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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3 hours ago:


Current:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Goodnite all. Thankfully I have a warm dry place to lay my head tonight....thoughts to all my neighbors....
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1268. Ron5244
Quoting mcluvincane:


Ron, u have issues..... 97L will develope what are u looking at or are u just another idiotic troll


Remember my name when you're wrong.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:

Yep.
Orca left the door open, and worse that that he is now going around singing..."who let the dogs out?''...
Strange Guy!


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 :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:

Well, MOST of the people here are interested in Tropical Weather.
And 97L is a Tropical System that is proving to be very interesting right now, for a couple of reasons.
The fact that models dont show it coming to the CONUS is not the point at all. And I did not notice too much hype about it....


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!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1265. Ron5244
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.


Nice to see some sense on the blog.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Ron5244:


Okay - keep stalking something that will likely never happen (a.k.a. the development of 97L).

- Hope I didn't break your heart! ; )
Quoting Ron5244:


Okay - keep stalking something that will likely never happen (a.k.a. the development of 97L).

- Hope I didn't break your heart! ; )


Ron, u have issues..... 97L will develope what are u looking at or are u just another idiotic troll
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Ron5244:
What's with everyone going crazy about this 97L? As far as I can see, not a single reliable model develops it into anything serious...if at all, nor do they bring it anywhere close to the United States.

+1
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting centex:
Except when it comes in feet.

Been in plenty of systems to bring feet of rain. So you lose your power for a coule of day...that is only a big deal to the eldery and people with medical needs. It would be easier to help those people if healthy normal people stop calling and complaining to get power back on right away so they can watch their favorite tv show tonight.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Don't understand pple who come here and call an interest in tropical wx "hyping". Either they don't understand that tropical wx IS the topic of the blog, or they don't know what "hyping" means....

Won't waste energy unhiding too many more of ur messages....


Nicely done. +10,000
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So if 97L develops everyone will congratulate ron on being right? rightttt? ;)
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1258. Seastep
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
97L could be a long-term threat to the USA. It's not impossible. But.....

It has to develop.

It has to not turn north.

It needs to avoid the Hispaniola hurricane shredder. Actually a wet tropical wave going across Haiti could cause more destruction than a hurricane would most other places.


Don't think Hispaniola would be much of an issue to this type of system. As with others this season, it is very large.

Will take time to consolidate and organize, if ever.

These are certainly strange systems this year, aside from the normal ones.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Ron5244:


Okay. But the main point is, many of the models don't even develop it. So what's the fret about? Honestly, the hype on this blog is sad.
Don't understand pple who come here and call an interest in tropical wx "hyping". Either they don't understand that tropical wx IS the topic of the blog, or they don't know what "hyping" means....

Won't waste energy unhiding too many more of ur messages....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1255. pottery
Quoting doorman79:


lol



Hey, I watch the door! wasnt me :)

It was Orca lol

Yep.
Orca left the door open, and worse that that he is now going around singing..."who let the dogs out?''...
Strange Guy!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1254. Ron5244
Quoting Orcasystems:


You should FOCUS more :)


Okay - keep stalking something that will likely never happen (a.k.a. the development of 97L).

- Hope I didn't break your heart! ; )
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:
Well, actually, it blows...
depends on how much updraft
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
1252. centex
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

I agree and on top of that forget the models...look at the environment. it is a non-threat to just about everyone. Just rain. Nothing different than what they see in the northern indian ocean.
Except when it comes in feet.
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Quoting Ron5244:


Okay. But the main point is, many of the models don't even develop it. So what's the fret about? Honestly, the hype on this blog is sad.


you are sad,Ron.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1250. Seastep
Quoting Ron5244:


Well wait for it to develop then before commencing the hype.


What hype?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KerryInNOLA:
Watch the language. Grandma is getting ready to surf this blog.


Can't control the wind :)
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Quoting Portlight:
Bow-firt Right?


Correct. Is saying it like that in front of Press like saying the Caro.....nevermind.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Ron5244:


Well wait for it to develop then before commencing the hype.


You should FOCUS more :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:

Well, MOST of the people here are interested in Tropical Weather.
And 97L is a Tropical System that is proving to be very interesting right now, for a couple of reasons.
The fact that models dont show it coming to the CONUS is not the point at all. And I did not notice too much hype about it....


bravo
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1242. Ron5244
Quoting Seastep:


Believe it or not, storms do actually form that were not shown by the models.


Well wait for it to develop then before commencing the hype.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1241. pottery
Quoting Ron5244:


Okay. But the main point is, many of the models don't even develop it. So what's the fret about? Honestly, the hype on this blog is sad.

Well, MOST of the people here are interested in Tropical Weather.
And 97L is a Tropical System that is proving to be very interesting right now, for a couple of reasons.
The fact that models dont show it coming to the CONUS is not the point at all. And I did not notice too much hype about it....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Hurricanes101:


your name is Nicole?



No , i meant to say that i am in Hispaniola , that is were the i am now comes from
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1239. Ron5244
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

I agree and on top of that forget the models...look at the environment. it is a non-threat to just about everyone. Just rain. Nothing different than what they see in the northern indian ocean.


Exactly.
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Quoting stormhunter23:
Rains from ex- Nicole have shifted on the Caribbean, now affecting Hispaniola , were i am now raining for about 3 hours really heavy rains



that's horrific news. please everyone say a prayer for the folks in haiti. port au prince is surrounded by a mountainous range and due to poverty the environment all throughout haiti has been exploited badly, they cut down all of the trees.

pray the storm moves away from haiti/dr fast....everyone is living in tents out in a mess in the street and mudslides could be a horrific insult to injury.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Actually... quite spectacular right now :)

BTW, I hope people caught the sarcasm in post #1218
Yes and thank you. I know you were being sarcastic but sadly quite a few people do think if it doesn't hit the US it is no big deal. Several people died in Jamaica yesterday and many lost homes .
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1235. Seastep
Quoting Ron5244:


Okay. But the main point is, many of the models don't even develop it. So what's the fret about? Honestly, the hype on this blog is sad.


Believe it or not, storms do actually form that were not shown by the models.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1233. centex
This cool/dry weather in Texas this time of year happens all the time but never this long, very unusual.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Moonsoon lows are a characteristic of the western Pacific and Indian oceans where water temps are usually above 30C---are they forming here because the Atlantic is warmer this year?


Good question.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Ron5244:


Okay. But the main point is, many of the models don't even develop it. So what's the fret about? Honestly, the hype on this blog is sad.

I agree and on top of that forget the models...look at the environment. it is a non-threat to just about everyone. Just rain. Nothing different than what they see in the northern indian ocean.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:
Well, actually, it blows...


lol

Quoting pottery:

Yeah!
Someboddy opened the door, man.


Hey, I watch the door! wasnt me :)

It was Orca lol
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Quoting pottery:

I hear that there is a Petition going around the place, seeking to have 97L named Orca instead of Otto.
It looks like it will be particularly unpleasant.
Just sayin'...

LOL.
How is the weather up, er, um, there, Orc?


Actually... quite spectacular right now :)

BTW, I hope people caught the sarcasm in post #1218
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Quoting stormhunter23:
Rains from ex- Nicole have shifted on the Caribbean, now affecting Hispaniola , were i am now raining for about 3 hours really heavy rains


your name is Nicole? lol
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Hehe, I had to warn him about Poquoson and pronunciation before they went there...


Hahahaha, oh Poquoson... they are funny people. Thank goodness there is no water rise or they would be underwater... only a little rise in water makes there drainage fail
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Quoting weatherwatcher12:

The United States isn't the only piece of land out there.
Thank you.
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1225. pottery
Quoting stormhunter23:
Rains from ex- Nicole have shifted on the Caribbean, now affecting Hispaniola , were i am now raining for about 3 hours really heavy rains

That is particularly Bad News...
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Bow-firt Right?
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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.