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: 1204 - 1154

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

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:
1203. Jax82
Good luck to anything trying to develop or trying to enter the GOM!!!!!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1202. markot
port charlotte, what you talkin bout. season still active, wave isnt moving n models i dont think turn it out....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
morning wu-crew....going to be starting a FL storm chase/spotter team for all us locals,setting up a team to cover all angles of the state with live reports and streams covering ALL FL weather ONLY place to find this will be none other than wunderground.com....its going to work like this i'll soon be setting a blog up for all interested in FL local wx,all will be welcome but the theme will be live reports/livestreams from locations around fl,especially when active weather threatens,links to live cams,streams and local pictures will be allowed,I'll have the fl chase blog set up soon,ALL are welcome and feel free to wumail me with any ideas or questions-pauly
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting breald:
Ok I have a question. If the storm is going inland once it hits NC/SC why is it going to be more windy along the coast as it moves up?


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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1199. HCW
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1197. dmh1026
Quoting MahFL:
Bring it on !!!!!!...97L....to FL as a massive hurricane !!!!!!!!!
Maybe....maybe not so much....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Been lurking a lot lately. I just haven't had time to contribute and look at maps.

Even though many of the models do not have anything consistent or significant on them, and we are having a post Matthew and Nicole hangover...

There is still abundant energy in the central atlantic through the caribbean....still looks like an active couple of weeks.


Quoting Jeff9641:
If anybody is wondering where Mathew is well he is along the Guatemala coast moving NE toward the Caribbean and could redevelope in the western Caribbean this weekend or merger with 97L just east of the Windward Islands. Either way we could be looking at a major hurricane in the Caribbean over time and it could be a very large system that could target FL later next week.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1195. will40
Quoting breald:
Ok I have a question. If the storm is going inland once it hits NC/SC why is it going to be more windy along the coast as it moves up?



East side of it has the strongest winds.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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'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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1193. breald
Ok I have a question. If the storm is going inland once it hits NC/SC why is it going to be more windy along the coast as it moves up?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1192. srada
Quoting NCSaint:
Good Morning Srada. Glad to see you on today. NexRad precip totals went white for you folks before I even went to bed last night. Lots of creek flooding up here in Jax


Good Morning!! Im afraid its only going to get worse before getting better..stay safe and DRY!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1191. Grothar
Quoting GoodOleBudSir:


I saw it. Pretty cool! I remember it being like that the night before Wilma.


You know, I forgot that, but you're right. It was green, then yellow and orange. At first I thought it was the gin.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1190. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
1189. NCSaint
Good Morning Srada. Glad to see you on today. NexRad precip totals went white for you folks before I even went to bed last night. Lots of creek flooding up here in Jax
Member Since: September 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 75
1187. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
Quoting srada:
Good Morning from Wilmington

the wind has really picked up here this morning..we lost power last night but it came back on..now we are bracing ourselves for round 2 that will last until late this evening..severe flooding here..


Stay safe!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1185. Patrap

Watch 688 Status Reports
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
1183. Grothar
Quoting rmbjoe1954:


Sunset was pretty 'orangy' yesterday from where I am at in Port Saint Lucie. We were fascinated as we've never seen that before.


Never even thought to take a picture. It was a sight!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1182. srada
Good Morning from Wilmington

the wind has really picked up here this morning..we lost power last night but it came back on..now we are bracing ourselves for round 2 that will last until late this evening..severe flooding here..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1181. 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.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
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.


I saw it. Pretty cool! I remember it being like that the night before Wilma.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Jeff9641:


Actually believe it or not Brian Norcross mentioned this scenario as well this morning. Even all the Orlando mets this morning are talking about what's going on in the Caribbean this morning as it could play a factor in our forcast later next week.


Oh I don't doubt for a minute that it will turn into something.... its just what he said..and how he said it that was stupid.

People have been complaining about some of the more moronic statements made in here... and that is the type of thing they are talking about.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Morning all.

Such a shame. Wilmington was so close to making it to the dry line for a few hours...Looks like that dry line is pushing back to the W now as the ULL drops further S.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1176. Patrap
Quoting gordydunnot:
Hey patrap, I hope Presslord got webbed feet.


He has webbed something but I cant give details..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
1175. Gearsts
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
And like it has happen all this year models will keep shifting west.Even more with this that doesnt have well define center;).Shear is also decreasing and convection is improving but vort hasnt.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1174. NCSaint
Quoting OctaviaStreet:


Where in North or South Carolina are the "winds peaking over 50 mph"? Here in Charleston (SC) we have 0.0mph winds.


Outer Banks through the Albemarle Sound. Here in Jacksonville we're mid-to-upper 20s sustained with gusts averaging around 35. Some cells like the one that just blew through gave us gusts in the mid 40s....and it still hasn't stopped raining!
Member Since: September 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 75
Quoting MahFL:
Bring it on !!!!!!...97L....to FL as a massive hurricane !!!!!!!!!


Could b
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1171. Grothar
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Drew that map yourself? Hey, don't know where you are exactly, but did you see that sunset last night. Eerie!
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.


Sunset was pretty 'orangy' yesterday from where I am at in Port Saint Lucie. We were fascinated as we've never seen that before.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1168. will40
Link

ocean cam NC coast
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1167. breald
Quoting Grothar:


Yea, it does. Think we should all save blog time and get the questions out of the way now?

1. Think it will stay west
2. Think it will pump the ridge?
3. Think it will be named on the 11 AM
4. Think it will be subtropical, extra-
tropical or tropical.
5. Think it will go through the Heberts Box?

I know I forgot a few.


LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey patrap, I hope Presslord got webbed feet.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DDR:

Hi pottery
LoL to that,better hurry up and dig before it clouds over.I'm out ttyl


I didn't do it... I still think we should skip the "O" and just call it pottery :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Morning
Over 20 in. of rain and still coming down!!!!


NDBC - Station JMPN7 - 8658163 - Johnny Mercer Pier, Wrightsville Beach, NC Observations
Station JMPN7 - 8658163 - Johnny Mercer Pier, Wrightsville Beach, NC
September 30, 2010 7:48 am EDT
Location: 34.21N 77.795W
Wind Direction: S (170°)
Wind Speed: 38.1 knots
Wind Gust: 45.1 knots
Atmospheric Pressure: 29.44 in (997.0 mb)
Air Temperature: 76.5°F (24.7°C)
Water Temperature: 80.1°F (26.7°C)

Powered by Rss Feed Converter
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting leelee75k:
I hope that blob that over Jamaica doesn't go set itself up over Haiti, all the nasty weather is moving East and very close to being directly over them.

The met service says that it will remain in the central Caribbean and Jamaica, not sure what that means for them.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WxLogic:
AL, 97, 2010093006, , BEST, 0, 131N, 432W, 25, 1009, DB, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1012, 150, 60, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S


Relocated

AL 97 2010093012 BEST 0 120N 485W 25 1009 DB
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11053
Quoting MahFL:
Bring it on !!!!!!...97L....to FL as a massive hurricane !!!!!!!!!


What an interesting remark to see when I have not even finished my first cup of coffee... my first thought.. what a moron... then I figured I would have another sip... its amazing how often first impression are correct :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1159. DDR
Quoting pottery:

Good Morning all.
Yeah. Watching as it very slooowwwly approaches.
If it can get a little North in the next 24 hrs, this hot dry weather will continue.
If it comes overhead, it will probably be named Orca (not Otto), and be really Dread!

Have to go out and dig some holes in the garden. The Higher Authority is waiting on my Braun....

Hi pottery
LoL to that,better hurry up and dig before it clouds over.I'm out ttyl
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Still a mere disturbance, still moving straight west:

BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_al972010.invest
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201009301208
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
INVEST, AL, L, , , , , 97, 2010, DB, O, 2010093006, 9999999999, , , , , , METWATCH, , AL972010
AL, 97, 2010093006, , BEST, 0, 120N, 470W, 25, 1009, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0, 1012, 150, 60, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,
AL, 97, 2010093012, , BEST, 0, 120N, 485W, 25, 1009, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Complete Update


AOI
AOI AOI AOI

AOI AOI AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
...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.


Lots of people mentioned it, and some even had photos. I'm on the SW coast, and the sunset was amazingly beautiful. Just goes to show what the right combination of clouds, mositure, and dust can do to refracted sunlight...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1204 - 1154

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

Mostly Cloudy
65 °F
Mostly Cloudy