Hurricane ?

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Hurricane ?

Post by Paul Tallet » Fri Sep 03, 2004 6:18 pm

I know the focus seems to be on Hurricane Frances and Florida at the moment.

But have a look at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ and look out for Tropical Storm Ivan that is forecast to be a category 4 hurricane within a week.

It is quite close to the equator for a hurricane and it's forecast track looks worrying close to Tobago ... and yes I know that Tobago rarely gets hit ... I hope I am wrong and it goes north.

I will keep an eye on it over the next few days.

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Post by David Watkins » Sat Sep 04, 2004 9:01 am

Hi Paul,I've had alook also and think it is going to pass well east and north of Tobago.Perhaps the sea may roughen up on the Atlantic side but unless something drastic happens things should be fine and it will remain a tropical storm.
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Post by Steve Wooler » Sat Sep 04, 2004 9:21 am

Hi Paul

As David says, Tropical Storm Ivan is currently tracking well north of Tobago. My understanding is that like Hurricane Frances, most of the Caribbean hurricanes start as tropical storms in the mid-Atlantic and then build strength as they move along a generally west-north-westerly track towards Florida. Even though a few hundred miles north of Tobago, TS Ivan is still only a tropical storm, so as David say, the worst is only likely to be choppy conditions along the northern end of the island. Even if it does build to a hurricane, it will be way, way, way away from Tobago so sleep easy!
Last edited by Steve Wooler on Sat Sep 04, 2004 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Paul Tallet » Sat Sep 04, 2004 9:22 am

Hi David

I hope you are right ... most of these storms veer north before they reach Tobago.

But the latest update indicates a threat to the Lesser Antilles in the next 4 to 5 days and, of course, Tobago is in that path.

Fingers, arms and legs crossed.
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Post by Steve Wooler » Sat Sep 04, 2004 9:38 am

Hi Paul

During the storm season, it is almost impossible not to find one of these storms/hurricanes brewing in the Atlantic. This particular one is currently more than 1500 miles away from Tobago and following the usual track. Yes, it is heading towards the Lesser Antilles, but don't let this concern you. The experts seem to be in some debate about whether Trinidad and Tobago are actually part of the Antilles. Some reference works say they are the most southerly islands of the chain; other works say they are not part of the chain because they are actually part of the South American mainland.

Either way, I doubt whether anyone on Tobago has even heard of Tropical Storm Ivan, much less giving it any concern whatsoever.
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Post by Paul Tallet » Sat Sep 04, 2004 1:51 pm

Hi Steve

Just gone to put my hurricane anorak on and ... yes the Lesser Antilles are away to the West and I have always thought that Trinidad & Tobago are just there on their own ... but they are in the path unless the hurricane tracks north and then back south.

The tropical storm is currently just south of the T&T latitude (I will be rushing off to check this again in a minute) and is tracking west north west. This indicates that it would indeed track north of Tobago, slam straight into Barbados and provide a temporary period of excitement for the surfers on Mt Irvine Bay.

However, as with all hurricane predictions there are several models on which you can work before you 'run to the hills' ... some are suggesting that a high pressure ridge to the north is going to change the track more westerly and possibly west south west and these are the indications that I am watching and I hope that they are wrong ... I am sure they are ... but you know how it is when you feel emotionally attached to Tobago.

Ivan is currently a tropical storm travelling over exceptionally warm water and it is predicted to become a hurricane in the next 48 hours.
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Update

Post by Paul Tallet » Sat Sep 04, 2004 9:05 pm

Although it seems implausible that Ivan will not track north of Tobago the chance of a hurricane hit on Crown Point has increased from 3% 4 hours ago to 11% now ... that is a relatively short space of time to increase the odds of danger for next Tuesday.

Ivan is still below Tobago's latitude and is still tracking steadily west and this is forecast to remain unchanged for the next 24 hours ... Hispaniola is the first island in the line of fire according to NOAA.

The Storm is still strengthening but not yet a hurricane.
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Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Sep 05, 2004 5:50 pm

Ivan became a hurricane this morning and a special notice has been issued to say that it is expected to become a major hurricane in the next 48 to 72 hours.

This is the lowest recorded latitude on record for a hurricane of this size.

It is about 9 to 10 degrees north of the equator and still tracking west whereas Tobago is between 10 and 11 degrees north.

The risk for Crown Point has increased to 16% but this could rise as the hurricane makes progress. Grenada and Barbados and the Central Antilles seem most at risk ... and maybe the hurricane could shift further north in 3 days if, hopefully, the high pressure ridge gives.

Having said this ... the hurricane is developing so rapidly that the NOAA seem to be struggling to keep track.

If maybe not a worry for Tobago, this one looks quite deadly for whoever it visits.
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Post by Steve Wooler » Mon Sep 06, 2004 7:58 am

Hi Paul

No doubt you're tracking Ivan so know the latest, but thought I'd publish the following update for the benefit of others - and particularly those travelling out to Tobago in the near future and concerned by the implications.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A rapidly strengthening Hurricane Ivan churned closer to the Caribbean, packing sustained winds of 135 mph with meteorologists saying it's possible that the system could reach Category 5 status.

Barbados has issued a hurricane watch for the entire island while a tropical storm watch has been issued for Grenada.

"It could make a direct hit in Barbados," said Eric Blake, a meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The Category 4 storm -- just one step from being the most deadly -- was near latitude 10.7 north, longitude 50.6 west, about 625 miles east-southeast of Barbados at 2 a.m., the center said.

The hurricane is due to reach the island of 280,000 residents by Tuesday and was expected to keep strengthening, with hundreds of miles of warm water before the nearest land.

"The possibility is there for it to become a Category 5," said Chris Hennon, another meteorologist at the hurricane center.

For the hurricane to reach Category 5 status, sustained winds must be greater than 155 mph.

Ivan became the fourth major hurricane of the season on Sunday afternoon. Earlier in the day, the system was a tropical storm.

"It is not very common for a tropical system to strengthen so quickly," said Robert Molleda, a meteorologist at the hurricane center.

The hurricane is also forecast to move over St. Lucia. Several islands in the Windward chain could also feel the effects, meteorologists said.

Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 25 miles while tropical storm winds can be felt 125 miles from the center.

+++++++++++++++++++++

[Obsolete image removed. Editor]

If you have a broadband connection and would like to see a fairly stunning high resolution satellite image of hurricanes Frances and Ivan, see http://www.nnvl.noaa.gov/hurseas2004/fr ... -1kg12.jpg

In summary, at this moment the hurricane is around the same latitude as Tobago, but over 600 miles out into the Atlantic. It continues to track west-northwest in the traditional manner. It is unlikely to directly hit Tobago but the Atlantic coast, in particular, could notice increased winds and sea surge. St Lucia has now announced a hurricane warning and Grenada will probably experience very rough conditions. I imagine that flights to Tobago may well have to deviate around the storm, so if flying out this week, you might have to put up with longer journeys and possible delays.

We will keep our readers updated on conditions in this thread.
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Post by Steve Wooler » Mon Sep 06, 2004 8:26 am

Hopefully this image link will update to show the current position.

[redundant image removed. Editor]
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Tropical Storm Watch

Post by Paul Tallet » Mon Sep 06, 2004 12:23 pm

Cor !!!

That's clever, I have tried to do those images but sadly I failed my Rocket Scientist exams when I was young, apart from being raised on crusts ... keep them coming, Steve.

Anyway ... Tobago is now on Tropical Storm watch although the Hurricane is bobbing about a bit so the risk is not quite over yet.

The Hurricane has decreased in strength which is apparently common at latitudes as low as this (something another Rocket Scientist could explain) but this is expected to be temporary and it will increase in intensity again.

It is apparent that the predictions are changing quite a bit so I would still be a bit anxious at this stage even though the threat is more likely to decrease rather than increase.
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Hurricane

Post by Rachel Crew » Mon Sep 06, 2004 1:54 pm

Paul,

If you want to keep up to date with the tracking charts as Steve has above, check the following link:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphic ... 0908.shtml?
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Post by Steve Wooler » Mon Sep 06, 2004 4:09 pm

Hi Paul

By all means add any other images that will be useful - as long as they don't take too long to download (remember, not all our readers will be on fast connections). The format is easy - just type the following:

Image

This extracts the image file directly from the address quoted between the two [img] tags.

The advantage of doing this is that the image is not "fixed" in the forum here - the photos will automatically update to the current copy available on the host site each time you return to this thread.

Rachel - thanks, but the image above is the from the National Weather Service (USA) and is an enlargement of the photos in your link. As I say, each time you return here you will get the latest map. Keep an eye on the date/time on both the maps above and you will see what I mean. Bxxxxr me! It's changed while I'm writing this - so it DOES work and show the very latest information.


Anyway, the latest update as at 4pm Monday: The hurricane is less than 500 miles off Barbados, but had dropped to a Category 3 storm. Earlier forecasts had reckoned it could strengthen to a Category 5, the deadliest of the lot.

Tobago is just outside the hurricane track of Ivan but a Tropical Storm warning has been issued.

I'll keep you all posted. I'm on Google News Alerts, so will be informed by email the moment any of the news services post an update.
Last edited by Steve Wooler on Mon Sep 06, 2004 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Paul Tallet » Mon Sep 06, 2004 6:40 pm

Hi Steve

I will leave the images to you ... seeing as it being updated.

I have just had a look at the updates from the NOAA ... they are all over the place with their intensity predictions and, having looked at the satellite loop and assuming Ivan keeps it's track as suggested for the next 24 hours ... I have a hunch that Ivan will pass a little closer to the North of Tobago (i.e.; a little further south that the track suggests).

This one looks very close and the next 24 hours will be interesting.
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Post by Steve Wooler » Mon Sep 06, 2004 9:44 pm

Before I pack up for the night, I thought I'd check on the latest.

The US National Weather Service appear pretty irregular in their updates and planning, so it's difficult to keep track. The update they promised for 8pm didnt come out until more than an hour later and they'd still haven't updated the graphic of the hurricane track.

However, as at 9pm the hurricane had weakened a little more and was 300 miles south-east of Barbados - so about 350 miles from Tobago. Although they have issued a Tropical Storm Warning for T&T, I've had an email from someone on Tobago saying that they've heard virtually nothing "as if the strom warning wasn't even there". They've had a bit of rain today, but nothing else yet.

Fingers crossed. We should be past the worst (for Tobago) within the next 24-36 hours)

Nightie, night. Sorry to rush but I've got a good book waiting for me.
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Post by Kevin Hampson » Mon Sep 06, 2004 9:51 pm

Hi Paul,
You wouldn't like to put a Carib on that latest prediction.

My weatherman recons that because of the influence of Venezuela the hurricanes tend to track north as they approach the land.

Regards
Kevin

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Post by Paul Tallet » Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:42 am

Kevin ... I think I will take you up on that Carib ... in fact I will raise you ... make it a Rum Punch.

Unfortunately, this may not be good reading for anyone this morning and I am now very concerned for the wellbeing of everyone in Tobago and of course other islands in the track of this hurricane.

I have a bad cold so I am up tonight and I have noticed the T & T Goverment has issued a hurricane warning for Tobago ... this was about 0100 our time (GMT).

Rather than read all the babble that has been coming out of the NOAA (and which has not been updated) I took a look at the satellite loop again to see the track.

If anything, Ivan has just bobbled a little further south and the eye is directly east of Tobago about 200 miles I guess ... it is definitely further south than when I last looked 5 hours ago.

The official NOAA track is WRONG ... it is way off the latest satellite photos and it seems that tonight must be a quiet night for them.

So my prediction was more or less right, Kevin, but I should have made it even further south ... to be honest I hope I am wrong but I have been right since I started this string.

I agree with Steve that there has been nothing in the news ... even up to now at 0320 GMT ... it is a disgrace.

The next 6 to 8 hours are crucial.
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Post by Paul Tallet » Tue Sep 07, 2004 3:20 am

At last ... somone has woken up at the NOAA and confirmed the track is westerly.

It seems that there is a trend starting towards downgrading warnings for the islands to the North of Tobago ... I wonder if Trinidad could finish up with hurricane force winds ... previously unheard of?

Based on the latest satellite loop, the wind should now be picking up in Tobago and the Island will wake up to storm force winds. Possibly hurricane force by midday.

Unless there is a miracle, I now reckon the eye of Ivan could pass within less than 60 miles of Tobago. I still cannot believe that it would pass directly over but this is a possibility based on the current track.

The one flicker of hope that I have is that the hurricane is looking more disorganised (or the pictures are of poor quality) and the NOAA has been reporting weakening for the last 24 hours.

Having said that, the NOAA has never had a handle on the intensity of this storm since it started last week.
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Hurricane Ivan Imminent

Post by Paul Tallet » Tue Sep 07, 2004 3:46 am

Bad News.

The NOAA has updated it's forecast track well to the south and confirmed my prediction, in fact the eye of this hurricane is now forecast to pass closer to Tobago than Barbados.

The NOAA predictions for the eye passing within 65 miles of Crown Point has been adjusted massively from 15% to 48%.

Also ... they say this is still category 3 and could strengthen and consequently this will be the worst hurricane in Tobago's memory.

There have been some significant changes in the track of Hurricane Ivan over the last 12 hours and I am rather concerned that these updates have been released overnight in the last few hours when it was obvious to me that Ivan was tracking further south from the satellite photos ... still no news announcements ... the NOAA seem more concerned about the mainland areas and Cuba.

Those in Tobago may not have sufficient time to prepare. Let us hope that the winds will wake them up early this morning and that they will have time to seek shelter.
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Hurricane

Post by Roger D. » Tue Sep 07, 2004 4:22 am

HI Paul and Steve; Just spoke to my relatives in Trinidad, Ivan has changed course slightly and the eye is expected to pass just to the north of Tobago heading to Barbados, Hurricane force winds are expected in Tobago with Tropical Storm force winds/rain in Trinidad, The Chief Secretary of Tobago has advised residents of North-eastern Tobago to Evacuate. Schools/business are to remain closed and all emergency services have been placed on High Alert. Only this morning I was speaking to a friend of mine saying that Trinidad and Tobago is truly blessed and seem to avoid these Hurricanes, now look whats happening. The last Hurricane to hit Tobago was Flora in the 60's and the one before that hit Trinidad and Tobago was Janet in 1955. I guess all we can do now is to pray and hope for the best.

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