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 MiamiHurricanes09:
Lower level vorticity is good in the area, so it appears to be a prime spot for the development of a low pressure system. It has yet to occur though.

This afternoon's ASCAT pass should help us out.



What's concerning to me is that a system forms, spins up quickly in that bathtub down there and is suddenly at my front door.

If and when we do have a system, how fast do you see it getting pulled up?
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Storm Matthew kills eight in Venezuela
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When some on this blog state a tropical system is monsoonal, what exactly do you mean? I've asked this before, and never received and answer.

I understand monsoonal to mean the seasonal interaction between land and water temperatures creating winds and precipitation usually lots of it; kind of like the sea breeze in Florida which is a diurnal cycle rather than seasonal cycle like in portions of India.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

P.S. I won't put you on my ignore list if you correct me...LOL. In all seriousness, I welcome all rational and humerous points of view.
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Still haven't gotten my GREarth subscription -_-
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
apparently someone on here just said that there is a low starting to form north of honduras ????
Lower level vorticity is good in the area, so it appears to be a prime spot for the development of a low pressure system. It has yet to occur though.

This afternoon's ASCAT pass should help us out.

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Quoting P451:


The scope of the disturbed weather is incredible. However look at the shear within the red cone from the anti-cyclone that was supposed to vent Matthew (yellow?) but actually inhibited him.



Shear is way too high for anything to develop here:


...10-20 is not to much for invest to develop, lol
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Quoting reedzone:


There's a reason why he's on my ignore list, don't quote him please.


What? Are you telling us not to quote people who are on YOUR ignore list? I don't think so. lol


Serious ? here. I don't understand, why would you put someone on ignore. i IGNORE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME AND don't even relize I am doing it. I have been told the more I interact with people the "better off" I will be.

Can we not learn something from everyone or am I stiill locked in a fantasy world but just a different one?

Thanks in advance for the reply.

Is that salted soup near beleze comming north?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
It will be interesting to see where an area of low pressure develops. I'm becoming more linear towards the convective cluster that is located towards the north or northwest of Honduras where mean sea level pressures are their lowest...1006mb.

apparently someone on here just said that there is a low starting to form north of honduras ????
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3022
It will be interesting to see where an area of low pressure develops. I'm becoming more linear towards the convective cluster that is located towards the north or northwest of Honduras and is the spot that mean sea level pressures are their lowest...1006mb.

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Quoting reedzone:
I'll say it again..
Whatever transpires with the remnants of Matthew will eventually head north! All models show this as well..
but you never responded yesterday if the sun would rise today...well guess what, IT DID !
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
CMC.
morning Miami looks like we may have something finally cranking up in the northwest carribean, is there any vorticity in that area
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3022
As I stated last night a new low appears to be forming along honduruses north coast imo,should be invest by tonight imo,depression mon night or tues. morning
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2098. afj3
Is the GFS showing something forming off Central America in wake of what could be Nicole? Or am I reading it wrong?
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Quoting surfmom:

**OOOOps*** LOL - close but no cigar.....thanks for the clarify.....it's like a garage sale in the Carib.... lots of junk & remnants in the pile - hard to keep track. Just got a feeling there's a designer label somewhere in the mess
....what's up surfmom,not sure if u he's the twitter,,I've been doing local/tropical updates via twitter,you can find my handle by going to my wu blog,I will also be live streaming if a tc effect our area or I decide. To chase....I don't think I've seen the gom this tranquil,for this long!!!!,looks like its time to wax up the boards forsome 6-8footers atleast end week???
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Quoting TerraNova:
IPS meteostar offers a version of the NAM model zoomed in on the GOM. Link

Looking at it you can get a better idea of where this is forecast to start churning, which is more or less supported by the GFS and CMC. On the 06z run the NAM has a secondary low developing off the Yucatan and drifting east trying to work its way down. NAM is showing a double-barrel low pressure system which is a classic sign of an upper or mid level circulation working its way down to the surface.



Thanks Terra. This is what I was referring to on post 2081.
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GFS shows something similar to the NAM, with a low pressure system forming due west of the Cayman islands on Tuesday and crossing Cuba around Thursday, remaining very elongated and very monsoon-ish. Only difference is that GFS looks to spin this up directly out of Matthew's low level circulation.


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Gulf of hondurus area now at 10%!!!!
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Yeah, if you look at all of the convection in Indonesia, that looks like trouble for the Caymans.
After that it will bounce off the bluff in Cayman Brac and head to Texas(?) right ?
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2091. dader
Quoting reedzone:
I'll say it again..
Whatever transpires with the remnants of Matthew will eventually head north! All models show this as well..


Saying it again doesn't make it more right Reed:
http://my.sfwmd.gov/sfwmd/common/images/weather/plots/storm_15.gif
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Quoting weatherwart:


Dude. Get over yourself.


LOL....wow...I agree.
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IPS meteostar offers a version of the NAM model zoomed in on the GOM. Link

Looking at it you can get a better idea of where this is forecast to start churning, which is more or less supported by the GFS and CMC. On the 06z run the NAM has a secondary low developing off the Yucatan and drifting east trying to work its way down. NAM is showing a double-barrel low pressure system which is a classic sign of an upper or mid level circulation working its way down to the surface.

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Next 24-48hrs will be interesting to see if we can get consolidation of a low pressure system west of the caymans. I posted this last night on another good website.

Alot of confusion still going on with the models coming out @ OZ Sunday morning here still. I still feel we cant take any model for granted until we get some kinda of broad low pressure system Monday night or Tuesday north of Honduras. I think we have to wait then @ least 24 if not 48hrs before we really can get a grasp. I would go along right now with the ECMWF only cause the GFS has been really confused on what to make of this all.

From what we can tell, we will have a good trough digging down Mon-Friday into the SE U.S. Low pressure
in the NW carribean will be very broad and will have impulses inside the broad low that will then tele-connect with a frontal trough from the main trough over the S.E. United States as it digs down south of 30N to 20N and near 82-85W. The impulses will respond and move along the trough. Dry air will be on the back side of this trough over the central and northern GOM. How far east this trough makes it by Friday will determine who will see what. if your west of the trough, you will get a few light showers and high clouds, east of the trough and along the low pressure, you will get heavy amounts of rain, gusty winds and heavy rainfall amounts for 4+ inches.

Finally, again we don't know yet where this trough will set up and how fast the low pressure moves up along the trough and how deep the impulse will be, it may be just a impulse of lower pressure around 998mbs as subtropical storm moving NE getting sheared or it might be a little stronger around 990mbs with a good strong band out ahead and to its east (cause it wont be concentrated too much near the COC due to dry air to its west and shear). Still its 5 days out @ least, we will find out probably in 36hrs-48hrs what might happen in strength and placement. Disregard anything south of Cuba in the long range 5-7days as models are really having issues past day 4 right now.

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Quoting hydrus:
The new GFDL model shows a storm in the Gulf of Mexico 742 hours...j.k....really...j.jk
Yeah, if you look at all of the convection in Indonesia, that looks like trouble for the Caymans.
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The 00Z WRF & GFS Models are in agreement that a new system will develope just south of Cuba. Then, what is that, another system merging with it, blowing up together into one giant system?
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2080. IKE
***peaks head in...heads out the door***
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting hydrus:
Maybe you should post everybody who is on your ignore list so we can add them to ours..lol


You took the words out of my mouth. Reedzone needs to curve the old ego some.
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Cyclogenesis is never something we can accurately forecast until it begins to happen and track forecasts are nearly useless until a system develops. IMHO, while we can improve on model physics, until we have some way to get much better obs, more frequently, and much better upper air obs, our inability to forecast cyclogenesis, and track/intensity of an infantile system, will remain. JMO
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2076. hydrus
Quoting reedzone:


There's a reason why he's on my ignore list, don't quote him please.
Maybe you should post everybody who is on your ignore list so we can add them to ours..lol
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Quoting reedzone:


There's a reason why he's on my ignore list, don't quote him please.


I thought the admin banned him on here. :)
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Quoting CaneAddict:


Just because you don't like someone on this blog doesen't mean everyone else has to watch who they talk to or quote.


Thank You
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
So Reedzone,

We Looking at a Busy October for Florida.


Looks like it, we'll get close to 20 this year, but most likely 15-18 as I predicted in May. The forecast is panning out well.
15-18 storms, 9-10 Hurricane (probably ends up a bit lower), 5 majors (maybe a bit higher).
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Quoting reedzone:


There's a reason why he's on my ignore list, don't quote him please.


What? Are you telling us not to quote people who are on YOUR ignore list? I don't think so. lol
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Quoting reedzone:
I'll say it again..
Whatever transpires with the remnants of Matthew will eventually head north! All models show this as well..


??? I dont think anyone on here is saying anything different. Although, I dont think anyone on here is overly interested in the remenants of Matthew at this point (of course those in mexico are). I think most are awaiting new development in the NW Carib.
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2070. hydrus
Quoting scottsvb:
As I've stated about 1,000 times in the past 12 years on here, don't look at models past day 5 or even really day 3 if the models are not in agreement. Posting stuff and asking questions on a map that is 240hrs or 360hrs is just crazy.

Mets use short term forecasts (along with the NHC).. anything more than 5 days is really iffy.
The new GFDL model shows a storm in the Gulf of Mexico 742 hours...j.k....really...j.jk
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Quoting reedzone:


There's a reason why he's on my ignore, don't quote him please.


Just because you don't like someone on this blog doesen't mean everyone else has to watch who they talk to or quote.
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Still has some interestingly deep convection about him...

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2066. Dakster
Just to add some salt to the cooking pot.

I do remember a few days ago, models showing 95L smacking CA and then "something" coming back as a Hurricane and striking Florida. Most of us (me included) assumed it was Matthew...

While the models are FAR from perfect, it remains to be seen just how inacurrate they were early last week.

While I am concerned for the people of CA and Mexico, I am glad Matthew didn't take the Northern route into the GOM and then into Florida. I'd take a TS/TD so another area didn't have to take a direct hit from a Major. However, I don't want a Hurricane either way.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10409
Quoting barotropic:


10


There's a reason why he's on my ignore list, don't quote him please.
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The notion of a tropical cyclone developing out of a broad low pressure area reminds me of Barry in 2007. Although certain environmental factors such as shear and dry air are more favorable this time around, anything as broad as this will take time to coalesce and strengthen regardless of the warm waters underneath it.
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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.