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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12z GFS

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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Looks like Recon is on for today.


Where did you find the information? I have not found anything on the RECON yet. That is for Tomorrow... issued today.
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Quoting divdog:
Big mess is right .. did u get in on the rain action past couple of days. I think we all let out a collective sigh when the rains finally showed up. Nice temps now .. cant beat it and hurricane season is cloing here fast.


1.25" of rain at my house this weekend, glad to see some finally! Yeah this cool weather is great!
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Quoting IKE:


GFS has been showing major canes...in the long-range...for the last 2-3 weeks. It hasn't happened.


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.
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Quoting MahFL:


In NE FL the lowest forcast temp is 71 for the next 6 days.
That kinda stinks .. too bad you r going to miss out on the early fall break from the unrestrained heat of the past month.
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Good morning, everyone.

While you all fret and moan about the mess going on in the tropical Caribbean, I'm just sitting back and enjoying our first major cooldown of the fall season. 68 degrees, severe clear skies, and dry northerly winds here just N of Lafayette...and it looks like it;s going to stay that way for the next week to 14 days. No thoughs of any hurricane threats here in S Cen LA...our season seems to be over with.

As for the mess S/SE of us, though....looks like the models are in better agreement that we could see one if not two offshoots of this system break off from the main axis and move across Cuba and S/SE Florida over the next 7 days before the next deeper trough down the line coming through the CONUS finally lifts the whole shooting match NE and out of there mid next week. The first one could be either a decent first nor'easter for the Eastern Seaboard; the second one seems more destined for the Bahamas and open Atlantic.

The first blow (Nicole) looks more like a TS or weak Cat 1 hurricane at best which quickly transitions to an extratropical gale center off NC/SC coast. The next one (Otto) may stay tropical, but will probably just sideswipe S FL en route to the Bahamas.

My concern, though, is next week when the monsoonal trough finally decides to lift out and the main axis tries to form one last system. Although such a system down the line may get whooped by dry air and shear as it lifts out, the waters of the N Caribbean are still hot enough that anything forming there could bomb out...and there's still the outside chance of a Wilma solution, if not a Flora (but without the meandering of the latter storm). If such a storm does attempt to get N enough to get into the Straits or the Keys en route NE'wrd, then South FL could get a nasty surprise ending to the season after all.

Of course, it could all just lift out as a subtropical hybrid, and all FL gets is lots of rain and squally wind near gale force, or everything just get pulled further ENE just below FL .

My point, though, is that S FL shouldn't let their guard down at all for the next two weeks. Whatever does take place, they are guaranteed to get very wet and very windy, at least.

For the rest of the Gulf (at least W of Mobile), it's all smooth sailing.



Anthony
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looks to me like the GFS develops 3 systems overall

First one today and tomorrow, 2nd on in 3-4 days and the 3rd one in the long range
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7555
1230 PM EDT MON 27 SEPTEMBER 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 28/1100Z TO 29/1100Z SEPTEMBER 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-118

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. SUSPECT SYSTEM (NORTHWEST CARIBBEAN)
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 28/1800Z
B. AFXXX 01GGA INVEST
C. 28/1530Z
D. 20.0N 85.0W
E. 28/1700Z TO 28/2300Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO -- TEAL 71
A. 29/0600,1200Z
B. AFXXX 0216A CYCLONE
C. 29/0315Z
D. 21.5N 84.5W
E. 29/0500Z TO 29/1200Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK:
BEGIN 3-HRLY FIXES AT 29/1500Z IF SYSTEM DEVELOPS.

3. TASKING FOR AF AND G-IV MISSIONS AT 28/1800Z, 29/06
AND 1200Z WERE CANX BY NHC AT 1115Z.

3. REMARK: THE NSF/NCAR G-V WILL FLY A 7 HR RESEARCH
MISSION INTO AND AROUND THE SUSPECT AREA BETWEEEN
41,000 AND 43,000 FT WITH TAKEOFF AT 28/1200Z.
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Quoting TOMSEFLA:
for levi

watch video but have a question that was not covered. when we get a low to form what are the environmental conditions in the upper levels for strenthing ? anticyclone? shear etc


They're good in the Caribbean right now. The trough I spoke of that will be bringing dry air in will also be trying to shear the storm, however that will probably not prevent it from deepening as in this type of situation the trough often tends to ventilate the storm more than it shears it, and since this will be a TS coming in instead of a hurricane, it will be in a situation that can support further deepening of low pressure as it heads up towards the Carolinas.
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505. IKE
Quoting unf97:


Thanks Levi. Yeah you are right. If this model run by GFS comes to fruition, the next storm looks to be the most worrisome to me as well. A much stronger cyclone depicted there on that run.


GFS has been showing major canes...in the long-range...for the last 2-3 weeks. It hasn't happened.
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00z CMC

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GFS has spun a huge 180 degrees from its fantasy storm on the 24th 6z run, to the mess it develops now. Who knows what will happen, but the fact that the model shows these cyclones effecting Florida, the Bahamas and western Cuba, means these areas should watch out.

weatherboyfsu, I am sure there is more than one developing low level circulations present within this broad surface low. So I am not denying it, I am simply stating that I see a strong presence of a surface low becoming better defined in the area I circled in a previous post on this same page.
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Looks like Recon is on for today.
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Quoting anyotherliestotell:
is there a worse forecaster than Levi? threatening florida "again"? there are no and have been, no threats to florida.
There is a threat to Florida right now. I consider a trof draped over the state with a developing tropical system at the end of it a danger. If YOU knew anything about meteorology, it would be obvious to you that Florida is being threatened at this time.
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for levi

watch video but have a question that was not covered. when we get a low to form what are the environmental conditions in the upper levels for strenthing ? anticyclone? shear etc
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Good day to all!! Blog Update for residents or visitors to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
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New Tornado warnings, Carroll and Baltimore Co., MD.
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494. MahFL
Quoting divdog:
I would say there is a chance the entire system could miss south and east of Florida. The combination of the front coming down and the flow becoming more southwest to northeast and eventaully more west to east. If nothing develops out of the very broad area of circulation this could turn into rainshowers for south florida and nothing more. There is always a possibilty of this occuring but not set in stone at this point. I have this feeling we are getting very close to the season winding down for the conus and certainly my area (northwest florida). Cold front will produce lows close to 60 next few days. No tropical activity up here in the current environment.


In NE FL the lowest forcast temp is 71 for the next 6 days.
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nash...yesterday you were on here complaining about lack of rain here...please take it back...
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Quoting GainesvilleGator:


Could this be the wave that is currently halfway between the Cape Verde Islands & the Lesser Antillies? With through coming down this should gain latitude. This looks similar in appearance to the wave that spawned Mathew.


I believe that's what I meant by "the area of low pressure currently sitting out in the central Atlantic."
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Quoting Levi32:


Yeah that would be because sitting there would induce massive upwelling off SW Florida that would weaken the storm. Apparently the trough is not strong enough to take it out on the GFS, which is interesting. It would be a big Florida basher, even if it is just a TS, as winds and rain would batter the state for days.


now imagine if the systems stalls why even closer to the coast
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7555
What up Nash?
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Oh for Pete's sakes.
TORNADO WARNING, Howard County (near Baltimore).
Thunderstorm warnings coming across my county now (Montgomery Co., MD).
Anybody notice that DC got pronounced the area with the worst weather this year? Don't remember which organization gave us that "award."

This ain't the misery of poor Wisconsin, but take care, neighbors.
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Mr.Hype...

Joe Bastardi

"MONDAY 7:30 A.M.

It's not boring!!!

Wow, what a pattern.

Obviously, the ideas in the western Caribbean have merit as the "hatch it" people are up to moderate risk of development. My take is this. An east-side weighted tropical cyclone develops and South and eastern Florida have the brunt of this Wednesday night and Thursday morning. The interaction with the eastern trough means this storm intensifies more once by Florida and reaches its strongest point with its second landfall on the Carolinas Thursday night or Friday. This will be scored, if I am right, a double tropical storm hit, but DO NOT BE SURPRISED if there is a status controversy as to whether the storm is tropical or not. Let's remember what has been going on here this year, okay. Earl was downgraded to a tropical storm and was a hurricane for Canada. Then Igor with winds to 107 mph when it went by Cape Race. So I will be using Dr. Bob Hart's cyclone phase diagram to judge the status. My guess is it will be asymmetrical warm core.

The shot of cold coming after this (and it's something alluded to a couple of weeks ago here, that the tropics and a trough may lead to an early-season cold shot) is one that may cause a frost in the Midwest into the interior east this weekend. This should set the stage for an "Indian Summer" later this month (a warm period after first frost) in much of that area as the La Nina forcing should lead to this trough leaving. In fact, if one looks at some of the cases like this, for instance Opal in 1995 and Hazel in 1954 (tropical systems, big troughs) one finds warmth comes back after the chill. In any case, food for thought.

Matthew is alive and kicking over Mexico. You don't have cloud masses like that because of nothing. My take is the mid-level spin center will work its way back east the next 3-5 days and, in the wake of what is coming out of the Caribbean, recharge the storm genesis area. I think this is what the GFS sees. And it makes sense given the pattern, that the western Caribbean has to be watched this weekend... along with the eastern Caribbean.

That's right... the african wave coming from the east should be in the eastern Caribbean this weekend. If there is one thing that could thwart some of my hype, here is that there IS TOO MUCH GOING ON! When have you seen something like this at the end of September (hint: the first two digits are 20, the last two are 05)? The amount of energy available is impressive, and if one of these can focus it, you would get a major development. However, energy spread out right now is leading to too many cooks spoiling the broth.

Speaking of cooks... Julia (remember Julia Childs... get it?) is STILL ALIVE. It actually has a recurring thunderstorm core and may impact Bermuda tomorrow.
"

Accuweather Pro.
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Are you serious? Levi is not the only person predicting that Nicole or another storm will impact Florida. Even the models are showing that.

If only you had half the knowledge that Levi32 does, you would not be saying that he is a bad forecaster.

Quoting anyotherliestotell:
is there a worse forecaster than Levi? threatening florida "again"? there are no and have been, no threats to florida.
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Quoting anyotherliestotell:
Levi hasn't been right yet, i guess he's hoping by chance or accident he will be at one point.


Dude... Seriously... Buzz off.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


what I find odd about the GFS is it takes what would be Otto as a pretty strong system and just sits it off SW Florida; then it basically just disintegrates.


Yeah that would be because sitting there would induce massive upwelling off SW Florida that would weaken the storm. Apparently the trough is not strong enough to take it out on the GFS, which is interesting. It would be a big Florida basher, even if it is just a TS, as winds and rain would batter the state for days.
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On the last set of models runs the CMC, GFS and NOGAPS all show a similar outcome. System moving across S. FL off to the NNE then whacking SC/NC on the 2nd hit.

Could be a nasty couple of days for the SE and the E Coast if this verifies.
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Who cares who is right.... Anyone on here getting paid 6 figures to forecast storms?


And waiting for an answer.....
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Quoting Levi32:
Day 8 shows funny business in the eastern Caribbean as well as the area of low pressure currently sitting out in the central Atlantic gets drawn into the pattern.



Could this be the wave that is currently halfway between the Cape Verde Islands & the Lesser Antillies? With through coming down this should gain latitude. This looks similar in appearance to the wave that spawned Mathew.
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Quoting 69Viking:


I see it but probably more than one circulation associated with that mess down there!
Big mess is right .. did u get in on the rain action past couple of days. I think we all let out a collective sigh when the rains finally showed up. Nice temps now .. cant beat it and hurricane season is cloing here fast.
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Won't know anything until a closed LLC develops. Right now there are several areas competing. If the center forms closer to Cozumel, then you could see a TS hit the west coast of Florida anywhere from Naples to Tampa (as suggested by Crown Weather). If the center forms further east, then east coast of Florida and bahamas will receive the brunt of the system. Wait and see. I do think you will see a depression by Tuesday.
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Dude, how can it be not at the surface? You have tons of low level clouds which have bases at 500 feet.... thats pretty close to the surface.... and you have thunderstorms involved to transfer the winds down to surface.....
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Quoting tacoman:
levi is bound to hit it right one time ...this is the 3rd time he forecast something to hit fla and still fla has not been threatened...i dont think so either levi...


September 8th I spoke of a threat to the SE US in the final days of September and stuck with that idea. It is still September, and the models show the storm which is starting to gather in the Caribbean. If you would like to see the video, I would be glad to post it.
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Quoting Levi32:
Day 8 shows funny business in the eastern Caribbean as well as the area of low pressure currently sitting out in the central Atlantic gets drawn into the pattern.



what I find odd about the GFS is it takes what would be Otto as a pretty strong system and just sits it off SW Florida; then it basically just disintegrates.
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7555
Quoting presslord:
Levi...your early reference to 'the Carolinas' is mitigated by your later specificity of North Carolina ; )

Great update!!


Lol
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Quoting weatherboyfsu:
Hey Taco,

Imaginary storms imaginary people, which surprises me that you cant see the circulation just east of the yucatan..... Get some new glasses or ask your grand kids to look for you.


I see it but probably more than one circulation associated with that mess down there!
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469. unf97
Quoting Levi32:
12z GFS shows how as the trough leaves, high pressure builds in over the SE US and starts the whole process over again by incubating the Caribbean and we get yet another storm formed by next week which threatens Florida yet again, but this time stronger.



Thanks Levi. Yeah you are right. If this model run by GFS comes to fruition, the next storm looks to be the most worrisome to me as well. A much stronger cyclone depicted there on that run.
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Who has a better model accuracy for the last month Ridges, or the rest of this toilet paper that has been spit out for the lack of a better word.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
Day 8 shows funny business in the eastern Caribbean as well as the area of low pressure currently sitting out in the central Atlantic gets drawn into the pattern.

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465. 7544
thanks levi good video lot of info
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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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