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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1314. Patrap


Current Conditions

South Gate, California (PWS)
Updated: 1 sec ago
Clear
107.4 °F
Clear
Humidity: 15%
Dew Point: 50 °F
Wind: 8.0 mph from the NNE
Wind Gust: 15.0 mph
Pressure: 29.72 in (Falling)
Heat Index: 104 °F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
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1310. Levi32
Quoting sHaDySrEbElLiOn:


So do you think we will see another hurricane before the year is up?


Another hurricane? Yes I think there is a strong possibility of that. The Caribbean will be active for quite a while yet.
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1309. Patrap
Quoting srada:



those are the statistical models..I was told they pretty much dont count by someone on the blog the other day..the dynamic models are the ones that tell the story..supposedly?

SN..we had over 8 inches of rain today here in eastern NC..our rain deficit for the month is 9 inches..almost made it up in one day


Still awaiting the 18Z dynamic Runs or I'd of posted them.


ATCF images (Hurricane Track Models)

Current Storms:
Invest96


One can bookmark it for the future

Link
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Quoting leo305:


you mean lower? I don't recall GFS forecasting a 994MB system in the western carribean..


12Z GFS had it at 994mb, the 18Z has it at 998mb
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1306. flsky
Quoting Patrap:
Today's State Extremes
State Highs:
Santee 113F
Riverside 111 F
Fullerton 111 F
Los Angeles Downtown 111 F
Corona 111 F

State Lows:
Truckee-Tahoe 32 F
South Lake Tahoe 34 F
Alturas 35 F
Big Bear City 42 F
Montague 46 F


Los Angeles, California
Add to My Favorites - Add to My Email - iCal Feed RSS Feed
Local Time: 2:32 PM PDT (

Guess they really should have a State of North California and a State of South California!
Member Since: October 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1910
Quoting HurricaneFCast:


I would note that you are comparing a single-layer trajectory model (BAM- Beta and Advection Model) to a multi-layer global dynamical model (GFS- Global Forecast System)....


I would like to point out that I AM NOT! I am looking at Satellite and other models and based upon these other all plugged together that is my Opinion as to what 96L will do. I just put out an Update. Go to my blog and follow the links.
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Quoting aislinnpaps:


True, El Nino can be very bad for crops, etc.. But hurricanes can also do seriously bad damage. Kind of six of one and half a dozen of another, all depending on where you live.


That's true. But, overall, I think we're better with the 'canes and an easier winter. Last winter was hard on everybody, hurricane season... Not so much.

Personal preference I guess - all in how you like to roll the dice.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 856
1301. leo305
Quoting Hurricanes101:
slightly SSW of the 12Z run and 4 mbs higher



you mean lower? I don't recall GFS forecasting a 994MB system in the western carribean..
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Quoting Orcasystems:


If I lived there..which I do not... and Hurricane Season was still active... I would never assume I was out of the risk zone.

I would bet money that one of the whiz kids on here can post tracks of systems that have hit Texas in October/November


He's only saying that because of his experience as a local in his area. For instance, the Western Panhandle typically cuts off from getting hurricanes around Halloween time because we start seeing powerful cold fronts greatly cooling our region (we can be as much as 25 degrees colder around that period of time than South and Central Florida because of that)deflecting storms away. These powerful fronts (for some reason during a La Nina season...go figure) are arriving way sooner than expected so he is figuring just from his experience living where he lives that the season is ending sooner for that reason. I never seen too many fronts like the one now come down so early. That's the only reason he makes that prediction. Ike even totally said that our areas (we live pretty close to each other) season will shut down in 7-14days which is pretty early again....what happen to warmer Fall-Winter weaker fronts that a La Nina suppose to have? Hopefully the experts on here can explain:0
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This is sure to get people riled up:

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I lived in Germany then, so didn't have to deal with Juan.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


I'm fine by La Nina personally. Warmer weather for Florida, the 09-10 El Nina was devastating around my area, all our crops died over the winter and when they came to life finally -- no one was buying so we had to destroy our crops, and that made national news.. plus with the sinkholes we had.


True, El Nino can be very bad for crops, etc.. But hurricanes can also do seriously bad damage. Kind of six of one and half a dozen of another, all depending on where you live.

Off to pick up son and daughter from choir practice for homecoming, drop daughter off for volleyball practice, hang around town for an hour with son, then pick daughter up from volleyball practice. Sigh, I'm just a taxi for them...
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1294. srada

Quoting Patrap:
For your Viewing Pleasure....

18z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Invest96
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)








those are the statistical models..I was told they pretty much dont count by someone on the blog the other day..the dynamic models are the ones that tell the story..supposedly?

SN..we had over 8 inches of rain today here in eastern NC..our rain deficit for the month is 9 inches..almost made it up in one day
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1293. A4Guy
Quoting HurricaneFCast:


I would note that you are comparing a single-layer trajectory model (BAM- Beta and Advection Model) to a multi-layer global dynamical model (GFS- Global Forecast System)....


What a beautiful answer. I LOVE it!
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http://forums.accuweather.com/index.php?act=attach&type=post&id=105898 48 hour nam model
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Where do you get the 18Z GFS. The 18Z link here is not finished with the run
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Quoting aislinnpaps:


You mean we get to do this all over again? The larger number of storms as well? Okay, the ridge better settle back in over TX/LA again as well! *S*


I'm fine by La Nina personally. Warmer weather for Florida, the 09-10 El Nina was devastating around my area, all our crops died over the winter and when they came to life finally -- no one was buying so we had to destroy our crops, and that made national news.. plus with the sinkholes we had.
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slightly SSW of the 12Z run and 4 mbs higher

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1288. Levi32
Quoting clwstmchasr:


I thought I read a blog of his a couple of weeks ago that he believed strongly that we would see a major hurricane come out of the NW Caribbean (cited water temps, ideal conditions). I guess I was wrong.


He believed it was a strong possibility before the season is over. He never assigned that to Matthew or Nicole specifically. Those are the subtle differences people often get wrong with him.
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Quoting Patrap:
Hurricane Juan was a hurricane that formed in October 1985 and looped twice near the Louisiana coast, causing torrential flooding for several days. Juan was the costliest hurricane of the 1985 Atlantic hurricane season, and at the time was among the costliest of all historical U.S. hurricanes. Juan was the last of three hurricanes to affect Louisiana during the season, including Danny in August and Elena in early September.


Hurricane Juan near peak intensity


Formed October 26, 1985
Dissipated November 1, 1985
Highest
winds
85 mph (140 km/h) (1-minute sustained)
Lowest pressure 971 mbar (hPa; 28.67 inHg)
Fatalities 24 direct
Damage $1.5 billion (1985 USD)
$3 billion (2010 USD)
Areas
affected Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida Panhandle




No Juans again here, I will be too busy planning the superbowl party for the Saints to deal with a hurricane.
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1284. Patrap
Juan in 85 had a distinctly Northern Track Inland and caused havoc in many states,




So never discount Climo..
It will bite one on da butt good if given da chance.

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Does anyone have the link for the 18z gfs.
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Quoting CycloneUK:
La Nina weakening?



This might explain why those fronts are coming down so sharply this early. I am almost incline to say that the Northern Gulf coast including the Western Panhandle of Florida is closed for hurricanes now. Wow the shield barrier is holding above us quite well. We already had the oil disaster up here anyways. One disaster please...no more than that:)
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Fluctuations in the La Nina are expected, followed by some weakening over winter. La Nina still expected for 2011.


You mean we get to do this all over again? The larger number of storms as well? Okay, the ridge better settle back in over TX/LA again as well! *S*
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
now where does it have it crossing south florida or just offshore


not sure yet, it is still south of Cuba at 24 hours, slightly south and east of the 12Z run at 30 hours

also pressure at the 18Z is 1 mb higher
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Quoting TexasHurricane:


hmmm, ok. Was just thinking that with the "highs" staying over us (SE Texas)and cold fronts coming in that we would probably have no more worries.


If I lived there..which I do not... and Hurricane Season was still active... I would never assume I was out of the risk zone.

I would bet money that one of the whiz kids on here can post tracks of systems that have hit Texas in October/November



edit - Even I found one.. and I am no whiz kid.
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1276. Patrap
Hurricane Juan was a hurricane that formed in October 1985 and looped twice near the Louisiana coast, causing torrential flooding for several days. Juan was the costliest hurricane of the 1985 Atlantic hurricane season, and at the time was among the costliest of all historical U.S. hurricanes. Juan was the last of three hurricanes to affect Louisiana during the season, including Danny in August and Elena in early September.


Hurricane Juan near peak intensity


Formed October 26, 1985
Dissipated November 1, 1985
Highest
winds
85 mph (140 km/h) (1-minute sustained)
Lowest pressure 971 mbar (hPa; 28.67 inHg)
Fatalities 24 direct
Damage $1.5 billion (1985 USD)
$3 billion (2010 USD)
Areas
affected Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida Panhandle


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1275. Levi32
Quoting clwstmchasr:
Does someone know if Joe B. still calling for a major to get into the GOM?


He never was...

Never believe someone who has not actually read his column.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
18Z GFS at 18 hours is further east than the 12Z was at 24 hours
now where does it have it crossing south florida or just offshore
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2990
Quoting CycloneUK:
La Nina weakening?



Fluctuations in the La Nina are expected, followed by some weakening over winter. La Nina still expected for 2011.
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Quoting anyotherliestotell:
someone said last week when everyone was predicting the "big one" . . . again . . . hitting florida, that nothing more than a weak TS at most would form with lots of rain. turns out that person was correct. who was that? oh ya, it was ME. lol. so called WU experts got it wrong as usual.
I don't mind your bearish forecasts...in fact I like them. But don't take any congratulatory bows just yet. Wait until the season's over.
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
why are people on here saying the center of 96L is on the coast of belieze and the models are being initialized from between the western tip of cuba and Cancun Mexico ????
I believe your question pretty much answers itself, does it not?
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 856
Quoting Tazmanian:



i did not even think it gets that hot


We hit 112 years ago here in Louisiana over a Labor Day weekend. I was at a dog show and even the dogs didn't want to walk out into that wall of heat. Add the heat index and it was horrible!
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
why are people on here saying the center of 96L is on the coast of belieze and the models are being initialized from between the western tip of cuba and Cancun Mexico ????


the center is being initialized on the coast of Belize now, it was changed

18Z GFS initialized in the right place and the movement is ENE to NE on this run
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La Nina weakening?

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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!


I would note that you are comparing a single-layer trajectory model (BAM- Beta and Advection Model) to a multi-layer global dynamical model (GFS- Global Forecast System)....
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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.