15 September 2010

Igor and Julia both CAT4 hurricanes, Karl forms and hits Yucatan...

Igor is still heading WNW and is still a Category 4 hurricane (has been since Sunday afternoon!).  The 15Z intensity is 115kts and 942mb, but there was a nighttime intensification period during which it reached 135kts and 925mb... the strongest of its lifetime.  It's located about 1055 miles SE of Bermuda and heading WNW at 7kts.  In the coming days, Igor's intensity will likely fluctuate but remain very strong, and the track will bend a bit more to the NW.  This will bring the hurricane very close to Bermuda by Sunday morning.

Tuesday evening, Julia experienced a period of rapid intensification where the pressure fell 24mb in 6 hours and the wind speed increased 25kts in the same time.  As of 15Z, the intensity is 115kts and 950mb.  This makes it the forth Category 4 hurricane of the season, and the easternmost CAT4 hurricane on record.  Never in recorded history has there been four CAT4 storms so early in the season (we've had Danielle, Earl, Igor, and Julia all by Sept 15).  It is also only the second time that two CAT4 storms have existed at the same time (the other time was in 1926).  So Julia has certainly become a storm for the record books, as has the 2010 season!

The disturbance that has been tracking through the Caribbean was upgraded to TS Karl at 21Z yesterday based on an aircraft recon flight into the system.  Since being named, it quickly intensified to a 55kt storm, and is now inland near the Mexico/Belize border heading W at 12kts.  At this rate, it should enter the Bay of Campeche in the early morning hours (local) tomorrow, perhaps as a Depression.  It is then forecast to regain TS status and head W into Mexico and make its final landfall early Saturday morning as a TS.

This is old news now, but I thought I'd share a high-resolution visible satellite loop that I made of Igor as a CAT4 on Sep 13 using 1-minute imagery: http://einstein.atmos.colostate.edu/~mcnoldy/tropics/igor10/goes15_ch1_20102562045.swf

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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