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 , 1:57 PM GMT on October 12, 2005
An unusually large and long-lasting area of low pressure with heavy rains continues to affect a large section of ocean from New England to Bermuda south to Puerto Rico, and then westward across Hispanolia and Jamaica to Honduras. Over 10 inches of rain has fallen over much of Puerto Rico the past two days. The entire island is under a flash flood warning today, and many rivers are out of their banks and many streets and neighborhoods flooded.
Wind shear levels over this disturbed area are in the 10 - 20 knot range, which is too high to allow much in the way of tropical storm development to occur. The various global computer models continue to insist that a tropical storm will develop this week between Puerto Rico and Bermuda and move north to threaten Bermuda, but thus far the models have performed very poorly with their predictions of tropical cyclone development with this weather pattern. If development does occur, it would likely be focused on one of two low level circulations that have developed, one just north of Jamaica near 19N75W and another midway between Puerto Rico and Bermuda near 25N67W.
I will continue to talk about Stan's destruction for a while yet. This is a disaster that has killed many more people and caused more suffering than Hurricane Katrina, yet will not get nearly the attention it deserves because of the earthquake in Pakistan.
Today the death toll in Guatemala stands at 1252. Another 133 people died in El Salvador, Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras. Many more lie buried in areas rescuers still cannot reach, although by today 95% of the affected communities had been. Particularly hard hit were the coastal mountains of Guatemala near the Mexican border. Some of our wunderground members have sent in some remarkable photos of the floods in Guatemala, a few of which I link to below.
The next update will be Thursday morning, unless some unexpected development happens. I will talk about some new estimates of what Katrina's winds really were at landfall, and the results are surprising.
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