Tropical Storm Noel dumping huge rains

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:08 AM GMT on October 29, 2007

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Tropical Storm Noel continues to represent a serious rainfall threat to the Dominican Republic and Haiti due to the storm's very slow motion. Noel has essentially stalled out tonight, and is dumping very heavy rains over the southernmost tip of the Dominican Republic--the Barahona Peninsula. Most of Noel's heaviest rains are still offshore, but these rains will move inland over the island of Hispaniola tonight, and pound the island for at least the next two days. This will result in an extremely dangerous flooding situation in the southern portion of both Haiti and the Dominican Republic, due to the high mountains that will enhance Noel's rains. Long range radar out of Puerto Rico shows heavy rains affecting Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, and these rains have already exceeded eight inches over a wide area of ocean to the east of Noel's center (Figure 1). Tonight's weather discussion from the National Weather Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico, called the situation on that island "an increasingly more dangerous and life-threatening event for many areas." Many flash floods and mudslides have been reported on the island, and with at least 24 more hours of flooding rains expected there, the island can expect millions of dollars in flooding damage from Noel.

The flooding situation on Hispaniola will be far worse. Satellite loops show very vigorous thunderstorms reaching high into the atmosphere have developed on the storm's northeast side. These thunderstorms will trigger rains of up to 1-2 inches per hour when they move over Hispaniola Monday. With Noel moving very slowly and expected to bring heavy rains to the island for at least two days, a flooding situation as dangerous as occurred in 2004 with Hurricane Jeanne may result. Jeanne passed just north of Haiti as a tropical depression, dumping about 13 inches of rain over the northern mountains. The resulting floods killed over 3,000 people.

Wind shear has fallen to 10-20 knots this evening, and may continue to fall. This may allow Noel to intensify into a hurricane Monday. However, wind shear is higher the further north Noel gets, and passage over the rugged southern Peninsula of Haiti may prevent the storm from reaching hurricane strength.


Figure 1. Latest precipitation estimate from the Puerto Rico radar.

The latest models runs still do not give us a lot of confidence that we know where Noel will go or how strong it will get. The key feature controlling Noel's path is a trough of low pressure forecast to move off the U.S. East Coast four days from now. If this trough is strong enough, and Noel is large enough and far enough north, the trough will force Noel across Cuba, into the Bahamas, then northeastward out to sea. Exactly where this recurvature will occur is problematic, with the GFDL and HWRF predicting this will occur over the western Bahamas, and the GFS predicting a path close to Miami in the Eastern Bahamas. In either scenario, it is unlikely that Noel would affect South Florida as anything stronger than a Category 1 hurricane, since the storm must get through Cuba first, and deal with higher wind shear to the north of Cuba. If the storm makes a direct hit on South Florida this week, it would likely be as a tropical storm.

The models have been trending more northerly with their solutions, and it now appears unlikely that Noel will make it into the Western Caribbean past the Cayman Islands. The Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, South Florida, and Hispaniola are the places that may receive major impacts from Noel.

I'll have an update Monday morning.

Jeff Masters

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509. miacanefan
2:51 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
The 11am cone just out. Barely hugging the coast of Miami.
508. miacanefan
2:49 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
11am NHC Advisory out moving NNW, new watches and warnings for Bahamas, NW bahamas later today. Would not be surprised if movement is WNW by 5pm after plane is out there locating the center this afternoon. The NHC just does not have enough concrete info at this time to put more of a westerly component into the forecast track yet.
507. miacanefan
2:43 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Looks like the people in Cuba are going to get the south part of Noel as it strolls just offshore of the North Cuban coast through the Bahamas channel enroute to South Beach.
506. Ivansvrivr
2:35 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Charlottewx, have tropical systems ever done strange,errratic things along hispianola or Cuba?
505. BajaALemt
2:33 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Bastardi's 'take' sounds pretty similar to the NOGAPS solution
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
504. Ivansvrivr
2:32 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
"If Noel hit South Florida, it would give Lake Okeechobee a major boost."

Don't you mean if right front quad of Noel hit FL, L.O would get boost?

503. flaboyinga
2:32 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
492. MahFL 10:23 AM EDT on October 29, 2007
Remember all of you,TS Noel is male.....as in Noel Coward etc etc....:).


Great news. Maybe there is still time to have Noel neutered and calm it down a lot. lol
502. charlottewx
2:32 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
You can't miss that new center on the Nasa pictures just off the nw tip of Haiti..It looks to be going wnw at this time. Convection has increased near the center and to the north in my opinion.

Does anyone have a link to the Bahamas radar?
501. Drakoen
2:30 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
New blog guys...
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30311
500. TampaSpin
2:30 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Wow in 15 minutes the new center is starting an engine..
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
499. Patrap
2:27 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
GOES-12 Visible Low Cloud Image

Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127874
498. flaboyinga
2:26 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
83. cchsweatherman 10:20 AM EDT on October 29, 2007
480. flaboyinga 2:18 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
If Noel turns toward SFla we'll have to load the polymer pellets in the plane and make a run at it.lol

If Noel hit South Florida, it would give Lake Okeechobee a major boost.


I've heard that the levees around Lake Okee were in worse shape than the ones in New Orleans. Do you know if that is accurate? I know the flood gates use to have problems when the lake got full years ago. (?)
497. TampaSpin
2:26 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
It is tracking WNW now IMO
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
496. Drakoen
2:25 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Bastardi may be on to something. Looking at the cyclone phase diagram on the GFS you can see it has a system moving into South Florida. Though the GFS's own place of the low may be a bit farther to the east.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30311
495. Patrap
2:25 PM GMT on October 29, 2007


WV Still Image
Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127874
494. hurricane23
2:23 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
The appearence of this to me almost is begining to look a little extra-tropical or maybe even sub-tropical but well see.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13762
493. TampaSpin
2:23 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
We difenetly have a new center..NASA Link
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
492. MahFL
2:23 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Remember all of you,TS Noel is male.....as in Noel Coward etc etc....:).
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 3469
491. charlottewx
2:23 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Here's a portion of Bastardi's 8AM comments..I can not link to this because it is a paid service....



My take: Noel's center is not where TPC thinks, but where most of the modeling is taking it. It's over the western end of Haiti and now its close encounters (of the Cuban kind) that takes this up the island very close to or over land. This would limit intensification but also mean the large area of near gale winds will be slamming the Florida coast tomorrow into Thursday at least. All the non US models have the storm reaching the 80th longitude but the GFS and its Replacement theology of feedback develops a new storm (the gfdl jumps that and out it goes) that moves west-northwest to Andros, then replaces it with a new one to the northeast as if this is simply a baroclinic system that feed back.

At the very least, gales will hit Florida's east coast for a prolonged time tomorrow through Thursday with seas of 15 to 20 feet and this is a major beach erosion event. Whether a solid center develops to hurricane intensity and beyond is a forecast problem, but I am not of the mindset to simply take this east of Florida, but instead pull it over so there is a center SOUTH of the state Thursday, that then has to make up its mind whether to come north or northeast.
490. Bonedog
2:22 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
LOL man my local met office is following the CMC to much I think. They actually mention Noel in their 10am discussion as affecting my area on Sunday. That means that Noel will, according to them, track due north into NY/NJ LOL

ON SUNDAY TS NOEL IS
FORECAST TO TRACK NORTH. THE MOISTURE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS SYSTEM
AND THE TIGHTENING PRESSURE GRADIENT COULD RESULT IN A VERY
COOL...BREEZY AND RAINY SUNDAY FOR THE LOCAL AREA
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
489. Drakoen
2:22 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Its a little frightening knowing a system is only a few hundred miles away from you. Continue to monitor the system.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30311
488. Patrap
2:21 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
GOES WV Loop of Tropical Basin


Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127874
487. TampaSpin
2:21 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Anyone looked from the NASA site...they are updating Satellite every 15 minutes.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
486. CaneAddict
2:21 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
477. charlottewx 2:16 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Here's the latest from Bastardi and he may be right...The center has reformed just north of the northwest tip of Haiti..He has it going along the north coast of Cuba and then possibly going stationary in the Florida Straits before it decides to go north or northeast. He indicates Gales for Florida from Tuesday through Thursday. Inhis opinion the storm gets to at least 80 West.

Looking at the visibles, it looks like that is the new center just off the NW tip of Haiti...
Action: | Ignore User


Could you please email me the link to bastardis forecasts and blog page i have a hard time finding him on accuweather.
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2151
485. StormSurfer
2:20 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Sfloridacat5 10:07 AM EDT on October 29, 2007 Hide this comment.
If we can get an off shore wind.
Surfers don't like onshore winds
.

Odd comment being that on shore winds is what makes our waves.
Onshore winds with a big swell keeps the kooks away :)
484. Drakoen
2:20 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
I don't expect much of a change in track on the 11:00 am advisory.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30311
483. cchsweatherman
2:20 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
480. flaboyinga 2:18 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
If Noel turns toward SFla we'll have to load the polymer pellets in the plane and make a run at it.lol


If Noel hit South Florida, it would give Lake Okeechobee a major boost.

Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
482. Drakoen
2:19 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
477. charlottewx 2:16 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Here's the latest from Bastardi and he may be right...The center has reformed just north of the northwest tip of Haiti..He has it going along the north coast of Cuba and then possibly going stationary in the Florida Straits before it decides to go north or northeast. He indicates Gales for Florida from Tuesday through Thursday. Inhis opinion the storm gets to at least 80 West.

Looking at the visibles, it looks like that is the new center just off the NW tip of Haiti...


do you have a link for that?
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30311
481. nash28
2:19 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Yeah, NHC will not make any sudden shifts west, even though the COC jumped again and is now N of 20N much earlier than expected.
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
480. flaboyinga
2:18 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
If Noel turns toward SFla we'll have to load the polymer pellets in the plane and make a run at it.lol
479. CaneAddict
2:18 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
474. miacanefan 2:15 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
SFcat5, I agree but the surfers will be out regardless. I think the NHC is going to slowly shift the track west. At 11am it's going to hug the coast of Miami.
Action: | Ignore User


That;s likely a two dramatic shift in track, I do agree, however that they will SLOWLY each advisory shift it further west...
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2151
478. cchsweatherman
2:17 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Hey Drak, if you posted an image or link, I can't see it. Could you post the link? Thanks.

Oh yeah, forgot to say good morning to you all. Busy weekend considering I had phone calls from concerned people in my neighborhood at around 1 in the morning regarding TS Noel. To me, it looks like it has now exited Hispanola and has begun to move WNW. Very interesting development.

Just in case you are wondering when I will update my Tropical Update on my site, I am waiting (probably just like Dr. Masters) for the 11 AM update.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
477. charlottewx
2:16 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Here's the latest from Bastardi and he may be right...The center has reformed just north of the northwest tip of Haiti..He has it going along the north coast of Cuba and then possibly going stationary in the Florida Straits before it decides to go north or northeast. He indicates Gales for Florida from Tuesday through Thursday. Inhis opinion the storm gets to at least 80 West.

Looking at the visibles, it looks like that is the new center just off the NW tip of Haiti...
476. Floodman
2:16 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Ahhh, the beauty of relying on models...the new info on Noel won't make it into the models until the next run, and the tracking calls by the NHC won't change much until then...

Looks like a faster and more vigorous turn to the west than originally anticipated (it's okay, I'm preparing a big mess of crow), though what we're seeing right now may be a wobble and not a trend...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
475. Drakoen
2:16 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
470. nash28 2:13 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
NHC picking up on the jump northward?


according to the 12z models runs no...
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30311
474. miacanefan
2:15 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
SFcat5, I agree but the surfers will be out regardless. I think the NHC is going to slowly shift the track west. At 11am it's going to hug the coast of Miami.
473. Drakoen
2:15 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
The system is still battling the upper air low to the west. Now that the circulation is moving north of the upper low which will help to speed up the system a WNW track should start soon due to the flow around the low.. after that is questionable.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30311
472. Bonedog
2:15 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
appears to have a large windfield from that ship's report
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
471. IKE
2:14 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Drakoen 9:12 AM CDT on October 29, 2007

Heres where the NHC ran their 12z models...


That's where I see the center....exposed...over Haiti.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
470. nash28
2:13 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
NHC picking up on the jump northward?
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
469. TampaSpin
2:13 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
468. beell
2:12 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Thanks mlc-good to see ya back on tRopic. Maybe garbage up your blog w/it later friend.
lol
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 142 Comments: 16496
467. Drakoen
2:12 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Heres where the NHC ran their 12z models...
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30311
466. Bonedog
2:11 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
ID T1 TIME LAT LON DIST HDG WDIR WSPD GST WVHT DPD APD MWD PRES PTDY

SHIP S 1300 21.90 -71.20 242 15 80 29.9 - 9.8 6.0 - - 29.83 +0.03
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
465. flaboyinga
2:11 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
459. A4Guy 10:07 AM EDT on October 29, 2007
CaneWhisperer - hate to nit pick...but can you please refer to Noel as "he" - not "she."
Thanks!


Is it a he? I thought it was part of a Christmas carol.lol
464. weathers4me
2:11 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Noel is moving faster now to the NW. The cloud tops are moving the WNW. I see the center right around 20.4N 72.9W. Sorry but I don't see the eastern path that the GFDL does this time. Could be wrong just my thought.
Member Since: May 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 118
463. TheCaneWhisperer
2:09 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Sure, lol. Guess it's a subliminal thing, never seen a man with the name NOEL.
462. moonlightcowboy
2:09 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
--Nash, I think you're right fwd speed vs strengthening here will be big key. If the front becomes occluded, wouldn't it tend to slow though? I'm seeing more of wnw track if that's the case.

--beell, you stirring up trouble? lol. Didn't see the post, but Hatian politics haven't served the best interests of a highly flood-prone island. Uuuuummmmmm, excuse me, think I was drifting off tRopic, too. lol
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29608
461. CaneAddict
2:08 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Well guys im off for a bit but im expecting that the NHC will end up realizing what we are are seeing as far as the Noel beating the trough and i believe soon the NHC's track will be shifted futherwest by possibly a few hundred miles...JMO
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2151
460. HurricaneGeek
2:08 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
So still expect winds at 45mph? higher? lower? if so, what? for 11am
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 110 Comments: 7039
459. A4Guy
2:07 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
CaneWhisperer - hate to nit pick...but can you please refer to Noel as "he" - not "she."
Thanks!
Member Since: June 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 660

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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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