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 OracleDeAtlantis:
It's pretty amazing when you look at all the buoy data coming in across the Caribbean. They're all showing declining pressure. Which means this thing is still winding up for the pitch.


also look at wind directions at observation points shows a very broad circulation still in the area
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1634. Seastep
Quoting Saltydogbwi1:


could be what the models were picking up on a few days ago that once the first system exits north another forms in this area


Yep. Definitely could be the beginnings of that.

Don't ever recall seeing it happen so close together, but also don't recall models doing it either.
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
1633. pottery
Quoting CaptnDan142:


The inspiration for that post is sitting just to the left of my keyboard. Guess it gave me a speed boost.

LOL.
Glorious Inspiration.
I think I'll join you, and see what happens next...
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It's pretty amazing when you look at all the buoy data coming in across the Caribbean. They're all showing declining pressure. Which means this thing is still winding up for the pitch.
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Quoting Grothar:
The center is beginning to tighten up and wrap a little more convection. Don't look at the big blob, look at the center



Yeah its trying to fire em but they getting sheared and thinned out, I was hoping to.
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1629. JLPR2
Plain east winds, no such thing as a circulation.
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1628. MahFL
Oh....multiple centers....I am going to stop looking for one then, lol.
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Quoting Nateball:


For what? A little bit of rain.
4.48" in Grand Cayman today. Yesterday was 2.38". Winds are picking up here now and raining real hard again.
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1626. tkeith
Cosmic mentioned "antcasting" earlier...anyone seen any "Arks" being built?

Arkcasting...
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Quoting pottery:

Now, why did'nt I not think of that one???


The inspiration for that post is sitting just to the left of my keyboard. Guess it gave me a speed boost.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 856
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
I see several spins one at 22.2N 81.5W another at 20N 83W another looks to be at 18.5N 80.9W/81.0W the one at 22.2N 81.5W and the one at 18.5W 80.9W/81.0W looks to be the strongest ones maybe the one at 18N being stronger


could be what the models were picking up on a few days ago that once the first system exits north another forms in this area
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
I'm telling you guys Tampa Bay area schools should close tomorrow!


For what? A little bit of rain.
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1621. will40
Quoting Hurricanes101:
LMAO all models shifted back east


yea but whatever is left of this thingy is still west of me.
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Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:

Oh, there's no doubt about it. This thing is popping a new vent.
THERE ARE MULTIPLE LOW-LEVEL CLOUD SWIRLS PRESENT...AND THE CENTER
APPEARS TO RE-FORM FROM TIME TO TIME.
This is why everyone is having such a difficult time finding the coc.
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1619. leo305
the "center" is spinning towards the south east now, as I expected...

now it will spin towards the eat and blow up with convection.. it's already beginning to start.. it's spinning around a broader circulation which is causing it to spin around.. look slike it's going to be over water most of the day to day, either that or the center re develops over western cuba as friction allows it/another weaker spin to get a little tighter..
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1618. Grothar
The center is beginning to tighten up and wrap a little more convection. Don't look at the big blob, look at the center



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1617. 7544
hey all does anyone know if that big red ball now south of cuba will
move north ne over se fla or will that area go east . imo if we are watching the big red ball it could be bad if not then might less effects tia
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1616. bird72
Quoting GTcooliebai:

Nope uh uhh, lol u wanna know why?


Hurricane winds?????????? nahhh
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Quoting CaptnDan142:


Recognize the pattern?


Yes Sir, Captain. Just trying to elicit some revealing info. You're on top of things.
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1614. pottery
Quoting CaptnDan142:


Hold on a minute! Danger of contamination???

I know it isn't much, but I have a bit of room here, if they need to store anything in an area that is safe from the contamination. I could take few casks. Not much, I know, but every little bit helps.

Now, why did'nt I not think of that one???
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1613. Seastep
Quoting Hurricanes101:
LMAO all models shifted back east


Exactly why NHC is slow to adjust to a model shift. They don't bite on the first one.
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
Good night all. Hopefully tomorrow will be a lot drier.

Kingston 8
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1611. MahFL
NHC has TD16 on the Cuban south coast.
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Quoting bird72:


You going to have it also, le lo le lo...:p

Nope uh uhh, lol u wanna know why?
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I see several spins one at 22.2N 81.5W another at 20N 83W another looks to be at 18.5N 80.9W/81.0W the one at 22.2N 81.5W and the one at 18.5W 80.9W/81.0W looks to be the strongest ones maybe the one at 18N being stronger
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Quoting JLPR2:


CATL mess
I wonder where will this area consolidate at last?
Or maybe it wont even do that.
my vote is for nowhere, no development from this.
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UNLESS THE STRUCTURE CHANGES RADICALLY IN THE NEXT 12-24 HOURS...IT
IS LIKELY THAT THERE WILL CONTINUE TO BE A LARGE AREA OF LIGHT
WINDS NEAR THE CENTER. THE STRONGEST WINDS SHOULD OCCUR IN AREAS
WELL TO THE EAST OF THE FORECAST TRACK.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 29/0300Z 21.9N 81.9W 30 KT
12HR VT 29/1200Z 23.3N 81.2W 35 KT
24HR VT 30/0000Z 26.3N 80.2W 40 KT
36HR VT 30/1200Z 30.6N 79.3W 40 KT...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
48HR VT 01/0000Z 36.3N 78.0W 35 KT...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
72HR VT 02/0000Z...ABSORBED BY EXTRATROPICAL LOW

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN
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Quoting pottery:

You should be fine.
Tell your friends in Scotland to close the Distilleries though.
All the Highland water will be poluted with nasty rains from down here...


Hold on a minute! Danger of contamination???

I know it isn't much, but I have a bit of room here, if they need to store anything in an area that is safe from the contamination. I could take few casks. Not much, I know, but every little bit helps.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 856
1605. bird72
Quoting GTcooliebai:

Not where I'm at. :p


You going to have it also, le lo le lo...:p
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Quoting StormFreakyisher:
For some reason I think that too. The second COC could be near Jamaica however if it is then it would certainly miss the CONUS, right?


It could hit farther north, but I agree, it would mean a shift east.
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1602. JLPR2


CATL mess
I wonder where will this area consolidate at last?
Or maybe it wont even do that.
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I'm out for this evening. Looks like more heavy rain off and on tonight.

See you all tomorrow.
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1600. bird72
Quoting sammywammybamy:


Im Going to Designated you as:

Homewishcaster

Enjoy your Free REEDZONE MODELS OF DOOM.


And yor designation is the schoolcaster..jajaja:p
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Quoting bird72:


But not tomorrow. Tomorrow is schoolllll time, schoolllll time, time, time, ja ja ja ja.:p

Not where I'm at. :p
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Quoting HurricaneKing:
Link

I see two spins on this loop. One looks like the llc at aroung 20n 83w diving se toward the convection. The other looking like a mlc at around 22n 81w. I think this may be having vertical stacking issues.

Oh, there's no doubt about it. This thing is popping a new vent.
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Quoting Proflaw:


Yes, people drown by driving into canals, but not because of flooding; they drive into canals because blinding rain has obscured their vision, because they are distracted, because they are drunk, because they lose control of their cars for a host of other reasons, but not because of flooding.

Difficult though it may be, think for a moment. Flooded roads slow a car's momentum and stall its engine; they do not cause it to accelerate into a canal.

Floods lead to intersection drowning deaths in most parts of the country, but not here.


Perhaps I'm splitting a hair here but last month a local driver drove into a flooded drainage pond, apparently mistaking it for the parking lot surface she was supposed to drive on. It was night time and there were streetlights but the pond was full to the brim because of flooding rains. With street lights shining on a body of water in the dark, it looks very much like a wet asphalt surface. It's flat here too but flooding does occur. A woman dies after driving her car into a flooded North Charleston retention pond
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1594. pottery
Quoting sunlinepr:
Man, I'm really worried here in London, when will it arrive, what cat???


You should be fine.
Tell your friends in Scotland to close the Distilleries though.
All the Highland water will be poluted with nasty rains from down here...
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1593. bird72
Quoting sammywammybamy:


You do know and they mention this on the Weather Channel "IT COULD HAPPEN TOMMOROW" that if Andrew had a wider windfeild and made landfall north. The damage and loss of life would have been tripled.

Sadly i think we will see another Major Hurricane make landfall on south florida in our life times.


But not tomorrow. Tomorrow is schoolllll time, schoolllll time, time, time, ja ja ja ja.:p
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1592. Ron5244
Quoting sammywammybamy:


You do know and they mention this on the Weather Channel "IT COULD HAPPEN TOMMOROW" that if Andrew had a wider windfeild and made landfall north. The damage and loss of life would have been tripled.

Sadly i think we will see another Major Hurricane make landfall on south florida in our life times.


No doubt. Imagine a hurricane the size of Frances with the magnitude of Andrew...
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Wind Direction (WDIR): SE ( 140 deg true )
Wind Speed (WSPD): 23.3 kts
Wind Gust (GST): 29.1 kts
Wave Height (WVHT): 5.6 ft
Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 6 sec
Average Period (APD): 4.6 sec
Mean Wave Direction (MWD): ESE ( 104 deg true )
Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.73 in
Pressure Tendency (PTDY): +0.06 in ( Rising )
Air Temperature (ATMP): 79.7 °F
Water Temperature (WTMP): 83.7 °F
Salinity (SAL): 35.38 psu
Dew Point (DEWP): 70.9 °F
Heat Index (HEAT): 82.9 °F
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TROPICAL DEPRESSION SIXTEEN DISCUSSION NUMBER 3
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL162010
1100 PM EDT TUE SEP 28 2010

TROPICAL DEPRESSION SIXTEEN CONTINUES TO HAVE A STRUCTURE MORE CHARACTERISTIC OF A WESTERN NORTH PACIFIC/NORTH INDIAN OCEAN MONSOON DEPRESSION...

11 pm NHC discussion

Add: Goodnight, all!
(Well, the link's not working but you all know where to find it. lol)
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I dont see the circulation.
Still a TD imho
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Quoting DDR:

Thanks
looks like western Ja getting alot of rain
stay safe out there

No problem, coming down really heavily now.
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I'm soo embarrassed for what has become of the Weather Channel this year. Very low budget and amatuer.
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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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