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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I am south of you in Nashville, NC. We have received 8.5 inches of rain so far. Very leery of rain events after Floyd!
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Another image of the screaming moisture highway:

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97L looks like he's got multiple personalities.hard to predict.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
Quoting NCWatch:
CoopsWife, where are you located?


Virginia Beach - about 2 miles south of the Chesapeake Bay on the Western Branch of the Lynnhaven River
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Don't think I would want to be a fly on the wall for that event!
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That was worse than my comment CosmicE.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
anyone have any predictions on invest 97L
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One thing for sure about nature lately she has been having a lot of 100 and 500 year rain events lately.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
The entire east coast is a screaming moisture highway!

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I have a feeling that "Nicole" may be THE event of the season. Just goes to show you that you don't need a big scary Hurricane to do a ton of damage if you have Biblical levels of rain falling on your head.
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356. srada
NC Saint..Im afraid if yall have a Golden Corral, then yall are Doomed too..expect a visit from the "Cantore"..LOL
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Just short of 2" from that last 30 minute deluge!
Drizzling now and looking at the Loops, there is more where that came from LOL.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24799
Thanks
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Quoting srada:


Yeah I hope so too..after the rain leaves, then we will have to worry about the rivers cresting..Im sure we will be busy down here with dealing with the effects for a long time


We wish all there our very best. Keep us posted.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
345. srada
Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:



Good one, Srada. I hope no lives are in danger there. Sad to see so much flooding. An historic event, to be sure.


Yeah I hope so too..after the rain leaves, then we will have to worry about the rivers cresting..Im sure we will be busy down here with dealing with the effects for a long time
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Quoting Bayside:
If the NHC tracks a tropical wave or depression which isn't a named storm, it is of my opinion that they should continue to track a system that they name even if it becomes extratropical until it is no longer a threat. This one, they named for 6 hours and seemingly dropped it for good, meanwhile it still poses a threat... again, my opinion.


you are correct but that's the way they work.
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Here ia Annapolis as of noon we have received 8.2 inches. Crazy rains.
link
http://www.weather.gov/data/obhistory/KNAK.html
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so.... I am thinking if the trough lifts out in time for another high to build in, then chances are less of a curve up into the GOM?
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
I understand, but it's not the responsibility of the NHC to deal with non-tropical events. There are other govermental agencies for that.
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The under-hype here should be directed to TWC, America's Weather Authority. Last night and today they're not showing enough of what's happening and what to expect.
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99.9% of the people don't know the NHC from the CIA. They get their weather info from the media, local news and TWC. If anyone dropped the ball here, it's TWC.


Agreed. TWC was once a difference maker. Now, not so much. Don't even watch them any more.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
If the NHC tracks a tropical wave or depression which isn't a named storm, it is of my opinion that they should continue to track a system that they name even if it becomes extratropical until it is no longer a threat. This one, they named for 6 hours and seemingly dropped it for good, meanwhile it still poses a threat... again, my opinion.
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Quoting WeatherfanPR:


you just need to see the visible or rgb or shortwave or avn or rainbow loop and you can see it easily.


thanks
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CoopsWife, where are you located?
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Pottery on this Cimss site that just added pg151L practicallyLink right on top off you and got it going around in a circle. It's starting to look like a chess board and someone getting mated. See the little symbols look like pawns.

Thanks for the link.
Needed that one!
Rains tapering off now and the stuff is moving over to the NW.
Still a lot of thunder.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24799
Srada....you folks keep him busy down there, would ya?! Tell him Hwy 17 North is flooded or something...anything to keep him from heading up to Jacksonville!
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Quoting srada:
A little humor to our situation..article written in the Star News in Wilmington

Weather Channel's Jim Cantore reports from Wilmington, dines at Golden Corral


Published: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 8:33 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 8:33 p.m.
( page of 2 )

Updated: 11:45 a.m. Thursday




Have you heard? Jim Cantore is here! Which, in short, means we are all doomed.

I've lived in Wilmington 10 years and spent 15 more in Florida before that, so I'm well aware of the "Cantore effect." The Weather Channel meteorologist is always the reporter they send to the heart of the problem -- or at least, where they expect the problem to be. So we've come to view him as a more reliable Chicken Little – where he goes, the sky falls.

Plenty of folks sounded the alarm when, just after 4 p.m. Wednesday, Cantore posted this to his Twitter account: "On my way 2 Wilmington, NC via USAir. Very Dangerous Excessive Rainfall event unfolding for US Mid Atlantic Region. 6"-10" over large area." Within minutes after that post was linked to his Facebook page, both social networking sites lit up with comments and conversations.

One comment from a Wilmington resident on Facebook, "Breaking news.....Jim Cantore is en route to Wilmington, NC. That pretty much sums it up, dontcha think?" And another, "Jim Cantore is on his way to Wilmington. Not good, people, not good! I have the Patron, who has the orange slices and cinnamon??"

On Twitter, the prevailing sentiment of "NOOOOOOOO...Not Cantore!!!" wasn't shared by a few foolish locals who were actually inviting him to stay, even recommending restaurants and the like.

Late Wednesday night, Cantore tweeted he was stuck at the Charlotte airport, but her arrived safe and sound and has been broadcasting from the Bob King car dealership on New Centre Drive.

By 11:40 a.m. Thursday, Cantore was at Golden Corral, eating some lunch and posing for photos with fans.

Check back for more CantoreWatch updates later today.

– Jeff Hidek, Community Engagement Editor




Good one, Srada. I hope no lives are in danger there. Sad to see so much flooding. An historic event, to be sure.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
At least Bastardi hasn't turned it into a snowcane yet. Got to wait a couple more months for that.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
Quoting reedzone:
Bastardi is making a good point on Nicole...
Bastardis take on "Nicole"
He describes what happened yesterday to many developments in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean, and he is right.

Of course, he knows what he is talking about
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and just imagine if in about a week or so timeframe if another trough starts dipping down and the high is not that defined as it was with matthew pushing into CA.

so, potentially this one could be more troubling?
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60 hour GFS.
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Quoting nativ:


The media hypes up winter storms and everyone gets ready. Stuff likes this where it has a name and then it doesn`t as soon as the name is taken away people stop paying attention or when it doesnt have a name people dont pay attention. The flooding up there is gonna rival floyd and it wont take much wind to knock down trees when the ground is soaked. People like us who pay attention to the whether are few and far between. the majority of people get there info from the media.
I understand, but it's not the responsibility of the NHC to deal with non-tropical events. There are other govermental agencies for that.
.
The under-hype here should be directed to TWC, America's Weather Authority. Last night and today they're not showing enough of what's happening and what to expect.
.
.
99.9% of the people don't know the NHC from the CIA. They get their weather info from the media, local news and TWC. If anyone dropped the ball here, it's TWC.
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327. JRRP
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So far 12Z ECMWF is resembling NOGAPS and keeping the system in the N Carib just south of the Greater Antilles with a building Bermuda High as the E CONUS TROF lifts out and gets replaced with a High:

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Quoting clwstmchasr:
Levi, some of us are looking at 97L and seeing the low at 11N 53W. Would you concur or do you see something else?


There appears to be some mid-level rotation there, but the dominant surface low is probably going to be developing with the feature farther east near 14N, 46W.
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Pottery on this Cimss site that just added pg151L practicallyLink right on top off you and got it going around in a circle. It's starting to look like a chess board and someone getting mated. See the little symbols look like pawns.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
323. JRRP
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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.