Mexico's Katrina

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:22 PM GMT on November 06, 2007

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While Hurricane Noel's deadly rampage through the Caribbean was making headlines last week, Mexico experienced one of the worst flooding disasters in its history. Rescue crews are still at work plucking thousands of stranded residents off of rooftops in the state of Tabasco. Over 80% of Tabasco was underwater, and flood waters reached up to residents' rooftops in the capital city of Villahermosa. Up to 900,000 people are homeless in the disaster, which Mexicans are calling their Hurricane Katrina. The number of people dead or missing now stands at 26, due to a new mudslide yesterday that overwhelmed a small village near Villahermosa.

The floods were spawned by heavy rains that fell from a cold front that stalled over the Gulf of Mexico between October 28 and November 1. Satellite estimates of the rainfall show that no more than 7 inches of rain fell over the region during the period, which seems like too little rain to cause the massive flooding observed. It is possible these satellite estimates are flawed. The official rain gauge in Villahermosa reported 2, 81, 7, 0, and 2 inches of rain during the days October 28-November 1, respectively. Presumably, the 81 inches of rain reported October 29 is due to floodwaters inundating the rain gauge. Villahermosa averages 13 inches of rain in a typical October. No new rains have fallen since November 1, and the flood waters are gradually receding.


Figure 1. Thick clouds cover Mexico's Tobasco state on October 29, 2007, due a cold front that stalled over the region. The area received up to 7 inches of rain over a 5-day period. Image credit: NASA.

Disturbance 92L in far eastern Atlantic not a threat
A non-tropical "cut-off" low pressure system near 31N 37W, a few hundred miles southwest of the Azores Islands, is showing signs of becoming more tropical. This system was designated "92L" by NHC this morning. Phase space diagrams from Bob Hart at Florida State University show that 92L started off as a classic extratropical storm that was asymmetrical with a cold core, but the storm has gotten more symmetrical and the core has warmed. Satellite loops show only limited thunderstorm activity near the center of circulation at present, though. Sea Surface Temperatures are about 24° C under 92L, and are considerably cooler than the 26.5° usually needed to get a tropical cyclone going. Wind shear is 30-40 knots, and is expected to stay above 30 knots for the next two days. These factors should keep the storm from developing. The system is expected to turn northeast and move through the Azores Islands Friday or Saturday.

Jeff Masters

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352. BajaALemt
11:55 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
We have a freezer at work that we keep our dough in. It's usually anywhere between 18 below and 30 below. Every time I go IN there, it reminds me of Ohio *laffs*
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351. BajaALemt
11:54 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
Yah, looks like it's not gonna be so ugly in the NE after all
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350. Bonedog
6:50 AM EST on November 07, 2007
hahaha yea woke up to 27* at my house according to my weather station.

Even the dog didnt want to go outside.

I did read that hazards asesment. I was just about to write up my Nor'Easter blog update but after looking at the model runs and other things I realized it wasn't necessary.
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
349. BajaALemt
11:45 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
Yah, we do pretty much. This year, alot of the stuff that's set up in texas and moved through LA and MS has dissipated by the time it got over here. And the seabreeze has spent most of the summer alot more inland. I'm thinkin' we're in for a cooler winter this year
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348. BajaALemt
11:44 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
LOL...Bone's probably over there going......mmmmmm, 40's...SHORTS WEATHER!! haha
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346. BajaALemt
11:41 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
Yikes! Yuk, GCD!!! Being a 'gulf dweller' like yourself...I start getting chilly when it dips below 70. We're only forecast for 60's today...back down in the 40's again the next couple of nights...brrrr
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344. BajaALemt
11:35 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
Mornin GCD....a cool 44 here over in the panhandle.
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343. BajaALemt
11:33 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
US HAZARDS ASSESSMENT
NWS CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
300 PM EST NOVEMBER 06 2007

SYNOPSIS: A PROGRESSIVE FLOW PATTERN IS ANTICIPATED THROUGHOUT MUCH OF THIS ASSESSMENT PERIOD, CHARACTERIZED BY RELATIVELY FEW HAZARDS. IT NOW APPEARS THAT THE STORM WHICH WAS PREDICTED TO INTENSIFY RAPIDLY OFF THE MIDDLE AND NORTHERN ATLANTIC COASTS THIS WEEKEND WILL STILL COME ABOUT, THOUGH FURTHER OUT TO SEA THAN WAS INDICATED PREVIOUSLY BY MODEL RUNS. ALTHOUGH THE EASTERN NEW ENGLAND COAST WILL PROBABLY RECEIVE ONLY A GLANCING BLOW FROM THIS STORM, THE MAIN CONCERN WILL BE FOR MARINE INTERESTS. FAIRLY STRONG NORTHERLY WINDS ARE EXPECTED ON THE WEST SIDE OF THIS OCEAN STORM (PRIMARILY IN MAINE) AS IT TRACKS NORTHEASTWARD TOWARDS THE CANADIAN MARITIMES. DURING THE 6-10 DAY PERIOD, THE EUROPEAN MODEL IS INDICATING THE POSSIBLE DEVELOPMENT OF ANOTHER STORM, THIS TIME OVER THE WESTERN GULF COAST REGION. THIS SITUATION WILL NEED TO BE MONITORED CAREFULLY FOR THE POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENT OF SEVERE WEATHER.
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341. BajaALemt
11:30 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
Mornin Bone. I see you're up early too :)
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340. Bonedog
6:12 AM EST on November 07, 2007
Wow its a slow blog. Morning everyone. Hows things?
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
339. jamnkats
9:01 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
Tikal is in Guatemala, Flood. He'll probably head to Chichen Itza if he's on the typical tourist travel. If you're staying a while, bring some water and money to donate to the folks in Tabasco. We're completely cut off from the rest of Mexico right now and pretty worried about our friends in Villahermosa. It has been a horrific season for Mexico this year.
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338. HIEXPRESS
4:21 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
Here's the Shuttle (STS-120) landing ground track for Florida tomorrow.
STS-120(Discovery)
Landing Blog
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337. Orcasystems
4:31 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
Have a good one Flood :)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
336. Floodman
4:22 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
I think it's western NY state...today.

Blue Bay? By all accounts you're going to have a spectacular time! Well, I'm out...early morning tomorrow
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
335. Orcasystems
4:19 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
I love it when ONT gets buried in snow... is it happening now?

And yes... 5 Jan - 19 Jan.. Blue Bay club Cancun :)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
334. Floodman
4:06 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
keeper, flaboy, wazzup? Just dropping in for asec, checking on the snow/ice thing up north...Erie got it good?
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
333. Floodman
3:58 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
Orca, how are you? That's right, you're going to Cancun, aren' t you? Well, I'm not very conversant with that area, but I know you'll want to see the ruins; if memory serves, Tikal is the one...when are you going?
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
332. flaboyinga
11:05 PM EST on November 06, 2007
Evenin' Folks. Whuts happnin?
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331. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:00 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
few here
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330. Orcasystems
3:55 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
Evening Floood.. very very slow tonight.. surfing around learning about Cancun
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
329. Floodman
3:51 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
anyone in here tonight?
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
328. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
3:31 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
waitin on the rtn flow off gom to set up enjoy the quiet wont last long
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327. franck
3:00 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
Ah piddy de fool dat don't do weather. Ah piddy 'im.
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326. HurricaneGeek
9:47 PM EST on November 06, 2007
LOL eagles
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325. eaglesrock
9:43 PM EST on November 06, 2007
Slow blog...let's talk about the possibility of snow for me on Friday!!!! LOL
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324. MZT
2:20 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
Ivansrvr: Dr Masters has been running the blog all year long. He discusses other weather events in the winter, plus southern hemisphere cyclones.
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323. HIEXPRESS
1:51 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
Do we need real emoticons here?
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321. BajaALemt
1:47 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
*scratches head*
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320. HIEXPRESS
1:42 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
Like NO in Tabasco, Tabasco in NO?
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319. BajaALemt
1:38 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
LOL !
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318. BajaALemt
1:37 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
From 'Mr T's Storm Chase School

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317. PityDAFool
8:37 PM EST on November 06, 2007
I pity the fool that makes fun of the weather!
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315. HIEXPRESS
1:33 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
I get it, "T" numbers.
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313. BajaALemt
1:30 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
LOL !!! Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad !! haha
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312. HIEXPRESS
1:24 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
308. BajaALemt
....some FUNNY stuff back there!!
At least no one said anything callous like:
"I hope there are no natural disasters in Worcestershire" or other condiment jokes.
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311. BajaALemt
1:20 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
Thanks JFV..hope you're having a nice evening
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309. HIEXPRESS
1:11 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
303. Weather456
I think that's one of those places where, when you get an image, it's good all week. It looks like this:
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308. BajaALemt
1:16 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
Evenin folks. Went back reading trying to 'catch up'....some FUNNY stuff back there!! Hope you're all well
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306. Bobbyweather
8:09 PM EST on November 06, 2007
I think 92L should be a STD or STS because of the SSD site showing ST2.5 five times in a row.
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305. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
1:01 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
quiet in here
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304. Ivansrvivr
12:39 AM GMT on November 07, 2007
FLOOD; Mail Call!!!!! Do folks on this blog follow winter storms too? I do so hopefully we'll have something to talk about this winter.
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303. Weather456
8:06 PM AST on November 06, 2007
Help

Does anyone have a link to satellite imagery of Siberia (the hearth of Russia) that updates every 3 hrs or less. I seem to have satellite imagery/loops of every place on earth except Siberia.

Thanks
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302. HIEXPRESS
11:45 PM GMT on November 06, 2007
From http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/doc404?OpenForm
Map of flooded areas in Tabasco
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About

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