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 presslord:


...gggrrrr...


Well who didn't see that coming a mile away...

;-)
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 856
Here in Wilmington Nc it wont take much wind to fell a lot of trees
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Quoting Levi32:
It's really cool how easy it is. Can you see the track? It's painted out for you on the satellite image as clear as day.





How about that track?
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Quoting presslord:


...gggrrrr...


Hey now last I heard you need the rain =P
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Quoting StormFreakyisher:
So is there school tomorrow for Palm Beach County?


School board has no website?
No local media?
This just seems an odd place to ask that question.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 856
Quoting Levi32:


No no hurricane before Florida, though I do worry about the possibility for hurricane-force gusts in the Carolinas when this goes through there.


that's what i heard...50-60mph winds with higher gusts even in charleston
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Quoting breald:



Thanks Levi!!

BTW, when you become a famous meteorologist will you go by the name Levi? How will all your WU friends know it is you...LOL


Well I don't plan on being famous, but I like to be known by my first name, which is Levi.
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Quoting tiggeriffic:


he he he....i try very hard not to swear...the only ones i say are in the bible... =) but they work...especially when i need to call someone a donkey snicker snicker


LOL
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Quoting Levi32:


No no hurricane before Florida, though I do worry about the possibility for hurricane-force gusts in the Carolinas when this goes through there.


...gggrrrr...
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Quoting Levi32:
It's really cool how easy it is. Can you see the track? It's painted out for you on the satellite image as clear as day.

Pretty interesting. Looks like it will scrape along the eastern Florida coast before making it to South and North Carolina.
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.
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Does the center seem to be relocating SW near Gran C. to anyone else?
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Quoting GoodOleBudSir:


that was my point. LOL


he he he....i try very hard not to swear...the only ones i say are in the bible... =) but they work...especially when i need to call someone a donkey snicker snicker
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Quoting cat5hurricane:

Poor dog. Well looking at the latest nexrad loop, it looks like you'll get a break in the next half an hour or so. I'd take him then.


Thanks C5H
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Palm Beach County schools will open Wednesday despite storm and flood warnings from what could soon be Tropical Storm Nicole, district officials announced late today.
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I am located in dania beach fl just north of hollywood and miami and it is raining hard hear and very dark with thunder
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TropicalDepression16's heading had turned eastward to (8.9degrees east of) dueNorth
from its previous heading of dueNorth
TD.16's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions was ~14mph(~22.5km/h)

Invest96L : NHC-ATCF
27Sep 12pmGMT - - 18.5n85.5w - - 25knots -- 1003mb - - NHC-ATCF
27Sep 06pmGMT - - 19.0n84.7w - - 25knots -- 1003mb - - NHC-ATCF
28Sep 12amGMT - - 19.4n84.1w - - 25knots -- 1003mb - - NHC-ATCF
28Sep 06amGMT - - 19.8n83.5w - - 30knots -- 1003mb - - 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
35mph=~56.4km/h

Copy &paste 18.0n85.5w, 18.3n84.6w, 18.7n83.9w, 19.4n83.3w-20.2n82.8w, 20.2n82.8w-20.6n82.5w, 20.6n82.5w-20.9n82.5w, 20.9n82.5w-21.5n82.4w, ctm, hav, pot into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the last 15*hours.

* The 3 northernmost line-segments span 3hours between dots.
The following line-segment spans 6hours between dots.
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Quoting Hoff511:
Levi,
Do you think this has any chance of becoming a hurricane before FL landfall? The NHC gives 3% chance in next 24hrs, so it is still a small possibility to them, but I know they are usually conservative in their percentages. It seems the shear from the cold front will prevent intensification, but I still worry about something coming out of that area.


No no hurricane before Florida, though I do worry about the possibility for hurricane-force gusts in the Carolinas when this goes through there.
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The center of circulation of 16L has evidently consolidated and grown in vigor. Below is the 850mb vorticity graph valid 6 hours ago (11a.m EDT).



Now here's the current one valid as of 5p.m EDT.

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I call TD#16 meandering or even drifting westward.
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Quoting tiggeriffic:


rolling on the floor laughing my BUTT of isn't swearing...snicker snicker snort snort


that was my point. LOL
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Quoting Levi32:


Not dissipate, extratropical transition.....that's the whole problem with stripping away the name while it's still causing tropically-induced dangerous weather. Of course it will be partly non-tropical but keep the name....that way people know to be prepared. It won't be like a regular frontal wave it will obviously be tropical in origin and people will know it when it passes over.



Thanks Levi!!

BTW, when you become a famous meteorologist will you go by the name Levi? How will all your WU friends know it is you...LOL
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It's really cool how easy it is. Can you see the track? It's painted out for you on the satellite image as clear as day.

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Quoting GoodOleBudSir:


You don't like to swear do you tigger?


rolling on the floor laughing my BUTT of isn't swearing...snicker snicker snort snort
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
Looking East - South Palm Beach County.

Great picture - that is near where I work. We could see the dark clouds coming in from our office - awesome.
Dog is under the bed, so it will be a stormy night.
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Quoting Chucktown:
Hey Press and Tig - not much of an impact expected here in Charleston. Mainly a heavy rain set up late tonight and Wednesday. Most of the wind impact will be near Myrtle Beach and eastern NC. In fact, when the center of the storm is just east of us on Thursday, our weather will begin to clear out. There is going to be a very sharp moisture gradient with this. I-95 east will be quite wet, but once you get out towards Columbia, very little rain.


Don't you expect they'll shut the schools down due to the water?
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Quoting Chucktown:
Hey Press and Tig - not much of an impact expected here in Charleston. Mainly a heavy rain set up late tonight and Wednesday. Most of the wind impact will be near Myrtle Beach and eastern NC. In fact, when the center of the storm is just east of us on Thursday, our weather will begin to clear out. There is going to be a very sharp moisture gradient with this. I-95 east will be quite wet, but once you get out towards Columbia, very little rain.


my concern is almost every system keeps inching west this year from the "expected" tracks...just makin sure i have extra batteries for the game boy roflmbo
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Expecting a big rain maker here in Raleigh,NC
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Quoting tiggeriffic:


roflmbo...don't offer HIM that...he'd take you up on it!!! sure...a 6 year old as your designated driver...i can see it now...hope your insurance is paid up! roflmbo


You don't like to swear do you tigger?
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Maybe I'm crazy, but I see what could be 3 centers, one NW of Grand Cayman(the official one), one SE of Grand Cayman and the other WSW of Grand Cayman, this is one huge complicated system IMO.
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Hey Press and Tig - not much of an impact expected here in Charleston. Mainly a heavy rain set up late tonight and Wednesday. Most of the wind impact will be near Myrtle Beach and eastern NC. In fact, when the center of the storm is just east of us on Thursday, our weather will begin to clear out. There is going to be a very sharp moisture gradient with this. I-95 east will be quite wet, but once you get out towards Columbia, very little rain.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


I have heard from people on here that it is falling apart lol


I've heard that from too many systems this year.

I'm pretty impressed we're at 16L on September 28th.
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Quoting flhurricane:
if a center does reform just west of jamaica how will this effect the storms path?


center wont reform W of Jamaica...

There are different factors going into this right now. Main thing is the trough digging down into the southern GOM and also the ridge actually building in the western Atlantic due to the digging trough in the GOM. The trough is almost near 83W. 83? well that would seem to stall the LLC or even push it SSW (and you can see it actually doing that with a vortex moving that way out of the broad circulation. But if this is the main LLC, it will be left behind as energy forms from a new Baroclonic low near Florida and heads up rapidly on Weds to the Carolinas. This will let the original TD16(or TS) behind in the NW Carribean before it starts moving N later this week.
Other scenario is for the Broad LLC move NNE over the next 12-19hrs to the Everglades of Florida and become embedded with the trough as the new Non-tropical low takes shape from the energy transfer and moves to the Carolinas.
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Quoting presslord:


he can go down to henry's with me, nash, stormjunkie, and chucktown...we're gonna need a designated driver


roflmbo...don't offer HIM that...he'd take you up on it!!! sure...a 6 year old as your designated driver...i can see it now...hope your insurance is paid up! roflmbo
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Current steering setup:

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Quoting sammywammybamy:
Expect a Tad Shift Left at 11pm.


That means more rain and wind for us so they should reconsider closing schools or not.
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Levi,
Do you think this has any chance of becoming a hurricane before FL landfall? The NHC gives 3% chance in next 24hrs, so it is still a small possibility to them, but I know they are usually conservative in their percentages. It seems the shear from the cold front will prevent intensification, but I still worry about something coming out of that area.
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Quoting tiggeriffic:


after the rain we just got too...hear tell winds in the 50-60 range...that means the bridges all closed too...yay....home with a 6 year old, prob no power and too wet to play outside.....


he can go down to henry's with me, nash, stormjunkie, and chucktown...we're gonna need a designated driver
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Put rgb in motion at nhc seems to be a weak spin just west of Tampa heading do north is this a weakness td 16 may follow.
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Has not quit raining for an hour where I am in Broward County. My dog has to have a huge turtle head. Can't get him out for a walk.
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Quoting breald:
Evening All. Why does the NHC dissipate the low after 72 hrs? I am expecting some nasty weather from this storm in the northeast.


Not dissipate, extratropical transition.....that's the whole problem with stripping away the name while it's still causing tropically-induced dangerous weather. Of course it will be partly non-tropical but keep the name....that way people know to be prepared. It won't be like a regular frontal wave it will obviously be tropical in origin and people will know it when it passes over.
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ODPEM is putting emergency teams on standby Link
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Is the possibility of this thing strenthing as it comes over the Gulf stream and then the Everglades.
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Quoting presslord:
Hey Tigg!!!!!!!!!!! Breezy and very wet....schools likely to close...


after the rain we just got too...hear tell winds in the 50-60 range...that means the bridges all closed too...yay....home with a 6 year old, prob no power and too wet to play outside.....
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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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