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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Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3109
Quoting Hurricanes101:


so? that was cancelled WAY before they went up to 60% on 96L

so expect new recon missions to be scheduled for tomorrow and Wednesday



I understand that, just pointing out the thought trends at the NHC.
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Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3109
Quoting 34chip:

What is your feeling for Key West, fl. Thanks!!



Well the global models have the Keys right in the path, though it's a good chance the storm will be lopsided like Barry in 2007. Most of the action will be in the eastern side. Still, be watching this though, never let your guard down.
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2309. RyanFSU
Quoting flasooner:


That's what makes climate change such a bitch -- differing, seemingly-contradictory, effects in different areas at different times of the year, but all tending to the extreme. South Florida just saw its second-coldest winter on record, followed immediately (as in just a few days -- no spring this year for me) by its second-warmest summer on record.

The science is solid. The problem lies with the way the message was first framed. The experts never should have referred to it as "global warming." That's a gross simplification of a chain of complex, interacting atmospheric changes that most folks simply don't understand. The message always should have been "climate change."

IMHO.


Could I posit an alternative point of view? La Nina and a very cold Pacific basin led to the chilly California summer. This also explains the complete lack of Western Pacific Typhoon activity and Eastern North Pacific hurricane activity. It is this lack of tropical activity that allowed for a "stuck jet stream" over the Northern Hemisphere. Typhoons very effectively transport moisture and momentum poleward as well as radiate Rossby waves via convection, as well as physically doing so by recurving / undergoing extratropical transition. Nothing entered the midlatitudes to give the atmosphere a kick. The Russian block was thus a symptom of the larger-scale climate regime, not an example of an isolated extreme event.
Member Since: February 13, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 308
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
60% but, add this

3. TASKING FOR AF AND G-IV MISSIONS AT 28/1800Z, 29/06
AND 1200Z WERE CANX BY NHC AT 1115Z.

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 28/1200Z.


so? that was cancelled WAY before they went up to 60% on 96L

so expect new recon missions to be scheduled for tomorrow and Wednesday
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
2307. 34chip
Quoting reedzone:
As I mentioned earlier, a nice blessing for Florida. If anything, a moderate TS hitting South Florida, running up the East Coast with a small potential for a Hurricane to form in the Gulf Stream, mainly a strong TS.,

What is your feeling for Key West, fl. Thanks!!

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2306. xcool


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2305. 7544
SURFACE...UPPER-AIR...AND SATELLITE OBSERVATIONS INDICATE THE LOW
PRESSURE SYSTEM OVER THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA IS GRADUALLY
BECOMING BETTER DEFINED.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
60% but, add this

3. TASKING FOR AF AND G-IV MISSIONS AT 28/1800Z, 29/06
AND 1200Z WERE CANX BY NHC AT 1115Z.

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 28/1200Z.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting flasooner:


That's what makes climate change such a bitch -- differing, seemingly-contradictory, effects in different areas at different times of the year, but all tending to the extreme. South Florida just saw its second-coldest winter on record, followed immediately (as in just a few days -- no spring this year for me) by its second-warmest summer on record.

The science is solid. The problem lies with the way the message was first framed. The experts never should have referred to it as "global warming." That's a gross simplification of a chain of complex, interacting atmospheric changes that most folks simply don't understand. The message always should have been "climate change."

IMHO.


Great post!
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000
ABNT20 KNHC 280548
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 AM EDT TUE SEP 28 2010

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

SURFACE...UPPER-AIR...AND SATELLITE OBSERVATIONS INDICATE THE LOW
PRESSURE SYSTEM OVER THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA IS GRADUALLY
BECOMING BETTER DEFINED. THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY HAS ALSO INCREASED
AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS APPEAR FAVORABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT OF
A TROPICAL DEPRESSION DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO. THERE IS A HIGH
CHANCE...60 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL OR A
SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. INTERESTS IN THE
CAYMAN ISLANDS...CUBA...THE FLORIDA KEYS...AND THE CENTRAL AND
SOUTHERN FLORIDA PENINSULA SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS
SYSTEM. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION... CONSULT STATEMENTS FROM
YOUR NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE OR NATIONAL
METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.

AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE...THE REMNANT OF TROPICAL DEPRESSION
JULIA...LOCATED ABOUT 200 MILES SOUTHEAST OF BERMUDA IS MOVING
WEST-NORTHWESTWARD NEAR 15 MPH. CONDITIONS ARE NOT CONDUCIVE FOR
SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT AND THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...10 PERCENT...
OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE AGAIN DURING THE NEXT
48 HOURS.

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

$$
FORECASTER STEWART
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We have red alert on 96L

up to 60%
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
As I mentioned earlier, a nice blessing for Florida. If anything, a moderate TS hitting South Florida, running up the East Coast with a small potential for a Hurricane to form in the Gulf Stream, mainly a strong TS.,
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2299. mbjjm
Areas to be impacted by the storm on the horizon. do not need any more rain.
Record Report

Statement as of 06:30 PM EDT on September 27, 2010

... Record daily rainfall set at Wilmington NC...
... Second highest calendar day rainfall total in Wilmington NC...


A record rainfall for September 27th was broken today... with the
rain still falling. The current amount for the day is 9.62
inches... which breaks the previous record of 7.49 inches set back in
1958. The record will likely go much higher... as we are expected to
receive additional rainfall through the evening hours.

The total of 9.62 inches is now the second highest rainfall ever
recorded in a calender day in Wilmington dating back to 1850. The
record is 13.38 inches established back on September 15th 1999 from
hurricane Floyd.

Highest daily precipitation since 1850

1. 13.38 inches 9/15/1999
2. 9.62 inches 9/27/2010... still raining
3. 9.56 inches 8/31/2006
4. 9.52 inches 9/29/1938
5. 7.69 inches 6/25/1945
6. 7.49 inches 9/27/1958



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2298. JLPR2
Quoting xcool:


That's interesting, Nicole looks sort of weird, but then it has a hurricane for Florida and two systems for the NE Caribbean.
Jeez, the CMC went back into ''Doom mode''. XD
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I am more concerned about the 2nd system forecasted to form in 3-4 days
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
well forecasts for named storms and ACE lately have been pretty good

they are forecasting a good chance of an ACE over 160, we are currently at 130.3

gonna have several more storms to get to that point; this season is a long way from over folks
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
2295. xcool
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2294. mbjjm
I agree, with scottsvb in regards to a sub tropical storm the very high wind shear levels especially over Florida which would disrupt a tropical system.
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Quoting flasooner:


That's what makes climate change such a bitch -- differing, seemingly-contradictory, effects in different areas at different times of the year, but all tending to the extreme. South Florida just saw its second-coldest winter on record, followed immediately (as in just a few days -- no spring this year for me) by its second-warmest summer on record.

The science is solid. The problem lies with the way the message was first framed. The experts never should have referred to it as "global warming." That's a gross simplification of a chain of complex, interacting atmospheric changes that most folks simply don't understand. The message always should have been "climate change."

IMHO.


I agree 100%
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
Quoting flasooner:


That's what makes climate change such a bitch -- differing, seemingly-contradictory, effects in different areas at different times of the year, but all tending to the extreme. South Florida just saw its second-coldest winter on record, followed immediately (as in just a few days -- no spring this year for me) by its second-warmest summer on record.

The science is solid. The problem lies with the way the message was first framed. The experts never should have referred to it as "global warming." That's a gross simplification of a chain of complex, interacting atmospheric changes that most folks simply don't understand. The message always should have been "climate change."

IMHO.
One of the better posts I've seen on the subject!
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Interesting thought folks

if we do in fact get 2 storms in the next 4 days like models are indicating; look at how we would compare to two other busy seasons

October 1st, 1995: Opal on Sept 27th, 15 storms
October 1st, 2005: Stan was born, 18 storms
October 1st, 2010: Otto would be born, 15 storms

not bad for a bust of a season
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
Quoting Legion:
The alarmists really like to latch on to one single hot day, but the fact remains, SoCal had the coldest summer on record since 1944:

Southern California's summer to end with a chill: It was the coldest in decades

September 21, 2010|By Hector Becerra, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Farewell summer, we hardly knew ye!

The last day of summer is Wednesday, but meteorologists say the season barely bothered to show up in the region this year. . . . "We leaped from spring to fall."

. . .


That's what makes climate change such a bitch -- differing, seemingly-contradictory, effects in different areas at different times of the year, but all tending to the extreme. South Florida just saw its second-coldest winter on record, followed immediately (as in just a few days -- no spring this year for me) by its second-warmest summer on record.

The science is solid. The problem lies with the way the message was first framed. The experts never should have referred to it as "global warming." That's a gross simplification of a chain of complex, interacting atmospheric changes that most folks simply don't understand. The message always should have been "climate change."

IMHO.
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As my son would say..."I'm tattered"...time for bed. Later dudes and dudettes.;^)
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2287. JLPR2
Looks like 96L will finally get itself together south of Western Cuba.


Hola!
Have been busy today so no posts from me. XD
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Cant really trust the models right now cause they are lagging a good 18hrs behind... some even more and some are having convective feedback issues. Alot are in disarray. They did poor on Matthew in the most part and are doing just as bad with 96L. The trough is moving further east than what the models expected. Currently as of 5Z the trough is where it should be by 18Z on Tuesday. GFS and CMC have 96L deepen to 995-998mbs by 0Z Weds and move N along the trough axis of 81W to offshore Pt St Lucie, Fl by later on Weds and becoming embedded along the trough as a extra-tropical storm moving NNE with dry air on its backside. ECMWF is simular but on the 12z run alittle slower. GFS system over the past day that was suppose to form 4-5days from now was a feedback error as I mentioned last night. Though pressures should remain low for awhile down there.
Here is the thing though, as I mentioned when this was on all 3 reliable models 3 days ago. I posted that I feel this will be more of a subtropical storm with pressures more like 992-998mbs. Also more of a impulse ridging up the trough. Question was, will the GFS verify a 2nd storm by Friday or Sat or was it a feedback error (which I still think). But maybe with the trough digging in quicker, the model is/was having a hard time placing 96L. 96L is currently around 20.1N and 85.4W.. its elongated somewhat NNE-SSW to 19.7 and 85.7. so its broad but slowing organizing. What could be is that 96L moves SE while another impulse forms Tuesday evening near Cuba and east of the keys and moves quickly NNE offshore Florida and NW Bahamas. And 96L in the meantime becomes the dominate feature by Thurs-Friday. The GOM will be closed with Dry Air extending to Florida by Thurs. Then later this weekend some ridging builds back in near Hispaniola and moves 96L back N or NNW... but of course this is all a guess. Next 24hrs we will see what exactly unfolds.
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Quoting xcool:
<<< slidell la 50s on the Northshore for the rest of this week ...
...and xcool with the random post to stir the sh!t....Nice!
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Did the models predict that the trough would dip that far south?
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Wow..I guess I can say Louisiana could be in the clear this year!
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2282. xcool
<<< slidell la 50s on the Northshore for the rest of this week ...
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


I am not a models guy either but, this thing is forecast to come over my house in 48hrs, so I am winging it, lol.
Ha!...like I said...I feel-ya...I'd be watching too.;^)
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Quoting PrivateIdaho:
..on a storm that doesn't even exist yet...If the models are right at this point it is 50% luck....But if you have read my posts before you know I'm not a models guy especially when guessing on storm formation.


I am not a models guy either but, this thing is forecast to come over my house in 48hrs, so I am winging it, lol.
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Way to early?? We're talking 48hrs?
..on a storm that doesn't even exist yet...If the models are right at this point it is 50% luck....But if you have read my posts before you know I'm not a models guy especially when guessing on storm formation.
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2277. centex
Quoting robert88:
The GFS did a great job sniffing out this deep strong trough days ago. Most people thought it wouldn't dig this far. It's been doing very well this year.
Agree, just didn't show how would impact TC's. Maybe they just don't do well with this type of steering?
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Quoting futuremet:


Are you sure?


Am I missing something?
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Quoting JUSTCOASTING:
Ok i got on here two hours ago and everyone was talking doom. Now everyone is talking just a rain maker tstorm ,tops. What a difference two hours can make.


on this blog, dont be shocked

one model comes out with a different scenario and it will be another change in tune
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Every reliable model has Nicole hitting SFL, right loaded, 50-70kts.


Including time over Cuba...
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Quoting PrivateIdaho:
And where is Nicole right now?...I feel ya but reliable modles is a contradiction. Some thing will come out of the Carribean but WAAAAy to early to say where.IMHO


Way to early?? We're talking 48hrs?
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The GFS did a great job sniffing out this deep strong trough days ago. Most people thought it wouldn't dig this far. It's been doing very well this year.
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Every reliable model has Nicole hitting SFL, right loaded, 50-70kts.
And where is Nicole right now?...I feel ya but reliable modles is a contradiction. Some thing will come out of the Carribean but WAAAAy to early to say where.IMHO
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2269. centex
Was LA the real hot spot? I've noticed on WV the the dry air(front, trough) looks will peek S just N of cancun. The back side is eroding quickly in western GOM.
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Quoting JUSTCOASTING:
Ok i got on here two hours ago and everyone was talking doom. Now everyone is talking just a rain maker tstorm ,tops. What a difference two hours can make.



Welcome to Wunderground
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Every reliable model has Nicole hitting SFL, right loaded, 50-70kts.


Are you sure?
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Quoting PrivateIdaho:
I see Mathew went from nothing to TS to nothing while I was gone.


Every reliable model has Nicole hitting SFL, right loaded, 50-70kts.
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2265. Seastep
Quoting immaturehurjunkie:
I can't believe it got that hot! That's crazy. I live in Sacramento and it was only 101 today.

We are having weird weather everywhere, it seems.


Have to say that is crazy hot for CA (the state).

Well, got my existing A/C to turn over, so going to enjoy it tonight.

Goodnight all.
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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.