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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1823. WxLogic
Appars 97L is having a hard time organizing... even though there's an anti-cyclone above it and no SAL to speak about:



Low level convergence is meager at best for now, but still has a good upper level divergence still thanks to the departing ULL to its NW.

If 97L is able to sustain itself without the help of the ULL to its NW then it might have chance. At least we can say that low/mid level vorticity have remain fairly stacked.

850MB VORT:


500MB VORT:



Finally, GFS appears to be doing good so far as ECMWF is starting to back off little by little from developing this feature and only leaving CMC (strongest & east) and NOGAPS (weakest & west) attempting to develop this system and moving it into the Bahamas region.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5038
Hey guys I think a low is forming near the NE coast of Honduras
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Complete Update


AOI
AOI AOI AOI

AOI AOI AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
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Good morning and happy Friday to you all.

We are having our SE Florida version of "Fall" today, our lows this morning in the low 70's (that is actually more winter like than fall)...and high expected in mid 80's!

wonder how long it will last????

I guess we can give it a rest for a few days before watching again.

Happy October 1st.
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1816. WxLogic
Good Morning...
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5038
1812. IKE
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT FRI OCT 1 2010

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

DISORGANIZED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS CONTINUE IN ASSOCIATION WITH
A LARGE AREA OF DISTURBED WEATHER LOCATED ABOUT 900 MILES EAST OF
THE LESSER ANTILLES. UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE FORECAST TO BECOME
SOMEWHAT MORE CONDUCIVE FOR DEVELOPMENT AND THERE IS A MEDIUM
CHANCE...40 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE
DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES WESTWARD OR WEST-NORTHWESTWARD
AT 15 TO 20 MPH.

A BROAD TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE OVER THE NORTHERN CARIBBEAN SEA
CONTINUES TO PRODUCE DISORGANIZED SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY.
THERE ARE NO SIGNS OF ORGANIZATION 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...EASTERN CUBA...JAMAICA...AND
HISPANIOLA.

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

$$
FORECASTER BRENNAN
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting hydrus:
The GEM model has a major hurricane north of the Central Bahamas in about a week...Link


Any other reliable model in agreement?
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1809. Patrap
Current Conditions

Uptown, New Orleans, Louisiana (PWS)
Updated: 1 min 46 sec ago
Clear
71.3 °F
Clear
Humidity: 61%
Dew Point: 57 °F
Wind: 4.3 mph from the North
Wind Gust: 8.1 mph
Pressure: 29.94 in (Rising)
Heat Index: 76 °F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Pollen: 9.60 out of 12
Pollen Forecast new!
Clouds:
Clear -
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 20 ft
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129910
Season 2010 - GOES East Animation: June - July

This GOES East Infrared Hurricane Sector animation is a long loop that shows all of June and July 2010. This video features Hurricane Alex, which blew up quickly and torched the Mexico Gulf coast and well inland! Also shown is Tropical Storm Bonnie, which could not quite get it together. This video features the music of Gustav Holtz's symphony - "The Planets."



Season 2010 - GOES East Animation: August - September

This GOES East Infrared Hurricane Sector animation is a long loop that shows all of August and September 2010. This video features a slew of tropical storms and hurricanes, none of which made official landfall along the U.S. coastline. How many can you correctly identify? This is one killer video you will want to see again and again. This video features the music of Gustav Holtz's symphony - "The Planets."

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1807. IKE


Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Have to run, just looked at the clock. Have a great Friday everyone!!
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1805. BigToe
http://www.sat24.com/gb

This is why they're having trouble getting the Ryder Cup in. Oh, Good morning
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1804. lhwhelk
Quoting aislinnpaps:


Morning lhwhelk! Lovely weather this morning for both of us.
I am reminded of the rabbi's prayer in Fiddler on the Roof: "God bless and keep the Czar--far away from us!" It's interesting to follow the progress of hurricanes, but best not to have them hitting anyone. This has been a good year for us; wish it had been equally good for all.
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1803. hydrus
Quoting aislinnpaps:


Amazing that this late in the season we still have waves coming off Africa that have the possibility to develop. It will be fun to watch it/they as long as they stay out to sea.
The GEM model has a major hurricane north of the Central Bahamas in about a week...Link
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71 Degrees in Fort Lauderdale this AM.......Finally!
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1801. IKE
PRELIMINARY EXTENDED FORECAST DISCUSSION
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
357 AM EDT FRI OCT 01 2010

VALID 12Z TUE OCT 05 2010 - 12Z FRI OCT 08 2010

THE GUIDANCE IS IN GOOD AGREEMENT THIS PERIOD IN DEVELOPING A
NEGATIVELY TILTED TROUGH FROM HUDSON BAY SOUTHEASTWARD THROUGH THE
NORTHEAST AND MAINTAINING A QUASI-STATIONARY DEEP CYCLONE
OVER/NEAR CALIFORNIA. THE 00Z GFS/00Z ECMWF ARE CLOSE TO THEIR
RESPECTIVE ENSEMBLE MEANS...SO CHOSE TO COMPROMISE BETWEEN THEM
FOR THE PRESSURES AND 500 HPA HEIGHTS FOR NEXT WEEK. THE 00Z
CANADIAN COULD NOT BE USED DUE TO ITS RECURVING HURRICANE-LIKE
VORTEX JUST OFFSHORE NEW ENGLAND INTO ATLANTIC CANADA MID TO LATE
NEXT WEEK. THE 16Z CONFERENCE CALL BETWEEN HPC AND NHC AGREED NOT
TO RECURVE THIS FEATURE...WHICH FITS THE 12Z MULTI-MODEL ENSEMBLE
GUIDANCE WHICH TRACKS IT SLOWLY THROUGH THE GREATER ANTILLES.

ROTH
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting lhwhelk:
Why? Is there some kind of weather situation going on in Wales?


Morning lhwhelk! Lovely weather this morning for both of us.
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1799. IKE
I was watching the Ryder Cup earlier this morning. They were squeezing ponds of water off of the greens so the players could putt. Seems rather silly to even be playing in those conditions.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting lhwhelk:
Why? Is there some kind of weather situation going on in Wales?

Ryder Cup golf starts today in Wales.
Americans against Europeans.
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Quoting hydrus:
I am wondering how strong the high will be with the trough moving out so fast... Three waves over Africa. Notice how far south the two waves are compared to the one near the coast...The model are latching on to one of them and develops it....


Amazing that this late in the season we still have waves coming off Africa that have the possibility to develop. It will be fun to watch it/they as long as they stay out to sea.
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1796. lhwhelk
Quoting SouthFMY:
Can anyone here post a radar image from Wales?
Why? Is there some kind of weather situation going on in Wales?
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Here's another good one. Link

Nice burst coming off of Honduras.
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1794. IKE
Quoting NotCircumventing:


Sure has. Numbers don't mean jack, do they?


No...not really. I predicted 13-7-4 for 2010. I'm too low. I'm not making a numbers prediction anymore after this season. Numbers don't matter. It's impacts.


Quoting HurricaneKarl:
Given current pressure systems, is it likely that 97L (if it dos develop) will recurve or is this one the storm that will threaten Florida?



Here's the 144 shear map from the GFS. GOM and Florida looks protected...

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
You can see the trough lifting out down the line in this view Link

And that high sits there.
Again, it's all about timing.
There's quite a bit of shear to the north of 97L but if the high establishes and the anticyclone is able to fix on the low pressure center, then something could happen.
Lotta if's huh?
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1790. hydrus
Quoting aislinnpaps:


That one really shows the high pressure coming down very well.
I am wondering how strong the high will be with the trough moving out so fast... Three waves over Africa. Notice how far south the two waves are compared to the one near the coast...The model are latching on to one of them and develops it....
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Given current pressure systems, is it likely that 97L (if it dos develop) will recurve or is this one the storm that will threaten Florida?
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1788. hydrus
Quoting Chicklit:
Hi hydrus, shear map looks favorable.
If the high continues to build in like that, 97L might get wedged under the southern edge. This could cause it to organize faster. It does look chaotic out there...
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Hi hydrus, shear map looks favorable.
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Quoting hydrus:
Good morning Chicklit..Check this out. There is high pressure building in to the north of 97L and the trough is lifting out...Link


That one really shows the high pressure coming down very well.
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1784. hydrus
You can see it on the MIMIC-TPW loop too....Link
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1783. hydrus
Quoting Chicklit:
What someone 'thinks' about the season being over has no impact on the weather whatsoever.
Good morning Chicklit..Check this out. There is high pressure building in to the north of 97L and the trough is lifting out...Link
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amen ike i wish someone would post a major hurricane hitting the northern gulf coast after oct 5. dont say juan or kate they were not majors.the pattern change for the conus did not happen.Not lowering the importance that mexico and the islands had it rough I stated months ago that thier could be 30 storms but if none hit the conus it would be a dud year for the conus.neutral years are our worst for the conus.levi may want to go back and study why his and storms pattern change did not happen.have anice day.
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What someone 'thinks' about the season being over has no impact on the weather whatsoever.
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1779. IKE
I was just looking at 2005 on this date....only 4 more named storms in 2005 vs. this year.

Main difference...Cindy...Dennis...Katrina...Rita impacted the lower 48 by Oct. 1st. All hurricanes...most, major canes.

Quite a difference. It has been a mild season for the lower 48 in 2010.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1778. bjdsrq
Quoting Neapolitan:
Like everyone else on here, you're certainly entitled to your own beliefs. But out of curiosity, what is it you're seeing that's causing you to make such conjectures? Remember, an opinion based on "feeling" alone isn't a forecast; it's a guess--and there's a huge difference between the two. Too, one shouldn't make the mistake of simply extrapolating current conditions and assuming that's how it'll be from here on out; while there are hostile conditions in some areas at the moment, that doesn't mean those hostile conditions will exist in two days, or two weeks, or a month.

Here's the deal: there are exactly two months left in the 2010 season, and another possibly slightly active month after that. All indications are that we'll see anywhere from a bare minimum of three or four more named storms to as many as nine or ten more. Either way, things are far from over. Yes, it's October...but if you've followed tropical weather for any length of time, you know that this month has produced some of the most damaging/deadly storms ever, eespecially in the GOM/Caribbean. It's far too early to call it a day...


Most all the pro forecast said the season would be late to start. It didn't exactly say late to end, but we'll see. If you look at the histogram of storm frequency over the last 150 years, there is a local max in mid October. Those are usually all GOM and Carib storms.
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
The season is OVER for the Northern Gulf Coast as far as any major landfalling storms. With fronts forecasted thru mid Oct there is a low chance of anything sneaking through. I can't see a pattern change like so many predicted which failed to materialize all season. This season will go down as a mild one as far as impact on the CONUS.


I'd be very happy with this. I think most of us have been very blessed this year.
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Slow morning, looks like people are sleeping in. What is the opinion on what 97L will do?
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Good morning, everyone. Our temps aren't as cool as the last few days, back up to 70 degrees. But I like 70 better than 60. And it's Friday!
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Can anyone here post a radar image from Wales?
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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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