Hurricane Otto's deluge continues; world extreme heat record of 136.4°F bogus?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:51 PM GMT on October 08, 2010

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The deluge continues over Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the northern Lesser Antilles Islands from Hurricane Otto, which is bringing a fourth straight day of heavy rains. Otto is the eighth hurricane of this very active 2010 hurricane season; our tally now stands at 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricanes. An average season has 10 - 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. Otto's rains have caused a fair degree of trouble in the islands. According to Wikipedia, Heavy downpours in the U.S. Virgin Islands caused flooding across several local roads. In Saint Croix, a roadway section leading into Enfield Green collapsed on the night of October 6, temporarily cutting the south-side neighborhood off to vehicle traffic until a makeshift roadway through Carlton Estate was created the next day. On the island's North Shore in La Vallee, landslides and localized flooding in low-lying areas created some issues. There were no reports of major damage, however, and the roads remained passable. Torrential floods across the British Virgin Islands toppled several cars and caused extensive damage to utility lines and drainage pipes; dozens of people (mostly in Road Town) were left without power and water. An estimated 100 homes were flooded in Saint Lucia, and a fishing village on the island's east coast was declared a disaster zone. Schools, businesses and government offices across all of the Virgin Islands and in Saint Kitts and Nevis were closed until further notice.

In Puerto Rico, heavy rainfalls fell across the municipality of Utuado on October 7. As a result, a road to a neighborhood was made inaccessible after being severely damaged by gushing waters when parts of the Arecibo River overflowed. That same day, a landslide dragged away a communication post along the road and made it impossible for larger vehicles--including ambulances--to access the site. Meanwhile, fourteen families in the municipality of Ponce were cut off from communication because of several landslides. A residence alongside a road suffered significant damage and its inhabitants were forced to evacuate. Furthermore, a district in Cayey was isolated after a bridge collapsed, while burst riverbanks caused flooding across streets, trapping dozens of families in their homes. Across the island, 40 roads were closed due to torrential rainfall, and 19 streets had at least one lane closed.



Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Otto.

Weather radar out of Puerto Rico shows that a large area of heavy rain will continue to affect the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico today, and flash flood warnings are posted on these islands through tonight. Martinique radar shows considerably less activity over the Lesser Antilles.

Satellite imagery shows a well-organized storm with an expanding Central Dense Overcast (CDO) of high cirrus clouds covering the center. Infrared satellite imagery shows a region of intense thunderstorms with very cold cloud tops, with the suggestion of a warm spot--an eye--forming. Otto should continue to intensify until Saturday morning, when wind shear will quickly rise to a very high 30+ knots.


Figure 2. Radar-estimated rainfall from Otto over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands this week shows that rains in excess of eight inches (white colors) have fallen in many regions. The strange ray-like pattern to the east of the radar location (the white "+" symbol) is due to mountains blocking the radar beam.

Western Caribbean disturbance
An area of disturbed weather in the Western Caribbean, a few hundred miles east of the coast of Nicaragua, has only a small amount of intense thunderstorms, but is showing some spin. The disturbance is nearly stationary, and is under a moderate 15 - 20 knots of wind shear. Some dry air in the Western Caribbean is interfering with development. I expect the storm will begin to build some significant heavy thunderstorms over the weekend, bringing heavy rains to northeastern Honduras and Nicaragua. None of the models develop the disturbance into a tropical depression, but it does have some potential for slow development over the next few days, and NHC is giving the disturbance a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday. The ECMWF model has the disturbance drifting northward next week and crossing Central Cuba on Wednesday or Thursday. Most of the other models keep the storms confined to the Caribbean.

A challenge to the validity of the world extreme heat record of 136.4°F (58°C) at Al Aziza, Libya
One of the "sacred cows" of world weather extremes has been the widely reported "hottest temperature ever recorded on earth", a reading of 58°C (136.4°F) reported from Al Azizia, Libya on Sept. 13, 1922. In a remarkable piece of research, our featured Weather Extremes blogger Christopher C. Burt concludes: the temperature observations at Al Azizia prior to 1927 (when the site and instruments were changed) are obviously invalid. The shelter housing the thermometer was most likely over exposed and measuring heat radiating of off the black-tarred concrete of the terrace on which it was placed.

Has Mr. Burt slain one of meteorology's most sacred cows? You be the judge. Check out the full story at his blog.

Jeff Masters

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TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
205 PM EDT FRI OCT 08 2010

CARIBBEAN SEA...
A 1008 MB LOW IS N OF PANAMA NEAR 13N78W. A SURFACE TROUGH
EXTENDS FROM S OF HAITI NEAR 18N75W TO THE LOW CENTER TO PANAMA
NEAR 9N79W...

IN THE UPPER LEVELS...A BROAD
UPPER LEVEL HIGH IS CENTERED S OF HISPANIOLA NEAR 18N71W WITH
SIGNIFICANT UPPER LEVEL MOISTURE. EXPECT...THE SURFACE LOW TO
REMAIN STATIONARY OVER THE SW CARIBBEAN WITH CONVECTION...
Link
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This ain't a political blog, FLstormwarning.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
39 KeysieLife "I've tried researching, but haven't found anything that has "circled-back" "

Hurricane Jeanne 2004 - - - - - - - - - - Hurricane Ivan 2004

Use hurricane looped back as your search terms
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Quoting clwstmchasr:
Talk about a wall of dry air!

And that dry air is holding firm. I really thought that the GOM was ripe for one strong hurricane and one TS in October but I never anticipated such an early season strong front to dive all the way down into the NW Caribbean and hold the dry air for so long. It still may happen but as each day passes the threat becomes less and less.


I agree with you there, but still afraid to let my guard down. That dry air can't hold up forever..
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Quoting txjac:
Loving every minute of the dry air too! I dont think that Houston has had this beautiful of weather for this long of a time period


Yea, it is great now after a brutal summer. (I live in The Woodlands)
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nice Tropical Wave near 50w
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Another line of storms west of PR heading in their direction, and a line of storms heading towards St. Thomas/St. Croix.

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Quoting oracle28:


Are you on the ISS?


yes, i paid 7 million dollars to ride up here. Expensive, but the view is great. :)
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
This season will go into the books with high numbers as predicted but with lots of fish storms with a few exceptions primarily impacting Mexico, Texas, parts of the Caribbean and US Virgin Islands, and the Eastern Seabord....A very active season, and lives were lost, but it could have been much worse considering the numbers of storms so far this year....Gulf and Florida extremely lucky this year.

I agree - it has been a great year for the US and a not-so-bad year for the rest of us and we should be thankful indeed. I am a bit concerned about the statement that if the disturbance develops in the Caribbean it will affect Central America etc. Are the steering currents pointing a more westerly track for storms in this area in the coming weeks? Thanks!
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That's a real DA wall.... Extending all the way down to the Pacific.... Seems like that wave S of Cuba, is being affected by it..... being blown all over...

Quoting Jax82:
Talk about a wall of dry air!

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Loving every minute of the dry air too! I dont think that Houston has had this beautiful of weather for this long of a time period
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Talk about a wall of dry air!

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India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #8
DEPRESSION BOB02-2010
17:30 PM IST October 8 2010
======================================

Subject: Depression Overland Bangladesh

At 12:00 PM UTC, Depression BOB02-2010 The depression over Gangetic West Bengal moved north-northeastwards and lays centered over Bangladesh, close to Dhakka.

The system would move northeastwards and weaken gradually into a low pressure area during next 12 hrs.
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Quoting 1900hurricane:

Those aren't the Cape Verde Islands, but rather the Azores and later the Canary Islands. The Cape Verdes are further south.
Oops, you are totally correct and my mistake. Thanks for the obs. But with the direction that NOAA has it going does it seems like a possibility? I've tried researching, but haven't found anything that has "circled-back"
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Yesterday there was a model that predicted Otto turning back to the Caribbean... Not today... Now they predict Spain is going to get it


Quoting KeysieLife:
HAHA! The Caribbean strikes back! The track of Otto sends it to the CV islands...LOL How often does that ever happen?

This may be a stupid question, but being "stupid" when it comes to weather; what is the possibility of Otto reaching the CV islands and then curving back across the ATL towards the Carib again? I know that CV season is pretty much done, but has that ever happened in recorded history?

Discuss, discuss...
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Quoting KeysieLife:
HAHA! The Caribbean strikes back! The track of Otto sends it to the CV islands...LOL How often does that ever happen?

This may be a stupid question, but being "stupid" when it comes to weather; what is the possibility of Otto reaching the CV islands and then curving back across the ATL towards the Carib again? I know that CV season is pretty much done, but has that ever happened in recorded history?

Discuss, discuss...

Those aren't the Cape Verde Islands, but rather the Azores and later the Canary Islands. The Cape Verdes are further south.
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Since this pass, Otto has achieved hurricane status.

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HAHA! The Caribbean strikes back! The track of Otto sends it to the CV islands...LOL How often does that ever happen?

This may be a stupid question, but being "stupid" when it comes to weather; what is the possibility of Otto reaching the CV islands and then curving back across the ATL towards the Carib again? I know that CV season is pretty much done, but has that ever happened in recorded history?

Discuss, discuss...
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Quoting Buhdog:
The US LOOKS incredible from space today! That is as clear as i have ever seen


Are you on the ISS?
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Quoting Neapolitan:
You can get ACE numbers here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:2010_Atlantic_hurricane_season/ACE_calcs#Season_total


looks like 2010 is only 25 ACE from "hyperactive" status.
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Link to Conus Sat. View. Click the photo with the mouse to see a full screen photo...

Link
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Quoting FLstormwarning:


Also note the absence of cool air as well. A normally cool late October looks to be replaced by above temperatures for the SE US from 10/15 thru 11/15.
And if the MJO returns in the same time frame as the forecasted warmer than normal temperatures, there could be some late season action for sure....Link
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This season will go into the books with high numbers as predicted but with lots of fish storms with a few exceptions primarily impacting Mexico, Texas, parts of the Caribbean and US Virgin Islands, and the Eastern Seabord....A very active season, and lives were lost, but it could have been much worse considering the numbers of storms so far this year....Gulf and Florida extremely lucky this year.
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Quoting LoveThemCanes:
Though early still, what's the thought with the disturbed weather in the Western Caribbean?
Good qustion....If this were to pan out, it could get interesting for Florida...Link
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Though early still, what's the thought with the disturbed weather in the Western Caribbean?
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
well it best do it fast cause its about to start out running itself i think maybe cat 2 but not a major
Yeah, it definitely has a way to go before becoming a major hurricane..I feel gutsy today though. I say Otto pulls it off...All things considered, I am doing O.K. (so far) on my estimation for the season with 15/10/5...Thing is I thought three of the majors would make cat-5 with all that warm water...nope..:)
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Quoting sunlinepr:
Full Conus



now that is very impressive. If you believe in Ying Yang or balance, maybe this would be the calm before the storm!?! I suspect at least 1 TS to make landfall in the gulf from the tail end of a front.
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Quoting hydrus:
Otto is looking rather impressive with some good outfow...Major.? ...maybe.?..Its got da mean green showin..
well it best do it fast cause its about to start out running itself i think maybe cat 2 but not a major
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Full Conus

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Quoting Bordonaro:
KOTG, the US Virgin Islands, The British VI, Puerto Rico and the Northern Leeward Islands are getting hammered with flooding rains, an indirect effect of Otto!
iam aware of that but the actual core of the system is no threat to anyone but shipping
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
17L/H/O/C1
MARK
26.01N/63.25W


THREAT TO SHIPPING ONLY
Otto is looking rather impressive with some good outfow...Major.? ...maybe.?..Its got da mean green showin..
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Thanks Dr. M; Beautiful clear skies accross most of the US today........I, too, am heading out fishing tommorow morning for Redfish in Apalachee Bay......Have a Great Weekend Folks.
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KOTG, the US Virgin Islands, The British VI, Puerto Rico and the Northern Leeward Islands are getting hammered with flooding rains, an indirect effect of Otto!
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17L/H/O/C1
MARK
26.01N/63.25W


THREAT TO SHIPPING ONLY
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Back early from fishing. Downwind of some nasty smoke from nearby wildfires. Go back later after sea breeze kicks in and knocks it away.
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Quoting Bordonaro:

Thanks up to 132.75 and slowly rising :O). Does anyone know what the official ACE forecast was for the Tropical Atlantic region this year??


Not all forecasting entities released ACE predictions, but here are a few who did.

--UK Met Office: 13-27 storms, with 20 most likely (against an average of 12.4). ACE of 90-319, with 204 most likely (against an average of 131)

--NOAA: 14-20/8-12/4-6, with an ACE of 170% to 260% of the median. (ACE at or greater than 175% of median are considered hyperactive.)

--Colorado State: 18-10-5, with an ACE of 185
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13529
Quoting Jax82:
Mighty Clear from Belize to Hudson Bay!

Thanks! Yes, impressive.
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Heres the site.
Satellite Loop
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Mighty Clear from Belize to Hudson Bay!

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Quoting Thaale:

Can you post a link or a pic?

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Quoting Buhdog:
The US LOOKS incredible from space today! That is as clear as i have ever seen

Can you post a link or a pic?
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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.