TD 16 organizing; Mexican landslide kills hundreds; hottest day ever in Los Angeles

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:25 PM GMT on September 28, 2010

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The large area of low pressure centered just south of Cuba's Isle of Youth has developed enough of a well-defined circulation to be classified as Tropical Depression Sixteen, and is likely to become Tropical Storm Nicole by Wednesday. The depression has a very broad center, with little heavy thunderstorm activity near the center, and is this very dissimilar to the usual types of tropical depressions we see in the Atlantic. The large size, broad center, and lack of heavy thunderstorm activity near the center of TD 16 will limit the storm's ability to rapidly intensify. TD 16 resembles the "monsoon depressions" common in India's Bay of Bengal or the Western Pacific. A monsoon depression is similar to a regular tropical depression in the winds that it generates--about 30 - 35 mph near the outer edges (and usually stronger on the eastern side of the circulation.) Monsoon depressions have large, calm centers, and can evolve into regular tropical storms, if given enough time over water to develop a tight, closed circulation. Today's monsoon-like depression in the Caribbean was able to form because the atmospheric flow pattern of the Eastern Pacific has shifted eastwards into the Western Caribbean, bringing in the Eastern Pacific ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone, a region of converging surface winds that creates a band of strong thunderstorms). This unusual flow pattern is forecast to remain in place for at least the next ten days.

An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft has been flying at 700 feet in TD 16 since 1:30pm EDT, and has thus far found a central pressure of 999 mb. The strongest winds at flight level seen as of 3:20pm EDT were 32 mph, located about 100 miles east of the center of TD 16. Surface observations show that the strongest winds at any surface station continue to be at Buoy 42057, several hundred miles to the southeast of TD 16's center. Winds were 27 mph, gusting to 34 mph at 2:43pm EDT this afternoon. Rotation of TD 16 can be seen on radar loops out of Pico San Juan, Cuba, and well as satellite imagery. The heavy thunderstorms are currently quite disorganized, but a curved band is beginning to wrap around the north side of the center, signaling that TD 16 is growing more organized. TD 16 has brought torrential rains to the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Cuba, and Honduras today.


Figure 1. Radar-estimated precipitation for South Florida and Cuba. TD 16 has brought 2 - 4 inches of rains to the region.

Forecast for TD 16
Because TD 16 is so large, it will take more time than a typical depression for it to spin up into a strong tropical storm. Given that the steering currents are expected to pull TD 16 north-northeastwards over Cuba and into South Florida and the western Bahamas on Wednesday, the storm lacks sufficient time over water to be any stronger than a 50 mph tropical storm for Florida. TD 16 is organizing pretty slowly this afternoon, and I think the top winds in Southeast Florida are most likely to be in the 25 - 35 mph range on Wednesday. Winds are likely to be stronger in the western Bahamas, perhaps 30 - 40 mph, since they will be in the stronger right front quadrant of the storm. By the time TD 16 makes landfall in South Carolina or North Carolina on Thursday morning, it could be as strong as a 50 - 60 mph tropical storm. However, wind shear will increase sharply on Thursday as TD 16 gets caught in an upper-level trough of low pressure, and NHC is giving TD 16 only a 9% chance of making it to hurricane strength before it becomes an extratropical storm on Thursday. The primary danger from TD 16 is not wind, but heavy rainfall. A potent upper-level low and stationary front over the U.S. East Coast have been pulling moist, tropical air from the Caribbean northwards over the past few days, bringing heavy rains that have saturated the soils. This is called a Predecessor Rain Event, or PRE, since it comes in advance of the actual rain shield of the storm. (A PRE from Hurricane Karl brought southern Wisconsin the heavy rain that caused the levee on the Wisconsin River to fail yesterday.) Wilmington, NC received 10.33 inches of rain yesterday, its second greatest one-day rainfall since record keeping began in 1871. Only the 13.38" that fell during Hurricane Floyd on September 15, 1999 beat yesterday's rainfall total. With TD 16 expected to bring another 6 - 8 inches of rain to the region later this week, serious flooding is likely, and flash flood watches are posted for the North Carolina/ South Carolina border region. South Florida is also under a flood watch, for 3 - 5 inches of rain. Flooding rains of similar magnitude can also be expected in Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and the Western Bahamas through Wednesday night. Both the GFDL and HWRF models are predicting that TD 16 will dump rains in excess of eight inches along narrow portions of its path in eastern Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina.


Figure 2. Forecast precipitation for the 5-day period from 8am today through 8am EDT Sunday, October 3, 2010. Image credit: NOAA Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.

Up to 1,000 feared dead in Mexican landslide
Mexico has taken the brunt of the devastation from the hurricane season of 2010, thanks to the landfalls of this year's two deadliest and most damaging storms, Hurricanes Alex and Karl. But Mexico's worst blow yet hit this morning, when heavy rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Matthew triggered a landslide in Mexico's mountainous Oaxaca state that buried as many as 1,000 people in Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec, a town of 9,000. Rescuers have not reached the area yet, but hundreds are feared dead in the 300 homes that were buried by the early morning landslide. Matthew hit Belize on Saturday as a minimal tropical storm with 40 mph winds, and dissipated Sunday over southern Mexico. However, Matthew's remains stalled out over the region of Mexico that had already received torrential rains from Hurricane Karl, which hit on September 18. Satellite estimates of Matthew's rains over southern Mexico (Figure 3) show that a foot of rain may have fallen in the landslide area. Matthew's remains still linger over the region, but are probably only capable of bringing 1 - 2 inches of additional rain through Thursday.


Figure 3. Satellite-estimated rainfall for the five-day period ending at 8pm EDT Monday September 27, 2010. The dark green colors show where rainfall amounts of 300 mm (about 12 inches) fell, due to the remnants of Tropical Storm Matthew. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Elsewhere in the tropics
Once TD 16 moves out of the Caribbean, the GFS model predicts that the Western Caribbean will "reload" and produce another tropical disturbance capable of developing into a tropical depression early next week. The GFS also predicts a tropical or subtropical storm will form over the Bahamas late this week, and move north-northeast along the U.S. East Coast, missing hitting land. The NOGAPS model hints at the Bahamas storm, and also predicts development of a tropical wave a few hundred miles northeast of the Lesser Antilles Islands, about a week from now.

Hottest day in Los Angeles history
The mercury hit a blistering 113°F (45.0°C) at 12:15 pm PDT yesterday in downtown Los Angeles, making it the hottest day in Los Angeles history. It may have gotten hotter, but the thermometer broke shortly after the record high was set. The previous record in Los Angeles was 112°F set on June 26, 1990; records go back to 1877. Nearby Long Beach tied its hottest all-time temperature yesterday, with a scorching 111°F. And Christopher C. Burt, our new featured blogger on weather records, pointed out to me that a station in the foothills at 1260' elevation near Beverly Hills owned by the Los Angeles Fire Department hit 119°F yesterday--the hottest temperature ever measured in the Los Angeles area, tying the 119°F reading from Woodland Hills on July 22, 2006. Yesterday's record heat was caused by an unusually large and intense upper-level high pressure system centered over Nevada that generated winds blowing from the land to the ocean, keeping the ocean from exerting its usual cooling influence. Remarkably, Los Angeles had its second coldest summer on record this year, and temperatures just five days ago were some the coldest September temperatures in the region for the past 50 years.

The remarkable summer of 2010
Wunderground is pleased to welcome a new featured blogger--weather historian Christopher C. Burt. Chris is a leading expert in the U.S. on weather records, and is author of the world's most popular weather records book published to date, Extreme Weather: A Guide and Record Book. He's spent a lifetime collaborating with like-minded individuals from around the world, and no one--including official sources such as the National Climatic Data Center and the National Extremes Committee--has done as thorough a job correlating the various weather records available and determining the most accurate extreme values of such. Each month he'll be reporting on the notable records for heat, cold, and precipitation set world-wide, and his first post takes a look at the remarkable summer of 2010. It's great to have someone like Chris who stays on top of weather extremes, and I hope you'll pay a visit to his blog and welcome him to the wunderground site!

"Hurricane Haven" airing this afternoon
My live Internet radio show, "Hurricane Haven", will be airing again today at 4pm EDT. The call in number is 415-983-2634, or you can post a question to broadcast@wunderground.com. Be sure to include "Hurricane Haven question" in the subject line.

Today's show will be about 30 minutes, and you can tune in at http://www.wunderground.com/wxradio/wubroadcast.h tml. The show will be recorded and stored as a podcast.

I'll have updates as the situation with TD 16 requires.

Jeff Masters

Alone again, naturally (ftogrf)
Lonely Seagull, as a storm associated with TD 16 is approaching.
Alone again, naturally

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Quoting reedzone:
I see a nice circulation in convection just WNW of Jamaica. I feel a center relocation possibly coming..



Well - at this point the NHC doesn't see it that way. They just now moved the floater and took Jamaica and the area west of them completely off the floater, shifting the view more centered over the straits.
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Live on the SW coast of FL. I can almost here the frogs chirpin from all the rain on the east side. Non stop for at least 8 hrs!
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2083. leo305
Quoting reedzone:
I see a circulation of deep convection around 19N 81W


that could be the old LLC that was spinning around the current center towards the highest area of convergence...

I guess its possible it could be trying to become dominant again..
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
Uncontaminated 40 & 41 mph winds found...should be Nicole at 5 i'm guessing?

Is it possible the circulation near jamaica will become its own separate system? They are getting pretty far from eachother...
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Pressures all thru the Keys are 29.50 or less and falling.
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Next one!
Quoting reedzone:
I see a circulation of deep convection around 19N 81W
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I see a circulation of deep convection around 19N 81W
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Seems that the center about 100 miles due south of KW may win.
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2077. mbjjm
The two blobs could be consolidating to one center
Member Since: August 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 310
I see a nice circulation in convection just WNW of Jamaica. I feel a center relocation possibly coming..

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What I find that is interesting, we can see the center on radar now, all the die hards bailed! Must have went to their face book app!
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Good Night and may fair winds be at your back.
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xcool?
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2072. mbjjm
Western Cuba obs also 998mb, It is one large area of uniform low pressure
Member Since: August 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 310
2071. JLPR2
Well I'm out, see you all tomorrow.
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Totally agree! Wonder map radar shows it !
Quoting barotropic:


That would be the centerI have been pointing out as seen on SW loop...north of cuba coast...
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Big Pine Key 33042. Just under 995mb. May be suspect but it has been hanging there all night.
Key west, 999mb.
Marathon, 998.6mb.
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Time: 06:52:30Z
Coordinates: 24.0N 79.7W
Acft. Static Air Press: 811.9 mb (~ 23.98 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,811 meters (~ 5,942 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1001.4 mb (~ 29.57 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 149° at 33 knots (From the SSE at ~ 37.9 mph)
Air Temp: 14.1°C (~ 57.4°F)
Dew Pt: 10.1°C (~ 50.2°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 35 knots (~ 40.2 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 33 knots (~ 37.9 mph)

SFMR Rain Rate: 1 mm/hr (~ 0.04 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data

should see Nicole at 5
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2067. JLPR2
Quoting traumaboyy:


aint killed nobody yet...must be doing good!!

good...
*Whistles*
LOL!
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Quoting ChillinInTheKeys:
I would think that this is currently the center, just south of the convection.



That would be the centerI have been pointing out as seen on SW loop...north of cuba coast...
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2065. mbjjm
some obs from the Keys reporting 999mb
Member Since: August 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 310
Quoting ChillinInTheKeys:
I would think that this is currently the center, just south of the convection.

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Quoting victoriahurricane:
Trying to find the center of TD 16 is like trying to play pin the tail on the donkey while drunk, in short it doesn't work too well.


You are right because there is clearly a vortice at 23.9N 80.4W and one at 23.3 and 82.6 and according to post 2051 vabeach - the winds were still out of the east near the isle of pines just one hour ago......should be west if center is over cuba...
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I would think that this is currently the center, just south of the convection.

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I have not seen the Sun for 3 days now. This monsoon-like rain continues to pour down on us here in Jamaica. The wind is gusting outside my house. Gustav was however much more frightening. This too shall pass.
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2060. JLPR2
EURO takes a little longer to develop the CATL disturbance with unpleasant results for PR but we all know this will change. :D

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Time: 06:41:30Z
Coordinates: 23.9667N 79.0W
Acft. Static Air Press: 812.2 mb (~ 23.98 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,811 meters (~ 5,942 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1003.1 mb (~ 29.62 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 156° at 41 knots (From the SSE at ~ 47.1 mph)
Air Temp: 12.8°C (~ 55.0°F)
Dew Pt: 9.4°C (~ 48.9°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 44 knots (~ 50.6 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 33 knots* (~ 37.9 mph*)
SFMR Rain Rate: 25 mm/hr* (~ 0.98 in/hr*)
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black and white water vapor pretty amazing part of the system seems to be moving north
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29.38 in(Falling), Lower Keys Zip 33042.
29.53 in(Falling), Key West.
29.49 in(Rising), Marathon.
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Time: 06:27:00Z
Coordinates: 23.2N 79.15W
Acft. Static Air Press: 812.3 mb (~ 23.99 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,812 meters (~ 5,945 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1002.3 mb (~ 29.60 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 152° at 40 knots (From the SSE at ~ 46.0 mph)
Air Temp: 14.3°C (~ 57.7°F)
Dew Pt: 7.3°C (~ 45.1°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 40 knots (~ 46.0 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 29 knots (~ 33.3 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 6 mm/hr (~ 0.24 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data
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Trying to find the center of TD 16 is like trying to play pin the tail on the donkey while drunk, in short it doesn't work too well.
Member Since: October 16, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 544
2053. mbjjm
Quoting barotropic:


The center is now completely over water north of cuba


no, It is over Cuba, near Union de Reyes.
22.7°N 81.6°W
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2052. xcool
SWS = 29 KTS
TURN POINT
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Quoting barotropic:


The center is now completely over water north of cuba




you can see by wind obs it is not, all east winds over cuba, updated an hour ago.
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Boat observations.
Link
I think these need updated.
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2049. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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Quoting leo305:
there are east winds over cuba.. were the "center" is..



The center is now completely over water north of cuba
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Time: 06:20:00Z
Coordinates: 23.1833N 79.5333W
Acft. Static Air Press: 811.7 mb (~ 23.97 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,816 meters (~ 5,958 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1002.0 mb (~ 29.59 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 147 at 36 knots (From the SSE at ~ 41.4 mph)
Air Temp: 14.1C (~ 57.4F)
Dew Pt: 8.8C (~ 47.8F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 37 knots (~ 42.5 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 33 knots (~ 37.9 mph)

SFMR Rain Rate: 4 mm/hr (~ 0.16 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data

TS very likely at 5
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Well "technically", the only area in the US that is officially under federal ownership is DC! The parks and other areas are still owned by their states. Yellowstone has a wide ownership. Not just the Federalies!

Greater Yellowstone Ownership By Category Acres
Private 8,303,216
U.S. Forest Service 11,476,000
National Parks 2,554,000
U.S. Bureau Land Management 2,774,702
Indian Reservation 1,211,035
State Lands 1,175,688
Other Public Protected (state parks) 283,743
Fish and Wildlife Service 69,700
Other Public Lands 22,061
Total 27,870,145

.
Quoting CaptnDan142:


I did say "technically". Geographically located in a state doesn't make it part of the state. Federal land is just that. National Parks, military bases, that kinda thing.
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2045. leo305
there are east winds over cuba.. were the "center" is..

Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753


definite rotation on radar south of cuba
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TropicalDepression16's heading had turned eastward to (3.2degrees north of) NorthNorthEast
from its previous heading of (8.9degrees east of) dueNorth
TD.16's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions was ~19.3mph(~31.1km/h)

Invest96L : NHC-ATCF
28Sep 12pmGMT - - 20.4n83.0w - - 30knots -- 1001mb - - NHC-ATCF
25knots=~28.8mph=46.3km/h __ 30knots=~34.5mph=~55.6km/h
96L becomes TD.16
28Sep 03pmGMT - - 20.6n82.5w - - 35mph - - - 1001mb - - NHC.Adv.#1
28Sep 06pmGMT - - 20.9n82.5w - - 35mph - - - 1000mb - - #1A
28Sep 09pmGMT - - 21.5n82.4w - - 35mph - - - - 999mb - - #2
29Sep 12amGMT - - 21.4n82.0w - - 35mph - - - - 997mb - - #2A
29Sep 03amGMT - - 21.9n81.9w - - 35mph - - - - 997mb - - #3
29Sep 06amGMT - - 22.7n81.6w - - 35mph - - - - 997mb - - #3A
35mph=~56.4km/h

Copy &paste 20.4n83.0w, 20.6n82.5w, 20.9n82.5w-21.5n82.4w, 21.5n82.4w-21.4n82.0w, 21.4n82.0w-21.9n81.9w, 21.9n81.9w-22.7n81.6w, cun, mia, lgi into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the last 12*hours.
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Quoting traumaboyy:


ER nurse humor....sorry kind of dark!!!


Oh that's cool. I am a nursing student. I get the humor. Until someone tries to kill me, lol.
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Quoting mbjjm:
It is one of the biggest myths in avaition that airplanes from certain countries cannot fly over Cuba.

Hundreds of flights from the US fly over Cuba daily to get to places like Jamaica,Caymans, Central and South America


This one can't unless it gets special permission since it is an Air Force aircraft, not a NOAA plane
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Quoting Welling2000:
To: bcycsailor

FYI, The "T'was Brillig..." poem, entitled "Jabberwocky," was written by Lewis Carroll (pen name of Oxford professor Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who also wrote "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Lookinglass").


Thank you for the correction! I realized my mistake just recently but I was called away before I could post. Ogden Nash has been on my mind recently though...some weather related poem I'm trying to recall. It was in the NYTimes xword not too long ago. And, yes Jabberwocky has those two "B's" which was queried earlier. This blog can be amazing with the breadth of knowledge on board.
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Quoting RedStickCasterette:


That's a scary thought, lol.


ER nurse humor....sorry kind of dark!!!
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Seems that the circulation from the radars perspective is coming off the Cuban coast now.
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Quoting traumaboyy:


aint killed nobody yet...must be doing good!!


That's a scary thought, lol.
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Well,,, goodnite blog..... and don't agitate too much the Escape key of your keyboard....

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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.