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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Hurricane Ida poised for landfall

As of 7 am EST, Ida is now a Category 1 hurricane with 75 MPH sustained winds. The third hurricane of this year's tropical season. The eye of this hurricane appears to be positioned just off the coast of Nicaragua and continues to move ashore.

Hurricane Ida near the Nicragua coast (Examiner)

The big question then becomes how long does Ida remain over land and how much weakening does occur. Most models show Ida turning north and re-emerging in the northwest Caribbean Sea by Friday night and Saturday morning. One other alternative put forth by the NOGAPS is that the storm stays inland over Central America and the Yucatan. The ECMWF model is not properly resolving Ida yet and we continue to see the models struggling some with the system in the southern Gulf and how it interacts with Ida.

The synoptic situation is this, the system in the southern Gulf will likely induce enough of a weakness to allow a pole ward component to the motion of Ida and thus Ida will likely not get stuck over Central America but will re-emerge in the northwest Caribbean as probably a tropical depression or a weak tropical storm after it’s jaunt over land. Once back over water, I see no reason why Ida would not re-strengthen into a hurricane and although I think the GFDL scenario of a category 4 hurricane is a overdone, it isn’t impossible, although the more likely scenario is a category 1 or 2 storm. A building upper ridge to the west and northwest of Ida over Florida will begin to steer Ida to the northwest and into the Gulf. Early next week the global models are showing a trough moving through the Midwest which will begin to induce a more northerly motion and IF the trough captures Ida a northeast or east motion taking the storm towards central and eastern Gulf Coast or the west coast of Florida. Another scenario is that the trough doesn’t completely capture Ida leaving it in the gulf to drift south or stall but higher shear and dry air in the Gulf could kill Ida in the Gulf. Those are our 2 scenarios as of now. If the first scenario happens Ida would threaten the central or eastern Gulf regions probably by Wednesday or so of next week. Water temperatures cool in the gulf to the low 80s and in the upper 70s in the northern Gulf. So Ida would likely not strengthen much once in the Gulf and could begin to weaken, thus the threat of a land-falling major hurricane is low, however this of course could still be a significant system and folks in the Gulf region need to keep an eye on Ida.
Courtesy of Spaghetti Models.com


The models seem to be converging more so that they were yesterday but there is still quite a bit a variation between each. The general pettern appears to be re-emergence from Honduras into the Caribbean where it could potentially re-strengthen to a hurricane.

Intensity models appear that once the storm re-enters waters that the storm will grow and remain at tropical storm or Cat 1 hurricane strength, however at least one model shows this storm becoming a major hurricane before entering the Gulf of Mexico.

Courtesy of Weather Underground:


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