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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I'm soo embarrassed for what has become of the Weather Channel this year. Very low budget and amatuer.
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Quoting sunlinepr:
Man, I'm really worried here in London, when will it arrive, what cat???


6
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
LMAO all models shifted back east
Classic windshield-wiper forecast.
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DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 1100 PM EDT...0300 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL DEPRESSION
SIXTEEN WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 21.9 NORTH...LONGITUDE 81.9 WEST.
THE DEPRESSION IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHEAST NEAR 8 MPH...13
KM/HR...AND THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE WITH AN
INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED DURING THE NEXT 24 TO 36 HOURS. ON THE
FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF THE TROPICAL CYCLONE WILL CROSS CUBA
TONIGHT AND BE NEAR OR OVER SOUTHEASTERN FLORIDA BY WEDNESDAY
EVENING.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 35 MPH...55 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS...MAINLY IN BANDS WELL TO THE EAST AND SOUTHEAST OF THE
CENTER. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 12 TO 24
HOURS AND THE DEPRESSION IS EXPECTED TO BECOME A TROPICAL STORM
TONIGHT OR WEDNESDAY...BEFORE MERGING WITH A FRONTAL ZONE ON
THURSDAY.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 997 MB...29.44 INCHES.

Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting Hurricanes101:
LMAO all models shifted back east

Yep no surprise there
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1579. pottery
Quoting williamdw40:


Hello All, first post on this blog, heavy rain here in Kingston Jamaica, much worse in the western section of the island, power outages and some flooding reported.

Kingston doppler radar

http://www.metservice.gov.jm/radarpage2.asp


Good to see you.
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I'm going to guess and say this will make landfall at Southport/Brunswick County,NC after passing Florida. Again, just guessing...
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A friend slipped due to the rain in miami. He sprained his wrist. First known casualty!
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Man, I'm really worried here in London, when will it arrive, what cat???

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1575. DDR
Quoting weatherwatcher12:

Link

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


Recognize the pattern?
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 856
that is what they say now but of course they will flip flop back and forth
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Quoting kimoskee:
I don't have a weather station (PS3 got more votes in the family vote) but the hot tub is full again from constant rain all day - will have to lower the water level again tomorow.

News of landslides and flooding on both tv stations.

As I type start of another heavy downpour...



Kingston 8, Jamaica -
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ha ha very funny
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Sorry Whammy
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


whats wrong with your radar?

It does one hour intervals on that view, the 180 km should be smoother. It also chips out sometimes.
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LMAO all models shifted back east
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7338
Quoting sammywammybamy:


Hey Zoo, South East Palm Beach County (Boca Raton) Its Okay im not a Rich Snob!

Anyway, I Believe this will be slightly more of an event then Bonnie.

Zoomiami, is your name zoomiami because you live in south west miami near the turnpike extension where the zoo is?

Thats where andrew hit..

just asking.


No the name has to do with the fact that our house is nicknamed "the zoo". I do happen to live close to metro zoo, now zoo miami. lol

We were here during Andrew, our office was and is in Homestead, our home in Kendall. Got hit on both sides. Some days going down Campbell drive, I get flashbacks of the army vehicles with the soldiers and their guns running up and down the street.
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1566. MahFL
Does anyone think TD16 won't be moving NNE as fast as the NHC is currently saying ?
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REAL HARD TO SAY EXACTLY WHERE CENTER IS, COULD BE JUST EAST OF ISLE OF YOUTH CUBA LOL
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Quoting weatherwatcher12:

Link


whats wrong with your radar?
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Quoting pottery:

None that I have seen.
Cant find a weather station in West Jamaica myself..

anyone????


Hello All, first post on this blog, heavy rain here in Kingston Jamaica, much worse in the western section of the island, power outages and some flooding reported.

Kingston doppler radar

http://www.metservice.gov.jm/radarpage2.asp

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Quoting kshipre1:
thanks. I heard this is the next system to track west then curve up and hit western florida. is that what you heard?

Yes, that is what the lovely computer models show :O)!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting foggymyst:
Think I should stock up in floaties for my lil ones at school..


go figure -- when you all have to swim them to the buses.
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I'm telling you guys Tampa Bay area schools should close tomorrow!
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Quoting DDR:
does jamaica have radar?

Link
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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?
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thanks. I heard this is the next system to track west then curve up and hit western florida. is that what you heard?
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


"Officials from Palm Beach County, Martin County, and St. Lucie County School Districts have decided to keep schools open for Wednesday. All schools will operate at normal hours. Bus routes including Palm Tran will run on normal operating hours as well."

Cue Crying.


LOL!
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 856
Quoting DDR:
does jamaica have radar?

Yes, see link:
Link
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
1553. bird72
Lol to the teens wishing school canceling tomorrow.....lollll!
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
The question of the night is apparently "Are the schools closed? lol..I hope, wherever you are, that you get a last minute reprieve from the governor(school board) and you get that school close at 11. SC at 11!! I'm glad that's the question of the night....though I'm concerned about heavy rains in the mountains of Jamaica.

In Jamaica there have already been reports of landslides and flooding. Thankfully I haven't heard of any deaths. Source- Jamaica Observer
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Quoting kshipre1:
is that yellow circle out in the atlantic potential Otto?

yeah nhc was giving it 10% earlier I wonder if they raised it.
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1546. Grothar
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1545. DDR
does jamaica have radar?
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Quoting kshipre1:
is that yellow circle out in the atlantic potential Otto?

Either Otto or the "P" storm. The recent models call for Otto to form in a few days from the W Caribbean and they develop that tropical wave also.

Stay turned "As the Tropical Cyclone Turns", sponsored by "La Nina" and a "Juicy Atlantic/Caribbean Sea"!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
1543. pottery
Quoting Orcasystems:


Good evening Sir... I see you have company coming still.

Yep.
And she looks quite Attractive from here....
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I SHOULD SAY EXPAND THAT RADAR VIEW
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Quoting goofyrider:
Sea level Pressure

Ships in the vicinity of TD 16 were reporting readings above 1000 mb. as late as 12noon. One of these was 1009 mb.

Global Ship Locator (sailwx) see ORCASYSTEMS blog


thats 11 hours ago...
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I don't have a weather station (PS3 got more votes in the family vote) but the hot tub is full again from constant rain all day - will have to lower the water level again tomorow.

News of landslides and flooding on both tv stations.

As I type start of another heavy downpour...

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Just as I thought models move back east
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Quoting A4Guy:
YAWN!!!!!!


I am sorry this is not one of those hurricanes you like to track so much

if you are that bored then why are you here? lol
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7338
The question of the night is apparently "Are the schools closed? lol..I hope, wherever you are, that you get a last minute reprieve from the governor(school board) and you get that school close at 11. SC at 11!! I'm glad that's the question of the night....though I'm concerned about heavy rains in the mountains of Jamaica.
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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.