Heaviest rains in Colombia's history trigger deadly landslide; 145 dead or missing

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:07 PM GMT on December 06, 2010

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Colombia's heaviest rains in history triggered a landslide in the poor hillside community of Bello on Sunday, killing at least 20 people and leaving 125 missing. This year's unprecedented rainy season had already killed 176 people prior to Sunday, making it one of the deadliest flooding years in Colombia's history, according to the director of Colombia's national disaster management office, Luz Armanda Pulido. In 2009, 110 people died in flooding disasters, and 48 were killed in 2008, according to Colombian Red Cross director of national relief operations Carlos Ivan Marquez. This year's rains are the heaviest in the 42 years since Colombia's weather service was created and began taking data, agency director Ricardo Lozano said. The resulting flooding has destroyed or damaged the homes of 1.6 million people. Colombia's president Juan Manuel Santos said the number of homeless from the flooding could reach 2 million, and said "the tragedy the country is going through has no precedents in our history." Neighboring Venezuela has also been hard-hit by this year's severe rainy season--at least 30 people are dead from floods and mudslides, and tens of thousands homeless. More rain is in the forecast--the latest forecast from the GFS model (Figure 2)--calls for an additional 4 - 6 inches (100 - 150 mm) across much of western and northern Colombia in the coming week.


Figure 1. Satellite-observed rainfall over Colombia during the past two weeks shows a region of 100 - 200 mm (4 - 8 inches) has fallen near Medellin, close to where Sunday's landslide in Bello occurred. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Colombia's rainy season usually peaks in October, then gradually wanes in November and December. The heavy rains are due to the presence of the Intertropical Convergence Zone, the area encircling the earth near the Equator where winds originating in the northern and southern hemispheres come together. When these great wind belts come together (or "converge", thus the name "Convergence Zone"), the converging air is forced upwards, since it has nowhere else to go. The rising air fuels strong thunderstorm updrafts, creating a band of very heavy storms capable of causing heavy flooding rains. This year is a La Niña year, which means there is a large region of colder than average water off the Pacific coast of Colombia. Colder than average water off the Pacific coast enhances rainfall over Colombia, and this year's La Niña, which is at the borderline between the "moderate" and "strong" categories, is largely to blame for Colombia's deadly rainy season.


Figure 2. Rainfall forecast from today's run of the GFS model predicts that region to the north and west of Bogota, Colombia may see another 100 - 150 mm (4 - 6 inches) during the coming week (red colors.) Image credit: NOAA/CPC.

See also my November 22 post, Colombia rainy season floods kill 136.

I'll have a new post on Wednesday.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting DontAnnoyMe:


It was clearly not about Gro trying to confuse people. You took it out of context without having read the whole thread.


Thanks.
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KI4FIA - Daytona Beach (Ponce Inlet), FL, Daytona Beach, Florida (PWS)
Updated: 1 sec ago
39.3 °F Clear

Forecast for Coastal Volusia County

Updated: 2:53 PM EST on December 7, 2010
Freeze warning in effect from 1 am to 9 am EST Wednesday... Tonight Clear. Lows in the upper 20s...except around 30 along the coast. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph decreasing to around 5 mph by late evening.
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its 34 in Niceville in the panhandle of FL
Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2133
Urban heat island effect obviously in full swing tonight; 35 in Apopka, 37 in Royal Palm Beach(!), and still 42 at both Orlando airports.
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28 C | 22 C Here in Rincon PR... Glassy and Head High Waves



Location: San Juan PR
Temperature: 76 F
Comfort level: 76 F
Dew point: 72 F
Barometer: 29.98 "Hg
Humidity: 88%
Visibility: 10 mi
Wind: No wind
Last update: Tue 10:56 PM AST
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Quoting DoverWxwatchter:
Actually looking at comment 470 was clearly about Grothar confusing people. But no biggie, I don't care. Just thought it was odd saying a member had been confusing you for years when you've had an account less than 3 months.



He's just trying to confuse us.




It was clearly not about Gro trying to confuse people. You took it out of context without having read the whole thread.
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GFS updates around 10:30ish ..
Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2133
Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2133
Quoting doorman79:


They saying maybe, kinda, but who knows!
Don't count on it...(re: northshore snow potential)

Not seeing it happen, myself.

If anything, brief period of melting snow flakes, but if you look away, you might miss it entirely.
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Now I'm confused.

It is 45 deg here now. That is a 10 deg drop in two hours and still dropping, and I am on the water. Must be cold in the interior sections.
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Quoting Jeff9641:
35 here in Apopka.


Not far behind, 37 here in Royal Palm Beach.
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
Quoting DoverWxwatchter:
Actually looking at comment 470 was clearly about Grothar confusing people. But no biggie, I don't care.  Just thought it was odd.



He's just trying to confuse us.




It's all good.
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42 here now. That's cold for us...and it's not even winter yet!
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10972
Accorinding to NOAA website, during a La Niña year, winter temperatures are warmer than normal in the Southeast (US) and cooler than normal in the Northwest (US). Globally, it looks like winters (Dec - Feb) are drier off the west coast of S. America (Peru), wet off the NE coast of S. America (Amazon Basin), & wet in SE Asia.
Ref: http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/elnino/la-nina-story.html
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Quoting DoverWxwatchter:
How's Grothar confused you for years when you haven't had an account for 3 months yet?




Perhaps you have not connected Grill and I. She was referring to me. Try to keep up.
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Quoting DoverWxwatchter:
How's Grothar confused you for years when you haven't had an account for 3 months yet?



Thanks, Dover, for coming to my assistance! I try to only confuse people I know. Would never do it to a stranger.
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HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR SOUTH FLORIDA
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
300 PM EST TUE DEC 7 2010

FLZ063-066>075-168-172>174-081200-
GLADES-HENDRY-INLAND PALM BEACH-METRO PALM BEACH-COASTAL COLLIER-
INLAND COLLIER-INLAND BROWARD-METRO BROWARD-INLAND MIAMI DADE-
METRO MIAMI DADE-MAINLAND MONROE-COASTAL PALM BEACH-
COASTAL BROWARD-COASTAL MIAMI DADE-FAR SOUTH MIAMI DADE-
300 PM EST TUE DEC 7 2010

...FREEZE WARNING INTERIOR AREAS TONIGHT...
...PATCHY FROST EXPECTED ALL BUT THE IMMEDIATE ATLANTIC COAST...

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR SOUTH FLORIDA.

.DAY ONE...THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT

TEMPERATURES: TONIGHT WILL BE ANOTHER VERY COLD NIGHT WITH LOWS IN
THE UPPER 20S TO TO LOWER 30S OVER THE INTERIOR AREAS TO THE MID
30S TO AROUND 40 OVER THE METRO AREAS. THE ONLY EXCEPTION TO THIS
IS OVER GLADES COUNTY WHERE THE LOWS WILL BE IN THE MID 20S.
TEMPERATURES WILL REMAIN BELOW NORMAL ACROSS SOUTH FLORIDA
THROUGH FRIDAY BEFORE INCREASING TO NEAR NORMAL CONDITIONS BY THIS
WEEKEND. HOWEVER...ANOTHER STRONG COLD FRONT WILL THEN MOVE SOUTH
FLORIDA LATE SUNDAY BRINGING BACK THE VERY COLD WEATHER TO THE
AREA FOR EARLY NEXT WEEK.

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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
From Facebook:

WPTV Storm Team 5
‎8:40pm update. Dramatic temperature drop this evening over
South Florida, and many hours to go. Jupiter Farms and W. Lantana now in
the 30's and falling fast. Mid 40's along the coast and it's not even
9pm. Keep a close eye on plants. Cover if possible. weagle out



DID YOU SAY 30'S??????

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Just over 50 here in Naples, supposedly headed 15 degrees colder by morning. I suppose it's possible--there are 9.5 hours to go until sunrise--but there are a few stratus clouds hanging around, too, so I guess we'll see. Either way, more cold forecast for early next week. Yecch...

2011 hurricane season starts in 174 days, 21 hours, and 20 minutes.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13456
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From Facebook:

WPTV Storm Team 5
‎8:40pm update. Dramatic temperature drop this evening over
South Florida, and many hours to go. Jupiter Farms and W. Lantana now in
the 30's and falling fast. Mid 40's along the coast and it's not even
9pm. Keep a close eye on plants. Cover if possible. weagle out
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10972
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10972
Quoting DontAnnoyMe:


He's just trying to confuse us.


Good a least I'm not the only one. He's been confusing me for years. Welcome to my world.
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
Is this weather going to continue all winter? I thought La Nina was supposed to give us a warm and dry winter?


La niña 2000:



Yet Raleigh NC had a 20" snowstorm (average is 7"/year). Anything can happen.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


I have always wondered...How do models hint? Do they wink before the run?


Yes. Yes they do. ;)
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 553 Comments: 19890
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


I have always wondered...How do models hint? Do they wink before the run?


LOL, nice!
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Quoting Grothar:


No, it is stationary in the corner. HaHA, you thought you were going to get me with an old joke! Gotcha!


Aw man. Oh well, I tried.
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
Japan probe reaches Venus but shuts itself down

By ERIC TALMADGE and SETH BORENSTEIN, Associated Press Eric Talmadge And Seth Borenstein, Associated Press – Tue Dec 7, 4:54 pm ET

TOKYO – A Japanese space probe sent to the thick clouds of Venus shut itself down, and its future looks as hazy as the planet it was built to study.

The probe, called Akatsuki, which means "dawn," reached Venus on Tuesday to orbit Earth's neighbor on a two-year mission. But communication problems left scientists in the dark about whether it was successfully in orbit.

The 25 billion yen ($300 million) project is supposed to maintain an elliptical orbit around Venus, ranging from passes 190 miles (300 kilometers) from the planet's surface to outer swings 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers) away that will allow it to comprehensively monitor weather patterns.

One of the mysteries scientists are hoping to clear up is the intensity of surface winds on Venus that are believed to reach up to speeds of 220 miles per hour (360 kilometers per hour).
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Quoting Grecojdw:


wow its already 37 here in the panhandle of Florda.:o


It's 32 here in Macon. The temp will probably wait to drop in Shreveport after the precipitation. That's probably what's gonna happen to us on Sunday when we're supposed to have some snow.
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Quoting caneswatch:


Is yours running?


No, it is stationary in the corner. HaHA, you thought you were going to get me with an old joke! Gotcha!
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Models hint at a more typical La Nina pattern after this next arctic outbreak.


I have always wondered...How do models hint? Do they wink before the run?
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10972
Quoting DontAnnoyMe:


He's just trying to confuse us.



Wheels within wheels, my friend.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Merry Christmas from Archie Bunker:




Dang, you just took the cat out of the bag. Grill's going to use them for her next blog. LOL
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:
According to TWC Shreveport is still at 49 degrees. According to WU it's at 47.5. That temp better drop quick.


wow its already 37 here in the panhandle of Florda.:o
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Greetings!
Torrents of rain here again today.
But no snow yet! (just thought I would say that!)
I see that everyone seems to be in a Festive Spirit?
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Quoting Grothar:


Now, do you want me to tell you how to use your refrigerator??


Is yours running?
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
Quoting Grothar:


Ae you coming or going?


He's just trying to confuse us.
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Quoting Grothar:


Ae you coming or going?



It's tough to remember at my age. Like the gecko.
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Quoting Jeff9641:


Day was busy and yours! I have extra interest in this disturbance moving our way it appears snow is coming and the models are finally beginning show what I've been saying for days now.


Snow is coming where?
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According to TWC Shreveport is still at 49 degrees. According to WU it's at 47.5. That temp better drop quick.
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Quoting caneswatch:


We turned it on. Slowly warming up inside now.


Now, do you want me to tell you how to use your refrigerator??
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
Is this weather going to continue all winter? I thought La Nina was supposed to give us a warm and dry winter?


It was an extremely dry and warm fall/winter till bout a week ago! Still dry for winter be honest.
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
Is this weather going to continue all winter? I thought La Nina was supposed to give us a warm and dry winter?


Models hint at a more typical La Nina pattern after this next arctic outbreak.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 553 Comments: 19890

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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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