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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973. Patrap
11:48 PM GMT on September 30, 2010
I never Poll on a Thursday..

Bad mojo can only come from it.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125492
972. Patrap
11:47 PM GMT on September 30, 2010



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


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125492
971. kmanislander
11:46 PM GMT on September 30, 2010
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I'll bite. LOL. I'll go with C.


Good evening

I think I'll go with 30 % LOL

The 850 vort looks good tonight but it is displaced to the NE from the where the surface low is. Also, the convection is disorganized.

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
970. GeoffreyWPB
11:46 PM GMT on September 30, 2010
Quoting SweetHomeBamaGOM:
is nwc/noaa/nasa planning on assigning a floater to 97L?


The Satellite Services Division assigns the floaters.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10577
968. MiamiHurricanes09
11:46 PM GMT on September 30, 2010
000
ABNT20 KNHC 302345
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 PM EDT THU SEP 30 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

A LARGE AND COMPLEX AREA OF DISTURBED WEATHER ...ASSOCIATED WITH TWO
TROPICAL WAVES...EXTENDS FROM THE LESSER ANTILLES EASTWARD INTO THE
ATLANTIC FOR SEVERAL HUNDRED MILES. THIS SYSTEM SHOWS SOME SIGNS
OF ORGANIZATION...AND UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE FORECAST TO BE
MARGINALLY FAVORABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT AS THE SYSTEM MOVES WESTWARD
TO WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT 15 TO 20 MPH. THERE IS A MEDIUM
CHANCE...30 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE
DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.


SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY EXTENDS FROM NORTHERN HONDURAS
ACROSS THE CAYMAN ISLANDS AND JAMAICA TO HISPANIOLA IN ASSOCIATION
WITH A BROAD TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE. THERE ARE NO SIGNS OF
ORGANIZATION AT THIS TIME...AND THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...10
PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS. REGARDLESS OF DEVELOPMENT...LOCALLY HEAVY RAINS ARE
POSSIBLE DURING THE NEXT DAY OR TWO ACROSS NORTHERN CENTRAL
AMERICA...THE CAYMAN ISLANDS...JAMAICA...AND HISPANIOLA.


ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
967. kimoskee
11:44 PM GMT on September 30, 2010
Will it ever end???

Met Service of Jamaica
NEWS RELEASE
September 30, 2010 – 5:00 p.m.

***FLASH FLOOD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT***


The Meteorological Service has extended the Flash Flood Warning for low-lying and flood prone areas of all parishes until 5:00 p.m. tomorrow.

A FLASH FLOOD WARNING means flooding has been reported or will occur shortly. Motorists and pedestrians should not attempt to cross flooded roadways or other low-lying areas as strong currents are likely. Residents in low-lying areas should be on the alert for rising waters and be ready to move quickly to higher ground.

Although Tropical Storm Nicole has dissipated there is a broad area of low pressure that extends from the Bahamas, across Cuba, Jamaica and sections of the western Caribbean. Radar reports and data collected from weather stations across the island indicate that throughout the day scattered light to moderate showers and thunderstorms, which were heavy at times, affected most parishes.

The broad area of low pressure will continue to influence weather conditions across the island for the next 48 to 72 hours. The forecast is for continued showers and thunderstorms to affect Jamaica for at least the next two days.

Due to the gusty winds and above normal wave heights north and south of the island, fishers and other marine interests are being advised not to venture far from port.


The Meteorological Service will continue to monitor the progress of this system.
rlb
Member Since: August 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 672
966. scott39
11:40 PM GMT on September 30, 2010
Going off convection can be deceiving.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6706
964. SweetHomeBamaGOM
11:38 PM GMT on September 30, 2010
is nwc/noaa/nasa planning on assigning a floater to 97L?
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 365
963. CybrTeddy
11:37 PM GMT on September 30, 2010
B. 30%.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23012
962. WeatherfanPR
11:37 PM GMT on September 30, 2010
Quoting WeatherfanPR:
quick poll:

97L at 8pm

A.less than 30%
B. 30%
C. 40%
D. 50% or more


D
Member Since: August 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1563
961. scott39
11:37 PM GMT on September 30, 2010
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
12z CMC shows it going over the Bahamas and making a very close call with eastern Florida. It looks like it starts to recurve before making landfall over Florida. 12z GFS doesn't do much with it; keeps it weak through the Caribbean and dissipates it along the western Caribbean. 12z ECMWF turns it into a hurricane whilst over Puerto Rico, then clips northern Hispañiola before recurving out to sea. No idea what the NOGAPS does, the system isn't discernible on the 12z run. Finally the UKMET doesn't develop it.
Thanks for the explanation. Looks like we will know more when and if developement happens.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6706
960. thelmores
11:36 PM GMT on September 30, 2010
no threat, but interesting anyway....

ex-nicole.....

Neuse River, New Bern, North Carolina (PWS)

Pressure: 29.37 in (Steady)


Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3788
959. flsky
11:36 PM GMT on September 30, 2010
Hope this isn't too insensitive (since so many people are having trouble), but it's been an absolutely glorious day in DBS today. No AC all day long! It's nice to be able to air out the house. Waves have even calmed down a bit - still a somewhat rougher than usual tho.
Member Since: October 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1720
957. MiamiHurricanes09
11:35 PM GMT on September 30, 2010
Quoting WeatherfanPR:
quick poll:

97L at 8pm

A.less than 30%
B. 30%
C. 40%
D. 50% or more
I'll bite. LOL. I'll go with C.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
956. CosmicEvents
11:34 PM GMT on September 30, 2010
Quoting Grothar:
Anyone is SE Florida, notice we have another spectacular sunset. Everything is red-orange again. Not like last night, but interesting to see.
I see. Last night was different as you say. Almost as if we were in the center of a broad center. I didn't get a chance to see what explained it. I did see someone mention the sun's refraction against the heavy cloud cover, which sounded reasonable. Was this the "board" explanation?
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5458
955. MiamiHurricanes09
11:34 PM GMT on September 30, 2010
Well-defined 200mb anticyclone sitting atop 97L providing for favorable upper level winds.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
954. WeatherfanPR
11:34 PM GMT on September 30, 2010
Quoting Bordonaro:

D) 40 % :O)


option D is 50% or more. option C is 40%
Member Since: August 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1563
953. HurricaneKing
11:34 PM GMT on September 30, 2010
Right now I suggest keeping a watchful eye on 3 places.
1. the invest of course.
2. The bahamas. Another low may be trying to form there.
3. The tutt near Bermuda.
The reason I mention the tutt is its trying to keep the ejecting ull over the southeast from pushing the moisture plume offshore. If that tutt stays strong then NC may continue having a bad time of it.
Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 71 Comments: 2449
951. PELLSPROG
11:32 PM GMT on September 30, 2010
Quoting hydrus:
Yeah, I saw a red and orange sunset when I ate a couple of brownies..:) Hope you are doing good Gro..



What duff ?
Member Since: September 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 142
Quoting scott39:
Do any of the models show a high building back in and trapping it from recurving?
12z CMC shows it going over the Bahamas and making a very close call with eastern Florida. It looks like it starts to recurve before making landfall over Florida. 12z GFS doesn't do much with it; keeps it weak through the Caribbean and dissipates it along the western Caribbean. 12z ECMWF turns it into a hurricane whilst over Puerto Rico, then clips northern Hispañiola before recurving out to sea. No idea what the NOGAPS does, the system isn't discernible on the 12z run. Finally the UKMET doesn't develop it.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
it gos up too 70%
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
947. JLPR2
Quoting WeatherfanPR:
quick poll:

97L at 8pm

A.less than 30%
B. 30%
C. 40%
D. 50% or more


I'll go with C
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8459
946. ackee
I think 97L will track very similar to TS matthew
Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1341
B
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6706
we could be tide with the 1995 season
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

B. 30%
Member Since: September 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 142
Does anyone know what previous season had the most TCs with the least land impact in the US? I dont know thats why Im asking.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6706
Quoting WeatherfanPR:
quick poll:

97L at 8pm

A.less than 30%
B. 30%
C. 40%
D. 50% or more

D) 40 % :O)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
Anyone is SE Florida, notice we have another spectacular sunset. Everything is red-orange again. Not like last night, but interesting to see.
Yeah, I saw a red and orange sunset when I ate a couple of brownies..:) Hope you are doing good Gro..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
937. ackee
Quoting WeatherfanPR:
quick poll:

97L at 8pm

A.less than 30%
B. 30%
C. 40%
D. 50% or more
B
Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1341
Quoting thelmores:
Oceanside of Emerald Isle, Emerald Isle, North Carolina (PWS)

Pressure: 29.38 in (Falling)


From the wind direction, looks like it just moved by or is in the process of it....
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1449
quick poll:

97L at 8pm

A.less than 30%
B. 30%
C. 40%
D. 50% or more
Member Since: August 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1563
through 216hrs nothing gets out of the Carib on GFS 18Z
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Quoting Tazmanian:
looks like we may see the O storm soon


all so i think we may end of the year with the O storm or the T storm


We're going to have more storms than that Taz....
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Quoting Grothar:
Anyone is SE Florida, notice we have another spectacular sunset. Everything is red-orange again. Not like last night, but interesting to see.



Yeah , I caught that :)
Member Since: September 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 142
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I think it may go north of them (the Lesser Antilles) and perform somewhat of a similar track as opposed to Earl, except with an altered ending: a recurve further east. Very strong troughing will continue to persist along the U.S seaboard which should keep them safe. We'll have to see where it can consolidate and develop; specifics don't mean much currently until we can see where the dominant surface circulation develops.
Do any of the models show a high building back in and trapping it from recurving?
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6706
Quoting Tazmanian:
looks like we may see the O storm soon


all so i think we may end of the year with the O storm or the T storm



Way to narrow it down Taz!
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
Is 97L a CV storm?



no its too far a way too be a CV storm
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Anyone is SE Florida, notice we have another spectacular sunset. Everything is red-orange again. Not like last night, but interesting to see.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
looks like we may see the O storm soon


all so i think we may end of the year with the O storm or the T storm
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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.