Major flooding disaster continues in Central America

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:00 PM GMT on October 23, 2008

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One of this hurricane season's biggest disasters continues to unfold in Central America, where the death toll now stands at 39 from ten days of heavy rains triggered by last week's Tropical Depression Sixteen and this week's tropical disturbance 91L. At least 10,000 homes have been destroyed and 250,000 people made homeless by the floods. Hardest hit is Honduras, where 23 are dead and 8 missing in flash floods and landslides. Approximately 60% of the nation's roads have been damaged, and the flooding is the worst since Hurricane Mitch of 1998 killed 10,000 people there. The past week's flooding has also killed four in Guatemala, seven in Costa Rica, four in Nicaragua, and four in El Salvador. In Belize, damage is at least $15 million from the floods, and some areas are seeing flooding worse than was experienced during Hurricanes Mitch and Keith. Satellite estimates suggest that up to a foot of rain has fallen over some parts of Central America in the past week. The heavy damage to crops across the region will likely cause severe food shortages in coming months, and substantial international aid will be required.


Figure 1. Current satellite image of the Western Caribbean. Image credit: NOAA.

The forecast
Rains over the hardest hit areas of Central America have eased in the past day, with only 1-2 inches of rain reported. However, visible satellite loops show that heavy thunderstorm activity continues over the Western Caribbean, and has moved into northeast Honduras and Nicaragua this morning. While there is currently little chance that a tropical cyclone will form in the Western Caribbean over the next five days, persistent low pressure and sporadic heavy rains will continue to affect the region. A strong cold front is expected to push southward into the area next Tuesday or Wednesday, and the tail end of this cold front could serve as the nucleus for a new tropical disturbance that will generate another round of very heavy rains for Honduras and Belize late next week.

Elsewhere in the tropics
No computer models are forecasting tropical storm development anywhere in the Atlantic over the next seven days. The National Weather Service office in Houston has posted the storm surge map for Harris County from Ike. It shows a surge of up to 15 feet affected the east side of Houston.

Thursday update on the Hurricane Ike portlight.org charity effort
A fully packed 26-foot truck left yesterday from Charleston, South Carolina, loaded with an estimated $200,000 worth of donated goods for the good citizens of Bridge City, the Bolivar Peninsula, and Houston. You can check out the truck's progress using the streaming video available at http://portlight.camstreams.com/. There's also a chat feature there one can use. The total cost to portlight for this week's charity effort will be approximately $5000-$7000, which will cover truck rental, fuel, lodging, and food. An additional $1750 will be spent for building materials for rebuilding over a dozen ramps for disabilities service organizations, so that clients have access to services. Visit the portlight.org website to engage in the or Stormjunkie's blog for more updates on the effort.

A rough video schedule:

Thursday October 23
Morning: drive to Bridge City, Texas. Noon to 5 pm CDT, unload at Bridge City and Chambers County

Friday October 24
Repatriating WU blogger BillyBadBird to Bolivar Peninsula to begin rebuilding his life there

Saturday October 25
Noon - 3P CDT, free meal for 400-500 Bolivar Peninsula residents


I'll have an update Friday morning.

Jeff Masters

Where Bolivar Went... (StormJunkie)
The pictures speak for themselves...This is where the homes and other items that were on Bolivar Peninsula ended up after Hurricane Ike's massive surge.
Where Bolivar Went...

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454. stillwaiting
2:26 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
sheer over the area is favorable,5-10kts there's divergence aloft,sheer in the eastern gom is dropping quickly,oh and there's decent vorticity in the area...I expect a new invest as this area appears to be condusive enviornment for TD to form and move NE or ENE toward the southern half of the FL peninsula.....
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
453. stillwaiting
2:20 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
new surface low forming just ESE of cozumel,MX....going to check sheer over area...brb
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
452. presslord
2:09 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
Please check out the video and chat feature..as well as the donate button....at stormjunkie.com...it's REALLY cool....and pass it around....post to other blogs, e-mail to your in-laws, etc....

Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
451. stillwaiting
1:57 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
I can now see blue skies to my north!!!!
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
450. stillwaiting
1:56 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
no more than 60 seconds after I post,The sunshine has arrived here in srq...the sun is peaking out from behind the clouds now,and if we get enough sunshine to warm the air through the 80's,we'll be primed for some strong weather later this afternoon....anyone else read the nws disscusing the possibility of the front not clearing fl's south tip and then returning north stationary as a Tropical low rides NE along the front???????
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
449. SpicyAngel1072
1:55 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
Good morning all!!
Member Since: September 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 315
448. stillwaiting
1:51 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
looks like the central and south west coast of FL should get some "rays" of sunshine in a couple hrs,further destablising the atmosphere further as a clod front approaches, I have a feeling we could get a bit of severe weather rolling on shore a little later here in srq,w/heavy rain squalls,gusty winds up to 55mph and isolated waterspouts/weak tornado's....time will tell....
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
447. IKE
1:44 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
DOW
452.64
-5.21%
8,238.61
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
445. stillwaiting
1:40 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
morning kids!!!!!,looks like the low in the northern gom has been absorbed by the front....on the visable sat loop it looks like the low is moving ESE now??????instead of the ENE forcast....
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
444. Orcasystems
1:38 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
Into everyones life a little rain must fall



Click to enlarge
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
443. Cotillion
1:38 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
Hey SJ - long time no see. :)

And kudos to the 'Money' mention, what a great song.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
442. katlbeach
1:34 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
But "Money" is a great song - one of my all-time favorites - hee hee
Member Since: September 22, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 42
441. StormJunkie
1:34 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
Morning all

New Ike Relief webcam-we will be on Bolivar in a few hours...This new page handles more viewers!!!

New Ike Relief Chat


See y'all in a little while
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
440. katlbeach
1:29 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
Quoting IKE:


Yup....that barrel of crude oil needs to go back up...lol.

Just like if you pay off your credit cards it lowers your credit score....uh...what? Keep them open? Get charged fees? Stay in debt? Is better....oh-kay.........

The economy needs modernizing...it's screwed up....

Like Pink Floyd sings...money...is the root of all evil to~~~~day.


Pink Floyd misquoted - the original statement is "the LOVE of money is the root of all evil"
Comes from the bible
Member Since: September 22, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 42
439. PcolaDan
1:21 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
Quoting IKE:


Winds here are gusting near 40 mph...branches down in my yard...the rain and wind can stop.


Look at storm totals so far. I must have slept through the worst of it, which could have been lots worse. Look south of Mobile and just south of me.

LINK
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
438. flaboyinga
1:10 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
Morning folks, I've been lurking, while building the interior part of another fire station for a neighboring dept. It's been raining since last night here in SE Ga. , so I thought I'd take a minute to say howdy. I'm sure glad we are having this quiet time here at the close of the season. The only sad note is what happened in Central America. I won't mind if we have seen the last landfall storm storm event for this year. I hope y'all are doing fine, (or lots of help is headed your way). Back to lurking.
437. IKE
1:06 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
...
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
436. IKE
1:04 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
Quoting PcolaDan:
Morning. All I can say is WOW. little ornamental rain gauge I got says over 4.5" last night and yesterday. And evidently a pretty good blow too. A few branches down and couple of my potted plants knocked over. Glad IKE posted that loop from last night. That little swirl I noticed last night kept on going I see. Last few frames actually looked like a baby eye forming. Like I said, WOW. All quiet now though, should end up a nice day once remaining clouds clear out.


Winds here are gusting near 40 mph...branches down in my yard...the rain and wind can stop.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
435. PcolaDan
1:04 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
Looks like we missed the really heavy stuff. That little swirl area south of us really dumped some rain.

Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
434. TheCaneWhisperer
12:57 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
My fill up peaked at $85 dollars

Just filled up this morning $54. That is a respectable price to pay for a tank of gas today IMO.
433. RTLSNK
12:56 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
Just saw the funniest radar shot I've ever seen, looks like a giant snake head about to eat Athens, Ga. Wish I knew how to copy it and show it to you, but I don't.
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 22094
432. PcolaDan
12:55 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
Morning. All I can say is WOW. little ornamental rain gauge I got says over 4.5" last night and yesterday. And evidently a pretty good blow too. A few branches down and couple of my potted plants knocked over. Glad IKE posted that loop from last night. That little swirl I noticed last night kept on going I see. Last few frames actually looked like a baby eye forming. Like I said, WOW. All quiet now though, should end up a nice day once remaining clouds clear out.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
431. Orcasystems
12:49 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
Complete Refresh Blog
Mirror Site
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
430. IKE
12:46 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:



Damned if you do damned if you don't. We were told to stop using so much gas and the price will go down. We did that and the price went down. Now it's too low, lol????


Yup....that barrel of crude oil needs to go back up...lol.

Just like if you pay off your credit cards it lowers your credit score....uh...what? Keep them open? Get charged fees? Stay in debt? Is better....oh-kay.........

The economy needs modernizing...it's screwed up....

Like Pink Floyd sings...money...is the root of all evil to~~~~day.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
429. kellnerp
12:44 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
Listened to Radio Havana the last few nights. They are still recovering from the mess that Ike and Gustav created. Russia sent 150 tons of aid.
Member Since: September 1, 2003 Posts: 0 Comments: 172
428. TheCaneWhisperer
12:42 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
Quoting IKE:


I gave that up a few years ago.

Economy is in the tank...badly.

Good news is...since no one has any money, gas prices are tumbling...down to $2.68.9 here. I heard earlier from someone on CNBC that a barrel of crude oil may drop to 50 bucks. Could we see gas prices under $2 a gallon? I also heard OPEC is cutting production to drive prices up***thanks***



Damned if you do damned if you don't. We were told to stop using so much gas and the price will go down. We did that and the price went down. Now it's too low, lol????
427. IKE
12:42 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
Winds are shifting around to the NW here. Rain is ending within an hour, maybe 2.

61 degrees outside.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
426. IKE
12:36 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
Quoting code1:
3.75" of rain at my house since yesterday afternoon Ike. Yayyyy Hope your Walton Co. got even more as you are a bit dryer than Okaloosa. Starting to get windy here now in the last 15-20 minutes though. Time for a closer look at radar. Re your comment: I gave that up a few years ago. I come home for vacation mostly. People from all over the world come to our beaches. We don't need to go anywhere for vacation!


It's pouring here now....low is kicking it up out in the GOM....buoy 42036

Wind Direction (WDIR): SE ( 130 deg true )
5-day plot - Wind Speed Wind Speed (WSPD): 29.1 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 35.0 kts
5-day plot - Wave Height Wave Height (WVHT): 13.1 ft
5-day plot - Dominant Wave Period Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 8 sec
5-day plot - Average Period Average Period (APD): 6.3 sec
5-day plot - Mean Wave Direction Mean Wave Direction (MWD): SE ( 140 deg true )
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.91 in
5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.01 in ( Falling )
5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 76.1 °F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 79.7 °F
5-day plot - Dew Point Dew Point (DEWP): 73.4 °F
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
425. code1
12:32 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
3.75" of rain at my house since yesterday afternoon Ike. Yayyyy Hope your Walton Co. got even more as you are a bit dryer than Okaloosa. Starting to get windy here now in the last 15-20 minutes though. Time for a closer look at radar. Re your comment: I gave that up a few years ago. I come home for vacation mostly. People from all over the world come to our beaches. We don't need to go anywhere for vacation!
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 66 Comments: 13872
424. RTLSNK
12:31 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
Hey Vort, yeah its great, we just planted some trees in the yard and the rain is coming down slow and steady so it soaks in without running off. Looks like the heavy rain will hit that lake NE of Atlanta that they get their water from so thats good news!
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 22094
423. Jedkins01
12:29 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
Quoting RobDaHood:


Big puff of convection in the gulf last night, but has died down considerably and rain seems to be fading out a bit as it comes on shore. Good thing too because if you believe the radar estimates that blob was dropping about 3 inches per hour well off-shore.

I'm in the center of the state, just been drippy here all night and no real wind. P-Cola has been getting hammered though


BTW Goodmorning



Radar estimates are always way too low around here in central Florida compared to actual rain amounts, so you can usually double the rain rate of what the radar estimates for a real reading.

For example, I have had 0.78 this morning here on the west coast of Florida, but radar says only 0.25 or less fell...

Ive seen where the radar reads 0.50 to 1.00 per hour and the actual rate is over 3 inches an hour, esspecially in tropical systems...


As you go up north, radar tends to over-estimate rainfall, due to drier cooler air.


Where as here, the radar under-estimates due to the rainfall being more tropical in nature.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8014
420. RTLSNK
12:20 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
Morning everyone, 50 degrees in Macon, Ga have had a little over an inch of rain since 5 AM so far, local radar out of Robbins AFB shows heavier rain moving in now. Went out to get the paper and noticed clouds going counter clockwise and thought hmmmmm, thats odd. Came in and looked at the radar and sure enough there was a large rotation in the middle of the storm that is now void of rain and clouds and headed towards Athens, Ga.
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 22094
419. DDR
12:16 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
Good morning all
People in barbados must be really fed up with all that rain,its going to be yet another rainy afternoon in the southern windwards.
Member Since: April 27, 2007 Posts: 14 Comments: 1729
418. IKE
12:02 PM GMT on October 24, 2008
37 days...
16 hours...
58 minutes and it's over........


Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
416. IKE
11:59 AM GMT on October 24, 2008
Quoting leftovers:
looks like most people are going to be cutting back on their vacations


I gave that up a few years ago.

Economy is in the tank...badly.

Good news is...since no one has any money, gas prices are tumbling...down to $2.68.9 here. I heard earlier from someone on CNBC that a barrel of crude oil may drop to 50 bucks. Could we see gas prices under $2 a gallon? I also heard OPEC is cutting production to drive prices up***thanks***
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
412. presslord
11:49 AM GMT on October 24, 2008
Thanks a pantload Vort!!! Aren't you just a little ray of sunshine this morning?
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
411. IKE
11:48 AM GMT on October 24, 2008
Quoting vortfix:
S&P 500, Dow Average Futures Reach `Limit Down' Level

By Sarah Jones and Alexis Xydias

Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Trading in futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has been limited after declines in the contracts of more than 6 percent triggered a so-called limit down restriction.

The S&P 500 futures will not trade below 855.20 until U.S. exchanges open for regular trading at 9:30 a.m. New York time, said Jeremy Hughes, a London-based spokesman for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Dow Average futures won't trade below the 8,224 level, he said. The ``limit down'' suspension allows both contracts to trade above those levels, he said.

Stocks tumbled around the world today and U.S. index futures fell on deepening concern the global economic slump will crimp corporate earnings.



Yeah...I was gonna post that earlier but thought someone would flame me for it being "off-topic".....bad futures for the DJIA.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
410. IKE
11:47 AM GMT on October 24, 2008
Looks like the low is tracking along the NW Florida coast on this radar...

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
408. IKE
11:44 AM GMT on October 24, 2008
Buoy 64 NM south of Dauphin Island,AL....winds have shifted to the NNW....low is now east of there....

5-day plot - Wind Direction Wind Direction (WDIR): NNW ( 330 deg true )
5-day plot - Wind Speed Wind Speed (WSPD): 11.7 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 15.5 kts
5-day plot - Wave Height Wave Height (WVHT): 11.8 ft
5-day plot - Dominant Wave Period Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 9 sec
5-day plot - Average Period Average Period (APD): 7.2 sec
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.87 in
5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.01 in ( Falling )
5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 75.2 °F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 78.1 °F
5-day plot - Dew Point Dew Point (DEWP): 65.7 °F
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
407. WxLogic
11:42 AM GMT on October 24, 2008
Hi Cot...
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5038
405. Cotillion
11:27 AM GMT on October 24, 2008
Hey vort, Logic, Ike and anyone else I've missed. :)

Glad to hear it's not so bad as first thought.

Seems today here is just a break before yet another low works its way in. Gotta love autumn. The heavy wind came from a low above us (Moved north of Scotland, just trailed wind and rain everywhere) measuring around 944mb. (Yay...)

Next one doesn't seem as bad, though it'll go right through us. 978mb, or something. Then some higher pressures after that, doesn't seem much wind with it either. Whee!

Now is also the season to keep an eye on any upcoming windstorms. Usually from around mid October to March time, with the peak around January usually. It's all fun...
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.

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