Nicole kills five in Jamaica; historic rains in North Carolina; tornadoes in the Mid-Atlantic

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:23 PM GMT on September 30, 2010

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The season's fourteenth named storm, Tropical Storm Nicole, lasted only six hours as a tropical storm, but triggered torrential heavy rains that caused havoc from the Caribbean to North Carolina. In Jamaica, flash flooding from Nicole's rains killed at least five, and several other people were swept away by flood waters and are feared dead. The storm cut power to 170,000 island residents, and caused millions of dollars in damages. Nicole dumped 6.93" of rain on Kingston, and 8.62" in the Kingston suburb of Norbrook. Rains were heavier on the western end of the island; 8.47" fell at a personal weather station at Irwindale before the power failed and data was lost.


Figure 1. NASA MODIS satellite image of Tropical Storm Nicole at 2:20pm EDT on 9/29/10. Image credit: NASA.


Figure 2. Flooding in Jamaica from Tropical Storm Nicole. Image credit: Jamaica Observer.

In Southeast Florida, Nicole brought 5.83" of rain to Miami, 9.58" to Plantation Key, and 5.44" to Homestead. However, Florida escaped serious flooding. Cuba also received widespread rain amounts of 5 - 10 inches, but there are no reports of serious flooding on the island. The remnants of Nicole will continue to bring heavy rains to portions of Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and the Bahamas today.

Historic rainfall event for eastern North Carolina
In North Carolina, the the tropical moisture streaming northwards in advance of Nicole has generated an epic rainfall event. Wilmington, NC recorded 20.69 inches of rain over the past four days, and 21.28" for the five-day period ending at 10am EDT this morning. The incredible rainfall totals have eclipsed the city's record for heaviest 4-day and 5-day rainfall events, set in September 1999 during Hurricane Floyd (19.06".) Another 1 - 3 inches of rain are likely today in Wilmington, which might make this month the rainiest month in city history. A series of non-tropical low pressure systems have been developing along a stalled front off the Carolina/North Carolina coast over the past day, and this activity will continue through tonight before the rains finally end late tonight. The historic rainfall is causing severe and damaging flooding across much of eastern North Carolina. 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 3. Radar-estimated precipitation for North Carolina since Sunday shows that the precursor moisture from Nicole has brought widespread rain amounts in excess of ten inches to eastern North Carolina, with over fifteen inches (white colors surrounded by dark purple) near Wilmington.

Heavy rain, flooding, and tornadoes expected from Virginia to New England
The intense plume of tropical moisture streaming northwards along the U.S. East coast will bring heavy rains of 3 - 6 inches across a wide swath of coast from North Carolina northwards to New England today and Friday. The wunderground severe weather map shows that flood warnings are already posted for portions of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, and flood watches extend northwards though Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and the rest of New England. Tornado watches have been posted for much of the Mid-Atlantic coast, and NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has put the region in their "slight risk" area for severe weather. One tornado warning has already been issued for coastal Virginia this morning. Three possible tornadoes were reported yesterday in northeastern North Carolina.

Disturbance 97L
Two tropical waves, located 600 - 1000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, are generating a large area of disorganized thunderstorms. NHC has designated this area Invest 97L this morning. The SHIPS model predicts that wind shear over 97L will remain moderate, 10 - 20 knots, through Saturday morning, then increase to levels marginal for development, 15 - 25 knots, Saturday afternoon through Monday. Some slow development of 97L is likely over this time period, and NHC is giving it a 30% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Saturday. The system is headed west-northwest at 15 mph, and should slow down to about 10 mph by Saturday. 97L will bring heavy rains and strong gusty winds to the Lesser Antilles Islands on Sunday and Monday. The ECMWF model is the only model that develops 97L, and foresees that 97L will track across the northern Lesser Antilles and pass near Puerto Rico on Monday and the eastern Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands by Wednesday. There are major differences in how the models handle the steering current forecast for next week, and the long-range track of 97L is highly uncertain at this point.


Figure 4. Morning satellite image of Invest 97L. The upper right portion on the disturbance, centered near 13.5N 45W, is most likely to develop into a tropical depression.

Next update
I'll have an update Friday morning.

Jeff Masters

Post Tropical Storm Nicole Sunset. (bethinking)
Taken at the Lower Sugarloaf Key Estuary as the skies cleared after TS Nicole moved north.
Post Tropical Storm Nicole Sunset.
Hooray for the power company! (AnnaThomas)
Current rain storm took out a tree and a power line. This is what my front yard looks like right now. Praise the power company for responding so quickly- so I could post this picture!
Hooray for the power company!

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1473. pottery
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
Think it was AHHHHHfermative

Actually, AHHHHfermented would be more in context.
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I could repost ABBA again??????
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Quoting Orcasystems:


was that a scream... or a light bulb?
Think it was AHHHHHfermative
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First night that there's no rain, lightening or thunder. Hope this lasts for a while. We are totally saturated. Have a good night.
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1468. pottery
Quoting jeffs713:

Its easier to spin up from the bottom up, than it is from the top down.

Like a good cocktail...
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Quoting hunkerdown:
same with vodka, and tequila, well store the tequila in the back of the fridge

Yeah... vodka is good from the freezer. One note, though... flavored vodka does not do well in the freezer, unless you like drinking vodka slush. (I put a half bottle of Stoli Oranj in the freezer... it was slush. but great in mixed drinks)

Its definitely not worth it during a 'cane, though.
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1466. pottery
Quoting Orcasystems:


was that a scream... or a light bulb?

Neither.
A sigh of appreciation for Good Advice...
'salud'
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Quoting Grothar:


That is the only one. I mean that all the other sites, like raleighwx and the spaghetti string models have not posted one model since it was initialized this morning. The GFDL and GFS are usually right on them. Maybe I missed during leather working shop today.
im sure the reed model is available somewhere but we can probably already guess how that one ends
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1464. Grothar
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


I am not listening to it.
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Quoting JLPR2:
Looks like the center relocation was to a mid level low which seems to be digging down to the surface, this might get interesting, since the one behind it is the opposite story, strong signature at the 850mb level, almost nothing at the mid levels.
500mb -mid levels

700mb

850mb- Closer to the surface


Its easier to spin up from the bottom up, than it is from the top down.
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1462. Grothar
Quoting hunkerdown:
i thought the CMC did, look back a page or so


That is the only one. I mean that all the other sites, like raleighwx and the spaghetti string models have not posted one model since it was initialized this morning. The GFDL and GFS are usually right on them. Maybe I missed during leather working shop today.
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1461. pottery
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Do I have to repost 99 luft ballons?

Nice!
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97L looks interesting.
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Quoting pottery:

Tab??
Dont know it at all!
But rum and citrus juice was always my favourite. Any kind of citrus. With Bitters.
And if there was no juice, well, shucks......


No, no, no... rum and coconut water. Isn't there a calypso song about it?
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Quoting pottery:

AHHHHH!!!


was that a scream... or a light bulb?
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Quoting Grothar:
Before I fade for the night, does anyone know why none of the models has not produced any long range forecasts on 97L? They are usually all over these by now.
post 1361
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Quoting Grothar:
Before I fade for the night, does anyone know why none of the models has not produced any long range forecasts on 97L? They are usually all over these by now.


Cause I did an anti cyclone dance! Should have seen it, wait maybe not lol! nite Grothar
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1455. Grothar
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Do I have to repost 99 luft ballons?


NO, please. I've been singing it in German and English and Norwegian all week. Driving me crazy.
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1454. pottery
Quoting Orcasystems:
General Note, in regards to drinking Rum (properly)

Good Rum should be stored in the Freezer... and poured directly into a shot glass... and then consumed straight...not diluted with any impurities.


AHHHHH!!!
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Quoting Orcasystems:
General Note, in regards to drinking Rum (properly)

Good Rum should be stored in the Freezer... and poured directly into a shot glass... and then consumed straight...not diluted with any impurities.

same with vodka, and tequila, well store the tequila in the back of the fridge
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Quoting Grothar:
Before I fade for the night, does anyone know why none of the models has not produced any long range forecasts on 97L? They are usually all over these by now.
i thought the CMC did, look back a page or so
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1450. Grothar
Quoting hunkerdown:
with Groth living down here its gotta be higher than that


I throw the average way off.
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Quoting traumaboyy:


Got you again man.....I love NOLA and visit about 6 times per year!!


Didn't get me on that one, Nawlins bred into me.
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1448. pottery
Quoting melwerle:
They are still selling TAB? GET OUT!!!

I do believe Pottery and I are around the same age.

And Pottery - and Grother et al...thank you for the giggles.

I am going to go settle into bed and listen to our unusual thunderstorms continue to roll into San Diego. When we get them, you have to take advantage of it and go lay in bed with the lights off and watch the light show.

ENJOY !!!
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Quoting MZT:
Vorticity has held up pretty well down there today:


was just noticing 97L
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General Note, in regards to drinking Rum (properly)

Good Rum should be stored in the Freezer... and poured directly into a shot glass... and then consumed straight...not diluted with any impurities.

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Quoting Grothar:
Before I fade for the night, does anyone know why none of the models has not produced any long range forecasts on 97L? They are usually all over these by now.


Do I have to repost 99 luft ballons?
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1444. xcool
traumaboyy .did you just call nola sux .
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Quoting Orcasystems:


They would have to.. whats the average age down there... 65-70?
with Groth living down here its gotta be higher than that
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Quoting Orcasystems:


They would have to.. whats the average age down there... 65-70?
touche' or however youz guys say it.
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1441. Grothar
Before I fade for the night, does anyone know why none of the models has not produced any long range forecasts on 97L? They are usually all over these by now.
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1440. pottery
Quoting Orcasystems:


Now your showing your age...
Pottery remembers when it used to be Rum and Tab.

Tab??
Dont know it at all!
But rum and citrus juice was always my favourite. Any kind of citrus. With Bitters.
And if there was no juice, well, shucks......
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Seeing as how there's very little chance we'll see Otto in the next 65 minutes, I figure I'm safe throwing up the final September numbers:

--The month saw ten active named storms: eight born during the month (Gaston through Nicole), and two carried over from August (Earl & Fiona)

--Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) for the month totaled a very high 84.685 (To put that into perspective, that's more than many entire seasons see, including 28 of the last 60).

--Average daily ACE: 2.8228

--Maximum daily ACE: 11.22 (9/15, with Igor, Julia, and Karl all active)

--Minimum daily ACE: 0 (five days: 9/5, 9/26-9/28, and 9/30)

--Number of days total: 30

--Number of days with at least one active named storm: 25 (83.3% of total)

--Number of days with at least one storm at hurricane status: 16 (53.3%)

--Number of days with at least one storm at major hurricane status: 8 (26.7%)

--Number of days with multiple active named storms: 16 (53.3%)

--Number of days with multiple storms at hurricane status: 4 (13.3%)

--Number of days with multiple storms at major hurricane status: 2 (6.7%)

For more, er, exciting stats and facts, be sure to visit my blog. Thanks!

Wow...sure will, thx.
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Quoting Grothar:


Is that why they call it a TWO? Is there a TWO at 5? I think you are all just trying to confuse me. They do the same here at the home, they tell us that the NCIS reruns are NEW shows.

TWO-Tropical Weather Outlook, issued at 2AM, 8AM, 2PM and 8PM.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Now your showing your age...
Pottery remembers when it used to be Rum and Tab.
Ha!
I remember a time when we had to do our best with not even the Tab.
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They still sell Tab down here!
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1435. JLPR2
Looks like the center relocation was to a mid level low which seems to be digging down to the surface, this might get interesting, since the one behind it is the opposite story, strong signature at the 850mb level, almost nothing at the mid levels.
500mb -mid levels

700mb

850mb- Closer to the surface

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They are still selling TAB? GET OUT!!!

I do believe Pottery and I are around the same age.

And Pottery - and Grother et al...thank you for the giggles.

I am going to go settle into bed and listen to our unusual thunderstorms continue to roll into San Diego. When we get them, you have to take advantage of it and go lay in bed with the lights off and watch the light show.
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1433. mbinmo
And to think those 2 teams north of the river will be the only undeafeated in the south division,so wrong
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Quoting doorman79:


Hey now, we are only second to Vegas!


Got you again man.....I love NOLA and visit about 6 times per year!!
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Quoting hunkerdown:
I don't know about north of the border but they still sell Tab down here in the sunshine state
Heck I knew I wasn't moving my family to the land of my father when my son ran out of "Pepper Doker" somewhere in Main.
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1430. Grothar
Quoting Orcasystems:


They would have to.. whats the average age down there... 65-70?


Yes, we got a lot of kids down here.
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Quoting doorman79:


Now I feel like an a$$ lol. I'm toasted!


lol....drink one for me man!!
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1428. pottery
Quoting MZT:
Vorticity has held up pretty well down there today:


Vort has improved a lot in the past 5 hrs. or so.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Now your showing your age...
Pottery remembers when it used to be Rum and Tab.


I remember Quisp and Quake cereal. I guess I am old too. :(
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Now your showing your age...
Pottery remembers when it used to be Rum and Tab.
you sure that wasn't Rum and Sarsaparilla?
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Quoting traumaboyy:


+100

NOLA SUX!!


Hey now, we are only second to Vegas!
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Quoting mbinmo:
Looks like those boys from college station don't like it ,sorry atmo


Cowboys 3-0. soon 4, maybe. Sorry, atmo.

Looks like October weather will start off beautiful in OK!

G'nite, folks.
:)
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Is 97L the front running convection that dissipated throughout the day heading west? or is it the convection blowing up heading WNW?? Cuz that convections is starting to looks serious and with a building high, Southeast US better watch out
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About JeffMasters

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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