Thursday, November 5, 2009

Rains persists due to tropical storm Ida

All eyes are on Hurricane Ida, now downgraded to Tropical Storm status. James Wilson, Lead Meteorologist, The Weather Channel

Nov. 5, 2009 1:09 pm ET

Ida is now inland and downgraded to a Tropical Storm, and will move very slowly now across northeastern Nicaragua. As of 1 PM EST, Tropical Storm Ida was located about 65 miles south-southwest of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua with top winds of 65 mph. The current movement is stationary.

Tropical Storm warning is in effect for the east coast of Nicaragua from Bluefields to the Honduras border.
The system is expected to stay in weak steering environment the next few days with a slow movement off to the north into eastern Honduras and then the Yucatan Channel. Ida will weaken rapidly over land to a tropical depression by Friday before re-emerging into the Caribbean Sea north of Honduras early Saturday.

Due to the very small wind field, waves from Ida will be less the 15 feet and any surge will be less than 3 feet. Heavy rain is a huge threat and will impact Nicaragua and Honduras. The heaviest amounts of 15 to 20 inches, with locally 25 inches are possible in eastern portions of Honduras and Nicaragua.
Life-threatening flooding and mudslides will be likely as a result. Be ready and take precautions if you live in a low lying area or flood plain.

On average, about one tropical storm develops every two years during the month of November and every three years a hurricane develops. The southwest Caribbean is the most favored location for this to occur.
The last season with a named storm in November was 2008 when Paloma developed and impacted the Cayman Islands and Cuba.

2009 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season Summary
2009 will go into the record books as a very uneventful hurricane season, to this point anyway. The question "why has it been so quiet" always arises as a season like this one comes to an end, especially after a series of very active years. Hindsight is sometimes 20/20 so I will give my hindsight "opinion" of what happened. But the prediction of the occurrence of the following features is not at all easy to forecast or extrapolate before it happens! There are two primary reasons for the quiet season in my opinion;

1) The mid-latitude westerly winds were much farther south than normal and this southward displacement caused three upper level wind features across the Gulf Caribbean and Atlantic to also be shifted south. The diagram below shows the three upper level circulation features, only one is readily conducive to tropical cyclone formation (the Subequatorial Ridge) and it was displaced south of the typical genesis area and where tropical waves normally track. Read more at

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