Nicole's precursor moisture dumping epic rains on North Carolina

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:29 PM GMT on September 29, 2010

Share this Blog
3
+

The season's fourteenth named storm, Tropical Storm Nicole, is here, but not for long. Observations from the Hurricane Hunters and satellite imagery show that the storm is being stretched along a north-south axis as it gets absorbed into a trough of low pressure along the U.S. East Coast. A separate extratropical storm is developing along a stalled-out front along the coast of South and North Carolina, and much of Nicole's moisture and energy will begin feeding into this new storm today and Thursday, leading to the demise of Nicole by Thursday. Nicole continues to dump torrential rains on Jamaica, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, South Florida, and the western Bahamas as it tracks steadily north-northeastwards up the U.S. East Coast. Some rain amounts from Nicole since yesterday morning include 9.14" at Plantation Key, FL and 8.47" at Irwindale in western Jamaica. In Southeast Florida, radar-estimated rainfall amounts of 4 - 10" are common across the coast (Figure 1.)

Surface observations don't show any winds in excess of 25 mph near the center of Nicole, and the strongest winds are located several hundred miles southeast of the center. Some of the stronger winds measured today were at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (39 mph, gusting to 53 mph) and Cayman Brac Island in the Grand Caymans (33 mph, gusting to 43 mph).


Figure 1. Radar-estimated precipitation for South Florida. Nicole has brought over ten inches of rain to the Middle and Upper Keys.

Extreme rainfall for eastern North Carolina
In North Carolina, the the precursor moisture from Nicole has generated an epic rainfall event. Wilmington, NC has measured 15.83 inches of rain over the past three days, as of 4pm EDT. This is the city's second highest 3-day total in history, behind the 19.06" that fell in September 1999 during Hurricane Floyd. The non-tropical low pressure system developing along the South Carolina/North Carolina coast today will move northwards, giving North and South Carolina an additional blast of heavy rain tonight, which will be followed by more heavy rain from Nicole (or Nicole's remains) Thursday morning. By the time the rains from Nicole finally clear the area Thursday afternoon, an extra 5 - 10 inches will have fallen, and Wilmington will be looking at a 4-day rainfall total of 20 - 25 inches, the highest in recorded history there. Severe and damaging flooding is likely today and tomorrow from the record rains. Fortunately, eastern North Carolina was under moderate drought conditions prior to this week's rainfall onslaught, so the flooding damage will not be as great as the billions of dollars of damage wrought by Hurricane Floyd.


Figure 2. Radar-estimated precipitation for North Carolina since Saturday shows that the precursor moisture from Nicole has brought widespread rain amounts in excess of eight inches to eastern North Carolina, with over fifteen inches (white colors surrounded by dark purple) near Wilmington.

Elsewhere in the tropics
A tropical wave a few hundred miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands is generating a modest amount of disorganized heavy thunderstorms. The wave is under a moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear, and has some dry air to the northwest of it that is interfering with development. None of the models develop this disturbance, and NHC is giving it a 10% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Friday. The wave is headed into a region of higher wind shear, and is not likely to develop.

Another tropical wave located about 900 miles west-southwest of the Cape Verdes Islands is more of a threat. This wave is currently moving west at 15 - 20 mph, and is generating a large area of disorganized heavy thunderstorms. Wind shear is 10 - 20 knots over the wave, and shear is forecast to decline by late this week. The latest 2am EDT runs of the NOGAPS and GFS models show some slow development of the wave late this week, and the storm is forecast to pass near the northern Lesser Antilles Islands on Sunday or Monday. NHC is giving the wave a 10% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Friday.

Disturbed weather will continue in the Western Caribbean for at least the next ten days, and the NOGAPS and GFS models continue to predict that the region could spawn a tropical depression 6 - 7 days from now. However, the models are being less aggressive about such a development than in yesterday's runs, and the models have not been consistent about the timing or location of such a storm.

Next update
I'll have an update Thursday morning.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1254 - 1204

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27Blog Index

Complete Update


AOI
AOI AOI AOI

AOI AOI AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1253. srada
From the Wilmington Star News


Member Since: August 17, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 774
Quoting Jax82:
Good luck to anything trying to develop or trying to enter the GOM!!!!!



That image almost makes the GOM look like the Sahara.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Tony Curtis Dead at 85

June 3, 1925 - Sept 29, 2010

I apologize for the mistake, we would not have known about Tony Curtis earlier this week.

It was Eddie Fisher's I saw in the newspaper last weekend...
Eddie Fisher, Aug 10, 1928 - Sept 22, 2010...
but he had been dead a week before they ran the article in the newspaper... he had a terrible live, 4 of his 5 grown children did not even speak to him.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
2010 Storms
All Active Year


Atlantic
97L.INVEST


East Pacific

Central Pacific

West Pacific
94W.INVEST
92W.INVEST

Indian Ocean
92A.INVEST

Southern Hemisphere


NHC is treating Nicole as an invest. GFDL and HWRF were run at 06Z. Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Also kind of ironic reading article Jammie Lee Curtis mother, was Janet Leigh famous as the female star of psycho.Jamie got her first big start in Halloween. I hope she gets through this OK.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1246. cmahan
Quoting Jax82:
plenty of moisture riding that train to the NE.



Those water vapor loops are mesmerizing. Scary, and mesmerizing.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Still blowing...rain has let up....pressure is coming up !!!


Johnnie Mercer Pier
NDBC - Station JMPN7 - 8658163 - Johnny Mercer Pier, Wrightsville Beach, NC Observations
Station JMPN7 - 8658163 - Johnny Mercer Pier, Wrightsville Beach, NC
September 30, 2010 8:36 am EDT
Location: 34.21N 77.795W
Wind Direction: S (180°)
Wind Speed: 33.0 knots
Wind Gust: 41.0 knots
Atmospheric Pressure: 29.48 in (998.2 mb)
Air Temperature: 76.1°F (24.5°C)
Water Temperature: 79.9°F (26.6°C)

Powered by Rss Feed Converter
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1244. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2010 Storms
All Active Year


Atlantic
97L.INVEST


East Pacific

Central Pacific

West Pacific
94W.INVEST
92W.INVEST

Indian Ocean
92A.INVEST

Southern Hemisphere
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
My bad 9:25pm wed. just the same always a reminder of one's mortality.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1241. angiest
Quoting seflagamma:




I thought I read his Obit in then newspaper either Tue or Wed morn???




First I had heard of it too.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
1240. MahFL
Tony Curtis was a pretty good actor, I liked him.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting gordydunnot:
Forgot to mention earlier Tony Curtis died this morning. I am Spartacus. rest in peace.




I thought I read his Obit in then newspaper either Tue or Wed morn???


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
ahhhh interesting, thanks for your knowledge. See, I thought if drier air moves in behind a front, then in the upper level, winds would begin to subside.

what exactly is the current upper air level pattern? If that is the right question.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Do they have a discount for bed bugs.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FSUstormnut:
About the sunset... I actually emailed Steve Weagle from WPTV in WPB and this was his reply...

"Paul,
The perfect weather conditions came together this evening for the bright yellow sky over South Florida . The Sun was setting just after 7pm tonight, so it was very low in the sky, and sunlight had to travel through more atmosphere to reach us. This scatters out the shorter wavelength blue and green colors and leaves us with the ‘warm’ yellow and reds. These colors illuminated the clouds over our area making for a very dramatic sunset.

Hope this helps."

Steve Weagle
Chief Meteorolost
WPTV Newschannel 5


I see from reading back many also commented on the original post...

and thank you for posting this explanation. :o)

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1230. kwgirl
Quoting Neapolitan:


You're right. It's far cheaper to drown yourself and your family than splurging on a dry room at Motel 6...
You beat me to the reply.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Forgot to mention earlier Tony Curtis died this morning. I am Spartacus. rest in peace.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1228. srada
Quoting kanc2001

SEPTEMBER MONTHLY RAINFALL RECORDS...
#1 23.41 INCHES 1999 (HURRICANES DENNIS & FLOYD)


the record for the month of september involved two tropical systems..dennis & floyd..we are breaking records from a non tropical system..so people placing names on storms wont make a difference at all when it comes to impact..just goes to show a name placed on a storm wont mean a thing
Member Since: August 17, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 774
Quoting MahFL:


Are you paying ? There is a recession ongoing if you did not notice.


You're right. It's far more cost-effective to drown yourself and your family than splurging on a dry room at Motel 6...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1226. tkeith
Quoting cat5hurricane:
Holy cow! That's the most dry air I've seen there in a while
more on the way this weekend according to local mets...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1223. MahFL
Quoting aislinnpaps:


Stay safe. Remember the phrase, 'Turn around, don't drown.' Get a hotel room if you need and treat yourself to a nice dinner.


Are you paying ? There is a recession ongoing if you did not notice.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Getting pretty ugly here in Baltimore.
Drive to work was not fun.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Thanks, I thought it was odd. I hate being confused so early in the morning.

Hey, anyone from South East Florida see that strange sunset when everything turned orange. Wasn't on last night, so don't know if anyone mentioned it. It was really some sight.


yes I did see that strange "orangy" color of the skies during the sunset here in Broward County last night... I also noted it was sort of weird and strange... glad someone else noticed it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


I normally don't correct anyone, but I think there may be something a little off with that meter. I think that they have had a little more than 15 inches of rain this week not 52. I think we better check. Here is a link:

Link


ILM has had close to 21" and still coming 7:20am

000
NOUS42 KILM 301119
PNSILM
NCZ096-097-099>101-301800-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILMINGTON NC
720 AM EDT THU SEP 30 2010

...RECENT WILMINGTON RAINFALL SETS RECORDS...
...HIGHEST 3-DAY RAINFALL IN WILMINGTON HISTORY BACK TO 1871...
...SECOND WETTEST SEPTEMBER ON RECORD...

EXTRAORDINARY RECENT RAINFALL AMOUNTS ARE CAUSING LIFE THREATENING
FLASH FLOODING ACROSS THE CAPE FEAR REGION OF SOUTHEASTERN NORTH
CAROLINA. HERE IS HOW WILMINGTON`S RECENT RAINFALL FITS INTO THE
HISTORIC CLIMATE RECORD.

OBSERVED TOTALS...
SUNDAY SEP 26 0.59 INCHES
MONDAY SEP 27 10.33 INCHES
TUESDAY SEP 28 1.96 INCHES
WEDNESDAY SEP 29 7.37 INCHES
THURSDAY SEP 30 0.41 INCHES (1-3 INCHES MORE POSSIBLE)

1-DAY ALL-TIME RECORDS...
#1 13.38 INCHES 9/15/1999 (HURRICANE FLOYD)
#2 10.33 INCHES 9/27/2010 (MONDAY`S EVENT)
#3 9.56 INCHES 8/31/2006 (TROPICAL STORM ERNESTO)
#4 9.52 INCHES 9/29/1938
#5 8.04 INCHES 8/18/1879 ("GREAT BEAUFORT HURRICANE")

2-DAY ALL-TIME RECORDS...
#1 17.71 INCHES 9/15 & 9/16 1999 (HURRICANE FLOYD)
#2 14.73 INCHES 9/14 & 9/15 1999 (HURRICANE FLOYD)
#3 12.29 INCHES 9/27 & 9/28 2010 (MONDAY/TUESDAY`S EVENT)
#4 11.87 INCHES 10/7 & 10/8 2005 (TROPICAL STORM TAMMY)
#5 11.54 INCHES 7/7 & 7/8 1950

3-DAY ALL-TIME RECORDS...
#1 19.66 INCHES 9/27 - 9/29 2010
#2 19.06 INCHES 9/14 - 9/16 1999 (HURRICANE FLOYD)
#3 17.71 INCHES 9/15 - 9/17 1999 (HURRICANE FLOYD)
#4 14.73 INCHES 9/13 - 9/15 1999 (HURRICANE FLOYD)
#5 13.44 INCHES 9/11 - 9/13 1984 (HURRICANE DIANA)

4-DAY ALL-TIME RECORDS...
#1 20.25 INCHES 9/26 - 9/29 2010
#2 19.06 INCHES 9/14 - 9/17 1999 (HURRICANE FLOYD)
#2 19.06 INCHES 9/13 - 9/16 1999 (HURRICANE FLOYD)
#4 17.71 INCHES 9/15 - 9/18 1999 (HURRICANE FLOYD)
#5 14.73 INCHES 9/12 - 9/15 1999 (HURRICANE FLOYD)

5-DAY ALL-TIME RECORDS...
#1 20.66 INCHES 9/26 - 9/29 2010 (ONGOING EVENT THROUGH 720 AM...)
#2 19.06 INCHES 9/14 - 9/18 1999 (HURRICANE FLOYD)
#2 19.06 INCHES 9/13 - 9/17 1999 (HURRICANE FLOYD)
#2 19.06 INCHES 9/12 - 9/16 1999 (HURRICANE FLOYD)
#5 17.71 INCHES 9/15 - 9/19 1999 (HURRICANE FLOYD)

SEPTEMBER MONTHLY RAINFALL RECORDS...
#1 23.41 INCHES 1999 (HURRICANES DENNIS & FLOYD)
#2 20.84 INCHES 2010 (ONGOING EVENT THROUGH 720 AM...)
#3 20.10 INCHES 1877 ("HURRICANE FOUR")
#4 18.94 INCHES 1984 (HURRICANE DIANA)
#5 16.93 INCHES 1924 ("HURRICANE FIVE" AND "TROP STORM EIGHT")


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1218. NCSaint
Quoting KEHCharleston:

Pretty much a non-event for us in Charleston, but a very scary scenario for our friends to the north. To make it worse, these tornados will most likely be hidden in all the rain.


Between 0200 and 0700 this morning there was at least one active warning throughout the period for rain-wrapped tornadoes over the counties north of the Albemarle Sound. Local Met reported at least 3 confirmed touch-downs. Virginia & Maryland may end up seeing the worst of that part of this system
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1217. breald
Quoting StormJunkie:


Due to it being extra-tropical, the worst winds and rain are well removed from the center usually. At least I think that's the reason...Or I should say I think it's extra-tropical.


Thanks. Stay safe in SC today.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


I normally don't correct anyone, but I think there may be something a little off with that meter. I think that they have had a little more than 15 inches of rain this week not 52. I think we better check. Here is a link:

Link


25.67 and still counting 4 day total. Most in history 4 day total
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
wow interesting Jeff. I could not imagine that big blob 97L merging with the remnants of Matthew especially with such high SST's still in the area.

the thing I find strange is that as ripe as the conditions still are for development in the GOM, SW Atlantic and Caribbean, it is weird how some of the models are a little less bullish on tropical systems forming. If anything, I would say chances are high of tropical formation.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1213. Grothar
Quoting Neapolitan:
According to Wilmington NEXRAD, the maximum storm total rainfall estimate as of this moment is 52.4". That's more than 4.25 feet of rain...and it's still falling at the rate of several inches per hour. Yikes...


I normally don't correct anyone, but I think there may be something a little off with that meter. I think that they have had a little more than 15 inches of rain this week not 52. I think we better check. Here is a link:

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
About the sunset... I actually emailed Steve Weagle from WPTV in WPB and this was his reply...

"Paul,
The perfect weather conditions came together this evening for the bright yellow sky over South Florida . The Sun was setting just after 7pm tonight, so it was very low in the sky, and sunlight had to travel through more atmosphere to reach us. This scatters out the shorter wavelength blue and green colors and leaves us with the ‘warm’ yellow and reds. These colors illuminated the clouds over our area making for a very dramatic sunset.

Hope this helps."

Steve Weagle
Chief Meteorolost
WPTV Newschannel 5
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormJunkie:


Due to it being extra-tropical, the worst winds and rain are well removed from the center usually. At least I think that's the reason...Or I should say I think it's extra-tropical.


That is what the satellite estimated winds show


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:


WWUS40 KWNS 300900
WWP8

TORNADO WATCH PROBABILITIES FOR WT 0688
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0400 AM CDT THU SEP 30 2010

WT 0688
PROBABILITY TABLE:
PROB OF 2 OR MORE TORNADOES : 60%
PROB OF 1 OR MORE STRONG /F2-F5/ TORNADOES : 20%
PROB OF 10 OR MORE SEVERE WIND EVENTS : 10%
PROB OF 1 OR MORE WIND EVENTS >= 65 KNOTS : <05%
PROB OF 10 OR MORE SEVERE HAIL EVENTS : <05%
PROB OF 1 OR MORE HAIL EVENTS >= 2 INCHES : <05%
PROB OF 6 OR MORE COMBINED SEVERE HAIL/WIND EVENTS : 50%

&&
ATTRIBUTE TABLE:
MAX HAIL /INCHES/ : 0.5
MAX WIND GUSTS SURFACE /KNOTS/ : 60
MAX TOPS /X 100 FEET/ : 450
MEAN STORM MOTION VECTOR /DEGREES AND KNOTS/ : 18045
PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION : NO

&&
FOR A COMPLETE GEOGRAPHICAL DEPICTION OF THE WATCH AND
WATCH EXPIRATION INFORMATION SEE WOUS64 FOR WOU8.

Pretty much a non-event for us in Charleston, but a very scary scenario for our friends to the north. To make it worse, these tornados will most likely be hidden in all the rain.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormJunkie:


I've got class this morning, and a few things to do this afternoon, but if we start getting reports of communities that might fit the bill of being "under-served" and flooded in eastern NC or NE SC, then please WU mail them to myself or presslord. Or better yet, just post them on the Portlight Blog.


well worth reposting
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1207. WxLogic
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Relocated

AL 97 2010093012 BEST 0 120N 485W 25 1009 DB


Further south and west...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like ex Nichole trying to get her grove on
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
jeff,

what is your take on the potential path of 97L?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
That will not be sticking around long, this is early October (okay, not until tomorrow), not January. Expect that to lift north in the coming days

Quoting Jax82:
Good luck to anything trying to develop or try to enter the GOM!!!!!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1254 - 1204

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27Blog Index

Top of Page

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.

Local Weather

Overcast
30 °F
Overcast

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Lake Effort Snow Shower Over Windsor, Ontario
Sunset on Dunham Lake
Pictured Rocks Sunset
Sunset on Lake Huron