Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:44 PM GMT on October 11, 2005
Tropical Storm Vince made history today as the first tropical cyclone ever recorded to hit Spain. Vince scooted just south of Portugal and came ashore on the southwest Spanish coast opposite Sevilla. Vince made landfall as a tropical depression with 35 mph sustained winds and a central pressure of 1002 mb. Heavy rains and sustained winds of 31 mph with winds gusts of 48 mph were measured at Rota, Spain today, and winds of 36 mph gusting to 51 mph were measured at Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Vince is no longer a tropical cyclone, and is not expected to cause damage in Spain. In fact, since Spain and Portugal are suffering their worst drought in 120 years, Vince will bring welcome rains to many areas.
Figure 1. Hurricane Vince at landfall. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey, CA.
The only other tropical cyclone I could find record of to hit Europe was Hurricane Debbie, which hit northwest Ireland on September 16, 1961 as a Category 1 hurricane. Wind gusts as high as 113 mph were measured in the storm at Malin Head, the northernmost point in Ireland. Debbies's winds caused widespread destruction in Ireland's County Denegal.
Puerto Rico disturbance
A large area of disturbed weather extends from Bermuda southwards to Puerto Rico and then westward across much of the Caribbean Sea. Wind shear levels in the disturbed area are about 20 knots--too high for tropical storm develoment today. This wind shear may relax over the next few days, possibly allowing some developement to occur. Most of the global computer models continue to predict that a tropical storm will form from this disturbed area later this week and move north to threaten Bermuda. However, the models are being less aggressive with this development than in previous runs, and in general, the tropics are looking much less conducive for tropical storm formation than a week ago.
Figure 2. Current radar precipiation estimates out of Puerto Rico show heavy rains from a tropical disturbance have affected most of the island.
Improving weather has let rescuers reach many of the hardest-hit areas of Guatemala flooded by Hurricane Stan's rains last week. A new mudslide in the west part of the country buried up to 40 more vicitms Monday, and many hundreds more remain missing and presumed buried throughout the country.
Northeast U.S. flooding
The remains of Tropical Storm Tammy cause extensive flooding in New England and the mid Atlantic the past two days, killing at least ten and bringing New Hampshire its worst flooding in a least 25 years. With additional rain beginning tonight and extending through Thursday, New England can expect continued flooding problems this week. New rain amounts may be as high as 2 - 3 inches in some areas.
Figure 3. Radar estimates of rainfall in New Engalnd from the remains of Tropical Storm Tammy.
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