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posted on 11 September 2017

Tracking Irma - 11Sep2017- From Florida to Points North and West

Written by Sig Silber


Note: This article has been updated - Go to Tracking Irma - 11Sep2017- to Points North and West while Watching Jose


1 AM Sept 11:   Transitional Phase: Still dangerous in Florida. Becoming dangerous in South Carolina, Georgia and Eastern Alabama and points north in hilly or mountainous terrain subject to flash flooding. Our graphics update automatically. If the article is in your email, the graphics will still update. You can access the NHC Watches and Warnings Here. Other NHC information can be found at this link or Latest Public AdvisoryLatest Discussion.

Special Landing Graphic for Hurricane IRMA

Irma has moved north in Florida and is now located over west-central Florida. 


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Key West Radar - Composite

 

Remember: A radar loop shows the recent (looks like for this "loop" it shows the past forty minutes) readings leading up to the current readings so it is not a forecast. It looks like this might update every ten minutes or so.

And further north and extending west.

Georgia Northern Florida Lool

Reading dBZ values

Latest Reported Track Forecast

Offical Irma Track

The Track shown is not a guarantee. It is a forecast and still might change and might change north of Florida also. Right now it appears that the center of the cone now goes into Alabama as well as through Western Georgia and then Tennessee and Kentucky but it will be mostly a rain event in those states with the possibility of tornadoes. Mississippi River flooding is now a concern which could impact down-river communities.

Latest Irma Discussion. The Watches and Warnings Advisory can be accessed here.

Hurricane Irma Discussion Number 48 NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL 1100 PM EDT Sun Sep 10 2017

Irma's center has moved northward across the western Florida peninsula since it made landfall earlier this afternoon, and it is now located over west-central Florida.  NOAA WSR-88D radar data from Tampa Bay are showing 95-100 kt winds at an elevation of about 3500 ft, so the hurricane's intensity is estimated to be 85 kt. Irma continues to have a large wind field, and exceptional hurricane-force wind gusts are still occurring well to the east of the center along the Florida east coast.

Irma appears to be making some progress to the west of due north, and the longer-term initial motion is 350/12 kt.  The cyclone is expected to swing around the eastern side of a mid-level disturbance currently located along the U.S. Gulf Coast, which should impart a north-northwestward to northwestward motion during the next 48 hours.  Due to its recent more inland push, Irma's center is now forecast to remain over Florida and then move over the southeastern United States for the duration of its existence.  Due to continued land interaction and strong shear of over 30 kt, Irma should continue to lose strength and fall below hurricane intensity on Monday.  The cyclone is then expected to become a remnant low over western Tennessee by day 3 and dissipate by day 4.

KEY MESSAGES:

1. There is the danger of life-threatening storm surge flooding along much of the Florida coast, including the Florida Keys, and portions of the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina, where a Storm Surge Warning remains in effect.

2. Irma will continue to bring life-threatening wind impacts to much of Florida, with hurricane-force winds near the center.  Also, Irma is a large hurricane, and hurricane-force wind gusts and sustained tropical-storm force winds extend far from the center. Wind hazards from Irma will also spread northward through Georgia and into portions of Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

3. Irma continues to produce very heavy rain and inland flooding across much of Florida, and these rains will spread into the rest of the southeast United States. Intense rainfall rates of 2 to 4 inches per hour is leading to flash flooding and rapid rises on creeks, streams, and rivers. Significant river flooding is likely over the next five days in the Florida peninsula and southern Georgia, where average rainfall totals of 8 to 15 inches and isolated 20 inch amounts are expected. Significant river flooding is possible beginning Monday and Tuesday in much of eastern and central Georgia, western South Carolina, and western North Carolina, where average rainfall of 3 to 8 inches and isolated 12 inch amounts are expected. The southern Appalachian Mountains will be especially vulnerable to flash flooding. Irma is also expected to produce average amounts of 2 to 5 inches in parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, where isolated higher amounts and local flooding may occur.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT  11/0300Z 27.5N  81.9W   85 KT 100 MPH...INLAND

 12H  11/1200Z 29.4N  82.8W   65 KT  75 MPH...INLAND

 24H  12/0000Z 31.9N  84.7W   45 KT  50 MPH...INLAND

 36H  12/1200Z 33.9N  86.8W   30 KT  35 MPH...INLAND

 48H  13/0000Z 35.0N  88.6W   25 KT  30 MPH...INLAND

 72H  14/0000Z 37.5N  87.8W   20 KT  25 MPH...POST-TROP/INLAND

 96H  15/0000Z...DISSIPATED

Those impacted should consult their local sources of information. The Public Advisories and other information that is available from the NOAA National Hurricane Center can be found here.

Day 2 Forecast

This is a Day 2 Forecast and you can see the large area that will be potentially impacted by Irma. This forecast map shows some interesting information with respect to the types of impacts keeping the severe thunderstorms over on the east side but now in Eastern Georgia and South Carolina even though the core of Irma is further west. This graphic only updates once a day and has done so this morning Sunday September 10 and will update again in the morning but it appears that this graphic updates somewhat continually independently of the times shown as an official update. .

Current Conditions and Short-Term Forecast. The Above Information was Provided by the National Hurricane Center. Now I Present information from Other Parts of NOAA. 

Day 3 Weather Forecast

You can see Irma in this Day 3 forecast provided by the WPC. They work closely with the NHC and have access to the same information. But this graphic provides a larger picture view of the situation. The surface air pressure of this storm on Day 3 is forecast to be 1008 hPa which is not impressive. That does not mean there will not be impacts. By Day 3, the blocking Anticyclone to the north is gone. Jose appears to not be a factor. We will see.

Additional Graphics

You can see Irma in this Atmospheric River Graphic. It is large covering all of Florida and now also moving into Georgia and Alabama. More explanation on Atmospheric Rivers can be found by clicking here or if you want more theoretical information by clicking here.

Atmospheric Rivers

This is a national animation of weather fronts and precipitation forecasts with four 6-hour projections of the conditions that will apply covering the next 24 hours and a second day of two 12-hour projections the second of which is the forecast for 48 hours out and to the extent it applies for 12 hours, this animation is intended to provide coverage out to 60 hours. This graphic is now very relevant. The forecast continues to shift the pattern further west and it appears to fragment into two pieces at some point.

current highs and lows

The explanation for the coding used in these maps, i.e. the full legend, can be found here although it includes some symbols that are no longer shown in the graphic because they are implemented by color coding.

Precipitation Forecast

You can see the forecast for seven days of cumulative precipitation. The heaviest precipitation is now forecast for Northern Florida and a small area in Georgia which has large areas of swamp. Lesser but significant cumulative precipitation is forecast for South Carolina, Georgia, and Eastern Alabama and further north and west. It does not take a high rate per hour of precipitation to have flooding when it rains over a wide area continuously. As the storm moves to the north, the reliability of these cumulative precipitation forecasts increases.

 Water Vapor Imagery

The water vapor imagery is a good guide to where precipitation is occurring. It is fairly concentrated in Northern Florida moving into Georgia with also a concentration further south in Central Florida.

And right behind Irma: Jose which appears to be forecast to turn out to sea and may be doing a loop de loop and coming back into play. And there may be yet another storm to follow Jose but this is no means guaranteed.

Tropical Storm Jose

Eastern Pacific

Irma and Jose are what are called Cape Verde Hurricanes and you can see a string of tropical waves from Western Africa passing by the Cape Verde Islands with one being of interest to the NHC. The full discussion can be found here.

Part B. The Human and Economic Impacts of Recent Storms

B1. Irma Impacts

Still of Irma going inland at 2:57PM on September 10, 2017

This snapshot of the radar image when the storm first went inland just before 3 PM on Sunday September 10, 2017 is for historical purposes only.

 Damage Assessment

We are showing Saint Martin Impacts as they were well reported. We are not showing other impacts because there where so many that we want to compile a more representative picture of the impacts and right now the focus needs to be on the those islands in the immediate path and Florida.

First Saint Martin especially the French portion of the Island.

Siint Martin Map Wikipedia

Hurricane Irma destroys ‘95%’ of French part of St Martin

Sept 6, 2017 Saint Martin

dd

Saint Martin Impacts September 6, 2017

Saint Martin September 6, 2017  Photo Credit. Lionel Chamoiseau/AFP/Getty Images

B2. Harvey Meteorological Summary (For Analysis Purposes Mainly)

Final NOAA Harvey Advisory.

POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE HARVEY ADVISORY NUMBER 53 NWS WEATHER PREDICTION CENTER COLLEGE PARK MD 1100 AM EDT SAT SEP 02 2017

POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE HARVEY CONTINUES TO WEAKEN...

SUMMARY OF 1100 AM EDT...1500 UTC...INFORMATION

LOCATION...38.1N 84.9W ABOUT 20 MILES...30 KM...WNW OF LEXINGTON KENTUCKY ABOUT 60 MILES...100 KM...ENE OF FORT KNOX KENTUCKY MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...15 MPH...25 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...NE OR 045 DEGREES AT 5 MPH...8 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1013 MB...29.92 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS

FLOOD WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES ARE ONGOING SCATTERED THROUGHOUT EASTERN TEXAS...THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY...TENNESSEE VALLEY...AND THE LOWER OHIO VALLEY.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK

AT 1100 AM EDT...1500 UTC...THE CENTER OF POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE HARVEY WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 38.1 NORTH...AND LONGITUDE 84.9 WEST. HARVEY CONTINUES TO WEAKEN AND IS EXPECTED TO DISSIPATE OVER THE MID-UPPER OHIO VALLEY BY TONIGHT ALONG WITH ANY LINGERING HEAVY RAIN AND RUNOFF THREAT DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE CIRCULATION. HOWEVER, A SEPARATE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE DEVELOPING OVER THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION AHEAD OF HARVEY WILL INTERACT WITH ITS REMNANT MOISTURE PLUME TO PRODUCE AS MUCH AS 1 TO 2 INCHES OF RAIN OVER THE NORTHEAST THROUGH SUNDAY.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

RAINFALL...RESIDUAL FLOODING WILL CONTINUE IN AND AROUND HOUSTON, BEAUMONT/PORT ARTHUR/ORANGE, AND EASTWARD AROUND THE LOUISIANA BORDER THROUGH THE WEEKEND. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TRAVEL IN THE AFFECTED AREA IF YOU ARE IN A SAFE PLACE. DO NOT DRIVE INTO FLOODED ROADWAYS.

NEXT ADVISORY

THIS IS THE LAST PUBLIC ADVISORY ISSUED BY THE WEATHER PREDICTION CENTER FOR THIS SYSTEM. PLEASE REFER TO YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THIS STORM.

FORECAST POSITIONS

INITIAL 02/1500Z 38.1N 84.9W

12HR VT 03/0000Z 39.8N 82.3W...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP

24HR VT 03/1200Z...DISSIPATED

Harvey Final Reported Precipitation Totals as of 11AM EDT September 2, 2017. There is no longer a separate site that I know of that provides update totals and they will no longer be in the WPC Updates so most likely this will be the final update of this information. We may add local updates if significant.

And then Additional States were Impacted.

Saturday Indiana Saturday North and South Carolina
Saturday Virginia

 

New States being Impacted

Friday PM Kentucky

Friday PM Tennessee

Friday 10 AM Arkansas

 

Second Set of States Impacted (This data is as reported on Thursday 10 PM August 31.

Thurs PM Alabama Thursday PM Mississippi Florida and Georgia as of Sept 1 AM

 

Initial States Impacted (These totals are no longer being updated so they were correct as of 10 AM CDT Wednesday August 30).

Texas Precipitation Totals Friday 10 am Louisiana Precipitation Totals

 

Below is the last reported Track. There are no further updates of the track but you can tell the track by other graphics that I have included. Also the track is describe in the discussion which is up to date. We are now at the end of the reported track so this graphic is mostly of historical significance now.

Harvey Track

Interesting way to view the precipitation pattern in the Houston area.

B2: Harvey Impacts

Economic Impacts.

The usual impacts of a disaster are first very negative and later very positive and essentially reflect Keynesian Economics. Unfortunately the first phase comes first and it can be very heartbreaking. One clue to how this might work out is provided by this excellent article.

More Than 50 Percent Of Properties In Houston At High And Moderate Risk Of Flood Are Not In Designated Flood Zones

First Report on number of homes damaged. Source: Market Watch

About 100,000 homes were damaged by Hurricane Harvey, President Donald Trump's Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert told reporters on Thursday. Speaking at the White House, Bossert said the administration would soon ask Congress for an initial round of emergency funding to aid relief efforts. He said a second request would be made after getting more information.

Total Residential Insured And Uninsured Flood Loss For Hurricane Harvey Between $25 Billion And $37 Billion Approximately 70 Percent Of Flood Damage Is Uninsured

Oil Refinery Impacts

At the Beaumont-Port Arthur Airport, 26.03” of rain fell on Tuesday, which is more than double Beaumont's previous calendar-day record of 12.76" on May 19, 1923, in records going back to 1901. Between 10 pm last night and 1 am this morning, 11.86” fell. So far on Wednesday, 4.71” has been reported (as of 11 am CDT), bringing their 5-day storm total rainfall to a staggering 47.98”. The intense rains caused extreme flash flooding that inundated all of Port Arthur, according to Mayor Freeman, who showed a video this morning of the inside of his flooded house on his Facebook page. Port Arthur is the site of the nation’s largest oil refinery, which was forced to shut down due to the floods. The nation’s second-largest refinery, in Baytown, TX, was also forced to shut down yesterday, due to flooding-induced roof damage. In all, at least 12 refineries are currently offline due to Harvey. Source: Weather Underground Category 6  Click to Read Full Article

From this Geopolitical Futures article

Gulf Coast Refineries

The following is from our initial assessment Saturday afternoon. We will attempt to provide an organized assessment rather than streaming news reports as they come it. There is so much reporting that streaming these reports would mostly duplicate the traditional news services. So we will attempt to consolidate the information and provide a somewhat comprehensive analysis. 

Concern about Facilities that Depend on Cooling.

Arkema: No way to prevent explosion at flooded Texas chemical plant  Click to read more

Well it seems the report unfortunately was timely as this chemical plant has had explosions. You may be able to read about it here (you may hit a paywall not sure).

This is what we reported Saturday afternoon. There are many pictures showing flooding and other damage that we could show now.

Some of the graphics are very disturbing. But first we want to put this storm into perspective. This graphic was sent in by the NWS in Jackson Kentucky but was probably originally prepared by PBS.

PBS Story Histories.

It shows that very wet events are not unknown to Texas so we hope they are prepared to deal with this one.

This is a photo shown on the Blog Category 6; Image Credit is Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Rockport Texas

Rockport is about 40 miles Northeast of Corpus Christi and presumably exposed to the strongest winds which are often in the NE quadrant of the storm. Harvey's winds declined rapidly so we should expect that wind damage now will be restricted to tornadoes which can be very deadly. The main story here will be the flooding.

Another Rockport photo

Rockport Texas Devatation

More photo coverage of Rockport can be found here. For some reason the photo credit that is on the photo in the article does not show up when I display the photo separately. It is Brian Emfinger/LSM

We should expect that damage reports may come in slowly since may areas have been evacuated and the media may not be allowed in until the areas are deemed to be save from down power lines etc.

Tornadoes will cause a lot of damage. Right now they seem to be happening in the Cypress Area Northwest of Houston while in Houston flooding has been significant.

Cypress Texas Tornado

Source: Houston News KHOU

Same source for photos below: KHOU with the first photo credited to Kyra Respress.

Houston Flooding

and one more.

Houston Flooding.

So far the reports of injured and deaths are amazingly low. That might change.

This is an excellent report from the Daily Mail in the UK - Lots of photos.

What Happens Next

It is important to understand that natural disasters often occur over a period of time, not instantaneously.

A good example is the rising of rivers which then overflow their banks and cause damage many hours and even days after the advent of a widespread storm. It takes time for this to happen and with Harvey we have a storm that is likely to provide the time for such subsequent events. Below, from NOAA, is a forecast for the San Bernard River. It is already at flood stage. Not sure how the river can rise to 35 feet once the level is so high that it can no longer be confined by the river banks but the graphic may be intended to show the severe level that is predicted. (If the normal level is x feet below the average river bank height, then all land within 35-x feet in elevation above normal water level will be flooded.)

River flood staging

Click here for a list of Sig Silber's Weather Posts

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