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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1923. jonelu
5:56 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting Orcasystems:
Complete Update

97L
- what can you say... at least the models are not showing a CAT 3 anymore like last night.



AOI
AOI AOI AOI

AOI AOI AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI


The models showed a Cat4 or 5 hitting FL for close to a week prior and during Matthew and Nicole...and look at what we got....nada. They have there uses...but I put FAR less credence in them now.
Member Since: October 31, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 884
1922. MrNatural
3:32 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting sailingallover:
15-20 is not slow
The path is up for debate until/if it develops.

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.


I guess I could clarify my comments. Invest 97 is expected to slow down. This slow down will have a bearing on development and path. I'm still on the fence if this thing will really develop. The influence of that big ULL will have a major bearing on the future of this storm.
Member Since: July 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 270
1921. sailingallover
3:25 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
SST's are warm under 97 but TCHP is not all that high...
http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/dataphod1/work/HHP/NEW/2010273at.jpg
Member Since: September 1, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1007
1920. sailingallover
2:48 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting MrNatural:


The forward motion of this storm is very slow. This slow forward motion leaves the ultimate path up for debate.
15-20 is not slow
The path is up for debate until/if it develops.

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.
Member Since: September 1, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1007
1919. sailingallover
2:46 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Huge line of ARC clouds East of 97..
Collapsing thunderstorms...
Maybe the Upper mid level high is Capping it rather than providing outflow?
Member Since: September 1, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1007
1918. MrNatural
2:43 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting sailingallover:
Looking at all the forecast charts I cannot see why 97 will not be at least a storm right over me by Mon/Tues but the GFS is still not developing it. Why? Every single forecast chart is positive for development as soon as the ULL moves away and the GFS is forecasting that


The forward motion of this storm is very slow. This slow forward motion leaves the ultimate path up for debate.
Member Since: July 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 270
1917. sailingallover
2:39 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Looking at all the forecast charts I cannot see why 97 will not be at least a storm right over me by Mon/Tues but the GFS is still not developing it. Why? Every single forecast chart is positive for development as soon as the ULL moves away and the GFS is forecasting that
Member Since: September 1, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1007
1916. Rainwalker
2:23 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
I would say that an hyperactive season is one with a ACE of 200 or more, with 15 or more storms. And no it does not have to have any cat 5's and no it does not have to hit the US, and no it does not have to cause any deaths.
Just my 2 cents.
Member Since: June 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 55
1915. JupiterFL
2:11 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting Orcasystems:
Ryder Cup weather forecast

Detailed Local Forecast
* Today: Periods of rain. High 57F. Winds SSE at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
* Tonight: A few clouds. Low 44F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.
* Tomorrow: Partly cloudy skies. High 61F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.
* Tomorrow night: Cloudy with occasional rain after midnight. Low around 50F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
* Sunday: Periods of heavy rain. Highs in the upper 50s and lows in the low 50s.
* Monday: Cloudy, periods of rain. Highs in the mid 50s and lows in the upper 40s.
* Tuesday: Cloudy, periods of rain. Highs in the upper 50s and lows in the upper 40s.


Looks miserable for golf. Bubba Watson looked like a drowned rat this morning.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 2146
1914. Floodman
2:10 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
New Blog
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
1913. afj3
2:07 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Yesterday's CMC


Is it me or is the CMC overshooting intensity for 97L? Plus it is curving it out in the ocean now....
Member Since: June 10, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 349
1912. Lauderdalecanuck
2:06 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
As a fellow Canadian, I would have to agree.



Quoting Orcasystems:


Umm thats one of the reasons :)

Most Canadians... and I would assume most of the Islanders down south will be backing the European Team, because of our background and culture.
Member Since: August 31, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
1911. Stormchaser2007
2:04 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Yesterday's CMC

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15950
1910. breald
2:02 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting Neapolitan:


You're welcome. There's no tuition, though I'm sorry to say no course credit can or will be offered. ;-)


LOL.
Member Since: May 28, 2008 Posts: 38 Comments: 5303
1909. Neapolitan
1:58 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting NotCircumventing:
Awesome ... I logged into Debate Class.


You're welcome. There's no tuition, though I'm sorry to say no course credit can or will be offered. ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13790
1908. ShenValleyFlyFish
1:54 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting NotCircumventing:
Awesome ... I logged into Debate Class.
Hey it's better than 5:00 pm EST(daylight savings) Troll Central.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
1907. CyclonicVoyage
1:53 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting cat5hurricane:
Ahhh did you have too?!! Enjoying the transquil fall chill in the air before this post. lol Gosh, let's hope not. Floyd was BAD



Very refreshing here in SEFL this morning too, almost went in to the office late and hung out at the beach for an hour.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
1906. utilaeastwind
1:53 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Looks like there is some tight vorticity moving along the north coast of Honduras at 16N 85W
Member Since: October 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 192
1904. ShenValleyFlyFish
1:43 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting Orcasystems:


Ummm our Beer :)
Ah yes, all is forgiven. Wisers covers for whatever the beer missed.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
1903. Neapolitan
1:38 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting Cotillion:


I agree to most of that, Nea, except three points:
Good morning, Cotillion. Good points, yours. Please allow me to respond to them one by one:

a) You know as well as I do that an active September is no guarantee of an active October. It's already one for the record books, no question, but I'd hold the 20 storm prediction as fact for longer, yet.

You are absolutely correct that a busy September doesn't guarantee a busy October. In fact, the opposite could be said, at least for the past 15 seasons: of the two years with eight September storms, one had but a single October storm, and the other had exactly zero. (And the two seasons with seven September storms only managed to squeeze out five named storms in total.) But as has often been pointed out, there are few if any indications that this year is similar to those. To begin with, SSTs are still at or near record highs...and while that alone won't drive cyclogenesis, it certainly helps. Yes, it's possible borderline, short-lived Nicole may have been it for the year. But I am seriously doubting that possibility.

b.) I'm not aware of who has been stating that this season is a bust for a considerable time. Perhaps as I am not here for the evening shifts as it is called, that I've missed those declarations.

I've followed the narrative of the season pretty closely, and am always amused at those--and I see them here every day, including this morning--who consistently narrow their definition of what constitutes a "non-busted season". Originally it was raw storm numbers; that morphed into CONUS hits, which in turn morphed into devastating CONUS hits. IOW, a record busy period, with multiple deaths and billions of dollars in damage outside the US, aren't enough. (Extrapolating, I'd guess that many of these folks would say that only a Cat 4 coming through their own city would be enough to allow them to remove the "bust" label...though even a few might then say, "Yes, the storm hit our city, but the eyewall missed my house, so BUST!!!")

c.) There is always the risk of becoming just as absolute on the argument as the counter side. The discussion on here seems to boil down to 'it's really active!' vs 'it's a bust!' without any thought to the middle.

Well, in this case, the absolutes seem to be on the side of the "active" season folks, don't they? Based on most expert early predictions of a very active to hyperactive year, this season hasn't disappointed. Anyone saying otherwise is simply ignoring fact.

It is active yes, but how active? Is it really as hyperactive as it looks on face value?

I've not commented much on your many postings suggesting that the reason things look so busy these last few decades is due in very large part to pre-satellite undercounts of marginal storms. You may be right (though I also believe there may have been early overcounts, where, say, a CV-type storm noticed in the Windward Islands was counted as a separate entity a week later when it made landfall in Texas)--but even if you are, there's no doubt that the tropics this year, and in 2005, and in 1995, and so on, have been more active than "normal", however one defines that term.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13790
1902. Orcasystems
1:38 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Complete Update

97L
- what can you say... at least the models are not showing a CAT 3 anymore like last night.



AOI
AOI AOI AOI

AOI AOI AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
1901. Eugeniopr
1:38 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting weatherguy03:
Tropical Update Oct. 1st. 2010


Hey Bob, as always very good. Thank you and we will be alert but I am bulllish on 97
Member Since: August 1, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 258
1899. CyclonicVoyage
1:34 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Morning All.

97L reminds me of a past storm. One of the many scenarios, CMC has a similar track ATM. I'm not liking that NoGaps track though.

Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
1898. Orcasystems
1:30 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
background maybe but what culture? ;P~


Ummm our Beer :)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
1896. BobinTampa
1:29 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting weatherguy03:
Tropical Update Oct. 1st. 2010


excellent job as always. Your August forecast looks pretty spot on. you think we'll still squeeze out a couple more hurricanes?
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 553
1895. ShenValleyFlyFish
1:28 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting Orcasystems:


Umm thats one of the reasons :)

Most Canadians... and I would assume most of the Islanders down south will be backing the European Team, because of our background and culture.
background maybe but what culture? ;P~
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
1894. GeoffreyWPB
1:28 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting 7544:
morning could we see 98l in the carb. latter today nice blob there is that ex mathew tia ?


Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11537
1893. Orcasystems
1:27 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
ro a trip to Fort Erie and see how that turned out last time US tried.


Now now.. look at the positive side.. you got a new White House :)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
1892. KUEFC
1:27 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting 7544:
morning could we see 98l in the carb. latter today nice blob there is that ex mathew tia ?


So now people want them to invest every single blob? LOL this place
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 93
1891. GeoffreyWPB
1:25 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting cat5hurricane:
Oranges beginning to fade away on this map...but beginning to emerge on the Sugar Maples in WI & MI.

A true tell-tale sign of October.



Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11537
1889. 7544
1:24 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
morning could we see 98l in the carb. latter today nice blob there is that ex mathew tia ?
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6874
1888. ShenValleyFlyFish
1:24 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting BobinTampa:


well then don't complain when we invade. :) did they cancel the rest of the day?
Take a trip to Fort Erie and see how that turned out last time US tried.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
1887. weatherguy03
1:22 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Tropical Update Oct. 1st. 2010
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 592 Comments: 29708
1885. Orcasystems
1:17 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting Cotillion:
No play until 4pm BST (11am EDT) at least or so it has been reported.

(not a golf fan, but thought I'd pass along.)

Cold front should begin to clear from Wales soon.



I was watching that... man oh man.. 70% chance of rain sure comes down hard over there.. they must have gotten a few inches.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
1884. HCW
1:13 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting jasoniscoolman2011xz:
25 inches of rain will do major flooding.


We got 30 inches from Hurricane Danny and didn't have any problems back in 1997
Member Since: August 10, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1409
1882. Cotillion
1:11 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
No play until 4pm BST (11am EDT) at least or so it has been reported.

(not a golf fan, but thought I'd pass along.)

Cold front should begin to clear from Wales soon.

Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
1879. largeeyes
1:08 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Work parking lot is a no wake zone :|
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1462
1878. Orcasystems
1:07 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Ryder Cup weather forecast

Detailed Local Forecast
* Today: Periods of rain. High 57F. Winds SSE at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
* Tonight: A few clouds. Low 44F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.
* Tomorrow: Partly cloudy skies. High 61F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.
* Tomorrow night: Cloudy with occasional rain after midnight. Low around 50F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
* Sunday: Periods of heavy rain. Highs in the upper 50s and lows in the low 50s.
* Monday: Cloudy, periods of rain. Highs in the mid 50s and lows in the upper 40s.
* Tuesday: Cloudy, periods of rain. Highs in the upper 50s and lows in the upper 40s.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
1876. Orcasystems
1:05 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting BobinTampa:


well then don't complain when we invade. :) did they cancel the rest of the day?


ROFLMAO, you tried that before.. didn't work so well. I think they are waiting to see if the can continue later...
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
1875. bohonkweatherman
1:04 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting BobinTampa:


well then don't complain when we invade. :) did they cancel the rest of the day?
Right now it is just delayed, waiting for any break in weather
Member Since: July 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1348
1874. lhwhelk
1:04 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Quoting Neapolitan:
The season at a glance:
+100
Member Since: August 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 69
1873. surfmom
1:04 PM GMT on October 01, 2010
Re. the Front, It was fascinating to be "in it" so to speak - paddled out first thing AM - calm just a bit of wave on the water... the hours of transition from calm to a a whole lotta wind (and knowing exactly what was going on) was fascinating -- it's like I could see someone flip the switch -- the change in the water (wave build up & type of wave) was just tooo cool --
The calm placid Gulf really kicked up her heels and danced.
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536

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