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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Quoting KanKunKid:


I don't think you're giving "the public" enough credit for having the discretion to know which comments to take serious.


It depends where you're talking about, really. Some places, like Louisiana's Lower Parishes for example. Lots of long-term established families for generations, most of the people there are experienced with these storms having grown up there. Contrast that with parts of Florida, where practically everybody grew up somewhere else, many may be new to the area.

Either way though, apathy is easily induced if the warning is given too many times without something happening.

Where I live, there are people who have lived here all their lives, and are old enough to (legally) buy alcohol. But they have never been through a hurricane. (Nearest salty water from my front door - couple of miles)
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Quoting sHaDySrEbElLiOn:


Hahaha you know he has a point here!


Imagine what will happen if he passes that line....
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Quoting weaverwxman:
i say just go to buford and ull b fine


I think I'll just go to New Jersey and visit my son who made me a grandmother.
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Quoting Grothar:


Do you have a West End, too?
Oh yeah but not Grand Cayman. LOL West End, Cayman Brac.
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Quoting Hurricainejunkie:
Just lurking, rarely post. But after clicking Orcasystems link of you bet your life, had to tell all of you that it was THE funniest thing I have ever seen!
Thanks for the humor! Balances out the threat of coming weather here in So. Florida.
D :-)
P.S. sorry for the caps!


People post stuff like that everyday on my blog.. light hearted humour.. Part 2 is in the comments section.
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i say just go to buford and ull b fine
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For some reason it won't post but currently winds S at 28 mph gusts of 31 mph. Pressure is 1004 mb and raining.
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Quoting CaptnDan142:


So very true. Seems to be the story around here.

Just for the heck of it, I was looking around for a paper hurricane tracking map. They used to be on the counter of every store in past years. Couldn't find one anywhere.

Compounding the problem of the wolf cries is that fact that, for example, I have been a Florida resident for 21 years. In that time, I have never been in a hurricane. But I've seen it snow twice.

Hurricane season around here was met with a great outpouring of apathy from the general public.


Absolutely right Dan..they used to give out the hurricane maps everywhere especially in PC. No one around here even knows what is going on...they will find out three days before landfall and then try to crank the generators they have had in storage for 5 years...lol
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1852. Grothar
Quoting stormwatcherCI:


Current conditions in East End, Grand Cayman.


Do you have a West End, too?
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Quoting sunlinepr:
Please don't forget to consider us..... we're on our way to the caribbean....



I have been plotting those two since Africa... they are going to Pottery's place.
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Quoting medic2luv:
Anyone know the intensity that 96L is projected to be when it comes to South Fla?




Really tough to call at the moment, a Depression or Tropical Storm seem to be the thinking. However the heat potential down there is staggering and shear is decreasing over the COC. Tough one at the moment.
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It won't post.
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Quoting ackee:
How long do u think the LOW will continue to move EAST ?


At least another 24 hrs probably. This one is crawling.
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Just lurking, rarely post. But after clicking Orcasystems link of you bet your life, had to tell all of you that it was THE funniest thing I have ever seen!
Thanks for the humor! Balances out the threat of coming weather here in So. Florida.
D :-)
P.S. sorry for the caps!
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Current conditions in East End, Grand Cayman.
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1842. ackee
Quoting kmanislander:
Good evening

Buoy 42056 has a NE wind now and 42057 a SSW wind. Heavy rain here now and the wind direction at these buoys confirms a low pressure at the surface between them and headed to the East.

How long do u think the LOW will continue to move EAST ?
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1841. Grothar
Quoting GoodOleBudSir:
Hey,
I'm from Due West, SC and headed for North, SC this weekend. Should I board up?


You should be, but make sure you to North by Northwest.
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Anyone know the intensity that 96L is projected to be when it comes to South Fla?


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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
The ULAC that was tagging along with Matthew is heading east at a pretty good clip, wonder if it's heading to 96L. Look at the current image then click -3hr.


Shear is on the decline over the COC.

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1838. Grothar
Quoting PcolaDan:


That should be - Bless her pea pickin' heart. :)


TEF
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
96l Could this be the predicted BIG ONE. Time to review your plans, check the car, stock up on supplies and keep tuned to your Weather Provider. It would also be a good time to have a family meeting and discuss your Family Plan. Encourage ideas and creativity fro the children. Get Grampa and Grandma active also. Make planning for storms an activity your family can cherish.
This awareness campaign brought to you by your local civil defense.


Well I don't know bout the big one but if it decides to come up my way (Jacksonville, NC) it would be a pretty big event with the rain we have got today and not expected to stop anytime soon. Could result I'm major property loss, power outages and unfortunately loss of life. A 18 month old wondered from his house today and fell in a ditch and was swept under a culvert and drowned this afternoon. My prayers go out to the family.
Member Since: June 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1339
Please don't forget to consider us..... we're on our way to the caribbean....

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Quoting pilotguy1:


The only thing is Kerry, we don't even have a storm yet. I believe in being prepared but we can't cry wolf all the time or the public will ignore the weather guys when it really is going to happen.


So very true. Seems to be the story around here.

Just for the heck of it, I was looking around for a paper hurricane tracking map. They used to be on the counter of every store in past years. Couldn't find one anywhere.

Compounding the problem of the wolf cries is that fact that, for example, I have been a Florida resident for 21 years. In that time, I have never been in a hurricane. But I've seen it snow twice.

Hurricane season around here was met with a great outpouring of apathy from the general public.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey,
I'm from Due West, SC and headed for North, SC this weekend. Should I board up?
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The ULAC that was tagging along with Matthew is heading east at a pretty good clip, wonder if it's heading to 96L. Look at the current image then click -3hr.
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1832. Grothar
Quoting breald:


Here down-east means someone from Maine, for some odd reason I have yet to figure out. I guess every region has its geographic oddities.



So does this blog.
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Good evening

Buoy 42056 has a NE wind now and 42057 a SSW wind. Heavy rain here now and the wind direction at these buoys confirms a low pressure at the surface between them and headed to the East.

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1827. Dakster
Quoting Orcasystems:


it seemed to be fitting after the conversation in here....

Now I know why the call it North and or South Carolina, if you didn't separate them... it would have to be called East Alabama.


Darn it, just shot soda through my nose...
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1826. Grothar
Quoting Orcasystems:


OK, I would normally never ever do this... but I am going to post a link that you have to see...

Its made for people from the North.. or due west or whatever... of South Carolina...

DO NOT be drinking by your monitor as you watch this.

You Bet Your Life - Definitely From the South


Orca, I am going to get you for that one. I can't even move.
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LOL Orca! I'll be laughing in my sleep over that one!
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1823. fire635
Whoa.. time to pull back on the reins a little... Im thinking this may be a Cat 1 at its strongest point..and even thats a stretch. Im not thinking this is going to be "The One"
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Please, just a quick update on the tropics for the next seven days. That's it 96L or whatever

Thanks
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Quoting Orcasystems:


it seemed to be fitting after the conversation in here....

Now I know why the call it North and or South Carolina, if you didn't separate them... it would have to be called East Alabama.


No no no.... East Alabama is Georgia.
Unless you go too far North.

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1820. breald
Quoting Orcasystems:


it seemed to be fitting after the conversation in here....

Now I know why the call it North and or South Carolina, if you didn't separate them... it would have to be called East Alabama.


Here down-east means someone from Maine, for some odd reason I have yet to figure out. I guess every region has its geographic oddities.

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The EPAC has been dead silent, looking back its the slowest year there since 1996.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23599
Quoting MZT:


I refinish the hardwood in my rentals. Carpets just get soiled and need replacing anyway every 3 years or so. Especially if there were pets!

Wood is quite durable and sometimes all that needs resurfacing are the spots where desks were. Cleaning and a fresh coat of polyurethane can take care of the rest unless the tenants were really abusive.


Guess I'm thinking old world. Grew up with them. Only thing put on them was floor wax. Had to periodically strip them.
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Im showing a red X in some of my image postings instead of the image. Some post some don't. Do I need to change setting or? Can anyone help?
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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.