Powerful Norbert takes aim at Mexico's Baja

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:45 PM GMT am 09. Oktober 2008

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The tropical Atlantic is quiet, and no reliable computer models forecast tropical cyclone development over the next four days. The UKMET model continues to predict a tropical depression could spin up in the middle Atlantic between Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands about five days from now. Climatology does not favor development in this region in October. A better chance for development will be over the Caribbean a week from now, and most of the models indicate the possibility of a Caribbean storm developing 5-7 days from now. The preferred genesis locations in the models are near the coast of Nicaragua, and near Puerto Rico.


Figure 1. Latest satellite image of Norbert.

Hurricane Norbert takes aim at Baja
Hurricane Norbert has weakened since yesterday's impressive Category 4 showing, but still remains a dangerous major hurricane over the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Infrared satellite loops show a well-formed eye with a large area of heavy thunderstorms, but the cloud tops have warmed today, indicating that they are not as vigorous and do not extend as high into the atmosphere. There is excellent upper-level outflow in all quadrants, and wind shear remains low, near 5 knots. The satellite appearance has not changed significantly in the past eight hours. Norbert may go through an eyewall replacement cycle today, where the main inner eyewall collapses, and a new outer eyewall forms. This process could cause a temporary weakening of the storm. The first Hurricane Hunter mission into Norbert is scheduled for this afternoon.

With the exception of the GFS, the computer models continue to be tightly clustered around a landfall in southwestern Baja near San Carlos, 150 miles north of the southern tip of Baja, on Saturday afternoon. The GFS solution of Norbert stalling off the coast and dissipating is unrealistic. Wind shear is about 5 knots over Norbert, and the waters are a warm 28.5°C. The waters along Norbert's path are unusually warm for this time of year, about 1-3° C above average (Figure 2). However, these warm waters do not extend very deep, and the total oceanic heat content is low. Once Norbert crosses Baja and enters the Gulf of California, total heat content increases, but Norbert will not be over these warm waters long enough to take advantage of the extra heat. As Norbert approaches Baja on Friday, wind shear is expected to increase to 15 knots and sea surface temperatures will cool to 27°C. These conditions will still support a major hurricane, and it is possible that Norbert will make landfall as a major hurricane. The latest 2 am EDT run of the GFDL model predicts landfall Saturday afternoon as a strong Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph winds. The latest HWRF model predicts a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds. The SHIPS models is weaker, putting Norbert at Category 1 strength with 95 mph winds. The official NHC forecast of a Category 2 hurricane at landfall looks like a reasonable compromise. Tropical storm force winds should extend outwards about 130 miles at landfall, so the southern tip of Baja (San Lucas) will probably see sustained winds of 30-35 mph, should Norbert hit near San Carlos. One can look at the forecast radius of tropical storm force winds by clicking on the wundermap for Norbert, then selecting "wind radius" in the check boxes at the bottom of the page.

Crossing rugged Baja will probably knock Norbert down a full Category, by about 20-25 mph. The storm will still pack a solid punch when it makes it second landfall on mainland Mexico north of Los Mochis. Rainfall amounts in mainland Mexico will be 4-8 inches, and 6-10 inches over Baja. Norbert's remains should bring 1-2 inches of rain to portions of western Texas and southeastern New Mexico.


Figure 2. Departure of Sea Surface Temperature (SST) from average for October 6, 2008. Note the region being traversed by Norbert is 1-3 °C above average. Image credit: NOAA.

Baja hurricane history
Major hurricanes are rare on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, particularly as far north as Baja. Since record keeping began in 1949, only two Category 3 or stronger hurricanes have hit Baja (Figure 3). Hurricane Kiko of 1989 hit the east coast of Baja near Buenavista, as a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds. Kiko produced destructive winds of up to 110 mph (180 km/h) in Cabo San Lucas, and caused severe damage throughout the southern tip of Baja California. Hurricane Oliva of 1967 made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane with 125 mph winds farther north on the east coast of Baja, in a sparsely populated area. No major hurricanes have hit the west coast of Baja since 1949, so Norbert would be the first on record if it maintains Category 3 strength at landfall.


Figure 3. Tracks of major hurricanes affecting Mexico's Baja Peninsula between 1949-2007. Image credit: NOAA Coastal Services Center.


Thursday update on Hurricane Ike relief efforts
Today's update from Paul Timmons (Presslord) on the Hurricane Ike relief effort started by wunderground members Patrap, Presslord, and Stormjunkie:

While the devastating aftermath of hurricane Ike seems no longer to capture the interest of mainstream media, we all know that the needs continue. Chief Dickie Uzzle of the Bridge City, TX, fire department has informed us that only 14 homes in that community (population: 8700) did not sustain ruinous water damage. Many families continue to live in tents in front of their homes, with ALL of their personal belongings piled in the yard awaiting removal.

Laura Cremans, Manager of the Churches of Christ distribution center in Bridge City tells us " Only one truck of supplies has come here since Ike made landfall. We are desperate here."

This is the list of specific needs that we are currently attaining and working to attain for the rural populations and the disabilities community along the Texas Gulf Coast. We have worked closely with several local relief efforts as well as municipalities to identify these needs.


Undergarments
Socks
Men's & Women's Clothing (we already have a commitment for a substantial number of men's and women's pants)

Air Mattresses
Blankets/Sleeping bags
Tents
Insect repellent
All baby items
Formula (We have a commitment from Meade-Johnson to provide some of this)
Diapers
Rash cream
Wipes
Bottles


Our strategy is to focus on attaining as many of these items as possible through donations from manufacturers and distributors. In the last three and a half days, we have made several dozen contacts to this end and are beginning to get positive results; but we need your help.

If you have any contacts or influence which might facilitate us procuring the items listed above please contact us at presslord@aol.com or admin@stormjunkie.com. All your thoughts and ideas are good. The more input we have, the more impact we can have.This will help us successfully implement our strategy of expending donated funds primarily on transportation and logistics of moving donated goods. In this way, we can most effectively steward the donated funds in the most cost effective manner.

Moving forward...

Moving through October we are committed to adjusting our fund raising effort to leverage the grassroots enthusiasm and generosity generated by our Hurricane Ike relief work.  A more proactive approach will enhance our future effectiveness. We are asking you to consider committing to a monthly pledge amount.  The amount you pledge is less important then the consistency.  A dependable monthly donor base will allow us to strategically plan and prepare for the future and help us successfully execute those plans over the long term. 

Please give thoughtful, prayerful consideration to committing to a monthly pledge amount beginning November 1 and email your intentions to presslord@aol.com.

There is much work yet to be done in helping the victims of Ike. And there will certainly be other victims of other storms we can all serve. By continuing to work together as we have the last 3 1/2 weeks, we can have a profound positive impact on thousands of unserved, underserved, and forgotten people...

Also, please remember: we should all forward this information far and
wide...and frequently..

Thanks!!!!!


Figure 3. Bridge City, Texas, after Hurricane Ike. Image credit: Stormjunkie.

Contributions to this highly worthy portlight.org charity fund are fully tax-deductible, and will go to provide relief supplies for those smaller communities typically bypassed by the traditional relief efforts. More details can be found at StormJunkie's blog.

Jeff Masters

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453. Enola
9:10 PM MDT on October 09, 2008
Quoting StormW, WxLogic 9:51 PM EDT on October 09, 2008
If that's the case then...my personal preference then would have to be the GFDL as far as track.

Thank you both very much! :)
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452. bwt1982
3:02 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting Orcasystems:

foggymyst was wishcasting again.. and it appears he got his wish.


As long as it's not named storm it's ok.
Member Since: September 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 143
451. JLPR
2:58 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
wow the eatl system has perfection in terms of conditions lol
favorable wind shear
favorable and hot sst
high TCHP
and a positive MJO =S

I added the high TCHP =P I forgot to mention it when I posted earlier in the day =D
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
450. Orcasystems
2:53 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting foggymyst:
Orca..Excuse me..I was down casting the models, thank-you-very-much. it seems like your halo is on the fritz, troublemaker.


Me!!!! sweet innocent me!!! trouble maker??
Nope..white hat and innocent, angelic even :)
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449. foggymyst
10:51 PM EDT on October 09, 2008
Orca..Excuse me..I was down casting the models, thank-you-very-much. it seems like your halo is on the fritz, troublemaker.
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448. Orcasystems
2:49 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting bwt1982:


What's going on in South east Florida this week? Are getting some more rain?

foggymyst was wishcasting again.. and it appears he got his wish.
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447. bwt1982
2:47 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting Orcasystems:

Only if you live in South Eastern Florida


What's going on in South east Florida this week? Are getting some more rain?
Member Since: September 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 143
446. Orcasystems
2:40 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Debbie's Google Earth file for members locations. (October 9, 2008)
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445. foggymyst
10:42 PM EDT on October 09, 2008
Does seem like a long October, hopefully the models will no wrong..please, I hope! Yes, please call me a model down-caster! Is it Dec 1, yet?
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444. caneswatch
2:39 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting Orcasystems:


Thats why I posted the page in post #403
That shows a big one for Florida..another ones shows two systems.. and the rest show at least one.
Quoting Orcasystems:

Only if you live in South Eastern Florida


everyone in se florida like me if your shutters are still out because of the threat of hurricane ike, keep them out. we're in for a long october.
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443. foggymyst
10:37 PM EDT on October 09, 2008
Zoo, just saw we are in for the same round of storms tomorrow AM.
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442. Orcasystems
2:39 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting zoomiami:
See now doesn't that make you feel better.. not one big system... umm this one has three systems.. Daddy Bear, Mommy Bear and Baby Bear.


Telling fairy tales now?


Well.. I know you have a thing for bears...
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441. KoritheMan
2:37 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
My thoughts on the possible CV development... Although climatologically speaking, it's unlikely, as others have said, climatology doesn't dictate what's actually there, just what should be there. In this case, conditions are more favorable than they should be for CV development. We've had a couple of late-season CV storms before, although I don't think they've hit the U.S. Never know, though.

Either way, though, this is something to watch for.

The western Carribean storm will be worse for the U.S.
Member Since: März 7, 2007 Posts: 553 Comments: 19890
440. zoomiami
2:36 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
See now doesn't that make you feel better.. not one big system... umm this one has three systems.. Daddy Bear, Mommy Bear and Baby Bear.


Telling fairy tales now?
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439. Orcasystems
2:33 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting foggymyst:
Geez..tense week ahead.

Only if you live in South Eastern Florida
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438. foggymyst
10:19 PM EDT on October 09, 2008
Geez..tense week ahead.
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437. WxLogic
2:18 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting StormW:
Good night all!

Just took a quick look at the models. I'm still inclined to look for a situational development next week in the western Caribbean. Again, doesn't mean it's definite, but the pattern the models are showing indicate it's possible.


Night...
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435. Orcasystems
2:15 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting foggymyst:
Ok..got the updated link. Thanks


See now doesn't that make you feel better.. not one big system... umm this one has three systems.. Daddy Bear, Mommy Bear and Baby Bear.
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434. Orcasystems
2:13 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting foggymyst:
oh.sept?!? ok?! now what?

Look at this one instead
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433. foggymyst
10:12 PM EDT on October 09, 2008
Ok..got the updated link. Thanks
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432. foggymyst
10:08 PM EDT on October 09, 2008
oh.sept?!? ok?! now what?
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431. Stormchaser2007
2:09 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting Orcasystems:


Look at this one instead


Ah thats better! Thanks.
Member Since: Juni 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15776
430. vortfix
2:09 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Shear charts...LOL!

How many storms has Dr. Masters said the shear is unfavorable for development...then guess what!

Throw them out and please switch on a water vapor loop!
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429. Orcasystems
2:07 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Look at the Date.


Look at this one instead
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428. extreme236
2:08 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting vortfix:
I can't go by shear charts....never have.
They're usually as wrong as the person that quotes them!
Dr. Masters knows what I mean.


Well if shear was high then the potential for slow development wouldn't exist.
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427. foggymyst
10:06 PM EDT on October 09, 2008
Gee buddy thank for the great news! Kiddin'! All is well?
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426. vortfix
2:05 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
I can't go by shear charts....never have.
They're usually as wrong as the person that quotes them!
Dr. Masters knows what I mean.
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425. Stormchaser2007
2:04 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting foggymyst:
Orca..*rolling eyes* Look at the last frame on this link


Look at the Date.
Member Since: Juni 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15776
424. Orcasystems
2:03 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting foggymyst:
Orca..*rolling eyes* Look at the last frame on this link


Thats why I posted the page in post #403
That shows a big one for Florida..another ones shows two systems.. and the rest show at least one.
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423. extreme236
2:04 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting vortfix:
Climatology really does mean a lot regarding the EATL in October.


Climo says shear should be high for this system and its not. Climo just says what things should be like, not what they are like.
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422. KBH
1:56 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Major flooding in Barbados from that system that passed today. Very little circulation but plenty of rain..
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421. vortfix
2:02 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Climatology really does mean a lot regarding the EATL in October.
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420. foggymyst
10:03 PM EDT on October 09, 2008
419. Orcasystems
2:02 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting surfmom:
LOL -- Never let me pilot the ship!! G'nite

Thought you were a pyrate, not a pilot ;)
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418. Stormchaser2007
2:01 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting extreme236:


If the conditions are favorable, climo means nothing really.


Exactly.
Member Since: Juni 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15776
417. surfmom
9:00 PM EST on October 09, 2008
LOL -- Never let me pilot the ship!! G'nite
Member Since: Juli 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
416. extreme236
1:54 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting kmanislander:


I have seen those runs. Not convinced we will see anything out there this late in the season.


If the conditions are favorable, climo means nothing really.
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415. WxLogic
1:58 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting surfmom:
I'm crashing -- I can see the ship is in good hands!


Hehe... so you're going nighty night.
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414. Orcasystems
1:58 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting surfmom:
I'm crashing -- I can see the ship is in good hands!


Crash... ship... bad combination

Not as bad as Crash & plane.. but still bad
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413. surfmom
8:55 PM EST on October 09, 2008
I'm crashing -- I can see the ship is in good hands!
Member Since: Juli 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
412. surfmom
8:50 PM EST on October 09, 2008
Bahahurrican "Because it may Defy the odds and do so" -- with all the rule breaking 'canes we dealt with this year I'm convinced it's a total crap shoot - all we can do is expect the unexpected.. why should the last 'cane(s) of the season make it any easier for us now.
Member Since: Juli 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
410. vortfix
1:52 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Stormchaser2007 .....you believe that sat shot shows development?
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409. WxLogic
1:52 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting Orcasystems:
Evening all :)


Good evening...
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408. CybrTeddy
1:52 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
For all you wondering about the Antilles wave, I doubt it will develop. Shear will hinder develop. Now, the only thing I can see going against soon-to-be 97L, is Climatology.
Member Since: Juli 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23565
407. WxLogic
1:45 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Quoting StormW:
384. Enola 9:08 PM EDT on October 09, 2008
Quoting StormW:
Good evening!
On for a short while.

Hi Storm! Would you please answer a question for me? What is the difference between the NGFDL and the GFDL as far as practical application (i.e. predicting the real path of storms)?


Not too sure as to where the NGFDL gets it's input from. Anyone? Haven't really had the chance to research that model yet. If I know where the input comes from, I'd be able to have a handle on accuracy.


NGFDL is the Navy's. Of course it will then use NOGAPS data. Hehe... that's from what I'm being able to gather info on, which not surprisingly tends to be a bit in line with NOGAPS tracks. I guess this is their shot at intensity forecast... hey but someone might have something more concrete.
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406. Stormchaser2007
1:50 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
We'll see what happens.

Member Since: Juni 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15776
404. Orcasystems
1:50 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
Complete Refresh Blog
Mirror Site
*********Special Additions*********
Hurricane Norbert ... Tracks & Cones
Hurricane Norbert ... Satellite picture
***********************************
Present Satellite picture ... BOC
Present Satellite picture Caribbean Sea
Present Satellite picture GOM
Present Satellite picture Atlantic Train
Present Satellite picture Cape Verde
Present Satellite picture Large overall Coverage
CMC ... Western Caribbean & BOC flaring up(Hour 12)
CMC ... Eastern Caribbean, PR (Hour 102)
CMC ... Caribbean (Hour 156)
CMC 00Z..
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403. Orcasystems
1:49 AM GMT on October 10, 2008
OK, every single model on this page has something happening in the Caribbean
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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.

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