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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Btw, Julia's remnant is the next Fred (Fred 2009). Like ex-Fred, ex-Julia won't die. Did anyone else lose there head today when they saw Julia mentioned earlier today in the NHC tropical weather outlook? I am surprised at how tenacious that remnant low is. I wonder if ex-Lisa will follow ex-Julia's footsteps?

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/natl/flash-ir4.html
As of yesterday, I saw Ex-Igor around 55N45W S of Greenland. Is that super intense gale centered at 60N30W in the above sat. loop now where Ex-Igor went? Or is that a gale that has finally absorbed Ex-Igor?
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Floater up now for 96L.

1000mb she's gaining steam fast.

Yeah it is. Remember Karl? Models had intensity at cat 1 only and look what transpired.
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It was just updated and moved to the NW of the previous 1004 location.
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1962. mbinmo
Just curious i guess, figured there would be silence no way to win that argument
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1961. centex
1003 last I saw on ATCF
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1960. leo305
hot tower blowing up near the center of 96L..

pressure down to 1000mb.. development is almost likely..
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Quoting mcluvincane:


Will, check out the model intensity forecast couple call for cat 1 and wouldn't rule out a cat 2 with the gulf stream. Very possible

Yea Karl went from nothing to cat3 in no time and in a small travel distance also.

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Quoting Grothar:
That makes me wonder if one of the things that the record water temps have created is a lack of a central spot for something to spin up. It could happen any were so it happens no where?
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


TAFB has it at 1004 mb as of 8 PM EDT.


Phew, that's what I thought, good. But, I still am going to watch this; darn, this is the worst week to be traveling. We can use the rain as we were entering drought here, today's rain helped, and 96L will definetely finish off the new drought.


The floater has it listed as 1000mb
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
As I post, there is now a floater for 96L showing Julia.


Floater up now for 96L.

1000mb she's gaining steam fast.
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 Wow, Stormpulse.com has the remnants of Julia labeled a invest, looks like it got some nice ts features.
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Quoting will40:


no theres no way this is another Hazel. TS prob at the most with a lot of rain


Will, check out the model intensity forecast couple call for cat 1 and wouldn't rule out a cat 2 with the gulf stream. Very possible
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


I am really boggled by this whole 96L thing. There aren't any plots on the TPC storm position page, no nothing. It's a 1000mb low now?


TAFB has it at 1004 mb as of 8 PM EDT.

Quoting will40:


no theres no way this is another Hazel. TS prob at the most with a lot of rain

Phew, that's what I thought, good. But, I still am going to watch this; darn, this is the worst week to be traveling. We can use the rain as we were entering drought here, today's rain helped, and 96L will definetely finish off the new drought.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I think I am going to have to shut down now. Lots of lightning and already lost one computer from a lightning strike. I will check in later when it eases off. BFN.



1000mb now, heads up.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Dude, that better not happen. I don't want to leave my family behind in NC when I travel to Boston this week if that'll happen. Any model support for that (I hope not)?


GFDL 78 hours
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1950. BDADUDE
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
More off shore banks etc here than anything else now. I take it you have never been down here ?
Been twice. Our company owns 2 companies down there and our main banks are well represented there.
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Quoting pilotguy1:
Outa here. Tamale.


Buenos nachos.
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I think I am going to have to shut down now. Lots of lightning and already lost one computer from a lightning strike. I will check in later when it eases off. BFN.
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As I post, there is now a floater for 96L showing Julia.
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1946. will40
i think it will become a TS if it gets into the Gulf Stream
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:
What's the worst case scenario for the east coast with 96L/Nicole? I am going to Boston from NC, and don't want to be stuck at airports. What's the scoop?
You can never say anything for sure with weather...but it would be unlikely that you'd have a cat2 at that latitude, and the chances of anything much are slim. The probabilities......or the "scoop" is that your chances of having some airplane related unexpected delay are much higher than some weather related delay.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5557
1944. Grothar
If you look closely, the center has moved well off land. Look for the little red I.
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


I am really boggled by this whole 96L thing. There aren't any plots on the TPC storm position page, no floater, no nothing. It's a 1000mb low now?
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1941. Grothar
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:
What's the worst case scenario for the east coast with 96L/Nicole? I am going to Boston from NC, and don't want to be stuck at airports. What's the scoop?


I am really boggled by this whole 96L thing. There aren't any plots on the TPC storm position page, no nothing. It's a 1000mb low now?
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1939. will40
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Dude, that better not happen. I don't want to leave my family behind in NC when I travel to Boston this week if that'll happen. Any model support for that (I hope not)?


no theres no way this is another Hazel. TS prob at the most with a lot of rain
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Quoting mbinmo:


Why would you do that?
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Quoting oleClegs:


You know it then! round a bout booger holla just past the hazard county line, right there where the black top gets wershed out every time it rains


no fortunately i am from 5 hours southeast of there near wilm, nc but just visiting the area is a culture shock in itself! rattle snake ranglin' and worm races galore! OH LAWD! get out my chapstick and my snipe huntin glasses, winners a comin'
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:
What's the worst case scenario for the east coast with 96L/Nicole? I am going to Boston from NC, and don't want to be stuck at airports. What's the scoop?
Quoting NCHurricane2009:
What's the worst case scenario for the east coast with 96L/Nicole? I am going to Boston from NC, and don't want to be stuck at airports. What's the scoop?


Cat 1 or 2 eastern NC POSSIBLE
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Quoting BDADUDE:
Could be. We are 20sq miles but have a lot of interests in the Caymans.
More off shore banks etc here than anything else now. I take it you have never been down here ?
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1933. BDADUDE
Quoting NCHurricane2009:
What's the worst case scenario for the east coast with 96L/Nicole? I am going to Boston from NC, and don't want to be stuck at airports. What's the scoop?
I would say that you have absolutely nothing to be concerned about but it dosent hurt to keep an eye on your local met office.
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Quoting all4hurricanes:
what happens after Florida? are conditions nice off the east coast as well? it is still September and I don't think a hazel like intensity and landfall point can be ruled out


Dude, that better not happen. I don't want to leave my family behind in NC when I travel to Boston this week if that'll happen. Any model support for that (I hope not)?
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Quoting Grothar:


Yes, a number of years back, I was invited during Pirate's Week, very interesting festival, and the food........... They are truly beautiful islands. They reminded more of the Pacific Islands than any other islands in the Caribbean.
Pirate's Week is now the beginning of November. They finally got tired of being rained out in September.
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What's the worst case scenario for the east coast with 96L/Nicole? I am going to Boston from NC, and don't want to be stuck at airports. What's the scoop?
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1927. KYDan
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1926. mbinmo
Quoting anyotherliestotell:
and congratulations on using "you're" correctly lol.
hey asked you a ? awhile back no answer,you like to argue so much,i said the sun will come up in the east in the a.m. tell me why i'm wrong.
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1000mb is the pressure of a mid-line Tropical Storm.
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1924. BDADUDE
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
In the 60's and early 70's the mosquitoes were so bad they would get in the nostrils of cows and kill them because they couldn't breathe. I think Bermuda might be about the size of Cayman Brac which is the middle sized island.
Could be. We are 20sq miles but have a lot of interests in the Caymans.
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Good night all. It'll be interesting to see if anything develops by morning.
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what happens after Florida? are conditions nice off the east coast as well? it is still September and I don't think a hazel like intensity and landfall point can be ruled out
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1920. Grothar
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Have you ever been here ? They are beautiful islands with fantastic diving.


Yes, a number of years back, I was invited during Pirate's Week, very interesting festival, and the food........... They are truly beautiful islands. They reminded more of the Pacific Islands than any other islands in the Caribbean.
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Quoting BDADUDE:
Cool. We have a few companies there and when techs go down there from here they complain about the heat and mosquitos.
In the 60's and early 70's the mosquitoes were so bad they would get in the nostrils of cows and kill them because they couldn't breathe. I think Bermuda might be about the size of Cayman Brac which is the middle sized island.
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1918. will40
there is 30 to 40 kts of shear north of Cuba
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Quoting JupiterFL:


Well from my point of view, I am in Jupiter and am only a little worried about more rain than normal. Take it for what its worth.


Thank you
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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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