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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1123. bwat
I'm telling yall, were gonna need PortLight around here! Lots of flooding without many reports! they will come with time was the reporters get to us.
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Quoting JLPR2:
Was this posted today?
The EURO has the NAO going from a strong positive to a strong Negative.



Drak posted it earlier but it is nice to have a refresher.
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1117. bwat
I;m on the Perquimans river, and this southerly wind is pushing the water up farther.
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Quoting WXTXN:


Does that mean you're in the inner circle?


I'm not joking. He was on detail Nov. 22, 1963. He was on duty at JFK's next stop after Dallas.
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1115. bwat
97L does look impressive, but we are getting drowned here in eastern NC! Then again I guess its not a tropical system, but we are still getting hammered! Please lets talk about this monsoonal trough! Next system is at least 7 days out from LF. I see the water coming up, with the winds increasing, let me know something please. Levi, Ptrap, somebody!
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1114. Patrap



NEXRAD Radar
Wilmington, Storm Total Surface Rainfall Accumulation Range 124 NMI


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Quoting plywoodstatenative:


I am seeing two runs being posted, what is going on with the two systems. Are we talking about two storms, one going into the Caribbean and one up here or a system with two centers?


Same storm, mixture of 12Z and 00Z model runs. NOAA is have network "issues" today:

SENIOR DUTY METEOROLOGIST NWS ADMINISTRATIVE MESSAGE
NWS NCEP CENTRAL OPERATIONS CAMP SPRINGS MD
2057Z THU SEP 30 2010


FYI NCEP MODEL USERS...DUE TO NESDIS NETWORK PROBLEMS A MINIMAL
AMOUNT OF SATELLITE DATA WAS AVAILABLE FOR 18Z NAM AND 18Z GFS
INGEST..

$$


Satellite data is important to the models over the Atlantic, so I don't trust the 18Z at all. Hope they fix their issues.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Yep and they seem to all meet in the 110 - 120 mph range.

100-105 knots on the graph...

When and can I see the Link please
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Quoting ackee:
I think 97L will track very similar to TS matthew

Much more to the north
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Models beginning to like 97L. All intensity models take it to hurricane strength.



Yep and they seem to all meet in the 110 - 120 mph range.

100-105 knots on the graph...
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My step-dad was Jimmy Carter’s personal Secret Service Agent!
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atmo, the weather reports last night stated that the remnants of Nicole had wound up pretty nicely and that a coastal low was forming. I believe that what is going on is the simply stated fact that a coastal low dragged up the leftover moisture of Nicole and then whatever circulation was left went up as well.
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I expect 97L to be upgraded to a High Chance tomorrow...

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Models beginning to like 97L. All intensity models take it to hurricane strength.

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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


I am seeing two runs being posted, what is going on with the two systems. Are we talking about two storms, one going into the Caribbean and one up here or a system with two centers?
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:



interesting....so all tracks now have this thing moving through a herbert box?


postscript--pertaining to 97L
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1100. Seastep
13N/45W. Clear as a bell. Game on.

Except for this head-scratcher: Link



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Quoting presslord:


the NHC is run by little green humanoid alien creatures from a secret bunker at Area 51 in New Mexico...from which they receive their daily instructions from the Vatican to achieve world dominion...your denial of the conspiracy in no way impacts its' demonstrable reality...
You swore never to reveal the Secrets of the Order.  Expect your Just Reward.
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Quoting NCSaint:


I think it would still have been a significant precip event, but Nicole (and the extra-tropical version of her) provided a pump from the Carribean for close to double the moisture the front would have otherwise produced. So in that respect, I'd have to agree that it was, in fact a direct contributor.
Where is the double TPW? Where is the great big contribution of Nicole over normal moisture available to be pulled along this front?

Morning of the 28th, before Nicole did much:


About the time the last advisory on Nicole was posted:


Yeah, so TPW anomaly was around 100% of normal up to 150% of normal in some places. But some especially higher than normal TPW with Nicole's signature on it simply doesn't appear here.

Full loop: http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/bTPW/TPW_Animation.html?fromDate=20100926&fromHour=23&endDate=20100929&en dHour=23&product=CONUS_PCT&interval=6hours

I personally think you guys are hanging your "Nicole's moisture" hat on what is simply convergence, bringing very high moisture totals to the frontal boundary, nothingmore. This front is doing just that (heck, check out PA's TPW 2 days before Nicole got into the mix).
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
1097. breald
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
HA HA HA. You changed about 90% of what I said---why else did you wait 4 days to post it?


Hmm...who does that remind you of?



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1095. JLPR2
Quoting WeatherfanPR:
finally new runs

TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
0026 UTC FRI OCT 1 2010

DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.
PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE
AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.

ATLANTIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR

DISTURBANCE INVEST (AL972010) 20101001 0000 UTC

...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...
101001 0000 101001 1200 101002 0000 101002 1200

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 12.5N 53.1W 13.4N 55.6W 14.4N 57.8W 15.4N 59.8W
BAMD 12.5N 53.1W 13.3N 55.5W 14.2N 57.6W 15.0N 59.4W
BAMM 12.5N 53.1W 13.3N 55.5W 14.4N 57.7W 15.3N 59.6W
LBAR 12.5N 53.1W 13.5N 56.3W 14.7N 59.1W 15.8N 61.9W
SHIP 25KTS 30KTS 38KTS 49KTS
DSHP 25KTS 30KTS 38KTS 49KTS

...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...
101003 0000 101004 0000 101005 0000 101006 0000

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 16.4N 61.4W 17.3N 64.2W 17.7N 67.3W 18.1N 70.0W
BAMD 15.5N 60.9W 15.7N 63.0W 15.7N 63.8W 16.8N 64.3W
BAMM 16.0N 61.0W 16.6N 63.3W 16.7N 65.2W 17.4N 66.8W
LBAR 17.1N 64.1W 19.1N 67.9W 20.6N 71.1W 19.2N 72.9W
SHIP 62KTS 76KTS 82KTS 92KTS
DSHP 62KTS 76KTS 82KTS 92KTS

...INITIAL CONDITIONS...
LATCUR = 12.5N LONCUR = 53.1W DIRCUR = 275DEG SPDCUR = 20KT
LATM12 = 12.0N LONM12 = 49.0W DIRM12 = 270DEG SPDM12 = 20KT
LATM24 = 11.6N LONM24 = 42.9W
WNDCUR = 25KT RMAXWD = 60NM WNDM12 = 25KT
CENPRS = 1009MB OUTPRS = 1012MB OUTRAD = 150NM SDEPTH = S
RD34NE = 0NM RD34SE = 0NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM


Rather unfavorable for the islands.
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1094. Patrap
00z Invest97 Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Invest97 Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)






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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
AL 97 2010100100 BEST 0 125N 531W 25 1009 DB
They relocated the center.
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1092. JLPR2
Was this posted today?
The EURO has the NAO going from a strong positive to a strong Negative.

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finally new runs

TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
0026 UTC FRI OCT 1 2010

DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.
PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE
AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.

ATLANTIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR

DISTURBANCE INVEST (AL972010) 20101001 0000 UTC

...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...
101001 0000 101001 1200 101002 0000 101002 1200

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 12.5N 53.1W 13.4N 55.6W 14.4N 57.8W 15.4N 59.8W
BAMD 12.5N 53.1W 13.3N 55.5W 14.2N 57.6W 15.0N 59.4W
BAMM 12.5N 53.1W 13.3N 55.5W 14.4N 57.7W 15.3N 59.6W
LBAR 12.5N 53.1W 13.5N 56.3W 14.7N 59.1W 15.8N 61.9W
SHIP 25KTS 30KTS 38KTS 49KTS
DSHP 25KTS 30KTS 38KTS 49KTS

...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...
101003 0000 101004 0000 101005 0000 101006 0000

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 16.4N 61.4W 17.3N 64.2W 17.7N 67.3W 18.1N 70.0W
BAMD 15.5N 60.9W 15.7N 63.0W 15.7N 63.8W 16.8N 64.3W
BAMM 16.0N 61.0W 16.6N 63.3W 16.7N 65.2W 17.4N 66.8W
LBAR 17.1N 64.1W 19.1N 67.9W 20.6N 71.1W 19.2N 72.9W
SHIP 62KTS 76KTS 82KTS 92KTS
DSHP 62KTS 76KTS 82KTS 92KTS

...INITIAL CONDITIONS...
LATCUR = 12.5N LONCUR = 53.1W DIRCUR = 275DEG SPDCUR = 20KT
LATM12 = 12.0N LONM12 = 49.0W DIRM12 = 270DEG SPDM12 = 20KT
LATM24 = 11.6N LONM24 = 42.9W
WNDCUR = 25KT RMAXWD = 60NM WNDM12 = 25KT
CENPRS = 1009MB OUTPRS = 1012MB OUTRAD = 150NM SDEPTH = S
RD34NE = 0NM RD34SE = 0NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM
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Quoting breald:


Could be. Had this been a "named" storm they would have done so before it even hit like they did with Earl.


In South Florida they waited until the streets and such were flooded before deciding to open the canal gates and lower water levels in the canals so that the waterways would be able to handle the influx of water from the drains. The problem is that they were well aware of what was coming and knew that the specific areas that flood would be drenched, South Florida Water Management says that they were ready for hurricane season, if so, why then did they wait until the flooding was already underway before opening the gates, imagine if this was a hurricane.
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1089. centex
I know these big rain things all too well. Many only watch for high wind and storm surge but fresh water is the killer.
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AL 97 2010100100 BEST 0 125N 531W 25 1009 DB
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1085. mbinmo
Hey all you stat. guys, was wondering if anybody knows if we have ever had this many hurricanes in a year and no conus hits [i know it may well be not over] also is there any data out there about tornado warnings vs. actual confirmed sightings or damage report's. thanks

no takers? no guesses/
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1084. will40
Quoting breald:


See I guess I should have read back. Thanks for the info.


np breald
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1083. breald
Quoting will40:
Gov. Beverly Perdue has proclaimed a state of emergency as North Carolina's coastal residents brace for drenching rains from a weather system interacting with approaching remnants of a recent tropical storm.


See I guess I should have read back. Thanks for the info.
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1082. bwat
Quoting will40:



Gov has already declared state of emergency
Did not know that! thank goodness the local store still sold beer! I guess they didnt hear yet! BTW thanks Will for your posts. Been lurking for 3 weeks now, but whenever a storm threatens NC, you always have good info.
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BREAKING NEWS


Significant, potentially dangerous flooding seen in Washington
Staff Reports
Published: Thursday, September 30, 2010 6:54 PM EDT
Significant flooding was affecting Washington during rush hour Thursday, and rescues were reportedly taking place as some motorists’ vehicles stalled in high water.

Beaufort County government and the City of Washington declared a state of emergency during the early evening. Officials declared all roads within the city closed, as well as N.C. Highway 33 between Chocowinity and Core Point Road.

The state of emergency was effective as of around 6 p.m.
Link


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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Large hatch area.


Very funny way to put it.
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1078. centex
I think they tagged Caribbean is because they think conditions will improve quickly. It's got no vorticity at the moment.
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NC can i trad you i give you the snow why i take the rain and snow for CA
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1075. will40
NC Gov did hers wednesday
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1074. pcola57
Hey Presslord?How ya'll doing?You comin' up for air?Hope all is well.
v/r
Moe
Quoting presslord:


the NHC is run by little green humanoid alien creatures from a secret bunker at Area 51 in New Mexico...from which they receive their daily instructions from the Vatican to achieve world dominion...your denial of the conspiracy in no way impacts its' demonstrable reality...
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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.

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