Live Surfline Cams, Etc. During Irma

Watch Irma impact Florida and beyond through Surfline’s live YouTube stream —

Additional Surfline assets to monitor Irma with —

Other interesting items from Irma —

Satellite recorded wave heights of 60-65ft when Irma was a Category 5 a couple of days ago (from our back end validation system):

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Swell from Irma is also impacting the entire East Coast, Canadian Maritimes, and beyond. Here is a screenshot from our Manasquan Inlet, NJ cam yesterday afternoon —

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(yes, that is a surfer on the wave breaking outside of the inlet)

Stay safe everyone. Surfline’s thoughts and prayers are with all of those impacted by this horrible storm.

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Marine Weather Portal: New Threats Layer Added just in Time for Hurricane Irma

Marine Weather Portal

Pictured is the predicted track of Hurricane Irma coupled with the newly added National Weather Service Hurricane Threats and Impacts layer.  Access Data

Just in time for Hurricane Irma, the Marine Weather Portal has added a new layer – official NOAA National Weather Service Threats and Impacts map. This layer indicates worse case scenarios for planning purposes. Use the MWP application to view real-time observations paired with up-to-date weather hazards and tropical cyclone forecasts.

 

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Pictured is the Jennifer Dorton, SECOORA, briefing the National Weather Service Tampa Bay Weather Forecast Office on the MWP.

This upgrade, including many more were based on feedback from a recent on-site visit to the Tampa Weather Forecast Office (WFO) as well as earlier feedback from other WFO’s across the Southeast and Gulf of Mexico.

Access Data >

For Irma, the First 7-Day Coupled Weather-Ocean-Wave Forecast

 

At North Carolina State University, SECOORA’s partner team from the Ocean Observing and Modeling Group (OOMG) have been running a coupled model that captures the interactions of the atmosphere, ocean and wave environments.  This has been crucial in forecasting tropical cyclones as they interact with coastal environments.  This coupled model, the Coupled Northwest Atlantic Prediction system (CNAPS), has been generating 72-hour forecasts every day since the 2013 Hurricane Season.

Over the last few weeks, OOMG have been expanding their individual models to run for 7 days in the hopes of being able to expand their coupled forecast from 72 to 168 hours.  Additional computing resources were generously allocated from the High Performance Computing (HPC) center at NC State to generate model forecasts of major Hurricane Irma, and the 2 other hurricanes currently in the Atlantic basin.

Check out the OOMG blog post for more information.

Hurricane Matthew Track – Post by Nick Shay, University of Miami

Hurricane Matthew's track provided by the National Hurricane Center was 
essentially spot on. For us in South Florida, we benefited by a slight 
jog of the storm center to the east on Thursday that sparred Miami-Dade 
and Broward Counties.  Apart from the unforecasted rapid intensity 
change of Matthew over the Caribbean Sea due to inner core dynamics and 
high ocean heat content (and warm sea surface temperatures), intensity 
forecasts were quite close to the observations along the storm track. 
Well done to the NHC forecasters.

A bizarre hurricane

Matthew is a bizarre hurricane. It is moving slowly along the coastline with the potential for landfall anywhere from northeastern Florida to southeastern North Carolina, and landfall could happen multiple times. There is no other hurricane on record with a similar track!

Hurricane Matthew is expected to turn offshore after reaching North Carolina. This is because a high pressure system over the northern United States prevents the storm from moving further north.

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Because of the approaching Hurricane Nicole, Matthew is predicted to loop back in almost a complete circle and affect Bahamas and the east coast of Florida again. It should be significantly weakened than the first round, because the temperature and heat content of the ocean where it passed over are significantly reduced, thus providing less “fuel” for Matthew to strengthen again.

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Storm prediction using CNAPS – a fully coupled atmosphere-ocean-wave modeling system

Hurricane Matthew is on track to become the first major hurricane to make landfall on U.S. shores since Wilma in 2005. National Hurricane Center (NHC) predicted Matthew could make landfall in Florida early Friday as a Category 4 hurricane. At the same time, Nicole to its east was just upgraded to Category 1 hurricane (Figure 1).

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Figure 1. Visible image on Oct. 6 at 1:00 p.m. EDT from NOAA’s GOES-East satellite shows Hurricane Matthew as it regained Category 4 hurricane status. Hurricane Nicole is visible to the right. Image credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project.

This is a rare phenomenon and how exactly the two tropical cyclones will interact with one another is too early to tell. NHC predictions suggest Nicole will likely nudge Matthew back to Florida and Bahamas again in a loop-de-loop early next week (Figure 2). The underlying three-dimensional ocean conditions will play a key role throughout this process. Accurately resolving the dynamic ocean temperature field and the momentum, heat and moisture flux exchanges across the air-sea-wave interface is in particular crucial for hurricane intensity forecast.

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Figure 2: NHC prediction of hurricane Matthew’s track and intensity as of Thursday, Oct 6, 8 pm EDT.

At North Carolina State University, Ocean Observing and Modeling Group (OOMG) is using their Coupled Northwest Atlantic Prediction System (CNAPS) to closely monitor and predict Hurricanes Matthew and Nicole. CNAPS is a fully coupled Atmosphere-Ocean-Wave Modeling System, providing a unique capability to account for complex but important air-sea-wave interaction dynamics during storms and generate forecasts of simultaneous atmosphere, ocean and wave conditions.

CNAPS is operated on NC State’s high-performance supercomputer, providing daily nowcast and 3-day forecast for the entire Northwest Atlantic ocean. Routine model output include sea level air pressure, 10-m wind, significant wave height and directions, 3-dimensional ocean circulation, temperature and salinity (Figure 3).

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Figure 3. Snapshots of CNAPS predicted concurrent marine weather, ocean, and wave conditions at 21:00 EDT, October 6. 2016, showing Matthew is accompanied with strong wind, current, and wave; so is Nicole, albeit with smaller size and scale. 

Near-real time model validations against HF radar surface currents and buoy measurements have been implemented and continue to be refined in CNAPS (Figure 4).  

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Figure 4. Comparison between HF radar observed and CNAPS predicted surface current fields off Miami at 2100 EDT, October 5, 2016. CNAPS prediction shows that Matthew had a strong interaction with the northward flowing Gulf Stream and an energetic  cyclonic surface current gyre was generated. (HF data courtesy: Nick Shay, University of Miami)

Other interactive functions built into CNPAS include: isosurface maps of ocean current, temperature, salinity; visualizations of user defined station profiles and hydrographic transects, as well as 72-hour surface trajectory simulations of user defined “virtual particles” (Figure 5).

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Figure 5. Virtual particle trajectories simulated by CNAPS.

To check out CNAPS predictions of Matthew and Nicole, and their concurrent ocean circulation and wave conditions, use this link.

New tool to share info on Southeast US coastal ocean

I’m excited about this new opportunity for experts in the SECOORA region to share information about major events, such as Hurricane Matthew.  Many in the region are under threat from this storm.  The SECOORA team sends our best wishes to be prepared and stay safe.

Additionally, the storm presents an opportunity for experts to share information, knowledge and data based on their expert scientific perspective.  I’m hopeful this blog will provide a learning opportunity for all of us that are watching and studying the storm as well as the models, data and other tools that are available to predict what might happen next.

Stay safe … and let’s get blogging!

Debra Hernandez, Executive Director, SECOORA