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 rmbjoe1954:


Hi Reed. I am at work so I can't go back and revisit responses on the blog. What is 96L all about and where can it go in the next 2 days?

Thank you in advance.


Hey Joe!
96L should organize into Nicole in the next 48 hours, then a track towards Florida, but dunno if it will be east or west of Florida.
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From Miami NWS

PREV DISCUSSION... /ISSUED 955 AM EDT MON SEP 27 2010/

..EXCESSIVE RAINFALL, FLOODING POSSIBLE TUESDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY...

UPDATE...NO CHANGES WILL BE MADE TO THE FORECAST THIS MORNING.
SATUS QUO EXPECT WITH SOME QUICK PASSING SHOWERS...AND POSSIBLY A
THUNDERSTORM...MOVING ACROSS THE AREA WITH THE HIGHEST CHANCE
WESTERN AREAS LATE IN THE DAY.

MAIN FOCUS OF THE FORECAST CONTINUES TO BE THE DEVELOPING WEATHER
SITUATION EXPECTED TO UNFOLD TUE-WED WITH THE MAIN IMPACT EXPECTED
TO BE THE POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING...POSSIBLY SIGNIFICANT. LOW
PRESSURE OVER THE WESTERN CARIBBEAN WILL MOVE TOWARDS WESTERN CUBA
TUESDAY...THEN ACROSS SOUTH FL ON WEDNESDAY. THERE IS THE
POTENTIAL FOR THE LOW TO DEVELOP INTO A TROPICAL CYCLONE...THOUGH
INDICATIONS ARE THAT ANY DEVELOPMENT WOULD BE SLOW TO OCCUR.

REGARDLESS OF TC DEVELOPMENT...COPIUS TROPICAL MOISTURE WILL SURGE
NORTHWARD INTO THE SERVICE AREA TONIGHT-TUE...REMAINING IN PLACE
ON WED AS THE LOW MOVES ACROSS THE AREA. THE DEEP MOISTURE WILL
PROBABLY MOVE TO OUR EAST BY THU. IN THE MEANTIME...CIRA
PRECIPITABLE WATER PRODUCT SHOWS PW`S NEARING THE 3 INCH MARK OVER
THE WESTERN CARIB! WATER VAPOR IMAGERY SHOWS A MID/UPPER LEVEL
TROUGH/CUT OFF LOW DIVING INTO DIXIE. THIS WILL FORCE THE
CARIBBEAN MOISTURE N-NE INTO THE AREA. FORECAST SOUNDINGS FROM
BOTH THE GFS AND NAM SHOW PW`S APPROACHING MAX HISTORICAL VALUES
HERE BY WED MORNING...AND WITH THE CONVERGENCE ASSOCIATED WITH THE
APPROACH OF THE LOW...THERE IS AN INCREASING POTENTIAL FOR HEAVY
TO EXCESSIVE RAINFALL ACROSS SOUTH FL. (OF COURSE...SHOULD THE LOW
MOVE FURTHER TO THE EAST...THE HEAVY RAIN THREAT WOULD BE MUCH
LOWER. HOWEVER...MODEL CONSISTENCY OVER THE PAST WEEK PUTS THIS
POSSIBILITY AT VERY LOW.)

GFS/NAM/ECMWF ALL SHOW THE HEAVIEST RAIN OCCURRING ALONG THE SE
FL COAST. INTERESTING TO SEE THAT THE GFS AND NAM BOTH SHOW WHAT
WOULD BE A SIGNIFICANT RAINBAND MOVING NORTHWARD ALONG OUR SE
COAST TUE NIGHT-WED AFTERNOON. WILL NEED TO WATCH THIS. HAVE
ISSUED A HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK FOR ALL OF MAINLAND SOUTH FL TO
HIGHLIGHT THE HEAVY RAIN/FLOOD POTENTIAL. ALTHOUGH THE OUTLOOK
COVERS ALL OF SOUTH FL...INCLUDING THE GREATER NAPLES AREA...THE
GREATEST POTENTIAL FOR HEAVY RAIN DOES APPEAR TO BE ACROSS THE
EAST COAST METROPOLITAN AREAS TUE NIGHT-WED. HPC QPF SHOWS AREAL
AVG RAIN AMOUNTS OF AROUND 4" GULF COAST TO 5-6" ATLANTIC COAST. A
FLOOD WATCH MAY BE REQUIRED IN LATER FCST ISSUANCES...SO STAY
TUNED. /GREGORIA
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I think when you look at the visable you can see some of the coldest cloud tops moving ENE because of the shear to the north. Until a strong LLC is determined it will be difficult for any of the models to get a good idea where it is going to go. Right now it is a waiting game but IMO I don't think 96L will get much stronger then a TS. As Levi stated in his blog it very well might be that the "Carolina's" get a stronger storm then the Bahamas/Florida.
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962. IKE
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Looks like they're saying the center is located just NE of the cold tower on here.
19N 86W as of 1800


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Quoting hydrus:
Looks impressive anyway.
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Quoting Neapolitan:


Mmmmmm, lemme think..........nope, still not funny. But keep trying! ;-)


Yeah, really wasn't trying. Giving up today. Put my best foot forward before. Getting called @ 5am to help my father-in-laws truck started that quit @ a gas station, spending 45 minutes in 30 degree weather...tossing the camera and calling it a day. Fresh day tomorrow.
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


Intresting, What about the other models like the CMC,NAM,and ECMWF .

Yesterday they all took it into s.fla
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Quoting caneswatch:


Um, your met might be wrong, but it all depends on whether 96L becomes Nicole. If it does, then schools will be cancelled.


Yep. All schools across the whole darn state.

are you kidding me???
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Quoting Kristina40:
Or Panama City is over the Gulf of Mexico.


Heh, never heard that one before.
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Quoting DookiePBC:


DOOM at 11:30?


Seen any strange squirrel behavior lately?

lol


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Quoting reedzone:
13-7-5 ... Should go to 14 by either tomorrow or Wednesday :)


Hi Reed. I am at work so I can't go back and revisit responses on the blog. What is 96L all about and where can it go in the next 2 days?

Thank you in advance.
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Quoting 7544:
td at 11?
I would not be surprised if that happened.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5684
Quoting sammywammybamy:


Intresting, What about the other models like the CMC,NAM,and ECMWF .

Yesterday they all took it into s.fla


I've barely had time to keep up with GFS lately, let alone the others! :S
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Quoting 7544:
td at 11?


DOOM at 11:30?
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Quoting NRAamy:
Did someone say "tunnels"?


Don't start.
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Quoting Cotillion:
Taz, we're a considerable distance from any El Nino. Just because the La Nina may have peaked or just temporarily weakening before strengthening again doesn't mean we're going to swing into El Nino.

Cold PDOs make El Ninos rarer. We'll be seeing less of them in the next 20-30 years.

There's also never been a case of Nino-Nina-Nino or Nina-Nino-Nina in a single year.


"There's also never been a case of Nino-Nina-Nino or Nina-Nino-Nina in a single year."

That we know of...
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938. 7544
td at 11?
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Quoting sHaDySrEbElLiOn:


Oh ok, does it look like schools will be shut down in Florida this week then? The Met here in NY said Florida will receive gusts to 35mph and torrential rains.


Um, your met might be wrong, but it all depends on whether 96L becomes Nicole. If it does, then schools will be cancelled.
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Did someone say "tunnels"?
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Weak LLC located just south of western Cuba and West of the Caymans Island.

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Quoting angiest:


In the same way that Chicago is at the bottom of Lake Michigan. :)
Or Panama City is over the Gulf of Mexico.
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Yes,i sure do unf97.I been here for alomost 19 years.
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Quoting SuperYooper:
Since DJ is not here, I will post the latest DOOMCON status for him.

A meeting at RIDGES HQ, with all members present, will determine if DOOMCON will be raised.


Mmmmmm, lemme think..........nope, still not funny. But keep trying! ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13790
GFS shows it
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Quoting mcluvincane:


Explain how a storm can go under water dig a tunnel and go under the state of Florida. Now that would be interesting to say the least


In the same way that Chicago is at the bottom of Lake Michigan. :)
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


Does The GFS Still have 4 storms hitting florida?



http://moe.met.fsu.edu/tcgengifs/

Put this in ur favorites
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I see we have 96L, can somebody send me a link please. As usual Wunderground doesn't update the site as much as i'd like.
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Man..itsa so Fall Like in NOLA I may walk da dog again.
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Quoting smartinwx:
if the ex-Julia reforms, does it regain the name Julia, or will it get a different name? who decides that?


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.
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Morehead City:

.LONG TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/...
AS OF 315 AM MON...00Z MODELS ARE TENDING TO CONVERGE ON A CLOSED
SOUTHERN TROUGH SOLUTION WHICH SUPPORTS A HYBRID/SUBTROPICAL LOW
PRESSURE AREA MOVING NE ALONG A STALLED COASTAL BOUNDARY THURSDAY
INTO FRIDAY WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR VERY HEAVY RAINS AND STRONG
WINDS. ONLY CHANGE TO EXTENDED FORECAST WAS TO UP POPS FOR
THU...WITH BEST CHANCES ALONG THE COAST. THOUGH THERE IS STILL
QUITE A BIT OF UNCERTAINTY. WILL TREND TO A DRY FORECAST SATURDAY
AND SUNDAY ALTHOUGH THE POTENTIAL FOR A COASTAL LOW CANNOT BE
RULED OUT. TURNING MUCH COOLER OVER THE WEEKEND WITH HIGHS DOWN TO
70-75.
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Here's a view of the er, "Invest" area.
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Quoting sHaDySrEbElLiOn:
How are the schools in Florida? Would they cancel a day or two of school due to soon to be Nicole? I know up here in New York my son gets snow days and stuff like that.
We get Hurricane days in Florida. Here in the Keys they will cancel school if the winds get about 40mph due to the cross winds on the bridges. Isn't safe to transport the kids. So depending on the breeze will depend on whether school is canceled. Of course, we have to go to work unless they call for an evacuation, which will not happen with this event. I was at work when Katrina came by. We were told it would be a TS turned out I was watching cat 1 winds in the harbor and had to wade home in hip deep water.
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it seen like 96L is moveing WNW out too sea and pulling that little Bold a long with it and weaking it so tha big round ball may be are main game
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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.

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