Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Hurricane Irma and Tropical Storm Jose: September 5, Update A

Quick lunchtime update.

Hurricane Irma
She is now a very strong cat 5 storm (cat 5 range: anything above 157mph), with winds of 185mph, central pressure 926mb. The winds were recorded by planes, so in-situ measurements so they are pretty close to reality. This makes her the strongest measured storm on record, although interestingly the central pressure is not the lowest - that record goes to Hurricane Wilma in 2005, who went down to 882mb.

She is currently at 16.9N, 59.1W, heading westward at 14mph, although it does look like she may now be moving slightly North of West from the satellite imagery:

Not a huge change in thinking: not much wind shear (maybe a little, but I’m not sure it is enough for this big a storm); the water is warm, and the upper 100m at least is warmer than 26 deg C; there is a bit of dry air ahead of the storm, which you can see in this water vapour (with a 'u') image over the Atlantic:
But she is so large in size, that it is really only going to get woven into the outer bands. The core is safely insulated in a very humid atmospheric environment.

I got a brief note from our intrepid on-the-ground reporter, Tom from St. Thomas, this morning: “Send a Sherman tank!”

And from Puerto Rico, from our intrepid on-the-ground reporter, Eric, a photo of the outer bands taken facing ENE:
The only dent will be if her eye has a direct hit on one of the Leeward Islands, which is not a great scenario – and given her intensity and wind speed, it may just be a drop to a weaker cat 5 or strong cat 4. She will reach the Leeward Islands in force in a few hours (overnight tonight). I’ll send another update on Irma out later.

Stay safe my friends!!

Tropical Storm Jose
This the Atlantic Blob I mentioned yesterday and you can see him on the tails of Irma in the Atlantic satellite image above – they named him today. He only really has circulation in the lowest levels of the troposphere, so I don’t think he really is a Tropical Storm yet actually. But officially he is at 12.3N, 39.1W, heading WNW at 13mph – towards Irma essentially. Winds are officially estimated to be 40mph, central pressure is 1008mb.

Unless he perks up this evening, I will not mention him again until tomorrow (I have to have time to eat my ice cream - all this updating requires extra scoops!).

Until later.

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DISCLAIMER: These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know. 

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