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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Its about 120 miles off the coast.....
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Good morning all.
What's up?
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Until the shear actually hits it, not a prob...

Obvisiously the NHC doesnt think that the shear is going to stop the development because they are sending the plane..... I do believe they have the lastest technology, models and such.... And when you have a potential storm developing that close to MIAMI, you cant afford to take chances.... Storms have been known to fire up quick within 24 hours... so I think that it is a prudent thing to do!
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"...saw the formation of ten named storms, six hurricanes, and five hurricanes..."

Do you mean five major hurricanes?

Jason
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The Western Caribbean has eyes.....And a lot of moisture.
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King,

Ive been here that long as well.... Go play somewhere else..... ;-)
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No spaghetti models for the system in the western Caribbean yet?? Our National Emergency Management Org. did great and we survivied Matthew without major problems.
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Quoting tacoman:
weatherboy it's really hard to take interests in a blob...matthew the remnants at least has a surface circulation off the yucatan...



There's a all u can eat burrito and chimichanga deal at taco bell today. Please run off and check it out.
Member Since: June 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1339
Quoting weatherboyfsu:
Taco,

Look at the Gulf of Mexico visible loop at NHC.... Just off coast of Yucatan, there is a storm developing. The low level winds are coming together there under the thunderstorm complex..... Bingo!


Old news , but you are right.
Member Since: August 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 652
Quoting weatherboyfsu:
Taco,

Look at the Gulf of Mexico visible loop at NHC.... Just off coast of Yucatan, there is a storm developing. The low level winds are coming together there under the thunderstorm complex..... Bingo!


Why are you wasting your time with a troll? You aren't going to convince him...just a hint ;)
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WOW! and I thought the Carribean was hot!

I think I'm gonna throw up! =)
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Quoting mcluvincane:
Um.. someone explain why there is only 30% in the Caribbean when it looks like a depression has formed. Massive blow up I must say.


Recon is on the way. Round one will be to the states in the next day or 2. The potential is there for a pretty rapid spin up, should shear drop below the current 10-20kts.
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Taco,

Look at the Gulf of Mexico visible loop at NHC.... Just off coast of Yucatan, there is a storm developing. The low level winds are coming together there under the thunderstorm complex..... Bingo!
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Quoting Bordonaro:

You can ask him, I have no clue.

I am watching the mess in the W Caribbean Sea, looks like out "N" & "O" storm out of this region in the next 14 days..
i have watch the last three computer runs and it showes the energy with the systems in the nw carb are located more to the east with each run.if this comes to pass then most of the energy rainfall winds will be to the east of se florida when the main systems pass. this is a good sign for them. has everone noticed the same thing?
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so in the future when the models show a strong hurricane hitting an area for a week of run....just expect rain. LOL
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Quoting tacoman:
recon goes it's a wasted flight nothing down there are looks threatning..


Recons on its way, you should go. Maybe you could hold on to the dropsonde while its falling so you could relay the vortex data info to the blog.
Member Since: August 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 652
Quoting hydrus:
It is weird that I do not see Wilma on that map..

Because Wilma wasn't a northern gom strike. She hit the southern tip of FL.
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ohhhhh I'm tellin! Someone said the "S" word!

Anyway, the CMC run shows a triple threat in the next week, none too major though. Interesting:


Link to CMC Model
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231. 7544
the blob is trying to consolidate its looking better now when the plane goes in they will find something forming imo chances are when this gets in the fla straights it could develope rapidily
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6690
Quoting Neapolitan:


The threat to the northern GOM is diminishing, indeed...but it's in no way over. Below is a chart showing every post-September hurricane or tropical storm to strike the northern GOM in the past 150 years or so. As you can see, while there hasn't been nearly as much action in those three months as there has been prior to October first, there's still lots that can happen.

FWIW, red lines represent hurricane tracks, dark red represents major hurricanes, and yellow represents tropical storms.

CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE

Tropical weather-related image
It is weird that I do not see Wilma on that map.. What a trough!!!
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Um.. someone explain why there is only 30% in the Caribbean when it looks like a depression has formed. Massive blow up I must say.
Member Since: June 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1339
12Z NAM:

60HR:



500MB:



Looking at a bit stronger Bermuda High attempting to keep any developing system W of 80W as cut off low weakens some.
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Quoting TOMSEFLA:
thany. why did he exit this blog. he knows his stuff. must of had a beef with jeff???

You can ask him, I have no clue.

I am watching the mess in the W Caribbean Sea, looks like out "N" & "O" storm out of this region in the next 14 days..
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By the way Taco,

I do believe there is something forming down there....
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Um... Not to nitpick here on Dr. Masters but the disturbance has to move over SC before it gets to NC. The CMC, NOGAPS and GFS all have the system moving either over or thru SC before riding up the rest of the coast.

Seems like SC gets forgotten about. There are two Carolina states... :-)
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hey taco,


We all enjoy different things and I have been fascinated we our atmosphere from the first days of my youth. Anything that can make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, you should take notice!!!! ;-)
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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.