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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Barometer: 29.52" (999.2 mb)
Cherry Point
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872. xcool
GTcooliebai imo west
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
871. xcool
bird72 welcome.
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
New Bern, Craven County Regional Airport
Lat: 35.09 Lon: -77.05 Elev: 16
Last Update on Sep 30, 5:54 pm EDT

Heavy Rain Fog

70 °F
(21 °C)
Humidity: 100 %
Wind Speed: W 5 MPH
Barometer: 29.54" (1000.2 mb
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Quoting xcool:


look good .i seeing a td17 come soon jmo


Thanks for thats, thats answer my question that I made here in the blog three times, and nobody answer it, I imagine they are too busy trolling the blog.
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Quoting xcool:


look good .i seeing a td17 come soon jmo

What do you think West or North? Cause it will meet its demise if it goes North, and West Shear starting to relax.
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Quoting atmoaggie:
But, would the results not have been just the same regardless? I think so...

That's a significant front extending well down into the gulf, drawing moisture out of the Caribbean, directly over the Gulf stream for much of it's path...I still say Nicole's existence has very little to do with it. JMHO.



I'm pretty sure deep troughs don't always produce such incredibly high moisture amounts and record rain totals. It's pretty obvious to me its a direct result from the tropical system. I really don't see why you would think Otherwise. Nicole, whether it should have been named or not, had PW's between 2.5 and 3.0 inches, then the low pressure area got sucked into the trough, how could it not be a direct influence?


That type of moisture/rain always comes from tropical systems. There are many deep troughs that dig down south and they do not bring any where near that kind of moisture into the Mid Atlantic/Northeast. The setup here is a classic merger between a tropical low/tropical cyclone and a digging trough. It has a happened before. To me its darn clear and obvious...
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Quoting largeeyes:
This stream of moisture is crazy. It goes back and forth a couple miles, which sends it over my house, then not, then over my house, then not. From looks of radar, it's going to stay over my house a while for now.


I know its insane... haha, Itll look like its done for a while then all the sudden, the moisture train will shift... and only a 20-30 miles shift makes a huge difference
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Conditions at 42056 as of
(4:50 pm CDT)
2150 GMT on 09/30/2010:
Unit of Measure: Time Zone:
Click on the graph icon in the table below to see a time series plot of the last five days of that observation.

Wind Direction (WDIR): NNW ( 330 deg true )
Wind Speed (WSPD): 9.7 kts
Wind Gust (GST): 11.7 kts
Wave Height (WVHT): 3.0 ft
Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 8 sec
Average Period (APD): 5.2 sec
Mean Wave Direction (MWD): N ( 3 deg true )
Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.74 in
Pressure Tendency (PTDY): +0.00 in ( Steady )
Air Temperature (ATMP): 83.5 °F
Water Temperature (WTMP): 86.0 °F
Dew Point (DEWP): 71.8 °F
Heat Index (HEAT): 88.7 °F
Combined plot of Wind Speed, Gust, and Air Pressure

Fantastic, another 0.02" drop is pressure, here we go again!!!
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Conditions at LCIY2 as of
(5:00 pm EDT)
2100 GMT on 09/30/2010:
Unit of Measure: Time Zone:
Click on the graph icon in the table below to see a time series plot of the last five days of that observation.

Wind Direction (WDIR): SSW ( 210 deg true )
Wind Speed (WSPD): 9.9 kts
Wind Gust (GST): 14.0 kts
Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.70 in
Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.02 in ( Falling )
Air Temperature (ATMP): 82.0 °F
Water Temperature (WTMP): 85.6 °F
Dew Point (DEWP): 75.2 °F
Heat Index (HEAT): 88.9 °F
Combined plot of Wind Speed, Gust, and Air Pressure
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
862. xcool
13.4n 49w .97l
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Conditions at 42056 as of
(4:50 pm CDT)
2150 GMT on 09/30/2010:
Unit of Measure: Time Zone:
Click on the graph icon in the table below to see a time series plot of the last five days of that observation.

Wind Direction (WDIR): NNW ( 330 deg true )
Wind Speed (WSPD): 9.7 kts
Wind Gust (GST): 11.7 kts
Wave Height (WVHT): 3.0 ft
Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 8 sec
Average Period (APD): 5.2 sec
Mean Wave Direction (MWD): N ( 3 deg true )
Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.74 in
Pressure Tendency (PTDY): +0.00 in ( Steady )
Air Temperature (ATMP): 83.5 °F
Water Temperature (WTMP): 86.0 °F
Dew Point (DEWP): 71.8 °F
Heat Index (HEAT): 88.7 °F
Combined plot of Wind Speed, Gust, and Air Pressure
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormpetrol:
Conditions at 42057 as of
(5:50 pm EDT)
2150 GMT on 09/30/2010:
Unit of Measure: Time Zone:
Click on the graph icon in the table below to see a time series plot of the last five days of that observation.

Wind Direction (WDIR): WSW ( 240 deg true )
Wind Speed (WSPD): 7.8 kts
Wind Gust (GST): 9.7 kts
Wave Height (WVHT): 4.3 ft
Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 7 sec
Average Period (APD): 5.0 sec
Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.76 in
Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.01 in ( Falling )
Air Temperature (ATMP): 83.8 °F
Water Temperature (WTMP): 84.9 °F
Dew Point (DEWP): 76.3 °F
Heat Index (HEAT): 9

GREAT!! Looks like the area of disturbed weather is forming another Low pressure area!!
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858. xcool


look good .i seeing a td17 come soon jmo
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Wind Shear High to the North!

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Complete Update

Nicole - lots of moisture.. and heading to the Carols area.

97L (Pottery Jr)- heading to the Box #1?



AOI
AOI AOI AOI

AOI AOI AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
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ILM now at 22.17" for the month. They are +5" for the year....a very quick way erase a deficit.
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853. xcool
hey hey
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
852. xcool


in cab aka 97l
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Conditions at 42057 as of
(5:50 pm EDT)
2150 GMT on 09/30/2010:
Unit of Measure: Time Zone:
Click on the graph icon in the table below to see a time series plot of the last five days of that observation.

Wind Direction (WDIR): WSW ( 240 deg true )
Wind Speed (WSPD): 7.8 kts
Wind Gust (GST): 9.7 kts
Wave Height (WVHT): 4.3 ft
Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 7 sec
Average Period (APD): 5.0 sec
Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.76 in
Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.01 in ( Falling )
Air Temperature (ATMP): 83.8 °F
Water Temperature (WTMP): 84.9 °F
Dew Point (DEWP): 76.3 °F
Heat Index (HEAT): 9
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We have sunshine in Southport...oh...never mind
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848. xcool


GFS 18Z in cab sea
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
847. xcool


12z ECM ensembles
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting xcool:

Like like that will be our next "O" storm in about 3 days :O).
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845. xcool
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
844. xcool
hi all .
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting TropicalMan2010:

looking at vorticity there is hardly any there right now but it could change but i really dont know

I know nothing significant on the map, but don't always buy that, JMO
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Quoting GS121:
is that good for northern gulf coast ( al/miss/la)?
I think we're simply done on the N Gulf coast, outside of an oddball system trying to come through.

But any system that tries will have to contend with drier air and more shear than they like. And will have to be perfectly timed in between the fronts. (See Ida, exhibit A)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting Bordonaro:


DDR. Link to the satellite page:
Link
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Got pictures on my fb from all my friends houses...can I link directly from fb?
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Quoting Jedkins01:



No, all the extremely high moisture levels are a DIRECT result from Nicole, whether Nicole deserved to be named or not, who cares. The point is, the low pressure area which was named Nicole, had an extremely deep moist tropical air mass, which then merged with the front, and shoved it into North Carolina points north. The massive rainfall totals are associated directly due to the merging of the remnants of Nicole with the trough.
But, would the results not have been just the same regardless? I think so...

That's a significant front extending well down into the gulf, drawing moisture out of the Caribbean, directly over the Gulf stream for much of it's path...I still say Nicole's existence has very little to do with it. JMHO.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting DDR:

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836. IKE
Quoting GS121:
is that good for northern gulf coast ( al/miss/la)?


Nothing tropically will come up here for at least the next week...maybe longer. Plus the water temps will start cooling off.
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Quoting GS121:
is that good for northern gulf coast ( al/miss/la)?

I'm pretty sure it dries out the atmosphere & blocks any system coming from the west. As well as an increase in wind shear.
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This stream of moisture is crazy. It goes back and forth a couple miles, which sends it over my house, then not, then over my house, then not. From looks of radar, it's going to stay over my house a while for now.
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I personally suspect the area in the NW Caribbean will get a circle at 8pmEST, I suspect another low is trying spin up around The Caymans , glad to see our friends in Jamaica might be getting a break from the heavy rains.
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Vorticity increasing with 97L if I had to guess the convection to the Northeast should be the one we need to track.
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828. GS121
Quoting IKE:


Front makes it to northern Cuba on day 6, w/a 1028 mb high over northern Arkansas...

is that good for northern gulf coast ( al/miss/la)?
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826. tj175
Hey guys i'm new on here and i'm located in the Miami area. Well Nicole wasn't much of a storm so what do you guys think about 97L. Will the wind shear ease up ahead of it and what's up with the track?
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Quoting largeeyes:
Just had to walk through a foot of water to get to my truck at work :\

post some pics of the flooding if you can.
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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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