Author Topic: Hurricane Irma  (Read 48532 times)

Offline ChrisGebhardt

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Hurricane Irma
« on: 09/03/2017 03:58 PM »
National Weather Service stating it's too early to talk about potential landfall, but as the forecast now has this right off Florida's coast on Friday, figured I'd start a post for this storm.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #1 on: 09/03/2017 04:03 PM »
Here's the latest GFS ensemble.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #2 on: 09/03/2017 04:04 PM »
The intensity models look a bit terrifying.

Offline sanman

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #3 on: 09/03/2017 08:49 PM »
What's notable about this storm is that it initially seemed to grow from Tropical Depression to a Category 2 storm in the space of 6 hours, and even to a Category 3 after a total of 24 hours elapsed. Right now it seems to be straddling the border between Cat2 and Cat3, with predictions that it could hit Cat5 as it enters warmer shallower waters.

Everyone says it's too early to tell for certain where it will head, but the maps posted so far seem to indicate that it will at least come near Florida, if not hit it directly.

What's been educational for me is learning about the different forecasting models (eg. Euro vs GFS), and also in learning how hurricanes can be steered by surrounding pressure zones, like the one in the North/Mid-Atlantic region (aka."Bermuda High").

I'd read that the European model had come to surpass the American GFS model, but that recently the US had invested in upgrading the GFS model to improve it, so that it may actually now be a little more accurate than the European model in terms of forecasting.

« Last Edit: 09/03/2017 11:00 PM by sanman »

Offline Orbiter

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #4 on: 09/03/2017 09:08 PM »
KSC did this dance last year, let's hope they don't have to do it again.

12z ECMWF keeps it away from Florida, but it's a close shave (1st .gif)

12z GFS similar, but makes Irma *ridiculously* strong (2nd .gif)

(click for animation)
« Last Edit: 09/03/2017 09:11 PM by Orbiter »
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Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #5 on: 09/03/2017 10:09 PM »
We're still a week out, but this storm looks awful for the east coast of the US (not to mention, Puerto Rico and the other islands on the way).  Models are starting to coalesce around it making landfall somewhere, rather than turning out to sea, and doing so in the category 3/4/5 range with extremely low minimum pressure.

Let's hope for a good, solid right turn to the north-east to avoid landfall because otherwise it will likely get really ugly for many people somewhere on the east coast.

The only good news I can see is that Houston doesn't seem to be a likely target, but it's not out of the woods either.

Offline sanman

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #6 on: 09/03/2017 11:08 PM »
While Harvey's main damage was wrought because of its slow speed causing it to hover over Texas while dumping lots of rain, Irma seems to be somewhat faster-moving as well as windier (possible Category 5)

What are the standard sort of precautions that space centers in Florida would be taking to mitigate damage from very high-velocity winds?

What would SpaceX do with ASDS that might be in the hurricane's path? Just sail it away elsewhere?

Offline Norm38

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #7 on: 09/04/2017 01:42 AM »
Just saw the latest model updates and there's only one making the turn North while some actually take it through the Florida Straight into the Gulf. Miami is sitting about dead center now in the spread.
If it does make the turn it might run right up the coastline. Everyone from Key West to Jacksonville has to be ready for this.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #8 on: 09/04/2017 01:55 AM »

Offline Norm38

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #9 on: 09/04/2017 03:58 AM »
I don't think I've ever seen a storm track come here to Chicago from the Atlantic.

Offline timverhoeven

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #10 on: 09/04/2017 08:44 AM »
Some more updates from the NHS (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/graphics_at1.shtml?cone#contents) and Tropical Tibits (https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/storminfo/).

It looks like it will grow to around the cat 3/4 threshold, it is a cat 3 at the moment. It will make its presence felt on the Caribbean and Bahamas chain of islands. And from there on it is to soon to tell if it will make landfall over Florida or pass by it, but also there people will know that Irma is in the neighbourhood.


Offline timverhoeven

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #11 on: 09/04/2017 08:57 AM »
Two more graphs from the Weathernerds (http://www.weathernerds.org/tc_guidance/storm.html?tcid=AL11).

The American GFS model tends to plots Irma going straight over Floriday, while the European ECMWF model keeps Irma more over the Atlantic as is passes Florida. History tells us that the ECMWF model is more trust worthy, but it is to early to say anything definitely.

Online SmallKing

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #12 on: 09/04/2017 01:28 PM »
For the coming OTV-5 mission, looks like Irma is not a problem
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Offline timverhoeven

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #13 on: 09/04/2017 03:32 PM »
For the coming OTV-5 mission, looks like Irma is not a problem

Indeed, latest NHC update puts the centre of Irma at the Cuban shoreline on Saturday. So that should be just far enough out to give OTV-5 a couple of opportunities to launch. But after that Irma should be turning northwards so if there is a delay longer then a couple of days things might get messy.

Offline sanman

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #14 on: 09/04/2017 07:21 PM »
Waitasec - today's updated forecast shows that Hurricane Irma could be on a more southerly track, and not only maul Cuba but hit Southern Florida as well - potentially allowing it to head into the Gulf of Mexico:




Gee, I certainly hope the zone already affected by Hurricane Harvey doesn't get hit again.  :(
« Last Edit: 09/04/2017 07:30 PM by sanman »

Offline timverhoeven

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #15 on: 09/04/2017 07:41 PM »
Gee, I certainly hope the zone already affected by Hurricane Harvey doesn't get hit again.  :(

For the moment none of the prediction models have Irma going in the direction of Texas and Louisiana. Most likely irma will head north after passing over/close to Cuba. So for the moment they should not worry to much. People in (Southern) Florida on the other hand should start paying attention.

Offline sanman

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #16 on: 09/04/2017 07:49 PM »
For the moment none of the prediction models have Irma going in the direction of Texas and Louisiana. Most likely irma will head north after passing over/close to Cuba. So for the moment they should not worry to much. People in (Southern) Florida on the other hand should start paying attention.


My understanding is that passing through warmer/shallower waters helps these hurricanes draw strength, and so a more southerly trajectory through the warmer waters of the Caribbean (and possibly Gulf) will make Irma stronger and more dangerous as well.

Meanwhile, there's another Tropical Depression farther behind Irma, which apparently has a 40% chance of becoming a hurricane:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
« Last Edit: 09/04/2017 07:49 PM by sanman »

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #17 on: 09/04/2017 08:01 PM »
My understanding is that passing through warmer/shallower waters helps these hurricanes draw strength, and so a more southerly trajectory through the warmer waters of the Caribbean (and possibly Gulf) will make Irma stronger and more dangerous as well.

Meanwhile, there's another Tropical Depression farther behind Irma, which apparently has a 40% chance of becoming a hurricane:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

Other than, Cuba has a tendency to shred hurricanes... so a more southerly track could weaken it, especially if after it's Cuban snack it makes a bee line for Southern Florida.

I'm sure most Cuban's would prefer a more northern track...

btw. The prediction I saw for Irma had the other TP taking a sharp northern turn and heading out to the North Atlantic.
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Offline sanman

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #18 on: 09/04/2017 08:15 PM »
Other than, Cuba has a tendency to shred hurricanes... so a more southerly track could weaken it, especially if after it's Cuban snack it makes a bee line for Southern Florida.

I'm sure most Cuban's would prefer a more northern track...

btw. The prediction I saw for Irma had the other TP taking a sharp northern turn and heading out to the North Atlantic.

Seems like the British Virgin Islands will get hit no matter what. Now that the American NHC is sending tracker planes in, I'd imagine they'll come up with better data for more accurate forecasts.



« Last Edit: 09/04/2017 08:17 PM by sanman »

Offline darkenfast

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Re: Hurricane Irma
« Reply #19 on: 09/04/2017 09:29 PM »
While I'm asking specifically about SpaceX and 39A, this question could pertain to a lot of other places on the Cape.  At 39A there's a large fabric-covered temporary structure hiding some yet to be revealed goodies (Crew Access Arm?).  Will this have to be removed before the hurricane hits?  Does anyone know what these things are rated to?

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