Caribbean-On-Line's Caribbean Hurricane Blog



Florence

Forecasters: Neither hurricane Gordon nor tropical storm Helene threaten land

Published on September 15, 2006 3:32 PM | Comments

From the AP:

MIAMI (AP) - Hurricane Gordon was downgraded to a Category 2 storm and tropical storm Helene strengthened Friday as both storms in the open Atlantic did not immediately threaten land, forecasters said. Gordon's top sustained winds were near 160 km/h, down 16 km/h from earlier in the day and eight km/h away from being lowered to a Category 1 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center. More weakening was expected over the next day, said Jamie Rhome, a hurricane specialist. Helene had top sustained winds near 96 km/h, up from 72 km/h earlier in the day, and could become a hurricane, forecasters said. It was centred about 2,180 kilometres east of the Leeward Islands and moving west-northwest near 21 km/h. It is not an immediate threat to land, and forecasts predicted it would be well east of Bermuda in five days. The Atlantic hurricane season began June 1 and ends Nov. 30. The National Hurricane Center's latest forecast for the season expects between seven and nine hurricanes, a slight reduction from earlier predictions. Federal scientists said this week that the season has not been as busy because weak El Nino conditions have developed in the tropical Pacific. El Nino means higher ocean temperatures that inhibit hurricanes by increasing crosswinds over the Caribbean. This vertical wind shear can rip storms apart or even stop them from forming. But National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists warned that the El Nino impacts on hurricanes have been small so far. And the season is still at its traditional peak, so residents should stay prepared, forecasters said.


Photo of Florence from Bermuda

Published on September 11, 2006 12:46 PM | Comments

This is one of many photos that are available here:

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Boaz Island condos: end of boardwalk looking toward Dockyard. Photo supplied by Todd Martin.



Hurricane Florence bashes Bermuda

Published on September 11, 2006 12:44 PM | Comments

From Reuters:

HAMILTON, Bermuda (Reuters) - Hurricane Florence bashed Bermuda with powerful winds and pounding surf on Monday and gained some strength as it swept just offshore of the mid-Atlantic British island.

Florence's sustained winds grew from 80 mph (130 kph) to 90 mph (145 kph), and a wind gust was measured at 111 mph (180 kph) on the island, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

At 11 a.m. the center of the Atlantic season's second hurricane was about 60 miles northwest of Bermuda and moving north-northeast at 13 mph (21 kph).

The core of the Category 1 hurricane -- the lowest rank on the five-stage Saffir-Simpson scale -- stayed just off the Bermudan coast.


The hurricane was forecast to stay away from the North American mainland, but created heavy surf along parts of the eastern United States and the Canadian Maritime provinces.

Bermuda issued a hurricane warning and government leaders called up 200 troops and placed 250 more on standby for possible deployment after the storm.

Hundreds of emergency service workers were also on standby in the wealthy holiday destination, which is home to about 65,000 people and is an international finance center.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or serious damages from Florence, but the storm knocked out power to about 23,000 homes and businesses, a spokesman for the Bermuda Electric Light Company said.



a Limey in Bermuda

Published on September 11, 2006 11:14 AM | Comments

Here is a good blog from someone in Bermuda (called "a Limey in Bermuda") who has been blogging the storm:

"8am on the top floor of the LPG building, Bermudiana Road. Slept reasonably well last night - we found ourselves a windowless office in the middle of the building and couldn't hear what was going on outside at all. Wind is very strong now - the trees in Par-La-Ville park are really bending and the plate glass windows along the east side of the office are flexing alarmingly. They all held up during Fabian, though, so we're not too concerned about any of them breaking. There's not too much rain at the moment, and we can still see clear across the harbour."

They also set up a Hurricane Florence photo album on Flickr.



25,000 Without Power

Published on September 11, 2006 11:10 AM | Comments

From the Bermuda Sun:

MONDAY, NOON: Belco said this morning that they have 25,000 customers without power, but they expect to have "significant restoration" within 24 hours as Hurricane Florence moves away from Bermuda.

Linda Smith Wilson, Belco's vice-president of public relations, told the Bermuda Sun that the the power company has 37 of 75 circuits not working.

She added that the good news is that it appears that no major lines or transformers were damaged so that the company expects to start sending out crews at 1pm.

She said there are crew across the causeway to service St. George's and St. David's.

Ms. Smith Wilson added that there should be "significant restoration" within 24 hours.

"We'll have crews working throughht the evening and night to restore power to people's homes."

The company will start fixing the main lines and after they are back working Belco will get the substations back on line as well.

She also said that people who have generators and plan on hooking them up to the main power source, they should turn off the main source first. Then they should connect to the customer side, rather than the Belco side.

More here



Bermuda prepares for Florence

Published on September 11, 2006 11:08 AM | Comments

From the Royal Gazette:

Hamilton was deserted tonight as Bermuda prepared for Hurricane Florence tomorrow morning. Although weather forecasters were predicting at midnight that the eye of the storm would pass 63 miles to the west of the Island on Monday morning, the size of the storm meant they were still expecting the Island to experience hurricane-force winds. The Island's only 24-hour gas station shut its doors in the late afternoon and many restaurants did not open, leaving what would otherwise be a busy summer evening spent preparing homes for the Category One storm. By nightfall, otherwise popular nightspots were closed. Here and there security guards could be seen and building custodians made final preparations. International media are known to be present and reporting live via satellite. Tropical storm force winds have already been recorded by the Bermuda Weather Service - numbers which are expected to change in the coming hours. At midnight, the closest point of approach of Hurricane Florence was predicted to be at 7 a.m. on Monday morning at 63 nautical miles to the west of the Island.

Maximum sustained winds of the storm just 130 nautical miles southwest of Bermuda have been recorded by US hurricane hunter aircraft as 80 knots with gusts to 100 knots or 92 miles per hour with gusts to 115 miles per hour.

The last time Bermuda was struck by a major hurricane, Fabian on September 5, 2003, four people were killed on the one-mile causeway linking the Main island to the St. George's and St. David's islands.

The Government has instituted a safety policy banning passage of the causeway across Castle Harbour once winds reach a certain level.



HURRICANE FLORENCE ADVISORY NUMBER 32

Published on September 11, 2006 11:06 AM | Comments

HURRICANE FLORENCE ADVISORY NUMBER 32 NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL062006 1100 AM AST MON SEP 11 2006

...FLORENCE STRONGER...POUNDING BERMUDA...

A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR BERMUDA. A HURRICANE
WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE
WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE
INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED
BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

AT 1100 AM AST...1500Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE FLORENCE WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 32.9 NORTH...LONGITUDE 65.6 WEST OR ABOUT 60
MILES...100 KM...NORTHWEST OF BERMUDA.

FLORENCE IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHEAST NEAR 13 MPH...20 KM/HR
...AND THIS MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE WITH SOME INCREASE IN
FORWARD SPEED DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS. THE CENTER OF FLORENCE IS
EXPECTED TO MOVE AWAY FROM BERMUDA LATER TODAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 90 MPH...150
KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. FLORENCE IS A CATEGORY ONE HURRICANE ON
THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN STRENGTH IS
EXPECTED THROUGH TONIGHT. AN ELEVATED OBSERVING SITE IN BERMUDA
RECENTLY REPORTED A WIND GUST TO 111 MPH...179 KM/HR.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 70 MILES...110 KM...FROM
THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 290
MILES...465 KM.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 972 MB...28.70 INCHES.

STORM SURGE VALUES OF 6 TO 8 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS ALONG
WITH LARGE AND DANGEROUS BATTERING WAVES ARE LIKELY ALONG THE COAST
OF BERMUDA TODAY. THESE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO BEGIN SUBSIDING
TONIGHT.

ADDITIONAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES CAN BE EXPECTED IN
BERMUDA IN ASSOCIATION WITH FLORENCE.

LARGE OCEAN SWELLS AND DANGEROUS SURF CONDITIONS... INCLUDING STRONG
RIP CURRENTS... ARE AFFECTING THE BAHAMAS AND PORTIONS OF THE EAST
COAST OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE CANADIAN MARITIMES. SEE
STATEMENTS FROM LOCAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICES FOR DETAILS ON
COASTAL CONDITIONS.

REPEATING THE 1100 AM AST POSITION...32.9 N...65.6 W. MOVEMENT
TOWARD...NORTH-NORTHEAST NEAR 13 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...90
MPH. MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...972 MB.



HURRICANE FLORENCE ADVISORY NUMBER 31

Published on September 11, 2006 5:41 AM | Comments

Florence is only a category 1 hurricane, and is not expected to make a direct hit on Bermuda - good news. Let's hope they have good luck on that tiny island!

HURRICANE FLORENCE ADVISORY NUMBER 31 NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL062006 500 AM AST MON SEP 11 2006

...FLORENCE APPROACHES BERMUDA BUT IS NOT STRENGTHENING...

A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR BERMUDA. A HURRICANE
WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE
WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS. PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT
LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD HAVE ALREADY BEEN COMPLETED.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE MONITOR
PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

AT 500 AM AST...0900Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE FLORENCE WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 31.8 NORTH...LONGITUDE 66.0 WEST OR ABOUT 80 MILES...
125 KM...WEST-SOUTHWEST OF BERMUDA.

FLORENCE IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH NEAR 12 MPH...19 KM/HR. A TURN
TO THE NORTH-NORTHEAST WITH AN INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED IS
EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS. THE CENTER OF FLORENCE IS
EXPECTED TO PASS A SHORT DISTANCE TO THE WEST OF BERMUDA WITHIN THE
NEXT FEW HOURS.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 80 MPH...130 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. FLORENCE IS A CATEGORY ONE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON
SCALE. LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 24
HOURS. AN ELEVATED OBSERVING SITE IN BERMUDA RECENTLY REPORTED A
GUST TO 79 MPH.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 60 MILES...95 KM...FROM
THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 290
MILES...465 KM.

THE LATEST MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE REPORTED BY RECONNAISSANCE
AIRCRAFT WAS 976 MB...28.82 INCHES.

STORM SURGE VALUES OF 6 TO 8 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS ALONG
WITH LARGE AND DANGEROUS BATTERING WAVES ARE LIKELY ALONG THE COAST
OF BERMUDA AS FLORENCE PASSES NEAR THE ISLAND.

RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES CAN BE EXPECTED IN BERMUDA IN
ASSOCIATION WITH FLORENCE...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 6
INCHES.

LARGE OCEAN SWELLS AND DANGEROUS SURF CONDITIONS... INCLUDING STRONG
RIP CURRENTS... ARE AFFECTING THE BAHAMAS AND PORTIONS OF THE EAST
COAST OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE CANADIAN MARITIMES. SEE
STATEMENTS FROM LOCAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICES FOR DETAILS ON
COASTAL CONDITIONS.

REPEATING THE 500 AM AST POSITION...31.8 N...66.0 W. MOVEMENT
TOWARD...NORTH NEAR 12 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...80 MPH.
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...976 MB.



TS Florence heads toward Bermuda

Published on September 11, 2006 5:39 AM | Comments

From the AP:

Tropical Storm Florence was predicted to strengthen Friday as it moved through the open Atlantic on a path expected to take it over Bermuda, where officials planned to issue a tropical storm watch or warning within the next 24 hours, forecasters said.

The storm's forecast path could put it over Bermuda on Sunday or Monday and it could strengthen into a hurricane by then, although intensity predictions typically vex meteorologists. Early Friday, it was still relatively weak with maximum sustained winds near 50 mph (80 kph).

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center said Florence still posed no danger to the U.S. But because it is large in size, with tropical storm force winds extending up to 405 miles (650 kilometers) from its center, it could create high surf and rip currents along parts of the East Coast.

"If the storm follows the forecast track it will recurve well off the U.S. East Coast and there will be no direct impact," senior hurricane specialist Jack Beven said, adding that Florence was expected to start veering away from the U.S. coast in about two days.



FLORENCE REACHES HURRICANE STRENGTH

Published on September 10, 2006 4:10 AM | Comments

HURRICANE FLORENCE INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 26A...CORRECTED NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL062006 200 AM AST SUN SEP 10 2006

CORRECTED TO ADD RAINFALL STATEMENT

...FLORENCE REACHES HURRICANE STRENGTH...

A HURRICANE WATCH AND A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAIN IN EFFECT FOR
BERMUDA. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM
CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24
HOURS. A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE
POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 36 HOURS. A
HURRICANE WARNING WILL LIKELY BE ISSUED LATER THIS MORNING.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE
INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED
BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

AT 200 AM AST...0600Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE FLORENCE WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 27.1 NORTH...LONGITUDE 65.2 WEST OR ABOUT 360
MILES...580 KM...SOUTH OF BERMUDA.

FLORENCE IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST NEAR 13 MPH...20
KM/HR...AND THIS MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE THIS MORNING WITH A
TURN TOWARD THE NORTH LATER TODAY.

REPORTS FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE
THAT MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 75 MPH...120
KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. THIS MAKES FLORENCE A CATEGORY ONE
HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR/SIMPSON HURRICANE SCALE. SOME ADDITIONAL
STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

FLORENCE REMAINS A LARGE TROPICAL CYCLONE. HURRICANE FORCE WINDS
EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 45 MILES...75 KM FROM THE CENTER. TROPICAL
STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 260 MILES...415 KM FROM THE
CENTER.

RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT JUST REPORTED A MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE OF
981 MB...28.97 INCHES.

STORM SURGE VALUES OF 6 TO 8 FEET WILL BE POSSIBLE ALONG THE COAST
OF BERMUDA AS FLORENCE PASSES NEAR THE ISLAND.

FLORENCE IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAIN ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO 8
INCHES OVER BERMUDA...WITH POSSIBLE ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 10
INCHES.

LARGE OCEAN SWELLS AND DANGEROUS SURF CONDITIONS... INCLUDING STRONG
RIP CURRENTS...ARE ALREADY AFFECTING BERMUDA...AS WELL AS THE
NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS...THE VIRGIN ISLANDS...PUERTO RICO...
HISPANIOLA AND THE BAHAMAS. THESE CONDITIONS WILL BEGIN TO AFFECT
AREAS OF THE EAST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES THIS MORNING. SEE
STATEMENTS FROM LOCAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICES FOR DETAILS ON
COASTAL CONDITIONS.

REPEATING THE 200 AM AST POSITION...27.1 N...65.2 W. MOVEMENT
TOWARD...NORTHWEST NEAR 13 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...75 MPH.
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...981 MB



Florence churns...

Published on September 8, 2006 6:48 AM | Comments

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Florence is still out in the Atlantic, churning away. The NHC still says she will become a hurricane. Although the Caribbean and US seems out of harm's way on this one, Bermuda seems to be dead center of the current projected path.

TROPICAL STORM FLORENCE ADVISORY NUMBER 19 NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL062006 500 AM AST FRI SEP 08 2006

...FLORENCE SHOWS LITTLE CHANGE...

THE BERMUDA WEATHER SERVICE WILL LIKELY ISSUE WATCHES OR WARNINGS
WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE
INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED
BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

AT 500 AM AST...0900Z...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM FLORENCE WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 22.1 NORTH...LONGITUDE 57.6 WEST OR ABOUT 445
MILES...720 KM...NORTHEAST OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS AND ABOUT
830 MILES...1340 KM...SOUTHEAST OF BERMUDA.

FLORENCE IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 16 MPH...26 KM/HR
...AND THIS MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 50 MPH...85 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. ALTHOUGH FLORENCE HAS NOT STRENGTHENED...CONDITIONS APPEAR
FAVORABLE FOR INTENSIFICATION DURING THE NEXT DAY OR TWO.

TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 405 MILES...650 KM
MAINLY TO THE NORTH OF THE CENTER.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1000 MB...29.53 INCHES.

REPEATING THE 500 AM AST POSITION...22.1 N...57.6 W. MOVEMENT
TOWARD...WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 16 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...50
MPH. MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1000 MB.




Tropical Storm Florence forms in Atlantic

Published on September 5, 2006 1:42 PM | Comments

From Reuters:

MIAMI (Reuters) - The sixth tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, Florence, formed in the distant Atlantic on Tuesday and could become a hurricane as it moves toward the United States, U.S. forecasters said.

Tropical Storm Florence was about 935 miles east of the Lesser Antilles by 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) and moving to the west at 12 mph (19 kph), the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said.

Long-range computer tracking models projected the swirling mass of thunderstorms could end up north of the Caribbean islands, reaching hurricane status by 8 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT) on Friday, the hurricane center said.

Tropical storms become hurricanes when their maximum sustained winds hit 74 mph (119 kph). Florence's maximum sustained winds were near 40 mph (64 kph) as of late Tuesday morning.



Tropical Depression 6, could become Florence

Published on September 4, 2006 7:09 AM | Comments

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From Bloomberg:

Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- A tropical depression far out in the Atlantic ocean will become Tropical Storm Florence later today, the sixth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

It's too early to attempt to predict whether Florence will enter the Gulf of Mexico or make any landfall, said senior forecaster Richard Pasch at the National Hurricane Center.

"It's just too far out and I wouldn't want to make a statement one way or the other,'' he said in a telephone interview. "This is just a typical location for the formation of an Atlantic hurricane.''

Hurricanes in the basin are carefully watched because they can wreak property destruction, damage oil and gas rigs and play havoc with marine and air transportation. Last September's Hurricane Katrina caused about $81 billion in damage and killed more than 1,800 people.

More here.