Subtropical Depression 17 forms; monsoon rains kill over 100 in Asia

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:04 PM GMT on October 06, 2010

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Subtropical Depression Seventeen formed this morning, approximately 200 miles north of Puerto Rico. The storm is not a threat to bring high winds to any land areas, but will produce heavy rains over Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the northern Lesser Antilles, and perhaps the eastern Dominican Republic. Radar estimated rainfall over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (Figure 1) shows rainfall amounts in excess of eight inches have fallen near St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, and the St. Thomas Airport officially measured 6.61" yesterday--its 5th wettest day in history. St. Thomas has picked up an additional 1.48" today as of 9am AST. Not surprisingly, Flash Flood Warnings are posted for the island. Weather radar out of Puerto Rico shows that a large area of heavy rain will continue to affect the Virgin Islands and eastern Puerto Rico this morning. Martinique radar shows somewhat less activity over the Lesser Antilles.

Satellite loops show STD 17 has a broad, somewhat ill-defined center of circulation, with the heaviest thunderstorms 50 or so miles from the center. This is characteristic of a subtropical storm, which is a hybrid between a tropical storm and an extratropical storm. An upper level low pressure system to the west of STD 17 has pumped cold, dry air aloft into STD 17, keeping it from being fully tropical. As the trough gradually weakens today and Thursday, STD 17 should become fully tropical and intensify into Tropical Storm Otto. Steering currents favor Otto being lifted northwards and then northeastwards out to sea by Friday.


Figure 1. Radar-estimated rainfall from Subtropical Depression Seventeen over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands shows that rains in excess of eight inches (white colors) have fallen near St. Thomas.

Elsewhere in the tropics
Most of the models indicate the possibility that a strong tropical disturbance or tropical depression forming in the Southern Caribbean, off the coast of Nicaragua, 5 - 7 days from now.

Monsoon flooding kills 83 in Indonesia, 28 in Vietnam
Heavy monsoon rains triggered flash flooding in a remote section of Indonesia this week that killed at least 83 people. Another 68 people are missing, and 3,000 homeless. In Vietnam, heavy rains of up to 51" (1300 mm) have fallen since Friday, resulting in river flooding that killed at least 28 people. Over 34,000 people are homeless from the floods, which hit five provinces from Nghe An to Thua Thien-Hue, a swath of territory starting some 300 km (180 miles) south of Hanoi and stretching south. Heavy monsoon rains also hit nearby Hainen Island in China, forcing the evacuation of 64,000 people.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting cat5hurricane:
2008 featured three named storms forming in October & one in November. El Nino year; yes, but La Nina doesn't call all the shots.


2008 was a La Nina year. In the winter of 2009, it quickly became a El Nino.
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Quoting cat5hurricane:

The squirrels sure seem to be getting a head start on gathering their food. White Oaks & Burr Oaks drop acorns every year; Live Oaks are bi-yearly.


Yeah, my model for predicting South Florida tropical activity based on squirrel activity shows nothing for at least a week. No squirrels toting weapons. In fact, saw two squirrels this morning sitting on my lounge chair by the pool sipping coffee and reading the paper! ;-)
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Goodmorning, Watch for developement in the Western Caribbean from Oct 16th--- Oct 22cnd. The enviroment will become favorable for a TC then.
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Quoting cat5hurricane:
2 more at best oughta do it for 2010


I disagree, but we ave our own opinions which could be right or wrong. I believe we can push out 4 more systems, 2 of those possibly Hurricanes one of them a Major Hurricane (the last hurrah for the WC). There's still alot of heat that needs to get out. Again, this is only my opinion.
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Quoting reedzone:
We are heading towards our 15th named system today!

My forecast from May was 15-18 storms, 9-10 Hurricanes, 5 majors.

With those warm Caribbean waters, and cold core transitions that may take place in the open Atlantic, I'm looking for 2 more Hurricanes. Possibly one last Major Hurricane which will be in the Caribbean if it happens, where all the heats at. Overall I believe we have 4 more storms to go until it's all over. This is including out of season activity in December, if we get any.



Your forecast seems pretty reasonable, although with this weather down here in Palm Beach, I feel like winter's already hit!! Nice work on the preseason forecast as well! :-)
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Hi Reed-

I too believe that the SSTs in the Caribbean will promote the growth of additional storms through December if the right conditions permit.
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good morning Jeff,

can you send me the link for these models runs for which you are indicating? thanks
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104. Ookla
Quoting PanhandleChuck:


I agree Reed, a soon as people feel the first cool snap, they think the season is over. IMO and from what I've read, it should be an unseasonably warm fall / winter in the S.E.

I was just about to post this very thing. I'm shivering in New Orleans, and even though the models say storm season isn't over, it sure feels like it is, emotionally.
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So how unusual is this weather in South Florida right now??? This is crazy...it feels like November.
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We are heading towards our 15th named system today!

My forecast from May was 15-18 storms, 9-10 Hurricanes, 5 majors.

With those warm Caribbean waters, and cold core transitions that may take place in the open Atlantic, I'm looking for 2 more Hurricanes. Possibly one last Major Hurricane which will be in the Caribbean if it happens, where all the heats at. Overall I believe we have 4 more storms to go until it's all over. This is including out of season activity in December, if we get any.

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Quoting reedzone:


4 systems seems reasonable, it's La Nina, not El Nino. La Nina causes late season activity, possibly into December. Subtropical systems and some Caribbean systems. In my opinion, Hurricane Season is still far from not over and I disagree with most people on here, we have more to go.


I agree Reed, a soon as people feel the first cool snap, they think the season is over. IMO and from what I've read, it should be an unseasonably warm fall / winter in the S.E.
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Ugliness on the blog this a.m.
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Quoting reedzone:
STD 17 looks like Subtropical Storm Otto, hopefully the NHC will make the right decision at 11 and do the upgrade. What's interesting is that It's warm core, but because it's stacked on top of the ULL, it makes it Subtropical. This developed from a truly warm cored TW.
....whats up matt???,i think u mean under the ull?
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The Southeastern states is still at high risk for a landfalling TC, whether it be Hurricane or TD. Just because some fall air came into the picture does not mean the season is over for us. Things will be interesting in a few weeks when the high moves out of the way and a new trough comes in and lifts some more moisture from the Caribbean. The Caribbean needs to get rid of all the heat down there and Nicole was NOT the answer.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
With shear increasing basin-wide and SST's gradually decreasing, I think that we should only be able to squeeze out another 2 systems or so.



4 systems seems reasonable, it's La Nina, not El Nino. La Nina causes late season activity, possibly into December. Subtropical systems and some Caribbean systems. In my opinion, Hurricane Season is still far from not over and I disagree with most people on here, we have more to go.
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STD 17 looks like Subtropical Storm Otto, hopefully the NHC will make the right decision at 11 and do the upgrade. What's interesting is that It's warm core, but because it's stacked on top of the ULL, it makes it Subtropical. This developed from a truly warm cored TW.
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With shear increasing basin-wide and SST's gradually decreasing, I think that we should only be able to squeeze out another 2 systems or so.

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im not saying the seasons over because we coukd get our mid oct bump still,but thinking back to ge end ofsept and all the people that proclaimed that all the built up heat in the carib would"focus" the "bundled up" heat. and we were in for apattern of multiple tcs threatening the US from the south,look at that area now,doesnt look focus'd to me,lol
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74. JRRP
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thanks for the link orca!!......
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Multiple vorticies-

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Quoting Jax82:
Hmmm, comparing Oct 4th, 2010 with Oct 4th, 2009. Anyone see a difference? I do!

Oct 4, 2009


Oct 4, 2010


lower TCHP? that's good news, we've dodged several bullets this year.
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friend on Tortola, BVI just posted pic of landslide across the valley from her - on FB - says it's larger than any she has seen in recent times...
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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.