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 JupiterFL:
I have a 3:45 flight from San Juan to Fort Laudy tomorrow. New poll on the chances of me getting home tomorrow.
1) Great because Spirit doesn't care about dangerous conditions.
2) Good because if I pay a bad weather fee, they will take me.
3) Bad because everyone already changed their flights and they are too cheap to fly a half empty plane.
4) Cancelled because the pilot is too drunk on Medalla and DonQ to fly the plane in rain.
Finally.....a poll that interests me..lol. They're all good possibilities. I'll pick #2...lol
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5608
1234. pottery
Quoting OctaviaStreet:
Here in "North" Hanahan (Otranto), a few moments ago, we began to get the type of rain which droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven. I can hear a bit of thunder too. Unfortunately, I doubt the rain will continueth as gentle and the thunder may well become far more meaningful than sound and fury signifying nothing.

Very Stylish.....
I like it!
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24388
The angry heavens opened up here in Pompano Beach about an hour and a half ago.....buckets of water, thunder, lightning....It seems to have stopped for the moment, but the radar shows another round coming my way. :( I'm going to hate driving through this to work in the morning.
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1232. Patrap
U.S. NEXRAD and TDWR Radar Stations
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1231. nash28
Quoting cat5hurricane:
That's right. You also forgot about ignoring Pat when he posts all those dooms maps and scenarios for you, me, press, and all of us in SC... j/k lol


I can't ignore Pat. He's my bro! We've been here since dirt it seems. Besides, who else is gonna post the radars? LOL!
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1230. OSHNBLU
weather radio sounding...heads up. 6.5 inches of rain 3 miles to my south, rain and lightening all day.

Not scared, prepared.

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Quoting kimoskee:


Heavy constant rain here in my location.

Same here, with a 1002 mb pressure.
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1228. Patrap
ATCF is Loading the 00Z Run Data and will be available shortly.

But I caution all along the path of the TD that effects are already being felt in the form of Tornadoes and possibly Waterspouts along the Fla Se Coast and Up to the NC/SC Border.

Have your NOAA Alert Radios at the ready overnight as it will provide the Warning you may need to seek immediate shelter from a approaching Storm .
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Here in "North" Hanahan (Otranto), a few moments ago, we began to get the type of rain which droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven. I can hear a bit of thunder too. Unfortunately, I doubt the rain will continueth as gentle and the thunder may well become far more meaningful than sound and fury signifying nothing.
Member Since: July 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 41
1225. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:


LMAO, are there any "good options"?


Depends on what time I start drinking.
I guess I better call Jose my garden gnome to move my plants and pool furniture onto the patio.
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1222. Patrap
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1220. pottery
Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:


Evening, Pottery. It's got some trials before it gets to a "happy place". Shear could beat it into submission. But, Orca and Levi, have been talking about it. DOOMCON, still at 5.

OK to that.
I have not checked this evening but earlier there was good rotation in the Upper and Mid levels.

Looks like a nasty evening for Cuba, Jamaica, Florida. Tornados expected? Wow.
Stay safe all...
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24388
1218. nash28
Careful what you wish for gang..

FL is getting the severe wx tonight. Lots of rotation, please be careful and have your wx radios on tonight!

Tomorrow thru Thursday Charleston, SC north thru points N of Wilmington could be looking at areas up to a foot of water..

DO NOT drive through this crap! Turn around. Don't drown!
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Quoting JupiterFL:
I have a 3:45 flight from San Juan to Fort Laudy tomorrow. New poll on the chances of me getting home tomorrow.
1) Great because Spirit doesn't care about dangerous conditions.
2) Good because if I pay a bad weather fee, they will take me.
3) Bad because everyone already changed their flights and they are too cheap to fly a half empty plane.
4) Cancelled because the pilot is too drunk on Medalla and DonQ to fly the plane in rain.


Is there a 5) All the above?
Member Since: September 12, 2010 Posts: 70 Comments: 10822
ATCF says still a TD:

BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_al162010.invest
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201009290038
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
...
AL, 16, 2010092900, , BEST, 0, 214N, 821W, 30, 997, TD, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
I always thought the summer monsoon crated a low over land. the use of that term now seems inappropriate. No one can explain this.
I agree. Monsoons are seasonal cyclical interactions between air masses over land and air masses over water that produce heavy rainfall kind of like the sea breeze does in Florida on a nearly daily basis in the summer months. At least that's my understanding in simplistic terms. Although, I don't mind some coining a new weather term but agree, it should be consistent with current meteorological definitions.
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1213. Patrap
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Quoting JupiterFL:
I have a 3:45 flight from San Juan to Fort Laudy tomorrow. New poll on the chances of me getting home tomorrow.
1) Great because Spirit doesn't care about dangerous conditions.
2) Good because if I pay a bad weather fee, they will take me.
3) Bad because everyone already changed their flights and they are too cheap to fly a half empty plane.
4) Cancelled because the pilot is too drunk on Medalla and DonQ to fly the plane in rain.


LMAO, are there any "good" options?
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
RAINFALL...THE DEPRESSION IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAIN
ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO 10 INCHES OVER THE CAYMAN ISLANDS...
JAMAICA...AND CUBA.
ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 20 INCHES ARE
POSSIBLE OVER THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF CUBA AND JAMAICA. THESE
RAINS COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES.
RAIN ACCUMULATIONS OF 4 TO 8 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE OVER PORTIONS OF
EXTREME SOUTHERN FLORIDA AND THE FLORIDA KEYS.

WIND...TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS WILL BE AFFECTING THE WARNING AREAS
IN THE CARIBBEAN TONIGHT
...AND SPREAD INTO THE BAHAMAS AND PORTIONS
OF SOUTH FLORIDA ON WEDNESDAY.

TORNADOES...ISOLATED TORNADOES ARE POSSIBLE OVER SOUTHEASTERN
FLORIDA AND THE FLORIDA KEYS THROUGH TONIGHT

this sounds bad for us tonight


Heavy constant rain here in my location.
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Quoting spathy:

See what I mean?
How fun!
:0)
Kinda like a preposition is something you dont end a sentence with.
Or a storm season.


Good one ;)
Member Since: June 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 96
Quoting cat5hurricane:
He'll get rain but not the flooding then which is good.


Thanks, that makes me feel better. Even though he was born and raised in Florida, and he can hold his own, a mom always worries about the youngest.
Member Since: September 12, 2010 Posts: 70 Comments: 10822
1207. Patrap
Melbourne, Echo Tops Range 124 NMI

Tops over 54K noted in these BOOMERS.

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TS NURL gaining straingth.
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thanks patrap
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I have a 3:45 flight from San Juan to Fort Laudy tomorrow. New poll on the chances of me getting home tomorrow.
1) Great because Spirit doesn't care about dangerous conditions.
2) Good because if I pay a bad weather fee, they will take me.
3) Bad because everyone already changed their flights and they are too cheap to fly a half empty plane.
4) Cancelled because the pilot is too drunk on Medalla and DonQ to fly the plane in rain.
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Quoting pottery:
Good Evening, all.
Good to see an 'adult' crowd here tonight.

The area east of the Islands is at 10% for development in the next 48 hrs.
I'm not surprised at that. It bears watching in my op.
And Orca says he has been following it since it left Africa.
Based on that, we are all Doom?


Evening, Pottery. It's got some trials before it gets to a "happy place". Shear could beat it into submission. But Orca, and Levi, have been talking about it. DOOMCON, still at 5.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
1200. Patrap
Seek Cover from these Squalls..Lotsa Rotation noted in them as they coming ashore.

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yep we also live in northeastern nc (elizabeth city) we really need more rain i agree free fire wood
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1198. nash28
To all of my former Floridians.. Y'all stay safe tonight and tomorrow.
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1194. Patrap

301
WFUS52 KMLB 290015
TORMLB
FLC009-061-290100-
/O.NEW.KMLB.TO.W.0034.100929T0015Z-100929T0100Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
815 PM EDT TUE SEP 28 2010

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MELBOURNE HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTHEASTERN BREVARD COUNTY IN FLORIDA...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF...PALM BAY...MELBOURNE...MALABAR...
INDIALANTIC...GRANT...BAREFOOT BAY...
NORTHEASTERN INDIAN RIVER COUNTY IN FLORIDA...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF...SEBASTIAN INLET...ROSELAND...

* UNTIL 900 PM EDT.

* AT 811 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO APPROACHING
SEBASTIAN INLET...MOVING NORTHWEST AT 20 MPH.

* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO
SEBASTIAN INLET RECREATION...MICCO...WEST MELBOURNE...MELBOURNE
BEACH AND INDIAN HARBOUR BEACH

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

IF IN MOBILE HOMES OR VEHICLES...EVACUATE THEM AND GET INSIDE A
STURDY SHELTER. IF NO SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN THE NEAREST
DITCH OR OTHER LOW SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS.

HEAVY RAINFALL MAY OBSCURE THIS TORNADO. TAKE COVER NOW! IF YOU WAIT
TO SEE OR HEAR IT COMING...IT MAY BE TOO LATE TO GET TO A SAFE PLACE.

THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE DURING A TORNADO IS IN A STRONG BUILDING ON
THE LOWEST FLOOR...IN AN INTERIOR ROOM SUCH AS A BATHROOM OR CLOSET.
KEEP AWAY FROM WINDOWS. GET UNDER A WORKBENCH OR OTHER PIECE OF
STURDY FURNITURE. USE BLANKETS OR PILLOWS TO COVER YOUR BODY.

EVACUATE MOBILE HOMES OR VEHICLES FOR MORE SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER. IF NO
SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN THE NEAREST DITCH OR OTHER LOW
SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS. ABANDON YOUR VEHICLE IF THE
TORNADO IS NEARBY.
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1193. Patrap
Quoting WaterWitch11:
patrap - can you post the radar for NJ?


No relative returns from NJ at this time.

All the action was earlier

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Quoting pilotguy1:


This might be the collapse of LA which has been long predicted by all of us in flyover country that think all things California are not sustainable.


I am surprised that haven't tied the tax rate to the temps yet.
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Quoting jeebsa:
I see a new tornado warning in Vero right now. Interesting evening for sure.


I see that on NWS. Lots of times, being just far north enough from the storm, will give us those rotating T'storms. Hopefully, it's a funnel cloud that doesn't touch down.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
1189. Patrap
NEXRAD Radar
Melbourne, Storm Total Surface Rainfall Accumulation Range 124 NMI


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1188. GoWVU
Quoting cat5hurricane:
The latest HPC runs were not pretty...virtually much showed Market Street as the bulls-eye. Gonna need jet-ski's & row-boats to navigate. I just find it so goofy that all of September was BONE DRY and now we get this deluge all of a sudden. Funny how mother nature works.


I know what you mean I have been watching my lawn fry and complain about it. Now my wife is telling me be careful what you wish for. I have a bad feeling it might be real ugly here in the Charleston area this time tomorrow evening.
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patrap - can you post the radar for NJ?
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1186. pottery
Good Evening, all.
Good to see an 'adult' crowd here tonight.

The area east of the Islands is at 10% for development in the next 48 hrs.
I'm not surprised at that. It bears watching in my op.
And Orca says he has been following it since it left Africa.
Based on that, we are all Doom?
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24388

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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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