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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i now call it happy RIP 96L day




YAY RIP 96L


is it geting stronger yet?
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115234
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Did I hear carpet installer?
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1760. Dakster
Quoting Grothar:


Then can you tell me why the University of South Florida is in Tampa? LOL


Because it has to be further North than the University of Central Florida. Didn't you know the further North you go in Florida the further towards "the South" you go.
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1759. xcool


i stay on north shore .wwltv.com
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Quoting Tazmanian:




by saying RIP too 96L am helping it too get stronger



so RIP RIP RIP RIP too are little 96L now that am saying that it will get stronger


what really? You know superstition isn't real right?
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7562
Quoting pottery:

Ha!!
Dont try that...
You are just envious of our cheerful weather right now..... heheheh.
Actually, I was looking at that area, and thinking "it's gon' fizzle out before it gets here". But I have been 'wishfully thinking' for a couple of weeks.


I have been tracking those TWO since the left Africa... they getting stronger everyday.
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Quoting DestinJeff:


Down east?

Ya can't get thayuh from heeuh.
Might be fairly easy to figure out if you are in a canoe with a load of furs. When I was growing up you always went down to DC which was to the ENE. But if you followed the rivers you wound up there.
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1754. help4u
Taz looks like season is done,cold air moving in.
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1753. NRAamy
Come again? What's wrong with carpet?
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
the low is listed at 1003 on the nhc website..
Member Since: June 10, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 323
Quoting Tazmanian:




by saying RIP too 96L am helping it too get stronger



so RIP RIP RIP RIP too are little 96L now that am saying that it will get stronger


Oh, I see where you're going.
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Quoting caneswatch:


Not so fast Taz.




by saying RIP too 96L am helping it too get stronger



so RIP RIP RIP RIP too are little 96L now that am saying that it will get stronger
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115234
1749. help4u
Taz sorry no pin-hole eye this year.
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Hope you're right Taz....... BP here is steady at 1005. Looks like another bleary-eyed night. Won't get fooled again.
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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting weatherman12345:
come on, i want a yes or no... put some money on it


If you want what I think, I think 96L becomes stronger, becomes Tropical Storm Nicole, and schools from the Keys to Martin County close.
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1745. Dakster
Quoting Neapolitan:


The "official" definiton of "South Florida" is Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, period. However, in general usage, anything south of Lake Okeechobee is considered South Florida. (North of the lake to roughly the skinny waistline of the state is "Central Florida", north of that and west to about Tallahassee is "North Florida", and west of that is "The Panhandle". The only other general region is, of course, "The Keys".)


Sounds about right to me... SW Florida would be Naples, Ft. Meyers, Marco Island. Panhandle is also "Lower Alabama"
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Quoting anyotherliestotell:
i came here to discuss weather but this is more of a social chat room. i gotta go.


If you read and consider only weather posts, you will get the feeling of what's going on with weather.... but if you consider only friendly (and not so friendly sometimes) chats between members, then.....
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Quoting weatherman12345:
i live in Broward County.. do you think the schools will be closed on thursday or wednesday?
not unless we are under a hurricane watch at least...
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Quoting Tazmanian:
96L RIP


Not so fast Taz.
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Quoting FLdewey:

Wait... there's an "upper" Alabama?
There's a Top Ramen Noodle!
.
.
There's that cloud again....heading WEST!!!!
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96L RIP
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115234
Quoting weatherman12345:
i live in Broward County.. do you think the schools will be closed on thursday or wednesday?


Maybe, depends on if 96L develops.
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Quoting sailingallover:

Look at
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/nwatl/loop-avn.html
Still moving...
SSW ..time to sail across the Gulf stream in front of a front.. then you cross the bank to Chub/Morgans bluff or Nassau in WNW winds instead of east on the nose..
but you have to beat the front across and don't want it to strong
AND make sure a Tropical storm is not coming up from the south like Paloma did or what we have here.

I see what you mean about the trough.
What size rig?

Buoy42056
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Quoting DestinJeff:
Where is Lower Alabama?


Where you--and I both live...lol
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http://moe.met.fsu.edu/cgi-bin/gfstc2.cgi?time=2010092718&field=Sea+Level+Pressure&hour=144hr
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1731. Grothar
Quoting DestinJeff:


hey, hey, hey!

at first I thought it said carpet installer.


Uh-Huh!
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Good t'see you too Amy!

We got 2" o' rain today. Wind generator has had invisible blades. Gusty. Cat is ticked off.

It's not my fault. ;o)
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1728. dader
Quoting bjdsrq:


Your initial center looks way off. HWRF, GFS, and even ECWMF has pretty much now converged on a TD through the bahamas becoming a TS or cat1 along NC coast.


The 18z GFS has this much closer to SFla then to anywhere in the Bahamas.. So does the HWRF- looks to me like it is going to slide in between.
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Quoting Chicklit:
East Central Florida Nowcast as of 6:51 PM EDT on September 27, 2010
Now
Good evening. Scattered lightning storms will increase in coverage across Lake...Orange...Seminole...and Volusia counties as the East Coast sea breeze propagates inland and interacts with incoming storms from the southwest. A few storms will be capable of producing strong wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph...frequent lightning and very heavy rain. Movement will be toward the northeast at around 20 mph. Elsewhere... isolated showers and lightning storms will affect portions of Brevard...Osceola...Indian River...Saint Lucie...Okeechobee and Martin counties.
Check Check and Check....all of the above about an hour ago here.
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Quoting Chicklit:

Our winds are light and coming from the SSW.
We are seeing pops of lightening and hearing thunder in the distance but the front pretty much fizzled out north of Daytona. At 2 p.m. Jacksonville had an isolated thunderstorm.

Look at
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/nwatl/loop-avn.html
Still moving...
SSW ..time to sail across the Gulf stream in front of a front.. then you cross the bank to Chub/Morgans bluff or Nassau in WNW winds instead of east on the nose..
but you have to beat the front across and don't want it to strong
AND make sure a Tropical storm is not coming up from the south like Paloma did or what we have here.
Member Since: September 1, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1007
1725. pottery
Quoting doorman79:


I sent the porsche back, they told me I had to take over the note lol. Was great to get a taste of fall.

sorry about that.
Obviously a slight legal glitch....

Interesting that you mention 'a taste of fall'.
Was up in the mountains since Friday. The evenings and early mornings were cold (this is a relative thing, and without a thermometer I would say about 72-74F), and the winds were brisk at night.
The Old Heads up there say that those conditions are 'early', and we should expect an early dry-season.
I hope they are WRONG, but will keep my eye on that.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
For West Palm Beach:



One for Wednesday, one for Friday. This is not looking good for us in the near future.
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For West Palm Beach:

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Quoting Grothar:


Too late! LOL I am so old, I don't even leave fingerprints anymore.


So You are the one that stole my fourwheeler last month! busted lol
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Quoting Grothar:
There Canes, you happy now??

NO! (Yes, I know you were speaking to Caneswatch). :)
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1717. Grothar
Quoting DestinJeff:


oh-...

nevermind, you said bagger.


Jeff!!!!!!!!
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Quoting KanKunKid:


Is that San Fransisco?


no..

Tampa Bay.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24161

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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.