Noel dumping torrential rains on the Dominican Republic

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:28 PM GMT on October 29, 2007

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Tropical Storm Noel hit Haiti this morning just south of the capital of Port-Au-Prince, dumping prodigious rains of over one inch per hour over some regions of the island of Hispaniola. The storm's slow forward speed means that heavy rains will affect the island for several more days. Long range radar out of Puerto Rico shows heavy rains affecting the Dominican Republic. These rains have already exceeded eight inches over a wide area of ocean to the east of Noel's center, according to rainfall estimates from the Puerto Rico radar. Rainfall amounts of 4-7 inches over southern Puerto Rico have triggered numerous flash floods and landslides.

This morning's QuikSCAT pass showed top winds of about 50 mph over a small region north of Hispaniola. Wind and storm surge damage should be minimal on Hispaniola from Noel.

The Dominican Republic
The worst of the rains for Puerto Rico are now over, but the flooding situation on Hispaniola today will be extremely serious, particularly in the Dominican Republic. Satellite loops show very vigorous thunderstorms reaching high into the atmosphere roiling over Hispaniola. Early this morning, these thunderstorms dumped about 150 mm (6 inches) of rain in just six hours in a region southwest of the capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo (Figure 1). Santo Domingo reported a visibility of zero at 2am local time during this heavy rain. Rainfall amount of about 12 inches have fallen over the Dominican Republic's southernmost point, the Barahona Peninsula, according to satellite estimates. The region's only airport weather station stopped transmitting data at 8pm last night.

Haiti
So far, Haiti has escaped the worst of Noel's heavy rains, giving hope that a repeat of the floods triggered by Hurricane Jeanne in 2004 might be avoided. Jeanne passed just north of Haiti as a tropical storm, and dumped about 13 inches of rain over the northern mountains. The resulting floods killed over 3,000 people. However, satellite images show that a large region of disturbed weather to the southeast of Hispaniola associated with Noel, and Noel's counter-clockwise circulation will pull heavy rains over Hispaniola for the next two days. I still expect that some regions of Haiti will receive over 12 inches of rain from Noel.


Figure 1. Satellite estimates of rain for the 6-hour period ending at 5 am EDT Monday, 10/29/07. Note the red "bulls-eye" at upper right of the image over Hispaniola, indicating heavy rain of about 150 mm (6 inches) fell in just six hours. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

The track forecast
Passage over the rugged terrain of Haiti has severely disrupted Noel, and satellite imagery suggests that the center of the storm is now trying to reform just north of Hispaniola. The latest computer model runs from 00Z and 06Z this morning continue to show a wide range of solutions for Noel's path. All of the models forecast that Noel's current north-northwest motion will continue today, in response to the counter-clockwise flow of air around an upper level low to the west of Noel. This upper low is forecast to weaken over the next few days, allowing a ridge of high pressure to build in, which will force Noel to the northwest or west-northwest. The GFS, NOGAPS, GFDL, and HWRF models all take Noel through the Bahamas, to the north of Cuba. The UKMET and ECMWF take Noel to the south of Cuba, close to its coast. This is unlikely, since Noel's center is trying to reform to the north of Hispaniola. The key question is the timing and strength of a trough of low pressure forecast to move off the U.S. East Coast Thursday. A slower arrival of this trough will allow Noel to penetrate farther west into the western Bahamas. The NOGAPS and GFS models foresee that Noel will reach a point between 100-300 miles east of South Florida before recurving out to sea. The HWRF and GFDL recurve Noel much further to the east. The GFDL doesn't take Noel very far west at all, predicting that the storm will graze the eastern Bahamas, then accelerate to the northeast and threaten Bermuda as a strong tropical storm on Friday. Given that Noel appears to be taking a big jump to the north and reforming north of Haiti this morning, I would expect that the official NHC forecast is the correct one, and Noel will recurve before reaching the western Bahamas.

The intensity forecast
Noel's intensity will be controlled by its interaction with the land masses of Hispaniola and Cuba over the next day. Passage over the mountainous terrain of Haiti has severely disrupted Noel, and any intensification over the next day should be slow. Wind shear is about 10-20 knots today, and is expected to remain in that range over the next two days. This will allow some slow strengthening of Noel if its center can remain over water. I give Noel a 40% chance of reaching hurricane strength at some point. After two days, wind shear is expected to increase above 20 knots, and Noel should weaken.

I'll have an update late this afternoon.

Jeff Masters

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84. Drakoen
3:02 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS

1. TROPICAL DEPRESSION 16
FLIGHT ONE - TEAL 70
A. 29/1800Z
B. AFXXX 0316A CYCLONE
C. 29/1315Z
D. 18.5N 75.8W
E. FROM 1730Z TO 2300Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30559
83. nash28
11:02 AM EDT on October 29, 2007
Agreed Ike, we all hope he gets his rear end booted well before FL. It's gonna be close though....
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82. NRAamy
8:02 AM PDT on October 29, 2007
mornin' all...
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81. thelmores
2:59 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
when is the next recon on station, 2pm??
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80. IKE
9:59 AM CDT on October 29, 2007
Latest discussion has the farther west coordinates at 76.7 west...or 200 miles east of Florida. Hopefully it verifies.

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79. guygee
2:54 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
I like thelmore's diagram. The most cyclonic turning in the visible loops seems to be near or over Great Inagua Island. This is most likely at the mid-levels and due to the shear imparted by the ULL the reforming core would be most likely tilted with height, so I imagine whatever surface center trying to reform would be SE of there. If the ULL is the predominate steering influence for now then Noel has begun to wrap around the NW side of the ULL which would start to steer it more NW or WNW.

At the upper levels the whole storm still looks bizarre and more semi-topical to me, reminiscent of TD10: half ULL, half ULH, but the ULH supporting Noel seems more predominate and larger than it did this time yesterday.

(edit: SE of there (Great Inagua) not SW of there)
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78. nash28
11:00 AM EDT on October 29, 2007
Agreed. Let recon do their jobs and give us a clear cut location. 18z could be a little more interesting in terms of track shift, but I would suspect 00z will be more telling because this will be after the HH's get new data.
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77. Floodman
9:45 AM CDT on October 29, 2007
25. nash28 9:39 AM CDT on October 29, 2007
Ok, I guess I am a little confused this morning....

If the center of this system has jumped further to the N and W, and has also sped up a bit, would that not put it ahead of the trough, meaning the chances of it going further NW or WNW are higher?

It seems backwards to me.. If the COC had reformed say 50-100 miles further to the south, then it would not get as far NWWD before the trough..



Doom and gloomers live! I have to agree...if it's new center is further north than model plots have it, then the WNW component seems the most likely, particularly since the trough won't be in play until Thursday...I have a hard time beleiving that model runs using the old plot are completely valid
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76. Drakoen
3:00 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
73. thelmores 2:59 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
CLEAR AND EASY TO FIND HUH???

ya'll been watching too many sat loops! LOL


only possible circulation i see at this point. I look at many different satellite loops.
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74. nash28
10:59 AM EDT on October 29, 2007
Per the discussion, they are uncertain of the actual COC.
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73. thelmores
2:57 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
CLEAR AND EASY TO FIND HUH???

ya'll been watching too many sat loops! LOL
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72. Patrap
9:57 AM CDT on October 29, 2007
Its just a simple equation in Late October..early November. If a tropical entity wanders and hangs around thru days and time in the Doldrums..a CONUS front is bound to come along and swooped it out. Noel would have been a bigger threat along the southern route. Now,..climatology will do the deed and wisk it up and away thru Mid week...
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71. Drakoen
2:58 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
NOEL HAS BECOME LESS ORGANIZED AS IT INTERACTS WITH THE COMPLEX
TERRAIN OF HISPANIOLA. A MID-LEVEL VORTICITY MAXIMUM EMERGED NORTH
OF THE ISLAND A FEW HOURS AGO...AND VISIBLE IMAGERY SUGGESTS A
LOW-LEVEL CENTER IS REFORMING ALONG THE NORTHWESTERN COAST OF
HAITI. UNTIL THE NEXT AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE PLANE INVESTIGATES
THE AREA THIS AFTERNOON...THE LOCATION...FORWARD MOTION...AND EVEN
THE EXISTENCE OF A LOW-LEVEL CENTER REMAIN RATHER UNCERTAIN.

OUR BEST ESTIMATE OF THE INITIAL MOTION IS NORTH-NORTHWESTWARD OR
335/10...WITH STEERING PROVIDED BY A LOW- TO MID-LEVEL RIDGE NORTH
AND EAST OF THE CYCLONE. NEARLY ALL OF THE DYNAMICAL MODELS
FORECAST A SURFACE LOW TO BECOME RE-ESTABLISHED SOMEWHERE OVER THE
BAHAMAS DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO...BUT THEY DO NOT AGREE ON THE
VERTICAL EXTENT OF THE CIRCULATION. THE GFDL CONTINUES TO INSIST ON
NOEL BECOMING A HURRICANE THAT WILL ACCELERATE QUICKLY NORTHWARD
AND THEN NORTHEASTWARD. THE OTHER EXTREME IS THE ECMWF THAT DEPICTS
A WEAK SURFACE LOW HANGING OUT NEAR CUBA FOR THE NEXT FIVE DAYS.
THE REMAINING MODELS ARE IN BETWEEN...AND FORECAST A GENERAL
NORTHWESTWARD MOTION WITH A DECREASE IN FORWARD SPEED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS. SOME OF THOSE MODELS...INCLUDING THE GFS...FORECAST
LITTLE MOTION ON DAYS 3-5...WHILE THE NOGAPS SHOWS A NORTHEASTWARD
ACCELERATION IN THAT TIME FRAME. THE NEW OFFICIAL TRACK FORECAST
SHOWS A WEAKENING AND INCREASINGLY SHALLOW CYCLONE THAT SLOWLY
RECURVES NORTHEASTWARD OVER THE BAHAMAS AFTER 48 HOURS...IN
RESPONSE TO AN APPROACHING SHORT-WAVE TROUGH...SIMILAR TO THE HWRF
SOLUTION AND A LITTLE SLOWER THAN THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY.

ASSUMING THE CYCLONE REGAINS SUFFICIENT ORGANIZATION AFTER BEING
DISRUPTED OVER HISPANIOLA...ATMOSPHERIC AND OCEAN CONDITIONS SHOULD
PROVIDE NOEL WITH AN OPPORTUNITY TO STRENGTHEN A LITTLE DURING THE
NEXT DAY OR TWO. THEREAFTER...WESTERLY WIND SHEAR SHOULD
DRAMATICALLY INCREASE AND INDUCE A WEAKENING TREND. THE NEW
OFFICIAL INTENSITY FORECAST IS ADJUSTED SLIGHTLY DOWNWARD COMPARED
TO THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY...ESPECIALLY AFTER 48 HOURS. THIS
FORECAST IS IN BEST AGREEMENT WITH THE LGEM AND HWRF GUIDANCE...AND
BELOW THE SHIPS AND GFDL.

Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30559
70. IKE
9:57 AM CDT on October 29, 2007
From the latest discussion...

"Noel has become less organized as it interacts with the complex
terrain of Hispaniola. A mid-level vorticity maximum emerged north
of the Island A few hours ago...and visible imagery suggests a
low-level center is reforming along the northwestern coast of
Haiti. Until the next Air Force reconnaissance plane investigates
the area this afternoon...the location...forward motion...and even
the existence of a low-level center remain rather uncertain."


Question is...does a low-level center still exists?
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69. Drakoen
2:55 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
8 am thursday the system could be anywhere in the cone of error that will be crunch time...
look out for the 18z runs guys...
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68. Patrap
9:54 AM CDT on October 29, 2007
The Center Now seen clearly NW of Haiti

as it Moves Nnw..Link
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67. Sfloridacat5
2:52 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
On the topical update, he (Don't know his name) mentioned a secondary low possibly forming (off the S.E. Coast) after Noel pulls out to the N.E.

Anyone know anything about a secondary low forming behind Noel?
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66. BajaALemt
2:50 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
It would appear (last few frames)...a little increase in forward speed and motion to the NNW.

Last nite, the motion appeared to take on a more northerly component..it would seem that, this morning, that would be the case. *SHRUGS*

Link
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65. Drakoen
2:53 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
I agree with the NHC position of the center now...
easy to find.
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64. charlottewx
2:47 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Looking at the projected coordinates..the track is more wnw initially rather than nnw..
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63. hurricane23
10:54 AM EDT on October 29, 2007
These squalls should stay a could distance from south florida.Gusty winds in the area the next few days but thats about it.
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62. Drakoen
2:51 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
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61. TheCaneWhisperer
2:51 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
All eyes on the trough, if it doesn't kick it out, look out Florida.
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60. nash28
10:51 AM EDT on October 29, 2007
True Thel. Until that shortwave is a sure thing, then there will be a little sweating..
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59. nash28
10:50 AM EDT on October 29, 2007
Well the track did shift a tad WWD with that westward bend on Wednesday, before the trough kicks it out.
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
58. thelmores
2:48 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
from 8pm tuesday, till 8 am wednesday, looking at the official forecast, there will be some sweating goin on! LOL
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57. IKE
9:47 AM CDT on October 29, 2007
"Noel is moving toward the north-northwest near 12 mph...19 km/hr...
and this general motion is expected to continue during the next 24
hours.
On this track...Noel will be moving over the southeastern
Bahamas later today and tonight.


Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph...75 km/hr...with higher
gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 24
hours."......

From the NHC.


More good news on it's movement for the US.
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56. Drakoen
2:49 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
the track did shift a bit to the west to account for the center relocation.
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55. TampaSpin
10:47 AM EDT on October 29, 2007
Im still finding it difficult that is the center where the NHC has it.
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54. TheCaneWhisperer
2:46 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Man that's one big cone of doom.
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53. Patrap
9:46 AM CDT on October 29, 2007
The Floater IR. One can lay the icons on and plot the current track .

Link
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52. MahFL
10:37 AM EDT on October 29, 2007
I see a new burst of convection near the center I think.
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51. KrazyKaneLove
2:43 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
I am thoroughly confused with this Noel. Why does gfs have it meandering and stalling? What are they seeing that other models aren't?
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50. Drakoen
2:47 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
42. charlottewx 2:46 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
thelmores...the center is further south than you indicate in my opinion....


yep. It just emerging of the the coast of Haiti.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30559
49. thelmores
2:46 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
if the 11am coords are correct, it would be just south of my circle, near the coast..........
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47. hurricane23
10:47 AM EDT on October 29, 2007
This system is likely to loose its tropical characteristics the futher north it goes.Also to me this morning although this is still a pure tropical cyclone its got a weird look to it almost looking sub-tropical to me.
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46. TampaSpin
10:45 AM EDT on October 29, 2007
Thelmore I agree that is the new center.
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45. Drakoen
2:46 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
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44. hurricane23
10:43 AM EDT on October 29, 2007
.
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43. nash28
10:46 AM EDT on October 29, 2007
Well, he sure did speed up. 12mph.
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42. charlottewx
2:45 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
thelmores...the center is further south than you indicate in my opinion....
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41. Drakoen
2:45 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
31. nash28 2:44 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Drak- Does my question make sense? Ya know, I figured the more latitude it gained ahead of the trough, the closer to the FL coast it gets...


I understand what you are saying. wait and see.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30559
40. thelmores
2:45 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
"Is that a burst of convection over the center thelmores?"

thats the way I see it.... over or near center.....
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39. Ivansvrivr
2:43 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
"It seems backwards to me.. If the COC had reformed say 50-100 miles further to the south, then it would not get as far NWWD before the trough."

Haven't alot of things been backwards this season?
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38. Drakoen
2:43 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
AT 1100 AM EDT...1500Z...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM NOEL WAS
ESTIMATED NEAR LATITUDE 19.9 NORTH...LONGITUDE 73.0 WEST OR ABOUT 80
MILES...130 KM...EAST-SOUTHEAST OF THE EASTERN TIP OF CUBA AND ABOUT
300 MILES...500 KM...SOUTHEAST OF THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS. AN AIR FORCE
RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT IS SCHEDULED TO INVESTIGATE NOEL THIS
AFTERNOON TO MORE PRECISELY LOCATE THE CIRCULATION CENTER.

Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30559
36. BajaALemt
2:41 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Nice link, Pat...thanks
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35. charlottewx
2:43 PM GMT on October 29, 2007
Nah28 you are right ..the system is moving wnw and will probably speed up some and could easily outrun the trough and make it to 80 West.
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34. HurricaneGeek
10:44 AM EDT on October 29, 2007
Is that a burst of convection over the center thelmores?
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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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