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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Nice sunrise in Naples a short while ago. Love the inverted over-the-horizon cloud shadows. (And please forgive the poor resolution; I shot this with a low-quality cellphone camera while stopped at a red light [Airport & Orange Blossom].)

sunrise
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nash...let's stay in touch over the next 48 hours...might be party time...
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2513. surfmom
thx Cat5 & Morning neighbor to my south Naples
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Where the heck is the center? It reminds me of THE BLOB

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So my real question of the day, we're in Naples, FL (SW FL). Does anyone think this thing could blow up into a Hurricane before clipping us, or is this ruled out pretty much for now? Is there anything keeping it from developing into a Hurricane at this point? Thanks!
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Off to school, my classroom awaits. Have a wonderful Tuesday everyone!
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seems all the system needs to do is pinch off a circulation plenty of warm water ahead for it to do that
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 5009
Good news the Jamaican radar is back up! Could be useful later on. Link
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2503. nash28
Good morning all.

Trying to dry out here in Charleston.. Just in time for another soaking later this week it appears.
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Quoting hurricanecrab:


Agree. Hope your Grandson feels better. Here's a link for Pico San Juan, Cuba radar
Thank you.
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Quoting chrisdscane:
ya i agree nice convection however i dont se a well developed coc however i believe the nhc will still upgrade at 8 or 11 due to in fact that they just wana warn people
ahhh. NO, they don't upgrade just to warn people without just cause, thats what the NWS, NMS and the emergency management system are for
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ya i agree nice convection however i dont se a well developed coc however i believe the nhc will still upgrade at 8 or 11 due to in fact that they just wana warn people
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2498. scott39
Goodmorning, Can anyone tell me how 96L will effect Melboune/Palm Bay area?
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I'm one of those who believe that Nicole-to-be will pass far enough east so that SE Florida will escape the worst of the weather associated with it. That trough seems pretty strong.

Whether Nicole-to-be drifts to the E - NE today or stays where it is today will be a determining factor.
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. THE
STALLED FRONT IS LIKELY TO BE THE FOCUS FOR THE ENERGY FROM THE
TROPICS WITH ONE OR MORE LOWS TRACKING ALONG IT WED NIGHT-FRI.
CURRENTLY LOOKS LIKE THESE LOWS WILL BE EXTRA- TROPICAL BUT THEY
COULD PRODUCE A PERIOD OF GALE FORCE WINDS AND VERY HEAVY RAINS.
THERE IS STILL MUCH UNCERTAINTY ON THE TIMING/TRACK/INTENSITY OF
THIS SYSTEM. HPC QPF CONTINUES TO SHOW RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 4-7
INCHES WITH THIS SYSTEM. COUPLED WITH THE HEAVY RAINFALL FROM
MONDAY...THE THREAT FOR SIGNIFICANT FLOODING WILL BE A CONCERN
WEDNESDAY-FRIDAY WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF COASTAL FLOOD ISSUES IF
STRONG WINDS MATERIALIZE. MAIN CHANGE TO THE FORECAST WAS TO
INCREASE POPS TONIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT.
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Quoting seflagamma:
Good morning,

Well, the rain has started in my area; already had a good rain shower this morning and I am sure more to come.

I live in Broward, just a little NW of Ft Lauderdale.

The local mets have now been hyping the flooding we will get today and tomorrow.

We are flat and our water tables are already high and our drainage canals are full ...so we will flood... it takes several days to drain the water out to the ocean.

Will be checking in and out as I can today.

they (SFWMD) can easily drop those canal levels if need be
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Ahhhh, yes, and now the sound of thunder in the distant...heading my way. First of rains today. And, of course, looks like it will hit just as I am ready to walk out to the car to go to work. Everyone stay dry and safe today. I will be lurking, watching and fussing all day today. Hoping it stays small and my electricity stays on!!!!
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Ouch!! Think they've underestimated this one, and placed estimated center too far NW lloks like caymans are right in the middle of it
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Morning Gams!

Yep, looks like another cell moving toward you all now.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
We really need to be vigilant on this one because of the angle it is coming from. This is one that will affect all 3 islands.


Agree. Hope your Grandson feels better. Here's a link for Pico San Juan, Cuba radar
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Quoting KoritheMan:


I could be wrong, but something tells me that if it was anyone other than Stewart, a special TWO wouldn't have been issued.
LOL.... was thinkin' the same thing... Now it makes me wonder if they are thinking TS at 8 a.m.

I haven't looked at sat pics or radar recently, but last view I had didn't make me think Nicole was THAT imminent....
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Good morning,

Well, the rain has started in my area; already had a good rain shower this morning and I am sure more to come.

I live in Broward, just a little NW of Ft Lauderdale.

The local mets have now been hyping the flooding we will get today and tomorrow.

We are flat and our water tables are already high and our drainage canals are full ...so we will flood... it takes several days to drain the water out to the ocean.

Will be checking in and out as I can today.

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Quoting hurricanecrab:
StormwatcherCI:

Quote function not working for me this morning. 3" is a lot for you all over there in GC. I'd hate to be driving there today. Any word of flooding? I can't pick up anything on the radio when it's this stormy.
I have not heard anything yet but with this non-stop rain I am sure there is some flooding. I am not even sending my grandson to school today since he has severe allergies and the schools are the first place that flood.Link

Here is a good link for Crown Weather.

We really need to be vigilant on this one because of the angle it is coming from. This is one that will affect all 3 islands.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Assuming Nicole will be born today--and I don't think that's a wild assumption at this point--that would be 12 named storms during August and September. That hasn't happened during the current "active" period (1995 through now); the average over that span has been 8.1, and the maximum--11--has happened three times (2000, 2002, and 2004). (FWIW, 2005 had just ten in that two-month span, as did the hyperactive 1933 season.) Anyway, because I'm a weather nerd interested in such things, I'm looking to see how often twelve or more Aug/Sep storms have happened in the past. I'm sure it has, but I would imagine it's a fairly rare thing...


I don't believe it ever has.

(That we know of).
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2484. surfmom
Quoting gordydunnot:
Counter clock wise surfmom get the to Melbourne, Daytona area. You've got to wait 36 to 48 hrs.IMO

ahhhYES!!! I get it now -- WHACKS HEAD -- I should have this down by now - counter clock wise arghhhh - Daytona Hun??? Got (((son))) in Embry-Riddle/Daytona.. geeze if I could get away, Waves & SON -- may have present this to hubby-boss
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While convection looks great, I don't see a COC. Am I missing something?
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Quoting aquak9:


Whoa Nea, I disagree. Ok I agreee w/the first 12 hours of your watches areas, but I believe TD/TS will go far enough east....ik they MIGHT put up those warnings, they did with Floyd(yes I know, this is NO Floyd) they may put up those warnings as a precautionary measure but I doubt it.

Thinking this will all be quite a bit EAST of us, here on Fla's east coast.

surfmom, no waves for you. :(

work calls-


Hey, good morning. Well, I did say it depended on what Nicole does--that is, whether she forms, how strong she becomes, and where she goes. I know the NHC has to walk a fine line between over- and under-warning, so it's sometimes difficult to guess what they'll do in a a given situation.
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2480. surfmom
debating whether I should stall planting my veggie garden seeds (today's lunch break task) thinking too much rain will drown seedlings or equal rotten seeds - 96L plus Framer's Almanac advice are giving me reason to hold off for a few days - decisions, decisions

Hens are happy w/cooler temps.... ladies are back to dropping eggs every morning : )
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StormwatcherCI:

Quote function not working for me this morning. 3" is a lot for you all over there in GC. I'd hate to be driving there today. Any word of flooding? I can't pick up anything on the radio when it's this stormy.
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Assuming Nicole will be born today--and I don't think that's a wild assumption at this point--that would be 12 named storms during August and September. That hasn't happened during the current "active" period (1995 through now); the average over that span has been 8.1, and the maximum--11--has happened three times (2000, 2002, and 2004). (FWIW, 2005 had just ten in that two-month span, as did the hyperactive 1933 season.) Anyway, because I'm a weather nerd interested in such things, I'm looking to see how often twelve or more Aug/Sep storms have happened in the past. I'm sure it has, but I would imagine it's a fairly rare thing...
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it guess the low near the yucatan will start moving once it organizes
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 5009
2476. MahFL
Quoting 34chip:
So where is the center of this storm. Thank you!


Simple...there is no storm yet....wait and see....
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Counter clock wise surfmom get the to Melbourne, Daytona area. You've got to wait 36 to 48 hrs.IMO
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Quoting hurricanecrab:
Rain gauge says 4 1/2 inches so far from 5:00 p.m. last night until now in Cayman Brac. Pressure is 998 and steady since 2:30 a.m.
3.14" here and pressure says 1000mb. Still raining.
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2473. aquak9
Quoting Neapolitan:


My guess: TS watches early today for west coast south of Charlotte Harbor, and east coast south of Daytona. Later today--and depending on what 96L (Nicole) does--those watches will turn in warnings, while the watches will be extended up the west coast to Tampa, and the east coast to Jacksonville. Late tonight/early tomorrow--again, very dependent on what Nicole does (and, yes, I'm making a huge assumption here)--a possible hurricane watch for the previous TS warning area, and maybe even a hurricane warning between, say, Marco on the west and Palm Beach on the east.


Whoa Nea, I disagree. Ok I agreee w/the first 12 hours of your watches areas, but I believe TD/TS will go far enough east....ik they MIGHT put up those warnings, they did with Floyd(yes I know, this is NO Floyd) they may put up those warnings as a precautionary measure but I doubt it.

Thinking this will all be quite a bit EAST of us, here on Fla's east coast.

surfmom, no waves for you. :(

work calls-
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Good morning all. I wake up to MY weather guy stating that we have an 80% chance of a tropical depression or tropical storm forming at "any time today". (Understand my weather guys always say that we don't have to worry and always state the storm will have no impact on Florida..ha ha ha). AND the models have the GFS plot going directly over MY house! What a way to start the day! Gonna need lots and lots and lots of coffee (and chocolate). Gonna be a wet one for sure in S FL for the next couple of days!
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WIDE awake now! Np fires, more coffee. Is NE Fla (Saint Augustine) likley to get much out of the big red circle soon to be a tropical storm if not already. I know it aint nuthin untill the NHC says its somethiong.
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Quoting surfmom:
Aislinn - I hear you - for me it's also the dark mornings...guess it's going to be time to change the clocks soon


Too true. I tend to wake with the sun, no matter what time I go to bed. The kids looked up the time change, I think they said 7 November. Cold and dark equals deep sleep.
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Rain gauge says 4 1/2 inches so far from 5:00 p.m. last night until now in Cayman Brac. Pressure is 998 and steady since 2:30 a.m.
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Sorry, that was supposed to quote Autistic2. Glares at second cup of coffee which apparently isn't working much better than the first one...
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2467. surfmom
Aislinn - I hear you - for me it's also the dark mornings...guess it's going to be time to change the clocks soon
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I don't think system will move much today, slow NE then tomorrow deepest part of trof goes by and storm heads nne.
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Quoting aislinnpaps:
How much rain have you guys had with all this?


I had that happen when I lived in Kansas. It was a small electrical fire from my doorbell, luckily it was very small and went out on its own right after setting off the alarms at 3 am.
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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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