Huge Western Caribbean low bringing heavy rains; Wisconsin levee failing

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:26 PM GMT on September 27, 2010

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Today, for the first day since August 20, the National Hurricane Center will not be issuing any advisories for an Atlantic named storm. Thus ends a remarkably active 36-day period that saw the formation of ten named storms, six hurricanes, and five intense hurricanes--an entire hurricane season's worth of activity, compressed into just five weeks of the six-month season. This season is not done yet, as we still have three more weeks of peak hurricane season left to go, and the Western Caribbean is looking poised to generate a tropical storm sometime in the next ten days.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of the Western Caribbean and Central America, showing the remains of Matthew over Mexico, and a large area of disturbed weather beginning to develop over the Western Caribbean.

A wet week ahead for the Western Caribbean, Florida, and the Western Bahamas
Pressures are falling over the Western Caribbean today as a large area of low pressure develops over the region. This low is bringing heavy rains across a huge area, from the Pacific shores of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico, to eastern Cuba and Haiti. All of Central America, eastern Mexico, the western 2/3 of the Caribbean, plus the Bahamas and Florida can expect sporadic periods of very heavy tropical rains over the coming week, with peak amounts of 3 - 6 inches per day possible. In the Western Caribbean, a few hundred miles east of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, a region of concentrated thunderstorms has built this morning, and has the potential to develop into a tropical depression by Wednesday. A large trough of low pressure over the Eastern U.S. is producing steering currents that will pull this area of disturbed weather to the north-northeast across western Cuba on Tuesday and Wednesday. The disturbance should move over Florida on Wednesday and Thursday, and over North Carolina by Thursday and Friday. All of these regions can expect very heavy rains from the disturbance, and NHC is giving a 30% chance that the disturbance will develop into a tropical depression by Wednesday. The Hurricane Hunters are on call to investigate the disturbance this afternoon, if necessary.

Once the disturbance moves out of the Caribbean, the GFS and NOGAPS models predict that the Western Caribbean will "reload" and produce another tropical disturbance capable of developing into a tropical depression late this week or early next week. The steering currents are not expected to change over the coming ten days, and Florida and western Cuba can expect to see this second disturbance potentially bring a second round of heavy rain late this week and early next week.

Levee failing in Wisconsin due to rains from Hurricane Karl's moisture
In Portage, Wisconsin, about 25 miles north of Madison, a sub-standard 120-year-old levee is failing, thanks to flood waters 3.5 feet above flood stage on the Wisconsin River. The river was swollen last week by heavy rains of up to seven inches that fell in its watershed to the northwest. The rains were generated by a plume of very moist air associated with what was Hurricane Karl. This moisture was lifted over a warm front draped over Minnesota and Wisconsin on Wednesday and Thursday. These types of rain events are called Predecessor Rain Events (PREs), because they typically precede the actual arrival of the rain shield of a tropical storm.


Figure 2. Rainfall over Minnesota and Wisconsin for the seven-day period ending 8pm EDT Sunday 9/26/10. Heavy rains to the northwest of Portage, Wisconsin led to flooding along the Wisconsin River in Portage. Image credit: NOAA.

Canadian Military responds for Hurricane Igor relief
At least twenty communities in Newfoundland, Canada are still cut off from civilization after Tuesday's rampage by Hurricane Igor. The Canadian military has sent three warships and a number of helicopters into the disaster zone to deliver food, fuel, and medical supplies to those communities still cut off. Igor killed one person and caused over $100 million in damage to the island.


Figure 3. Miniature golf anyone? A house in St. John's Newfoundland now has a very three-dimensional front yard, thanks to Hurricane Igor's winds and rain. Image credit: Zach Goudie.

I'll have an update Tuesday morning.

Jeff Masters

Wisconsin River Flooding in Wisconsin Rapids September 2010 (LadyWriter)
Jackson Street Bridge late Saturday afternoon at cresting.
Wisconsin River Flooding in Wisconsin Rapids September 2010
Wisconsin River Flooding in Wisconsin Rapids September 2010 (LadyWriter)
Taken from First Avenue while looking eastward toward Grand Avenue Bridge/Elks Club when the flooding was at its worst
Wisconsin River Flooding in Wisconsin Rapids September 2010

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Quoting Chucktown:


Understood, but the other side of the coin is that if you name this, the worst of the storm will be on the east side and away from land. When the general public hear tropical storm they think winds 40-50 and a lot of rain. This will not be the case with this storm, heavy rain yes, winds not so much. The Bahamas are going to see the worst of this.

Thank you for a calm voice here in Summerville, SC
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I thought ST was the Supreme Terror factor. Shows what I know.

Conditions in Cayman about the same as reported a few hours ago: Light rain & about 9kts wind.
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Quoting Bordonaro:
The NHC named Bonnie, Fiona, Gaston & Hermine as Tropical Storms this year. Bonnie looked awful, meanwhile this 96L has a central pressure of 1002 MB and id producing much more tropical storm force winds and rain than Bonnie did and it's still NOT a TD??


I think the system needs to have all ingredients (coc, winds, pressure, convection, outflow, etc.) for a minimum of 6 hrs to go from A.O.I to TD or TS.
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Quoting utilaeastwind:
This is what it was like here when Matthew passed a couple days ago.

This photo was a real crowd pleaser. This is the Chief of Police with his speed boat.

Sorry Fidi.



More photos of Matthew at www.utilaeastwind.com

Glad to hear it was not so bad you can't make fun of it! Look like he got caught by the wind switch..
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go to new blog
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Jamaican Radar
Met Service of Jamaica
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
09/28/2010 01:54PM 952 invest_al162010.invest


AL 16 2010092812 BEST 0 202N 828W 30 1001 TD


Is there such thing as a sub tropical depression lol
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NEW BLOG
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HH will probally not fly over Cuba atleast not without permission
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Nice sunrise in Naples a short while ago. Love the inverted over-the-horizon cloud shadows. (And please forgive the poor resolution; I shot this with a low-quality cellphone camera while stopped at a red light [Airport & Orange Blossom].)

sunrise


Absolutely gorgeous!! Thank you Neapolitan!
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Quoting reedzone:
Clearly a circulation there, I don't think it's Subtropical yet, still fully Tropical to me. Looks like a Tropical Storm. Nicole should be here shortly, maybe 5 p.m. at the latest. Plus I've never seen a Subtropical Storm in the Caribbean before.

Deep convection almost around the center = Fully Tropical to me.


Yes but there is no deep circulation around the center though. Of course you didnt point out the lat long of where you think the center is, which is??
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2853. Keys99
WIll The HH fly over Cuba to try and locate a center? If the Low center is Between The Isle of Youth and Grand Cayman,The Area of lowest preasure will be over land by the time they get their at 18z 2pm Est.
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09/28/2010 01:54PM 952 invest_al162010.invest


AL 16 2010092812 BEST 0 202N 828W 30 1001 TD
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Met Service of Jamaica

NEWS RELEASE
September 27, 2010 –5:00 p.m.

*** FLASH FLOOD WATCH UPGRADED TO FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR ALL PARISHES***

The Meteorological Service has upgraded the Flash Flood Watch to a Flash Flood Warning for low-lying and flood prone areas of all parishes until 5:00 p.m. tomorrow.

A FLASH FLOOD WARNING means flooding has been reported or will occur shortly.Motorist and pedestrians should not attempt to cross flooded roadways or other low-lying areas as strong currents are likely. Residents in low-lying areas should be on the alert for rising waters and be ready to move quickly to higher ground.

A broad area of Low Pressure continues to produce widespread showers and thunderstorms over the northwestern Caribbean, including Jamaica.

Radar indicates that widespread showers and thunderstorms affected
the island especially sections of southern and northeastern parishes last night into this morning.
The forecast is for showers and thunderstorms to continue through today, tonight and Tuesday. Deteriorating conditions are expected
to persist over the island into Wednesday as this disorganized area
of Low Pressure drifts northward away from Jamaica. There is a chance of this system becoming a Tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours
as conditions become favorable for gradual development. As a result
a Flash Flood Watch is now in effect for all parishes.

Fishers and other marine interests are being advised to exercise caution as strong, gusty winds are likely in areas of showers and thunderstorms mainly over inshore and offshore areas of the south
coast.


The Meteorological Service will continue to monitor the progress
of this system.


pef
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96L is still pretty disorganized.

Convection is starting to pop up around the Low south of western Cuba.
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I don't see much movement from the two blobs at all. If anything I see moisture pushing aganist the front and pushing the dry air back a bit. Line of weak storms off Tampa Bay are moving away from the coast and north of Tampa they seem to be moving toward the coast. The preasure in Ruskin Fl is 1009
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2847. quante
Quoting cat5hurricane:
The HRWF intensity in regards to 96L has been on the upper tier for a while it seems like.


HWRF always seems on high side on intensity, not sure why.
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Quoting kmanislander:
The two competing low centers can now be seen clearly on the visible loop at 20 / 82 and 19 / 85

Link
.....hmm,didn't some models show this,I believe it was the nam!!!
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
Quoting Patrap:
Track is pretty easy to see,,and no unexpected errors are expected.


Prep for a Few Nasty Days,,



12z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Invest96
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)





Dymamic Models (More sophisticated models)





clearly the worst will stay off florida's coast.
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2844. Patrap
Parts of S. Carolina has had 7-10 Inches of rain Last 30 Hours so they need to be ready for a flooding event.



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2842. angiest
Quoting Patrap:
Track is pretty easy to see,,and no unexpected errors are expected.


Prep for a Few Nasty Days,,



12z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Invest96
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)





Dymamic Models (More sophisticated models)






No unexpected errors are expected, huh?
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


That is wrong it means Sub-Tropical.


28/1145 UTC 21.0N 82.8W ST1.5 96L -- Atlantic


no it means stationary that is the movement they put after the coordinates
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Quoting mcluvincane:
ST Means stationary not sub tropical. This will be a pure tropical system. Tropical storm Nichole not sub tropical storm Nichole. NC could see the brunt of IMO hurricane Nichole.

ST means subtropical.
From the Dvorak Technique page
(ST is used for Sub-Tropical systems)
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The east coast has already seen a lot of beach erosion this year due to Earl and Igor passing by.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11423
Quoting mcluvincane:
ST Means stationary not sub tropical. This will be a pure tropical system. Tropical storm Nichole not sub tropical storm Nichole. NC could see the brunt of IMO hurricane Nichole.


look at the header

DATE/TIME LAT LON CLASSIFICATION STORM
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2835. afj3
Quoting Chucktown:


Understood, but the other side of the coin is that if you name this, the worst of the storm will be on the east side and away from land. When the general public hear tropical storm they think winds 40-50 and a lot of rain. This will not be the case with this storm, heavy rain yes, winds not so much. The Bahamas are going to see the worst of this.

I agree with you there.
Member Since: June 10, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 349
2834. Patrap
Track is pretty easy to see,,and no unexpected errors are expected.


Prep for a Few Nasty Days,,



12z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Invest96
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)





Dymamic Models (More sophisticated models)




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Quoting TreasureCoastFl:


aha.. thanks!


That is wrong it means Sub-Tropical.


28/1145 UTC 21.0N 82.8W ST1.5 96L -- Atlantic
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ST Means stationary not sub tropical. This will be a pure tropical system. Tropical storm Nichole not sub tropical storm Nichole. NC could see the brunt of IMO hurricane Nichole.
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Wow 96L has really put on a show over night.
They have RECON 2 pm flight Link
If I read that correctly.
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 110 Comments: 7039
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


They don't give headings on the Tropical Position page it means Sub Tropical.

Oh now I am confused... well anyway local weatherman here says they are already reporting tropical force winds and gives it an 80% chance of being a tropical storm at this point.
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Quoting FSUCOOPman:
@2605, sure wish the models would get into agreement.


This is a complicated situation, they may never fully agree. That's why it is most important for most to follow the products available from the NWS until advisories are issued from the NHC, if ever.
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Quoting afj3:

My point being is that people take systems less seriously if they don't have names. While this is less a factor in the United States, in the Caribbean, a blob can cause mudslides and kill people...Look what happened in Venezuela in December 1999. No name, dozens of thousands dead.


Understood, but the other side of the coin is that if you name this, the worst of the storm will be on the east side and away from land. When the general public hear tropical storm they think winds 40-50 and a lot of rain. This will not be the case with this storm, heavy rain yes, winds not so much. The Bahamas are going to see the worst of this.
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2825. nash28
Quoting cat5hurricane:
Yep...that's what it looks like at this moment.

We had some much needed rain the past couple days. But we can live without the TS force winds though!!


Yeah.. We don't need a rapidly intensifying system hitting the high octane of the gulf stream taking a western track right through the harbor... No more than TS winds.
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Quoting saylo2mylilfren:
ST = Stationary not Sub-Tropical


aha.. thanks!
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Quoting saylo2mylilfren:
i going to start wrapping here soon


Please don't, I hate rap music
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Quoting saylo2mylilfren:
ST = Stationary not Sub-Tropical


They don't give headings on the Tropical Position page it means Sub Tropical.
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Quoting seflagamma:
Hello again,
Reading back, thanks for those who commented...

Irene was a total mis forcast and yes a lot of blame was going around for not give anyone a heads up. I was at work and watching radar...watching that tc spin it's way across the Florida Straights and Glades toward SE Fla...

It was a big rain event.. some places down in Dade County got like 21"...

our power went off for about 24 hours and we were flooded but not nearly as bad as others..
I did not get rain in my house but had 7" in my garage and back patio and the street was mid thigh deep..we floaded rubber boats down the street!


I am home today and I've watched the local news for our area and saw Max Mayfield last night and a few others this morning.. they are talking about the invest and possibly a storm but like someone said..they are not really talking wind at all ...just flooding rain...and we are already under flood watches.

Good Morning SE... - I lived in Hollywood during Irene. What a mess. The city has no drainage on a good day. Waist high water, flooded garages, cars stalled out everywhere. Dixie Highway south of Sheridan Street was impassable (?) for days. Lived on the beach in a high rise - 5th floor. The whole building was shaking and a barge broke loose and went up the beach from Hallandale Bch Blvd to just south of Hollywood Blvd destroying the first reef. I'm in Palm Beach County now. ALready having heavy rain squalls - parking lot here at work already flooding!
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Quoting 7544:
looks like the big red blob is drifting north to meet up with little red blob ?



It's going to start wrapping around the COC soon.
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Quoting 7544:
sub tropical might not be out of the question hmmm

At this point I think it's very likely with the set up of shear and the dry air to the NW. This is more like a later in Fall set up.
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it's going to start wrapping here soon around the COC
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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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