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 weatherman12345:
dont think so. this will be a south florida event if it is anything. aslo, i do think it organizing quite rapidly.

What's your reasoning? Besides a weaker storm would stay on the left side of the consensus & a stronger storm on the right, i.e Wilma & Charley.
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Quoting Neapolitan:


I'll buy the first part...but what's your reasoning for the second part? Favorable atmospheric conditions, low shear, a huge reservoir of simmering water...


Just because the conditions seem ripe for developement doesn't always translate into a storm. This is developing from the remnents of ex-Matthew and monsoonal flow. It is going to take some time to spin up if it does at all. IMO this storm is not showing any signs of intensifing quickly.
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Quoting IKE:
Quoting IKE:

NO's Dry Air Shield.
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1062. A4Guy
I dunno...to my novice eyes...our AOI doesn't seem to be organizing very rapidly at all. When Karl started to organize, and even Matthew, you could clearly see the spin, the banding, and the consolidation. This AOI just looks like a plain old area of disturbed weather, with development potential due to climatology.
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1061. yacoub
Quoting CapeObserver:


Reed, not the C word!

Camille?
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1060. Patrap
Sad,,but Irony won again.

Jimi Heselden, Owner Of Segway Inc., Dies In Segway Accident


Multi-millionaire Jimi Heselden, the owner of Segway Inc. since December 2009, has died after reportedly driving a Segway scooter off a cliff and into a river.

The fatal accident allegedly occurred at Heselden's West Yorkshire estate, according to the Daily Mail. He was "using one of the machines--which use gyroscopes to remain upright and are controlled by the direction in which the rider leans--to inspect the grounds of his property," writes the Daily Mail. "A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said today: 'Police were called at 11.40am yesterday to reports of a man in the River Wharfe, apparently having fallen from the cliffs above.'"

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I noticed something very interesting about the 12z ECMWF. It is much stronger with 96L

at 00z it showed a very broad low over south florida on friday see image below




now the 12z ECMWF shows an actual 996mb tropical storm going over south florida on thursday. I have a feeling the models are going to trend stronger unfortunately and south florida might be in for a strong ts/minimal cat 1 with little notice as the bad weather already begins tomorrow. The only saving grace for florida is cuba being in the way. below is picture for 12z ECMWF

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Quoting Hoff511:


He went NE Through Orlando and came out around Jacksonville.


Daytona Beach to be exact. I got 2 hours of sustained Hurricane Force winds.
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Quoting Floodman:
Helloooo?


Hello!
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Updated coordinates according to this site.

18.4N 88.0W...check it out
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Quoting jeffs713:
Has 96L been run through the full model suite yet?


Nope, the GFDL and HWRF should run by 18Z, but i'll be at work. Should be a good spread of models by 00Z.
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1054. Hoff511
Quoting CosmicEvents:
I know Charley entered the state in the Punta Gorda area...but where did he exit the state?


He went NE Through Orlando and came out around Jacksonville.
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Quoting TampaSpin:
96L might miss Florida completely and as far as organizing fast....i don't see that happening at all.


I'll buy the first part...but what's your reasoning for the second part? Favorable atmospheric conditions, low shear, a huge reservoir of simmering water...
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Quoting reedzone:
I think 96L will take a track very similar to Hurricane Charley. I see where the circulation, noticing some small bands of clouds/convection forming north of that swirl. 96L is organizing quite well in my opinion.


Reed, not the C word! Let's just hope that Nicole doesn't get her groove on like he did. Not looking forward to a replay.
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1051. angiest
Quoting AnthonyJKenn:



Actually, IIRC, Ivan didn't really redevelop on his second run until he reached the Gulf of Mexico, then went into SE TX as a weak- to moderate TS.


Anthony


I believe he was off the east coast of FL when they started talking about him again.
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A gentle reminder that this blog is comprised of folks from many different walks of life. Some are highly educated, while others are not- the commonality is an interest in weather. Please have the decency to respect the differences among us.
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96L might miss Florida completely and as far as organizing fast....i don't see that happening at all.
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1048. 34chip
How bad will it be in Key West? Thanks
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Quoting oceanblues32:
hello all located just south of ft lauderdale on the beach do i need to prepare for anything significant?


At this point a lot of rain...this thing will take a bit to sort itself out
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Quoting angiest:


Assuming it is not absorbed by something else, that is, so long as they can identify it as being Julia and not something else, it will retain the name of Julia. For an extreme example see 2004's Ivan, which regained its name after many days during which it moved south from the northeastern US to the east coast of Florida.



Actually, IIRC, Ivan didn't really redevelop on his second run until he reached the Gulf of Mexico, then went into SE TX as a weak- to moderate TS.


Anthony
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 206
This could turn out to be a mini Floyd situation here in NC. I remember it rained 5-6 inches the week before Floyd came and then he dumped 14-16 inches where I live. With all these tropical systems making there way up the east coast doesn't bode well at all. NC could be in for a real dangerous situation. I'm stocking up and getting my flat bottom boat ready.
Member Since: June 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1338
Quoting P451:


This butchery of the English Language is indecipherable.

WNW out to sea? From the NW Caribbean?
little Bold?

Seriously...do you even try? Are you so high you can't think or see straight?

Fix this or don't post let along attack other users on here like Cotillion who absolutely knows what he is talking about.


P451 you have got mail.
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Helloooo?
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1041. angiest
.
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Quoting P451:


Seems to be several small disturbances located within the generally large area of disturbed weather.

I'm wondering if one will establish dominance allowing cyclogenesis or if the whole mess might just fester and eventually move up over Cuba and South Florida and the Bahamas as just a large area of disturbed weather that doesn't organize.

Doesn't seem to be a clear cut answer this evening.

Perhaps as we approach DMax tomorrow morning we'll get a clearer picture as to what is going on.

======================

96L Floater Imagery - RAMMB

======================

I agree I see several areas looking to want to establish a LLC within a broad area of low pressure, might spin off 2 storms.
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1038. Patrap
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hello all located just south of ft lauderdale on the beach do i need to prepare for anything significant?
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Wow, the blog just died :P
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Quoting reedzone:
I think 96L will take a track very similar to Hurricane Charley. I see where the circulation, noticing some small bands of clouds/convection forming north of that swirl. 96L is organizing quite well in my opinion.
Has 96L been run through the full model suite yet?
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Looks like a COC is trying to form just NW of Grand Cayman
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.
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Quoting islander101010:
dont underestimate the power of nature. s calif might get alittle bit too with an el nino building this winter.


Where did you see that an El Nino is building this winter?
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Quoting reedzone:
I think 96L will take a track very similar to Hurricane Charley. I see where the circulation, noticing some small bands of clouds/convection forming north of that swirl. 96L is organizing quite well in my opinion.


If anything it will take a track between Wilma and 1996 E storm Eliene Somewhere between Naples South to the tip of Florida.
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1026. 7544
test test
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Blog has shut down. Great.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23012
Quoting reedzone:
I think 96L will take a track very similar to Hurricane Charley. I see where the circulation, noticing some small bands of clouds/convection forming north of that swirl. 96L is organizing quite well in my opinion.
I know Charley entered the state in the Punta Gorda area...but where did he exit the state?
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1022. 7544
nicole at 11pm ?
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1021. unf97
Quoting FirstCoastMan:
Yes,i sure do unf97.I been here for alomost 19 years.


Great. Along with Aquak I can send you private messages from time to time. But, definitely stay in here as we monitor this upcoming event and maybe more to come next week as well.
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I noticed something very interesting about the 12z ECMWF. It is much stronger with 96L

at 00z it showed a very broad low over south florida on friday see image below




now the 12z ECMWF shows an actual 996mb tropical storm going over south florida on thursday. I have a feeling the models are going to trend stronger unfortunately and south florida might be in for a strong ts/minimal cat 1 with little notice as the bad weather already begins tomorrow. The only saving grace for florida is cuba being in the way. below is picture for 12z ECMWF

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PS Taz, I don't think a El Nino is forming.

If anything, weak La Nina for 2011's season.

Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23012
1017. angiest
Quoting reedzone:
I think 96L will take a track very similar to Hurricane Charley. I see where the circulation, noticing some small bands of clouds/convection forming north of that swirl. 96L is organizing quite well in my opinion.


Did you forget? It is not allowed to forecast landfall from any system.

;)
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Who broke the blog?
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About JeffMasters

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