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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465. 7544
thanks levi good video lot of info
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Levi,

Very interesting..........
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Quoting Levi32:


It has not.


I love this guy!! He draws pictures I can understand:)
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Tornado warning in Baltimore...
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Levi...your early reference to 'the Carolinas' is mitigated by your later specificity of North Carolina ; )

Great update!!
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Quoting weatherboyfsu:


Go NW about 150 miles in that blob and you will find LLC


Nope, look at this imagery:Link
And tell me that is not a developing low level circulation.
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Quoting Levi32:
Good morning all.

Tropical Tidbit for Monday, September 27th, with Video
thank you again
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Hey Taco,

Imaginary storms for 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.
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Quoting ssmate:
Thanks Levi. Awesome job per usual.


Thank you.
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no recon ... i repeat no recon at this time.
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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.

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One of my sites had this listed:

PGI50L (Daughter of Matthew)

Got a chuckle out of it and figured I'd share...
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Quoting weatherboyfsu:


Go NW about 150 miles in that blob and you will find LLC
several spins at the moment. noone knows which if any will become dominanat and spin up a tc.
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Quoting weatherboyfsu:
I do believe that all the action is going to be over cuba and just east of florida...... I would love to be wrong but that trough pushing everything east.........


the trough is stalling out..

but the upper level flow is pushing lots of sourth westerly shear across florida
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Quoting matilda101:
Another blogger on crack again!!! lol

But who knows it just may be the model that accurately predicts right!!


Quoting Katelynn:
#408

CPB Model - that's hilarious! ROFL




Quoting TampaTom:
The more I see, the more I like the CPB model suite.

Bully for ya!


Thank you. With the seriousness of the season, humor is needed more than ever.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
I have a question, why is this not an invest yet?


Good question.
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I do believe that all the action is going to be over cuba and just east of florida...... I would love to be wrong but that trough pushing everything east.........
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
levi do you know if recon left for the northwest carribean


It has not.
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Quoting TheDawnAwakening:


This is where I place the developing low level circulation.


Go NW about 150 miles in that blob and you will find LLC
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Thanks Levi. Awesome job per usual.
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Quoting Levi32:


Good for you :)
levi do you know if recon left for the northwest carribean
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I have a question, why is this not an invest yet?
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The more I see, the more I like the CPB model suite.

Bully for ya!
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Quoting masonsnana:

TY Levi, good to see you...finished my hurricane shopping this morning just in case.


Good for you :)
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Quoting Levi32:
Good morning all.

Tropical Tidbit for Monday, September 27th, with Video


*laughs* Speak his name, and he appears! Good morning, Levi.
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AOI/XX/XL
MARK
xx/xx
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Quoting hurricanecrab:


DOOMCON 1 depends upon a person's proximity to the development. For example, when most people talk about "landfall", they mean the U.S. Us little crapsplat islands take these things seriously for good reason.

This time of year, systems develop often in the lower Caribbean and intensify quickly, leaving little time for response.

Just my $0.03 C.I. cheers


Excellent point. And take Karl, for another example, once he stopped being a disorganized mess of convection he strengthened very quickly, and Mexico took it in the teeth.

Speaking from North Texas, I am very rarely directly affected by any tropical system (Hermine notwithstanding). But any storm that doesn't spin harmlessly out to sea is still a big deal.
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429. IKE
78 hour 12Z GFS....looks like the peninsula of Florida may be clearing up by Thursday.

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Quoting Levi32:
Good morning all.

Tropical Tidbit for Monday, September 27th, with Video

TY Levi, good to see you...finished my hurricane shopping this morning just in case.
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This is where I place the developing low level circulation.
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Quoting jasoniscoolman2011xz:


Funny, almost half the Caribbean (certainly a third) is shown possibly spinning something up.
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If the center of cirulation is at 85.5W and 19.5N that would mean it would have less inter action with Cuba drifting northward and more time over water before affecting South Florida. Perhaps a stronger system on Wednesday.
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424. 7544
this is starting to blow up looks like its feeding off the blob to the north east of the yuca getting intrest now may have it for lunch .
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starting to spin...
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Good morning all.

Tropical Tidbit for Monday, September 27th, with Video
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
does anyone know if recon is headed down there, i am away from my computer and cant check


Not at this time...
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does anyone know if recon is headed down there, i am away from my computer and cant check
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We really need an update from Levi.
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pressure's dropping near cozumel..

while the pressure is rising near grand cayman, indicating the circular area of convection south of the cayman islands isn't developing for now..

the area east of cozumel though is possibly
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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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