97L a major rainfall threat; October hurricane outlook; NC rains finally end

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:08 PM GMT on October 01, 2010

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A large and complex region of disturbed weather (Invest 97L), centered about 800 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, is headed west-northwest at 15 - 20 mph and will bring heavy rain showers and gusty winds to the northern Lesser Antilles Islands on Saturday and Sunday. Wind shear is a moderate 5 - 15 knots over 97L, and the waters beneath are very warm, 29°C. However, recent satellite imagery shows that the intensity and areal coverage of 97L's heavy thunderstorms have decreased this morning, thanks to some dry air being ingested into the storm. The SHIPS model predicts that wind shear over 97L will rise to the high range, 20 - 30 knots, Saturday through Tuesday, but some of the global computer models depict only moderate amounts of shear for 97L during this period. The NOGAPS model is the only model currently showing significant development 97L, and that model predicts 97L will be near Puerto Rico on Monday, the Dominican Republic on Tuesday, Haiti on Wednesday, and Eastern Cuba and the southeast Bahamas on Thursday. NHC is giving 97L a 40% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday, but as of this morning, had not tasked the Hurricane Hunters to fly into the storm over the next two days. 97L will slow down to 5 - 10 mph on Sunday, bringing the potential for an extended 3 - 4 day period of heavy rains for the islands in its path. Even if 97L does not develop into a tropical depression, its slow motion may result in life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and eastern Cuba next week.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Invest 97L.

October hurricane outlook
October is here, and it is time to take stock of where we stand and how far we have to go before hurricane season is over. The beginning of October traditionally marks the two-thirds point of hurricane season; approximately one-third of all hurricanes and 28% of named storms occur after October 1. Tropical Storm Nicole brought us up to fourteen named storms for the year, and I expect about 4 - 5 more named storms this year with 2 - 3 of these being hurricanes. That would add up to 18 - 19 named storms for the season, putting 2010 in 3rd - 5th place all-time for most named storms. Since record keeping began in 1851, only four seasons have finished with more than eighteen named storms. These seasons were 2005 (28 named storms, with the 17th named storm, Rita, occurring by October 1); 1933 (21 named storms, with the 18th named storm occurring by October 1;) 1995 (19 named storms, with the 15th named storm, Opal, occurring by October 1;) and 1887 (19 named storms, with the 10th named storm occurring by October 1.) The most likely time to get activity is during the first two weeks of October. There are still two weeks of peak hurricane season left before the activity traditionally begins to decline steeply (Figure 2.) Given the record warm sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic this fall, the presence of La Niña in the Eastern Pacific keeping wind shear lower than average, and the observed increase in late-season activity in recent decades, I expect this year's peak portion of hurricane season will last until the end of October. I predict three named storms, two hurricanes, and one intense hurricane will form in the Atlantic this month, with two named storms and one hurricane occurring in November - December, making 2010 as the third busiest Atlantic hurricane season of all-time.


Figure 2. Climatological frequency of Atlantic named storms and hurricanes.

Jamaica cleans up after Nicole
Tropical Storm Nicole lasted only six hours as a tropical storm, but the storm's torrential rains hit Jamaica hard. Nicole's rains killed at least six people on the island, and at least thirteens others are missing and feared dead. The storm cut power to 170,000 island residents, and caused millions of dollars in damages. Wunderground member JamaicaZed wrote me to say his rain gauge in the Kingston suburb of Norbrook caught 17.39" of rain Monday through Thursday, with 11.10" coming on Wednesday.

Historic rainfall event for eastern North Carolina ends
The rains have finally ended In North Carolina, where tropical moisture streaming northward in advance of Nicole generated a historic rainfall event this week. Wilmington, NC set records this week for the heaviest 3-day, 4-day, and 5-day rainfall events in city history, and the month of September ended up as the second rainiest month ever recorded in the city. A remarkable 22.54" of rain fell on Wilmington during the 5-day period Sunday through Thursday. The previous record was 19.06", set in September 1999 during Hurricane Floyd. Fortunately, eastern North Carolina was under moderate drought conditions prior to this week's rainfall onslaught, with just 0.18" of rain falling during the first 25 days of September. Only minor to moderate flooding is occurring on North Carolina rivers, with just one river, the Northeast Cape Fear River near Chinquapin, expected to experience major flooding. Portlight.org is beginning to identify needs in Eastern North Carolina in the wake of the flooding, and expects to perform the first deployment of their new relief trailer within the next few days and send a truck loaded with water, food and personal hygiene supplies.

The most remarkable thing about Wilmington's second-wettest month in history is that it came without a hurricane affecting North Carolina. All four of the other top-five wettest Septembers in history were due, in large part, to hurricanes:

#1 23.41 inches 1999 (Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd)
#2 22.72 inches 2010 (plume of tropical moisture in advance of TS Nicole)
#3 20.10 inches 1877 (Hurricane Four)
#4 18.94 inches 1984 (Hurricane Diana)
#5 16.93 inches 1924 (Hurricane Five and Tropical Storm Eight)


Figure 3. Radar-estimated precipitation for North Carolina since Sunday shows that the precursor moisture from Nicole has brought widespread rain amounts of fifteen inches (white colors.)

Heavy rains and flooding for New England
The plume of tropical moisture that affected North Carolina is now triggering heavy rains in New England, and flood warnings are posted throughout most of New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, eastern New York, Delaware, and Vermont this morning. In New York City, heavy rains this morning have overwhelmed one section of the city's subway system, and flooding closed several key road arteries in the city, snarling the morning commute. About two inches of rain have fallen so far this morning in the city. Severe weather is not expected, and no tornadoes were reported yesterday in association with this weather system.

Elsewhere in the tropics
Disturbed weather continues in the Central Caribbean, where the remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole will bring isolated heavy rain showers today to Hispaniola, Jamaica, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and northern Honduras. The GFS model predicts this activity will concentrate near Hispaniola over the weekend, then push northwards into the Bahamas, with a subtropical or extratropical storm forming over the Bahamas on Sunday or Monday. This storm could bring 2 - 4 inches of rain to the Bahamas Sunday and Monday. The storm will then move north-northeastwards, parallel to the U.S. East Coast, and not affect any other land areas. Several of the models are predicting the formation of a tropical depression in the Mid-Atlantic 5 - 7 days from now, in a location that would not be of any danger to land areas.

Next update
I'll have an update Saturday morning.

Jeff Masters

Flooding (jdwagon)
Shannon Hills, Ridgeway, VA
Flooding
()

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Just had 3.60inches in one hour at my home here in Barbados.
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Quoting jasoniscoolman2011xz:
flood warning


Snark Flag: ON
See, when you don't watch TV, you don't get the invaluable advice from the news readers: Turn around, don't drown! He'll probably rot out the axles on his carriage.
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262. xcool
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting jasoniscoolman2011xz:
flood warning


Jason, that's a cool picture. Congrats on no caps, or bold's, as well.
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97 looks like it's trying to build some convection west of the Center

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/carb/flash-ft.html
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Quoting GTcooliebai:

Yeah you notice I asked him where he was doing his fishing, must've been around his house!

lol yup
Member Since: September 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 635
Quoting TropicalMan2010:

tell that to her rains...flooding in the carolinas means no fish what so ever.

Yeah you notice I asked him where he was doing his fishing, must've been around his house!
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Quoting jambev:
237 xCat6 Hurricane

Fish storm? Jamaica has suffered 12 persons being drowned by excessive flooding. There has been substantial damage to infrastructure, roads, bridges, crops and even some damage to private homes and businesses.

Because a storm does not strike the US does NOT mean that it has not caused damage and distress elsewhere.

+100
Member Since: September 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 635
Quoting xCat6Hurricane:


I went boating in the center of nicole and i was scared my hair might get wet, the 5mph wind gusts gave me a cool breeze while i got loads of fish.

tell that to her rains...flooding in the carolinas means no fish what so ever.
Member Since: September 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 635
Quoting jambev:
237 xCat6 Hurricane

Fish storm? Jamaica has suffered 12 persons being drowned by excessive flooding. There has been substantial damage to infrastructure, roads, bridges, crops and even some damage to private homes and businesses.

Because a storm does not strike the US does NOT mean that it has not caused damage and distress elsewhere.

Good point, it doesn't have to be strong to wreak havoc. Technically Nicole hit the U.S. as an extra-tropical storm, just ask folks in Wilmington & Jacksonville N.C. who were inundated with water & are probably now getting a chance to clean up. And actually Nicole grazed south Florida as a tropical storm.
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flood warning
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Quoting jambev:
237 xCat6 Hurricane

Fish storm? Jamaica has suffered 12 persons being drowned by excessive flooding. There has been substantial damage to infrastructure, roads, bridges, crops and even some damage to private homes and businesses.

Because a storm does not strike the US does NOT mean that it has not caused damage and distress elsewhere.


Well said.
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Quoting kwgirl:
Yes, TDogg, I once save a lizard from a bucket of water. Heard it splashing and reached in and lifted it out. It was breathing soooo fast. I just let it rest on my finger until the breathing slowed then set it on a bush. If the rabbit is wild and sees someone coming toward it, it will jump in the water and probably drown. I don't know if rabbits can swim, but I wouldn't think they can.


They can......had a friend rescue one swimming in a flooded area.
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237 xCat6 Hurricane

Fish storm? Jamaica has suffered 12 persons being drowned by excessive flooding. There has been substantial damage to infrastructure, roads, bridges, crops and even some damage to private homes and businesses.

Because a storm does not strike the US does NOT mean that it has not caused damage and distress elsewhere.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Just saw a 2011 prediction and I would like to lay down my own.. given that the bulk of this season is over (I think we'll crank out 3 more, giving us a grand total of 17)

Been looking at the ENSO charts for the first time since June


Expect a deepening of the La Nina followed by some weakening in Nov/Dec. Overall.. fairly likely that 2011's season will remain either a cold neutral or a weak La Nina. Now, its pretty far off to say that 2011 will remain La Nina but based on the trends we've seen for the past few months it is certainly possible that 2011 will be similar to this year -- perhaps a more active Jun - Aug period.

I'll law down a hypothetical 18 named storms, I do not make a seasonal prediction until December, but I am already starting to see signs of a very active season.

2010 on the other hand, remains extremely active with 14-7-5 as you already know. The ECMWF predicts a storm similar to Omar to develop in the Caribbean next week. GGEM shows hurricane beginning to develop as early as Sunday, NOGAPS much weaker.. but both are 97L. I suspect Otto might begin to take shape next week.
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Quoting kwgirl:
Yes, TDogg, I once save a lizard from a bucket of water. Heard it splashing and reached in and lifted it out. It was breathing soooo fast. I just let it rest on my finger until the breathing slowed then set it on a bush. If the rabbit is wild and sees someone coming toward it, it will jump in the water and probably drown. I don't know if rabbits can swim, but I wouldn't think they can.


LOL Remember the rabbit that went after Jimmy Carter in the canoe? He was swimming.
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233. Chicklit - Good the rabbit is safe.

238. GTcooliebai - Being new I would assume that someone in Florida (like me) declared a holiday (No Gulf Storms) and forgot to tell the rest of us.
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Quoting NRAamy:
Captn.....still hot, but better....

:)


Opposite of our trend. We have been getting a couple degrees warmer each day. Still getting a good cool-off in the evening, and haven't needed the A/C since the front came, but it was kinda iffy today. I saw 84F on the patio a while ago.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 856
Quoting xCat6Hurricane:
Nicole was a nice fish storm

Yeah, whatever
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SSTs are definitely cooler than they were a few weeks ago--as expected. TCHP in the Gulf is lower than this time last year, though TCHP in both the Caribbean and the western Atlantic is overall considerable higher and larger in areal coverage than it was a year ago. And the 26.C thermocline--that is, the depth to which waters capable of sustaining development of TCs extend--is shallower in just a few limited areas this year than it was last, while overall it's deeper this year.

2009 (click for larger image):

Appropriate tropical weather-related image


2010 (click for larger image):

Appropriate tropical weather-related image


2009 (click for larger image):

Appropriate tropical weather-related image


2010 (click for larger image):

Appropriate tropical weather-related image
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Blog is kinda slow today...where everbody at? :P
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Quoting NRAamy:
Thank you, Chicklet....

Yeesh, I was ready to fly over there and save it myself.... A big bunch of wimps....



That and you wanted to escape the heat...

How is it today? Any break from the heatwave yet?
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 856
Quoting Chicklit:

According to the photographer, the bunny was rescued :)


Quoting NRAamy:
Thank you, Chicklet....

Yeesh, I was ready to fly over there and save it myself.... A big bunch of wimps....




Thank you Chick!

and Amy, me too! LOL


Hi everyone, afternoon check in!!
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Quoting largeeyes:
Anyone advocating picking up that rabbit has never seen Monty Python's and the Holy Grail.

According to the photographer, the bunny was rescued :)
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Hey everyone. Does anyone know where I can get archived satellite images of every named storm from 2001 to 2004? I have only been able to find sites with some but not all of the storms. Thanks!
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hmm...Earl pt.2 anyone?

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Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6064
211. pottery 7:15 PM GMT on October 01, 2010

Thanks - nice link
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Disturbed weather continues in the Central Caribbean, where the remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole will bring isolated heavy rain showers today to Hispaniola, Jamaica, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and northern Honduras. The GFS model predicts this activity will concentrate near Hispaniola over the weekend, then push northwards into the Bahamas, with a subtropical or extratropical storm forming over the Bahamas on Sunday or Monday. This storm could bring 2 - 4 inches of rain to the Bahamas Sunday and Monday. The storm will then move north-northeastwards, parallel to the U.S. East Coast, and not affect any other land areas. Several of the models are predicting the formation of a tropical depression in the Mid-Atlantic 5 - 7 days from now, in a location that would not be of any danger to land areas. lets hope not..

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Quoting atmoaggie:

Quoting Cotillion:
Thaale, wouldn't you mean 2007?

2008 wasn't a La Nina as far as I recall.

(Regardless, 2007 was mostly inactive post-September. Noel and Olga for October and November).

(1950-70: 1950, 1954/55/56, 1962, 1964, 1967. All had episodes according to: this)
Ehhh, good catch. The building La Nina was through the '07 season....

I see the point you're both making. The cold episode continued into the first half of 2008, but not for the bulk of hurricane season. OTOH, it really didn;t get going until late in 2007, so maybe it's best to consider neither a true La Nina hurricane season.
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Yes, TDogg, I once save a lizard from a bucket of water. Heard it splashing and reached in and lifted it out. It was breathing soooo fast. I just let it rest on my finger until the breathing slowed then set it on a bush. If the rabbit is wild and sees someone coming toward it, it will jump in the water and probably drown. I don't know if rabbits can swim, but I wouldn't think they can.
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Quoting cat5hurricane:
LOL!

Wow...shocked that even down there yours has already got color. It could be the different soil content too. Depending on the soil & topography of the land, that could have quite an impact on it's growing season. I don't believe Sugar Maples are indigenous to the area.


Bud break and leaf fall are regulated more by day length than temperatures, temperature has a modifying effect. It would be reasonable to expect a tree like sugar maple to be on a more "northern" schedule modified slightly by the warmer temperatures in LA.
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Quoting 2010hurricane:
2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Just an Early Prediction
13-16 NS
7-9 H
3-5 MH

Your avatar says 2010Hurricane you should've changed it to 2011, lol.
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Quoting cat5hurricane:
That's really good growth for one year! Yeah, regardless of anything, it seems to be lovin' it where it's at.
Well, it was planted after Katrina and it's approaching 20 feet 5 years later (I assume it'll stop doing that at some point, right?).
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Well, regardless, it seems to love it down here. Grows a solid 3 feet every year.

Hmmm, could be my highly acidic, red clay, "soil". (I am not in the usual river sediment/alluvial soils associated with LA)
That's really good growth for one year! Yeah, regardless of anything, it seems to be lovin' it where it's at.
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Quoting RyanFSU:
From a simple comparison of actual SSTs between 2009 and 2010, the "record" warmth isn't apparent to me any longer. The Gulf is 1-2C cooler than this time last year, no surprise with the dry cold front that just blew through the Gulf coast.



With the Pacific experiencing a near-record strength La Nina episode for this time of the year, it is not clear to me how the very-cool SSTs will teleconnect to the Atlantic hurricane formation region.
Any atmospheric influence, then, for a La Nina apparently downing TC formation late in hurricane season?

La Ninas are known for dry falls in CONUS, but October/November aren't really home-brew TC months anyway.
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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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