There has never been a hurricane like Wilma before. With an unbelievable round of intensification that saw the pressure drop 85 mb in just 12 hours, Wilma smashed the all-time record for lowest pressure in an Atlantic hurricane this morning. The 4 am hurricane hunter report put the pressure at 884 mb from a dropsonde, and the meteorologist reported an even lower 881 mb pressure extrapolated from 10,000 feet flight altitude. This easily bests the previous record of 888 mb set in Hurricane Gilbert of 1988. The eye of Wilma during this round of intense deepening oscillated between 2 and 4 nautical miles, and the area of hurricane force winds only covered an area up to 15 miles from the center. This is an incredibly compact, amazingly intense hurricane, the likes of which has never been seen. The Hurricane Season of 2005 keeps topping itself with new firsts, and now boasts three of the five most intense hurricanes of all time--Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.
I'll be back with a much more detailed blog later this morning, when I've had time to digest these events. I'll talk about what it was like to be the flight meteorologist on the Hurricane Gilbert flight that set the previous record for most intense Atlantic hurricane.
We're living history this year, everybody, this is a once-in-a-lifetime hurricane season.
29. No such thing -- any more -- as "normal" weather
Over the last few years, the Inuit have lost their ability to predict local weather.
Despite generations of knowledge in how to live in harsh weather conditions, they can no longer anticipate the weather due to the volatile extremes and strange behavior. Dozens of hunters have been killed or maimed due to thinning ice conditions where rivers used to be frozen solid or sudden severe storms that came without warning.
Looks like we've joined them in the new landscape of extreme hurricanes, drought, rainfall, you name it.
8. Just spoke to my dad in Ft. Myers, FL. He's NOT leaving.
Claims there's no where to go and no gas to get there. SHIT! I suggested a solid hotel, and he's pretty defeatist, thinks by now they're all sold out. Also doesn't think it's be all that bad. So now he's a weatherman!
Yes, it is tricky to make plans, but should Wilma head that way, when people start to panic, it could be too late. Witness the exodus from Houston; I was calling him to suggest he leave today and take his time, but no dice. Maybe I'm overreacting!
overreacting. Sometimes evacuating is a good idea, even if the storm doesn't come close. Not only do you need to consider the likelihood of his area being hit, but how secure and safe would his home be, how old is he, any health problems, and so on.
Sometimes people can be irritatingly stubborn about not leaving. Hopefully he'll stock up on water and ready to eat food, and that all will be well with him.
13. Wilma, the W storm. We're running out of letters in the alphabet.
What will the National Hurricane Center name the next hurricane? I mean, W is the last letter used in their naming scheme, and we still have several more weeks left in hurricane season. Geez, has there even been a W storm before?
18. I excerpted two NOAA advisories from 10/18 and 10/19 - interesting reading
ZCZC MIATCPAT4 ALL TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM BULLETIN TROPICAL STORM WILMA INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 11A NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL 8 AM EDT TUE OCT 18 2005
WILMA HAS BEEN DRIFTING NORTHWESTWARD OVER THE PAST SEVERAL HOURS...AND A SLOW MOTION TO THE WEST-NORTHWEST OR NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS. HOWEVER...STEERING CURRENTS REMAIN WEAK AND ERRATIC MOTION IS POSSIBLE.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 70 MPH...110 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. WILMA IS EXPECTED TO BECOME A HURRICANE TODAY.
REPORTS FROM NOAA BUOY 42057 INDICATE THAT TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS ASSOCIATED WITH WILMA ARE EXPANDING...AND NOW EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 125 MILES ...200 KM FROM THE CENTER.
ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 980 MB...28.94 INCHES.
000 WTNT34 KNHC 191158 TCPAT4 BULLETIN HURRICANE WILMA INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 16A NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL 8 AM EDT WED OCT 19 2005
...WILMA MAINTAINING CATEGORY FIVE STATUS...RECORD PRESSURE CONFIRMED BY AIRCRAFT CREW...
AT 8 AM EDT...1200Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE WILMA WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 17.2 NORTH...LONGITUDE 82.8 WEST OR ABOUT 340 MILES... 550 KM...SOUTHEAST OF COZUMEL MEXICO.
WILMA IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 8 MPH...13 KM/HR. A TURN TOWARD THE NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 175 MPH...280 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. WILMA IS A POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC CATEGORY FIVE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. FLUCTUATIONS IN INTENSITY ARE COMMON IN HURRICANES THIS INTENSE AND ARE LIKELY DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS.
BASED ON DROPSONDE AND FLIGHT-LEVEL DATA FROM AN AIR FORCE PLANE JUST RETURNING FROM ITS MISSION IN WILMA...THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS ESTIMATED TO BE 882 MB...26.05 INCHES. THIS IS THE LOWEST PRESSURE ON RECORD FOR A HURRICANE IN THE ATLANTIC BASIN.
So, we have Wilma going from a tropical storm to the strongest Atlantic Basin hurricane ever recorded in less than 24 hours.
30. Hurricanes go to low pressure areas, the High Pressure over Alabama is key
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 03:48 PM by happyslug
Notice the High Over Alabama, that is what will keep Wilma to Southern Florida UNLESS THE HIGH MOVES AWAY than the Hurricane will shift to join the low behind the high. Thus this Hurricane can go anywhere in the Gulf depending on where that high goes.
33. The Chart has updated since I wrote the above, the High is gone.
Edited on Thu Oct-20-05 03:26 PM by happyslug
It is now located off the Coast of Georgia and heading for the mid-Atlantic, looks like Wilma will follow it merge with the Low producing the front (and Thunderstorms), and be chased by the Highs Pressure area behind the Front.
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