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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2435. 7544
center may be more south on the next update
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Good morning all. Wet in S FL. Has anyone noticed that the satellite picture of the storm looks like it is making an rude gesture at Florida? (Looks like fingers folded with middle one pointing at FL...LOL)
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Quoting Chicklit:
Hi guten morgan everyone.
Was supposed to drive from New Smyrna Beach to Palm Bay today; rescheduled for tomorrow. Looks like TD16 may stay further east, off the coast. Still don't think it will be very good to be driving in South Brevard today, do you think it will clear up by tomorrow?
WVLoop

I don't blame you. With all the traffic and constuction, mix the rain in and it is going to be a very bad day for commuting here
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Quoting kwgirl:
Didn't you wear your shrimper boots?
LOL yep! Borrowed Cantore's slicker and goggles...He said he didn't need them because this is a "non-event"
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Quoting JRRP:
happy face


Yeah, that or rolling stones...was it eat a peach?
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Quoting reedzone:
If TD16 relocated near the convection, where there is bands and deep storms? What's the NHC smoking? This is a Tropical Storm..


No its not - no wind, too broad. Becoming extra tropical as we speak and will redevelop along the baroclinic boundary off the coast of SC. Its a nor'easter, but starting out in the Caribbean.
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Quoting WxLogic:


Ohh yes... definitely much better by tomorrow.

Thanks, WxLogic. I don't want to be on I-95 north of Viera when something decides to spin up over all that flat wetland.
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2428. afj3
Quoting A4Guy:


Most, if not all, of what mother nature does is beneficial to the earth. Acts of nature are a problem for humans that have built things in her way....but hurricanes serve a several very important purposes: transporting heat out of the tropics, and clearing old trees, foliage, etc. to make way for new, more robust growth. Hurricanes totally defoliate trees when they pass, allowing sunlight to reach the ground in overgrown areas...which in turn, allows new plants and trees to grow.

That's exactly what I read. I guess Mother Nature did not intend for humans to build high rises on top of sand dunes and destroy our natural barriers against storms....
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Quoting reedzone:
If TD16 relocated near the convection, where there is bands and deep storms? What's the NHC smoking? This is a Tropical Storm..



Based on what? are the winds 39 MPH sustained?
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2426. JRRP
happy face

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2425. kwgirl
Quoting KeysieLife:
I know! I couldn't get pancakes this morning because the IHOP parking lot was WAY flooded! This storm sucks! =)
Didn't you wear your shrimper boots?
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2424. nash28
This system has a ton of moisture associated with it, so the center relocation is of very little consequence. If this were a typical tropical system, it would have more bearing. This is a very broad monsoonal low.
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Quoting kwgirl:
I imagine it was. I looked at the radar this morning and from Marathon north you guys are getting soaked.
I know! I couldn't get pancakes this morning because the IHOP parking lot was WAY flooded! This storm sucks! =)
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Hi all, long time lurker and part time hurricane season poster here. I'm wondering if someone could please direct me to a link showing rainfall amounts over the last x hours? I'm down here in South Florida, and I've heard that my area has had the most rainfall so far. I'd like to know what we're up to and what to expect.

Thanks in advance for any replies. Stay safe and dry out there fellow Floridians :D
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2421. WxLogic
Quoting Chicklit:
Hi guten morgan everyone.
Was supposed to drive from New Smyrna Beach to Palm Bay today; rescheduled for tomorrow. Looks like TD16 may stay further east, off the coast. Still don't think it will be very good to be driving in South Brevard today, do you think it will clear up by tomorrow?
WVLoop


Ohh yes... definitely much better by tomorrow.
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If TD16 relocated near the convection, where there is bands and deep storms? What's the NHC smoking? This is a Tropical Storm..
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7416
Quoting juniort:
good morning everyone...is anyone seeing this area east of the Windward islands, looks like convection is increasing
yes it has been out there all week. It is a wave/Disturbance under a upper level high. It keeps getting sheared as it fires up convection. With the high shear coming from the West and a TUTT low forecast to dig down right now no real threat other than generally squally storminess.
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Hi guten morgan everyone.
Was supposed to drive from New Smyrna Beach to Palm Bay today; rescheduled for tomorrow. Looks like TD16 may stay further east, off the coast. Still don't think it will be very good to be driving in South Brevard today, do you think it will clear up by tomorrow?
WVLoop
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RELOCATED again.

Tropical Depression SIXTEEN
...DISORGANIZED DEPRESSION BRINGING HEAVY RAINS TO SOUTHEAST FLORIDA...THE BAHAMAS...EASTERN CUBA...AND JAMAICA...CENTER RELOCATED...

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2416. kwgirl
Quoting KeysieLife:
You didn't drive over Long Key bridge this morning...got pretty rough heading north.
I imagine it was. I looked at the radar this morning and from Marathon north you guys are getting soaked.
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2415. MahFL
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Here are two Caribbean waves that we REALLY need to watch:



You mean Atlantic waves ?...more geography needs to be taught in skoolz.......
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Quoting kwgirl:
Here in Key West, we have slight occassional showers. No wind, little rain. I think we can say we have missed it, but I am still watching the radar. Don't like all that red south of Cuba. Everyone stay safe!
You didn't drive over Long Key bridge this morning...got pretty rough heading north.
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2413. kwgirl
Quoting seflagamma:
Good morning, lots of rain and some local flooding going on here in Broward County.

All the public schools are open.. business is open...everything BAU, except traffic is worse than normal due to rain.


Well, our TD never made TS status...and probably will not...

This morning the Met on TV TWC said it has a good of a chance to dissipate as it does to become a TS...no one know what it will do.


But Jim Cantore is reporting from Ft Lauderdale Beach this morning!
So Ft. Lauderdale Beach is safe! LOL
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I see TD 16 on the bottom left.
Possibly the remnants of Julia becoming organized? (Or maybe I dislocated it, and it dissipated)
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Quoting A4Guy:
I wonder if all that energy in the Carib behind TD16 is going to lift out with the storm...or stay behind? This could be the "reload" that has been predicted by the models and discussed by Dr M for the last several days.
I have a feeling it will stay behind
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Good morning, lots of rain and some local flooding going on here in Broward County.

All the public schools are open.. business is open...everything BAU, except traffic is worse than normal due to rain.


Well, our TD never made TS status...and probably will not...

This morning the Met on TV TWC said it has a good of a chance to dissipate as it does to become a TS...no one know what it will do.


But Jim Cantore is reporting from Ft Lauderdale Beach this morning!
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2409. A4Guy
I wonder if all that energy in the Carib behind TD16 is going to lift out with the storm...or stay behind? This could be the "reload" that has been predicted by the models and discussed by Dr M for the last several days.
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Pictures of bridge washed away

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Photos--Harbour-View-Bridge-collapses

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2407. myway
Hopefully with the center relocation further east the rain will not be so bad in sefl. Ground is saturated, some minor ponding on the roads and people here do not drive well in rain.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


This graphic shows the interpolated version which includes the relocation.



That wedge of dry air is advancing rather steadily to the west of FL, almost over the peninsula now.
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2405. Jax82
Rain Rain Rain
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Complete Update

TD16
- HH on task waiting for the TD to cross Cuba, second HH enroute from LA. IF that is TD 16 crossing CUBA, whats that thing south of Cuba?



AOI
AOI AOI AOI

AOI AOI AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
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2403. kwgirl
Here in Key West, we have slight occassional showers. No wind, little rain. I think we can say we have missed it, but I am still watching the radar. Don't like all that red south of Cuba. Everyone stay safe!
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After viewing the early morning sat picks no question now that the center has relocated to just east-southeast of the Isle of Youth.

I suspect that the TD will be named Nicole by 11am.
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Here are two Caribbean waves that we REALLY need to watch:

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Cayman Brac pressure up to 996.5 and rising... from 994.5 earlier. Still raining, winds around 20 mph with higher gusts.

I have cabin fever already, but at least the cat is finally resolved to staying inside.

internet keeps going out. joy.
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divdog,

my bad. I see his point. can not go to letter O unless Nicole has formed. Well, if Nicole forms, then I assume the yellow circle in the atlantic is soon to be otto or nicole (if TD 16 is not upgraded)

Otto (if this is the name) looks to take a similar path as TD 16 maybe a bit westward
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Quoting divdog:
we may never have nicole and what is wrong with a little lively discussion about what might be next in the pipeline. Not a lot going on with td16 at the moment. May just bring rain to sfl and very little else.



Here's an "obviousity" for ya.
There won't be an "Otto" without a "Nicole".

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If the center relocates further south, near the ring of convection, it will become a lot more organized.

Is it likely? I dont know.
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Some pretty heavy squalls moving in on Folly Beach, Isle of Palms...

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2395. MahFL
The CDO, such as it is, is very slowly spreading west, remember shear is supposed to relax for 12 hours before picking up again.
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Quoting mara0921:
I am in Oakland Park, FL in Broward County. So far steady moderate to occasionally heavy rain. No wind to speak of so far. It looks like the actual weather with this system is mostly past us and we have one more blob of rain to go through, which is supposed to be the worst of it and then its over.


I wouldn't say that at all. A lot depends on what the system does, of course, but the vast bulk of the system hasn't even reach Florida yet. Folks on the extreme east coast--such as you in OP--may be in for an all-day, all-night on-and-off rain event, with many more inches to come.

For what it's worth, a few isolated areas in south Florida have already received abnormal amounts of rain based on radar estimates. Key Largo, the northern tip of Lake Okeechobee, coastal Palm Beach...all of these have seen 8" to 10". (Meanwhile, here in Naples, we got some strong frontal showers yesterday, but only a few quick sprinkles this morning. In fact, at times the western sky has been clear and blue.)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13597
Hurricane hunters heading back in
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2391. 7544
230 miles still from miami lol so it still has time to get a name
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Quoting Cayman2010:


Good morning Kman, StormWatcherCI and everyone else.

CIS is now as well - though as the decision was being based on the Governments decision on public schools they already had staff and some kids on site by the time the decision was made (including mine but her mums a teacher so I don't have to rush back from the office just yet).
GIS said all govt schools are closed but teachers had to report still. What a mess this is.
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2389. ackee
I have not seen rain like this in jamaica in a long time all School are clsoed today there also a report of water spoust tounch down in Sav-la-mar distroying 4 house, seem wide spread flooding in jamaica today
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Quoting FSUCOOPman:


Wonder if\how much the models will change based on a center relocation.


This graphic shows the interpolated version which includes the relocation.

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View of the collapsed Harbour View Bridge

Image courtesy of the Jamaica observer. Photo by Nikki Hutchison.
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2386. divdog
Quoting weaverwxman:
I do not understand how we can talk about Otto when we don't even have Nicole..
Just wondering
we may never have nicole and what is wrong with a little lively discussion about what might be next in the pipeline. Not a lot going on with td16 at the moment. May just bring rain to sfl and very little else.
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TD #16 is very close to TS status
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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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