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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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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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.
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If we continue to see all these vorticities fighting it out everything might be weak like this in the Caribbean for a while.
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Well, look at the trough digging in. It's just pulling a big old train of moisture all up the southeastern seaboard. Makes sense that's where any tropical moisture would go.

Link
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2261. NRAamy
Post 2240


AAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!
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I see Mathew went from nothing to TS to nothing while I was gone.
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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.
Quoting mbjjm:
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LOS ANGELES/OXNARD CA
725 PM PDT MON SEP 27 2010

...IT WAS A SCORCHING SEPTEMBER DAY ACROSS MUCH OF SOUTHWESTERN
CALIFORNIA...

THE COMBINATION OF UNSEASONABLY STRONG HIGH PRESSURE ALOFT AND WEAK
OFFSHORE LOW LEVEL FLOW MADE FOR AN EXTREMELY HOT DAY ACROSS MUCH
OF SOUTHWESTERN CALIFORNIA TODAY. THE HIGHEST TEMPERATURES...
GENERALLY BETWEEN 110 AND 113 DEGREES...WERE FOUND ACROSS INTERIOR



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Quoting NRAamy:
Spud, you big tease....

;)
Sorry...left the camera in the camper. On Google Earth go to "Island Park Idaho" and look to the northwest on the Montana border to see where we were.
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2256. NRAamy
"the Carolinas".....

Aw geez....I hope Presslord isn't still on....
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2255. centex
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


might see a bit more vort, at the 3utc update
I'm not seeing it.

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Quoting futuremet:


Yes....



That would be good for us on the west central coast of Florida, then.
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The Carolinas are going to get the worst out of this mess.
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2252. NRAamy
Damnit!! I put the fork down hours ago!!! Now I gotta go find it again!!!!!!
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2250. NRAamy
Spud, you big tease....

;)
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Quoting weatherwart:


So big and messy and dry on the southwest side?


Yes....

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Quoting futuremet:


Despite the high wind shear, we can actually get something to develop. However, the tropical cyclone's structure itself will be asymmetric. Tropical cyclone's such as Barry often use some of the baroclinic energy provided by troughs.


So, big and messy and dry on the southwest side?
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2246. mbjjm
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LOS ANGELES/OXNARD CA
725 PM PDT MON SEP 27 2010

...IT WAS A SCORCHING SEPTEMBER DAY ACROSS MUCH OF SOUTHWESTERN
CALIFORNIA...

THE COMBINATION OF UNSEASONABLY STRONG HIGH PRESSURE ALOFT AND WEAK
OFFSHORE LOW LEVEL FLOW MADE FOR AN EXTREMELY HOT DAY ACROSS MUCH
OF SOUTHWESTERN CALIFORNIA TODAY. THE HIGHEST TEMPERATURES...
GENERALLY BETWEEN 110 AND 113 DEGREES...WERE FOUND ACROSS INTERIOR
SECTIONS OF THE COASTAL PLAIN AND IN THE COASTAL VALLEYS...WHERE
COMPRESSIONAL HEATING OF THE AIR AS IT DESCENDED INTO LOWER
ELEVATIONS OF THE ATMOSPHERE ADDED A FEW DEGREES TO THE
TEMPERATURES. THE TEMPERATURE REGIME TODAY WAS FAIRLY TYPICAL
OF WEAK OFFSHORE FLOW PATTERNS...WHERE THE HIGHEST TEMPERATURES OFTEN
OCCUR IN THE LOWER VALLEYS AND ACROSS INTERIOR SECTIONS OF THE
COASTAL PLAIN WHERE THE SEA BREEZES ARE DELAYED. HOWEVER...THE
INTENSITY OF THE HEAT TODAY WAS RATHER EXTREME...RESULTING IN MANY
RECORDS FOR THE DATE...AS WELL AS SOME MONTHLY AND SOME ALL-TIME
RECORDS.





HIGH RECORD ALL
TODAY FOR THE TIME
DATE (YEAR) RECORD (DATE)
----- ----------- ----------------

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES 113** 106 (1963) 112 ( 6/26/1990)
LONG BEACH AIRPORT 111** 109 (1963) 111 (10/15/1961)
BURBANK AIRPORT 110* 104 (1963) 113 ( 9/12/1971)
WOODLAND HILLS 111* 107 (1993) 119 ( 7/22/2006)
LOS ANGELES AIRPORT 105* 105 (1963) 110 ( 9/26/1963)
SAN GABRIEL 110* 108 (1963) 112 ( 9/04/1988)
UCLA 108* 104 (1963) 109 ( 9/20/1939)
LANCASTER AIRPORT 103* 103 (2003) 114 ( 7/18/1960)
PALMDALE AIRPORT 102* 102 (2003) 113 ( 7/05/2007)
SANTA BARBARA AIRPORT 100* 99 (1970) 109 ( 6/27/1990)
SANTA MARIA AIRPORT 105* 99 (1917) 110 ( 6/20/2008)
PASO ROBLES AIRPORT 108* 105 (1963) 115 ( 6/14/2000)
SAN LUIS OBISPO CALPOLY 109* 104 (1993) 112 ( 9/14/1971)
OXNARD (NWS) 100* 99 (1963) 103 ( 9/24/1978)

IS A LIST OF HIGH TEMPERATURES AT OTHER SITES AROUND
SOUTHWESTERN CALIFORNIA TODAY...WITH UNOFFICIAL RECORDS WHERE
AVAILABLE


UNOFFICIAL UNOFFICIAL
HIGH RECORD ALL
TODAY FOR THE TIME
DATE (YEAR) RECORD (DATE)
----- ----------- ----------------
PASADENA 111 106 (1963) 113 ( 6/17/1917)
POMONA FAIRPLEX 111 107 (1963) 117 ( 6/17/1917)
OJAI 112 104 (1963) 119 ( 6/16/1917)
SANTA BARBARA CITY 107 103 (1963) 115 ( 6/17/1917)
TORRANCE 105 106 (1963) 111 ( 9/01/1955)

LOS ANGELES COUNTY
------------------
DEL VALLE 112
DUARTE 112
CHATSWORTH 111
HAWTHORNE 111
CLAREMONT 111
NORTHRIDGE 110
GETTY CENTER 110
SAUGUS 110
BELLFLOWER 109
LA CANADA 107
AVALON AIRPORT 104
SANTA MONICA AIRPORT 103


VENTURA COUNTY
--------------
SANTA PAULA 113
FILLMORE 112
LAKE CASITAS 112
THOUSAND OAKS 110
MOORPARK 110
SIMI VALLEY 109
PIRU 108
CHEESEBORO 108
VENTURA 104


SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
--------------------
MONTECITO HILLS 112
SANTA YNEZ 109
VANDENBERG HILLS 104
LOMPOC 99


SAN LUIS OBISPO CNTY
--------------------
SAN LUIS OBISPO ARPT 110
LAKE LOPEZ 110
CRESTON 108
LAS TABLAS 108
ARROYO GRANDE 104
MORRO BAY 102



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Quoting tpawxguy:


The shear should be about 30 to 40 knots...seems very unlikely this can really get ramped up after clearing Cuba


Despite the high wind shear, we can actually get something to develop. However, the tropical cyclone's structure itself will be asymmetric. Tropical cyclone's such as Barry often use some of the baroclinic energy provided by troughs.
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2242. Seastep
Quoting futuremet:


It will not be that far west...


Got it. ;)
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2241. 34chip
Quoting futuremet:


It will not be that far west...
Do you think it will be south and east of Key West Florida or come over us? Thanks
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2240. centex
I've given up checking SW new blog, not user friendly. He was not perfect but of the experts he interacted the most. I miss it when he saw something and made it a game for us to figure out. It was fun. I've notice fewer experts or experts posting less often in past month. Levi has been a relatively recent nice addition, but he focuses mainly on long term patterns. But he does explain those in a way not available anywhere else.
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2238. Seastep
Quoting futuremet:


I am positive that is how it will look like. Tropical cyclones that experience southwesterly wind shear and dry air often look like this.


Aaahh. Look, not track. That makes sense.
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Quoting NRAamy:
I just lived through that hottest day....it sucked, big time....
It was nice at 9500'...mid 30's. but hot as hell when I got home...forecasting record highs near 90 tomorrow.
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2236. NRAamy
Yo, spud.....
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Quoting RainyEyes:
Good evening folks...anyone know what the forecasted sheer is for the GOM for tomorrow and wednesday? Does this invest have anything preventing it from rapid intesification once it clears cuba?

Thanks in advance.


The shear should be about 30 to 40 knots...seems very unlikely this can really get ramped up after clearing Cuba
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Quoting Seastep:


You think that far W? Can't see it getting through the front.


It will not be that far west...
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2233. Seastep
Records are made to be broken. They all are eventually.
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Quoting PrivateIdaho:
I'm going to hold you to that!


I am positive that is how it will look like. Tropical cyclones that experience southwesterly wind shear and dry air often look like this.
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2231. Seastep
Quoting NRAamy:
I just lived through that hottest day....it sucked, big time....


LOL.

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2230. Seastep
Quoting futuremet:
Nicole will look like this 24hrs from now:



36hrs from now:




You think that far W? Can't see it getting through the front.
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Quoting futuremet:
Nicole will look like this 24hrs from now:



36hrs from now:


I'm going to hold you to that!
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2228. xcool
gfs drop development so far
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15670
2227. NRAamy
I just lived through that hottest day....it sucked, big time....
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2226. Seastep
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
I am beginning to suspect that there might not be a named storm out of the present Caribbean disturbance at all this week. Just a big rainy trough and conveyor belt with low pressure ripples up the east coast.


Another very valid assessment.

But need to watch.
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2224. 34chip
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
I am beginning to suspect that there might not be a named storm out of the present Caribbean disturbance at all this week. Just a big rainy trough and conveyor belt with low pressure ripples up the east coast.
I live in Key West. We had some rain that came up from Cuba, but now you can see the the moon. Very nice night here.
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Nicole will look like this 24hrs from now:



36hrs from now:


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2221. Seastep
Quoting PanhandleChuck:
IMHO... the storm will be a big rain maker, with little threat of wind damage or storm surge


Agree, atm.
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Coalescence has improved over the past couple of hours, and the circulation is now more noticeable.

Link
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2217. will40
Quoting RainyEyes:
Good evening folks...anyone know what the forecasted sheer is for the GOM for tomorrow and wednesday? Does this invest have anything preventing it from rapid intesification once it clears cuba?

Thanks in advance.


clearing Cuba is going to be the hardest part. Showing 30 to 40 kt shear right now N of Cuba
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IMHO... the storm will be a big rain maker, with little threat of wind damage or storm surge
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2215. 34chip
I really don't think Key West is going to get much just normal rain. No storm. What do you all think???
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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.