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

Share this Blog
5
+

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!

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 523 - 473

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39Blog Index

Quoting Levi32:


And we care why? People are still getting the same weather from the same storm no matter what her name is, or whether she has no name. They're still getting tropical storm conditions and extremely heavy rainfall that is tropically fed. I don't care if they don't call her a TS. North Carolina is getting hit by a TS from the tropics and that's what is causing the bad weather today. They were not spared by her. They got hit.
I'm with you on this one Levi, usually lean toward Drac's viewpoint when you discuss but this seems like hair splitting to me. The issue arose from Drac' assertion that no more tropical storms are likely to strike the CONUS. May be technically true but certainly no reason to take our eyes off the tropics just yet. H2O+O2 is a deadly combination particularly when either is in over abundance and motion.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
This model brings a low across Cuba into the Bahamas, then into S.E.Florida on October-6th...Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:


I hope those professors at your college feel the same way.


They will when I'm done with them.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
It's not a tropical system---it's a baroclinic frontal zone enhanced by a very strong tropical feed and a powerful upper level low to the west. The sensible weather on the ground is like a tropical system, but the atmospheric setup is very different.

It's also worth noting that the Hurricane Floyd rainfalls mostly happened before the storm directly affected eastern NC---moisture transport brought in very heavy rains before the circulation of Floyd arrived there.


the rains came from Dennis before Floyd arrived
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
It's not a tropical system---it's a baroclinic frontal zone enhanced by a very strong tropical feed and a powerful upper level low to the west. The sensible weather on the ground is like a tropical system, but the atmospheric setup is very different.

It's also worth noting that the Hurricane Floyd rainfalls mostly happened before the storm directly affected eastern NC---moisture transport brought in very heavy rains before the circulation of Floyd arrived there.


Sounds like Nicole lol. Heavy rains 2 days in advance of the storm. It's mostly baroclinically enhanced now but without Nicole the event would not be this way for North Carolina. My whole point is that nobody can say North Carolina got "spared" a hit. They got hit. No way around that.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


I clearly meant in a practical sense and you knew that. I never said she was still a tropical cyclone by definition. You said North Carolina got spared. That is a blind statement given the situation. They got hit by a tropical system.


I hope those professors at your college feel the same way.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting largeeyes:
If any winds show up with this here in eastern NC, we are going to be seriously screwed.


I sure hope they don't! I am pretty sure I should have anchored a boat outside my front door! Its been pouring pretty much all day!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:


They are being affected by an extratropical system of what was Nicole and a frontal system.
Based on what I've learned from Levi....I'd have to agree with you!!
.
.
.
Maybe I should go into politics?
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5559
Quoting Drakoen:


Producing gale force conditions as per the NHC. Through this whole argument you have been saying that NC is being hit by a TS and now they aren't...lol. Okay i'll play along.

I have to go. Nice arguing with you as always.


I clearly meant in a practical sense and you knew that. I never said she was still a tropical cyclone by definition. You said North Carolina got spared. That is a blind statement given the situation. They got hit by a tropical system.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Well, crud. Just went out back to check the blow down - lost a 20 foot section of 10 inch pine top. Went down right by the fence line - luckily only took out a couple of pickets, not the whole section.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Some media outlets are saying that the Jersey Shore will be "hit like a hurricane" overnight, and in the morning we won't know what hit us. I am RIGHT on the ocean, and so far, it's fairly benign. I'll take and post photos and video tonight, if it pans out. And as far as StormW: let's just say, like Forrest Gump's daddy, "he's on vacation", where you go away and never come back!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Hurricanes101:


right but you said:

Those troughs even potentially saving us from storms that form in the Caribbean as we saw with Nicole.

How exactly is North Carolina being saved? That trough setup did not steer Nicole away from the US, it just absorbed her. If we end up with a stronger storm in that same area, it would not miss the US


Yes precisely....if Nicole had but had 24 more hours to wrap in before being drawn out of the Caribbean she would have been strong enough to retain her name until landfall in North Carolina, and then nobody would be saying they got spared. It's no different now, just that she was weaker coming up.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:
Weeeee....

WWAK81PAFC_AKZ121
-----------------
AKZ101-111-121-125-131-135-141-145-171-011400-

...A POWERFUL FALL STORM TO IMPACT THE REGION FRIDAY AND SATURDAY...

A STORM DEVELOPING OVER THE NORTHEAST PACIFIC WILL RAPIDLY INTENSIFY
AS IT MOVES INTO THE GULF OF ALASKA EARLY FRIDAY MORNING. IT WILL
THEN TRACK TO JUST NORTH OF KODIAK ISLAND FRIDAY NIGHT AND THEN
INLAND OVER SOUTHWEST ALASKA ON SATURDAY.

THE GREATEST IMPACT FROM THIS STORM WILL BE VERY STRONG WINDS.
WIDESPREAD GALE TO STORM FORCE WINDS ARE EXPECTED ACROSS THE GULF
OF ALASKA COASTAL WATERS...WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF HURRICANE FORCE
WINDS FROM THE CENTRAL GULF TO ALONG THE NORTH GULF COAST. OVER
LAND THE STRONGEST WINDS ARE EXPECTED IN THE PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND
REGION FROM CORDOVA TO WHITTIER AS WELL AS THROUGH PORTAGE VALLEY
AND TURNAGAIN ARM. AS THE STORM EXITS TO SOUTHWEST ALASKA SATURDAY
GUSTY WINDS WILL SPREAD TO MUCH OF THE REST OF SOUTHCENTRAL ALASKA.

THIS STORM WILL ALSO BRING WITH IT LOTS OF WARM AND MOIST AIR.
THIS WILL PRODUCE AREAS OF HEAVY RAIN ALONG THE COAST.

STAY TUNED TO THE LATEST NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECASTS AND
WARNINGS FOR THE MOST UP TO DATE INFORMATION ON THIS POWERFUL
FALL STORM.

$$
FPAK51PAFC_AKZ121


Levi, you are getting your own version of an Alaska Tropical storm!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


If you were in North Carolina would you be able to tell the difference? I'm not saying she is a tropical cyclone, but North Carolina did get hit by a tropical system. There is no way around that. It's a storm with origin in the Caribbean that is still passing over 28C waters producing tropical storm conditions on the coast. They got hit by a tropical storm. Doesn't matter that it's asymmetric now embedded in the front.


Producing gale force conditions as per the NHC. Through this whole argument you have been saying that NC is being hit by a TS and now they aren't...lol. Okay i'll play along.

I have to go. Nice arguing with you as always.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
what's happening with the track models, no new runs for 97L since 06 UTC !!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:


They are being affected by an extratropical system of what was Nicole and a frontal system.


right but you said:

Those troughs even potentially saving us from storms that form in the Caribbean as we saw with Nicole.

How exactly is North Carolina being saved? That trough setup did not steer Nicole away from the US, it just absorbed her. If we end up with a stronger storm in that same area, it would not miss the US
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:


They are being affected by an extratropical system of what was Nicole and a frontal system.


Again, no difference if you're living there. If I'm there, I would remember this day as the day that I got hit by a tropical system. All the classic storms send rain ahead of them for a couple days in advance of the actual storm. This was a tropical event for North Carolina. Period.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:
Yes Nicole is now mostly extratropical, but that doesn't mean NC didn't get a hit from a tropical system. Nicole is clearly having impacts of a tropical storm on this area. To say they didn't get hit is wildly blind. Ask the people living there right now.



i am not a professional when it comes to weather but i can only imagine that when you get a low pressure with hot air at lower atmospheric levels grinding into a cold low pressure high aloft there is going to be massive wind disturbance in the path/swath. the heat is going to want to rise to cool, and the cold will react with the hot underneath it, intensifying the potential for microbursts, tornadoes, and ts-force straight line winds in general.

henceforth, please folks in the affected area(s) be prepared to take evasive action, keep your animals inside (at least in the garage), and stay in the safest part of your homes....also keep an eye out for tornado alerts as the strongest "core" of winds are headed your way now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:


They may begin to lose tropical characteristics but that doesn't mean that they aren't tropical cyclones by definition.


If you were in North Carolina would you be able to tell the difference? I'm not saying she is a tropical cyclone, but North Carolina did get hit by a tropical system. There is no way around that. It's a storm with origin in the Caribbean that is still passing over 28C waters producing tropical storm conditions on the coast. They got hit by a tropical storm. Doesn't matter that it's asymmetric now embedded in the front.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:
Yes Nicole is now mostly extratropical, but that doesn't mean NC didn't get a hit from a tropical system. Nicole is clearly having impacts of a tropical storm on this area. To say they didn't get hit is wildly blind. Ask the people living there right now.


We got hit and the actual low hasn't even made landfall yet. To say this isn't a big deal is purely crazy; ask the people in Wilmington who are getting around by Kayak now if it effected them.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Fight nice boys!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


And Floyd was hitting a front too.....doesn't every storm that rides up the eastern seaboard? Come on. Nothing recurving up the eastern seaboard is ever purely tropical. There is always baroclinic energy involved when a tropical cyclone is recurving into the jetstream.


Love the banter from two knowledgeable folks! I think you guys are disagreeing over semantics, though. Not worth escalating.

Anyone know if they would retire Nicole from the flooding in NC or not do anything because it's technically not named anymore?

BTW, the rainfall totals have already suprassed Floyd's records in many areas and it looks like there's quite a bit more coming.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
ahh, ok. I feel bad to keep buggin you with questions but are you saying it is bad because a storm south of the islands means it has more time to go over warm water as supposed to going in between cuba and florida then turning north?

Also, on another note, I really appreciate you teaching me this stuff and being patient. By the way, what is your goal with your education if you do not mind me asking? Do you plan to be in tropical forecasting? Like the NHC or a hurricane expert? just wondering.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:
Yes Nicole is now mostly extratropical, but that doesn't mean NC didn't get a hit from a tropical system. Nicole is clearly having impacts of a tropical storm on this area. To say they didn't get hit is wildly blind. Ask the people living there right now.


They are being affected by an extratropical system of what was Nicole and a frontal system.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Remant low, extratropical storm...whatever you want to call it, it has effected the United States the most out of any storm so far this year and isn't done yet. The low is just now getting close to the NC coast and seems to be strengthening somewhat.

50-60 MPH gusts are a possibility at landfall.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


And Floyd was hitting a front too.....doesn't every storm that rides up the eastern seaboard? Come on. Nothing recurving up the eastern seaboard is ever purely tropical. There is always baroclinic energy involved when a tropical cyclone is recurving into the jetstream.


They may begin to lose tropical characteristics but that doesn't mean that they aren't tropical cyclones by definition.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


atcf is at 12.0N-51.0W at 18z.

Link


Well that is certainly further South and West of previous location.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Yes Nicole is now mostly extratropical, but that doesn't mean NC didn't get a hit from a tropical system. Nicole is clearly having impacts of a tropical storm on this area. To say they didn't get hit is wildly blind. Ask the people living there right now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:

Clash of the WU-Titans..

Always a Big Show.


Hmmmm. Could that be the thunder I hear?

Rain, rain, go away. Or at least drain out of the bog at low tide.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:
Invest 97L is located near 14N, 46W. ATCF is giving good coordinates right now.


Which just happens to be the only place where convection is building this afternoon.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
the scary thing for the eastern seaboard is that you haven't even experienced the "core" of gale/ts force winds that are heading in your direction.

this is setting up a bad scenario as the prevalence of water has now loosened the ground and has increased the potential of downed trees, so when the stronger winds make landfall in the next 12-24 hours stuff is going to want to give way.

be careful all of you along the eastern seaboard. make sure your under the weight-bearing rafters in your house. i wouldn't be caught dead in any rooms which were later lagniappes or build-on's that extend away from the original rafters in your home. in general add-on's on a home are not built as strongly roof-side as the original structure/blueprints were designed.

in addition, protect little scruffy dog and meow your cat because i would hate to see them get hurt outside once the strong winds really start to make landfall.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:


With the help of a frontal system. It is not all what was Nicole, which was a weak tropical storm that probably didn't even deserve to be named. Certainly doesn't look like a TS to me.



And Floyd was hitting a front too.....doesn't every storm that rides up the eastern seaboard? Come on. Nothing recurving up the eastern seaboard is ever purely tropical. There is always baroclinic energy involved when a tropical cyclone is recurving into the jetstream.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
models for 97l gone mad some thing wacky with them.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
Big Pines felled from Katrina August,pics taken morning of the 30th 05..just west of the 17th St. Canal Breech.

North is to the right.



Wow. You truly don't see those big pines come down like that too often. Really scary.

I remember seeing old photos of Hurricane Donna from 1960 and the same thing, huge old pines coming straight over like that.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Levi
Thanks for your answer sometimes I just shake my head at the models because even with my untrained eyes I can not see certain scenarios from some model runs. I guess a good model run would show more consistency from run to run or even more so in shorter runs,, and why does the media go away from NHC tracks and put up certain model runs to scare people or just to give them other options for thoughts on a possible situation.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
Thats a 6-7 min frame Image Loop..


Thanks.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


And we care why? People are still getting the same weather from the same storm no matter what her name is, or whether she has no name. They're still getting tropical storm conditions and extremely heavy rainfall that is tropically fed. I don't care if they don't call her a TS. North Carolina is getting hit by a TS from the tropics and that's what is causing the bad weather today. They were not spared by her. They got hit.


With the help of a frontal system. It is not all what was Nicole, which was a weak tropical storm that probably didn't even deserve to be named. Certainly doesn't look like a TS to me.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


atcf is at 12.0N-51.0W at 18z.

ftp://ftp.tpc.ncep.noaa.gov/atcf/tcweb/invest_al972010.invest


Oh, didn't see the 18z ones. It's still a good call, as they seem to have picked an "average" position of the two centers that 97L has right now. They will likely consolidate eventually into one low, so for now they will be tracking the mean position of the whole system.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
97L is not vertically stacked through 500mb, however, it is aligned through 700mb.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kshipre1:
and that is when you are concerned that at 75W, the storm will start curving Northward? thanks


I'm generalizing....it will turn north eventually but how close to the US it gets first is what we're watching for. A storm passing south of the islands is a bigger danger than one passing north of them.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Clash of the WU-Titans..

Always a Big Show.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
These models are interesting....CMC...Link....ECMWF...Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Bayside - still west of me - looks as if it's training straight up 64 from chesapeake to hampton.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:
Invest 97L is located near 14N, 46W. ATCF is giving good coordinates right now.


atcf is at 12.0N-51.0W at 18z.


a href="ftp://ftp.tpc.ncep.noaa.gov/atcf/tcweb/invest_al972010.invest" target="_blank">Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
and that is when you are concerned that at 75W, the storm will start curving Northward? thanks
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 523 - 473

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.