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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1415. bjdsrq
That cold front has dug pretty far into the GOM bringing it's dry air along with it. It's still moving towards the SE. How is this going to affect the potential tropical situation in FL?
Member Since: July 26, 2003 Posts: 3 Comments: 428
the dynamic models have a tendency to over-complicate the situation
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7407
Quoting HurricaneFCast:


The BAMS model(which is, as I'm sure most are aware, the shallow model for depths 850 - 700 mb) has had the highest track error at 48 hours for 13 of the past 16 years. The 3 years it did not have the highest track error at 48 hours, it finished 4th worst one year and 2nd worst the other two. It's siblings (BAMM and BAMD) are not far behind. This is obviously a very shallow system, and thus would require the BAMS model. The difference in accuracy at 48 hours between the BAMS and the GFS over the past 16 years is about 70 nm, and in the past 8 years is ~80 nm. Last year the average 48 hour error of the GFS was just ~72 nm, compared to ~151 for the BAMS.


how exactly does track error from the last 16 years transfer to this system? the BAMMS could easily be closer in track then the GFS

personally I think it will be a mix of the two
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7407
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
HurricaneFCast is a real meteorology student and knows his stuff. Just so y'all know.


A STUDENT that needs to read rather than jump to conclusions. JUST SAYIN!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
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My personal favorite...

The UKMET:


Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15790
1408. flsky
Quoting txngeo:
Crazy temps for SoCal! Anyone know if Santa Ana winds are blowing with that heat?
Sure hope not, but it is about time for those to start up.

When I lived in SoCal the Santa Ana's usually showed up in Nov
Member Since: October 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1917
Quoting Neapolitan:


Coastal California's very cool (but not record) summer was brought on by endless days of the marine layer hanging being both thicker and more widespread in coverage than normal. That, in turn, was brought on by a jet stream pattern that stalled, creating an almost permanent trough to park itself off of the west coast.

Just thought you might be interested...


And cooler than average SSTs along the coast.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


I highly doubt that it would be "tropical" all the way up the coast.

Check out the 12z GFS. Starts heading to cold-core near Hatteras.



would the impact really be that much different?

I would say no, just because it would no longer be completely tropical, does not diminish its impacts

I think you are nitpicking at JBs words on this one
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7407
1404. xcool


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1403. hydrus
Looks disorganized at this time. Wonder how it looks after the D-Max..
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CMC


Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15790
New named storm coming?



ASCAT this morning shows a well-defined circulation. Or was it last night?? I dont remember.

BBL
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31578
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


I highly doubt that it would be "tropical" all the way up the coast.

Check out the 12z GFS. Starts heading to cold-core near Hatteras.



Huh, starts off as a shallow warm core.
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Quoting CajunTexan:
Here's a question.

If something were to form in the BOC with the setup right now, which way is it more likely to get pulled (NE, NNE, N, Etc)?


NE.
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1398. txngeo
Crazy temps for SoCal! Anyone know if Santa Ana winds are blowing with that heat?
Sure hope not, but it is about time for those to start up.
Member Since: September 19, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12
Quoting Hurricanes101:


Those single layer models outperformed the dynamic models with both Julia and Matthew

while the dynamic models were all over the place with Matthew, the BAMM suite had a very consistent track which ended up being right

with Julia, the BAMM suite was the only one that saw her make a loop and head back west; which is what she is currently doing


Sometimes the simplicity of the single-layer models are just better as the dynamic models overthink the situation. There is a reason the dynamic models flip-flop so much on track.


The BAMS model(which is, as I'm sure most are aware, the shallow model for depths 850 - 700 mb) has had the highest track error at 48 hours for 13 of the past 16 years. The 3 years it did not have the highest track error at 48 hours, it finished 4th worst one year and 2nd worst the other two. It's siblings (BAMM and BAMD) are not far behind. This is obviously a very shallow system, and thus would require the BAMS model. The difference in accuracy at 48 hours between the BAMS and the GFS over the past 16 years is about 70 nm, and in the past 8 years is ~80 nm. Last year the average 48 hour error of the GFS was just ~72 nm, compared to ~151 for the BAMS.
Member Since: April 20, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 1482
Hitting 5" in rain today.....sheesh it's soggy.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
78 hours, I would say that JBs prediction of a tropical storm up the east coast is not hype at all according to the models

as you can see, 2nd system begins to develop



I highly doubt that it would be "tropical" all the way up the coast.

Check out the 12z GFS. Starts heading to cold-core near Hatteras.

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15790
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:


I hope so! We have had 0.01" yesterday, and 0.20" today. I wouldn't mind a good half foot soaker for a day, although I think the main storm action will be offshore. But I'll take an inch.

I've been good. Fixing to broil some scallops.


Wilmington to the north of you has had over 11" of rain in the last 36 hours and they aren't done yet. Interesting wwhat a few miles means sometimes.
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96 hours

Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7407
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Hey Guys!

It was plain cold this morning.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31578
Quoting Hurricanes101:


Those single layer models outperformed the dynamic models with both Julia and Matthew

while the dynamic models were all over the place with Matthew...


It is my understanding that the accuracy of the types of models depends on the relative strength of the system.

So BAMM, etc would of course do a better job with weaker systems, while GFS and GFDL would do better with the monsters.

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Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15790
Quoting whepton3:


yeah... it's a little rain... looking at possibly double digit totals next 48 hours.... poof.


Seriously? And what exactly will bring this double-digit rainfall? A sure thing, yes?

Another noob with a poofer. Poor Taco may never recover.
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78 hours, I would say that JBs prediction of a tropical storm up the east coast is not hype at all according to the models

as you can see, 2nd system begins to develop

Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7407
1383. flsky
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
119 at Beverly Hills at 2 pm is INSANE.

But it's dry heat, don't forget that. haha Actually,humidity was at 14% when I looked about an hour ago.
Member Since: October 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1917
Quoting Legion:
It was a hot one today in SoCal, but it is just one day. The fact remains that SoCal had its coldest summer on record this year:

Southern California's summer to end with a chill: It was the coldest in decades
September 21, 2010 | 7:26 am

Farewell summer, we hardly knew ye!

The last day of summer is Wednesday, but meteorologists say the season barely bothered to show up in the region this year. So cooler fall will make an almost noiseless entrance Thursday, hardly indistinguishable from the summer Southern Californians just experienced.

Summer played hooky on us. It never really showed up, said Bill Patzert, a climatologist for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge. We leaped from spring to fall.

Patzert said a low-pressure trough that stalled along the West Coast from Alaska to southern Baja California kept the summer cooler than usual, with many overcast days. Monthly temperatures in downtown Los Angeles from April to now have averaged between one to three degrees cooler than normal.

Patzert said it's one of the coolest summers in decades.

Jamie Meier, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Oxnard, said that LAX tied the coldest average temperature for August on record, going back to 1944.

The Santa Barbara airport also broke a record for coolest August, she said. The weather service is predicting a La Nina cycle that could mean drier-than-normal conditions. That isn't always the case during La Nina, said Meier. But more often than not it is, she said.

Thoughout the summer, communities across Southern California set record low temperatures, notably Los Angeles International Airport and other coastal areas.
Link


Coastal California's very cool (but not record) summer was brought on by endless days of the marine layer hanging being both thicker and more widespread in coverage than normal. That, in turn, was brought on by a jet stream pattern that stalled, creating an almost permanent trough to park itself off of the west coast.

Just thought you might be interested...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Here's a question.

If something were to form in the BOC with the setup right now, which way is it more likely to get pulled (NE, NNE, N, Etc)?
Member Since: September 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 119
Quoting PanhandleChuck:
He started it....
Nope he started it
did not
did to
did not
did to
it his fault
not my fault, it's his fault
stop touching me
you stop touching me
I'm not touching you,

MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DAD, "If you kids don't stop fussing and distracting me while I am driving I am going to half to pull over and stop the car and I know you don't want THAT to happen!"
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Quoting HurricaneFCast:

The image you posted clearly compared a multi-layered global dynamical model to a single-layer trajectory model. You then expressed your opinion that this system would more closely follow the single-layer trajectory model's output. If you do not wish to convey a certain opinion, I implore you to be wary of your posts' implications prior to sharing them with the blog.


Quoting TampaSpin:


Not much model support yet? I just don't see 96L COC coming into S. Florida as 96L should move well South of Florida. They might get some rain but, that should be about all unless it does not move much over the next 24hrs and then the track might change more toward Florida if not toward the northern Gulf Coast States. Stay turned!


IF YOU READ what i wrote i said we have little model suppport yet. I was not comparing anything as that graphic had only two models on it that the 7 that will appear when they update.....READ!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Quoting weatherbro:
It appears likely even the Florida Peninsula will be protected by these fronts next week as they have a big one anticipated to sweep through early next week!


Really? I hope so, my temps are predicted to be in the 90s still by Sun.
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1375. leo305
Quoting civilbull:
GFS at 997mb so I would guess at tropical storm status but I'm not expert.


yep moderately strong tropical storm
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2nd system brewing as the first has made landfall

Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7407
Speaking of the devil...

Joe Bastardi

Let the hype flow.

MONDAY 1 P.M.

"TROPICAL STORM TO RUN EAST COAST FROM FLORIDA TO SOUTHEAST NEW ENGLAND.

This storm will be scored according to the classification scheme on Dr. Bob Hart's cyclone phase diagrams page.

http://moe.met.fsu.edu/cyclonephase
"

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15790
66 hours, system is about to hit South Carolina and our 2nd system begins to develop near Honduras

Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7407
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Out of all the things I've seen you say...I can actually agree with this.


I cant stand that guy personally even if he's right about Joe B.

Hope the admin picks him up.
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1368. leo305
Quoting weatherbro:
It appears likely even the Florida Peninsula will be protected by these fronts next week as they have a big one anticipated to sweep through early next week!


no cold fronts expected to drop into central or south florida until well into October..
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GFS at 997mb so I would guess at tropical storm status but I'm not expert.
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Quoting anyotherliestotell:
i have a friend who, when we go to a ballgame, predicts a "home run!" every time an above average power hitter comes up. after doing this 12-15 times, of course, eventually one of the players hits it over the fence, after which my friend leaps up and declares . . . "CALLED IT!" lol. joe b will be that guy, one day when he's correct just by chance.


Out of all the things I've seen you say...I can actually agree with this.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15790

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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.