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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2165. 7544
we could see floods like irene imo and if it stalls could be really bad leave the car at home take the truck lol
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2164. leo305
Quoting JRRP:


looks like the center is near the developing heavy convection
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:



A bulk of the reliable models are showing a TS to Cat 1. A strong tropical storm, same as a CAT 1 IMO, is not out of the question. Seeing how this is jumping up on us a safe preparation for a CAT 1 would and is what I am doing. I am in Jupiter.


Well Fay was a moderate rain maker in broward. was much worse in central florida. Irene was much worse than the stats indicated. Lots of flooding. Some power outages. And it caught everyone by surprise. By the time they let us leave work it was on us pouring and everyone stuck in traffic.
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00z GFS running right now.
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2159. JRRP
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The biggest joke was Bonnie. They had Cantore in North Miami Beach. We had MAYBE 1/2 inch of rain for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile Milwaukee,WI gets the worst monsoon on record, something like 10 inches of rain in 2 hrs. Go figure
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Quoting mara0921:
I want to ask those of you on here that are actually knowledgeable and not wish or doomcasting if any of these scenarios that I personally remember may be representative of what we will be feeling in miami/ft lauderdale in the coming days

1. Irene 1999
2. No Name Storm 2000
3. Fay 2008
4. Ernesto 2006
5. Bonnie 2010
6. Katrina 2005 ( the katrina of northern broward,,not homestead )

Thanks



A bulk of the reliable models are showing a TS to Cat 1. A strong tropical storm, same as a CAT 1 IMO, is not out of the question. Seeing how this is jumping up on us a safe preparation for a CAT 1 would, and is what I am doing, be in order. I am in Jupiter.
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Complete Update

96L
- models updated with Intensity Graphics



AOI
AOI AOI AOI

AOI AOI AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI

Ok, I am out of here for the night before I get banned for posting humour... you guys have fun... and listen to the purple hippo (designated baby sitter tonight)
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2152. DDR
Hi kmanislander
Looks like you all getting some nasty stuff right now.I'm just about fed up with our rainy season here in Trinidad, has been a very active 4 months so far with rainfall almost everyday at my location since mid May
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2151. 7544
1000 mb is that right
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2149. leo305
Quoting CycloneBoy:


Gusts were significantly higher than 90MPH...we had 100 MPH sustained winds in Wilma with much higher gusts in North Miami.


Official NHC final report from Miami international airport 68mph sustained with gusts to 90mph. Sweetwater WFO 67mph with gusts to 105mph. West Kendall 60mph with gusts to 82mph.Unofficial Doral CBS4 114mph gust

http://www.pdfdownload.org/pdf2html/view_online.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nws.noaa.gov%2Fos%2Fdata%2 Fpdfs%2FWilmaPSDA.pdf

OFFICIALLY, miami didn't get 100mph winds, BUT SOME areas around miami like sweet water got wind gusts above 100mph..

WILMA was a CAT 2 with 105MPH winds when it was near miami.

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I want to ask those of you on here that are actually knowledgeable and not wish or doomcasting if any of these scenarios that I personally remember may be representative of what we will be feeling in miami/ft lauderdale in the coming days

1. Irene 1999
2. No Name Storm 2000
3. Fay 2008
4. Ernesto 2006
5. Bonnie 2010
6. Katrina 2005 ( the katrina of northern broward,,not homestead )

Thanks
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Quoting kmanislander:
I'm out for tonight. Will be back in the morning.

Gnite all
Stay dry.
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I realize this is a bit off topic, but I'm stumped and very curious, so I thought I'd seek the opinions of the experts.

I’m in Orlando. About 8:00pm EST tonight I was sitting on my front porch (faces SE). There were some thunderstorms winding down in the distance in different directions – so there were the usual flashes of lighting every now and then.

Suddenly there was a series of flashes that looked to be off to my SW or W (my view was partially blocked by my building). It wasn’t the usual flash of lightning – this was a continuous 5-10 second sequence of several flashes of light that alternated RED and BLUE.

My first thought was how it looked a bit like a siren – but it lit up that whole section of the sky. The bottoms of the clouds were completely illuminated by the colored lights – as if it was either coming from below or from inside the clouds. No way it was an airplane or anything on the ground.

I’ve lived in Florida my whole life and never seen anything like that before. Did anyone else in the area happen to catch it? Any idea what that could be?

Thanks!
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Quoting kmanislander:
I'm out for tonight. Will be back in the morning.

Gnite all


Good night. Still looks like anyone's guess exactly where it will from.
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LOL Orca!
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 856
Quoting leo305:


Wilma was worse in broward than in dade, you guys did get the eye wall, we didn't so we received CAT 1 sustained winds with ocassional high gusts, I think miami had gusts into the high 90MPH range..


Gusts were significantly higher than 90MPH...we had 100+MPH sustained winds in Wilma with much higher gusts in North Miami.
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2141. 7544
hwrf has a cat 1 for fla hmmmm
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I'm out for tonight. Will be back in the morning.

Gnite all
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
Quoting CaptnDan142:


I always wondered about that kinda reading. In fact, in my younger days when I was learning fly the told me that winds were like, 240 @ 0. Then before I realized what I was doing, I keyed the mike and said "Roger, copy 240 @ zero... But, how can you tell?".

Military air traffic controllers have no sense of humor.


US SHIP: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

CANADIAN REPLY: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

US SHIP: This is the Captain of the US Navy Ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.

CANADIAN REPLY: No, I say again, divert YOUR course!

US SHIP: THIS IS THE USS MISSOURI. WE ARE A LARGE BATTLESHIP OF THE US NAVY. DIVERT YOUR COURSE NOW OR WE WILL TAKE APPROPRIATE AND DRASTIC MEASURES!!!!

CANADIAN REPLY: This is a lighthouse. Your call.
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Quoting FLDART1:
Ok Katrina aside, look at the damage Fay did to the state as a TS. I do however agree with your analysis of storm related deaths. Another Storm to mention was the March of 93 storm... Didnt even have a name (wasnt even tropical in nature) yet caused extensive damage throughout the state including spawning multiple strong Tornadoes in Marion County. I guess what I am saying is dont underestimate the potential.


I remember that storm!!! I slept through the whole thing, woke up and the neighborhood looked like a bomb had gone off! My dad was awake through the night, said the lightening was soo intense that for a short period of time it seemed like daylight because of the non-stop lightening strikes. The met station at the Daytona Int'l Airport reported a wind gust max of 105mph...almost the same as experienced when Charlie came through town. I think I also remember that storm system actually delivering a storm surge in the Tampa/St Pete area of about 3-5 feet. The Central Florida Met's called it the "Storm of the Century" It got really cold for the next few days afterwards as well....
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Winds say SW 0 mph and pressure still showing 1004.


I always wondered about that kinda reading. In fact, in my younger days when I was learning fly they told me that winds were like, 240 @ 0. Then before I realized what I was doing, I keyed the mike and said "Roger, copy 240 @ zero... But, how can you tell?".

Military air traffic controllers have no sense of humor.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 856
2135. 7544
looks like exmathew wants to go se and join the parade to south fla now that may be the area to really watch as he s moving back in the waters
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Quoting weatherman12345:
no we didnt. katrina strengthened rapidly before making landfall. south florida was expecting a week tropical storm


Katrina formed as a TD and went to a Cat 1 hitting S. Florida in about 54 hours.

If this happens, barring more time spent in the Caribbean, it would be something like 36-42 hours... tough to think it COULD be that fast, but who knows...

The main thing is, I believe most people are believing it's just a lot of rain coming.
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Quoting kmanislander:


I suspect very heavy rain all night and tomorrow. Look where we are in this image !

Yep. I don't mind the rain but don't like being woken up by the boom of loud thunder.
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2132. leo305
Quoting RobbWilder:


I concur. We lost no power for Katrina but had power surges like crazy. We were like did it stall? turned on the oldest tv to realize that it had jogged south. Within the first few minutes of WIlma we lost power.


Wilma was worse in broward than in dade, you guys did get the eye wall, we didn't so we received CAT 1 sustained winds with ocassional high gusts, I think miami had gusts into the high 90MPH range..
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Quoting Fla55Native:


Once again TY. Going to go explore the link.
I really liked the first link because it was concise, with, I'm supposing, real time info.
Yes but this link is where that one came from. All are in real time
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Winds say SW 0 mph and pressure still showing 1004.


Conditions a little different on this end it seems. ORIA pressure bouncing between 1004.7 and 1005.1 which is very close to my readings
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
Quoting leo305:


Broward didn't get anything.. the core of the hurricane went through north dade.. the northern eye wall passed through EXTREEME southern broward.. are you sure the "EYE" that went trhough wasn't the dry area that formed outside of the eye wall? Because I remember watching TWC saying the eye had come through FT LAUDARADLE, when the REAL EYE hit around 11 pm/ 12 am around north dade/dade broward line.

the northern areas got wind, but nowhere near hurricane force or strong TS force winds..


I concur. We lost no power for Katrina but had power surges like crazy. We were like did it stall? turned on the oldest tv to realize that it had jogged south. Within the first few minutes of WIlma we lost power.
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Quoting rmbjoe1954:
The one thing for sure is there is no escaping from the rains starting on Wednesday for those of us in Florida.


Yeah, but we need the water!!!
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
It has been raing almost non-stop since the sun set and a few showers during the day. Heavy rain yesterday too.


I suspect very heavy rain all night and tomorrow. Look where we are in this image !

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Link

Try this one. This gives locations all over Grand Cayman and links to buoys, NRL etc.


Second that. My favorites too
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Link

Try this one. This gives locations all over Grand Cayman and links to buoys, NRL etc.


Once again TY. Going to go explore the link.
I really liked the first link because it was concise, with, I'm supposing, real time info.
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Are any of the new models out?
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Quoting kmanislander:
Actually light rain now.
Winds say SW 0 mph and pressure still showing 1004.
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2121. leo305
its going boom
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Quoting kmanislander:


A deluge for about an hour recently but nothing right now. 1.62 inches since midnight last night but nearly all of that this evening.
It has been raining almost non-stop since the sun set and a few showers during the day. Heavy rain yesterday too.
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Actually light rain now.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Are you getting much rain in town ?


A deluge for about an hour recently but nothing right now. 1.62 inches since midnight last night but nearly all of that this evening.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
Quoting kmanislander:


I have but never got around to it. I have a Vantage Pro 2 from Davis which is a nice piece of equipment. Incidentally, the pressure is on the way down again at 1005.2 mbs
Are you getting much rain in town ?
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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.