Omar dies, but leaves behind plenty of damage

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:01 PM GMT on October 18, 2008

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Tropical Storm Omar has lost all of its heavy thunderstorm activity, and has been declared dead by NHC. The cleanup continues on those Caribbean islands hit by Omar's rain, wind, storm surge, and high waves, though. Reports from some of the islands to the right of Omar's path indicate that a significant storm surge topped by high battering waves did significant damage to coastal buildings and beaches. The storm's unusual west-to-east motion resulted in storm surge and waves affecting the western side of the islands, which are not as well-defended against these effects. These normally sheltered coastal regions tend to have higher amounts of development, as well. Thankfully, no deaths or injuries have been reported from the storm, which avoided making a direct hit on any islands. The islands should be fully recovered by the time the main tourist season begins in November. Hard hit were:

Dominica
The Office of Disaster Management reports widespread infrastructural damage to roads, sea defenses, ports and utilities from sea swells. The main port was damaged and the Ferry Terminal was extensively damaged. The cruise ship ports were slightly damaged. All barge access for hauling sand and stones were totally destroyed. About 125 people were made homeless by the storm.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines
The western coast of St. Vincent and the Grenadines was severely impacted by swells from Hurricane Omar. Preliminary assessment has indicated widespread flooding, significant erosion, and destruction and damage to coastal property and businesses in the Kingstown areas, Central Leeward, East St. George and the Northern and Southern Grenadines.The Cruise Ship terminal building received significant damage and the businesses housed in the terminal were evacuated. Approximately 20 shops housed in the Bus Terminal in the area of Little Tokyo were destroyed by the battering waves and several others were damaged from the flood waters.

St. Kitts and Nevis
There has been significant coastal damage on the south-western end of the island. Approximately 50 people have been displaced, 30 houses sustained minor damages while nine houses sustained major damages.

Anguilla
Anguillanews.com reports damage to a number of beach front hotels, with many boats grounded.

Antigua
Antigua received 5.71" of rain at the airport, and severe flooding washed out roads and prompted many boat rescues, putting up to 100 people in shelters. Crop damage was heavy, and Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer warned of a produce shortage, saying the farming community "appears to have suffered an extensive loss of crops."

St. Croix
St. Croix, whose eastern tip caught the eyewall winds of Omar, received $700,000 in damage to roads, and had about 40 boats damaged or destroyed in the main harbor. About half of the island's 55,000 people remained with power on Friday, and damage to crops was heavy.


Figure 1. Track of Hurricane Omar. Image credit: reliefweb.org

Elsewhere in the tropics
Heavy rains continue over the Central American nations of Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and El Salvador, in association with the remains of Tropical Depression Sixteen. Mudslides and flash flooding have killed three people in Costa Rica and left two more missing, according to ticotimes.net. The remains of TD 16 are expected to remain over land and not regenerate into a tropical storm in either the Atlantic or Pacific.

A small area of heavy thunderstorms is between Jamaica and Haiti, moving west-northwest. This disturbance is under about 15-20 knots of wind shear, is surrounded by dry air, and is too small to develop into a tropical depression over the next two days.

Wind shear is expected to be low over most of the Caribbean during the coming week, and we need to watch the Western Caribbean for tropical storm development. The GFS and Canadian computer models are predicting the development of a tropical depression in the northwestern Caribbean near the western tip of Cuba 5-7 days from now. The other computer models predict that wind shear will be too high in this region to allow a tropical cyclone to develop. If a storm did develop in this region, it would likely move north or northeastward and affect the Gulf Coast of Florida. The likelihood of a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico over the next ten days is about 20%, and is about 40% in the Caribbean Sea.

Hurricane Ike relief efforts
There continues to be an urgent need for relief supplies in the wake of Hurricane Ike. I recommend contributions to the portlight.org charity fund, formed by wunderground members to serve the needs of those often bypassed by traditional relief efforts. Contributions are fully tax-deductible, and more details can be found at StormJunkie's blog.

I'll have an update Sunday morning.


Figure 2. Damage to Antigua from Hurricane Omar. Image credit: Iain Mellows.

Jeff Masters

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490. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:18 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
T.C.F.A (nw carib/s cen carib)

INV/91L/31
EST POS
17.9N/86.7W


AREA OF INTEREST
EST POS
14.1N/75.1W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
489. AussieStorm
4:12 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Goodnight all from Sydney Australia
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
488. cchsweatherman
3:56 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
CCHS Weather Center
Special Tropical Disturbance Analysis


Photobucket

Throughout the morning, the Northwest Caribbean disturbance has finally displayed some organization. On visible satellite imagery, this disturbance now has an apparent low-level circulation center in the Gulf of Honduras at around 17.7N and 86.8W. Within the past few frames, it has become very evident. This observation is also supported by the 850MB Vorticity Product from the CIMSS.

In correspondence with this better-defined low-level circulation, convection has been steadily increasing and organizing somewhat around the circulation. This increase in convection is most likely due to improving lower convergence and upper divergence.

During the morning, it appears that an upper-level anticyclone has been developing over Belize and seems to have reached out towards this disturbance. You can clearly see the upper-level anticyclone in this Wind Shear Analysis graphic from the CIMSS. If this anticyclone can become established over this disturbance, then upper-level conditions will become ideal for this to further develop in the next few days.

Overall, the Northwest Caribbean disturbance has been organizing throughout the morning and will be watched for further organization and persistence before this becomes any concern.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5163
487. KBH
3:54 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
morning all, having a look at that swirl in the atlantic, not a lot of cloud but seems to be gathering some from a wide area..can anyone shed some light?
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 278
486. IKE
3:54 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Belize airport has NNW winds...

Belize / Phillip Goldston Intl. Airport, Belize (Airport)
Updated: 53 min 20 sec ago
Partly Cloudy
80 °F
Partly Cloudy
Humidity: 82%
Dew Point: 76 °F
Wind: 8 mph from the NNW
Wind Gust: -
Pressure: 29.93 in
Visibility: 12.0 miles
Clouds:
Scattered Clouds 1673 ft
Scattered Clouds 7874 ft
Mostly Cloudy 24606 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 16 ft
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
485. Tazmanian
3:53 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
so how would we no if this is what was TD 16 or this a new invest
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114722
484. PensacolaDoug
3:51 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Quoting Tazmanian:
so is this what was TD 16???



No. But TD16 did form out the same area of relatively lower pressue.
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 551
483. Tazmanian
3:49 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
so is this what was TD 16???
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114722
482. PensacolaDoug
3:48 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
CMC on crack again? Current solution is kinda hard to swallow.
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 551
481. stormpetrol
3:46 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
I think the Caribbean Disturbance has become much better organized in the last 24hours, I would think that NHC will soon put this in the orange circle and officially lable it Invest 91L , JMO
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7669
480. hurricanemaniac123
3:45 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Orca, what are your thoughts on the caribbean disturbance?
Member Since: September 21, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 688
479. IKE
3:45 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
System in the NW Caribbean looks worthy of invest status now.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
478. foggymyst
3:43 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Good morning Orca..
Member Since: September 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 383
477. KEHCharleston
3:39 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
G'morning Orca
Thanks. The large overall pics are my favorite
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
476. Orcasystems
3:35 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Complete Refresh Blog
Mirror Site
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
475. Orcasystems
3:26 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Good morning everyone :)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
474. stillwaiting
3:24 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
cchs:that explains it!!!,I couldn't understand why you we're being so conservitive with the NW carib disturb.,its been quite persistent for about 72 hrs now,w/orgainization expected to to begin in 36-48hrs,according to my analyisis.....and then a drift to the North or NNE should begin after 48-72hrs....
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
473. cchsweatherman
3:22 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Due to the improved satellite appearance this morning and improving environmental conditions that have been developing at the same time, I will have a Special Tropical Disturbance Analysis coming. This will include my typical graphical satellite analysis, but will also further explain the latest trends that I have noticed.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5163
472. KEHCharleston
3:22 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
RE:454. HadesGodWyvern
Thanks
Qscat misses the area, but for those who (like me) are unsure of the location, you can see it on this map Arabian Sea between 6.0 and 13N and 54.0 and 60.0E

Click to enlarge
If I am reading things right, then this storm would not make landfall in India. However, in searching for websites about Arabian Cyclones, I did find this site:Historical Records of Severe Cyclonic storms which formed over Arabian sea and made landfall at the Western coast of India during the period from 1970-1999 - Quite a few of them were Oct/Nov storms

RE:463. CybrTeddy
Looks like a Nor'easter off the coast of the USA.

Say it ain't so!
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
471. cchsweatherman
3:20 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Attempting to become better organized.


Throughout the morning, a low-level circulation has become better organized and somewhat more apparent. Seems like environmental conditions are improving and becoming more favorable as lower-level convergence and upper-level divergence have increased and become better established with the system. This explains the noted increase in convection. In addition, lower-level vorticity has gotten stronger and better defined.

Guess I spoke too soon. This further proves that the atmosphere can experience some rapid changes. But, of course, persistence will be the key.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5163
470. CybrTeddy
3:17 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Quoting hurricanemaniac123:


Looks like we might see TD 16 from this in the next 2-3 days.


17* TD 16's COC pretty much died out.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23571
469. hurricanemaniac123
3:16 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Attempting to become better organized.


Looks like we might see TD 17 from this in the next 2-3 days.
Member Since: September 21, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 688
468. CybrTeddy
3:15 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Quoting cchsweatherman:


Could you explain why you are continuing to call the Northwest Caribbean disturbance "91L" when neither the NHC or NAVY are tracking it as such?


Woops, I assumed it was 91L because someone said on here it was. I just checked the Navy site and just realized I made a mistake. I need my coffee.
Alright, the Caribbean Disturbance.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23571
467. SWFLgazer
3:13 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
SurfMom: Won't it ever warm up?

Member Since: August 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 447
466. CybrTeddy
3:13 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Attempting to become better organized.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23571
465. cchsweatherman
3:13 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Looks like a Nor'easter off the coast of the USA.


The Remnant Low of Omar can be seen, and 91L which appears to starting to become better organized.


Could you explain why you are continuing to call the Northwest Caribbean disturbance "91L" when neither the NHC or NAVY are tracking it as such?
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5163
464. cchsweatherman
3:10 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Wow! I really need to wake up right now. Been making a big mistake in my analysis for the NW Caribbean disturbance in terms of the computer models. Throughout my analysis, I had been just analyzing the 850mb-200mb level wind shear on the computer models. But this would only apply to well-developed systems and not developing systems. Instead of using the 850mb-200mb level wind shear models, I should be using the 850mb-500mb level wind shear models.

In analyzing those models, the wind shear seems far less hostile in the Gulf of Mexico and could lend an explanation as to why the CMC has been quite bullish on this disturbance. If the wind shear goes as planned by the computer models, this disturbance could stand a better chance at development than I had originally thought. Still don't know how much this will change my thinking yet since I'm waiting on further organization and convective persistence before I become more interested in tracking this disturbance.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5163
463. CybrTeddy
3:09 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Looks like a Nor'easter off the coast of the USA.


The Remnant Low of Omar can be seen, and 91L which appears to starting to become better organized.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23571
462. cycloone
3:06 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
very quite in the atlantic now
Member Since: March 2, 2003 Posts: 65 Comments: 1009
461. CybrTeddy
3:01 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Quoting cchsweatherman:


Please explain how you have arrived at this conclusion.


No idea, just a guess. Maybe its leftover energy.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23571
460. cchsweatherman
2:59 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Quoting KEHCharleston:
RE:438. cchsweatherman
Does this change the 48-72hr reprieve?

443. surfmom
Hi surfmom. This too will pass (I hope), Surely warmer days are in your forcast



In response to your question, it could change the reprieve, but like the NHC, I want to see further organization and persistence before changing my thinking. For right now, my thinking still stands.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5163
458. tropics21
2:55 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Quoting surfmom:
I feel shell-shocked....I think my brain and sinuses have shriveled....I walked out the door this AM to be greeted w/60 degree weather-- heard the wind through the night, but did not expect getting slammed. It's 68 degrees now air/surf site says water is 80 -- felt more like 78-76. I took a quick paddle for disciplines sake and to start to acclimate to colder temps. Had to wear a spring suit (3/4 shorty) grrrrr.... hopefully it'll warm-up some. The sun is bright and the air is really fresh....sky is an intense blue --- better a day to go running. Stillwaiting -- going to be heading out in a while (got to feed male tribe) I'll zip by and see if your out. Maybe it will be your lucky day --- for fishing I mean LOL
walked out to 40 degree weather here 60 is warm lol
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 263
457. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
2:51 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
I think that is the fastest I've seen the IMD issue an advisory, LMAO
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44744
456. Seastep
2:50 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Good morning.

I still think the 1 deg. box centered 18.5N/85.5W is what it is trying to organize around. Looked that way yesterday and still looks that way today.
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
454. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
2:47 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Warning
19:30 PM IST October 19 2008
======================================

The well marked low pressure area over southwest Arabian Sea concentrated into a depression and lays centered as of 1200 UTC over southwest Arabian Sea near 9.0N 59.5E or about 1050 kms east-southeast of Alula, Somalia and 1100 kms southeast of Salalah, Oman.

Satellite imageries indicat improvement in cloud organization during the past 12 hours. The dvorak intensity of the system is T1.5. Associated broken intense to very intense convection is seen over Arabian Sea between 6.0 and 13N and 54.0 and 60.0E. As the deep convection is sheared to the west. The lowest cloud top temperature due to convection is about -750C. Vertical wind shear of horizonal wind over the region is 10-20 knots and past 24 hours shear tendency is 5 to -10 knots. The system lies to the south of the upper tropospheric ridge which roughly runs along 150N. The sea surface temperatures near the system and over the region to the west is 27-28C.

Considering all the above, the system is likely to intensify further and move in a west-northwesterly direction.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44744
453. surfmom
2:45 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
BBL - have a good morning !!
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
452. surfmom
2:44 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
419 cchs - thanks for the illustration - always appreciate your time doing posting these maps. I've said it before, but your work has accelerated my learning curve : )
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
451. AussieStorm
2:44 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
deleted
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
450. AussieStorm
2:43 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Quoting KEHCharleston:
442. AussieStorm
BTW have I told y'all i got stuck by lightening 20 years ago this year coming December 12.
Yikes - I am glad you are around to tell the tale - how did it happen?

I got struck by a branch off from a bolt that hit a tree about 100mtrs away. hit me in my right should and exited out of my right foot. Since then i get a buzz, like i get hypo, when a storm is around.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
449. KEHCharleston
2:42 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
RE:438. cchsweatherman
Does this change the 48-72hr reprieve?

443. surfmom
Hi surfmom. This too will pass (I hope), Surely warmer days are in your forcast

Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
448. stillwaiting
2:40 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
keywestbrat:local gulf temp of 82 degrees here in SRQ,well able to sustain a TC!!!!uh-oh....
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
447. Cotillion
2:40 PM GMT on October 19, 2008


Our 'invest' floater.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
446. AussieStorm
2:40 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Quoting AussieStorm:

Our DUI laws are tough here also, our limit is 0.05, low range DUI is 3months no license + $1500 fine. and it gets a lot worse from there.
Had a nice storm pop up from the Blue Mountains west of Sydney this arvo, a bit of rain be a heck of amount of lightening.
BTW have I told y'all i got stuck by lightening 20 years ago this year coming December 12.

Don't get me started on the Booze buses, I get stopped at least once a week on the way home from work, I finish work at midnight.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
444. KEHCharleston
2:39 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
442. AussieStorm
BTW have I told y'all i got stuck by lightening 20 years ago this year coming December 12.
Yikes - I am glad you are around to tell the tale - how did it happen?
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
443. surfmom
2:39 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
I feel shell-shocked....I think my brain and sinuses have shriveled....I walked out the door this AM to be greeted w/60 degree weather-- heard the wind through the night, but did not expect getting slammed. It's 68 degrees now air/surf site says water is 80 -- felt more like 78-76. I took a quick paddle for disciplines sake and to start to acclimate to colder temps. Had to wear a spring suit (3/4 shorty) grrrrr.... hopefully it'll warm-up some. The sun is bright and the air is really fresh....sky is an intense blue --- better a day to go running. Stillwaiting -- going to be heading out in a while (got to feed male tribe) I'll zip by and see if your out. Maybe it will be your lucky day --- for fishing I mean LOL
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
442. AussieStorm
2:36 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Quoting KEHCharleston:

What are your DUI laws?
South Carolina takes DUI seriously - you lose your license. When once again licensed, you need to take out a mortgage (or sell your first born) in order to buy auto insurance (which is required)
When I plan to drink, I use a designated driver or cab - do not want to risk my CDL (commercial drivers license)

432. keywestbrat - Sorry that it takes y'all so long to get an effect :)

It has warmed up to 56.7°F / 13.7°C

Our DUI laws are tough here also, our limit is 0.05, low range DUI is 3months no license + $1500 fine. and it gets a lot worse from there.
Had a nice storm pop up from the Blue Mountains west of Sydney this arvo, a bit of rain be a heck of amount of lightening.
BTW have I told y'all i got stuck by lightening 20 years ago this year coming December 12.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
440. Cotillion
2:35 PM GMT on October 19, 2008
Quoting keywestbrat:
Our DUI laws in oz are really strict, our limit is .05, and they have what we call booze buses which are mobile and they set up anywhere they like and stop everyone, big fine and loss of licsence, I cab it every time when i am there not worth the hassle, do the same here in fact


Ours here in England (Or Pommie-land for the Aussies) is also very strict. 0.08% is the limit (In American terms) Straight away it's a one year disqualification of your licence if caught 'drink driving', as well as a fine.

It can vary, that's just the minimum. Increasingly (In part to social stigma attached; drink driving is increasingly seen as blind stupidity) the penalties are getting higher. Can be 18 month - 2 year disqualification, (3 years if caught again) and up to a 6 month jail term and a fine of up to £5,000. (About $8,000 off the top of my head.)

Sometimes the police do go overboard with it, as it includes "being in charge" of your vehicle. Which unfortunately, gives over-zealous policemen the license to take it too far.

But that's England for you.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300

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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.