Karl makes landfall near Veracruz; Igor slightly weaker

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 17. syyskuuta 2010 klo 20:29 (GMT)

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Hurricane Karl made landfall on the Mexican coast ten miles north of Veracruz at 1pm EDT today as a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds. Veracruz was on the weak (left) side of Karl's eyewall, and did not receive hurricane force winds, except perhaps at the extreme northern edge of the city. Winds at the Veracruz Airport, located on the west side of the city, peaked at sustained speeds of 46 mph, gusting to 58 mph, at 11:54am local time. Radar out of Alvarado shows that Karl has kept its eyewall intact well inland, even as the storm moves into the high mountains east of Mexico City. Karl was the first major hurricane on record in the Bay of Campeche--the region of the Gulf of Mexico bounded by the Yucatan Peninsula on the east. There were two other major hurricanes that grazed the northern edge of the Bay of Campeche, Hurricane Hilda of 1955 and Hurricane Charley of 1951, but Karl is by far the farthest south a major hurricane has been in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane records go back to 1851, but Karl is a small storm and could have gotten missed as being a major hurricane before the age of aircraft reconnaissance (1945).


Figure 1. Tracks of all major hurricanes since 1851 near Mexico's Bay of Campeche. Karl is most southerly storm on record in the Gulf of Mexico. Image credit: NOAA Coastal Services Center.

With Karl's ascension to major hurricane status, we are now ahead of the pace of the terrible hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005 for number of major hurricanes so early in the year. In 2005, the fifth major hurricane (Rita) did not occur until September 21, and in 2004, the fifth major hurricane (Karl) arrived on September 19. Wunderblogger Cotillion has put together a nice page showing all the seasons with five or more major hurricanes. The last time we had five major hurricanes earlier in the season was in 1961, when the fifth major hurricane (Esther) arrived on September 13. This morning we continue to have three simultaneous hurricanes, Hurricanes Igor, Julia, and Karl. This is a rare phenomena, having occurred only eight previous years since 1851. The last time we had three simultaneous hurricanes in the Atlantic was in 1998. That year also had four simultaneous hurricanes--Georges, Ivan, Jeanne and Karl--for a brief time on September 25. There has been just one other case of four simultaneous Atlantic hurricanes, on August 22, 1893. The year 2005 came within six hours of having three hurricanes at the same time, but the official data base constructed after the season was over indicates that the three hurricanes did not exist simultaneously.

Also remarkable this year is that are seeing major hurricanes in rare or unprecedented locations. Julia was the strongest hurricane on record so far east, Karl was the strongest hurricane so far south in the Gulf of Mexico, and Earl was the 4th strongest Atlantic hurricane so far north. This unusual major hurricane activity is likely due, in part, to the record Atlantic sea surface temperatures this year.


Figure 2. Hurricane Karl as seen by the MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite at 12:20 pm CDT on Thursday, September 16, 2010. Image credit: NASA.


Figure 3. Radar image of Karl at landfall in Mexico. Image credit: Mexican Weather Service.

Impact of Karl on Mexico
Given that the Bay of Campeche coast has never experienced a hurricane as strong as Karl, its impact is likely to cause major damage to a 50-mile wide coastal area beginning ten miles north of Veracruz. Fortunately, the coast is not heavily populated there, and is not particularly low-lying, so the 12 - 15 foot storm surge will not be the major concern from Karl. The main concern will be flooding from Karl's torrential rains. The region has been hit by three Category 2 hurricanes over the past 55 years, and two of these storms caused flooding that killed hundreds. The strongest hurricanes in history to affect the region were Item in 1950, with 110 mph winds, Janet in 1955, with 100 mph winds, and Diana of 1990, with 100 mph winds. Flooding from Janet killed over 800 people in Mexico. and flooding from Diana killed at least 139 people. Karl's high winds are also a major concern, and these winds are likely to extensive damage.

Igor
The Hurricane Hunters just left Hurricane Igor, and found that the hurricane has continued to slowly weaken. On their last pass through the eye of Igor at 1:49 pm EDT, an Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft found a central pressure of 947 mb. The eyewall was missing a chunk on its southwest side. Top winds at the surface as seen by their SFMR instrument were barely Category 1 strength, 76 mph, though the aircraft did see 117 mph winds at 10,000 feet, which suggests the surface winds were probably of Category 2 strength, 105 mph.


Figure 4. Hurricane Igor as seen by the MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite at 10:50 am EDT on Thursday, September 16, 2010. Image credit: NASA.

Igor's impact on Bermuda
Hurricane warnings are now flying for Bermuda, and tropical storm force winds will arrive at the island late Saturday night. Igor is a huge storm, and tropical storm force winds extend out 290 miles to the north of its center. As the hurricane moves north, it will expand in size, as it takes advantage of the extra spin available at higher latitudes due to Earth's rotation. By Saturday night, Igor's tropical storm force winds are expected to extend outwards 320 miles from the center. Igor will be moving at about 11 - 13 mph during the final 24 hours of its approach to Bermuda, so the island can expect a period of 39+ mph tropical storm force winds to begin near midnight Saturday night--a full 24 hours before the core of Igor arrives. Igor will speed up to about 15 mph as it passes the island near midnight Sunday night, and Bermuda's battering by tropical storm force winds will not be as long as Igor moves away, perhaps 10 hours long. Hurricane force winds will probably extend out about 70 miles from the center when the core of Igor reaches Bermuda, and the island can expect to be pounded by hurricane force winds for up to 6 - 8 hours. In all, Bermuda is likely to suffer a remarkably long 36-hour period of tropical storm force winds, with the potential for many hours of hurricane force winds. Long duration poundings like this are very stressful for buildings, and there is the potential for significant damage on Bermuda. However, buildings in Bermuda are some of the best-constructed in the world, and if Igor weakens to Category 2 strength, as appears likely, damage on the island may be just a few million dollars. According to AIR Worldwide, "Homes in Bermuda are typically one or two stories and constructed of 'Bermuda Stone,' a locally quarried limestone, or of concrete blocks. Roofs are commonly made of limestone slate tiles cemented together. Commercial buildings, typically of reinforced concrete construction, rarely exceed six stories. In both residential and commercial buildings, window openings are generally small and window shutters are common. These features make Bermuda's building stock quite resistant to winds, and homes are designed to withstand sustained winds of 110 mph and gusts of up to 150 mph."

Bermuda's hurricane history
Igor is similar in strength and projected track to Hurricane Fabian of 2003. Fabian hit Bermuda as a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds. It was the most damaging hurricane ever to hit the island, with $355 million in damage. Fabian's storm surge killed four people crossing a causeway on the island. These were the first hurricane deaths on Bermuda since 1926. The most powerful hurricane on record to strike Bermuda was the Category 4 Havana-Bermuda Hurricane, which hit on October 22, 1926, with 135 mph winds. The hurricane sank two British warships, claiming 88 lives, but no one was killed on the island. The deadliest hurricane to affect the island occurred on September 12, 1839, when a Category 3 hurricane with 125 mph winds and an 11-foot storm surge hit, tearing off the roofs of hundreds of buildings and wrecking several ships. An estimated 100 people were killed (source: Encyclopedia of Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Cyclones, by David Longshore.)

Elsewhere in the tropics
A tropical wave off the coast of Africa, a few hundred miles south of the Cape Verdes Islands, is disorganized, but has the potential for some slow development over the next few days. The NOGAPS model develops this wave into a tropical depression 4 - 5 days from now. NHC is giving the wave a 10% of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday.

I'll have a new post on Saturday.

Jeff Masters

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2248. sebastianflorida
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 17:45 (GMT)
BULLETIN:

Either Igor or Julia appears to be on their way to doing the loop dance.
Member Since: 5.08.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 670
2247. Vince2005
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:57 (GMT)
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Link please.
Member Since: 18.08.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 42
2246. srada
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:43 (GMT)


If im correct, a positive NAO means less TC development, so for a brief period at the end of the month, a-ok but starting in Oct, its round two..
Member Since: 17.08.2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 772
2245. mtyweatherfan90
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:38 (GMT)
Quoting centex:




Wow, that's a respectable convergence and divergence on the GOM blob.
Member Since: 9.07.2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 334
2244. srada
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:38 (GMT)
Igor dynamic model..whats up with the different view of the chart Is it because the conus is not in the equation?

Member Since: 17.08.2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 772
2243. srada
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:36 (GMT)
Invest 94 Statistical Models..there isnt any Dynamic Models yet on the system?

Member Since: 17.08.2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 772
2242. mtyweatherfan90
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:36 (GMT)
Interesting the GOM...

Member Since: 9.07.2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 334
2241. 1900hurricane
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:34 (GMT)
NEW BLOG!!!
Member Since: 2.08.2006 Posts: 45 Comments: 11556
2240. leo305
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:34 (GMT)
Igor may be the largest circulation I've ever seen in the atlantic..

the circulation extends all the way to south america/ITCZ in the central atlantic and the eastern carribean, and the central carribean even...

it's very large.. had the conditions been perfect this thing could have grown into a true tip like hurricane.
Member Since: 17.04.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
2239. pcola57
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:33 (GMT)
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I wonder what is going on over the western quadrant...looks like its met a brick wall.

I realize that cyclogenisis is an incomplete science...and really thats why i posed the question about the effect Julia may have on Igor to you last night..possibly a watch and learn event for me..
Member Since: 13.08.2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6650
2238. JRRP
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:33 (GMT)
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
That's absolutely terrible. Great way to 'celebrate' your 12,000th post.

lol
Member Since: 16.08.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5081
2237. MiamiHurricanes09
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:33 (GMT)
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Damn lol

Forgot about that.

Was hoping to make it a better one than that...oh well.
LOL.

NEW BLOG people.
Member Since: 2.09.2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
2236. help4u
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:33 (GMT)
Stormchaser 2006 looks like Sept 26 has highest mjo.
Member Since: 18.09.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1256
2234. MiamiHurricanes09
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:32 (GMT)
Awesome, I uploaded the "eye of Hurricane Igor" to WU and it is already under "very important photos".

Link
Member Since: 2.09.2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
2232. Stormchaser2007
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:31 (GMT)
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
That's absolutely terrible. Great way to 'celebrate' your 12,000th post.


Damn lol

Forgot about that.

Was hoping to make it a better one than that...oh well.
Member Since: 9.06.2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15718
2231. StormJunkie
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:30 (GMT)
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
funny how some can talk whatever they want while others are told what thay cannot talk about seems to me you got to much to say about what goes on
on someone elses site go to your own site to enforce your rules this is not your site or your business o i forgot your here cause there is no one there


I'm here cause I enjoy posting here. I've never "threatened" to or "left" this community. I don't expect anyone or everyone to like me. That said, I have a right to be here just as much as anyone else. That is the nature of an open forum.

As for my site, plenty of people visit it. I don't have a blog or forum because there is no point in it. Many sites, including this one, have already done a great job with providing weather hobbyists a place to communicate.
Member Since: 17.08.2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
2229. bird72
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:29 (GMT)
Quoting StormJunkie:
2198. This is a comments section. Everything from weather, to social aspects of the blog, to football, to photography, to comedy, to gardening, to food, and most any subject in between is discussed here. Mostly weather, but the other stuff is what helps build the bonds with in the community. It has been this way for years, and it's a great system imvho.


And you continue with the shiat, brah, don't you remember last night message from the admi.?
or you are just trolling, man, it's time to mature and move on, you are a good guy with good knowledge about this, give us your best knowledge and forget the other shiat.
Member Since: 5.08.2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 389
2228. pcola57
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:29 (GMT)
Quoting IKE:
Igor looks weaker on IR...



That looks like good news for Bermuda..Have to wait and see..Gom "Blob" should have been called an invest in the 8am advisory..IMO
Conditions are ripe and the ramp-up that Karl did was a warning shot for all on the gulf coast..but not for the Mexico...prayers go out to them..
Member Since: 13.08.2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6650
2227. MiamiHurricanes09
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:28 (GMT)
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
That's absolutely terrible. Great way to 'celebrate' your 12,000th post.
Member Since: 2.09.2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
2226. alcomat
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:28 (GMT)
Quoting tropicfreak:


And turn out to sea, just like nearly every other storm did this season. That or do the usual crossing the yucatan, and hitting mexico.
I agree 100%,mexico/s.texas,or fish storms is the tracks for this season. just look at the next storm in the carribean, the models are developing,can you guess where they have it going?
Member Since: 8.08.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 96
2225. doorman79
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:26 (GMT)
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


All the pretty colors! j/k

Someone is gonna get hammered in the next couple of weeks :(

Morning Everyone.
Member Since: 11.08.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 895
2224. centex
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:26 (GMT)

Member Since: 10.08.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3217
2223. JRnOldsmar
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:26 (GMT)
Possible preview of impact to Bermuda. Buoy appears approx 100mls from center, in RtFront quad.

It would be good to hope this is worse case scenario, but I'm afraid its not.




Link
Member Since: 4.08.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 54
2222. JRRP
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:26 (GMT)
94L nice rotation
Link
Member Since: 16.08.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5081
2221. StormJunkie
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:26 (GMT)
Quoting IKE:
Igor looks weaker on IR...



That NW side is really hurting. But I'm not sure "weaker" is the right term. Even if it lost all of it's convection right now, I would think it would take that monster days to spin down? It would also take days for the surge to be brought down. Although Bermuda is about as well positioned to handle the surge as anyone. Island in the middle of nothing, steep shelf and all.
Member Since: 17.08.2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
2218. MiamiHurricanes09
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:25 (GMT)
Quoting IKE:
Igor looks weaker on IR...

I wonder what is going on over the western quadrant...looks like its met a brick wall.
Member Since: 2.09.2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
2217. AllBoardedUp
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:25 (GMT)
What is the forward speed of Igor? Seems like this storm has been around for 2 months now!
Member Since: 25.07.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 626
2216. Stormchaser2007
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:24 (GMT)
Member Since: 9.06.2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15718
2215. IKE
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:23 (GMT)
Igor looks weaker on IR...

Member Since: 9.06.2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
2213. Bordonaro
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:22 (GMT)
Quoting mtyweatherfan90:


HOLY, I thought that was a tropical system of previous seasons. I think it looks mighty impressive. Why this isn't an invest?????

They claim the main vorticity or area of Low pressure is over land. Looks like this may develop over the next 12 hrs, just keep a close watch.

Understanding all focus is on Igor and Bermuda, but I got the feeling we may have a surprise in the GOM!!!
Member Since: 25.08.2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
2211. MiamiHurricanes09
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:20 (GMT)
At 120 hours, the system constantly being developed by the GFS begins its genesis in the central Caribbean.

Member Since: 2.09.2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
2210. Thundercloud01221991
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:20 (GMT)
what is going on in the western gulf ... that is a big convection blob sitting there...
Member Since: 1.08.2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
2209. mtyweatherfan90
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:20 (GMT)
Quoting Bordonaro:


HOLY, I thought that was a tropical system of previous seasons. I think it looks mighty impressive. Why this isn't an invest?????
Member Since: 9.07.2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 334
2208. Bordonaro
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:19 (GMT)
Quoting txjac:
Post 2196, what does that box mean that pops up by Galveston? Thanks

At this point I would watch this very closely, I believe the area of convection is moving slowly NE ward. The NHC has mentioned nothing about this on the TWO, at 8AM EDT today!!
Member Since: 25.08.2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
2207. mtyweatherfan90
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:18 (GMT)
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 8.1.1
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 18 SEP 2010 Time : 151500 UTC
Lat : 26:04:53 N Lon : 63:34:35 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
5.7 / 954.6mb/107.2kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
5.4 5.7 5.7

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : -0.6mb

Center Temp : -59.7C Cloud Region Temp : -66.6C

Scene Type : EMBEDDED CENTER CLOUD REGION

Positioning Method : SPIRAL ANALYSIS

Ocean Basin : ATLANTIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : ON
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

****************************************************

Member Since: 9.07.2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 334
2206. MiamiHurricanes09
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:18 (GMT)
Recon finds a weaker Igor.

000
URNT12 KNHC 181547
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL112010
A. 18/15:20:40Z
B. 26 deg 11 min N
063 deg 45 min W
C. 700 mb 2624 m
D. 63 kt
E. 220 deg 34 nm
F. 309 deg 75 kt
G. 220 deg 40 nm
H. 945 mb
I. 12 C / 3046 m
J. 19 C / 3037 m
K. 14 C / NA
L. OPEN WSW
M. C80
N. 12345 / 7
O. 0.02 / 1 nm
P. AF309 0411A IGOR OB 05
MAX OUTBOUND FL WIND 113 KT NE QUAD 15:35:50Z
EYEWALL RAGGED
REMNANT WALL IN NE QUAD
;
Member Since: 2.09.2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
2205. IKE
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:18 (GMT)
114 hour 12Z GFS...

Member Since: 9.06.2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
2202. Bordonaro
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:17 (GMT)
Member Since: 25.08.2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
2200. Skyepony (Mod)
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:16 (GMT)
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Wonder if they are confusing wave height or swell with surge.


I was thinking the same thing. Official surge forecast has nothing for Hispaniola or anywhere near there, wave height are expected to be up.

How's it looking on the north side of PR & DR..anyone been to the beach there today? They should be having a greater impact than Haiti & sooner.
Member Since: 10.08.2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36085
2199. txjac
18. syyskuuta 2010 klo 16:15 (GMT)
Post 2196, what does that box mean that pops up by Galveston? Thanks
Member Since: 24.04.2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 2351

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About JeffMasters

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

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