95L drenches Florida; floods kill 84 in Central America; huge dust storm hits TX

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:43 PM GMT on October 18, 2011

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A large low pressure system off the Florida Gulf Coast, Invest 95L, is bringing heavy rains to Southwest Florida. Rainfall amounts in excess of 3 inches have been common across South Florida since Saturday; Miami has picked up 3.80" as of 9 am EDT this morning, and Key West Naval Air Facility has recorded 14.41", and 14.78" fell on Sugarloaf Key. Key West has experienced other rain events with far more precipitation; their all-time 24-hour rainfall is 23.28", set on November 11, 1980. Interestingly, this is more rain than fell in the entire year of 1974, when Key West received only 19.99".

Rains of 5 - 10 inches have fallen over much of the Florida Keys and Central Cuba since Sunday, according to radar rainfall estimates from the Key West Radar. Long-range radar out of Key West shows that the rain has now pushed north of the Keys, and the region between Naples and Fort Myers is getting the heaviest rains. Satellite loops show that 95L has a respectable amount of heavy thunderstorm activity, but the system is disorganized and has been stretched by wind shear. With wind shear now a high 20 - 30 knots over 95L, development is unlikely, and NHC has dropped their odds of it developing into a tropical depression to 10%. 95L will bring heavy rains of 2 - 3 inches to Southwest Florida today, and NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has placed much of Florida in their "slight risk" area for severe weather, including the possibility of isolated tornadoes.


Figure 1. True-color MODIS image of an interesting 50 km-wide vortex near the north coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula that became the center of 95L late yesterday afternoon. Image taken at 1:45 pm EDT October 17, 2011. Image credit: NASA.

Heavy rains kill 84 in Central America
A week of torrential rains across Central America have triggered extreme floods and landslides that have killed 84 people, with 9 missing, according to media reports. El Salvador and Guatemala have seen the worst flooding, with 32 and 31 people killed, respectively. Another 13 have died in Honduras, and 8 in Nicaragua. The rains were due to a large area of low pressure that was moistened by the landfall of Tropical Depression 12-E near the Mexico/Guatemala border last week. Since the beginning of October, the region near the coast on the Guatemala/El Salvador border has received over 800 mm (31.50") of rain, according to Norman Avila of climaya.com, a Guatemalan weather web site.


Figure 2. Visible satellite animation of the Texas South Plains dust storm of October 17, 2011. Image credit: NWS Lubbock.

Massive dust storm sweeps through the Texas Panhandle
It was a very bad afternoon rush hour yesterday in the Texas Panhandle. A powerful cold front pushed through the state during the afternoon, and damaging north winds behind the front whipped up a dangerous dust storm that cut visibility to near-zero during the afternoon rush hour. Lubbock recorded sustained winds of 48 mph, gusting to 63 mph, with a visibility of 0.2 miles in heavy dust at 5:36 pm CDT. The dust storm was reminiscent of the great dust storms of the 1930s dust bowl era, and was due to the ongoing exceptional drought. Unfortunately, the front brought no rain to the area, and Lubbock has received just 3.16" of rain so far in 2011--more than 13.50" below average. In his Climate Abyss blog, Texas's state climatologist, John Nielsen-Gammon, gives a 25% that the current drought will last five more years. He has an interesting post on how global warming may have affected the drought. He concludes:

Precipitation: The balance of evidence does not support the assertion that the rainfall deficit since October 2010 was made larger or more likely by global warming.

Temperature: Compared to long-term averages of summer temperature, the rainfall deficit accounted for about 4°F of excess heat and global warming accounted for about 1°F of excess heat. Warmer temperatures lead to greater water demand, faster evaporation, and greater drying-out of potential fuels for fire. Thus, the impacts of the drought were enhanced by global warming, much of which has been caused by man.


Video 1. Video of the October 17, 2011 dust storm in Lubbock, Texas.

Jeff Masters

Invest 95L (oneshotww)
We received rain most of the day yesterday and again today from Invest 95L. The visibility and flooding were pretty bad during the evening commute home. My street is totally under water. Most folks had enough sense to drive slow as conditions made it necessary to take it easy.
Invest 95L
Invest 95L - My Street (oneshotww)
This is my street - it was slow going to get home. I don't recall ever driving thru so much and such deep water before. At times, it was tough to tell where the road was. We received rain most of the day yesterday and again today from Invest 95L. The visibility and flooding were pretty bad during the evening commute home. My street is totally under water. Most folks had enough sense to drive slow as conditions made it necessary to take it easy.
Invest 95L - My Street

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Quoting CANTTAKEITANYMORE:
BEAUTIFUL DAY HERE ALL DAY IN CENTRAL FLORIDA TOP WIND 4MPH AND NOT EVEN A TRACE OF RAIN STILL WAITING ON THE 100% CHANCE OF HEAVY RAIN AND WIND WE WERE SUPPOSE TO START GETTING LAST NIGHT AND DAY TODAY LMAO
not for nothing but i was laughed at for saying it was gonna be a south florida flooding issue.
Member Since: December 1, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 136
Quoting indianrivguy:
What was left after they raised the sunken steambooat St. Lucie from Biscayne Bay. A victim of the 1906 hurricane that arrived unexpectedly 105 years ago today.


Throw some fresh paint on her and she's good to go! ;-)
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Here we go again Heavy Heavy rain in port charlotte already have 3.10 in my guage since midnight
Member Since: December 1, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 136
Quoting CANTTAKEITANYMORE:
yes i know and i was laughed at all day yesterday and last night when i was saying orlando and central florida wouldnt get much



looks like you got that right.
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Quoting WeatherfanPR:



yes, the thing is I was born in Puerto Rico and moved to Tampa like 5 months ago so this is not the kind of temps I'm used to.
Member Since: August 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1563
Conditions at 42036 as of
(5:50 pm EDT)
2150 GMT on 10/18/2011:

Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 1000.6 mb

Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -1.5 mb ( Falling )


this was what it was yesterday at the same time...
1017 5:50 pm 1015.5mb

http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station =42036&unit=M&tz=STN

Thats right......nearly 15mb difference falling.....WOW
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Quoting violet312s:


LOL..yup it's all relative. Lows in the upper 30's/low 40's here in central NC. I'm going to love it.

Then I'll weep quietly when I turn on the heat for the first time this season. We always try to stretch it to Nov 1. Not gonna happen this year.



yes, the thing is I was born in Puerto Rico and moved to Tampa like 5 months ago so this is not the kind of temps I'm used to.
Member Since: August 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1563
What was left after they raised the sunken steambooat St. Lucie from Biscayne Bay. A victim of the 1906 hurricane that arrived unexpectedly 105 years ago today.





I have more of this story on what is my very first blog, please stop by and perhaps leave a comment or ask a question. I hope you enjoy what you read.

Major Hurricane 8 1906

Thanks to those who stopped by already, I have changed and added some stuff, you might want to revisit. I decided to load it unfinished because I became fearful of a computer cough and subsequent loss.




The New York Times Published: October 21, 1906


MIAMI, Fla., Oct. 20.-

When the Miami steamer St. Lucie was crushed by the high waves in Thursday%u2019s hurricane, 35 out of 100 persons on board were lost. The steamer Peerless also lost about the same number, they being blown off the vessel. The launch Elmora was capsized and is thought to be a total loss. The launch Manny was badly damaged.

Work barges Nos. 6 and 7 and dredge No. 4 of a east Coast road broke away and drifted to sea, but are now safe on the other side of Biscayne Bay.

The Peninsular and Occidental shed was badly damaged.

No persons at Miami were hurt. The houseboat Theta, which was north of Jupiter, was turned over. A few persons were hurt, but none seriously. Two lighters were set adrift at Jewfish [Creek] and two barges broke lose in Blackwater [Sound]. The tide was three feet higher in Barnes Sound than at Blackwater. Knight Key dock and crew are safe.

About fifty men have just arrived at Miami from Long Key. They report about twenty-five men and the quarter boat at Long Key safe, and that two barges remain at Long Key, but that the remainder of the men and plant located there are gone.

It is estimated that fifty lives were lost on dredges at Lower Matecumbe [Key].

The dredges Oyama, Mikado, Manetto, and Dodge are safe. Two men were lost on the pile driver. At Long Key about 40 men were picked up and are safe.

There was heavy loss of life on the dredges and Long Key steamer. The steamer Vigilancia is expected some time this afternoon with bodies and will bring details of the storm.

The steamer Miami will also have news from Long Key.

The steamer Biscayne arrived this morning in good condition. She met the steamer Virginia on her way after the bodies of the men who were washed ashore from the St. Lucie. The Biscayne was at Long Key after the storm, and reports [Houseboat] Boat No. 4 gone to sea. [see the next story] The Virginia is expected hourly with dead bodies, and all preparations are being made to care for them and the injured. The launch Enterprise and all other launches on Long Key except the Edna are total wrecks.

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Quoting CANTTAKEITANYMORE:
where is the 100% chance of heavy rain strong 30 to 40mph winds they said we would have all last night and all today here in orlando? been sunny and nothing


look at satellite image. the system splits in 2 parts leaving Tampa and Orlando area almost in a clear zone.
Member Since: August 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1563
For all practical purposes.... "Adios hurricane season 2011!" We in FL escape yet another quite active season without much anything memorable. Still our insurance premiums continue to climb on the excuse "FL sees too many hurricanes".
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Quoting animalrsq:
Here in Citrus County is been overcast and very breezy all day. Now everything's gone completely still and quiet. Weather station is saying 1000 mb (don't know if it's accurate).
Could be close you may need to calibrate it but your are close to the developing baroclinic low taking over I'd say your around 1002 just a guess from resent observations in that area
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Quoting WeatherfanPR:



in any case, for me, those are not cool but cold temps.


LOL..yup it's all relative. Lows in the upper 30's/low 40's here in central NC. I'm going to love it.

Then I'll weep quietly when I turn on the heat for the first time this season. We always try to stretch it to Nov 1. Not gonna happen this year.
Member Since: June 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 880
Quoting DDR:
Looks like we'll have 96L over or to the east of the windward islands later this week,very bad news for us in T&T, 14.5 inches of rain since October 1st at my location.


I doubt it but ya never know.......SHEAR SHEAR and MORE SHEAR now........this map looks like December now.

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Quoting TampaSpin:
95L is not the concern its the LOW that is developing in front of the Cold Front in the GOM...

Agreed. 95L is a good example of the type of cyclones we've had this year. The Little Engine That Couldn't would describe just about every cyclone this whole season. Even Irene...woulda, coulda, shoulda...she could have been much much worse. If you know beforehand that you're going to have a sort of Cat1 hurricane make landfall in New York Harbor you'd take the outcome as we observed in a heartbeat. It could have been historically bad. Instead it's mainly remembered as a storm that produced lots of $10000-$100000 insurance claims for flooded basements, broken fences, and such.
.
.
With what's going on now, 95L, as red or yellow as it looks on radar, it's a bust. My rain gauge hasn't hit an inch yet. If there's anything to come from it in South or Central Florida I expect it would come from the "tail" down in Florida Bay now. The bigger concern is the collision of the Northern GOM low and the front as it moves across North and Central Florida.
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430. DDR
Looks like we'll have 96L over or to the east of the windward islands later this week,very bad news for us in T&T, 14.5 inches of rain since October 1st at my location.
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Quoting WeatherfanPR:



in any case, for me, those are not cool but cold temps.


LOL I hear you. The highs will be in the low 70's on Thursday. That is sweatshirt weather for me!
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Bryan Norcross on Facebook

No more chance that the Gulf low will develop into anything more than a windy and wet system. The little low that was near the Yucatan is dying out. A second low associated with the coming jet-stream dip/cold front is forming in the NE Gulf. The combination of the old elongated low pressure area that has been causing all of the So. FL rain, the new low, and the strong jet dip/cold front are producing areas of flooding rain in FL. This will all lift north and become a very strong Midwest storm tomorrow with rain to the east coast. Cool fall air pours in behind it.
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Here in Citrus County is been overcast and very breezy all day. Now everything's gone completely still and quiet. Weather station is saying 1000 mb (don't know if it's accurate).
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Quoting SunnyDaysFla:


They are not predicting that low. Maybe high 50's.



in any case, for me, those are not cool but cold temps.
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I spoke too soon -- we're blowin' away here in the Cape now! Gusts around 45 mph here at the house.
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Quoting Patrap:


The Watch runs thru 10 EST so, I'd be wary till then.

Im not a met so I'll defer to your Local NWS.
Thank you I really enjoy all your graphs.
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Quoting WeatherfanPR:



I think I could get temps in the upper 40s to low 50s around Carrollwood area.


They are not predicting that low. Maybe high 50's.
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Quoting TampaSpin:




Get out them Jackets you all along the Northern Gulf Coast.



I think I could get temps in the upper 40s to low 50s around Carrollwood area.
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Quoting alvarig1263:
Local meteorologists here in SW FL are expecting and would not be suprised if the tornado watch currently in effect for South Florida was extended or completely reissued to reflect the new threat that will be arriving with the strong cold front overnight. Keep those NOAA Weather Radios on!
Thats because the baroclinic low developing is interacting with the barotropic atmosphere south of the warm front shear is strong in the mid and upper levels and cape values have been going up.
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Quoting alvarig1263:


While the main focus has been on the low coming in from the gulf, I think the real and more widespread severe weather will occur with this band that will move down the peninsula through the night. All should be on alert from Tampa southward until tomorrow morning.

Local meteorologists here in SW FL are expecting and would not be suprised if the tornado watch currently in effect for South Florida was extended or completely reissued to reflect the new threat that will be arriving with the strong cold front.
A blob landfall....oh boy this is great.
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Get out them Jackets you all along the Northern Gulf Coast.
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October 18th 2011 hurricane season is really over .That's why this blog is really boring.Sorry guys see you next year.
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Local meteorologists here in SW FL are expecting and would not be suprised if the tornado watch currently in effect for South Florida was extended or completely reissued to reflect the new threat that will be arriving with the strong cold front overnight. Keep those NOAA Weather Radios on!
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
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Quoting islander101010:
blob moving se seems to be the real deal looks like it will be dark too when making landfall throughout western fl.


While the main focus has been on the low coming in from the gulf, I think the real and more widespread severe weather will occur with this band that will move down the peninsula through the night. All should be on alert from Tampa southward until tomorrow morning.
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Quoting Hurricane1956:
Hello how long do you think the very nasty weather will last in South Florida? all nite? part of tomorrow too? and how bad can it get,now is starting to rain here in Miami, I assume the worst still to come to our area?.Thank you


The Watch runs thru 10 EST so, I'd be wary till then.

Im not a met so I'll defer to your Local NWS.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
blob moving se seems to be the real deal looks like it will be dark too when making landfall throughout western fl. burr its going to be cold this wkend camping in north fl. 38 for a moe low
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Quoting Patrap:
Hello how long do you think the very nasty weather will last in South Florida? all nite? part of tomorrow too? and how bad can it get,now is starting to rain here in Miami, I assume the worst still to come to our area?.Thank you
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..earlier

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95L is not the concern its the LOW that is developing in front of the Cold Front in the GOM...

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383 FrankZapper "Tonight at 7 PM in the Performing Arts Theater The FAT LADY will be singing the Blues!"

She may have already given an afternoon matinee performance: ATCF still hasn't updated its 95L report for 18Oct_6pmGMT. Which tends to mean that there's general agreement amongst the various TropicalCyclone tracking agencies that an Invest has been 'RIP'ed.
Of course it could be revived later if conditions warrant, but even the ghost of Ophelia (while meandering near the northern LesserAntilles) was tracked without a break in coverage on the ATCF.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Current conditions in Naples, FL as of 5:41 PM

Temp: 75.2F
Dewpoint: 74.0F
Pressure: 29.60 inches or 1002.3 MB
Wind gusts to 35MPH
Overcast
Moderate Rain Falling


Shot taken at 5:40 PM

Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
Quoting alvarig1263:


Not likely at this time. It would require a large scale ramp up of the storm system developing in the FL Panhandle for a watch to be issued. but still something to watch.


Gotta disagree.......watches will be issued soon in my opinion.....the BArcolonic Low is developing and will cause the instability to cause the severe weather people have been talking about.

I am referring to Tallahassee Southward in Florida and possibly South Carolina will be under the gun also.

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2.21 in of rain in 45 minutes top wind gust 41 mph se
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
Glorious rain here in Cape Coral for the last couple hours - woo-hoo! Some thunder and blue lightning an hour ago, now the wind is picking up again. Rain has come from every direction here in SE Cape in the last 40 minutes.

Stay safe on the roads, everybody! (I work from home, and this is one happy gardener here today!)
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Current on the SEvere Weather Threat Continues into the NITE......

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/TampaSpin/show.h tml
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wow, amazing how this system split in 2 parts. one to our south and the other to our north leaving Tampa almost in a clear zone.
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401. alvarig1263
9:39 PM GMT on October 18, 2011
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Could this incline them to issue a watch for northern Fl?


Not likely at this time. It would require a large scale ramp up of the storm system developing in the FL Panhandle for a watch to be issued. but still something to watch.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.