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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we say wind shear will kill invest 97L SOON.
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717. srada
Quoting PanhandleChuck:
On a more serious note, This beast was caught just about 5 miles to south of my house. A mere 19 inches off of the state record.



Please tell me he is not sleeping?
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Quoting jasoniscoolman2010xo:
its 11am in the morning here its only 52F RIGHT NOW in new haven..and colder weather tonight maybe in the 30s tonight.
And frost advisories up over much of the upper Midwest tonight: MO, NE, IA, MN, KS, WI, & IL

Member Since: August 17, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 6939
Aww, dang. He found the bold button. And he was doing so well, too.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Hi 97L!:

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On a more serious note, This beast was caught just about 5 miles to south of my house. A mere 19 inches off of the state record.

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97 looks very disorganzed this morning but unfortunatly a significant rainfall threat might be in the cards for eastern Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Rep., PR, and northern leeward islands over the next several days. Regardless of development a deep trough will be reinforced over the eastern CONUS this upcoming week likely turning away 97L.

We might very well escape this season without a significant landfalling hurricane in the U.S.
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711. srada
Quoting atmoaggie:
So Katrina would have been the same whether she killed one or a thousand? Same effect?


I personally dont measure a storm on how many people died..if one person loses their life, then to me its a catastrophe..I think we need to stop measuring the season on body count and just concentrate on the fact if anyone dies..You're right Katrina was a terrible tragedy but Im sure the families of the people who lost their lives in NC earlier this week arent going to be "measuring" the differences between the two storms..Any Loss of life period is a catastrophe..
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its 11am in the morning here its only 52F RIGHT NOW in new haven..and colder weather tonight maybe in the 30s tonight.
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Oh my gammit!!!!!


I wish it would snow here... :D
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
I hope you're stuck at work. It's much to pretty outside to be stirring the blog pot.
I am sitting outside. Coffee, kids in playground, dog bringing the tennis ball. Yep. Gorgeous.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Well the Tropical Atlantic is quieting down a bit. Everyone, I believe the break will be brief. We have 2-3 more TC's this month and 1-2 TC's in November. I believe we may have at least 1 more major, will all the TCHP still entrenched in the W Caribbean.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting atmoaggie:
So Katrina would have been the same whether she killed one or a thousand? Same effect?


Uh-Uh
Uh-Uh
Uh-Uh
Uh-Uh
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Shear Forecast

Member Since: August 17, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 6939
Quoting atmoaggie:
So Katrina would have been the same whether she killed one or a thousand? Same effect?
I hope you're stuck at work. It's much to pretty outside to be stirring the blog pot.
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703. HCW
Quoting PanhandleChuck:
Seeing how were in a slow period, I can't resist!

To make this weather related, notice the crimson color sky. Must have been after a storm.



ROLL TIDE!


Post of the day :) ROLL TIDE Now back to 97L

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Quoting PanhandleChuck:
Seeing how were in a slow period, I can't resist!

To make this weather related, notice the crimson color sky. Must have been after a storm.



ROLL TIDE!
Crush those Gators!!

Member Since: August 17, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 6939
Quoting PanhandleChuck:
Seeing how were in a slow period, I can't resist!

To make this weather related, notice the crimson color sky. Must have been after a storm.



ROLL TIDE!
I think I just threw up in my mouth a little...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting srada:


any loss of life is a catastrophe..whether its one life or hundreds..
So Katrina would have been the same whether she killed one or a thousand? Same effect?
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting pottery:

Right!! That does ti!
I am going outside to do some stuff (just to PROVE that I still can).
And I'm never coming back.
Until later......

heheheh


That won't last long.. its going to rain there soon.. and the rum is inside the house.
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Quoting pottery:

Yeah, I understand.
But my point is, I dont think it is fair to say that people on this blog dont care what happens in Mexico from Weather systems.



Huh???
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Quoting pottery:

heheheheh

'morning Shen.
Morning Pot. Beautiful day here, Temps supposed to max out in the low 70/20 's. Just checking in before I go off to replace a d@#n tire and then might swing around to check out the VA Mennonite Relief Sale. Wonder what the volunteers at the gate would say if I asked "Where do I go to get the Relief." Probably heard it before.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


I think I have one of their CD's also... and I am no where near as old as you are. Umm I think it was my dads.

Right!! That does ti!
I am going outside to do some stuff (just to PROVE that I still can).
And I'm never coming back.
Until later......

heheheh
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Quoting pottery:

I am seriously considering finding a new place to hang-out.
Everyone here is so dam old, man.
The Pretenders??? WOW!
Going to be singing that number all day long now.


I think I have one of their CD's also... and I am no where near as old as you are. Umm I think it was my dads.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


You could walk that...I know.. I have a CD by the Pretenders, that says you can :)

I am seriously considering finding a new place to hang-out.
Everyone here is so dam old, man.
The Pretenders??? WOW!
Going to be singing that number all day long now.
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Quoting Relix:


Like 500 miles west of it here in PR. It's just a convective blob, there's a rotation evident but its exposed.


Don't undermine a system...It will bite you back.
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Quoting cat5hurricane:
I thought that was The Proclaimers


I stand corrected..hey that pretty close for me.. I never remember names.
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Quoting truecajun:


good morning everyone. I posted this late last night. I don't think anyone was on. Anyone want to add their 2 cents? I told the bride I'd get her some scoop. All I can say is rain most likely.



Most resorts have rain plans. Tell her to check with her hotel they can best advise her.

I live in Jamaica. When I got married (Sept) I had an outdoor reception. The wedding party had just been served dinner and the rain came down. And I don't mean a sprinkle. My wedding photos have a blue tarpauing covering the wedding cake. But guess what??!!! Best wedding ever. The miserable guests who couldnt take the rain left and whose who really wanted to be there celebrated and what a party!!! Had to throw away the train from the gown and the shoes had to be buried because of the mud. But fifteen years later we're still happy and have great memories. Don't let the weather dictate cause you can't control it. Just go with the flow.
In Jamaica... no problem man (say it with a Jamaican accent).
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Projected score of 5 - 5
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688. srada
Quoting atmoaggie:
I see.

Not to be argumentative, here, but the loss of life and property has been a lot lower than many of us would have expected going into this season (which isn't over yet!). Sure, Mexico has had a rough go of it, but we've not had a real signature, hundreds dead (or thousands) major catastrophe, thankfully.


any loss of life is a catastrophe..whether its one life or hundreds..
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Quoting Orcasystems:


You could walk that...I know.. I have a CD by the Pretenders, that says you can :)
I thought that was The Proclaimers
Member Since: August 17, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 6939
Quoting Relix:


Like 500 miles west of it here in PR. It's just a convective blob, there's a rotation evident but its exposed.


You could walk that...I know.. I have a CD by the Pretenders, that says you can :)
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
We would expect that you traitorous Loyalist. ;P~

heheheheh

'morning Shen.
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Quoting HurricaneKyle:


I was referring to the Mass media, to note the met that flash2010 brought up. The GENERAL PUBLIC will view this season as not living up to the destruction that was 'promised' and hyped by the Media (24 storms) and I view this as selfish to state that.

I know very well that people who know otherwise, like yourself, no that people suffered this season and this was no cake walk.
I see.

Not to be argumentative, here, but the loss of life and property has been a lot lower than many of us would have expected going into this season (which isn't over yet!). Sure, Mexico has had a rough go of it, but we've not had a real signature, hundreds dead (or thousands) major catastrophe, thankfully.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
We would expect that you traitorous Loyalist. ;P~


ROFLMAO...not to mention..I actually go to those places :)
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682. Relix
Quoting truecajun:


are you near it?


Like 500 miles west of it here in PR. It's just a convective blob, there's a rotation evident but its exposed.
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2741
have a good saturday everyone. gonna check out the art show before the LSU game.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


I am a lot more interested and concerned in any hits on Mexico/Cuba/Jamica or any other of the islands then I am in a CONUS hit.
We would expect that you traitorous Loyalist. ;P~
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The amount of pain and suffering that is going on each and every second on this planet would precipitate a complete mental breakdown if there weren't coping mechanisms built into the human mind.Oh well I like it better most of the time when we stick to weather. Except the jokes coping mechanism.
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Quoting CitikatzSouthFL:
Wel, since the models still have no idea what 97L is going to do, I am off to play in the Pumkin Patch with the grandkids. Beautiful day in South Florida. Will be lurking later. Bye all.


have fun! we are going to try the corn mazes next weekend. i hear it's fun. can't wait
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anyone have any idea on how strong 97l may get?
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Wel, since the models still have no idea what 97L is going to do, I am off to play in the Pumkin Patch with the grandkids. Beautiful day in South Florida. Will be lurking later. Bye all.
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Quoting Relix:
97L is awful.


are you near it?
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Quoting HurricaneKyle:


An excellent compromise.

BAH!!
What are we going to argue about today, then...
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Anyways, I'm off.
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Quoting CitikatzSouthFL:
How about this? For those of us who have been fortunate enough not to have been affected by any tropical (or non-tropical) system at this point in time...we can breathe a sigh of relief....then say our prayers for those affected/damaged/devestated. And, maybe, contribute to Portlight to help those not as fortunate as we are (at this point in time...the season is definitely not over..IMHO). Good compromise????


An excellent compromise.
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Quoting HurricaneKyle:


Unfortunately, the general public does not view this the same way.

Not to labour the point, but...
there is so much Doom and Gloom all the time, everywhere ("as seen on TV" LOL), that people become immune to Dread Things.
It is hard to stay Sad all the time.
Most are prepared to say "Whew, I'm glad that did not happen to ME. NEXT!!" And I find that is understandable.
See post 658
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Well, that's the understood definition of self-centered (your word), that folks would be glad they did get hit...

Guess I misunderstood something...


I was referring to the Mass media, to note the met that flash2010 brought up. The GENERAL PUBLIC will view this season as not living up to the destruction that was 'promised' and hyped by the Media (24 storms) and I view this as selfish to state that.

I know very well that people who know otherwise, like yourself, no that people suffered this season and this was no cake walk.
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also hermine was close to a tx landfall and most of her life was in tx and did some damage here so i call this a tx hit for us
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I don't see anyone on this blog make lite of anyone being struck by a storm except maybe a handful of younger people who don't know what it like to go through one.Most people if they have money donate to the various charities.Portlight was founded by individuals from this blog and I don't think they have any boundaries.
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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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