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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Quoting Grothar:


Can't you see the images? I can. Refresh your page again, or do you have one of those old PC from 1984? How you doing, pot??



Sorry Grothar, I have to say, I can't see them either. Evening to you, Sir. Pottery, how goes it?
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Quoting Grothar:


Can't you see the images? I can. Refresh your page again, or do you have one of those old PC from 1984? How you doing, pot??

LOL.
Can see all images but those...

Not quite 1984, but pretty close.
And, please, it's an Apple, dont you know...

Doing good.
Went to bed. Couldnt sleep. Prowling around in here and some other places too.

Tropics dont look too threatening at the moment. Even the Glob of rain to my east has gone away..
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Quoting caneswatch:


Coming from the Western Caribbean? I expect more than a weather maker.


Don't argue with your elders.
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504. Skyepony (Mod)
95B wrecking havoc


At least ten people were killed in the coastal areas of Bangladesh
in the storm that has been whipped up by deep depression in the
Bay of Bengal, reports reaching Dhaka yesterday said.
Hundreds of fishermen are still reported missing.
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A hurricane is a powerful storm system with a large low pressure center that produces intense winds and heavy rainfall.
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Quoting Grothar:


Nah, just a little weather maker.


Coming from the Western Caribbean? I expect more than a weather maker.
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Quoting pottery:
494 and 493.
It's the button on the left, Gro....


Can't you see the images? I can. Refresh your page again, or do you have one of those old PC from 1984? How you doing, pot??
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When you hear a weather anchor talking about a hurricane being in a category from 1 to 5, he or she is referring to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. It is a scale that group hurricanes by their wind speed. And from the wind speed, meteorologists can use it to determine the potential damage a hurricane can do. It was first used in hurricane advisories in 1975.

Category 1: 74-95 MPH

•Minimal damage
•No major damage to properly built structures
•Damage to unanchored shrubs and trees
•Evacuations maybe ordered for areas immediately adjacent to water.
Category 2: 96-100 MPH

•Moderate damage
•Some roof, door and window damage to buildings
•Considerable damages to shrubs and trees with some trees being blown down.
•Coastal and low lying areas flood 2 to 4 hours before arrival of the hurricane's center.
•Evacuations maybe ordered for areas near the water.
Category 3: 111-130 MPH
•Extensive damage
•Structural damage to residences is likely.
•Damage to shrubs and trees with foliage blown off. Large trees are blown down.
•Mobile homes and signs are destroyed.
•Low lying areas flood 3 to 5 hours before arrival of the hurricane's center.
•Small structures near coast are destroyed with larger structures being heavily damaged.
•Evacuations will be likely ordered for areas prone to storm-surge flooding.
Category 4: 131-155 MPH

•Extreme damage
•Complete roofs blown off some residences. Extensive exterior damages to large buildings.
•Shrubs, trees and all signs are blown down.
•Complete destruction of mobile homes.
•Major damage to lower floors of structures near the store.
•Some coastal buildings maybe washed away.
•Evacuations will be likely ordered for areas prone to storm-surge flooding.
Category 5: Higher than 155 MPH

•Catastrophic damage
•Complete roof failure on many residences and prefabricated buildings.
•Extensive damage to exposed glass on all large buildings.
•Some complete building failures.
•All shrubs, trees and signs are blown down.
•Complete destruction of mobile homes.
•Total destruction of all structures near the shoreline.
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Quoting caneswatch:


Looks like we have another storm coming Grothar.


Nah, just a little weather maker.
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will 98 see FL?
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494 and 493.
It's the button on the left, Gro....
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Quoting Grothar:


Looks like we have another storm coming Grothar.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
i know these storms pretty good not perfect but pretty good


I have respect for that. I have handled the storms coming my way, pretty well. I may not always show a serious side, but it is there.
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490. Skyepony (Mod)
Looking at the big Water Vapor & what not..I'll go with 98L moving over Jamaica & Caymans, central Cuba..bask in the gulf stream just east of SEFL, harassing some of the Bahamas. I'm half expecting a small storm that struggles with dry air/shear most of the time. Outside chance a cat 1 at some point, more likely North of Cuba.
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Quoting CaptnDan142:


My mind keeps going back the that collage last night... That may make things tough. Paula Abdul isn't that scary. ;-)

Looks like it could go about anywhere right now, tracks all over the place. I guess that will settle down a bit in time.


Yes. The collage! It's now permanently implanted in my brain. haha
Gee thanks Neapolitan. ;)
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


D) 10%

Paula will probably spring up sometime in the next 2 weeks, followed by Richard in late October. Shary in November.


My mind keeps going back the that collage last night... That may make things tough. Paula Abdul isn't that scary. ;-)

Looks like it could go about anywhere right now, tracks all over the place. I guess that will settle down a bit in time.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 856
TropicalStormOtto
8Oct 03amGMT - - 24.1n66.6w - - 60mph - - - 992mb -- NHC.Adv.#8
8Oct 06amGMT - - 24.4n66.1w - - 60knots - - 989mb -- NHC-ATCF
8Oct 09amGMT - - 24.8n65.5w - - 70mph - - - 986mb -- NHC.Adv.#8
HurricaneOtto
8Oct 12pmGMT - - 25.4n64.6w - - 65knots - - 986mb -- NHC-ATCF *60knots
8Oct 03pmGMT - - 25.9n64.0w - - 75mph - - - 986mb -- NHC.Adv.#10
8Oct 06pmGMT - - 26.3n63.1w - - 70knots - - 977mb -- NHC-ATCF
8Oct 09pmGMT - - 26.8n62.3w - - 80mph - - - 976mb -- NHC.Adv.#11
9Oct 12amGMT - - 27.2n61.7w - - 75knots - - 972mb -- NHC-ATCF
9Oct 03amGMT - - 27.8n60.8w - - 85mph - - - 972mb -- NHC.Adv.#12
* Before NHC reevaluated&altered the numbers
50knots=~57.5mph=93.6km/h __ 60mph=~96.6km/h __ 55knots=~63.3mph=~101.9km/h
65mph=~104.6km/h __ 60knots=~69mph=~111.1km/h __ 70mph=~112.7km/h
65knots=~74.8mph=~120.4km/h __ 75mph =~120.7k/h __ 70knots=~80.6mph=~129.6km/h
80mph=~128.7km/h __ 75knots=~86.3mph=138.9km/h __ 85mph=136.8km/h
MaximumSustainedWind speeds are rounded to the nearest 5mph or to the nearest 5knots

Copy&paste 24.1n66.6w, 24.4n66.1w, 24.8n65.5w, 25.4n64.6w, 25.9n64.0w-26.3n63.1w, 26.3n63.1w-26.8n62.3w, 26.8n62.3w-27.2n61.7w, 27.2n61.7w-27.8n60.8w, ngd, bda into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the last 12hours
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Quoting txjac:
I for one couldnt imagine riding out a storm in a boat ...couldnt imagine the fear ...I'm a baby


No kidding. We used to evacuate the boats inland from the Gulf, and these were probably much bigger boats than what those people were on.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 856
Quoting CybrTeddy:


D) 10%

Paula will probably spring up sometime in the next 2 weeks, followed by Richard in late October. Shary in November.

I agree
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Quoting Surfcropper:
What do you think the percentage is of the season being over with after Otman fizzles?

a) 100%

b) 70%

c) 30%

d) 10%


D) 10%

Paula will probably spring up sometime in the next 2 weeks, followed by Richard in late October. Shary in November.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24574
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
My predictions are 2 to 3 more storms in October...

My season predictions are
18 Named storms
9 Hurricanes
6 Major Hurricanes

Counting Otto...
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My predictions are 2 to 3 more storms in October...

My season predictions are
18 Named storms
9 Hurricanes
6 Major Hurricanes
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Quoting Surfcropper:
What do you think the percentage is of the season being over with after Otman fizzles?

a) 100%

b) 70%

c) 30%

d) 10%

The thing is, I think the heat content of the water in the Caribbean is actually magnified by a cooling upper atmosphere. Some of our strongest storms have come late, for this very reason, I suspect. As we saw with Mitch and Wilma, that contrast can be explosive and/or deadly.
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Quoting Surfcropper:
What do you think the percentage is of the season being over with after Otman fizzles?

a) 100%

b) 70%

c) 30%

d) 10%
I pick E - 10 to 20% chance.
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850mb vorticity continues to strengthen and consolidate; dark orange now just north of Panama:

Click for larger image:

Appropriate tropical weather-related image
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Quoting Surfcropper:
What do you think the percentage is of the season being over with after Otman fizzles?

a) 100%

b) 70%

c) 30%

d) 10%


Hmmm... I'll go with e) 0%
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:


Looks to be backing off some though.

Indeed it is, and with an approaching trough that deep from the west, why wouldn't things quiet down a bit upstairs?
It looks like someone may be putting out the welcome mat, for another Wizard of Wilma?

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Quoting Neapolitan:
Otto's ACE is now up to 2.585, meaning that he's already been a more energetic storm than six of this year's previous storms: Bonnie, Colin, Gaston, Hermine, Matthew, and--of course--Nicole. Unless he completely falls apart tonight, his ACE will surpass Fiona's tomorrow morning, and there's a very good chance he can overtake Lisa tomorrow evening. But that should be it; even with a good day tomorrow, I doubt he'll be around long enough to surpass Karl, the next storm up.


Long range global's and ensembles keep him around for a few days with a warm core..may add a few 10th's of ACE even into Monday...
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Quoting txjac:
Thanks doorman ...love Louis Armstrong


Anytime!!!!!
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473. txjac
Thanks doorman ...love Louis Armstrong
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Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:


Keep, I'm liking your assertiveness. You go, my friend. Perhaps a void to be filled? Kudos.
i know these storms pretty good not perfect but pretty good
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Quoting Neapolitan:


NHC says it'll still be a hurricane until Sunday afternoon...




opening up drawing in dry air
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ok.

Everyone please watch this one :)
Link


Peace!
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Quoting doorman79:


Cool, but Kman knows where iza live. making me a bit nervous lol. He would be on the way :(
Makes me nervous too.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
That was Paloma Nov 2008. Developed in less than ideal conditions and almost unexpected.


Cool, but Kman knows where iza live. making me a bit nervous lol. He would be on the way :(
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shear to drop 20 to 25 kts bound by area from the channel east to bahamas and from west cuba isle of youth n to se fla pens. in 24 hrs
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Quoting txjac:
But that should be it; even with a good day tomorrow, I doubt he'll be around long enough

Neopolitanm what do you mean when you say "doublt that he will be around long enough"? Do you think it will disapate or just move to the north east? Thanks

Jo


Oh, I guess that wasn't the best choice of words...but you can take it either way. I mean he'll dissipate as he reaches a more hostile environment...an environment he'll encounter as he continues moving northeast.
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Quoting doorman79:


Dont know that one. but I do have a 12 pack in me lol
That was Paloma Nov 2008. Developed in less than ideal conditions and almost unexpected.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
otto will not see the sum rise not as a cane anyway


Keep, I'm liking your assertiveness. You go, my friend. Perhaps a void to be filled? Kudos.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:


Dont know that one. but I do have a 12 pack in me lol
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
otto will not see the sun rise not as a cane anyway


NHC says it'll still be a hurricane until Sunday afternoon...
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Quoting doorman79:


Dont make me nervous lol. Im still trying to learn :)



Paloma Nov. 2008
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
Quoting kmanislander:


Shear is currently not conducive and has been that way for over 24 hours. Keep your fingers crossed.



Looks to be backing off some though.
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Quoting kmanislander:
I'm out for tonight. Just a quick stop in.

Back in the morning. Gnite all


Peace
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458. txjac
But that should be it; even with a good day tomorrow, I doubt he'll be around long enough

Neopolitanm what do you mean when you say "doublt that he will be around long enough"? Do you think it will disapate or just move to the north east? Thanks

Jo
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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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