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 pilotguy1:


Let me try to explain. What does Anderson Cooper have to do with a weather blog? Second I find it very odd that he thinks we have some underlying thrill from watching death and destruction. I reject that premise unless you run a news outlet.


What he said was, "the potential of such a system approaching sets in motion excitement , fear and actually a high for some craving the experience of major hurricane". I don't think news outlets are alone in this.
Member Since: September 21, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3690
307. HCW
98L
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Quoting pottery:

Not normal for October, I dont think...


Shear seems to be weakening some though. Earlier today there was 30 kts. to the west and now it is down to 20 kts.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8322
We're taking volunteers for the Hurricane Center Wiki. I have no clue what it is, so don't ask me!

Link
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494

WHXX01 KWBC 090000

CHGHUR

TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE

NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL

0000 UTC SAT OCT 9 2010



DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.

PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE

AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.



ATLANTIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR



DISTURBANCE INVEST (AL982010) 20101009 0000 UTC



...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...

101009 0000 101009 1200 101010 0000 101010 1200



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 13.4N 78.4W 13.3N 78.9W 13.3N 80.0W 13.0N 81.2W

BAMD 13.4N 78.4W 14.0N 78.9W 14.6N 79.5W 15.3N 80.2W

BAMM 13.4N 78.4W 13.6N 78.6W 14.1N 79.2W 14.6N 80.1W

LBAR 13.4N 78.4W 13.7N 78.8W 14.7N 79.5W 16.1N 80.2W

SHIP 25KTS 28KTS 32KTS 37KTS

DSHP 25KTS 28KTS 32KTS 37KTS



...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...

101011 0000 101012 0000 101013 0000 101014 0000



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 12.9N 82.5W 12.1N 85.4W 11.4N 89.4W 10.1N 94.7W

BAMD 16.1N 80.8W 17.6N 82.8W 19.9N 84.9W 22.3N 84.6W

BAMM 15.3N 81.1W 16.5N 83.5W 17.8N 86.5W 18.0N 89.4W

LBAR 18.5N 80.6W 24.1N 78.6W 29.0N 69.8W 32.8N 52.3W

SHIP 43KTS 52KTS 53KTS 49KTS

DSHP 43KTS 52KTS 53KTS 35KTS



...INITIAL CONDITIONS...

LATCUR = 13.4N LONCUR = 78.4W DIRCUR = 140DEG SPDCUR = 4KT

LATM12 = 13.7N LONM12 = 78.9W DIRM12 = 150DEG SPDM12 = 7KT

LATM24 = 15.3N LONM24 = 79.7W

WNDCUR = 25KT RMAXWD = 60NM WNDM12 = 20KT

CENPRS = 1007MB OUTPRS = 1010MB OUTRAD = 200NM SDEPTH = M

RD34NE = 0NM RD34SE = 0NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM



$$

NNNN
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Quoting pilotguy1:


I turn over my King.
The Cayman Islands was devastated by Ivan in 2004 and I cried like a baby when I saw the destruction but I didn't bury my head in the sand any more than anyone else did. I was out on the road walking up and down looking just as much as everyone else was. It is a fact of life that these will occur and nothing we do can change that.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8322
Quoting PELLSPROG:
Is all that dry air over the US normal ? I don't recall ever seeing it so persistant . It's been in place for what a week or so ?

Not normal for October, I dont think...
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Is all that dry air over the US normal ? I don't recall ever seeing it so persistant . It's been in place for what a week or so ?
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Good Evening all.
Otto looks like a Hurricane!! LOL
90 mph gusts are pretty impressive, and the rainfall on PR and adjacent Islands quite incredible. Some strengthening forecast as well.
Interesting storm, overall...

98L is under some serious threat from shear and dry.
IMO I dont see much happening with that one.
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Quoting pilotguy1:


Let me try to explain. What does Anderson Cooper have to do with a weather blog? Second I find it very odd that he thinks we have some underlying thrill from watching death and destruction. I reject that premise unless you run a news outlet.
What does a lot of the BS on here have to do with a weather blog. He was not pointing fingers at anyone on the blog. Just stating what is obvious just like gawkers at a car accident or a plane crash. No-one wants to see death or destruction .
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8322
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

no 98 goes quasi stationary to begin
it remains a short while
then pulls n and slowly east of north
then ne ene as dev occurs and pulls down the first of the winter air
look for a T.C.F.A. within next 12 to 18 hrs
if convective organization occurs overnight and promote further and future developement
Thanks.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8322
Quoting RufusBaker:
98 going west FL safe!

no 98 goes quasi stationary to begin
it remains a short while
then pulls n and slowly east of north
then ne ene as dev occurs and pulls down the first of the winter air
look for a T.C.F.A. within next 12 to 18 hrs
if convective organization occurs overnight and promote further and future developement
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Quoting DontAnnoyMe:


Not sure that was called for; all he was saying is that bad news for some is good news for others. I can't argue with that.
I agree. That's just the way it is. They always say good news travels fast but bad news travels faster.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8322
Quoting pilotguy1:


That is one of the most weird posts I have ever seen. You need to change your meds.


Not sure that was called for; all he was saying is that bad news for some is good news for others. I can't argue with that.
Member Since: September 21, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3690
Quoting Neapolitan:
"Messy". :-)

Just kidding. It means "medium", in reference to the system depth. Here's the legend: http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/atcf_web/docs/database/new/abdeck.txt

Thank you. I bookmarked the page.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8322
"Messy". :-)

Just kidding. It means "medium", in reference to the system depth. Here's the legend: http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/atcf_web/docs/database/new/abdeck.txt

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286. JLPR2
Hiya everyone! Been away today, it's Friday and I have them free so yeah... XD

I just heard that parts of Ponce in south PR reached 24 inches of rain... ridiculous. :\
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Quoting Neapolitan:
ATCF just updated the file on 98L, raising winds by 5 knots to 25, and lowering pressure by 1 millibar to 1007.

Look out... :-)

AL, 98, 2010100900, , BEST, 0, 134N, 784W, 25, 1007, LO, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1010, 200, 60, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,
What does the M refer to ?
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8322
98 going west FL safe!
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Outflow being restricted some. But I do think it has a shot at 100 mph.


It's the strongest cyclone I've seen that's been at one point subtropical.
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ATCF just updated the file on 98L, raising winds by 5 knots to 25, and lowering pressure by 1 millibar to 1007.

Look out... :-)

AL, 98, 2010100900, , BEST, 0, 134N, 784W, 25, 1007, LO, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1010, 200, 60, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
Oto looks pretty mean. I'd say cat 3 in 24 hr. Guaranteed.


Outflow being restricted some. But I do think it has a shot at 100 mph.

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Quoting CybrTeddy:
THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...20 PERCENT.

The NHC is always cautious with those fickle systems in the Caribbean early and late in the Season, they are very unpredictable and either come to nothing or intensify rapidly, though I personally think it will become Paula, I agree with the NHC's % at this time.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7810
Quoting CybrTeddy:
THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...20 PERCENT.
Low chance but more than it was at 2 pm. If it is expected to remain nearly stationary for a few days I don't think they will jump the chances up too much for right now.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8322
000
ABNT20 KNHC 082344
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 PM EDT FRI OCT 8 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON HURRICANE
OTTO...LOCATED ABOUT 410 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF BERMUDA.

A NEARLY STATIONARY LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM LOCATED ABOUT MIDWAY BETWEEN
NICARAGUA AND COLOMBIA IS PRODUCING CLOUDINESS AND THUNDERSTORMS
OVER MUCH OF THE SOUTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA. LITTLE DEVELOPMENT OF
THIS DISTURBANCE IS EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO. HOWEVER...
ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS COULD BECOME MORE FAVORABLE THEREAFTER.
THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...20 PERCENT...OF TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION
DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER STEWART

Went up 10%
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THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...20 PERCENT.
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Perdue seeks disaster funds for six counties

"Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Beverly Perdue has requested a disaster declaration for six eastern North Carolina counties following flooding caused by heavy rains last week...
..More than 420 homes in the six counties were badly damaged by the storm, including nearly 60 that were destroyed. Some houses retained as much as 3 feet of standing water for more than three days. More than 80 businesses also were damaged by the recent floods."
Member Since: September 21, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3690
I'll cheat and copy Neapolitan's answer sheet
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Which way did he go??
Quoting JRRP:
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In 98L conditions are at least marginally favorable considering that he has convection and some sort of spin i'd say the chances will be bumped to 20% As for Otto I can never tell the intensity of blob storms like this, they could be 75-100mph and I couldn't tell them apart, so I think NHC will go with the trend and say 85mph
256 Although you reason stands that 98L s clearly not a threat to develop immediately in the next two days a system can easily organize and close a circulation I don't think that will happen but there is a definite possibility
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269. xcool
how about 98L
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Poll time!

How many named storms will 2010 finish off with?

A. 15-17 named storms
B. 18-20 named storms
C. 21-23 named storms
D. 24-26 named storms

What will 98L's percentage be at 8PM?

A. Near 0%
B. 10%
C. 20%
D. 30%
E. Higher or Lower (L-None)

How strong will Otto be at 11PM?

A. 80 mph
B. 85 mph
C. 90 mph
D. 95 mph
E. Higher or Lower


I seldom answer these, but I'll make an exception this time: B, D, C
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Poll time!

How many named storms will 2010 finish off with?

A. 15-17 named storms
B. 18-20 named storms
C. 21-23 named storms
D. 24-26 named storms

What will 98L's percentage be at 8PM?

A. Near 0%
B. 10%
C. 20%
D. 30%
E. Higher or Lower (L-None)

How strong will Otto be at 11PM?

A. 80 mph
B. 85 mph
C. 90 mph
D. 95 mph
E. Higher or Lower

I go with B, B, C/D

1. A/B. 17-18 storms.
2. B. 10%.
3. B. 85mph.
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Quoting Jeff9641:


I agree. We are both right to some degree.
Big Smile
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Quoting stormpetrol:

Well said, I couldn't agree more, I hope my comment didn't rub some the wrong way , just an simple observation!
not at all - we're all about observing or we wouldn't be here : )
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Quoting Neapolitan:


So long as those waves aren't on top of a 25' storm surge... ;-)
Indeed -- just enough to rock the buoys - but not to cause G&A,,, I like my pleasures guilt free
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262. JRRP
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Quoting Jeff9641:


I could care less about my status here is I just do what i do and that is forecast right or wrong.

Sorry I'm lost, I was quoting surfmom, BTW I agree with most of your comments here tonight!
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7810
Poll time!

How many named storms will 2010 finish off with?

A. 15-17 named storms
B. 18-20 named storms
C. 21-23 named storms
D. 24-26 named storms

What will 98L's percentage be at 8PM?

A. Near 0%
B. 10%
C. 20%
D. 30%
E. Higher or Lower (L-None)

How strong will Otto be at 11PM?

A. 80 mph
B. 85 mph
C. 90 mph
D. 95 mph
E. Higher or Lower

I go with B, B, C/D
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I give 98L a 60% chance of developing within the next 72 hours or sooner!
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7810
I've learned here there are too many Einsteins and no Alberts.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7810

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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.