Matthew drenching Central America and Mexico

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:35 PM GMT on September 25, 2010

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Tropical Storm Matthew continues to dump heavy rains over Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, and neighboring regions of Mexico today. Puerto Barrios, in northern Guatemala, has received 4.57" of rain in the past 24 hours. With Matthew expected to slow down and dissipate by Sunday, the storm's heavy rains of 6 - 15 inches can be expected to cause severe flooding and dangerous mudslides. The rains are of particular concern for Guatemala, which suffered its rainiest August in its history, followed by the landfall of Tropical Depression 11E during the first week of September, which dumped torrential rains on the country that triggered flooding and mudslides that killed at least 48 Guatemalans.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image from NASA's Terra satellite taken yesterday, showing Tropical Storm Matthew approaching landfall.


Figure 2. Forecast rain amounts for the 5-day period beginning at 2am EDT today (Saturday, September 25) as predicted by this morning's 2am EDT (6Z) run of the GFDL. Very heavy rains in excess of eight inches (yellow colors) are predicted for portions of Central America along Matthew's track. Image credit: Morris Bender, NOAA/GFDL.

Lisa
Tropical Storm Lisa pulled a bit of a surprise last night, intensifying into a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds in the far Eastern Atlantic. Lisa's longitude of 27.9W at the time made it the 10th strongest hurricane so far east in the Atlantic. Record keeping began in 1851, but it is likely that many hurricanes stronger than Lisa were missed prior to the advent of reliable satellite coverage in 1974. Lisa is even farther east than Category 4 Hurricane Julia, which earlier this month set the record for strongest hurricane ever recorded so far east. Lisa's glory will be short-lived, though, as strong upper level winds out of the west are expected to increase tonight, bringing high wind shear of 20 - 45 knots over the storm. The high shear may be capable of destroying the storm by early next week. It appears unlikely that Lisa will affect any land areas.

Forecast for the rest of the tropics
Most of the models continue to predict that by Wednesday, the remnants of Matthew, and/or a piece of a tropical disturbance over the Eastern Pacific off the coast of Guatemala, will evolve into a huge and very wet low pressure system that will start spinning over Central America and the Western Caribbean. NHC has been referring to this expected storm as a "monsoon low", and these sorts of storms are very dangerous for Central America and the Western Caribbean, even if they do not develop into a tropical storm. In October 2007, a similar monsoon low I dubbed "the sleeping giant" spent a week spinning over the region, dumping very heavy rains over all of Central America and the countries bordering the Western Caribbean. Rains from this system triggered flooding that killed 45 people in Haiti, damaged thousands of homes in Cuba, and caused havoc in Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, Mexico, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and the Bahamas. A similar type of storm is likely to develop on Wednesday and Thursday, and most of Central America and the nations surrounding the Western Caribbean can expect to see dangerous flooding rains develop this week in association with this giant low. Most of the models also predict that this big low will eventually develop into a tropical storm or hurricane that would be drawn northwards over Cuba late in the week, and threaten the Bahamas, Florida, or the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast. This is an exceptionally difficult system to forecast correctly, and the models have been coming up with some pretty unusual solutions as to what might happen. We'll just have to wait and see what unfolds over the next few days.

I'll have an update Sunday by 2pm.

Jeff Masters

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I say Miami to Pensacola with the west coast of Florida more likely. Should have a better idea of the track and intensity on Wednesday. As far as intensity, anywhere from a Tropical Storm to a Cat 2 is my guess right now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
LOL. No, my grandson's allergies are. When he starts sneezing like crazy I know something is brewing.

Migraines. You could use my head as a barometer. lol
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2010. WxLogic
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Think Tuesday night is when genesis will occur.


Yeap... but I'll lean towards Monday night.
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2008. Grothar
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Wow. Amazing how the models did a good job at sniffing this one out. We should probably have Nicole by Tuesday or more likely Wednesday. Florida won't have long to prepare once she forms, especially the keys.
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2006. Grothar
GFS is showing a system off SW Fla, but not too strong yet. I don't see any of the models have a handle on intensity of any system yet.

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Quoting weatherwart:


Is that your hurricane early warning system? ;)
LOL. No, my grandson's allergies are. When he starts sneezing like crazy I know something is brewing.
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Thanks Chicklit 100 pair of eyes are better than one of course unless there all crossed. I know mine are crossed at least half the time so hopefully it all works out. Right as Ike posted, I would say shear appears to be everyone's friend as everything else is pretty optimal.
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Quoting WxLogic:


Indeed... is part of a large monsoonal low so it will take a bit longer than the average disturbance to consolidate.


Think Tuesday night is when genesis will occur.
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2002. WxLogic
850MB VORT Increasing:

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2001. WxLogic
Quoting Chicklit:
That's it, DBW!

Now will it take as long to develop as they currently think it will?


Indeed... is part of a large monsoonal low so it will take a bit longer than the average disturbance to consolidate.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Good morning. We had some very heavy rain and gusty winds here just a little while ago.


Is that your hurricane early warning system? ;)
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Your right on that. Thanks

Quoting stormwatcherCI:
No, the red circle is actually for the E. Pacific.
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That's it, DBW!

Now will it take as long to develop as they currently think it will?
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1996. Grothar
Quoting 954FtLCane:

The new Northwestern Carribean has shifted overnight.


Now that is better.
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Quoting weatherwart:


Exactly! lol And a good morning to you. :)
Good morning. We had some very heavy rain and gusty winds here just a little while ago.
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Pressure fairly low in nw Caribbean, also wind are fairly strong on the two most western buoy's.Buoy 42057 29.77 South wind at 23.3 kt gust higher. buoy 42056 29.74 ese wind 21,4 kt with higher gust. Lower pressure now than when Matt was closer, but not by much.


thx Gordy. i go crosseyed looking at model maps so appreciate this sort of info.
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Quoting RotorYacht:
It's only 10% right now. I think they made up that red circle?



No, the red circle is actually for the E. Pacific.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
LOL. Now you know my feeling when it is right next door to me. Might track to Fla next week but might be on my doorstep tomorrow.


Exactly! lol And a good morning to you. :)
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1991. scott39
Goodmorning, Its hard to believe Matthew will only get to 17.5N when it looks like its already there on the current visible Sattelite.
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The new Northwestern Carribean has shifted overnight. Dangit they fixed it.
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Link

Interesting
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It's only 10% right now. I think they made up that red circle?



Quoting Chicklit:

More like, somebody at the NHC isn't paying attention.
They're paid to be right.
We can screw up all we want. ;)
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1986. WxLogic
Fixed:



Sent an email to them, but appears they got either the feedback from the public or noticed the discrepancy.
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1985. Grothar
Quoting Neapolitan:


Defintely...though the majority of the rest of the GOM has decreasing shear. IOW, while the TX/LA/AL/MS/NFL "shield" is up today, it's not for us peninsulans...


Hey, this is a family blog. LOL
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1984. IKE
From the Melbourne,FL. discussion...

WED-SAT...MODELS CONTINUE TO VARY IN THEIR SOLUTIONS LATER IN THE
WEEK INTO EARLY WEEKEND WITH TROPICAL SYSTEM LIFTING NORTH OUT OF
THE CARIBBEAN AND TOWARDS FLORIDA. THE 00Z OPERATIONAL GFS MODEL
LOOKS QUITE UNREASONABLE FOR THE LONG RANGE AS IT DEVELOPS A SERIES
OF LOWS TOWARD FLORIDA DURING THIS TIME FRAME AND IS MUCH FASTER
THAN OTHER GUIDANCE. THE ECMWF HAS BEEN MUCH MORE CONSISTENT WITH
THE TRACK OF THE LOW TOWARDS AND JUST EAST OF SOUTH FL BUT HAS
SLOWED DOWN ITS NORTHWARD PROGRESSION.
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Quoting weatherwart:
See? This is why I like the CV storms much better than this late West Atl season. With the CV storms, there they are, here they come, the models predict, but we have a looooong time to see what's going on.

Look at what's happening. We have all these models prediciting a TC hitting Florida somewhere in the next five days or so and there isn't even a formed system with a track heading toward us. Makes me nuts.
LOL. Now you know my feeling when it is right next door to me. Might track to Fla next week but might be on my doorstep tomorrow.
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Pressure fairly low in nw Caribbean, also wind are fairly strong on the two most western buoy's.Buoy 42057 29.77 South wind at 23.3 kt gust higher. buoy 42056 29.74 ese wind 21,4 kt with higher gust. Lower pressure now than when Matt was closer, but not by much.
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Fine Grothar. We've been pretty lucky here in Florida thus far.
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fixedLink
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1979. afj3
Quoting Grothar:


Guess someone there failed their geography course at NOAA!! It could just be a computer glitch. At least that is the excuse I use when I really mess up. LOL

LOL. If they don't get some coffee going, they may start issuing warnings when the next system forms for portions of the Dakotas.....
Member Since: June 10, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 346
1978. Grothar
Quoting Chicklit:

There ya go.
How about, 'the cat sat on my mouse!'



My first laugh of the day! How you doing, Chicklit??
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Quoting Grothar:


Guess someone there failed their geography course at NOAA!! It could just be a computer glitch. At least that is the excuse I use when I really mess up. LOL

There ya go.
How about, 'the cat sat on my mouse!'
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See? This is why I like the CV storms much better than this late West Atl season. With the CV storms, there they are, here they come, the models predict, but we have a looooong time to see what's going on.

Look at what's happening. We have all these models prediciting a TC hitting Florida somewhere in the next five days or so and there isn't even a formed system with a track heading toward us. Makes me nuts.
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1974. Grothar
Quoting WxLogic:


Hope someone is revising it soon...


I just E-mailed them; will be interesting to see if they respond.
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1973. Grothar
Quoting afj3:

Northeastern Atlantic...Northeastern Caribbean...What's the difference???? (Just Kidding...)


Guess someone there failed their geography course at NOAA!! It could just be a computer glitch. At least that is the excuse I use when I really mess up. LOL
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1972. WxLogic
Quoting Grothar:
Guess someone at the NHC must have had a good Saturday night. Maps don't match the discussion.

ZCZC MIATWOAT ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT SUN SEP 26 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON RECENTLY
DOWNGRADED TROPICAL DEPRESSION LISA...LOCATED ABOUT 700 MILES
NORTH-NORTHWEST OF THE CAPE VERDE ISLANDS...AND ON TROPICAL
DEPRESSION MATTHEW...LOCATED INLAND ABOUT 85 MILES SOUTHEAST OF
VILLAHERMOSA MEXICO.

1. DISORGANIZED CLOUDINESS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE LOCATED OVER THE
NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA. SOME SLOW DEVELOPMENT IS POSSIBLE OVER
THIS AREA DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AS THE SYSTEM MOVES
LITTLE. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...10 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM
BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$


Hope someone is revising it soon...
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I think you are right or else had one too many last night.

Or Both
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Quoting Becca36:

Maybe the NHC is making sure we're all paying attention...

More like, somebody at the NHC isn't paying attention.
They're paid to be right.
We can screw up all we want. ;)
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Quoting Grothar:
Hey stormwatcherCI, think someone hasn't had their caffeine yet at NOAA. LOL
I think you are right or else had one too many last night.
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1968. Becca36
Quoting breald:


Now that is funny...LOL

Maybe the NHC is making sure we're all paying attention...
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1967. afj3
Quoting Grothar:
Guess someone at the NHC must have had a good Saturday night. Maps don't match the discussion.

ZCZC MIATWOAT ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT SUN SEP 26 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON RECENTLY
DOWNGRADED TROPICAL DEPRESSION LISA...LOCATED ABOUT 700 MILES
NORTH-NORTHWEST OF THE CAPE VERDE ISLANDS...AND ON TROPICAL
DEPRESSION MATTHEW...LOCATED INLAND ABOUT 85 MILES SOUTHEAST OF
VILLAHERMOSA MEXICO.

1. DISORGANIZED CLOUDINESS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE LOCATED OVER THE
NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA. SOME SLOW DEVELOPMENT IS POSSIBLE OVER
THIS AREA DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AS THE SYSTEM MOVES
LITTLE. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...10 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM
BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$

Northeastern Atlantic...Northeastern Caribbean...What's the difference???? (Just Kidding...)
Member Since: June 10, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 346
You're right Grothar.
Sloppy job on their part for sure.
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Quoting IKE:
Check out the shear increasing along the northern GOM from the trough being carved out...


Defintely...though the majority of the rest of the GOM has decreasing shear. IOW, while the TX/LA/AL/MS/NFL "shield" is up today, it's not for us peninsulans...
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1964. Grothar
Hey stormwatcherCI, think someone hasn't had their caffeine yet at NOAA. LOL
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About JeffMasters

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