Hall of Famer
- Jul 25, 2001
I started a separate thread for soon-to-be-Hermine.
On vacation with family so pretty busy and didn't see it. I think we can live with 2 threads, but not my call...been talking about this threat since Tuesday night.I started a separate thread for soon-to-be-Hermine.
Eerily similar (Charley's track is the first graphic below) and would've been even more similar if Ian had formed 2 days ago, as its track across the Leeward Islands into the Caribbean was also very close to Charley's. And any storm heading mostly northward near/along Florida means tiny track errors can have huge downstream track changes.The track forecast is so similar to Charley. With the shape of the Florida coast, slight path changes make a huge difference in where the eye crosses the coast.
Well said. Minor correction: it's been experiencing northeasterly shear and that shear is just about over, so between that and the abnormally warm waters in the Caribbean and GOM, everything is primed for rapid intensification. Cat 4 is not out of the question at landfall somewhere on the FL west coast (the NHC track is on the eastern edge of the model consensus, so a nudge west in the forecast track might be seen at 11 am). .Current growth of TS Ian is still being inhibited by north-northwesterly shear, however the center of low pressure is now located beneath the eastern edge of convection, cloud tops on the western side of the storm have gotten colder and the shear is expected to ease over the next day or so.
There is still a very broad spread in the models relative to Ian's track. The NHC guidance, below, is as always the current best estimate but is subject to change five days from U.S. landfall. What is expected is that Ian will undergo a period of Rapid Intensification and ultimately make landfall as a major hurricane of Category 3 or higher.
At this time, pretty much everyone on the Florida Gulf Coast should closely monitor Ian's progress and make initial preparations for landfall.
We finally have Tropical Storm Ian (40 mph winds) as of 11 pm. No major changes to the forecast track or intensity, with Ian still forecast to go over western Cuba and then to make landfall in SW Florida as a Cat 3 hurricane, although again, nearly 5 days out the uncertainty on track and intensity are quite high, so interests from the FL panhandle to Miami still need to be watching this closely.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INIT 24/0300Z 14.8N 72.0W 35 KT 40 MPH
12H 24/1200Z 14.7N 73.9W 40 KT 45 MPH
24H 25/0000Z 15.1N 76.3W 45 KT 50 MPH
36H 25/1200Z 16.1N 78.4W 50 KT 60 MPH
48H 26/0000Z 17.6N 80.1W 60 KT 70 MPH
60H 26/1200Z 19.3N 81.5W 75 KT 85 MPH...NEAR GRAND CAYMAN
72H 27/0000Z 21.2N 82.4W 90 KT 105 MPH
96H 28/0000Z 24.9N 83.0W 100 KT 115 MPH
120H 29/0000Z 28.0N 82.0W 95 KT 110 MPH...OVER FLORIDA
And Fiona is just a few hours away from landfall in eastern Nova Scotia with winds expected to be near 100 mph at landfall (currently 105 mph), which is almost unheard of for Canada. Fiona is going to do significant damage from winds, surge and rain.
Yes, the 11 am forecast did nudge the track west a bit with landfall now forecast to be a bit north of Tampa at about 120 mph (high uncertainty still)...Well said. Minor correction: it's been experiencing northeasterly shear and that shear is just about over, so between that and the abnormally warm waters in the Caribbean and GOM, everything is primed for rapid intensification. Cat 4 is not out of the question at landfall somewhere on the FL west coast (the NHC track is on the eastern edge of the model consensus, so a nudge west in the forecast track might be seen at 11 am). .
Possibly, in a week or so, but too far out to predict with much accuracy...
Yeah, the 12Z model spread on track past about FL is fairly large, as per below, so hard to say much about where it goes after that. I do think it's a decent guess that Ian will head across FL and be lifted back out to sea by the strong trough coming through the eastern US on Weds/Thursday, but that's a bit of a guess.Charlie is a good analog, but I was chatting with Gary S. yesterday and whether it plays out is questionable as per high pressure progged over upper NY / NE. We should have a better idea in a couple of days.
Also worth pointing out (just cuz it's interesting) that the decreased landfall intensity forecasted with the left-shift in track is likely due to prolonged interaction of Q1 / Q2 with the Florida coast.
This thing's gonna oscillate for another 48 hours before the track really settles in. Still, I'd probably gas up the gennie if I was in the Tampa St. Pete area.
The 5 am advisory (1st graphic below and the table of positions of the storm below that) maintains the westward shift of Ian, with landfall still forecast for the Big Bend area, which is fortunate for two reasons: as you said, it's sparsely populated, limiting damage/impact, but perhaps more importantly, the forecast is calling for significant weakening of the storm from off the coast of Florida, due to increased shear, where Ian is forecast to have ~140 mph winds (Cat 4) well west of the Keys, decreasing to ~120 mph off the coast of Tampa to just ~90 mph at landfall. Having said that, as per below, folks from Tampa to Pensacola still need to watching this closely, as the model spread on track is quite high, as per the 2nd graphic below - and if landfall were to occur closer to Tampa, winds would likely to still be in the 120 mph range.Well, they don't call it The Big Bend for nothin'. 11PM guidance shifts north, once again, and aims Ian at the astonishingly unpopulated area between Fish Creek and Alligator Point.
If you've never been to the Big Bend region, I highly recommend it. A number of Wildlife Management Areas and Aquatic Preserves with almost nobody living in this coastal region that stretches for about 100 miles from Cedar Key up to Apalachee Bay.
The 5 am advisory (1st graphic below and the table of positions of the storm below that) maintains the westward shift of Ian, with landfall still forecast for the Big Bend area, which is fortunate for two reasons: as you said, it's sparsely populated, limiting damage/impact, but perhaps more importantly, the forecast is calling for significant weakening of the storm from off the coast of Florida, due to increased shear, where Ian is forecast to have ~140 mph winds (Cat 4) well west of the Keys, decreasing to ~120 mph off the coast of Tampa to just ~90 mph at landfall. Having said that, as per below, folks from Tampa to Pensacola still need to watching this closely, as the model spread on track is quite high, as per the 2nd graphic below - and if landfall were to occur closer to Tampa, winds would likely to still be in the 120 mph range.
Ian currently is at 50 mph, but is starting to get more organized (the surface and mid-level centers of circulation are still not aligned though) and poised to start rapid intensification over the next 2 days, as it's expected to go from 50 mph now to ~120 mph in 2 days as it strikes the far western tip of Cuba. I will say that's a very hopeful forecast, but if I lived near the landfall area, I wouldn't want to bank on that much weakening, which is unusual, as large hurricanes sometimes "make their own weather" so to speak and aren't impacted as much as expected by shear. Let's hope the forecast is correct on the weakening (and maybe not as much strengthening as forecast).
With regard to the greater than usual uncertainty in the storm's forecast track, as well as the predicted weakening as the storm approaches the panhandle (if it takes that track), the nuggets, below, from the NHC explain their thinking well; the 2nd link, from TWC does a nice job of providing a comprehensive storm overview. But there's much that can go wrong with this forecast, as per the NHC discussion.
With respect to our area, it's still too early to have confidence in any forecast, given the range of possibilities for landfall a couple of days prior to any impacts in our area. However, impacts are quite possible either from remnants of the storm (if it stays inland - meaning likely possible heavy rains from a tropical depression or just a remnant low) or from the storm if it crosses over FL into the Atlantic and weakens, but remains a TS/hurricane and heads up the coast, possibly near us - best case for us would be if it emerged into the Atlantic and went out to sea.
Even with the addition of the NOAA G-IV synoptic
surveillance dropsonde data and additional upper-air balloon
releases across much of the United States, the spread in the
guidance has not narrowed from before. The UKMET and ECMWF models
continue to hold firm along the eastern side of the guidance and
show a track into west-central Florida, while the GFS and HWRF
remain one the western side, taking the Ian into the central or
western Florida panhandle. The updated NHC track continues to
split these differences and remains closest to the TVCA multi-model
consensus, and the latest GFS ensemble mean. The new track is very
similar to the previous advisory. With the cross-track spreading
remaining between 200-220 n mi at days 4 and 5, it cannot be
overstated that significant uncertainty remains in Ian's long-range
After that time, a significant increase in southwesterly shear is
predicted by the global models, and weakening is forecast to occur
while Ian approaches the Florida coast. Despite the reduction in
intensity, Ian is likely to have an expanding wind field and will be
slowing down by that time, which will have the potential to produce
significant wind and storm surge impacts.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INIT 25/0900Z 14.9N 78.8W 45 KT 50 MPH
12H 25/1800Z 15.7N 80.0W 55 KT 65 MPH
24H 26/0600Z 17.3N 81.7W 70 KT 80 MPH
36H 26/1800Z 19.1N 83.1W 90 KT 105 MPH
48H 27/0600Z 21.0N 84.1W 105 KT 120 MPH
60H 27/1800Z 23.0N 84.6W 115 KT 130 MPH
72H 28/0600Z 24.8N 84.8W 120 KT 140 MPH
96H 29/0600Z 27.5N 84.6W 105 KT 120 MPH
120H 30/0600Z 29.8N 83.9W 80 KT 90 MPH
Well, the oft-promised rapid intensification looks like it's finally underway, as Ian is starting to look very impressive with deep convection blowing up around the storm's center, which is more organized than it's been, to date, and winds picking up from 45 mph at 5 pm to 65 pm at 11 pm. And winds are forecast to increase to 115 mph by Tuesday morning as the storm passes over western Cuba and to 130 mph as the storm approaches the FL Gulf coast, although some weakening is forecast after that, as the storm makes landfall somewhere from Tampa to the Big Bend.Not much change in Ian over the past 12 hours, with the storm not consolidating and strengthening - winds not having increased at all vs. the prediction of winds increasing from 45 to 65 mph over the last 12 hours. However, the NHC and every expert I've seen still expect the consolidation and rapid intensification tonight through tomorrow, such that Ian is still expected to be a major hurricane as it crosses western Cuba on Tuesday morning, as well as during its trip north just off the Florida coast, with landfall still a guess, i.e., being anywhere from Pensacola to south of Tampa by Thursday/Friday.
My guess is we won't see convergence of model solutions (Euro has landfall near Tampa, while the GFS has it near Pensacola with most others between those) until Ian gets better organized/stronger and starts moving more quickly to the north, which will provide more accurate initial conditions for future model runs. Until then, everyone on the FL coast needs to watch this closely. One other point: even if Ian hits the Big Bend or the panhandle without striking the western Gulf coast, that doesn't mean there won't be major impacts from Tampa northward (and even down to Naples), as a major hurricane 50-100 miles offshore will still bring torrential rains and significant storm surge, plus at at least strong TS force winds. Still too early to predict impacts north of FL and especially in our area.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INIT 25/2100Z 16.2N 80.3W 40 KT 45 MPH
12H 26/0600Z 17.3N 81.5W 50 KT 60 MPH
24H 26/1800Z 19.2N 82.9W 70 KT 80 MPH
36H 27/0600Z 21.1N 83.7W 90 KT 105 MPH
48H 27/1800Z 23.0N 84.2W 105 KT 120 MPH
60H 28/0600Z 24.8N 84.4W 115 KT 130 MPH
72H 28/1800Z 26.2N 84.4W 110 KT 125 MPH
96H 29/1800Z 28.3N 84.0W 85 KT 100 MPH
120H 30/1800Z 31.0N 83.0W 50 KT 60 MPH...INLAND