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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Quoting IKE:


Raining at my house now. 75.6 outside.

Yes...I'm glad.


I've been surrounded. Had a trace at best.
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Quoting aislinnpaps:


Would the same principle also account for the occurance of tornados, or am I totally lost for them?
Sorta I guess. Updrafts within the thunderstorm is what essentially tilts rotation within a cell from horizontal to vertical. Thus a tornado develops within this vertical rotational column.

I really don't know much about the development of tornadoes though, so I'm probably wrong.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
000
NOUS42 KNHC 261600
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1200 PM EDT SUN 27 SEPTEMBER 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 28/1100Z TO 29/1100Z SEPTEMBER 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-117

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. SUSPECT SYSTEM (NORTHWEST CARIBBEAN)
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 27/1800Z
B. AFXXX 01GGA INVEST
C. 27/1430Z
D. 18.0N 85.0W
E. 27/1700Z TO 27/2300Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO -- NOAA 49
A. 28/0000Z
B. NOAA9 02GGA SURV
C. 27/1730Z
D. N/A
E. N/A
F. 41,000 TO 45,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO -- TEAL 71
A. 28/0600,1200Z
B. AFXXX 0316A CYCLONE
C. 28/0245Z
D. 19.0N 85.0W
E. 28/0500Z TO 28/1200Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK:
A. CONTINUE 6-HRLY FIXES IF SYSTEM DEVELOPS.
B. PROBABLE G-IV MISSION FOR 29/0000Z WITH TAKEOFF
AT 28/1730Z.
3. REMARK: THE NSF/NCAR G-V WILL FLY A 7 HR RESEARCH
MISSION INTO AND AROUND THE SUSPECT AREA BETWEEEN
41,000 AND 43,000 FT WITH TAKEOFF AT 27/1200Z.

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY.....NEGATIVE.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 10875
2311. robj144
So none of the south FLA news sites have anything about the possibility of a hurricane hitting us. If it forms on Tuesday, a day warning would not be good. What do you guys think the chances are of this coming to fruition? Should I start to warn people now, so we can beat everyone to the stores?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


I believe the same concept applies, with the winds in the upper levels (Upper Divergence), and the Cool/Warm air colliding (Lower Convergence).


Thank you, TropicalAnalystwx13
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Alot of energy starting to advect northward. Out of the pacific over hondurus/nicaragua towards a area of lowering pressures north of hondurus,I expect future td16's development to begin tonight or tomorrow morning/afternoon
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Afternoon all.

Model runs still bringing whatever we get NE towards Cuba and FL?
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Wow NAM, just wow.

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2304. IKE
Quoting sammywammybamy:
North Florida Getting Drought Ending Rain:

IKE Must be Proud.





Raining at my house now. 75.6 outside.

Yes...I'm glad.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting aislinnpaps:


Would the same prinical also account for the occurance of tornados, or am I totally lost for them?


I believe the same concept applies, with the winds in the upper levels (Upper Divergence), and the Cool/Warm air colliding (Lower Convergence).
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
High-end tropical storm in 66 hours:

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting weatherman12345:
when will Nicole be a TD?
A. TODAY
B. MONDAY
C. TUESDAY
D. WEDNESDAY


C. Slow organization into a moderate strength tropical storm before crossing western Cuba.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
That crazy lil' NAM has a cane right over me.



You and I better finalize our Cane plans
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Quoting weatherman12345:

ok, goin to publix now!!!!
LOL, I hope you're going to Publix to get food for the Fins and Jets game tonight rather than 'Nicole'.

But seriously, you don't have to go to Publix for 'Nicole' just yet.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting weatherman12345:
when will Nicole be a TD?
A. TODAY
B. MONDAY
C. TUESDAY
D. WEDNESDAY



C
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Yeah, upper divergence can induce sustained updrafts which is what basically keeps thunderstorm activity going (additionally you'll have surface convergence enhancing thunderstorms).

Currently upper divergence is good within the system. However, surface convergence is poor.


Would the same principle also account for the occurance of tornados, or am I totally lost for them?
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Quoting robj144:


And it forms on Monday or Tuesday? That won't give people a lot of time to prepare...

people should already be prepared since June 1st, the action part of their plan should be ready at anytime.
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Quoting weatherman12345:

do you think this can happen
Unfortunately yes.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
OracleD that's Karen's half sister Julia.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3112
Quoting HurricaneFCast:

Yep.


Convection tends to create large areas of low pressure (especially in the tropics) and converging winds at earth's surface, although it may not always be associated with a cyclone. Subsidence, may occur, creating high pressure and an anticyclone. Mesoscale subsidence occurs when air thousands of feet aloft is denser than the surrounding air.

Here's a decent explanation of high pressure from an encyclopedia:

Denser air is produced when winds aloft converge, air aloft is very cold, or air aloft is warm but unusually dry. The dense air sinks due to the pull of gravity, compressing the air, creating high pressure at the surface and diverging winds just above the surface. Warming of the air as it subsides increases evaporation, causing clear skies. That is why high pressure systems are usually associated with fair weather.


Thank you, HurricaneFCast. That makes complete sense and fills in some of the 'whys' for me when I'm reading on here.
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Quoting weatherman12345:

do you think this can happen


Observe your profile pic for a live radar feed.
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Quoting hunkerdown:
who the hell is Karen ????


Inside blog joke for those who blogged in 2007.
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12z GFS has Tropical Storm Nicole at 48 hours (becomes a tropical storm in about 36 hours).

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
That crazy lil' NAM has a cane right over me.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
I was only kidding you made a nice point.My only point is he posts the exact same thing every time.If the Doc or Administration doesn't care to suspend for monomania or any other reasons why should I care.Block report whatever he is for sure happy with your attention. As PT Barnum said there is no such thing as bad publicity. Just ask MS. Hilton. Back to the weather.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3112
What do we call that up there southeast of Bermuda at roughly 28N 54W, the bride of Frankenstein?


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Quoting Seastep:


Upper divergence is good, so if some surface convergence were to get going, well... watch out.

IMO, why Matthew must be well out of the way to get anything started.
Yeah, upper divergence can induce sustained updrafts which is what basically keeps thunderstorm activity going (additionally you'll have surface convergence enhancing thunderstorms).

Currently upper divergence is good within the system. However, surface convergence is poor.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting aislinnpaps:


Hence we watch for the sinking or lower pressure as a hurricane increases in strength. Correct?

Yep.


Convection tends to create large areas of low pressure (especially in the tropics) and converging winds at earth's surface, although it may not always be associated with a cyclone. Subsidence, may occur, creating high pressure and an anticyclone. Mesoscale subsidence occurs when air thousands of feet aloft is denser than the surrounding air.

Here's a decent explanation of high pressure from an encyclopedia:

Denser air is produced when winds aloft converge, air aloft is very cold, or air aloft is warm but unusually dry. The dense air sinks due to the pull of gravity, compressing the air, creating high pressure at the surface and diverging winds just above the surface. Warming of the air as it subsides increases evaporation, causing clear skies. That is why high pressure systems are usually associated with fair weather.
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2280. IKE
SYNOPSIS FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
1030 AM CDT SUN SEP 26 2010

.SYNOPSIS...A BROAD CYCLONIC CIRCULATION EXTENDS FROM THE
TROPICAL E PACIFIC TO THE W CARIBBEAN...AND IS PRODUCING FRESH N
FLOW ACROSS THE FAR SW GULF TODAY. SURFACE TROUGH FROM FLORIDA
BIG BEND SW TO NEAR 26N93W WILL DRIFT SE THIS AFTERNOON. A COLD
FRONT OVER SOUTHERN PLAINS WILL MOVE OFF THE TEXAS COAST TONIGHT
AND MERGE WITH SURFACE TROUGH...THEN REACH FROM NEAR MOBILE BAY
TO NORTHERN MEXICO MON MORNING...AND FROM CENTRAL FLORIDA
PANHANDLE TO THE NW BAY OF CAMPECHE TUE MORNING WHERE IT WILL
STALL AND GRADUALLY WEAKEN THROUGH THU. NEW LOW PRES IS EXPECTED
TO FORM IN THE NW CARIBBEAN MON AND TUE AND DRIFT N TO THE
YUCATAN CHANNEL WED AND THU...PRODUCING INCREASING WINDS AND
SEAS OVER MUCH OF S PORTIONS OF E AND CENTRAL GULF.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858


So the areas of red circles are the areas of concern that are keeping us from getting the 6z GFS of SEPT 24th 2010 storm system by day 7-9.
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2278. robj144
Quoting JP2010:
The new 12Z Nam has Cat 1 over Miami on Wednesday late in the day.

Link


And it forms on Monday or Tuesday? That won't give people a lot of time to prepare...
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
yeap thats right


Looking at the RGB loop it appears that some mid level circulation could be developing in this area.

Could be an Invest soon
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Quoting Neapolitan:


Well, since it was addressed to a minor, that poses a bit of a problem, doesn't it? ;-)

Seriously, I truly doubt any children will suffer any profound or lasting psychological trauma from my comment. If they do, they're free to sue...


The appropriate treatment for attention seeking behavior is extinction, ie ignoring said behavior. Spot on.
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2274. Seastep
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Yeah, that would make sense. The CIMSS PREDICT graph valid as of 14:15 UTC would indicate that surface divergence is slowly beginning to subside, however, it is still present.



Upper divergence is good, so if some surface convergence were to get going, well... watch out.

IMO, why Matthew must be well out of the way to get anything started.
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2273. JP2010
The new 12Z Nam has Cat 1 over Miami on Wednesday late in the day.

Link
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Quoting HurricaneFCast:



You're correct.. but sinking air (subsidence) = high pressure. Thus, subsidence isn't conducive for tropical development..
Yeah, that makes perfect sense.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting HurricaneFCast:



You're correct.. but sinking air (subsidence) = high pressure. Thus, subsidence isn't conducive for tropical development..


Hence we watch for the sinking or lower pressure as a hurricane increases in strength. Correct?
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Quoting gordydunnot:
The detail could have been a little to intense for minors.


Well, since it was addressed to a minor, that poses a bit of a problem, doesn't it? ;-)

Seriously, I truly doubt any children will suffer any profound or lasting psychological trauma from my comment. If they do, they're free to sue...
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Does that influence the development of a low pressure system? Because what lower level divergence induces is sinking air or subsidence, which I thought only influenced the development of thunderstorm activity.



You're correct about divergence.. but sinking air (subsidence) = high pressure. Thus, subsidence isn't conducive for tropical development..
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Quoting Seastep:


Yes. Need rising air to get anything going. Like when Atlantic was popping with strong systems. Carib was shut down, mainly due to subsidence.

It is the upper divergence that is enhancing TSTM activity.
Yeah, that would make sense. The CIMSS PREDICT graph valid as of 14:15 UTC would indicate that surface divergence is slowly beginning to subside, however, it is still present.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting gordydunnot:
The detail could have been a little to intense for minors.


Oh! I haven't been a minor for more years than I care to remember. Thank you! My youth is coming back! *G*
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The detail could have been a little to intense for minors.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3112
2264. Seastep
My understanding.
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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.