Flooding kills 45 in Haiti; sleeping giant begins to awaken

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:04 PM GMT on October 13, 2007

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A persistent low pressure system extending from the Central American nations of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Belize northeastward over Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, Haiti, and the Bahamas continues to dump heavy rain over much of the region. Heavy rains of at least five inches in northern Haiti triggered floods that killed at least 45 people Friday. The flooding was worst in Cabaret, Haiti, near the north coast. Over 6,000 people fled their homes, and entire neighborhoods were submerged. Thankfully, the heaviest rains have ended in Haiti, and the worst of the flooding is likely past.

Schools were canceled Friday in much of Jamaica due to flooding, and flood waters damaged over 1,000 homes in eastern Cuba. Vista Alegre in Santiago de Cuba reported 12 inches (306 mm) of rain in just 24 hours yesterday. Heavy rain will continue to plague Cuba today. These rains should shift more to the central and eastern part of the island, allowing the hard-hit eastern portion a chance to dry out. Additional rain amounts of five inches are likely today over Cuba.

Connected to this deadly rain-making low pressure system is the large "sleeping giant" low pressure system that has been spinning over the Yucatan region the past week. The sleeping giant has moved to the extreme southwest corner of the Western Caribbean, where Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras meet. Now that the storm can pull in tropical moisture from the ocean, it should begin to awaken. Its close proximity to land will probably prevent a tropical depression from forming today, but most of the models are predicting a slow drift to the north through Sunday, which could give the storm enough clearance from the coast to intensify into a tropical depression on Sunday or Monday. However, most of the models predict the storm will track more northwesterly across the Yucatan Peninsula Sunday night and Monday, which would halt any development. Some of the models are predicting that the storm could turn north once it reaches the Gulf of Mexico and affect the U.S. late next week.

Even if the sleeping giant does not intensify into a tropical depression, this is a dangerous storm for Central America. The storm will probably bring heavy rains in excess of five inches to Belize, Guatemala, northwest Honduras, and Mexico's Yucatan over the the next three days. These heavy rains may also affect the Pacific coast regions of El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala, as the counter-clockwise flow of air around the low sucks in air from the Pacific Ocean. These rains may cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides in mountainous areas. Flooding problems have already been reported in El Salvador and Nicaragua near the Pacific coast, where up to eight inches of rain (203 mm) have fallen in the past 24 hours (Figure 1).


Figure 1. Satellite estimated rainfall for the 24 hours ending at 2 am EDT Saturday. Image credit: Navy Research Lab Monterey.

I'll have an update Sunday by 10 am EDT.

Jeff Masters

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726. Hhunter
4:09 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Link

way to say it dr gray
Member Since: August 19, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 2973
725. catastropheadjuster
2:40 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Extreme236&Baha: Thanks for the info. I was just wondering if anything might get us in the GOM? Where is 98L? What is the sleeping giant? I seen some talking about it but I mean why are the calling it a sleeping giant?
Sheri
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 21 Comments: 3657
724. IKE
2:15 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
NEW BLOG!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
723. seminolesfan
2:03 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Low level clouds are starting to wrap around to the east on the southside of the circ center. Now just need to wait and see how that easterly shear affects this developing convection. (FYI-This image is centered on the circ center.)



Oh and TC192, I 100% agree, this one could spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Especially if it misses the Yuc and gets into the GOM as a legitimate TC. Look to the western CONUS and see the trough driving across the central plains and eventually into the SE. Alot riding on how this synoptic setup develops.
Member Since: June 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2108
722. TCyclone192
2:03 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Also folks that visit my site or blog....Feel free to post comments and have a discussion if you wish. Ill be there to answer questions and have a discussion.
721. extreme236
1:59 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
The water temps 98L should pass over in the next day or so will be even warmer than the waters in the NW caribbean, and in fact, the warmest in the entire basin
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
720. flaboyinga
1:56 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
707. flaboyinga 1:32 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Morning folks, seems like nothing is gonna happen that is worthy of note during church time. More lurking predicted later on.


Well, I'm gonna go talk to Weather Control for a little while. Later.
719. caneman
1:54 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Caneman wishes death to this tropical blob.
Member Since: May 27, 2003 Posts: 14 Comments: 99
718. TCyclone192
1:52 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Exactly seminole....But that could also spawn trouble if it misses the Yucatan...Especially with all that heat content in the NW carib.
717. seminolesfan
1:50 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
TC192-Yeah, I hear ya on that track east of the Yuc. I just don't see how the circ of former 94L doesn't add some northerly component to 98L's movement.
Member Since: June 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2108
716. TCyclone192
1:49 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Fl, I know i mentioned that a few post's back....haha
715. FLWeatherFreak91
1:48 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
I think the LBAR model has a problem with Tampa...
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3619
714. TCyclone192
1:47 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
seminole, I noticed that...good observation....I think 98L will shortly be deemed a depression, its the best looking invest out of the last 10.I dont see 98L cutting straight through the Yucatan though...I think it will barely scrape it and move through the Yucatan channel into the gulf.
712. seminolesfan
1:43 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
98L has also consolidated it's own low pressure area (1008 mb) from the broad low pressure of former 94L.

Link to IR w/ SLP overlay
Member Since: June 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2108
711. flaboyinga
1:43 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Looks like the SST's where 98L is located are warm enough to support a lot of convection. This could be interesting in a little while.
709. extreme236
1:39 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
the dark Reddish-brown color is 28-30 celcius, and the pink color is 22 degrees celcius, just to make sure that everyone knows that the pink and orange colors are cooler than 24 degrees celcius
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
708. extreme236
1:37 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
SSTs remain warm across a good portion of the Atlantic, and SSTs remain warm off the african coast:

Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
707. flaboyinga
1:32 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Morning folks, seems like nothing is gonna happen that is worthy of note during church time. More lurking predicted later on.
706. seminolesfan
1:30 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Latest 925mb vort:


98L is def. tightening up at the low levels. I'm starting to think this one may make it to TD status.
Member Since: June 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2108
705. icmoore
1:27 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Good morning everyone, I see 98l up on WU. LBAR sure seems to want to send one to FL. Just checking to see what you all think. Hope you all had a great Sat.
Member Since: July 18, 2005 Posts: 9 Comments: 4146
703. BahaHurican
1:23 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Geez, this just seems to be Central America's year . . .[sigh]
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21668
702. extreme236
1:23 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
ex94L will also have to be watched if it enter the BoC, as shear is favorable there
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
701. BahaHurican
1:22 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
696. seminolesfan 9:18 AM EDT on October 14, 2007

The large cyclonic circ of ex94L/the "sleeping giant" will play a part in the tracking of 98L, IMO. Shows up pretty well in the 850-700 layer mean wind analysis.


So it's pretty logical then to see it follow x94 if/when it crosses into the BoC . . .
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21668
700. extreme236
1:21 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
LGEM also takes it toward belize/yucatan after a Honduras landfall
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
699. seminolesfan
1:21 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Shear shouldn't be much of a issue until/if it gets to the GOM.

Member Since: June 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2108
698. extreme236
1:20 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
True, ex 94L may have a say in where 98L goes...maybe the BAMS has the right idea in taking it to the yucatan
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
697. BahaHurican
1:18 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Hey cat.

Most interesting thing happening is 98L in the southern CAR. Just got posted as an invest.

The "sleeping giant" low is still out there too.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21668
696. seminolesfan
1:18 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
685. BahaHurican 9:10 AM EDT on October 14, 2007 Hide this comment.
What's supposed to give it its Nward impetus? Coriolis effect? or trying to move into the space where x94L is now?


The large cyclonic circ of ex94L/the "sleeping giant" will play a part in the tracking of 98L, IMO. Shows up pretty well in the 850-700 layer mean wind analysis.


Member Since: June 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2108
695. extreme236
1:18 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
any northward component would help even more with bringing it into a more favorable enviroment
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
694. extreme236
1:16 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
691. Tazmanian 1:15 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
RIP for 98L too march wind shear has you can see you all go in joye your sunday


Taz, its moving at 15mph into a decreasing shear enviroment lol
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
693. TerraNova
1:16 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Terra, that circulation popped up on last night's quikscat.

There's been an area of showers associated with this wave all weekend, though. I'm not surprised it sprang another low. (this was the source of x91L that got sheared to death in the CAtl.)


The circulation has developed fairly quickly then...I didn't see last night's QS pass but this system definately wasn't as organized yesterday as it currently is. Shear should begin to relax soon.
Member Since: July 30, 2007 Posts: 76 Comments: 4063
692. extreme236
1:16 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
688. catastropheadjuster 1:13 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Good Morning to all the regulars and Aquak9. Very nice morning here in Satsuma,AL. Anything interesting in the tropics?
I'm not trying to bother you all but can you all see me? Last couple of days off and on I have asked a couple of questions and I just didn't know if I was like way below average or something.
But thanks for the answers in advanced if someone sees this.
Sheri


Sorry that your questions have not been answered...I havent been on during the last day or so but I will be happy to answer any of your questions to the best of my ability. Also, curently in the tropics we have a new invest (98L) in the central caribbean
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
691. Tazmanian
1:15 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
RIP for 98L too march wind shear has you can see you all go in joye your sunday
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114792
690. Cavin Rawlins
1:15 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
689. BahaHurican
1:14 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
I'm out for a while, but I'll drop in later - I want to see what NHC has to say about that new invest LOL.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21668
688. catastropheadjuster
1:13 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Good Morning to all the regulars and Aquak9. Very nice morning here in Satsuma,AL. Anything interesting in the tropics?
I'm not trying to bother you all but can you all see me? Last couple of days off and on I have asked a couple of questions and I just didn't know if I was like way below average or something.
But thanks for the answers in advanced if someone sees this.
Sheri
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 21 Comments: 3657
687. BahaHurican
1:12 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Terra, that circulation popped up on last night's quikscat.

There's been an area of showers associated with this wave all weekend, though. I'm not surprised it sprang another low. (this was the source of x91L that got sheared to death in the CAtl.)
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21668
686. extreme236
1:12 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
but since 98L has a fairly brisk movement, it should move out of the higher shear over it, and into a decreasing shear enviroment
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
685. BahaHurican
1:10 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
What's supposed to give it its Nward impetus? Coriolis effect? or trying to move into the space where x94L is now?
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21668
684. TerraNova
1:09 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
I wonder if this will go up against ex94L in a fight for energy...this wave has been there for quite a while now but it wasn't until this morning that I noticed an obvious swirl.

Member Since: July 30, 2007 Posts: 76 Comments: 4063
683. extreme236
1:09 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
With sfc pressures as low as they are across the caribbean, once shear decreases, it could be a hot spot for the tropics
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
682. extreme236
1:08 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Yep, 98L seems to have a closed LLC, with top winds at 25mph, so once it reaches a little more favorable enviroment, it should develop IMO
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
681. seminolesfan
1:07 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
This mornings qscat of 98L:


Def. already a closed low at the surface w/ this one. Plus, its sitting atop 30C waters of the W.Car.
Member Since: June 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2108
680. extreme236
1:05 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Center exposed just to the east of the main convective mass

Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
679. BahaHurican
1:04 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Sun is out for the first time in more than 36 hours - Hurray Sun! Now I can get some things done outside . . .
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21668
678. extreme236
1:00 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
EPAC temps are below average, but still warm enough for TC development as long as disturbances dont stray too far west
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
677. TCyclone192
12:59 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Well folks im off to update my blog, Then off to enjoy the wonderful weather here in Saint PEtersburg, Florida. By the way for those that dont know im CaneAddict but i created a new handle because whenever id post a comment it would'nt appear.
676. extreme236
12:59 PM GMT on October 14, 2007
Either it goes into central america or into the yucatan it seems, which would be bad since conditions are favorable if it were to stay over water....of course both of these tracks could change/be wrong lol

Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234

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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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