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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996 mb on extratropical low Nicole in 12hrs. as it comes ashore.

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if the canadian is right at least it will draw out alot energy in the carib let those folks dry out
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Dumped the rain gauge again. 5 inches. Either it's getting way contaminated or I'm getting a different line of storms than the airport, LOL. Moving it waaaay out to the front corner during the next rain break.
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708. ShenValleyFlyFish 9:02 PM GMT on September 30, 2010
Quoting stormpetrol:

+1000
Thanks friend. How are the water and wind behaving. And how are you and your beautiful family?

We're all ok, but its raining here right now and looks like it will be for quite sometime, to be honest besides those that are getting flooded and I feel sorry for them its a relief from the heat. I trust you and yours are keeping well.
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Good Afternoon Everybody.
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Quoting ParanoidAndroid:
The NHC TWO mentions that 97L is two tropical waves. Is that why it looks like there are two COCs trying to form on the satellite (15N45W and 12N54W)?


Can you post the link for thats.
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Quoting twhcracker:


also why they attract lightning


good point
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Quoting stormpetrol:


It sure looks like it is speeding across Guatemala and holding together.

I am at 16.1N 86.9W. If this stays together we should get a quick change in the weather.

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Somebody knows where is the center of 97l, the coc?
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Quoting will40:


correct thats why tornadoes snap them instead of up uprooting them


also why they attract lightning
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The NHC TWO mentions that 97L is two tropical waves. Is that why it looks like there are two COCs trying to form on the satellite (15N45W and 12N54W)?
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Link


surf is up
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Quoting stormpetrol:

+1000
Thanks friend. How are the water and wind behaving. And how are you and your beautiful family?
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
what did i do to you Taz i have always been plesant to you just need to take care of these trolls but i am going to stop :):)




I fix the post can you plzs re move that one
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Quoting Tazmanian:




you been report for name calling
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Quoting Tazmanian:



i fix it lol


ty
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Nice little break form the rain here in Baltimore. Wind kicking up a bit, and there's another big batch of precip coming.
Not over yet here, and some roads are flooded, causing one hellacious rush hour...
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Quoting utilaeastwind:
Does anyone notice the mid to low circulation travelling across Central America adout 15N 90W?

This seems like it may enter the Caribbean and flare-up.

Was this Matthew? Two days ago this circulation was in the GOM.
Quoting stormpetrol:Quoting stormpetrol:
I wonder what will happen with the remnant low of Matthew now at 15N/90W if it emerges into the GOH like it appears it will?
AS you can see I'm wondering the same thing?
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Quoting reedzone:
I quickly changed my avatar to let the people who are just coming in the forum know, I am the real "Reedzone" :)




good thinking
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Quoting will40:
Tazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz please



i fix it lol
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Quoting JFLORIDA:
672. Of course - chuckle.
Chuckles are not allowed!
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Quoting hydrus:
I would not doubt it...I am going to check it out....Would it still be Matthew if it regenerated in the Caribbean....Hhmmm..


I don't think so.. but stranger things have happened in the Tropics.
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Nobody wants to see who you report
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
That BAMS model track would be devastating to Hispaniola to say the least.
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Tazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz please
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Quoting stormpetrol:
I wonder what will happen with the remnant low of Matthew now at 15N/90W if it emerges into the GOH like it appewars it will?
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I quickly changed my avatar to let the people who are just coming in the forum know, I am the real "Reedzone" :)
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nevere mine lol
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Quoting utilaeastwind:
Does anyone notice the mid to low circulation travelling across Central America adout 15N 90W?

This seems like it may enter the Caribbean and flare-up.

Was this Matthew? Two days ago this circulation was in the GOM.
I would not doubt it...I am going to check it out....Would it still be Matthew if it regenerated in the Caribbean....Hhmmm..
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


Taz i just got on?

Whats Going on?




there is a imposter posting has reedzone


the name you need too report is reeedzone wish is the imposter
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you guys please stop feeding him and he will go away
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The blog feels like an episode of "Fringe" today...
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Quoting hydrus:
Yes...I am shipping in some fresh stuff from McKinley and tossing it off the Bank of America tower in Miami while 97L spins feverishly over the peninsula...pffffft.

More likely that another form of "snow" will fall from a plane that tries to sneak under the radar under the cover of the storm and runs Into BOMA tower. ;P~
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Quoting KEHCharleston:
I am pretty sure that pines have deep 'tap' roots. Oaks have roots that spread out, far reaching, but not that deep.


correct thats why tornadoes snap them instead of up uprooting them
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interesting..
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Quoting rmbjoe1954:
Sorry about that, Reed. I should have known better.


It's alright Joe. 97L looks good and should be upgraded to about 60% by 8 p.m. if trends continue.
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
Spoken like someone who has yet to have felt the full weight of some of the power differentials embedded in The System (as we called it in the 60's). Professors, and others in "authority" haven't got to their positions by ignoring it and will whiled it ruthlessly if challenged beyond a point. I hope it doesn't fall on you at the wrong moment. It has broken many a man/woman every bit as good as you.

+1000, As much I respect Levi knowledge of weather and his ability to impart the information via his video updates, you have opened his eyes to real world, sometimes one can be "too smart for their own good" , sometime its better to play fool to get even wiser of the real world around you and how it operates!
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


Reedzone What are you doing? Typically you draw better lines?




oh STOP IT you no better that its not the real reedzone its a imposter posting has reedzone and STOP Quoteing plz report the imposter reeedzone and move on
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Quoting JupiterFL:


Post 666 for JFlorida!
This is appropriate.....Link
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Sorry about that, Reed. I should have known better.
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Quoting DontAnnoyMe:


On the contrary, pines have very shallow roots, and they will go down easily without wind. They do snap in ice storms. The others, which have deep roots, go down in wind because of all their leaves.
I am pretty sure that pines have deep 'tap' roots. Oaks have roots that spread out, far reaching, but not that deep.
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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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