A rare triple threat: three simultaneous Atlantic hurricanes

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 08:47 PM GMT del 16 Settembre 2010

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For the first time in twelve years, we have a rare triple threat in the Atlantic--three simultaneous hurricanes. Hurricane Karl joined Hurricanes Igor and Julia in the steadily expanding Hurricanes of 2010 club this morning, becoming the sixth hurricane of the season. 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. According to Phil Klotzbach at Colorado State, three simultaneous Atlantic hurricanes is a rare phenomena, having occurred only eight other times since 1851. The other years were 1893, 1926, 1950, 1961, 1967, 1980, 1995, and 1998.


Figure 1. Triple trouble: From left to right, Hurricanes Karl, Igor, and Julia roil the Atlantic. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.

Karl
Hurricane Karl continues to intensify. The latest Hurricane Hunter flight, flying at 12,000 feet, found flight level winds of 95 mph. This suggests surface winds of 85 mph, though the top surface winds seen by their SFMR instrument were about 80 mph. Mexican radar out of Alvarado shows the outer spirals bands of Karl are dumping heavy rains on the Mexican coast along the Bay of Campeche.


Figure 2. Afternoon radar image from the Alvarado, Mexico radar. The eye of Karl is visible in the upper right, and rain bands are affecting the coast to the east of the radar site. Image credit: Mexican Weather Service..

Forecast for Karl
Conditions for intensification are ideal in the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche, with wind shear expected to be low, 5 - 10 knots, SSTs warm, 29°C - 30°C, and the atmosphere very moist. These conditions, combined with the topography of the surrounding coast which tends to enhance counter-clockwise flow, should allow Karl to intensify into Category 2 hurricane before making landfall between Tampico and Vercruz, Mexico Friday afternoon. Karl is a small storm, and is unlikely to bring any rain or wind to Texas.

Igor
The Air Force Hurricane Hunters made their first foray into Hurricane Igor this afternoon, and found a high-end Category 3 storm, with a central pressure of 940 mb and top winds at 10,000 feet of 150 mph. The southwest portion of the eyewall was open, so Igor has the potential to intensify once again if it can close off the gap. There are no major changes to the track or intensify forecast for Igor in the latest set of model runs. Igor is expected to remain a major hurricane for the next two days, and is headed northwest at 7 mph. This motion will carry the core of the hurricane close to NOAA buoy 41044 between 9 - 11 pm EDT tonight. Top winds at the buoy so far today have been 65 mph, gusting to 81 mph, with a significant wave height of 38 feet (the significant wave height is the average of the highest 1/3 of the waves.)

Elsewhere in the tropics
The ECMWF model develops a new tropical depression a few hundred miles off the coast of Africa 2 - 4 days from now. The GFS is suggesting the eastern Caribbean could see a tropical depression 6 - 7 days from now.

I'll have an update Friday morning.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting CaptnDan142:


Unless the term "Major" is to become meaningless, this will have to change significantly:

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 10 MILES...


Cat 3 strength is considered major, regardless of size.
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Video of the microburst moving across Brooklyn.

Link
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Dropsponde dropped in the maximum wind band recorded 100mph winds.
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L. Eye Character: Open in the northwest
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Quoting CaptnDan142:


Unless the term "Major" is to become meaningless, this will have to change significantly:

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 10 MILES...

Usually these types of Hurricanes can be very intense and destructive in the area in which they hit directly, Hurricane Charley of 2004 comes to mind, I think its bigger than what would be descibed asa Vortcane though
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451. amd
Just updated dropsonde into Northern Eyewall of Karl.

Product: Air Force Temp Drop (Dropsonde) Message (UZNT13 KNHC)
Transmitted: 16th day of the month at 23:53Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 302)
Storm Number: 13
Storm Name: Karl (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 4
Observation Number: 06

Part A...

Date: Near the closest hour of 0Z on the 17th day of the month
Highest Mandatory Level For Which Wind Was Reported: 850mb
Coordinates: 19.9N 93.9W
Location: 147 miles (237 km) to the NNW (335°) from Villahermosa, Tabasco, México.
Marsden Square: 046 (About)

Level Geo. Height Air Temp. Dew Point Wind Direction Wind Speed
977mb (28.85 inHg) Sea Level (Surface) 25.6°C (78.1°F) 25.6°C (78.1°F) 95° (from the E) 87 knots (100 mph)
1000mb -203m (-666 ft) Other data not available.
925mb 486m (1,594 ft) 23.8°C (74.8°F) 23.6°C (74.5°F) 110° (from the ESE) 80 knots (92 mph)
850mb 1,227m (4,026 ft) 19.8°C (67.6°F) 15.8°C (60.4°F) 115° (from the ESE) 71 knots (82 mph)

Information About Radiosonde:
- Launch Time: 23:35Z
- About Sonde: A descending radiosonde tracked automatically by satellite navigation with no solar or infrared correction.

Remarks Section...

Dropsonde Location: Dropped in maximum wind band.

Splash Location: 19.89N 93.95W
Splash Time: 23:37Z
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Quoting pilotguy1:


It'll be the little engine that could though, nothing like Igor. Way much smaller, agreed?
lol. No, But it has the potential to cause a significant loss of life if people do not heed the watches and warnings.
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Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 16th day of the month at 23:55Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 302)
Storm Number & Year: 13L in 2010
Storm Name: Karl (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 4
Observation Number: 05
A. Time of Center Fix: 16th day of the month at 23:39:30Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 19°43'N 94°00'W (19.7167N 94.W)
B. Center Fix Location: 139 miles (224 km) to the NNW (330°) from Villahermosa, Tabasco, México.
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 1,175m (3,855ft) at 850mb
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 66kts (~ 76.0mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 11 nautical miles (13 statute miles) to the NNE (28°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 119° at 88kts (From the ESE at ~ 101.3mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 12 nautical miles (14 statute miles) to the NNE (28°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 971mb (28.67 inHg)
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 18°C (64°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,521m (4,990ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 22°C (72°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,524m (5,000ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 14°C (57°F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Open in the northwest
M. Eye Shape & Diameter: Circular with a diameter of 10 nautical miles (12 statute miles)
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Radar, Wind, Pressure and Temperature
N. Fix Level: 850mb
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 1 nautical mile
Remarks Section:
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 88kts (~ 101.3mph) in the northeast quadrant at 23:35:40Z
Member Since: Luglio 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24476
Latest vortex message on Karl:

000
URNT12 KNHC 162355
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL132010
A. 16/23:39:30Z
B. 19 deg 43 min N
094 deg 00 min W
C. 850 mb 1175 m
D. 66 kt
E. 028 deg 11 nm
F. 119 deg 88 kt
G. 028 deg 12 nm
H. 971 mb
I. 18 C / 1521 m
J. 22 C / 1524 m
K. 14 C / NA
L. OPEN NW
M. C10
N. 12345 / 8
O. 0.02 / 1 nm
P. AF302 0413A KARL OB 05
MAX FL WIND 88 KT NE QUAD 23:35:40Z
;
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Quoting stormpetrol:
I think Karl has a 50/50 chance of becoming a major just before or at land fall


Unless the term "Major" is to become meaningless, this will have to change significantly:

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 10 MILES...
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Quoting extreme236:


Favors continued high activity.
Yes it does. This time the activity may be closer to home.
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Aircraft reported 88kt NE Quad flight level winds. That would support increasing intensity from 70kt to 80kt.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Last shot before dark:




Looks like the eye is about to become visible.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:

And with all this action we are having, here comes the MJO and its upward motion. The MJO could slam a lot more icing on the T.C.F.A cake. ...Swell..
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Last shot before dark:


HT becoming more pronounced. Bad for those in it's path.
Member Since: Luglio 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
Quoting Stormchaser2007:



Favors continued high activity.
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Julia closing
in on her big brother.
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Quoting hydrus:
thank goodness it does not look like Elvis 8>)..... Or the Virgin Mary.
There might a crucifix in the north west quadrant.
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Karl now at 971 mb, that's a 12 mb drop since 2 pm.

Unlike Ike and Alex, Karl isn't massive so the winds will probably catch up to the low pressures.
Member Since: Luglio 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24476
Quoting stormpetrol:
I think Karl has a 50/50 chance of becoming a major just before or at land fall


They all have a 50/50 chance to become a major. They either do or they don't.
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Last shot before dark:


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Quoting hydrus:
80% .jmo
You know I think your % is more accurate than mine, but I didn't want to go out on limb. BTW the profile in the Sat of Igor you posted resembles Napoleon abit.
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Quoting btwntx08:
hot towers
Good evening btwntx08..your tropical storm has turned into a little monster. Even after its track across the Yucatan
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Impressive:


Nice shot. Hot towers evident to the SE of the COC. Thanks.
Member Since: Luglio 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
...HURRICANE KARL AMING AT THE COAST OF MEXICO...

SUMMARY OF 700 PM CDT...0000 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...19.7N 94.1W
ABOUT 140 MI...225 KM ENE OF VERACRUZ MEXICO
ABOUT 235 MI...375 KM ESE OF TUXPAN MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...80 MPH...130 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 270 DEGREES AT 12 MPH...19 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...971 MB...28.67 INCHES
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Quoting stormpetrol:
I think Karl has a 50/50 chance of becoming a major just before or at land fall
80% .jmo
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I think Karl has a 50/50 chance of becoming a major just before or at land fall
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Quoting BaltOCane:
According to the Hurricane Hunters website, Igor is a Cat 4 again.

Link


Uhm, didn't someone just say it was a good thing Igor wasn't more intense because the steering layer would change to an unfavorable one? This can't be good news.
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
I was watching a little pink triangle on the radar at that time so something was showing up to the weather radar computers.
It was a tornado then..Pink triangle..
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Is the trough and shear situation going to change? In other words, is there going to be any hurricanes hitting the U.S. this year? We have been extremely lucky.
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Quoting IKE:
168 hour GFS....much different run....

Yea, but @ 324 gfs has storm right over FL, 12gfs over nola, 06 over fl . . . good at predicting future storms developing. so far this year. But who knows with the next run, could be nothing, or over mx or back over FL
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Impressive:


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Quoting cat5hurricane:
Let's hope Karl doesn't pick up any bad influences

LMAO. Perhaps he can help with the "cleanup", as it were.
Member Since: Luglio 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
Quoting 47n91w:


I've heard the same thing when a wall of straight-lined winds hit my property in 2002. My weather station's anemometer hit 67 mph. I'll never forget how the wind was howling, and then the whine as the sound started to increase in pitch. No rotation was evident in the damage pattern, and I was lucky to have lost only a few trees.
Wow..Thanks for your post.
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Quoting hydrus:
It sounds like a micro-burst.
I was watching a little pink triangle on the radar at that time so something was showing up to the weather radar computers.
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Quoting Barefootontherocks:

Sure looks like it could of been a tornado.


If you are there, look at the trees & utility poles. If the poles are snapped a few feet above the base, & sometimes in THREE pieces, it's a good chance of winds.

If the trees are uprooted, broken off low, or split = winds.

If the poles are broken off at completely random heights = tornado.

If the tops of the trees look like you lowered a BushHog ontothem = tornado.

We have them all the time in Arkansas & this quick reference will work 90% of the time.
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New HH ontask

Time: 23:39:30Z
Coordinates: 19.7167N 94.0W
Acft. Static Air Press: 843.3 mb (~ 24.90 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,242 meters (~ 4,075 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 971.2 mb (~ 28.68 inHg)
D-value:
-





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This is a pretty cool shot of Hurricane Karl. I can see a tower in there.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.