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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Nicole is going to be a BLESSING for Florida as it plugs the rest of the drought!
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Sorry it got banned. I thought it was absolutely great. Just sitting in S. FL waiting out the weather. Looks like we will get wet, just how much remains to be seen. Keeping close eye on tropics and appreciate all of the thoughts and opinions on the blog. Thanks to you all.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


Based on that same analysis that even if a CAT 4 or 5 were barring down on a land location, it would not make landfall or have any impacts

Why? because no storms ever impact any area at any time. And anyone who thinks they do are hyping things
The NCEP model has the third storm stalling for days....Link
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


I highly doubt anyone could have predicted what Fay did to the state of Florida in 2008

you just never know


That was a very bad soaking we got with her.
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Quoting NOLALawyer:
The situation is complicated, but the track is a no brainer. You have a nice trough digging into the southeast, bringing Florida a winter-like pattern. All that tropical moisture needs to go somewhere. As I constantly stated for days and days, whether it be Matthew or his remnants, eventually the left overs will move north. Though the complicating situation is the strength of the storm. Sure we have alot of warm water, but with so much convection and heat, it's going to be hard for it to really get going. Think of Alex.. Took 4 days to get going. I believe a weak to moderate TS will hit Florida in a few days, with a possibly more potent system for the Carolinas as it travels through the Gulf Stream. That's my thoughts on everything. I'm not ready to talk about the next system yet, too early to tell.


I agree.

And, Miami floods with a good hard series of thunderstorms, like December last year. Just because these systems may not bring an intense wind field, does not mean they will not bring flooding rains and plenty of trouble for S. Florida.


I highly doubt anyone could have predicted what Fay did to the state of Florida in 2008

you just never know
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Quoting reedzone:


I know you think i'm a fake, wishcaster, but I am just going by the models and the obs. No models predict this to be a Hurricane. Maybe Levi and I have the right idea.


Nope, I never said any such thing!
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The situation is complicated, but the track is a no brainer. You have a nice trough digging into the southeast, bringing Florida a winter-like pattern. All that tropical moisture needs to go somewhere. As I constantly stated for days and days, whether it be Matthew or his remnants, eventually the left overs will move north. Though the complicating situation is the strength of the storm. Sure we have alot of warm water, but with so much convection and heat, it's going to be hard for it to really get going. Think of Alex.. Took 4 days to get going. I believe a weak to moderate TS will hit Florida in a few days, with a possibly more potent system for the Carolinas as it travels through the Gulf Stream. That's my thoughts on everything. I'm not ready to talk about the next system yet, too early to tell.


I agree.

And, Miami floods with a good hard series of thunderstorms, like December last year. Just because these systems may not bring an intense wind field, does not mean they will not bring flooding rains and plenty of trouble for S. Florida.
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Quoting srada:
No relief in sight..looking to get worse tonight:

Parts of southeastern North Carolina have received over 4 inches of rain this morning with heavy showers/storms, prompting flood advisories/warnings from the National Weather Service. Earlier today, heavy rain produced standing water near major roadways including College Road and New Centre Drive. Although we may see a brief lull in the activity from time to time, heavy storms will be possible through tonight. A few storms may become severe, producing damaging winds.


a lil more than 4 inches

Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6598
Quoting nash28:
Well I wanted rain here in the Charleston area and boy have we gotten it! Now, I have to concern myself with a possible whacking later in the week.

Press and SJ- We'll meet at Hymans downtown and eat and drink on the 2nd fl so we can stay out of the river of water!


Same here from up the coastline in Richmond VA.
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Quoting DaytonaBeachWatcher:

Sounds like Levi's video to me.


I know you think i'm a fake, wishcaster, but I am just going by the models and the obs. No models predict this to be a Hurricane. Maybe Levi and I have the right idea.
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702. unf97
Quoting aquak9:
UNF, Jax82- I'm at St. Vincents, lurking...


That was a nasty storm that just moved through my home location just in the past few minutes. Had some good wind gusts in the 30 -40 mph range and heavy rains but nothing in the severe criteria thankfully( hail, winds of 55mph+).

But, there is more heavy thunderstorms set to move through the Jax metro area within the next 1/2 hour. Heavy thunderstorms moving into western Duval as I speak and the storm cells are movinh Northeast at a very face pace, while the squall line is slowing sagging south-southeast.
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Quoting reedzone:
The situation is complicated, but the track is a no brainer. You have a nice trough digging into the southeast, bringing Florida a winter-like pattern. All that tropical moisture needs to go somewhere. As I constantly stated for days and days, whether it be Matthew or his remnants, eventually the left overs will move north. Though the complicating situation is the strength of the storm. Sure we have alot of warm water, but with so much convection and heat, it's going to be hard for it to really get going. Think of Alex.. Took 4 days to get going. I believe a weak to moderate TS will hit Florida in a few days, with a possibly more potent system for the Carolinas as it travels through the Gulf Stream. That's my thoughts on everything. I'm not ready to talk about the next system yet, too early to tell.
agree with that
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Quoting CitikatzSouthFL:

I LOVE this. Thanks for the a good Monday ROFLMAO moment!!


Too bad the admin. removed that comment, that's a darn shame (chuckle)
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Quoting angiest:
My discussion of what GFS shows impacting the Caribbean, Gulf, and SE US over the next few weeks based on the 12Z run today:
Link
The CMC looks interesting as well.. The Atlantic still has storms brewing..Link
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Well I wanted rain here in the Charleston area and boy have we gotten it! Now, I have to concern myself with a possible whacking later in the week.

Press and SJ- We'll meet at Hymans downtown and eat and drink on the 2nd fl so we can stay out of the river of water!
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Quoting reedzone:
The situation is complicated, but the track is a no brainer. You have a nice trough digging into the southeast, bringing Florida a winter-like pattern. All that tropical moisture needs to go somewhere. As I constantly stated for days and days, whether it be Matthew or his remnants, eventually the left overs will move north. Though the complicating situation is the strength of the storm. Sure we have alot of warm water, but with so much convection and heat, it's going to be hard for it to really get going. Think of Alex.. Took 4 days to get going. I believe a weak to moderate TS will hit Florida in a few days, with a possibly more potent system for the Carolinas as it travels through the Gulf Stream. That's my thoughts on everything. I'm not ready to talk about the next system yet, too early to tell.

Sounds like Levi's video to me.
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Quoting reedzone:
The situation is complicated, but the track is a no brainer. You have a nice trough digging into the southeast, bringing Florida a winter-like pattern. All that tropical moisture needs to go somewhere. As I constantly stated for days and days, whether it be Matthew or his remnants, eventually the left overs will move north. Though the complicating situation is the strength of the storm. Sure we have alot of warm water, but with so much convection and heat, it's going to be hard for it to really get going. Think of Alex.. Took 4 days to get going. I believe a weak to moderate TS will hit Florida in a few days, with a possibly more potent system for the Carolinas as it travels through the Gulf Stream. That's my thoughts on everything. I'm not ready to talk about the next system yet, too early to tell.
hey reed i do notice that the convection to the west of jamaica is becoming better organized, i truly think this will become the dominent area for a LLC to develop , but it is slowly organizing i would not be surprized to see a TD tomorrow Afternoon
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I noticed that ghc 18z now has it's 2nd storm heading back, a little more west, more towards the sw and the central part FL. This is modeled to happen about 7 days out. Maybe the Atlantic high/ridge gets stronger?
Or who knows, maybe the model will shift it all back east again and on the next run.
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694. srada
No relief in sight..looking to get worse tonight:

Parts of southeastern North Carolina have received over 4 inches of rain this morning with heavy showers/storms, prompting flood advisories/warnings from the National Weather Service. Earlier today, heavy rain produced standing water near major roadways including College Road and New Centre Drive. Although we may see a brief lull in the activity from time to time, heavy storms will be possible through tonight. A few storms may become severe, producing damaging winds.
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Quoting aquak9:
yeah bre I work there

pics in my blog in the posts


oh cool I will check it out.
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Quoting clwstmchasr:


Based on what analysis?


Based on that same analysis that even if a CAT 4 or 5 were barring down on a land location, it would not make landfall or have any impacts

Why? because no storms ever impact any area at any time. And anyone who thinks they do are hyping things
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it also appears the area to the west of jamaica is becoming the dominent area convection continues to increase i has quite a circular shape to it
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The situation is complicated, but the track is a no brainer. You have a nice trough digging into the southeast, bringing Florida a winter-like pattern. All that tropical moisture needs to go somewhere. As I constantly stated for days and days, whether it be Matthew or his remnants, eventually the left overs will move north. Though the complicating situation is the strength of the storm. Sure we have alot of warm water, but with so much convection and heat, it's going to be hard for it to really get going. Think of Alex.. Took 4 days to get going. I believe a weak to moderate TS will hit Florida in a few days, with a possibly more potent system for the Carolinas as it travels through the Gulf Stream. That's my thoughts on everything. I'm not ready to talk about the next system yet, too early to tell.
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Tonight will be interesting. Those two blobs in the NW carribean are starting to dance around a COC IMO just from looking at the WV loop you can see it, though be it very broad.




Seems like the convection is wanting to shift from the NW carribean ESE towards the central, near or just west of Jamaica.
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yeah bre I work there

pics in my blog in the posts
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Quoting txag91met:
Link

Blog update.
TY
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what is intresting to note is there is a LLC trying to form near Cancun mexico with the first Blob and the second one appears to be developing a low also near the caymen islands, one thing that i can say is convection has been holding steady and increasing since this morning
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My discussion of what GFS shows impacting the Caribbean, Gulf, and SE US over the next few weeks based on the 12Z run today:
Link
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Quoting Jax82:


Yep i'm just south of I295/I95 interchange, so i will miss that big cell.


I have been watching those storms from my radar, and they have been showing rotation for nearly an hour. I am 150 miles south and I can make out the anvil tops from here from that storm (probably 50k ft tall)
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Quoting aquak9:
UNF, Jax82- I'm at St. Vincents, lurking...


St Vincents hospital?
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Link

Blog update.
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If anyone wants to look at the Atlantic for development, that area of disturbed weather about 1000 miles ESE of Trinidad/Tobago may be something to watch. It's quite deep in the tropics, about 7N or 8N and about 45W, but at this time of the year, that's where the main threat from the Atlantic may come from.
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UNF, Jax82- I'm at St. Vincents, lurking...
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Quoting reedzone:


lol that's true to.
The NAM model shows the monsoonal low actually pulling the remnants of Matthew back out over the Caribbean Sea towards Jamaica. This helps to cause a wobble in the monsoonal lows track. It will make forecastingLink more difficult I think.
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671. Jax82
Quoting unf97:


Yes, that is a nasty looking cell approaching the Baldwin area and will be approcahing I-295 in a few minutes. That cell looks nasty on radar. I'm only about 15 miles or so away from that cell at the moment.


Yep i'm just south of I295/I95 interchange, so i will miss that big cell.
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Quoting palmbaywhoo:

Weather.com had us at a 60% chance for the day up to 80% tomorrow and 90% tomorrow night


Yeah, noticed that too! And accuweather.com says over 5" is on the way between now and Wednesday
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669. Jax82
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Jacksonville had a very strong thunderstorm last night with winds gusting up to 55.


I was at the Jaguars game and left just in time. By the time I got home the whole sky was full of lightning and thunder for about an hour, though they were moving NE and i was missed here in Jax Beach.
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Quoting Jeff9641:


Yeah, looks as if E C FL is going to get rocked later today and could last thru the night. Temps in the 90's in Orlando with mid 70 dewpoints while mid 70's in the panhandle right now. Everything appears to be coming together for a nasty evening in c FL.


As of 1253pm... Melbourne was sitting at 91 degrees with dewpoint of 76... heat index 103! Shall be interesting. NWS Melbourne is saying that precip could fire all night over the area. Good news is my grass will green up nicely!
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Quoting Levi32:


All in the time-frame of late September and early October. We haven't hit the end of the month yet and we're already talking about one storm that is almost guaranteed. Don't expect nothing else to threaten before the season ends.


Thank you, Levi.
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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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