Western Caribbean disturbance bringing heavy rains

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:02 PM GMT on October 15, 2011

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In the Western Caribbean, a large area of disturbed weather associated with a low pressure system is bringing heavy rains to Western and Central Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Moisture from Tropical Depression 12-E, which moved inland near the Mexico/Guatemala border and dissipated on Wednesday, has invigorated this low. Rainfall amounts of 5 - 10 inches have fallen over Central Cuba since October 9, according to radar estimates from the Key West Radar.


Figure 1. Morning radar image from Key West, FL radar.

The low is too large to develop quickly, and is likely to move over the Yucatan Peninsula on Sunday, limiting the potential for development. NHC is giving the system just a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Monday. Most of the models predict only weak development of the storm, since wind shear is currently a moderate to high 15 - 25 knots, and is expected to be in the moderate to high range over the next three days. The low is likely to move north and then northeast early next week, and cross the west coast of Florida on Tuesday or Wednesday. Rains from the storm are already affecting the Florida Keys, as seen on long-range Key West radar. Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and Western Cuba will see the heaviest rains from the disturbance over the weekend, and extreme South Florida and the Florida Keys could see heavy rains of 3 - 5 inches through Monday.

Another area of disturbed weather over the far Eastern Atlantic, 700 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands, has developed a modest degree of spin, but has very limited heavy thunderstorm activity. NHC is giving this system a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Monday.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Sfloridacat5:


One of the major issues is the interaction with land. What does develop should be ultimately pulled N.E. to meet up with the cold front. But as it looks right now, that will just be a bunch of moisture.

If the low could find a way to stay offshore as depicted by the most recent NAM, then we could see a more developed system affecting Fl. next week.

But the GFS scenerio seems most likely at this time.


In my opinion, it really does seem hard to believe that the broad and disorganized mess in the NW Caribbean will have the time to develop into a powerful TC and surge northward to slam into FL.

When one considers the monsoonal nature of the clouds and moisture in the region at present, the upper wind shear profile, the fact that a front just moved through most of Florida with cooler and drier high pressure behind it.. again.. and that another and more powerful front is anticipated to arrive within the 4 day time frame, it seems unlikely that a strong TS or hurricane will somehow hit SW Florida.
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Quoting Sfloridacat5:
NAM keeping the low offshore at 84 hours.


How many times do we have to tell peeps to stop looking at NAM model output.

Only look at ECMWF and GFS
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Quoting Neapolitan:

That's my thinking, too. But then the fact that it hasn't been named (yet?) serves to further highlight the inanity of those comments accusing the NHC of padding storm numbers for some nefarious reason. Don't you think?



i did say at post season
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NAM keeping the low offshore at 84 hours.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8184
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
LOL, no golf for you this weekend.



That really hurt you know :-(

I was about to run errands and the rain started coming down in buckets.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



well we did have that unname storm with 93L wish will likey get upgraded at post-season

That's my thinking, too. But then the fact that it hasn't been named (yet?) serves to further highlight the inanity of those comments accusing the NHC of padding storm numbers for some nefarious reason. Don't you think?
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Quoting Neapolitan:
It has now been three weeks since the last Atlantic storm (Philippe) was named, a mid-season stretch devoid of cyclogenesis that ranks among the longest such stretches that I know of, especially considering how active the season had been overall before hitting the wall. Aside from highlighting the silliness of troll-tastic comments about how the NHC is "padding numbers", it goes to show you just how difficult it is for things to line up--and stay lined up--in order for a season such as 2005 to happen.



well we did have that unname storm with 93L wish will likey get upgraded at post-season
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Quoting daveron:


well its going to have a hard time getting to sw fla with all that dry air lol...we will see fla will have nice brisk northerly winds wed thru friday...


Florida will be off limits for at least several days once the front comes through towards Thursday.

So its either a Tuesday/Wednesday event or its going to have to wait until the following week possibly.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8184
It has now been three weeks since the last Atlantic storm (Philippe) was named, a mid-season stretch devoid of cyclogenesis that ranks among the longest such stretches that I know of, especially considering how active the season had been overall before hitting the wall. Aside from highlighting the silliness of troll-tastic comments about how the NHC is "padding numbers", it goes to show you just how difficult it is for things to line up--and stay lined up--in order for a season such as 2005 to happen.
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Quoting wunderweatherman123:
i dont believe the mexico solution at all. whats going to steer it westward? its going to stall in the W.carribean and then get drawn NNE into SW florida. thats my opinion


One of the major issues is the interaction with land. What does develop should be ultimately pulled N.E. to meet up with the cold front. But as it looks right now, that will just be a bunch of moisture.

If the low could find a way to stay offshore as depicted by the most recent NAM, then we could see a more developed system affecting Fl. next week.

But the GFS scenerio seems most likely at this time.
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Quoting kmanislander:


Yep. Get your card games and monopoly set out for an indoor weekend.
LOL, no golf for you this weekend.
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Quoting wunderweatherman123:
i dont believe the mexico solution at all. whats going to steer it westward? its going to stall in the W.carribean and then get drawn NNE into SW florida. thats my opinion


well its going to have a hard time getting to sw fla with all that dry air lol...we will see fla will have nice brisk northerly winds wed thru friday...
Member Since: October 8, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 62
Quoting FLWaterFront:


It is true that most of our tornadoes in Central Florida are less than F3 strength.

But we do occasionally get some powerful ones. One outbreak in early April of 1966 featured at least one F4 tornado, as a series of tornadic cells moved across the state from west to east. Both Tampa and Lakeland suffered major structural damage to residential and commercial areas and both saw fatalities from that system.

And of course, the famous February of 1998 tornado outbreak in the general Orlando area caused 42 fatalities. Almost all of those tornadoes were estimated to be of at least F3 intensity.


By the way, that powerful tornado in 1966 came came within a half mile of where I live today.

The roof of Clearwater High School was once ripped off by a tornado. And I believe the school was brushed by a tornado on another occasion. Their school team name ironically is the "Clearwater Tornadoes" very applicable.
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i dont believe the mexico solution at all. whats going to steer it westward? its going to stall in the W.carribean and then get drawn NNE into SW florida. thats my opinion
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12z GFS at 120 hours (5 days)
Front has cleared Fl., as mentioned low in the Western Caribbean.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8184
kmanislander, you think that another low pressure may develop from what may be left behind after this first one goes away?
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I am going to try and run a few errands so will catch up with you all later. BFN.
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Quoting Sfloridacat5:


The Tampa area supposedly has one of the highest tornado frequency of anywhere in the country.


It is true that most of our tornadoes in Central Florida are less than F3 strength.

But we do occasionally get some powerful ones. One outbreak in early April of 1966 featured at least one F4 tornado, as a series of tornadic cells moved across the state from west to east. Both Tampa and Lakeland suffered major structural damage to residential and commercial areas and both saw fatalities from that system.

And of course, the famous February of 1998 tornado outbreak in the general Orlando area caused 42 fatalities. Almost all of those tornadoes were estimated to be of at least F3 intensity.
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Quoting stormpetrol:


Skies looking ominous here now! , lots of hard rain coming down! Very windy also

Stay safe mate, prepare for the worst, hope for the best.
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Quoting kmanislander:


The 6Z GFS takes it into the BOC and then brings it back into the NW Caribbean around the 90 hour mark
hmm...Interesting actually if you think about it that goes well in line with the surface maps you posted, low pressure in the BOC and SW Caribbean, eventually some of that moisture will lift North and combine with the front coming through the FL. Peninsula on Tues/Wed. time frame, regardless of development, and some of the moisture may also remain in the Caribbean.
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Another volcanic watch is Anak Krakatau (Krakatoa) Volcano...
Although it is quite smaller than his father, it is very active...

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Quoting Supposetobefishin:


Hi Kman,

My sons 4th birthday tomorrow out at the pool here in Cayman...

It's "stars wars" theamed - going to need all the luck the "force" can bring LOL! The alternative is 50 mums and dads and of course the kids in our little ol' apartment ....gulp!!


Looking iffy right now. All the way beyond Jamaica is socked in and heading in this general direction.
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Quoting kmanislander:


More nasty weather coming this way today. The weekend is looking like a washout.


Hi Kman,

My sons 4th birthday tomorrow out at the pool here in Cayman...

It's "stars wars" theamed - going to need all the luck the "force" can bring LOL! The alternative is 50 mums and dads and of course the kids in our little ol' apartment ....gulp!!
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Quoting Jedkins01:


I live in North Pinellas outside of Clearwater, they say its rare to see tornadoes for any given person. I am a weather enthusiast and college student, and I do not storm chase, however, I have seen 3 tornadoes with my own eyes since living here and countless water spouts, that being said I can definitely say I live in an area where tornadoes are relatively common and frequent.

One of those tornadoes was a solid water spout that moved onshore as a tornado ahead of a powerful morning thunderstorm in August. The other 2 were quick spin-up tornadoes due to the strong outflow boundary of a pulse-severe thunderstorm colliding with a strong sea breeze boundary. None of these thunderstorms were supercellular, that is containing a meso-cyclone due to wind shear. So the tornadoes were either F-0 to F-1 max, I went out and witness the damage myself. I thought the damage was really bad until I reminded myself what the catastrophic damage of a strong tornado is like in the plains. It puts the typical tornadoes around here to shame.




I was in Baton Rouge during Hurricane Rita. So many tornadoes in the outer bands I finally took the batteries out of my weather radio. Nothing I could do to run and hide at the time anyway. I would imagine this also happens for cyclones in the Eastern Hemisphere and would account for some of the red zones on the map Aussie storm furnished.
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Quoting stormpetrol:


Skies looking ominous here now! , lots of hard rain coming down! Very windy also


Yep. Get your card games and monopoly set out for an indoor weekend.
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Skies looking ominous here now! , lots of hard rain coming down! Very windy also
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
A very complex steering situation is what we have going on here right now.

Its all going to come down to the timing of the cold front that comes over the Gulf next week. If it manages to hang around in the Caribbean, it will probably do what the LBAR says its going to do and roll up towards Florida by Wednesday or so. It could also be forced into Central America without any real intensification, this is what is being shown by the majority of the global models and the BAM. That does not necessarily mean it will happen, as we learned from 93L.


The 6Z GFS takes it into the BOC and then brings it back into the NW Caribbean around the 90 hour mark
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Quoting Sfloridacat5:
GFS at 48 hours continues to bring the Low into the Southern Bay of Campeche.
Well the GFS has been pretty consistent with a track into the BOC, and it has a pretty good track record this year. The only thing in question, is how well does it perform with monsoonal development? The NAM on the other hand, has been pretty consistent with a slow northward movement towards the Yucatan Channel, and if I remember correctly it nailed the formation of TS Lee. So I think both models will have to be taken into consideration here when a drawing a consensus.
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Quoting TropicTraveler:


Thanks for posting this. My question was prompted by your pictures - I could just see a tornado dropping out of one of them.

There was a EF1-2 from that, but it was brief and only light damage to a shed.
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A very complex steering situation is what we have going on here right now.

Its all going to come down to the timing of the cold front that comes over the Gulf next week. If it manages to hang around in the Caribbean, it will probably do what the LBAR says its going to do and roll up towards Florida by Wednesday or so. It could also be forced into Central America without any real intensification, this is what is being shown by the majority of the global models and the BAM. That does not necessarily mean it will happen, as we learned from 93L.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24476
Quoting Sfloridacat5:
Rank by Density Metro Tornadoes Density % above/below
per yr per 1000 sq mi state avg 1950-2007

1 Clearwater, FL
122
7.142857
621

2 Oklahoma City, OK
101
2.335314
187

3 Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL
134
2.090125
111

4 New Orleans, LA
62
2.08705
232

5 Tulsa, OK
72
2.070751
154

6 Houston, TX
214
2.029032
287

7 Melbourne, FL
116
1.866182
88

8 Indianapolis, IN
41
1.697301
187

9 Lubbock, TX
91
1.657559
216

10 Fort Worth, TX
84
1.593807
204


I live in North Pinellas outside of Clearwater, they say its rare to see tornadoes for any given person. I am a weather enthusiast and college student, and I do not storm chase, however, I have seen 3 tornadoes with my own eyes since living here and countless water spouts, that being said I can definitely say I live in an area where tornadoes are relatively common and frequent.

One of those tornadoes was a solid water spout that moved onshore as a tornado ahead of a powerful morning thunderstorm in August. The other 2 were quick spin-up tornadoes due to the strong outflow boundary of a pulse-severe thunderstorm colliding with a strong sea breeze boundary. None of these thunderstorms were supercellular, that is containing a meso-cyclone due to wind shear. So the tornadoes were either F-0 to F-1 max, I went out and witness the damage myself. I thought the damage was really bad until I reminded myself what the catastrophic damage of a strong tornado is like in the plains. It puts the typical tornadoes around here to shame.


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Quoting superpete:
Kman. The 2nd low pressure area you mention off the 00 UTC surface map ( just north of Panama) showing up well on NEXSAT. Excuse my not posting link..


Panama City showing WSW winds. Here is Windsat for this morning showing no organization near the Gulf of Honduras. I would prefer to see the Ascat pass when it downloads.

Getting dark very quickly now.

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GFS at 48 hours continues to bring the Low into the Southern Bay of Campeche.
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Quoting AussieStorm:
From Previous blog.

Lol Straight from Wikipedia.

Red is were Tornado's are more likely to form.

Click for full size image.


Thanks for posting this. My question was prompted by your pictures - I could just see a tornado dropping out of one of them.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


You do realize, that's just the BAM models right? The LBAR, which the NHC often leans towards, has it hitting Florida.

These are just the early runs too.. they're going to switch left to right so calling the models 100% correct on anything is completely absurd.
On top of that it is just an invest, an area of disturbed weather that has the potential for development. Those coordinates are a little skeptical to me, I think we need to wait and see where the main COC will consolidate.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
29.

Don't even bother guys - you know what to do.

Agree
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Quoting barbamz:
Off topic, but interesting. New video of the submarine eruption at El Hierro Island (Canaries):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHagsS9WmzU


Wow - go to this site and look at the video of a guy on top of the crater wall watching Poas erupt. I'd have dropped the camera and run.
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AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION FOR THE FLORIDA KEYS
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE KEY WEST FL
1104 AM EDT SAT OCT 15 2011

.DISCUSSION...
CURRENTLY...VERY IMPRESSIVE MOISTURE RETURN CONTINUES ACROSS THE KEYS
AS A STRONG SURFACE RIDGE BUILDS TO THE EASTERN SEABOARD AND BROAD
LOW PRESSURE CONTINUES IN THE NORTHWEST CARIBBEAN. TIGHTENING
PRESSURE GRADIENT HAS RESULTED IN A QUICK INCREASE IN THE NORTHEAST
WINDS WITH GUSTS TO 25 MPH ACROSS THE ISLANDS AND SUSTAINED 18 TO 25
KNOTS ALONG THE MIDDLE AND UPPER KEYS REEF
. A ZONE OF STRONG MOISTURE
CONVERGENCE ALIGNED FROM BETWEEN DRY TORTUGAS AND CUBA...THROUGH THE
KEYS TO WEST OF ANDROS ISLAND IS LIKELY TO CONTINUE FOCUSING NEW
CONVECTIVE GROWTH FOR A FEW MORE HOURS. WITH 2.2 INCH PRECIPITABLE
WATER AND STRENGTHENING EAST WINDS BELOW 15000 FT...THE IMPRESSIVE
TROPICAL MOISTURE ADVECTION WILL BE MAINTAINED. ALOFT...A PLUS-90
KNOT UPEPR JET SEGMENT ACROSS NORTH FLORIDA AND THE NORTHEAST GULF IS
HELPING TO MAINTAIN A BROAD REGION OF UPPER DIVERGENCE SUPPORTING OF
BROAD ASCENT...AND LOWER LEVEL CONVERGENCE WITH THE STRENGTHENING
EAST COAST HIGH PRESSURE AND BROAD CYCLONIC FLOW TO THE SOUTH.
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Quoting ITCZmike:

Good map Sunline. What a monster tornado season. Hey, isn't sunline that huge boat company in PR?...


Yes, but no comissions for me, up to date...

Here, it's been hot today... What about the Invest W of Africa?

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Kman. The 2nd low pressure area you mention off the 00 UTC surface map ( just north of Panama) showing up well on NEXSAT. Excuse my not posting link..
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Quoting kmanislander:


The 850 mb vort shows consolidation just N of the coast of Honduras. This is not very far from the Yucatan and I doubt it will become a named storm before going ashore. As for the odds of it becoming a TD I would say 30% right now.

Here is the vort map



However, the steering now is very much to the West so time is running out for this to do much more.Perhaps 24 hours is the window of opportunity.

Here is the steering





i most certainly agree kman thats what i was trying to get across to cyber tedddy and tropical ana 13 yesterday...its going wes or wnw..
Member Since: October 8, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 62
Quoting daveron:



i have to say touche to the models they have this one 100% correct...like i been saying all along the yucatan and sw into mexico...


You do realize, that's just the BAM models right? The LBAR, which the NHC often leans towards, has it hitting Florida.

These are just the early runs too.. they're going to switch left to right so calling the models 100% correct on anything is completely absurd.
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Quoting superpete:
There was never a doubt you would pull this one off...LOL
P


More nasty weather coming this way today. The weekend is looking like a washout.
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Quoting barbamz:
Off topic, but interesting. New video of the submarine eruption at El Hierro Island (Canaries):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHagsS9WmzU


Floating hot magma... That's an interesting video....

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29.

Don't even bother guys - you know what to do.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24476
Quoting GTcooliebai:
95L statistical models showing a westward bias, I expect the more dynamical models to show a northward bias.




i have to say touche to the models they have this one 100% correct...like i been saying all along the yucatan and sw into mexico...
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Do you think it will have time to become a named storm?


The 850 mb vort shows consolidation just N of the coast of Honduras. This is not very far from the Yucatan and I doubt it will become a named storm before going ashore. As for the odds of it becoming a TD I would say 30% right now.

Here is the vort map



However, the steering now is very much to the West so time is running out for this to do much more.Perhaps 24 hours is the window of opportunity.

Here is the steering



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Quoting sunlinepr:



Check Link



Good map Sunline. What a monster tornado season. Hey, isn't sunline that huge boat company in PR?...
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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.