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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2365. mbjjm
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2364. mbjjm
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AL, 96, 2010092806, , BEST, 0, 191N, 850W, 30, 1003, LO

posting this again, winds up to 35mph
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7816
2362. 34chip
Quoting weatherboykris:



Aw come on. A weak storm can be a fun experience if you play it safe and don't do anything stupid like go surfing or playing in the wind. But, I understand your sentiment :)
Only because I have family in from out of town and I wanted to go explore for the day. lol :)
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Quoting KoritheMan:


This one appears to be swirling a lot, over a very wide area. Not good for development. But there are some indications that it is becoming better organized, and surface pressures are relatively low.

Fortunately, that cold front we just had roll through should keep our neck of the woods free from any tropical worries with this system, and a new, secondary front late in the week and into early next week should keep anything else that might form away.

I think it's safe to say our season on the northern Gulf Coast is over in terms of major hurricanes, though we could still see some tropical storms or weak hurricanes.


I would be careful to say that, just because a front is coming down now, does not mean there will continue to be fronts to protect your area if there is another storm threatening
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7816
Quoting gordydunnot:
Look at this link, click on I at bottom map you will see what I am talking about. It's also got a lot of weather observations on each invest all in one spot I think you all will enjoy it.Link


Great site.
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Quoting traumaboyy:


Great!!

We are looking at mid 50's here next week...how bout over there in Cajunville??


Through Saturday, anywhere from the upper 50s to low 60s after tonight. By Sunday, we drop down into the mid 50s again as the aforementioned secondary front pulls in cold air in its wake.
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AL, 96, 2010092806, , BEST, 0, 191N, 850W, 30, 1003, LO
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2357. mbjjm
Quoting robert88:
Looks like to me the convection with 96L is slowly drifting NE or ENE. This might just go towards the Bahamas and out to sea.


It is not feeling the effects of the trough yet.
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Quoting 34chip:

I must say living in Key West I would like to see this not come at all. :)



Aw come on. A weak storm can be a fun experience if you play it safe and don't do anything stupid like go surfing or playing in the wind. But, I understand your sentiment :)
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2355. 34chip
Quoting weatherboykris:
The bottom line right now, looking at the new 00z HWRF GFDL and GFS seems to be a strong TS or minimal hurricane making its way up through the Keys and scraping the east coast of south Florida. Being in South Florida, I'm kind of looking forward to this. It's been awhile since we got some good rain.

I must say living in Key West I would like to see this not come at all. :)
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Thanks Cirrocumulus have you seen the link I posted found it about two weeks ago on the CaneFever page. has called this invest even before anything else i have seen did.The track is scary carries right off Miami then reverse it back towards the Keys all is possible this time of year.Link
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Looks like to me the convection with 96L is slowly drifting NE or ENE. This might just go towards the Bahamas and out to sea.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


This one appears to be swirling a lot, over a very wide area. Not good for development. But there are some indications that it is becoming better organized, and surface pressures are relatively low.

Fortunately, that cold front we just had roll through should keep our neck of the woods free from any tropical worries with this system, and a new, secondary front late in the week and into early next week should keep anything else that might form away.

I think it's safe to say our season on the northern Gulf Coast is over in terms of major hurricanes, though we could still see some tropical storms or weak hurricanes.


Great!!

We are looking at mid 50's here next week...how bout over there in Cajunville??
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Quoting traumaboyy:


Hey Kori!!

Get those thunderstorms to swirling yet??


This one appears to be swirling a lot, over a very wide area. Not good for development. But there are some indications that it is becoming better organized, and surface pressures are relatively low.

Fortunately, that cold front we just had roll through should keep our neck of the woods free from any tropical worries with this system, and a new, secondary front late in the week and into early next week should keep anything else that might form away.

I think it's safe to say our season on the northern Gulf Coast is over in terms of major hurricanes, though we could still see some tropical storms or weak hurricanes.
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2350. mbjjm
The worry might not be so much South Florida,but the chance it could strenghten more over water before impacting the North East
gfdl oz run



hwrf 0zrun





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2349. JLPR2
Quoting KoritheMan:


GFS has been hinting at development near the Leeward Islands in about seven days. Possibly from one of these areas.


CMC sort of develops both, doooooommm! XD
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Good evening also. Lastly I may not know much about weather but the link I posted IMO is the best I have seen for consolidated information on the atmosphere and what not surrounding these types of systems.
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The bottom line right now, looking at the new 00z HWRF GFDL and GFS seems to be a strong TS or minimal hurricane making its way up through the Keys and scraping the east coast of south Florida. Being in South Florida, I'm kind of looking forward to this. It's been awhile since we got some good rain.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Good evening!


Hey Kori!!

Get those thunderstorms to swirling yet??
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Anyone know where the center might be very vague at NHC. Looking at buoy wind directions appears to be just of Belize. Further south than earlier..


There is 1004 mb low at 84W and 20N, however the models initiate closer to Belize or along the Yucatan coast. ex-Matt(AL15) crosses into the Pacific and then also goes by Belize and into Florida after what would be a weaker 96L(Nicole). This can be seen on the CMC run at Fla. State.
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AL, 96, 2010092806, , BEST, 0, 191N, 850W, 30, 1003, LO
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7816
Thanks for info....

Quoting KoritheMan:


GFS has been hinting at development near the Leeward Islands in about seven days. Possibly from one of these areas.
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Quoting traumaboyy:
Good morning/Evening night shift....Coffee is ready!!


Good evening!
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Quoting sunlinepr:
What about these 2 convection areas, when they reach 60-65W??



GFS has been hinting at development near the Leeward Islands in about seven days. Possibly from one of these areas.
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What about these 2 convection areas, when they reach 60-65W??

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Good morning/Evening night shift....Coffee is ready!!
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Look at this link, click on I at bottom map you will see what I am talking about. It's also got a lot of weather observations on each invest all in one spot I think you all will enjoy it.Link
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If the GFDL verifies looks as if the Carolinas could be dealing with a strong TS or weak cane.
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Quoting sunlinepr:
That trough is supposed to bring cooler temps behind and although Sea temps are high, it can lower sea surface temp in the area making development slower....





The SSTs are irrelevant; they will still be plenty warm, even in their soon-to-be cooled state, especially for a system that will be accelerating and remain relatively weak and hence, not be causing appreciable upwelling.
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Quoting sunlinepr:
That trough is supposed to bring cooler temps behind and although Sea temps are high, it can lower sea surface temp in the area making development slower....





not sure how relevant that is for this system because the front could only cool waters that it passes; which the cyclone would not touch because it would stay south of the front

now for future systems maybe, but I am not sure the front would cool the water off enough to have much impact
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7816
NHC still has a floater on the circulation and rains from AL15:



The latest CMC at Florida State shows the circulation crossing into the Pacific and then back into the Caribbean after Nicole.
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The model at the Cimss predict project has shown that ex= matt would move back off the coast of Belize. If this is verifying not good news trof may have pushed formation farther south and slightly west. or this maybe the backup system models have been trying to deal with.
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That trough is supposed to bring cooler temps behind and although Sea temps are high, it can lower sea surface temp in the area making development slower....



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2331. mbjjm
The trough cannot affect the sea temps
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2330. mbjjm
Doppler Radar from Cuba

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Quoting sunlinepr:
Coastline all the way.... What about Sea water temps, are they cooler???




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2328. leo305
North west wind in cazumel
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
2327. mbjjm
Crewe Road, G.T., George Town, Grand Cayman (PWS)
Updated: 1 sec ago
77.0 °F / 25.0 °C
Partly Cloudy
Humidity: 95%
Dew Point: 76 °F / 24 °C
Wind: 3.0 mph / 4 km/from the W

Wind Gust: 10.0 mph / 16 km/h
Pressure: 29.65 in / 1003.9 hPa
Heat Index: 78 °F / 26 °C
Visibility: 6.0 miles / 10.0 kilometers
Clouds: Scattered Clouds 984 ft / 300 m
Mostly Cloudy 16732 ft / 5100 m
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 10 ft / 3 m

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Anyone know where the center might be very vague at NHC. Looking at buoy wind directions appears to be just of Belize. Further south than earlier..
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zzz
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Quoting sunlinepr:
Coastline all the way.... What about Sea water temps, are they cooler???




The only storm to touch the Gulf Stream this year was Earl. So waters are still warm there I believe.
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:



I understand that, just pointing out the thought trends at the NHC.


how would that be considered a trend?

a cancellation of recon incurs the exact opposite thinking then it does to raise development to 60%

and since the cancellation of those recons that you showed was done nearly 24 hours ago, I fail to see the point of posting them.
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7816
2321. xcool



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Coastline all the way.... What about Sea water temps, are they cooler???


Quoting reedzone:


The BAMS are not seeing the strong Atlantic High, but the rest of the models see it. Weird.. The high is there and dominant and should keep 96L near the coastline.
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2319. JLPR2
Getting nuts in there, the Caymans right under the mess.

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LOL ... quickly go look @ the WV image on GOM current 445UTC image

A Facial-Frown on the bottom of the trough.

Godlike! someone post the image...cause Im lazy and busy :)
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Quoting sunlinepr:



The BAMS are not seeing the strong Atlantic High, but the rest of the models see it. Weird.. The high is there and dominant and should keep 96L near the coastline.
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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.