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2009 Atlantic Hurricane News


2009 Atlantic Hurricane News, Satellite Photos and Resources

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2009 Hurricane Names: Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Erika, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Joaquin, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, Wanda

2009 Hurricane Tracking

Likelihood of a hurricane striking specific locations from Brownsville, Texas on the Gulf Coast to Eastport, Maine on the Atlantic coast: Colorado State University hurricane forecasts.

2009 Atlantic Hurricane News

Note: The 2009 Atlantic hurricane season officially began June 1 and ended November 30.

Hurricane & storm tracking for the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans


Tropical Storm Ida makes landfall in Alabama

A weakened Tropical Storm Ida washed ashore at Dauphin Island, Alabama, Tuesday morning with top wind speeds of about 45 mph, causing flooding of some roads and scattered power outages. At 10:00 a.m., top sustained winds dropped to near 35 mph and it became a tropical depression. Ida was moving northeast about 9 mph and expected to turn eastward to follow the Florida Panhandle. USA Today_ 11/10/09

Hurricane Ida kills 42 in El Salvador, heads for U.S. Gulf Coast

A hurricane watch was issued Sunday for the U.S. Gulf Coast as Hurricane Ida moved through the Yucatan Channel heading into Gulf waters, the National Hurricane Center said. The storm has already wreaked havoc in El Salvador, where the government reported 42 people were killed in flooding and mudslides resulting from heavy rain. Ida also drenched Nicaragua after making landfall last week as a Category 1 hurricane, then weakening to a tropical storm. It regained hurricane strength overnight Saturday. The U.S. watch -- meaning hurricane conditions are possible within 36 hours -- extends from Grand Isle, Louisiana, eastward to the Mississippi-Alabama border, forecasters said. It does not include the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, the hurricane center said. CNN_ 11/8/09

For Tropical Storm Henri, it's despression, then dissipation

Pity poor Henri. The eighth tropical storm of the 2009 season formed Tuesday in the Atlantic, and puffed up a bit, with top sustained winds reaching 50 mph. But almost immediately the storm began to weaken as it drifted closer to the northern Leeward Islands. This morning, Henri was downgraded to a tropical depression, with top winds of barely 35 mph. And forecasters expect the storm will dissipate later today, and become just another tropical low skirting the northernmost islands of the Caribbean. Baltimore Sun_ 10/8/09

Grace seventh tropical storm of a quiet Atlantic hurricane season

Tropical Storm Grace, the seventh named storm of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season, formed far out in the northeastern Atlantic, but was expected to weaken in the next 24 hours, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Monday. Grace, which was packing winds of near 70 mph hour (110 kilometers per hour), was located about 585 miles northeast of the Azores, heading on a northeastern track that could take it in the general direction of the British Isles, computer models showed. Reuters_ 10/5/09

National Hurricane Center monitoring developing Atlantic tropical system

The tropics are starting to show signs of life after a relatively quiet past two weeks. The National Hurricane Center is following three areas of disturbed weather in the Atlantic. The system with the highest chance of becoming a tropical depression is centered roughly 1200 miles east of the Windward Islands. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center say there is a greater than 50 percent chance of the system becoming a tropical depression in the next 48 hours. The NHC is also tracking the remnants of Hurricane Fred as it slowly moves towards South Florida and an area of storms northeast of the Cape Verde Islands.

CBS4_ 9/19/09

Remnants of Hurricane Fred still heading west

The remnants of what was once Hurricane Fred are about 900 miles west of the northernmost Cape Verde Islands. Thunderstorm activity remains limited and upper-level winds are expected to remain unfavorable for re-development, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Mobile Press-Register_ 9/14/09

Tropical Storm Fred forms in eastern Atlantic

Tropical Storm Fred formed in the eastern Atlantic Ocean on Monday with top winds of 40 mph, but did not immediately threaten any land, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Fred was the sixth named tropical storm of the 2009 Atlantic-Caribbean hurricane season that runs from June through November. Forecasters said some strengthening was expected in the next couple of days. Tropical storms become hurricanes when their top sustained winds reach 74 mph. Reuters_ 9/8/09

Barely a tropical storm, Erika expected to weaken

Tropical Storm Erika, poorly organized and barely clinging to tropical-storm status, spread wind and rain across the northeastern Caribbean early Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said. Late Wednesday, Erika was becoming more unorganized and barely clinging to tropical-storm status. The storm, which formed Tuesday evening, briefly strengthened overnight Wednesday before losing much of its steam. CNN_ 9/3/09

Tropical Storm Danny dissolves in the Atlantic; Jimena becomes a Pacific hurricane

Tropical storm Jimena strengthened to a hurricane in the Pacific Ocean south of Mexico, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said today, while Danny weakened to a tropical depression overnight as it continued to move slowly to the north-northeast off the U.S. East Coast. Jimena. with maximum sustained winds of about 80 mph, may become a “major” hurricane -- with winds of 111 mph -- by late tomorrow as it turns to the west-northwest, according to the National Hurricane Center. The biggest concern from what is left of Danny is life- threatening rip currents and large swells along the Atlantic Coast today and tomorrow, the center said. Jimena is projected to move along the Mexican and western Baja Peninsula coasts over the next few days. Bloomberg_ 8/29/09

Danny's a mess, but still a player

Maximum sustained winds at the center of Tropical Storm Danny were barely 40 mph, only a few mph above falling back to the status of tropical depression. But Danny continues to move toward the Outer Banks, and its winds and waves will remain a threat to swimmers and boating along the mid-Atlantic Coast this weekend. Baltimore Sun_ 8/28/09

Tropical Storm Danny could become an Atlantic hurricane by the weekend

Danny's first approach to land was likely to come early Saturday, when it would be off the vulnerable coastal islands of North Carolina, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. By Saturday afternoon it was expected to be nearing the coast around Cape Cod, Massachusetts, as a Category 1 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson intensity scale. Reuters_ 8/26/09

At the quiet New Jersey Shore, all eyes on "Bill"

If you were at the Jersey Shore Saturday, you were knee deep in the effects of Hurricane Bill. And if you were a swimmer, that's about as far as you would have gotten. While beach patrols up and down New Jersey's 127-mile coastline stopped short of preventing anyone from dipping a toe into the ocean, they did restrict bathers from going in no deeper than their knees. Though packing winds of 105 mph as it grazed Bermuda overnight and headed north toward the Canadian Maritimes, Bill was still more than 400 miles east of the Jersey Shore Saturday morning, according to the National Weather Service at Mount Holly. But the effects on beaches in Atlantic, Cape May and Ocean counties appeared to be limited to rough surf and rip currents. Philadelphia Inquirer_ 8/22/09

Hurricane Bill increases to Category 4

Hurricane Bill, upgraded to a Category 4 storm, tore across the Atlantic Wednesday with raging winds nearing 135 mph, threatening a possible strike near Bermuda in a few days, meteorologists reported. Forecasters predicted the hurricane could get even stronger. The most significant threat could be to Bermuda, which the storm could hit in three or four days. It also could move directly between Bermuda and the eastern coast of the U.S. without making landfall. New York Daily News_ 8/19/09

Bill becomes Atlantic's first 2009 hurricane; Claudette dumps rain on Florida

Bill became the first hurricane of the 2009 Atlantic season as it continued to gain strength, but remained far from any shore Monday morning, forecasters said. Claudette, on the other hand, became the first tropical storm to hit the U.S. mainland this year when it made landfall in the Florida Panhandle early Monday but weakened as it moved farther inland. Even before Claudette made landfall, the storm's outer bands pounded the area with heavy rain, with officials warning that some coastal areas had the potential for localized flooding. A third weather system, Ana, was downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression. CNN_ 8/17/09

Claudette, third named tropical storm of the season, heads for Florida Panhandle

A tropical storm warning was issued for coastal communities of the Florida Panhandle and the northeastern Gulf of Mexico as Tropical Storm Claudette took aim on the area later today, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Tropical Storm Bill, which formed late yesterday, is moving west in the Atlantic, while Ana, the first named storm of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season, was downgraded to a tropical depression as of 5 p.m. New York time, the forecasters said. Bill may become a hurricane tonight or tomorrow. Bloomberg_ 8/16/09

Tropical storms Ana and Bill form in the Atlantic

Ana, the first tropical storm of the 2009 hurricane season, formed early Saturday morning, while a strengthening depression just behind it turned into Tropical Storm Bill by 5 p.m. Of the two storms, forecasters believe Bill appeared to have the better shot of becoming a hurricane. By Thursday, when it is expected to near Puerto Rico on its current track, Bill is forecast to be a hurricane, possibly reaching Category 3 power with winds topping 111 mph. Miami Herald_ 5/15/09

Ana, first named tropical storm of the 2009 season, forms over the Atlantic; Second storm developing

The storm formed Saturday and was moving west toward the Leeward Islands, the National Hurricane Center said. But the NHC said its initial projections did not show it developing into a full-blown hurricane in the next 120 hours, although this possibility could not be ruled out. Tropical storms become hurricanes when their top sustained winds reach 74 mph. The NHC said another tropical depression also moving westward from the Cape Verde Islands was expected to become a tropical storm later on Saturday or on Sunday. Projections showed this Tropical Depression Three could become a hurricane in the next 72-96 hours, the center said. Reuters_ 8/15/09

Study: Atlantic hurricanes more frequent than in past 1,000 years

Hurricanes in the Atlantic are more frequent than at any time in the last 1,000 years and could get worse due to global warming, according to a study published in the journal Nature. Scientists made their calculation by examining sediments left by hurricanes that crossed the coast in North America and the Caribbean, the journal says. The study's lead author is Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University. USA Today_ 8/13/09

Felicia downgraded to tropical storm, but Hawaii still on alert

The Hawaii Islands are still on alert in anticipation of possible flooding, surging surf, and high winds. The National Weather Service has also issued a flash flood watch for Hawaii County beginning Monday. Meanwhile, the forecasted track of Felicia now appears to take the center of the system over Maui. A National Weather Service discussion details Felicia's projected progress:


Florida researchers chase hurricanes in the lab

Studies at three Florida universities on wind damage and hurricane prediction could help efforts to protect coastal residents.

* Florida State University has developed a computer model intended to improve the accuracy of hurricane predictions.

* The University of Miami plans to build a $48-million research complex to simulate how hurricane winds slash into coastal structures.

* Florida International University plans to employ a powerful machine, capable of producing 130 mph-winds, as part of a separate program to study wind damage. Meanwhile, Intellectual Ventures, a private firm in Bellevue, Wash., intends to banish hurricanes altogether. All of this research should strengthen the nation's efforts to predict storms and protect residents, said Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Los Angeles Times_ 8/9/09

NOAA cuts 2009 Atlantic hurricane forecast, cites El Nino

The U.S. government climate agency cut its 2009 Atlantic hurricane season forecast on Thursday, predicting between seven and 11 tropical storms, with three to six becoming hurricanes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted one to two of those would be "major" hurricanes of Category 3 or higher, with sustained winds of more than 110 miles per hour (177 km per hour). The agency had predicted in May that there would be nine to 14 tropical storms, with four to seven becoming hurricanes, and one to three strengthening into major hurricanes. The change in the seasonal forecast was based mainly on the arrival of El Nino, a periodic warming of sea waters in the eastern Pacific. El Nino can suppress Atlantic hurricane activity by increasing wind shear, a difference in wind speeds at different altitudes that can tear apart nascent cyclones. Reuters_ 8/6/09

Hurricane-calming technology? Bill Gates has a plan
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has turned his attention to controlling the weather.  Five U.S. Patent and Trade Office patent applications, made public on July 9, propose slowing hurricanes by pumping cold, deep-ocean water in their paths from barges. If issued, the patents offer 18 years of legal rights to the idea for Gates and co-inventors, including climate scientist Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.  Hurricanes draw strength from warm waters on the ocean's surface. The patents describe a system for strategically placing turbine-equipped barges in the path of storms to chill sea surfaces with cold water pumped from the depths.  "The bottom line here is that if enough pumps are deployed, it is reasonable to expect some diminution of hurricane power," says hurricane expert Kerry Emanuel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is not part of the patent effort. Cutting sea surface temperature by 4.5 degrees under the eye of a hurricane would actually kill a storm, he adds. "This would have to be done on a massive scale, but is still probably within the realm of feasibility." USAToday_7/16/09

It's official. El Nino is back: NOA

El Nino conditions are forming in the Pacific Ocean, which may limit the number of hurricanes that form in the Atlantic this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported today. El Nino is a warming of the eastern Pacific that occurs every two to five years, on average, and lasts about 12 months, the agency said in a statement. Sea surface temperatures in the area were about 1 degree Celsius above average in June, according to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center in Camp Springs, Maryland. Typically, an El Nino brings more winter rain to the arid southwest U.S., less wintry weather to the north and fewer Atlantic hurricanes. Bloomberg_ 7/09/09

El Nino comes in two parts; finding could help hurricane predictions: Researchers

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have determined El Nino, the seasonal Pacific Ocean warming that affects the world's weather, may not be just one little boy -- it seems to be two little boys. Two distinct patterns of warming occur in the Pacific Ocean, according to the researchers, and that could help with North Atlantic hurricane predictions. El Nino, which occurs about every three to five years, is an ocean warming that begins in the early summer months and that reaches its peak in December. The study's findings, to be published Friday in the journal Science, could help provide a few extra months of lead time in hurricane forecasting. Los Angeles Times_ 7/2/09

Colorado State University team lowers 2009 Atlantic hurricane forecast to slightly below average

There will be slightly less hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin this year than originally forecast, hurricane experts at Colorado State University said today. Cooler than normal water and the potential for a weak El Nino weather system mean 11 named storms and five hurricanes are likely to develop before Nov. 30, according to a news release. Of the five hurricanes, two are expected to develop into major hurricanes, the release said. A major hurricane has sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or more and rate a 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir/Simpson scale. In April, the scientists predicted 12 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes. An average season has 9.6 names storms, 5.9 hurricanes and 2.3 major hurricanes per year. "We believe that there is a slightly greater chance of a weak El Nino developing this summer/fall than there was in early April," said William Gray, who is beginning his 26th year forecasting hurricanes at Colorado State University. "El Nino conditions would likely increase levels of vertical wind shear and decrease Atlantic hurricane activity." The team will issue a final seasonal forecast update on Tuesday, August 4. News Release_ 6/2/09

First tropical depression of 2009 Atlantic season forms off U.S. East Coast

Days ahead of the June 1 start of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season, Tropical Depression One formed about 260 miles southeast of Nantucket, Massachusetts. Forecasters said Friday the depression had maximum sustained winds near 35 miles an hour and was not expected to threaten land or increase in strength. Soundings_ 5/29/09

Odds  of hurricane hitting U.S. this season 54%: Forecasters

Phil Klotzbach and colleague William Gray, climatologists from Colorado State University, told attendees at the Florida Governor's Hurricane Conference being held at the Broward County Convention Center, that 2009 is likely to be an average Atlantic hurricane season. According to Klotzback and Gray, Florida and the U.S. East Coast have less than a 1-in-3 chance, or 32 percent, of experiencing a hurricane landfall this year. The odds are roughly similar -- 31 percent -- for the states along the Gulf of Mexico, and 54 percent for the entire U.S. coastline. South Florida Sun-Sentinel_ 5/13/09

Colorado hurricane forecasters reduce 2009 predictions; Atlantic season will be average

The Colorado State University forecast team predicts an average 2009 Atlantic basin hurricane season based on the potential for a weak El Nino developing and cooling tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures. The team of William Gray and Phil Klotzbach now anticipates 12 named storms forming in the Atlantic basin between June 1 and Nov. 30. Six of those storms are predicted to become hurricanes, and of those six, two are expected to develop into intense or major hurricanes (Saffir/Simpson category 3-4-5) with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater. The forecast was reduced from the early December prediction of 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes. Long-term averages are 9.6 named storms, 5.9 hurricanes and 2.3 intense hurricanes per year. The team began using a new early April statistical model last year. News Release_ 4/7/09

Colorado hurricane forecasters have developed the first publicly accessible Internet site that shows regions and counties along the Atlantic hurricane path and the likelihood of tropical storm-force, hurricane-force and intense hurricane-force winds occurring at specific locations from Brownsville, Texas on the Gulf Coast to Eastport, Maine on the Atlantic coast, within a variety of time periods. To read the information, go to The site is updated regularly.

AccuWeather predicts milder 2009 hurricane season, but still above normal

AccuWeather is the most recent organization to release its outlook, predicting Wednesday that the season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, will bring 13 named storms and eight hurricanes. In 2008, there were 16 named storms and eight hurricanes, five of which were major -- that is, classified as Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale of storm intensity -- with winds of 111 mph or higher. The three previous 2009 forecasts were released in December by Colorado State University (14 named storms, seven hurricanes), WSI Corp. (13 named storms, seven hurricanes) and Weather Research Center (seven named storms, four hurricanes). Storms acquire a name when they are designated tropical storms, with sustained maximum winds of at least 39 mph. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a "normal" Atlantic season has 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes. CNN_ 3/18/09


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