The Atlantic is quiet; remembering Hurricane Hugo 20 years later

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 14. syyskuuta 2009 klo 14:30 (GMT)

Share this Blog
1
+

Considering that the third week of September is usually one of the busiest weeks for Atlantic hurricanes, the tropical Atlantic is very quiet today. The remains of Hurricane Fred continue to generate sporadic bursts of heavy thunderstorm activity over the middle Atlantic Ocean. Dry air and prohibitively high wind shear of 40 knots today will continue to prevent regeneration, and none of our reliable models are calling for Fred to regenerate this week.

Satellite imagery and this morning's QuikSCAT pass show a small circulation associated with a tropical wave about 100 miles south of the Cape Verdes Islands, just off the coast of Africa. The wave has only a small amount of heavy thunderstorms, on the west side of the circulation, and QuikSCAT showed only 20 mph winds in the region. None of the models develop this wave, and it is probably too small to develop into a tropical depression. Still, it is worth keeping an eye on.

Tropical storm development is possible this week along a frontal zone stretching from Florida to the waters between the Bahamas and North Carolina. However, wind shear will be relatively high in this region, and anything that develops may end up being extratropical in nature, and would likely move northeastward out to sea.

The GFS model is predicting development of a new tropical wave coming off the coast of Africa late this week.


Figure 1. The remains of Hurricane Fred (left) appears as a swirl of low-level clouds with a clump of heavy thunderstorm activity on the north side. A small tropical wave is near the Cape Verdes Islands, off the coast of Africa. This wave is probably too small to develop.

Twenty years ago on this date
On September 14, 1989, I arose at dawn to prepare for my flight to Barbados to meet Hurricane Hugo. First order of business was to flick on my weather radio and check out the latest advisory for the hurricane. Category 1, 90 mph winds, headed west-northwest at 15 mph. As expected. Next order of business, call in to the hurricane hunter hotline and listen to the mission plan. "We are planning a two-plane deployment to Barbados today, departing at twelve hundred hours. Crew assignments are as follows..." On schedule, and no crew changes. I finished packing my bag and headed to Miami International Airport to fly out to meet Hurricane Hugo.


Figure 2. GOES visible satellite image of Hurricane Hugo taken on September 14, 1989. Image credit: Google Earth rendition of the NOAA HURSAT data base.

As our big P-3 Orion hurricane hunter plane droned over the Caribbean towards Barbados, we didn't have any means to check on what the hurricane was doing. I could only guess how strong a hurricane might greet us when we landed. We landed uneventfully at Barbados' Grantley Adams International Airport shortly after dark, and disembarked from the aircraft. As we walked across the tarmac towards the terminal, we were suddenly confronted by the flashes of cameras as a group of reporters documented the arrival of the "daredevil" Hurricane Hunters. We'd never had a welcoming committee at one of our landings before, and all smiled and laughed at our sudden fame. It seems Hurricane Hugo was big news in the Caribbean. I quickly found out why, when I got to the weather briefing room at the terminal. Hugo had rapidly intensified during the day, and was now a major Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds. With Hugo still over a day from the islands, the hurricane had plenty of time to intensify further. Barbados was well south of the expected path of the hurricane, and was thus a safe base of operations, but the mood on the island was frightened and electric. It had been nine years since the last major hurricane smashed through the Lesser Antilles Islands--Hurricane Allen of 1980. The roll call of the most notorious hurricanes to devastate the islands of the Lesser Antilles--Allen of 1980, David of 1979, Inez of 1966, Cleo of 1964, Flora of 1963, and Donna of 1960--would soon be adding a new name.


Figure 3. The front page story of the September 15, 1989 issue of the Barbados Weekend Nation newspaper featured our arrival the night of September 14, 1989, at Barbados' Grantley Adams International Airport. From left to right: Alan Goldstein (electronic engineer), Dave Turner (pilot), Gerry McKim (pilot, partially hidden), Jim Roles (electronic engineer), Neal Rain (electronic engineer), Jeff Masters (flight meteorologist), Terry Schricker (electronic engineer), Sean White (Navigator), Lowell Genzlinger (pilot), Jack Parrish (flight meteorologist).

The entire Caribbean was in an uproar. Thousands of boats across the Caribbean set sail to seek safe harbor. Tourists besieged besieged airports, seeking to escape the hurricane. Stores throughout the Caribbean islands along Hugo's projected path reported shelves stripped of provisions as residents prepared for the Caribbean's most deadly fury--a fully mature Cape Verdes hurricane. And tomorrow, my plane with fourteen Hurricane Hunters and one reporter would be the first humans to encounter Hugo.

Tomorrow's post
By now, many of you have read my story of my flight into Hurricane Hugo on September 15, 1989. Tomorrow, I'll present the story of the flight as seen through the eyes of reporter Janice Griffith of the Barbados Sun.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1049 - 999

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21Blog Index

1049. jurakantaino
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 15:56 (GMT)
Quoting leftovers:
fred esta muerte
NO esta muerto, si no en recuperacion
Member Since: 31.07.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 730
1046. surfsidesindy
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 13:28 (GMT)
Quoting P451:
6Z - 84HR - NAM

I put a red F over a few frames to depict Fred, or what I believe the model is showing as Fred.



It sounds like X-Fred will find a lot of moisture if he makes it to the Caribbean but also a lot of windshear?
Member Since: 7.09.2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 287
1045. TampaSpin
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 13:26 (GMT)
Quoting P451:


When was it an invest? 97E was wrongly named 97L yesterday and has since been corrected. Are you confusing it with that?



I believe i was wrong...sorry all....NHC just had a yellow circle on it once.....that i know! Don't think it was ever an Invest
Member Since: 2.09.2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
1044. IKE
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 13:26 (GMT)
NEW BLOG!
Member Since: 9.06.2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1043. BayouBorn1965
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 13:24 (GMT)
I think we all know that you never say never until these wannabees are completely gone. Personally, I have not trusted Fred since he was born. However, this interpretation could be my hurricane paranoia since Katrina. :)
Member Since: 21.07.2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 74
1041. TampaSpin
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 13:20 (GMT)
Quoting P451:


When was it an invest? 97E was wrongly named 97L yesterday and has since been corrected. Are you confusing it with that?



I believe it was Invest 95L....i think
Member Since: 2.09.2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
1040. durwood
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 13:20 (GMT)
Looking at Tampaspin's site, things might be getting a little fuzzy in the Carribean. Things here are some what back to normal from Ivan. The fishing pier just reopened last month after five years of rebuilding! Tomorrow is the 5 year anniversary of Ivan making landfall here in south Alabama! WAR EAGLE!
1038. Tazmanian
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 13:14 (GMT)
Quoting WeatherStudent:
G'morning all! TS, if Fred were to re-develop, where would he go, track-wise?


Please read the following commets be for posting and you find what you need

here what TS said

1024. TampaSpin 6:00 AM PDT on September 15, 2009 Hide this comment.
So everyone is clear......X Fred is to the WEST and a New Invest coming that once was an Invest....is to the EAST
Member Since: 21.05.2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114071
1036. Nolehead
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 13:11 (GMT)
1030. Chicklit 1:07 PM GMT on September 15, 2009
Quoting Nolehead:
very intersting what the models have old Fred doing....could get crazy in here in a few days...

care to explain?


just been looking at some models and it has fred coming close, now granted they might be old models....but for alot of people in here that had fred being dead....if he comes back, which looks to be the case...just saying the blog will get very busy...no expert just learning as i go... just my 2 cents worth..
Member Since: 3.06.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1923
1034. Chicklit
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 13:10 (GMT)
nothing is happening now but because it's september 15th, you kinda feel like something could. oh well, have a great day everyone.
Member Since: 11.07.2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11047
1031. Nolehead
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 13:07 (GMT)
also looks like another wave spinnin and getting ready to pop off of Africa in a few days...good spin
Member Since: 3.06.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1923
1030. Chicklit
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 13:07 (GMT)
Quoting Nolehead:
very intersting what the models have old Fred doing....could get crazy in here in a few days...

care to explain?
Member Since: 11.07.2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11047
1029. TheCaneWhisperer
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 13:07 (GMT)
Eastie has an improving mid-level structure as well. Could be a short lived quite period.
1026. GeoffreyWPB
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 13:05 (GMT)
Member Since: 10.09.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10587
1025. Nolehead
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 13:03 (GMT)
very intersting what the models have old Fred doing....could get crazy in here in a few days...
Member Since: 3.06.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1923
1024. TampaSpin
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 13:00 (GMT)
So everyone is clear......X Fred is to the WEST and a New Invest coming that once was an Invest....is to the EAST

Member Since: 2.09.2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
1023. TampaSpin
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:57 (GMT)
Quoting caneluver:


NHC back on the Fredex bandwagon. They actually used the word re-develope


Been saying that the whole time....X Fred has had a very strong LL circulation with good vorticity the entire time.
Member Since: 2.09.2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
1022. Autistic2
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:57 (GMT)
Quoting caneluver:


NHC back on the Fredex bandwagon. They actually used the word re-develope


tHANKS!

ANOTHER cup for me now
Member Since: 29.08.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 429
1020. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:51 (GMT)
Taz yes officially with that dvorak intensity

JMA looks like they won't give it that title though.. 105 knots is Intense Typhoon stage for Category 5
Member Since: 24.05.2006 Posts: 48 Comments: 43701
1019. Autistic2
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:51 (GMT)
Overslept! coffee!

Is it September? Wheres the weather? Will EX-Fred make a come back? Is he thiNking about FL?
Member Since: 29.08.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 429
1018. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:49 (GMT)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #27
TYPHOON CHOI-WAN (T0914)
21:00 PM JST September 15 2009
=========================================

SUBJECT: Category Four Typhoon near Marianas

At 12:00 PM UTC, Typhoon Choi-wan (915 hPa) located at 17.9N 145.0E has 10 minute sustained winds of 100 knots with gusts of 140 knots. The typhoon is reported as moving west-northwest at 7 knots

RSMC Dvorak Intensity: T7.0

Storm-Force Winds
=================
140 NM from the center

Gale-Force Winds
================
350 NM from the center in east quadrant
270 NM from the center in west quadrant

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
24 HRS: 19.7N 141.9E - 100 knots (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon)
48 HRS: 21.9N 139.5E - 100 knots (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon)
72 HRS: 24.9N 139.0E - 100 knots (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon)
Member Since: 24.05.2006 Posts: 48 Comments: 43701
1017. Tazmanian
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:49 (GMT)
Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
680
TCNA21 RJTD 151200 CCA
CCAA 15120 47644 CHOI-WAN(0914) 18179 11450 11344 270// 92908=
KOPPU(0915) 19234 11095 13/04 225// 93113=

STY Choi-wan (0914) [System #18]
17.9S 145.0E
Dvorak Intensity: T7.0

well it made to the last time I remember the JMA giving 7.0 for a cyclone (which was Jangmi)



so its now a cat 5???
Member Since: 21.05.2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114071
1016. TheCaneWhisperer
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:44 (GMT)
Quoting P451:
choi wan





modis - 9 hours ago:





Glad I am not down wind of this one, sheesh.
1015. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:44 (GMT)
680
TCNA21 RJTD 151200 CCA
CCAA 15120 47644 CHOI-WAN(0914) 18179 11450 11344 270// 92908=
KOPPU(0915) 19234 11095 13/04 225// 93113=

STY Choi-wan (0914) [System #18]
17.9S 145.0E
Dvorak Intensity: T7.0

well it made to the last time I remember the JMA giving 7.0 for a cyclone (which was Jangmi)
Member Since: 24.05.2006 Posts: 48 Comments: 43701
1014. IKE
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:44 (GMT)
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JUAN PR
315 AM AST TUE SEP 15 2009

.DISCUSSION...SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOW CENTER OF U/L LOW JUST SOUTH
OF ST CROIX...WITH 00Z SOUNDING CONFIRMING 60KT CYCLONIC FLOW IN
THE 200-300MB LAYER. SOME VORT ADVECTION WITH THIS FEATURE IS
PRODUCING ISO TS ACTIVITY OVER EASTERN HALF OF THE FA OVERNIGHT.
MAIN AREA OF PW ASSOCIATED WITH U/L IS MOVING OVER THE WINDWARDS
EARLY THIS MORNING...AND WILL LIKELY MOVE OVER AREA WED-THU. FOR
THIS AFTERNOON STILL EXPECTING NUMEROUS TS ACTIVITY OVER NW
PR...AS U/L MOVES SW BRINING PR INTO A MORE FAVORABLE ENVIRONMENT
FOR UPPER LEVEL SUPPORT. BULK OF TS ACTIVITY EXPECTED WED-THU AS
LOW LEVEL REFLECTION HELPS PULL ITCZ MOISTURE NORTHWARD OVER THE
LEEWARDS...USVI AND FINALLY PUERTO RICO.

BY FRIDAY U/L MOVES OVER WESTERN HISPANIOLA AND BEGINS TO
FILL...YET DEEP LAYER MOISTURE WILL STILL ABOUND AND LEAD TO
NUMEROUS TS ACTIVITY OVER WESTERN PR. MOVING INTO THE WEEKEND
ANOTHER U/L LOW DEEPENS JUST NE OF THE LEEWARDS AND SETS THE STAGE
FOR A VERY SIMILAR EVOLUTION INTO THE BEGINNING OF NEXT WEEK WITH
DEEPENING U/L MOVING OVER FORECAST AREA AND DRAWING DEEP MOISTURE
OVERHEAD.
Member Since: 9.06.2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1012. TheCaneWhisperer
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:38 (GMT)
Fred's a record breaker and a persistent LB. He'll arise again if given the opportunity, IMO.

Reading the NHC TWO it seems he may just get it.
1011. AussieStorm
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:34 (GMT)
I am getting a bad feeling with old Freddy boy, he's hanging around like a bad smell.
Member Since: 30.09.2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15750
1010. TampaSpin
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:34 (GMT)
For those that had Fred dead....Freddy Krugger came back also.......LOL

Member Since: 2.09.2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
1009. PensacolaDoug
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:32 (GMT)
That is a mighty fine presentation you put together 456. Very informative.
Member Since: 25.07.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 519
1008. AussieStorm
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:31 (GMT)
Quoting sunshineandshowers:
Choi Wan size comparison with USA. huge storm, and the furthest system bands go out even further than what's shown.


I guess WPAC storms get so large due to the amount of energy/moisture available and high water temps they can feed off. what was the minimun pressure reading for Jimena, and how does Choi Wan compare in size?
Member Since: 30.09.2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15750
1007. Thundercloud01221991
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:31 (GMT)
What is the link to the site that has the ADT numbers on it
Member Since: 1.08.2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
1006. TampaSpin
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:30 (GMT)

Here are today AOI with my Tropical Update and Analysis of each AOI!

Member Since: 2.09.2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
1005. superpete
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:25 (GMT)
Quoting Weather456:
Good Morning again

I added a few things.

Structure of a tropical cyclone: Microwave Imagery of Choi-Wan

Tropical Update
456..thanks for the informative post on storm structure and current tropical update.
Member Since: 10.10.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 615
1004. PensacolaDoug
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:22 (GMT)
How does Choi Wan stack up next to Tip?
Cause that is one seriously badass storm!
Member Since: 25.07.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 519
1003. Cotillion
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:10 (GMT)
Quoting funeeeg:
Sorry, Post 990 -Tropical Cyclone Monica 23P in 2006 Link


Thanks, was though thinking more SAB/TAFB - ADT is too volatile at times to get a true reading, though the other 2 may have assigned the same estimation.
Member Since: 23.08.2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
1002. IKE
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:08 (GMT)
Quoting cajunmoma:


Thanks Ike. So what happened to the blog? It's very quiet.


Early in the morning.
Isn't much going on in the ATL.
It will pick up in the next couple of hours.
Member Since: 9.06.2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1001. stormpetrol
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:07 (GMT)

Fred still has a good circulation, plus the winds have incresed to the N to about 30-35 mph.
Member Since: 29.04.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7506
1000. nrtiwlnvragn
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:09 (GMT)
Quoting cajunmoma:
Boy, things are quiet here. So I will ask again. If the exFred does get its act together like the CMC is suggesting, will it still be Fred, or will they rename it???


Within a basin, if the remnant of a tropical cyclone redevelops into a tropical cyclone, it is assigned its original number or name.

National Hurricane Operations Plan
Member Since: 23.09.2005 Posts: 13 Comments: 10468
999. cajunmoma
15. syyskuuta 2009 klo 12:06 (GMT)
Quoting IKE:


It'll still be Fred.


Thanks Ike. So what happened to the blog? It's very quiet.

Viewing: 1049 - 999

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Clear
41 °F
Selkeää