Serious flooding in Puerto Rico from 93L

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:36 PM GMT on September 22, 2008

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Tropical disturbance 93L continues to dump torrential rains of up to four inches per hour on Puerto Rico. Storm total rainfall amounts have exceeded 20 to 30 inches in parts of southeast Puerto Rico where rivers are up to 14 feet above flood stage. Flash floods and mudslides have been reported across the east, southeast, and southeastern interior Puerto Rico. An additional 10-20 inches of rain is expected over western and southwestern Puerto Rico today, due to the very slow motion of 93L. The rains from 93L are the most that have fallen on the island since Hurricane Georges ten years ago (see below).

Infrared satellite loops show that heavy thunderstorm activity remains intense, and upper-level outflow is now established on the north and east sides of 93L. Puerto Rico radar was down this morning, but Dominican Republic radar shows evidence of spiral bands beginning to form around the center, which appears to have pushed over the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic, near Punta Cana. Winds have now shifted to westerly there, and this morning's QuikSCAT pass showed a large area of westerly winds to the south of Hispaniola, so 93L may have developed enough of a surface circulation to be classified as a tropical depression today. Wind shear is moderate, about 10-20 knots.


Figure 1. Latest satellite image of 93L.

Expect heavy rains of up to 10-20 inches to affect Puerto Rico and the eastern Dominican Republic today through Tuesday from this slow moving storm. Heavy rains will also spread over eastern portions of the Dominican Republic Monday, potentially causing life-threatening flash floods and mudslides in mountainous regions. Since most of 93L's heavy thunderstorm activity is on its east side, it currently appears that Haiti and the Bahamas will escape dangerous heavy rains from this storm.

The intensity forecast
Wind shear is forecast to remain 10-20 knots over the next five days, and most of the reliable forecast models predict that 93L will develop into a tropical storm by Tuesday. The GFDL and HWRF models predict 93L will strengthen into a Category 1 or 2 hurricane by Thursday. However, there will be high wind shear very close to 93L for the next five days, and the storm may struggle at times with this high shear. Water temperatures are a warm 29°C and ocean heat content will be moderate over the next five days. The NHC is giving 93L a high (>50% chance) of developing into a tropical depression by Wednesday. A Hurricane Hunter aircraft will investigate 93L Monday afternoon.

The track forecast
The models agree on a slow west-northwesterly motion for 93L today, and passage over the mountainous terrain of Hispaniola may significantly disrupt the storm. By Tuesday, 93L is expected to turn north-northwest and head towards North Carolina. A major complicating factor in the long-range track forecast is the expected development of an extratropical storm off the coast of South Carolina. This low could bring hostile wind shear over 93L, weakening it, and potentially converting it into a subtropical storm. The two storms may rotate cyclonically around a common center (the Fujiwhara effect), sending the extratropical low west-southwestward into the Southeast U.S., and 93L northwestwards towards North Carolina. This is the solution of the 06Z (2 am EDT) GFDL and HWRF model runs, which both take 93L into New Jersey on Friday night as a borderline tropical storm/Category 1 hurricane. The NOGAPS and UKMET models predict that 93L will absorb the energy that would have gone into creating the extratropical low. This might convert 93L into a hybrid subtropical storm that would affect the coast of North and South Carolina late this week with sustained winds in the 50-60 mph range. I don't have a good feel for what will happen in this complicated situation, but it currently appears that coastal North Carolina may get tropical storm force winds from the extratropical storm beginning as early as Wednesday night. Residents along the entire U.S. East Coast from Georgia to Maine should anticipate the possibility of a strong tropical tropical storm affecting them late this week.

Links to follow
Dominican Republic radar
Puerto Rico radar
San Juan, Puerto Rico weather

Portugul's storm
An extratropical low pressure system off the coast of Portugal has gradually warmed its core over the past 2-3 days, as it has wandered over waters of 22-23°C. This storm had developed some heavy thunderstorm activity near the center, but this has since gone away, justifying NHC's decision not to classify it as a subtropical depression. This morning's QuikSCAT pass saw top winds of 30 mph. The system should make landfall in southern Portugal this afternoon, bringing heavy sustained winds of 30-35 mph to the coast, but little heavy rain.

Tenth anniversary of Hurricane Georges
Residents of Puerto Rico and surrounding islands will remember that today is the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Georges. Georges' eye tracked along the entire length of the island as a borderline Category 2 or 3 hurricane, carving an unprecedented trail of destruction. The hurricane's 110-115 mph winds, 10-foot storm surge, and rains of up to 30 inches caused over $2 billion in damage, making it the costliest disaster in Puerto Rico history. Power was lost to 96% of the island, and 28,000 homes destroyed. Remarkably, no one was killed on the island, thanks to early warnings and prompt evacuation efforts.


Figure 2. A bad day in the Dominican Republic. Hurricane Georges over the capital of Santo Domingo as a Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph winds on September 22, 1998. Georges killed 589 people in the Dominican Republic and Haiti due to flash flooding and mudslides.

Hurricane Ike relief efforts
A group of wunderground bloggers have done some amazing work to gather, purchase, and deliver relief supplies to victims of Hurricane Ike. So far, the group (spearheaded by Presslord, StormJunkie, and Patrap) have raised over $12,000 and sent three truckloads of supplies, with another truck on the way, plus several air freight shipments. For photos of the effort, plus links to donate to the cause, visit stormjunkie's blog.

Jeff Masters

More damage photos from Ike (beeleeva)
Houston Yacht Club is a major sailing and powerboating club in the Houston area,,,there are at least 30-40 large boats on the lawn and in parking lots,,,most of the damage caused by failures to secure boats properly.....
More damage photos from Ike
Ike at Lake Conroe (bighut)
This marina at Lake Conroe north of Houston was totally destroyed, includind some boats that were left there.
Ike at Lake Conroe

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823. ShenValleyFlyFish
12:07 AM GMT on September 23, 2008
Good evening folks
Bin away for a couple of Hrs. Things still look pretty much the same with our storm. How high are the rainfall totals in PR by now?

looks like this offer hasn't been posted for a bit and didn't find a cancelation notice so here it is again.

))))))))))))))))))))))))((((((((((((((((((((((
Hey folks:
we need to hold Presslord's feet to the fire on his matching offer. Here's how to make sure he pays up.

...either send a check to : Portlight Strategies, Inc. 2043 Maybank Hwy. Charleston, SC 29412 put: "Ike matching" in the memo...or PayPal...and send me your real name so I can cross reference it to the account

presslord: WUmail

If we all cough up a little we can get him to pay up a lot. LOL



Announcing the "NEXT TRUCK CHALLENGE"

I will match Portlight contributions dollar for dollar* so we can fund another truck. Press will also match two dollars for every dollar donated*. Let's make another truck happen!!! We know there is a great need.


Portlight.org

*Yeah both Press and I have a matching limit that we'll keep to ourselves, but we're matching a good chunk of change and we can fill that truck if you match us!


)))))))))))))))))))))))))))(((((((((((((((((((((


Patrap and StormJunkie each have a quick link to Paypal on their site.

Reports out of the area are still grim and shocking. Lots of areas in need. Supplies not making it into the boonies. We are making a difference! Go to stormjunkies and look at those firefighters eyes and you'll see all you need to know.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
822. groundgirl
11:37 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Quoting Vortex95:
Was Fay in Orange or Red? when it Formed?

Also if it does form over DR would it be the first time since naming began 2 systems were named over land?
It was blue. /-D
Couldn't resist, sorry, soooo sorry, also I vote for 2008 to be the year of expect the unexpected, or rules, what rules? storms have no rules and don't play by the ones they have had.
Member Since: August 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 17
821. BahaHurican
11:00 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Hey everybody. I've been off the blog for a while, so I'm mainly on a "ketchup" run for now. LOL

Maybe tomorrow I will post some stuff. So far it's been interesting reading about 93L, but I admit to reading American politics this weekend!!! [ducking and running for cover]
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21487
820. 2ifbyC
10:57 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Quoting futuremet:
Hey, what direction is 93L moving right now?

W, WNW, N, NW, NNW?

I need to know.

Knowing this is a momentous necessity for efficient forecasting


If you're forecasting then you need the ability to tell US the movement direction! *shrug*
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 252
819. extreme236
10:10 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Area of interest, near 29-30W, 13-15N. Associated with a tropical wave and has some weak vorticity. In a pocket of low shear.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
818. sporteguy03
10:10 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
I love the old blogs,lol
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5153
817. NEwxguy
10:03 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
I hope for puerto rico's sake this thing starts moving.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 874 Comments: 15595
816. Mikla
10:02 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
new Dr. M blog
Member Since: October 13, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 286
813. GeoffreyWPB
10:00 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Are they sending out another recon tonight?
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10978
812. weathermanwannabe
9:59 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Will be really interesting to see what happens with this disturbance overnight as the persistent convection (check) is not going away right now....BBT and Have a Nice evening Bloggers, and a safe evening, for our friends in PR and DR...........WW
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8798
811. GeoffreyWPB
9:58 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
how long can a front hang off the coast before it starts to degrade and become a nonplayer?
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10978
810. h6
9:55 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Quoting stormpetrol:
While Models are good guidance and can be fairly accurate at times, its seems to me that man , even the experts have become too dependent on sophisticated technology instead of using observance, logic and common sense, now that is not to say this system won't move NNW to N but based on what we're seeing right now so far its not panning out that way for the moment.


Very well said.
That is a general problem nowadays. It is a phenomenon of todays society. It is typical for a society that is more and more dependent on information flows and technology.

If just look at the effects of a a few hours of power outage after a storm it is hard to imagine, that just 100 years ago nobody needed electric power for living.
809. freeroam
9:55 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Quoting StormW:
771. will40 5:29 PM EDT on September 22, 2008
StormW you think the models will shift a lil west on next runs?


Slightly.
My daily thanks for your updates. Will you post tonight or am?
Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 249
806. violet312s
9:53 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
is this nor'easter supposed to form off the trof that is off the coast now? or another one coming down the pike?


Local NC weatherman says it will develop from the one off the coast now.
Member Since: June 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 886
805. extreme236
9:52 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Quoting Vortex95:
Well I guess its convection is severed momentarily and will be brought back in or will it just leave 93l the large area of convection?


Its not severed. Its with the system just on the east and SE side due to some westerly shear that is decreasing according to the GOES shear map, and should become more favorable as the NHC said. Center appears to be slightly exposed right now.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
804. plywoodstatenative
9:51 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
someone had told me that we had another system other than 93L. System off of Africa.
Member Since: November 15, 2005 Posts: 16 Comments: 4189
802. GeoffreyWPB
9:50 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
is this nor'easter supposed to form off the trof that is off the coast now? or another one coming down the pike?
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10978
801. extreme236
9:50 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Quoting Vortex95:
It would be quite a sight to see in 24 hrs is the convection to the south is detached and becoming its over storm while 93l contiunes to develop they are too weak to casue Fugiwara so no chance of that.


Its all one storm.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
800. sporteguy03
9:49 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Id 93L truly does not have a llc or just a MLC it can survive DR just look at Fay and that system pretty much hit the highest mountains of DR.
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5153
799. GeoffreyWPB
9:48 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Not by the model's, slamming right into New Jersey and New York City.


boy, if you thought the t.v. coverage of previous storms was something, just imagine what it would be like with the above scenario.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10978
797. extreme236
9:47 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
93L looks similar to Hanna before it became a TS.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
796. Rainwalker
9:46 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
I may not know much about storms, but it would be foolish to bet on where 93L will be 24 or even 48 hours from now.
Member Since: June 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 55
795. Stlouiskid
9:46 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Quoting antonio28:
People just need a more few hours to bacame Kyle in 12 hr. Calm donw this are going to be a fish storm.


So even though it dumps all time records of rain on puerto rico, which will also eventually effect hispaniola, its a fish?

And on top of that, nearly all models forsee land fall..


Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 20
794. AstroHurricane001
9:44 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Models centered around New York, but luckily only likely around a strong TS. IMO the only thing in terms of hurricanes that New York can't handle is a large cat. 2 or above moving quickly (40 mph+) between WNW-to-N and making a direct landfall on or immediately near that Island south of Bayonne, New Jersey, at high tide. Luckily, it doesn't look like that will happen this time.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
793. extreme236
9:44 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
93L has a closed low it would seem, it's convective activity just isn't well organized, although the most recent frame I saw showed a little more organized storm, just all of the activity on one side.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
791. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
9:41 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Philippines Atmospherical Geophysical Astronomical Services and Administration

Typhoon "NINA" has slightly weakened as it accelerated towards the South China Sea.

Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #14 (2100z 22Sept)
===========================================
At 5:00 AM PhT, Typhoon Nina (Hagupit) located near 20.1ºN 118.7ºE or 270 kms northwest of Laoag City has 10 minute sustained winds of 160 km/h (85 kts) with gusts up to 195 km/h (105 kts).

Signal Warnings
===============

Signal Warning #2 (60-100 kph winds)

Luzon Region
1.Ilocos Norte
2.Apayao
3.Northwestern Cagayan
4.Babuyan Island

Signal Warning #1 (30-60 kph winds)

Luzon Region
1.Batanes
2.Calayan Group of Islands
3.Rest of Cagayan
4.Kalinga
5.Abra
6.Mt. Province
7.Benguet
8.Ilocos Sur
9.La Union
10.Pangasinan
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44749
789. 786
9:40 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
..it looks like it is starting to detach...
Member Since: August 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 910
788. CybrTeddy
9:40 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Quoting antonio28:


People just need a more few hours to bacame Kyle in 12 hr. Calm donw this are going to be a fish storm.


Not by the model's, slamming right into New Jersey and New York City.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23574
787. Skyepony (Mod)
9:40 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
The west winds the hunters found were at 500', hardly upper level. There was no significant drop in pressure or sudden change of winds like passing through a center. Winds did drop as the west winds began but failed to pick up considerably till well after E winds reappeared. Looking at surface observations other surface lows seem to come & go in the area as well. Just not organized enough with one nicely closed low.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 161 Comments: 37359
786. 786
9:39 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
..another possibility is the Southern TS detaches itself and develops a center of circulation or just drifes W and dies off
Member Since: August 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 910
785. flibinite
9:39 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Thank you, StormW, and sorry to bother you so quickly after you got on, but I have to go offline, and sheesh, it really is looking like its own storm, even if it never gets an LLC, and it's seemed to be its own entity for so very long now... days, in fact. Thanks...

Jo
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 278
784. CybrTeddy
9:39 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Quoting 786:
Does anyone else see a narrow ridge elongating NE to SW to the NW of 93L??

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/tatl/loop-wv.html

Could this be why 93L has not moved N?

None of the models forecasted such a ridge.

It really looks like a high possibility of center relocation around 16N and 67W moving WSW or W once the N center gets destroyed over Hispanola.

If it doesn't relocate I think it will be done and destroyed.


Name even an invest this year that has been destroyed by Hispaniola. I highly doubt that this will dissipate. I'd say Kyle 11 PM with 45 MPH winds.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23574
783. antonio28
9:39 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Quoting extreme236:
NHC said the circulation is better defined...i.e. it has a sfc circulation just not well organized convection.


People just need a more few hours to bacame Kyle in 12 hr. Calm donw this are going to be a fish storm.
Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 799
782. 786
9:38 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Does anyone else see a narrow ridge elongating NE to SW to the NW of 93L??

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/tatl/loop-wv.html

Could this be why 93L has not moved N?

None of the models forecasted such a ridge.

It really looks like a high possibility of center relocation around 16N and 67W moving WSW or W once the N center gets destroyed over Hispanola.

If it doesn't relocate I think it will be done and destroyed.
Member Since: August 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 910
781. stormpetrol
9:37 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
While Models are good guidance and can be fairly accurate at times, its seems to me that man , even the experts have become too dependent on sophisticated technology instead of using observance, logic and common sense, now that is not to say this system won't move NNW to N but based on what we're seeing right now so far its not panning out that way for the moment.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7669
779. will40
9:36 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Thanx Stormw thats what i am thinking also
Member Since: September 19, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 4110
778. will40
9:35 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
775. rhomanov

Hope you guys stay safe
Member Since: September 19, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 4110
777. violet312s
9:34 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Quoting RMM34667:

Thanks! Dr. Masters will be putting information on the matching challenge in his next blog update! Woohoo
Member Since: June 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 886
775. rhomanov
9:32 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
This system is producing record breaking situations here in PR. 2 Tornadoes were reported in the southern part of San Juan City.



774. CybrTeddy
9:32 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
SHIPS wants to bring "Kyle" into New York City as a 80 MPH Hurricane. Even a Category 1 is destructive to a city like New York.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23574
773. flibinite
9:31 PM GMT on September 22, 2008
Good afternoon/evening, StormW... if you get a chance, could you possibly answer my previous, unanswered question?

Is it possible, this far west, for 93L to split into two separate storms, with that vigorous blob to the south of PR/DR getting it's own LLC? On infrared, they're barely even connected anymore. Have you ever seen that happen in/near the Carribean? Thanks...

Jo
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 278

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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