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 Bobbyweather:

Left, remnants of Matthew and 96L(soon to be Nicole)
Upper center: Remnants of Julia, near Bermuda
Upper right: Remnants of Lisa
Bottom Right, strong Tropical Wave
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I live near Homestead Fl and am totally surprised that there is no talk on local stations about this system becoming a tropical storm. The keys are very vulnerable to these storms. This could be one of those that sneaks up on us.
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2662. IKE
Quoting tkeith:
Between the two blobs?


May be sub-tropical.
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Quoting kmanislander:
Not much doubt where this is going short term. Nowhere fast then a hard left turn near the Caymans.

Thanks for that Kman, now I understand the current steering forecast!
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I watched the local news this morning in West Palm and they talked about the heavy rain expected today from the tropical moisture and then made a fleeting reference to possible tropical development. I figured I'd look on here and see models taking the storm well east, not directly over S. Florida. Strange...normally I thought the local stations erred on the side of hysteria.

Squirrel activity this morning is definitely heightened. Noticed quite a few of them blogging.
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2659. nash28
06Z HWRF nails the Cape on 1st hit. 2nd hit whacks Charleston, SC. GFDL has it just to the E of Charleston. Either way, unless the west side is totally void of moisture, we're gettin wet again in a couple of days.
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
Quoting IceSlater:


You couldn't have stated that any better


No Kidding, I'm in Deerfield Beach. Should I put shutters up for Tropical Storm? No one on the news has even mentioned preparation....
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Quoting IKE:


120 miles ENE of the previous coordinates.


There are actually two low centers and the NHC are now tracking the one closest to the deepest convection. If you run this loop you can see the spin at the new position but there is also a stationary low at the old position near 19 N 85.5 W

Check the lat/lon box

Until the system resolves these competing centers development will be slow.
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52 °F was our morning low today.

49 °F was our morning low yesterday.

It should warm back up a couple of degrees here, and then by early next week, we'll see yet another shot of Cool air.
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2655. Michfan
This is going to make for an interesting day.
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000
WHXX01 KWBC 281242
CHGHUR
TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1242 UTC TUE SEP 28 2010

DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.
PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE
AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.

ATLANTIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR

DISTURBANCE INVEST (AL962010) 20100928 1200 UTC

...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...
100928 1200 100929 0000 100929 1200 100930 0000

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 20.2N 82.8W 21.2N 83.0W 22.1N 82.8W 23.6N 81.4W
BAMD 20.2N 82.8W 21.5N 82.5W 23.6N 81.9W 26.6N 81.1W
BAMM 20.2N 82.8W 21.3N 82.9W 22.4N 82.6W 24.3N 81.4W
LBAR 20.2N 82.8W 22.1N 82.4W 25.1N 82.1W 29.4N 81.5W
SHIP 30KTS 38KTS 45KTS 52KTS
DSHP 30KTS 38KTS 45KTS 49KTS

...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...
100930 1200 101001 1200 101002 1200 101003 1200

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 25.9N 79.6W 31.0N 76.7W 33.7N 74.3W 37.2N 68.8W
BAMD 30.1N 80.0W 37.5N 75.5W 45.8N 65.2W 53.7N 44.0W
BAMM 26.9N 79.8W 32.3N 76.7W 36.3N 72.3W 43.6N 59.8W
LBAR 34.3N 80.2W 44.5N 70.9W .0N .0W .0N .0W
SHIP 59KTS 64KTS 54KTS 33KTS
DSHP 49KTS 53KTS 43KTS 23KTS

...INITIAL CONDITIONS...
LATCUR = 20.2N LONCUR = 82.8W DIRCUR = 20DEG SPDCUR = 9KT
LATM12 = 18.7N LONM12 = 83.9W DIRM12 = 48DEG SPDM12 = 8KT
LATM24 = 18.0N LONM24 = 85.5W
WNDCUR = 30KT RMAXWD = 90NM WNDM12 = 25KT
CENPRS = 1001MB OUTPRS = 1006MB OUTRAD = 360NM SDEPTH = D
RD34NE = 0NM RD34SE = 0NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM

$$
NNNN

SHIPs not quite so bullish as it was before.
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Quoting tkeith:
Between the two blobs?
Yes.
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Left, remnants of Matthew and 96L(soon to be Nicole)
Upper center: Remnants of Julia, near Bermuda
Upper right: Remnants of Lisa
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2651. tkeith
Quoting IKE:


120+ miles ENE of the previous coordinates.
Between the two blobs?
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1001mb is quite low for a disturbance. You'd typically expect that for a moderate tropical storm.

That said, being probably the most monsoonal of the lows this year, it's not too surprising. They seem to have lower pressures than normal (taking the West Pacific).

Now, when they'll upgrade it (I think we've surpassed the 'if' by now), I don't know. They may do the usual waiting for recon to investigate. That'd be the most likely event. However, given its lower pressures, they may decide to do it earlier.

May just depend simply on who is at the desk at the time.
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2649. IKE
Quoting Cotillion:
Psst...

AL, 96, 2010092812, , BEST, 0, 202N, 828W, 30, 1001, LO, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1006, 360, 90, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST


120 miles ENE of the previous coordinates.

Was at 19.0N and 85.0W, earlier.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
I say the COC is eirther located at 18.7N 85/84.8W or at 18.0N 79.9W
Not that far east.
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Quoting kmanislander:


Good morning

I haven't seen rain like this in a long time. Unfortunately my rain guage got blocked by a seed overnight, compliments of a ching ching !.

Cleared it now but the bucket was full so probably a couple of inches not recorded.

Today looks like a serious threat for very heavy low lying flooding with that massive complex of very deep convection just to the SSE of us. Pressure now 1002.5 mbs
I got that reading from the airport. Frankly, I think that is low too. It has been raining non-stop and looks like 7-8 pm now. My son called asking about school since they all seem to flood. Haven't heard anything yet.
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Quoting Cotillion:
Psst...

AL, 96, 2010092812, , BEST, 0, 202N, 828W, 30, 1001, LO, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1006, 360, 90, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST


Yep: any moment now...
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I say the COC is eirther located at 18.7N 85/84.8W or at 18.0N 79.9W
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Not much doubt where this is going short term. Nowhere fast then a hard left turn near the Caymans.

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It looks like the ULL associated with the cold front across florida has shot to the north and the front has begun to stall Link
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I heard the local weather people on two networks mention that the NHC had give the blob an 80% chance of development and a tropical storm by this time tomorrow knocking on our doorsteps was not out of the realm of possibilities.
P.S. I live in S.FLA and do not watch fox7
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Psst...

AL, 96, 2010092812, , BEST, 0, 202N, 828W, 30, 1001, LO, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1006, 360, 90, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST
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Quoting medic2luv:
So satellite show 2 "blobs" of convection. Am i correct that the "center" is in the middle of them? Or is it the "blob" on the right?


The HH are going out this morning. We'll know when they complete their run.
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2637. 7544
td or ts at 11am or 2pm ?
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6811
2636. IKE
SHORT RANGE FORECAST DISCUSSION
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
410 AM EDT TUE SEP 28 2010

VALID 12Z TUE SEP 28 2010 - 12Z THU SEP 30 2010

A POWERFUL UPPER RIDGE ANCHORED ACROSS THE WESTERN STATES WILL
CONFINE STORMY CONDITIONS TO THE EAST COAST. A CLOSED UPPER LOW
CURRENTLY LOCATED ACROSS THE CENTRAL APPALACHIANS IS FORECAST TO
QUICKLY RISE NORTHWARD WHILE ANOTHER PIECE OF ENERGY REPLACES IT
OVER THE TENNESSEE RIVER VALLEY. ALL OF THESE DISTURBANCES WILL
BRING HIGHLY UNSETTLED WEATHER TO MUCH OF THE EASTERN SEABOARD
THROUGHOUT MUCH OF THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. AT THE SURFACE...THE
FRONTAL BOUNDARY WILL STRUGGLE TO MAKE MUCH EASTWARD PROGRESS AS
AN EXPANSIVE UPPER RIDGE HOLDS STRONG OVER THE WESTERN ATLANTIC
WATERS. THIS BOUNDARY IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE USHERING IN PLENTY
OF MOISTURE FROM THE ATLANTIC WITH HEAVY RAINFALL SPREADING UP AND
DOWN THE COASTLINE. IN ADDITION...AN AREA OF DISTURBED WEATHER IN
THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN WILL RISE NORTHWARD TOWARD THE SUNSHINE
STATE BY MID-WEEK. THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER CURRENTLY LISTS
THIS REGION AS A POTENTIAL LOCATION FOR TROPICAL DEVELOPMENT
DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. REGARDLESS IF THE STORM BECOMES
NAMED...IT WILL STILL BRING ANOMALOUSLY HIGH AMOUNTS OF TROPICAL
MOISTURE TOWARD THE SOUTHEASTERN U.S. WITH A SURFACE BOUNDARY
ALREADY HUNG UP OVER THE REGION...THIS TROPICAL MOISTURE WILL ONLY
ENHANCE THE POTENTIAL FOR HEAVY PRECIPITATION. BY THURSDAY
MORNING...CONDITIONS SHOULD GRADUALLY IMPROVE OVER THE EASTERN
GULF COAST REGION AS THE FRONT FINALLY SLIDES EAST OF FLORIDA.
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Quoting Jeff9641:
Models have shifted left with 96L with the HWRF showing a 100mph storm over Cape Canaveral. The GFS, NAM, CMC, and Euro show this system now exiting near Cape Canaveral. Track toward SW FL then NE to Cape Canaveral. Naples NNE will be the track.


The HWRF has shifted slightly left, the gfdl keeps the system offshore. While the HWRF shows a 100mph storm, note no hurricane force winds onshore. That would be do to the heavy shearing sure to occur on the west side of the system as it moves north.
Member Since: August 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 652
Quoting medic2luv:
So satellite show 2 "blobs" of convection. Am i correct that the "center" is in the middle of them? Or is it the "blob" on the right?

blob on left!
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did the models shift left? track of storm is still ENE
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Quoting medic2luv:
None of newscasts that I have seen this morning have said anything about a possible tropical storm in the next 3 days. Only talk of alot of rain over the next 24hrs. The majority of the models are showing at LEAST a tropical system in or near south FLA on Thurs the 30th. If the models pan out there are gonna be alot of people very surprised.


You couldn't have stated that any better
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None of newscasts that I have seen this morning have said anything about a possible tropical storm in the next 3 days. Only talk of alot of rain over the next 24hrs. The majority of the models are showing at LEAST a tropical system in or near south FLA on Thurs the 30th. If the models pan out there are gonna be alot of people very surprised.
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2630. IKE
Buoy at 19.9N and 85.1W....look at the wave heights....

5-day plot - Wind Direction Wind Direction (WDIR): NW ( 320 deg true )
5-day plot - Wind Speed Wind Speed (WSPD): 9.7 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 11.7 kts
5-day plot - Wave Height Wave Height (WVHT): 2.6 ft
5-day plot - Dominant Wave Period Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 7 sec
5-day plot - Average Period Average Period (APD): 5.5 sec
5-day plot - Mean Wave Direction Mean Wave Direction (MWD): SE ( 126 deg true )
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.59 in
5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): +0.02 in ( Rising )
5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 81.7 °F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 85.3 °F
5-day plot - Dew Point Dew Point (DEWP): 76.5 °F
5-day plot - Heat Index Heat Index (HEAT): 89.1 °F
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2629. hang10z
Quoting Abacosurf:
http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=42056

Wind switched to west and NW on the 056 buoy.

That would put the center to the NE of that Buoy.


Abacosurf... nice profile pic! What a nice left!
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
1.77" rain since midnight.


Good morning

I haven't seen rain like this in a long time. Unfortunately my rain guage got blocked by a seed overnight, compliments of a ching ching !.

Cleared it now but the bucket was full so probably a couple of inches not recorded.

Today looks like a serious threat for very heavy low lying flooding with that massive complex of very deep convection just to the SSE of us. Pressure now 1002.5 mbs
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2625. IKE
Kingston / Norman Manley, Jamaica (Airport)
Updated: 35 min 26 sec ago
Light Rain
76 °F
Light Rain
Humidity: 75%
Dew Point: 69 °F
Wind: 2 mph from the SE
Wind Gust: -
Pressure: 29.75 in
Visibility: 9.0 miles
Clouds:
Scattered Clouds 1772 ft
Scattered Clouds 2559 ft
Mostly Cloudy 7874 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 10 ft
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There is a bouy directly under the large convective mass seen on sat. The current pressure is 1005mb which is about 3mb higher than those readings over and to the west of the caymans (further north). So the center does not appear to be forming under that large covective mass. The winds however under the mass are sustained at at about 27 knts with gusts to 32 knts for several hours now.
Member Since: August 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 652
Hi.
If Nicole forms into a tropical storm, would it be tied with 2002 and 2007 for most Atlantic tropical storms in September?
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Jeff,

good morning. the storm is moving ENE. is it supposed to stall and start moving north northeast?

Because on it's current path it would go right into Miami or the Bahamas. sorry if I am looking at it wrong.
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Quoting BobinTampa:
is there any chance of the front retreating a bit? It looks stalled to me on radar.


I believe it was forecast to stall...I seem to remember reading that off of someone who's respected's forecast.
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2620. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
ALERT ATCF MIL 96X XXX 100928060000
2010092806
19.0 275.0
22.5 277.5
125
19.0 275.0
280900
1009280900
1
WTNT21 KNGU 280900
SUBJ/TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION ALERT//
RMKS/1. FORMATION OF A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE IS POSSIBLE WITHIN
125 NM EITHER SIDE OF A LINE FROM 19.0N 85.0W TO 22.5N 82.5W
WITHIN THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS. AVAILABLE DATA DOES NOT JUSTIFY
ISSUANCE OF NUMBERED TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNINGS AT THIS TIME.
WINDS IN THE AREA ARE ESTIMATED TO BE 20 TO 30 KNOTS. METSAT IM-
AGERY AT 280600Z INDICATES THAT A CIRCULATION CENTER IS LOCATED
NEAR 19.0N 85.0W. THE SYSTEM IS MOVING NORTHEASTWARD AT 10
KNOTS.
2. REMARKS:CURRENT MODEL GUIDANCE IS DEPICTING INTENSIFICATION OF
A BROAD CYCLONIC CIRCULATION SITUATED IN THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN.
THIS SYSTEM IS MOVING NORTHEAST AT 10 TO 15 KNOTS AND IS IN AN AREA
OF LOW VERTICAL WIND SHEAR. AN ASSOCIATED UPPER LEVEL ANTICYCLONE
THAT COULD HELP TO ENHANCE THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS TROPICAL FEATURE
IS LOCATED OVER THE BAY OF CAMPECHE.
3. THIS ALERT WILL BE REISSUED, UPGRADED TO WARNING OR
CANCELLED BY 290900Z.//

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2618. afj3
CMC shows a nasty second storm....
http://moe.met.fsu.edu/cgi-bin/cmctc2.cgi?time=2010092800&field=Sea+Level+Pressure&hour=Animation
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Quoting BobinTampa:
is there any chance of the front retreating a bit? It looks stalled to me on radar.


Looks that way to me too, Bob. I've just been looking at our local radar. And if my head is any indication (pinging), it's right on top of me in Spring Hill/Brooksville area.
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Quoting barotropic:
Just checked and pressure falls have seemed to level off in the area (caymans and bouys) at 1001 - 1002 mb.
1.77" rain since midnight.
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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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