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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1323. txjac
Nice Neapolitan, very well said.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


OMG, how many names do you have..I must have 6 or more of you on ignore.
yet the face doesn't change...
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1315. Orcasystems

Orca, thanks for the ed links.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Two excellent sites for beginners... and budding experts

Hurricane forecasting tutorial quasigeostropic's WunderBlog


MetEd Home page


Thanks for those links!
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1319. Seastep
Also, Haboobs, just for clarity, I am looking at 45W and not where they have 97L currently.
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1318. pottery
Quoting traumaboyy:


Those self proclaimed geniuses really irritate us tru genius...lol....good evening sir!

Well said!!
It's not easy, being us!
hehehehhh
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
97L will most likely turn out to be nothing...shear will not be favorable...upper level flow dropping a ton of cold air. Even going to see a low of 46 in southern miss sunday night. it is just a nice trough of a cluster of tstorms to help churn the water as hurricane season is nearing the end as conditions for formation contine to fall off.


Well, as anyone who's ever looked at a map of the Atlantic can tell you, southern Mississippi is a long way north of the Caribbean, so the temps there won't have one iota of effect on the development of 97L. (FWIW, temps here in south Florida are still in the upper 70s to low 80s at night, with highs in the low 90s...happy happy hurricane weather.)

Yes, hurricane season is nearing the end...as it has been since June 2nd. There are still two solid months of that season left, with anywhere from a bare minimum of three or four more storms to as many as ten more before it's all said and done.

Having said all that: yes, there are many on here who simple parrot what they read or see elsewhere. But that's okay; this isn't a forum just for professional tropical forecasters and employees of the NHC, but rather for those interested in and enthused by tropical (and other) weather. And since most on here have no plans to become professional meteorologists, what's the harm in them doing a little layman learning?
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13526
Quoting txjac:
HaboobsRSweet, thanks for the recommondation. I have already found several articles that I will read this weekend

No prob...one thing that people jump on too much here is they thing a system is firing off a ton of convetion when in reality all they are looking at is a lot of blowoff and mid level clouds. Mid level clouds make a great picture and can mislead people into thinking that a storm is brewing and growing. yea it looks great but nothing is really happening. I think that is when a lot of people get frustrated with NHC wondering why something isnt upgraded.
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

First thing i recommend to many is to take a class (or an online tutorial) on cloud ID. Being able to determine what type of cloud you are looking at on satellite will tell you many things. It helps tell you the height of the cloud and how to read what is under the anvils and high clouds. Also need to be able to tell the difference between low clouds and high clouds so you can see movement and overall flow. that helps ID shear. Things like Closed cell CU and open cell CU thell you a lot of lows and highs, and position of shearlines. Stratocumulus lines and CU streets (yes huge difference between the two) also give you key clues to flow and possible shear.


Two excellent sites for beginners... and budding experts

Hurricane forecasting tutorial quasigeostropic's WunderBlog


MetEd Home page
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1314. txjac
Doorman ...I like the way you think! Been saying that same thing much lately ...I could probably do all that you mention (not killing the pig though, I'd be a vegitarian). We are soft and lacking
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1313. Gearsts
Well what im seeing is that 97L is getting slowly better orginize.Vort is increasing,organization is better and is more south away from the shear also and anti cyclone is on top.But im looking at the area behind to be the better one to develop.Also the new avn loop shows really deep convection developing.:D
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Quoting pottery:

For some strange reason, people who come here to espouse their self-proclaimed genius, tend to do so in objectionable ways.
Look to someone else for your accurate information.


Those self proclaimed geniuses really irritate us tru genius...lol....good evening sir!
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1311. txjac
HaboobsRSweet, thanks for the recommondation. I have already found several articles that I will read this weekend
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For Grothar:

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1309. pottery
Quoting jasoniscoolman2011xz:
upper low moving west here

Thanks for the images, Jason.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Ok, that sent a shiver down my spine. There is a place for people who think like that, and I would have no problem helping them get there :)


The truth hurts, thats why we are where we are now. Ask someone here to raise a garden, or slaughter a pig, or build a house. Most, ( I stress not all) will tell you to call someone to do it. We have become to soft. And we wonder why China is beating us lol. Cause If we can't make a 100k sitting in the a.c. then why do it!
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Quoting jasoniscoolman2011xz:
upper low moving west here


Thank you Jason for posting these graphics! Makes it easier for those of us just popping in and out of the blog :)
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Quoting txjac:



Maybe instead of being critical to this person you could be helpful with suggesting which charts, graphs, radar, etc that one should consult

You have to remember many of us have been lurkers for years attempting to pick up pointers and tips from those that know. Not everyone that comes here is a met or studying to be a met

First thing i recommend to many is to take a class (or an online tutorial) on cloud ID. Being able to determine what type of cloud you are looking at on satellite will tell you many things. It helps tell you the height of the cloud and how to read what is under the anvils and high clouds. Also need to be able to tell the difference between low clouds and high clouds so you can see movement and overall flow. that helps ID shear. Things like Closed cell CU and open cell CU tell you a lot about lows and highs, and position of shearlines. Stratocumulus lines and CU streets (yes huge difference between the two) also give you key clues to flow and possible shear.
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1305. pottery
Quoting txjac:



Maybe instead of being critical to this person you could be helpful with suggesting which charts, graphs, radar, etc that one should consult

You have to remember many of us have been lurkers for years attempting to pick up pointers and tips from those that know. Not everyone that comes here is a met or studying to be a met

For some strange reason, people who come here to espouse their self-proclaimed genius, tend to do so in objectionable ways.
Look to someone else for your accurate information.
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Not a drop of rain on the Jersey Shore, brothers and sisters, and a max gust about 35 mph. So much, so far, for the "hurricane" we were promised!
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Ummm you might want to re read it Shen...
It's true that's what a lot of the less desirable denizens of this blog believe. I was factoring in that for you that is a sarcastic statement.
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1301. pottery
Quoting Orcasystems:


Hey... it was 24 here today with blinding sunlight... it was a spectacular day... and its suppose to be that way all weekend.

Well, dont forget to dress up nice and warm if yr going out...
heheheh
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Quoting Seastep:


You got me on the cold air, because that is beyond my pay grade. Just making a comment on the shear as I can discern. Doesn't look sheared on sat, either.

Do agree with you that there are some missed bloggers.

Where's Drak been lately. Seems we'll never see 456 again, too.

hate to say it but I doubt they come back. I actually watch this blog more for entertainment and lack of skill. most people on here can only look at a model and not even explain why the model is forecasting what it is. No one verifies models on here either. They take it for face value. You have to know how to use a model when forecasting and just looking at it is not the right way to use it.
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Aww, c'mmon Texa sAggies...
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1298. Seastep
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

Again someone using a forecasted chart that is built off of model data. I am looking at real data and the real situation by using water vapor and IR satellite imagines. Those shear maps in my opinion are a bit off. watch the trough drop down and all that cold air come on down.


I'm looking at sat too, and not seeing what you're seeing out in the C Atl.
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1297. txjac
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

Again someone using a forecasted chart that is built off of model data. I am looking at real data and the real situation by using water vapor and IR satellite imagines. Those shear maps in my opinion are a bit off. watch the trough drop down and all that cold air come on down.



Maybe instead of being critical to this person you could be helpful with suggesting which charts, graphs, radar, etc that one should consult

You have to remember many of us have been lurkers for years attempting to pick up pointers and tips from those that know. Not everyone that comes here is a met or studying to be a met
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

Again someone using a forecasted chart that is built off of model data. I am looking at real data and the real situation by using water vapor and IR satellite imagines. Those shear maps in my opinion are a bit off. watch the trough drop down and all that cold air come on down.


If 97L makes that gap... not much to stop it.



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1295. Seastep
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

Again someone using a forecasted chart that is built off of model data. I am looking at real data and the real situation by using water vapor and IR satellite imagines. Those shear maps in my opinion are a bit off. watch the trough drop down and all that cold air come on down.


You got me on the cold air, because that is beyond my pay grade. Just making a comment on the shear as I can discern. Doesn't look sheared on sat, either.

Do agree with you that there are some missed bloggers.

Where's Drak been lately. Seems we'll never see 456 again, too.
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1293. Grothar
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Nice image, Geoff. Have one that isn't animated?
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Really starting to think that the wave at 14, 45 is the one that should be the main invest.

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15889
Quoting Seastep:


Shear forecast is not prohibitive unless it goes N.

46hr:


Again someone using a forecasted chart that is built off of model data. I am looking at real data and the real situation by using water vapor and IR satellite imagines. Those shear maps in my opinion are a bit off. watch the trough drop down and all that cold air come on down.
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Quoting doorman79:


Shen has a point, sad to say but its not all of us.


Ok, that sent a shiver down my spine. There is a place for people who think like that, and I would have no problem helping them get there :)
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Twelve people killed by 'Nicole' in Jamaica
Posted on Thu, 09/30/2010 - 19:54 in Science and Nature

(Reuters): Jamaica's death toll from Tropical Storm Nicole rose to twelve on Thursday as forecasters warned the storm's remains could hit the US Atlantic Coast from the Carolinas to New England. Nicole was a minimal tropical storm for just six hours on Wednesday, but the broad, ragged system poured heavy rain onto Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, south Florida and the Bahamas. In Jamaica, three days of torrential rain from the system caused flash flooding that killed a dozen people. Eight more were missing and feared dead. In the latest casualties, three construction workers died when a storm-weakened wall collapsed on them early Thursday.

The men were sleeping inside the half-finished house they were building in the affluent Norbrook Heights section of Kingston, police said. Part of the house collapsed under the weight of rain from the storm, police said. Frantic neighbours led them to the site, where the men were heard screaming. Their bodies were found soon afterward. "This is devastating. They died in a terrible way. They had little chance of survival," a neighbour woman said.
Tuesday and Wednesday, three pedestrians were swept away by rising water and six members of one family died when their house collapsed in a flood.
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Quoting JupiterFL:


Orca thats not the real Jason as you clearly just read more than 5 words not in all CAPS.


LMAO, Nice.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Hey... it was 24 here today with blinding sunlight... it was a spectacular day... and its suppose to be that way all weekend.


24? f or c?
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Vorticity is increasing
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6168
1284. Seastep
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
97L will most likely turn out to be nothing...shear will not be favorable...upper level flow dropping a ton of cold air. Even going to see a low of 46 in southern miss sunday night. it is just a nice trough of a cluster of tstorms to help churn the water as hurricane season is nearing the end as conditions for formation contine to fall off.


Shear forecast is not prohibitive unless it goes N.

46hr:

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Quoting Orcasystems:


Ummm you might want to re read it Shen...


Shen has a point, sad to say but its not all of us.
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Quoting pottery:

Agree with that!


Hey... it was 24 here today with blinding sunlight... it was a spectacular day... and its suppose to be that way all weekend.
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1281. pottery
Quoting Orcasystems:


Hey now... I have never been there... how could I leave the door open... granted... I may have played the song... and spent 5 days tracking it to your house... but I did not leave the door open.

ummmmm Ike did it :)

LOL...
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I see we have sides of 97L will develop, and 97L won't develop. I take the side that says it will. An anticyclone is forming right over it, and now all we need to wait for is the COC that wins out.
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97L is very interesting. However I have some doubts concerning the official COC position of 12.5N 53W...
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6168
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
That's not sarcasm, that's truth.


Ummm you might want to re read it Shen...
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1275. pottery
Quoting doorman79:


Pottery,

Just get Orca to send you some cold weather down and it will go away. On a serious note, I hope it peters out! No one needs excessive winds or rains. I enjoy the blog but I wish for it to be slow for all!

Agree with that!
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3 hours ago:


Current:
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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.