More Rain Tonight?

The tropical wave is now over Texas. It is a disorganized system, so it is hard to predict where the rain will be tonight. Let’s look at High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR), North American Mesoscale Forecast System (NAM), Regional Model (RGEM), and Weather Research and Forecast (WRF-ARW, and WRF-NMM). They are at 0900Z or 4:00 AM CDT.

The HRRR has heavy rain mostly west and southwest of Houston. The NAM has heavy rain over Matagorda Bay and east of Houston. The RGEM has an axis of heavy rain from Corpus Christi area to East Texas. The WRF-ARW has the heavy rain over Matagorda Bay. The WRF-NMM has heavy rain south of San Antonio. This shows that forecasting where heavy rain will fall tonight is all over the place with this tropical wave.

Looking at the most recent Doppler radar mosaic, there is heavy rain over East Texas and Southwest Louisiana. It is not really active right now.

However, with tropical moisture, thunderstorms tend to form at night, especially near the center of the low pressure system. They are called core rains and they can dump heavy rain in a short time. Harvey, Allison, Claudette, and Thrall 1921 Flood were core rain events as flooding rain fell at night. This system is disorganized, so it will be hard to tell where it will exactly form. Some forecast models want the heavy rain over Matagorda Bay, while some have it over Southeast Texas.

Many are wondering what is the forecasted rain amount. The rainfall forecast models are from GFS, Canadian, EURO, ICON, and Weather Prediction Center (WPC). They are all 7 day rainfall total forecast.

The GFS has 4 inches of rain over Galveston Bay. The area of heaviest rain is east of Houston.

The Canadian has nearly 11 inches of rain just north of Houston. The largest area of heavy rain is north of Houston.

The EURO has backed down on nearly 30 inches of rain. It has nearly 15 inches of rain south of San Antonio. There is a large area of heavy rain southwest of Houston.

The ICON has over 13 inches of rain near Aransas Pass. There is an area of 8 inches of rain west of Houston. Most of the heavy rain is over the Gulf Of Mexico.

The WPC has 10 inches of rain over an Matagorda Bay and Victoria. Houston area has 5 to 7 inches of rain.

The rainfall forecast is all over the place on where it will fall and even the amount. This is a very frustrating forecast. Regardless of forecast models, all forecast heavy rain will fall somewhere.

Here is what I think will happen.
-Someone will see heavy rain tonight.
-Not ruling out Houston area getting heavy rain tonight.
-Rainfall amounts could range from 5 to 10 inches of rain with isolated totals approaching and exceeding 15 inches.

The forecast models came from Weather.US, Tropical Tidbits, National Hurricane Center, and National Weather Service. Special thanks to all of them.

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Invest 91L As This Weekend’s Rainmaker?

Invest 91L is over the Gulf of Mexico. Currently on satellite from CIMSS-Tropical Cyclones, it does not look too impressive.

Of course with tropical lows, they tend to fire up at night as they are warmer than the surrounding area. I would not be surprised to see a lot of thunderstorms come morning. As the time passes, where does Invest 91L go?

Most forecast models have it going towards South Texas or Mexico. There is a chance that it could go over Southeast Texas. If it goes into Mexico or South Texas, there is better chance for rain since the northeast side is the wettest as it is the “dirty” side of the tropical low. The intensity forecast models are split.

Some have Invest 91L as a tropical wave. Some have it intensifying into a tropical depression. Some have it becoming a tropical storm. If it becomes a tropical storm, it would be Beryl. Like I say, intensity forecast is not really reliable. At this point, I would be more concerned with the rain than some tropical storm developing.

Various forecast models have different rain amounts, which are from GFS, Canadian, EURO, and Weather Prediction Center (WPC). They are from Weather.US and Weather Prediction Center (WPC)-Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts (QPF). These are 7 day rainfall totals.

The GFS has the heaviest rain over Houston area. It forecasts up to 8 inches of rain. A large area of Southeast Texas has 3 to 6 inches of rain.

The Canadian forecasts rain amounts of up to 6 inches over Austin area and around Halletsville.

The EURO forcasts up to 20 inches of rain southeast of San Antonio. There is 10 inches south of Houston. The EURO is the wettest of the forecast models.

The WPC has up to 5 inches of rain over Southeast Texas. It is the driest of the forecast models.

All the forecast models have rain for Texas. The only difference is the amount. Some are very bullish, while others are not. The plus side is that it will put a dent on the drought in Texas.

Most areas in Texas are in a drought. The rains can alleviate the drought, which is a good thing. This also increases the risk for flooding, which is not good almost a year after Harvey ravaged Texas with epic rainfall.

I think Invest 91L will be more of a rain event this weekend. Tropical development is not likely, but cannot be ruled out. Regardless, Invest 91L needs to be watched as it could be more of a rain event that may cause flooding in some areas.

The forecast models came from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance. The GIS drought map is from United States Drought Monitor.

Irma Ravages Florida Part 2

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has Hurricane Irma is near Tampa and it is a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph 160 km/h 87 knot winds, which is on land 85 mph 136 km/h 74 knots. Gusts are as high as 128 mph 205 km/h 111 knots. Hurricane force winds are up to 150 miles 240 km 130 nautical miles across from northeast to southeast quadrant. Tropical force winds are up to 690 miles 1,104 km 600 nautical miles across from northwest to northeast quadrant. It is a large hurricane!

Tropical storm force winds are engulfing a large portion of Florida. It is even felt in Georgia and South Carolina! That is how large Irma is. Irma got large because it is over land, which disrupts the core. There is also a cold front. Those two make Irma larger as energy is spread out. The same reason why Ike got larger before making landfall on Texas in 2008.

Irma continues to get closer to Tampa. Here is the forecast model of where Irma will go. This is the latest heat map from various forecast models and GFS ensemble track guidance for Irma. The GFS goes up to 10 days.

Interesting to note there is not much of a consensus of where Irma will go. Interestingly, there appears to be some cluster where Irma will go in the next five days. Looks like Irma may end up over Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, and Illinois.

Here is what I think will happen.
-Tampa Bay Area will be ravaged by Irma.
-Storm surge and strong winds will be the main issue.
-Flooding from storm surge and heavy rain will be widespread.

The forecast models came from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance and National Hurricane Center, . Special thanks to all of them.

Irma Ravages Florida

Hurricane Irma made landfall made landfall on Cudjoe Key, Florida as a Category 4 hurricane with 929 millibars. It is moving north at 9 mph. Irma is a very large hurricane.

The Southeast Doppler mosaic has Irma engulfing a large portion of Florida. Many areas are getting heavy rain and strong winds. Hurricane force winds are up to 138 miles 221 km 120 nautical miles across from northwest to northeast quadrant and northeast to southeast quadrant. Tropical force winds are up to 437 miles 699 km 380 nautical miles across from northwest to northeast quadrant. Irma has gotten larger, which is a bad thing.

Hurricane force winds are felt in Southern Florida from Monroe, Miami-Dade, and Collier County. Many areas are reporting hurricane force winds. A crane had collapsed in Miami and storm surge is higher than forecasted. This is despite the fact that Irma is west of the area. This puts Miami over the dirty side. This leads to the next question, where does Irma go? Here is the forecast model of where Irma will go. This is the latest heat map from various forecast models and GFS ensemble track guidance for Irma. The GFS goes up to 10 days.

The first one I will show is for Florida. It has Irma going on the western wide of Florida. It could go over the Gulf of Mexico and west or east of Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay is one of the high risk area for storm surge due to its geography. Storm surge ravaging Tampa Bay would be worse than Katrina ravaging New Orleans and Mississippi or Sandy ravaging New York City area. You did not misread it. Tampa Bay is the worst for storm surge. Irma could go near Tampa Bay and this would be very bad.

The second one is where Irma goes once inland. There is a hot spot over Tennessee and Kentucky. This suggest that Irma may end up over that region. From there, it could east or northeast. Heavy rain will be the main problem inland depending on how fast Irma moves. The slower Irma moves, more chance for heavy rain.

Here is what I think will happen.
-Irma is going to ravage Florida.
-Storm surge and high waves will be a problem on the coast.
-Tampa Bay Area could get the brunt of Irma.

The forecast models came from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance, National Hurricane Center, , and National Weather Service. Special thanks to all of them.

Irma Getting Ever So Closer

Hurricane Irma is formidable Category 3 hurricane with 125 mph 200 km/h 109 knot winds. It has a central pressure of 933 millibars. It is moving slowly west at 9 mph. Irma should turn northward later tonight. South Florida and Florida Keys are feeling the affects of Irma.

There are feeder bands pelting South Florida with heavy rain and tropical storm force winds. Irma is a large hurricane despite weakening to Category 3.

Cuba is still experiencing hurricane force winds. Hurricane force winds are up to 138 miles 221 km 120 nautical miles across from northwest to northeast quadrant and northeast to southeast quadrant. Tropical force winds are up to 380 miles 608 km 330 nautical miles across from northwest to northeast quadrant. This makes Irma a large hurricane, which in itself is dangerous regardless of Category 3 or 5. Why large hurricanes are dangerous?

Storm surge is the problem. Larger hurricanes produce higher storm surge. Let me repeat these hurricanes that were large. Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Katrina made landfall as Category 3 on Louisiana and Mississippi. It produced storm surge as high as 35 feet/10.7 meters! By comparison, Hurricane Camille made landfall in 1969 in the same area as a Category 5 hurricane, but produced storm surge of 25 feet/7.6 meters. Camille was smaller than Katrina. Hurricane Ike is another example of a large hurricane, which made landfall on Texas as a Category 2 hurricane in 2008. Ike produce storm surge as high as 25 feet/7.6 meters, which is highest outside of Mississippi! Hurricane Sandy made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane on New Jersey in 2012. It produced storm surge as high as 15 feet/4.6 meters.

Many areas in Florida will see storm surge as high as 15 feet/4.6 meters. This type of storm surge is dangerous. The land will be inundated with 3 feet/0.9 meters or greater. That amount of water rushing in is dangerous and will wash anyone away! Anyone who lives in storm surge areas need to evacuate! If you live in an area with no storm surge, you should hide, with the exception living in a mobile home. Case in point, too many people evacuated when Hurricane Rita came barreling towards Texas and Louisiana. Most people who evacuated did not need to evacuate. This came a month after Katrina ravaged Louisiana and Mississippi. Also, more people died while evacuating than in the actual hurricane. We are seeing that problem with Florida. People who really need to evacuate are people who live in storm surge prone areas.

Here is the forecast model of where Irma will go. This is the latest heat map from various forecast models and GFS ensemble track guidance for Irma. The GFS goes up to 10 days.

Most have Irma going northwards towards Florida. It could go west of Florida or over Miami area. Either way, it is going to be bad for Florida. Once Irma is inland, most forecast models have Irma over Tennessee and Kentucky. This could be an issue as hurricanes weaken and go inland, they can dump heavy rain, especially at night. The heavy rains often fall at night near the center of the warm core low. These thunderstorms converge closer to the center at night as the low pressure system is warm core and the ambient temperature is cooler. They are called core rain. Hurricane Harvey is a tragic example of core rains that led to massive flooding in Southeast Texas including Houston. The forecast model is five days, so anything can change now and tomorrow.

Here is the most recent intensity forecast. The intensity forecast model for Irma are all over the place.

Some keep Irma as a Category 3 hurricane, while others have Irma intensifying into Category 4. I would not be surprised if Irma intensifies to Category 4 or even 5 prior to landfall on Florida. Regardless, Irma is going to be a very dangerous hurricane. A weakening hurricane can be more dangerous because people think if it weakens, than they should be safe. Hurricanes that weaken are due to land interaction or eyewall replacement cycle. Those two can cause hurricanes to get larger. Also, once eyewall replacement cycle is done, the hurricane gets larger and stronger.

The wind radii gets larger in part due to land interaction and eyewall replacement cycle as Irma gets closer to Florida. This is why I keep saying larger hurricanes are dangerous regardless of Category 3 or 5. Here is a rainfall forecast model ending at September 16, 2017 at 7:00 PM. They are from GFS, EURO, Canadian, and Weather Prediction Center (WPC).

All are in agreement that Florida will get heavy rain from Irma. GFS and WPC have the heavy rain over the middle of Florida. EURO has the heavy rain over the western part of Florida. The Canadian has heavy rain over eastern part of Florida. The GFS has the heaviest amount of up to 35.2 inches/89.4 centimeters of rain. It is south of the Florida Keys. The EURO has 17.9 inches/45.5 centimeters of rain, which is also south of the Florida Keys. Most areas should see 8 to 12 inches/20.3 to 30.5 centimeters of rain from Irma.

Here is what I think will happen.
-Irma could affect Florida as early as tomorrow morning.
-Storm surge and high waves will be a problem on the coast.
-Strong winds and heavy rain will be the main problem inland.

The forecast models came from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance, National Hurricane Center, Weather.US, Weather Prediction Center (WPC), and NWS Key West. Special thanks to all of them.

It is going to be a long night and day for Florida. Let’s hope everyone is hunkered down in areas that have no storm surge. Anyone who is storm surge prone areas are away. This could be bad for Florida.

Triple Threats

Cuba is about to get hit by formidable Category 5 monster, Hurricane Irma from National Hurricane Center (NHC). It has 160 mph 256 km/h 139 knot winds and central pressure of 924 millibars. Irma is getting close to making landfall on Camagüey Archipelago, Cuba. The last time a Category 5 hurricane made landfall on Cuba was 1924 Cuba Hurricane, which made landfall on Western Cuba. It is going to be a very long and frightening night. Many people in Irma’s path will experience strong winds of 80 to 120 mph 128 to 192 km/h 70 to 104 knots with gust as high as 120 to 180 mph 192 to 288 km/h 104 to 156 knots. They can see heavy rain with amounts of 10 to 15 inches/25.4 to 38.1 centimeters with totals as high as 30 inches/76.2 centimeters. Storm surge could go as high as 10 feet/3.04 meters! This is not a storm to mess with. Parts of Cuba are experiencing hurricane force winds.

Irma is a large hurricane with hurricane force winds that is 138 miles 221 km 120 nautical miles across northeast to northwest quadrant and northeast to southeast quadrant. Tropical storm force winds that are 357 miles 571 km 310 nautical miles across northeast to northwest quadrant. Hurricane force winds could last up to 10 hours in Cuba. There is going to be a lot of damage by tomorrow. Let’s look at intensity forecast.

Most forecast models keep Irma as a Category 5 hurricane for the next 36 hours. Some weaken it within 24 hours. I think Irma will be a Category 5 prior to affecting Florida. Where does Irma go after Cuba is a frightening prospect. Here is the latest heat map from various forecast models and GFS ensemble track guidance for Irma. The GFS goes up to 10 days.

The models are trending westward, which means Irma could go west of Miami area. That is actually worse because it puts the dirty side of Irma over Miami area. They get strong winds, heavy rain, storm surge, and high waves. It looks to be traversing over Florida. That is a very horrifying prospect as it could ravage a large portion of the state. This includes Naples, Orlando, Tampa, and St. Petersburg. As Irma gets closer to Florida, it is looking to get larger.

The NHC forecasts Irma gets larger, which makes it more dangerous regardless of Category 4 or 5. Larger hurricanes produce higher storm surges and waves on top of prolonged heavy rain. Here is a rainfall forecast model ending at September 11, 2017 at 10:00 PM. They are from GFS, Canadian, EURO, and Weather Prediction Center (WPC).

All the forecast models are in agreement that Florida will get heavy rain from Hurricane Irma. However, the forecast models vary in location. The GFS and WPC are in the middle of Florida, while EURO has it more rain to the west. The Canadian has it more to the east. Most agree that Florida could see 8 to 12 inches/20.3 to 30.5 centimeters of rain. Some areas could see as much as 20 inches/50.8 centimeters of rain. The widespread heavy rain can lead to flooding in Florida, which is very serious, especially in light of Harvey over Texas.

There are two hurricanes, Jose and Katia. Let’s start with Jose. Jose is now a strong Category 4 hurricane with 155 mph 248 km/h 135 knots. I would not be surprised if Jose does get upgraded to Category 5. There are Hurricane Warnings for hurricane ravaged Barbuda and Anguilla, Sint Maarten, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy. The forecast model is from various forecast models and GFS ensemble track guidance for Irma. The GFS goes up to 10 days. It looks that Jose may affect those ravaged islands. Let’s hope Jose stays very faraway from them. They do not need a second hurricane to hit them.

One difference between Jose and Irma is that Jose is not as large as Irma.

It more the size of Hurricane Harvey prior to landfall on Texas. The size certainly helped Jose undergo rapid intensification. Let’s take a look at the intensity forecast.

The intensity forecast model for Jose is to weaken. One forecast model has Jose becoming a Category 5 hurricane in 72 hours. I would not be surprised if Jose becomes a Category 5 hurricane or is one, but was not measured.

Another hurricane just made landfall north of Tecolutla, Veracruz, Mexico, Hurricane Katia. It was the area of thunderstorms that was watched after Harvey flooded out Texas. It made landfall earlier tonight. Currently Katia has 75 mph 120 km/h 65 knots wind. It is a small hurricane.

Hurricane force winds in Katia from northeast to southeast quadrant is 29 miles across, while tropical storm force winds from northeast to southeast quadrant is 120 miles across. Most forecast models have Katia going over Mexico, which becomes more of a heavy rain and flood event. Some areas could see up to 30 inches/76.2 centimeters of rain, especially in the mountains.

Here is what I think will happen.
-Irma could affect Florida this weekend.
-Jose could affect Irma ravaged Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Sint Maarten, and St. Martin.

The forecast models came from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance, National Hurricane Center, Weather.US, Weather Prediction Center (WPC), and National Weather Service. Special thanks to all of them.

This could a very bad event for Florida. This is the most frightening hurricane since Katrina was approaching Louisiana and Mississippi, Ike approaching Texas, or Harvey approaching Texas. I am very concerned for Florida. They better be super prepared.

Tres Huracanes

It is going to be a long night for Grand Inagua in the Bahamas. They are getting pelted by strong winds, heavy rain, high waves, and deadly storm surge. Irma has maximum sustained winds of 165 mph 264 km/h 144 knots with gusts as high as 235 mph 376 km/h 204 knots.

The central pressure is 920 millibars, which has risen. This is due to eyewall replacement cycle. Once it is done, Irma would get larger and stronger, which is worse. The update is from National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Irma is quite a large hurricane. The whole Bahamas is going to be ravaged by Hurricane Irma. The Bahamas could see storm surge of up to 20 feet/6.1 meters or greater. Bahamas is mostly flat. So anyone there should seek higher ground now!

The satellite image is quite impressive. I would not want to be caught under Irma right now. The question now is where does Irma go. Here is the latest heat map from various forecast models and GFS ensemble track guidance for Irma. The GFS goes up to 10 days.

The forecast models have Irma going west-northwest. It could make landfall or not on Cuba and than turn north into Florida. The question is where would Irma make landfall. If it makes landfall around Florida Keys or near Miami, it will be really bad. If Irma traverses over Florida, it would ravage Florida with strong winds, heavy rain, high waves, and deadly storm surge. That would be really bad. Another scenario is Irma stays offshore of Florida and makes landfall on Georgia or South Carolina. These are all just scenarios for Florida. The forecasts models are in consensus that Florida could be affected by Irma over the weekend. Anyone who is living in evacuation zones need to evacuate now! This is no game! Unfortunately, many cannot escape as gasoline has ran out at many gas stations. They would have to go another gas station and that is no picnic for sure. Waiting in long lines to get gasoline.

Since Irma has been a Category 5 hurricane since Tuesday, will Irma be still a Category 5 hurricane by this weekend?

Most forecast model keep Irma as a Category 5 by tomorrow. Some weaken it to Category 4 in 24 hours. Most keep Irma as a Category 5 for 36 hours. I think Irma will remain a Category 5 hurricane as it gets closer to Cuba and Florida. Here is why I think this.

The waters ahead of Hurricane Irma are very warm and deep. They have lots of energy for Irma to feed off of. The deep warm water is more favorable for maintaining and intensifying Irma. We have a long way to go when it comes to intensity forecast. Even if Irma weakens to Category 4, the NHC forecasts Irma becomes a much larger hurricane, which makes it more dangerous.

The warm waters can make Irma larger as it undergoes eyewall replacement cycle. A larger Hurricane Irma, even as Category 3 or 4 is very dangerous because it can produce higher storm surge and waves. Case in point, Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Katrina made landfall as Category 3 on Louisiana and Mississippi. It produced storm surge as high as 35 feet/10.7 meters! Hurricane Camille made landfall in the same area as a Category 5 hurricane, but produced storm surge of 25 feet/7.6 meters. Camille was smaller than Katrina. Hurricane Ike is another example of a large hurricane, which made landfall on Texas as a Category 2 hurricane in 2008. Ike produce storm surge as high as 25 feet/7.6 meters, which is highest outside of Mississippi! Hurricane Sandy made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane on New Jersey in 2012. It produced storm surge as high as 15 feet/4.6 meters.

If Irma is the only threat in the Atlantic, there is also Jose and Katia. Let’s start with Jose. Jose is now a major hurricane with 120 mph 192 km/h 105 knots with gusts as high as 150 mph 240 km/h 130 knots.

The forecast model is concerning as that Jose could affect the same areas ravaged by Irma. There is a Hurricane Watch for Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Sint Maarten, and St. Martin. They have been utterly leveled by Irma. Jose would make things worse as they already are. Here is the intensity forecast model for Jose.

Some of the forecast models have Jose becoming a Category 4 hurricane. I think Jose has a chance at being a Category 4 hurricane by tomorrow. It is far away from Irma to not be affected.

Closer to Texas, there is Hurricane Katia in the Southern Gulf of Mexico. Katia is a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph 136 km/h 74 knots winds with gusts as high as 106 mph 170 km/h 92 knots. Here is a forecast model for Katia.

Most of the forecast models have Katia going towards Mexico. It is unlikely that Katia will turn northwards towards flood ravaged Texas. That is a good thing for sure. The next question is how strong will Katia get?

Only one forecast model has Katia as a Category 3 hurricane, which would be the fourth major hurricane in 2017. Most have Katia peaking at Category 2. I think it has a chance of being a Category 3 hurricane. The area where Katia is over is warm, so it could further intensify. It is also a small hurricane, so it can intensify more quickly.

This is an ever changing event. The forecast is subject to change. Regardless, be prepared!

Here is what I think will happen.
-Irma could affect Florida this weekend
-Jose could pose a threat to Irma ravaged Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Sint Maarten, and St. Martin.
-Katia will make landfall on Mexico.

The forecast models came from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance, National Hurricane Center, and Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential. Special thanks to all of them.