now.
http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/show_plot.php?station=kywf1&meas=wspd&uom=E&time_diff=-4&time_label=EDT

Greg

Vaca key looking about the same around 40 knots. (45 mph)
http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/show_plot.php?station=vcaf1&meas=wspd&uom=E&time_diff=-4&time_label=EDT
Don’t see this getting any stronger now it’s getting into the very shallow waters around the keys and approaching land. I think cat 5 was a bad dream.

ren
toorightmate

The news bulletins are catastrophically unprecedented.

Greg

more like unprecedentedly catastrophic. 😉

Greg

Fastest winds currently on east coast at Fowey Rock,off Miami : 56 kt

Greg

Central eye currently very defocused; ground truth 10m wind speeds in Keys and Miami are NOT EVEN hurricane force at this time.
Claims of the power of this storm seem to overblown. No pun.

RAH

Last night watching the Weather Channel reporting on Ivan as I was dozing off the young man, don’t know his name, reporting from Key West, said that several people down there had decided to ride out Irma on their boats!
Darwin awards all around!

Greg

As long as you’re not near land that is probably a lot safer than being on land unless you’re in a cat5 building. No danger from storm swell at sea and much less broken glass and bits of 4×2 flying around !

RAH

I would agree with that assessment if the vessel were a ship of decent size. But a Boat?
I will once again transcribe here the experience of the skipper and crew of the WW II US submarine Tang when caught on the surface in a Typhoon south of Ryukyus Islands in October 1944. Keep that Tang was a 311 foot long vessel displacing over 2,000 tons surfaced displacement when loaded for a war patrol. And that submarines have a thick pressure hull and ride low in the water with a very low profile when on the surface making them relatively stable in rough seas compared to a DD or DE of comparable size and tonnage. Thus when buttoned up a submarine is much harder to broach or capsize than a conventional vessel of the same tonnage.
Transcription with some snips noted for brevity from: Clear The Bridge” written by the subs commander Richard O’Kane (recipient of the MOH).
“The immediate pressure on my ears told me that securing had already been in progress. That’s my exec, I thought. Not so pleasant was the last barometer reading before the boat was sealed, 27,8 inches; it left no doubt about the severe nature of the storm……………….
Frank and I headed aft, hanging on as we could, but when we reached the control room Tang took a violent roll to starboard. I landed on the after end of the high-pressure manifold, with my face about a foot from the bubble inclinometer on the forward end of the low-pressure blows. It read 70 degrees, and there she hung, obviously broached by the seas…………………..we eased back to 60 degrees for a couple of rollers and then slowly righted………………..
When submerged, looking through the scope gives the viewer the impression that his eye is just above the surface of the sea, at the position of the lens. When the boat is on the surface, it’s like looking down from a 55-foot tower. I was looking up at a single monstrous wave, so bit it had normal waves on its crest, which were blowing out into spume as it rolled in. Reflexes made me duck momentarily just before it hit, and then green water, solid green sea, went over the top of everything, burying Tang scope and all. Amazingly, the scope was still there when the wave rolled past………..
Our present position was untenable, for we were being pushed ahead in addition to our own turns, and our total speed likely equaled the advance of the storm. We could thus remain in the dangerous semicircle for days, even into the Ryukyus to the immediate north……
We had long since foregone the option of diving, for our ballast tanks were divided port and starboard and had individual floods and vents. A short-lived loss of stability accompanied any dive, and with rolls such as we were experiencing the down tanks would flood first and could capsize the boat……………………There was but one option; we had to turn in front of the seas that had just knocked us down………..
[Tang successfully made the turn but was nearly knocked over doing so. Now we pick up after making the turn as the ship bucked up and down heading into the seas.]
……Of more importance was Larson’s report of no injuries; it seemed impossible, but a submarine lies so deep in the sea that it does not have the dangerous whip of a surface ship…………..
For five taught hours they kept Tang on course, coached by Frank, me, and the OODs on the scope for the seas determined our heading. Quite suddenly the wicked seas changed to mountainous swells under torrential rains. The winds moderated, became confused. Were we in the eye of the typhoon…….? For a quick check we tried cracking the hatch to obtain a new barometric reading, it wouldn’t budge, held tight by increased atmospheric pressure. High pressure air was bled into the boat, a full half-inch, to free the hatch; the barometer read 28.4.
[They were out of the Tyhoon. Later during the discussion between the officers]
I recalled an experience at sea with a hurricane packing 100-knot winds and spoke conservatively when I estimated that the winds of they typhoon had half again the speed. In the height of the seas there was no comparison. We were not just guessing, for in the Quartermasters Notebook were recorded various periods during which the scope had been completely buried, the longest being 14 seconds. Sketching the wave crests in their most modest form, and arriving at their speed from the recorded frequency, Tang’s junior officers calculated that on occasions a minimum of 40′ had rolled above the lens of our scope. I would not dispute their figure nor would Frank, we had seen the waves, and 95 feet from crest to trough seemed conservative.”
Nope, you can stay on some little boat Gregg. Me, I’m heading for the highest ground around.

vukcevic

As of 6:15 AM Irma just barely a Cat 4 – 130 MPH (129 is a Cat3) it is a very weak Cat 4, and estimate is for “perhaps slight increase in winds before Florida landfall” From this vantage point a strong Cat 4 or weak Cat 5 seems impossible. Hurricane center has it as a Major hurricane (over 110MPH) halfway up Florida, then a hurricane (over 75MPH) until just crossing into Georgia, where it becomes a Tropical storm (over 39MPH) .
Miami impact seems relatively slight : only wind gusts achieve hurricane force, and just barely – 75MPH – in fact estimate shows no hurricane force winds on the east coast – looks like for the entire east coast of Florida, Irma will just be a tropical storm.
The west coast of Florida will be most affected : Storm surges 5 to 10 feet all along the west coast, but Naples perhaps 15 feet. Don’t see how a body of water as large as Tampa Bay and its rather small entrance can be affected very much by a surge this small. Disney World hotels remain open, park closed. Tampa, Sarasota, Naples, Ft Myers face the biggest impacts – all with estimates of 8 to 12 inches of rain , gusts over 100MPH but no avg wind estimates provided. Rainfall should be no problem – I lived on the west coast for years and saw rainfall totals from storms (not hurricanes) much, much larger than this.

I’ve come to the conclusion that these Simpson scale hurricane categories are misleading and useless. Use MPH and get an accurate wind force measure. Cat 4, for example, covers a very large territory – 130 to 156MPH, and thus tells you almost nothing, even if you know the definition of Cat 4 (which few do).

David A

The scale is fine, as certain common damage is likely to occur at each category. CAT 5 is pretty much most every wood house flattened, trees snapped. ( I have yet to see true CAT 5 damage from Irma except from storm surge and spin off tornadoes)
The problem is the primary criteria for labeling hurricanes ( ground speed readings at 10 meter height, one minute sustained) is being ignored, when in the past it was the ONLY method along with air pressure.
Harvey was a CAT 2 from ground based readings with a singular peak gust of 132 mph. Previous CAT 4 in Texas had peak gusts of 172 and three over 150. Harvey was damaging because Harvey hovered over Houston, a subsiding city built on a swamp.
The Labor Day hurricane had 175 mph sustained winds and a long gust at an airforce station of 200 mph, then the instrument broke. Irma is a bxxxx, but is not remotely as strong as the Labor Day hurricane. Storm Surge damage and isolated tornado damage will be very bad however.

David A

The Labor Day hurricane had 175 mph sustained winds and a long gust at an airforce station of 200 mph, then the instrument broke. ( ground based measurements)

David A

Make that 185 sustained winds.

Greg

landfall very soon between Big Pine Key and Key West : KYWF1 being nearest reporting station. Air press. below 965 mbar , not a record breaker !
Wind speeds now dropping as enters the eye. 10m wind speed did not quite make it into “hurricane” levels of 64 kt
Not sure what altitude they are measuring 129 mph .

David A

Latest forecast from NOAA for Marathon in the Keys. ( Looks to be about 15 miles from the eye wall on the strong , eastern side of Irma…
…HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT …
…STORM SURGE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT …
* LOCATIONS AFFECTED
– Marathon
– Long Key
* WIND
– LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: Equivalent Cat 1 Hurricane force wind
– Peak Wind Forecast: 70-90 mph with gusts to 110 mph
– Window for Tropical Storm force winds: until early Monday
morning
– Window for Hurricane force winds: until this afternoon.”””””
The earlier was calling for CAT 3.

Greg

Thanks David, where did you get that warning with Cat 1 All I can find is the earlier ones with 130 mph winds!
Where is the official landfall windspeeds?

Greg

Guardian are already reporting this as “the most catastrophic storm Florida has ever seen” before even gets there !

David A

Amazing hype.
Labor day storm reality
Formed August 29, 1935
Dissipated September 10, 1935
(Extratropical after September 6)
Highest winds 1-minute sustained: 185 mph (300 km/h)
Lowest pressure 892 mbar (hPa); 26.34 inHg
(Lowest recorded in continental United States)
Fatalities 423 total
Areas affected
The Bahamas Florida Keys, Southwest and North Florida (Big Bend)

David A

Labor Day storm had 20 foot of surge in the Keys.

Greg

water level at Key West so far seems to be about 1 foot above normal tidal predictions. This is a joke.

vukcevic

It is getting rough on the Florida’s east coast web cam view

Greg

yes, it’s rough. They are getting hit by a tropical storm. But this is not even making cat 1 at landfall so far.

See - owe to Rich

Hi Vuk, yes nice webcam view.
But in Cornwall (England) we wouldn’t call that rough. Looks like about 40mph to me. Is anyone here an expert on estimating wind speed from the bend in palm trees?
Of course, that is the East coast – West will be worse.
Rich.

Greg

There is a lot of wind sheer and NE side of the storm and the eye is looking very unstable and poorly defined now. Daylight arriving allows to get nice detailed visual sequence of the clouds now.
http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/ramsdis/online/loop.asp?data_folder=goes-16/mesoscale_01_band_02_sector_05&width=1000&height=1000&number_of_images_to_display=40&loop_speed_ms=80
It is going to struggle to be cat 1 by the time it makes it to the main land.
Water levels about 2.5 ft above normal predicted tides in Key West.
This is not going to be the major event it was billed to be, thankfully.

vukcevic

Wind Speed : 21 kts
Wind Gust: 41kts
Atmospheric Pressure: 29.47 in

Greg

yes, this has passed through Key West now, max 10m wind was 58kt and max depression 956.
By the time it hits the mainland it will be even weaker. With a storm surge of about 2.5 ft this is basically a non emergency storm.

Windjammer webcam of the beach in Lauderdaleby the Sea is deceptive. About 400 yards offshore is a major coral reef stretching from north Miami almost to Palme Beach. It about the fishing pier length again further out, and the first of three reef bands is only about 5 meters deep. I am in north Fort Lauderdale about a mile south of Windjammer, directly on the beach. Waves breaking over the reef are about 15 feet, some higher. Spectacular sight when the rain lets up enough to see it. The waves do not have enough fetch to reform before they reach the beach after crashing on the reef. So the shore sees 4-6 feet. We presently have wind ~70 with measured gusts over 85.

vukcevic

Hi Rud
There was a TV crew in apartment opposite, they had a spot light on the palm three during the later part of the night and early this morning (there are two aerials stuck to the palm’s top) .
I also found a weather station a bit further south.
http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=pvgf1&unit=E&tz=GMT
data is up to an hour late, hope it is correct, so not too concerned at the moment,

David A

Rud, please share the station giving those readings.

vukcevic

Hi Rich
wind speed is the post above,
“Of course, that is the East coast – West will be worse.”
My brother is just 3-4 miles inland from the webcam location and decided to sit it out. Building is recent (built for at least direct Cat3), as long as his apartment’s windows don’t explode they will be ok, I hope.

David A

…please show the station confirming this and explain bws post below with stations very near the eye.

vukcevic

one in the link just above
(vukcevic September 10, 2017 at 7:17 am)

RAH

looks to me like it will be a weak CAT 3 by the time it reaches the Florida mainland. That cooler dryer air to the west that steered it north is kicking it’s ass. The eyewall has lost integrity. And with more and more of the bands going over Florida to the east and the feature to the west impinging on the western bands it sure seems pretty certain now that Joe Bastardi and Dr. Maue were correct about the track but are not even going to close on intensity. Such is the way it goes forecasting these storms.

RAH, it still has hours to strengthen after the Keys before reaching Naples.

RAH

But that trough to the west, the very same one that steered it to the north from Cuba, is stronger than anticipated. and causing considerable sheer. It is really having an impact on it in the WNW. It still looks to me like it may even cause Irma to go a bit further east than forecast making landfall a bit earlier and further south down by Naples. This truck driver, with his limited knowledge, that never doubted the storm would turn north and Impact Florida when it was coming over Cuba, just doesn’t think there is a chance in hell of it becoming a CAT V and highly doubt that it will even maintain CAT 4 strength. What the eye does will be a prime indicator on radar of what is happening and the eye right now has been deteriorating pretty quickly. But that’s just my opinion.

vukcevic

A Florida sheriff is warning citizens not to shoot guns at Hurricane Irma as the monster storm approaches Florida.
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/349968-florida-sheriff-warns-citizens-dont-shoot-at-hurricane-irma
No surprise there.

ren

High solar activity (geomagnetic storm) caused an increase in jet velocity in the north. As a result, there was a cutoff of the jet stream in the eastern US. This loop blocks the hurricane over Florida.

babazaroni

It’s official. Category 4 landfall. Two in one season.

See - owe to Rich

Really? As far as I can see, the eye hasn’t touched land yet. And where has a Cat 4 135mph sustained wind been recorded?
Rich.

EW3

Judging from the satellite images, looks like Key West is having a sunny morning.
Be willing to bet that there are a lot of folks enjoying a breakfast beer!

babazaroni
bw

Irma landfall between Key West and Vaca key. Both NDBC stations less than 60 knots sustained winds.
Wind speed measured by surface anemometers nearest the eyewall are showing less than hurricane threshold for the Saffir-Simpson scale which is 64 knots.
Looking at radar the heaviest band in the storm is to the east at Fowey Rock NDBC station FWYF1 that has anemometer height of 44 meters above sea level. The 7am recording shows maximum sustained winds of 63 knots. Time plots at any of the NDBC stations show all surface winds below hurricane.
Vaca key station nearest the east side of the eyewall shows 46 knots measured by anemometer 9.6 meters above sea level.
No surprise that the NHC and the hysterical media are claiming Category 4 at the same time.
Real time videos of reporters standing around show palm trees in winds consistent with the NDBC stations which are tropical storm force winds.
http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=FWYF1

Watched a bit of CNN coverage this morning. They reported “all of the Keys underwater” but showed footage from Key Largo of a “flooded” street with ankle-deep water at most.
Footage of the “massive destruction” in Cuba at this link, from another media outlet.
http://globalnews.ca/news/3731886/hurricane-irma-cuba-damage/?utm_source=Homegnca-bc&utm_medium=MostPopular&utm_campaign=2014

eyesonu

“Irma’s eye has just crossed Cudjoe key in Florida. 106 mph max wind gust.” t
“A 91 mph gust was recorded at 7:55 a.m. at the NWS Office in Key West.”
“According to the National Hurricane Center, the center of Irma crossed Cudjoe Key just east of Key West around 9:10 a.m. EDT, with maximum SUSTAINED winds at the time estimated at 130 mph and a central pressure of 929 millibars.”
https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/hurricane-irma-bahamas-florida-georgia-carolinas-forecast
===========
Is it even a catagory 1?
NHC is BS as has been for several years.

EW3

Key word is estimated.
The talking heads on TV and NOAA are just plain embarrassing themselves.

eyesonu

Let me see if I can understand. The National Hurricane Center estimated the SUSTAINED winds at 130 mph and yet max measured gusts were 106 mph. Yea … I get it!
Drain the swamp but flush the NHC!

deebodk

The 106 gust was measured on nearby Big Pine Key just to the east, not on Cudjoe Key. Regardless, Big Pine was still within the eye. 130 sustained? What a joke.

See - owe to Rich

If people want to keep an eye on winds speeds recorded by buoys, use the link http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/radial_search.php?lat1=25.0n&lon1=80.0w&uom=E&dist=150&ot=A&time=8 .
Fowey Rock, FWYF1, see http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=FWYF1 , has been recording the highest speeds for the last few hours, between 60 and 70 knots, i.e. Category 1 Saffir-Simpson. Interestingly Fowey Rock is on the Miami side. Hurricanes going north typically have the highest winds on the east side, so perhaps, emphasize perhaps, Naples isn’t in too much danger as the eye approaches it. There could be higher winds on land of course just to the east of the eye.
Does anyone have a link to the nearest NWS station to Naples?
Rich.

See - owe to Rich

Sorry, I just saw bw’s posting https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/09/hurricane-expert-maue-irma-may-bomb-to-cat-5-again/comment-page-1/#comment-2606353 . There he also talks about Fowey Rock, and the fact that the anemometer height is 44m, well above the official 10m level.
Rich.

See - owe to Rich

Homestead Air Base station KHST, south of Miami and not too far from the sea, stopped reporting winds after 11am having had a gust of 62mph out of a sustained wind of 28mph.
Enquiring minds want to know: did a gust take it out or is the NWS trying to starve its customers, you the people, of accurate information?
Rich.

RAH

Look at this water vapor loop. Watch the dryer cooler sheer to the west in just eat up the western outer band of Irma. And now it’s wrapping around to the south West quadrant eating at the convective power of this storm. This trough is what steered Irma north form Cuba. Now it’s eating this hurricane alive.
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/floaters/11L/flash-wv-long.html

fthoma

The Miami radar loop is telling also. I’m relieved here in Brevard County, and I hope the West Coast gets relief also.

fthoma