Puerto Rico braces for a December surprise: 94L

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:49 PM GMT on December 10, 2007

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The hurricane season of 2007 over may not be quite over. An area of disturbed weather about 200 miles east of Puerto Rico, designated Invest 94 by NHC, may develop into a subtropical or tropical storm. The system developed a surface circulation near 18N 63W this morning, as seen on visible satellite loops. The heavy thunderstorm activity is displaced 100-300 miles to the north of the center, making 94L a subtropical system. Long range radar out of Puerto Rico shows some disorganized bands of rain affecting the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and surrounding waters, but these bands are not well-organized. Water temperatures in the region are about 26-27° C, which is barely warm enough to support formation of a tropical storm. Last evening's 8:12 pm EST QuikSCAT pass showed top winds of 30-35 mph. Unfortunately, this morning's QuikSCAT and ASCAT passes both missed 94L. Wind shear is 20-25 knots over the disturbance, which is too high to allow anything but slow development. However, 94L is very close to being a subtropical depression, and only a slight increase in organization would be needed to call it a subtropical depression.


Figure 1. Latest satellite image of Invest 94.

Here's what NHC had to say about the disturbance:

Special tropical disturbance statement
1100 am EST Mon Dec 10 2007

Satellite images and surface reports indicate that a closed surface circulation has developed in association with the broad area of low pressure now centered about 200 miles east of Puerto Rico. Shower activity with the low remains disorganized...however...with the strongest thunderstorms located a couple hundred miles north and northeast of the center. While a tropical or subtropical cyclone could still form during the next 24 hours...upper-level winds are expected to become gradually less favorable for development over the next couple of days. Regardless of whether the low develops further...it could produce heavy squalls and gusty winds of near gale force across the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico later today and tonight as it moves westward or west-southwestward at about 20 mph. Heavy rains over Puerto Rico and Hispaniola could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides...and interests in these areas should continue to monitor the progress of this system.

Wind shear is expected to remain in the 20-25 knot range Monday, which may be low enough to allow 94L to organize into a subtropical depression or subtropical storm today. Regardless, 94L will affect Puerto Rico today and tonight similar to how a tropical depression would, with sustained winds of 30 mph gusting to 45 mph, and heavy rains up to 5 inches. On Tuesday, these conditions will spread to the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The high terrain of Hispaniola should disrupt 94L, and wind shear is also expected to increase. By Wednesday, 94L will probably bring heavy rain to Jamaica. The GFDL model indicates that wind shear will drop and 94L will organize into a tropical storm on Wednesday. The model forecasts that the storm will intensify and move west-southwest to threaten the northern coast of Honduras on Friday. None of the other models develop 94L, though. Wind shear is expected to be low enough to support tropical storm formation in the Western Caribbean on Wednesday-Thursday, if there is anything left of 94L after its encounter Tuesday with Hispaniola. The Hurricane Hunters are not on call to fly 94L at all, and I don't expect this storm will survive intact enough to become a tropical storm in the Western Caribbean later this week.

I'll have a update later today.

Jeff Masters

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577. WeatherfanPR
4:21 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
very very windy I can say
Member Since: August 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1590
576. WeatherfanPR
4:16 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
heavy rain and gusty winds. also cool temp.67 degrees F.
Member Since: August 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1590
575. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:03 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
new blog
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54623
573. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
3:56 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
nite storm
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54623
568. gippgig
3:37 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
Note that up until recently subtropical storms weren't counted as named storms. Does the statement (comment 494) that this is the 4th season there has been both an early & late storm include subtropical storms? (Andrea - the May storm - was also subtropical.)
Member Since: December 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 65
567. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
3:36 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
she'll follow the gfdl to jamica then swing nwnne head up the eastern seaboard as a large winter storm as a primary storm tracks ne wards during the up coming weekend
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54623
564. Tazmanian
3:18 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
WTNT32 KNHC 110232
TCPAT2
BULLETIN
SUBTROPICAL STORM OLGA ADVISORY NUMBER 1
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL172007
1100 PM AST MON DEC 10 2007

...LOW PRESSURE AREA NEAR PUERTO RICO AND THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
DEVELOPS INTO SUBTROPICAL STORM OLGA...

AT 1100 PM AST...0300 UTC....THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DOMINICAN
REPUBLIC HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WARNING
FOR THE NORTHERN COAST
OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC FROM CABO ENGANO WESTWARD TO BAHIO DE
MANZANILLO AT THE BORDER OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND HAITI...AND
A TROPICAL STORM WATCH FOR THE SOUTHERN COAST OF THE DOMINICANREPUBLIC FROM CABO ENGANO TO PUNTA PALENQUE SOUTHWEST OF SANTO
DOMINGO.

INTERESTS IN PUERTO RICO AND THE VIRGIN ISLANDS SHOULD MONITOR THE
PROGRESS OF OLGA.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE
INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED
BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

AT 1100 PM AST...0300Z...THE BROAD CENTER OF SUBTROPICAL STORM OLGA
WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 18.5 NORTH...LONGITUDE 65.3 WEST OR ABOUT
55 MILES... 85 KM...EAST OF SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO AND ABOUT
300 MILES...485 KM...EAST OF SANTO DOMINGO IN THE DOMINICAN
REPUBLIC.

OLGA IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 15 MPH...AND THIS GENERAL MOTION
SHOULD CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS. THIS MOTION WILL BRING THE
CENTER NEAR THE NORTHERN COAST OF PUERTO RICO LATER TONIGHT...AND
NEAR OR OVER THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC ON TUESDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 40 MPH...65 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS...MAINLY WELL TO THE NORTH OF THE CENTER. SOME SLOW
STRENGTHENING IS POSSIBLE BEFORE THE CENTER APPROACHES THE
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.

WINDS OF 40 MPH EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 200 MILES...325 KM TO THE NORTH
OF THE CENTER. NOAA BUOY 41043 RECENTLY REPORTED 1-MINUTE AVERAGE
WINDS OF 38 MPH...61 KM/HR...AT AN ELEVATION OF 5 METERS.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1006 MB...29.71 INCHES. ST.
THOMAS IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS RECENTLY REPORTED A PRESSURE OF
1006.4 MB...29.72 INCHES.

SUBTROPICAL STORM OLGA IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE RAIN ACCUMULATIONS OF
2 TO 4 INCHES OVER PUERTO RICO WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF
6 INCHES. RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 4 TO 6 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE OVER
HISPANIOLA WITH POSSIBLE ISOLATED MAXIMUM TOTALS OF 10 INCHES.
THESE RAINS COULD PRODUCE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND
MUDSLIDES.

REPEATING THE 1100 PM AST POSITION...18.5 N...65.3 W. MOVEMENT
TOWARD...WEST NEAR 15 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH.
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1006 MB.

AN INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE
CENTER AT 200 AM AST FOLLOWED BY THE NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY AT 500
AM AST.
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115252
563. Cavin Rawlins
3:18 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
Yeah, yeah, yeah... Tell that to all of the people who lost everything this year... just because nothing really bad happened to the CONUS doesn't mean that there was no season this year... 2004 and 2005 were the exceptions; no major hurricanes hit the U.S. between 1997 and 2003...

I agree with you 110%
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
562. Relix
3:15 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
Well, I am going to bed, not knowing if I will have my finals tomorrow early morning. Going to bed, I know lights will go out and I) am prepared. To the fellow puertorricans here, good luck and good night =).

Quick Report: Light rain with gusts around 20MPH in Levittown, which if you don't know is in the north coast. Things will get worse as the center moves, and if it goes WSW something bugs me that we will have serious problems around here.
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2725
561. fldoughboy
3:14 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
Ok, so I see we now have a TS. So it started early in April or May...and ends in December. They should just stretch the season in those months..hmmm
560. 0741
3:14 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
557. Tazmanian 3:11 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
i see that we have STS Olga


here is what i think about SUBTROPICAL storm Olga


now i need go kitchen get FOOD
558. JLPR
3:12 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
i think a Ts warning could had been issued since there is damage from the winds
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
557. Tazmanian
3:11 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
i see that we have STS Olga


here is what i think about SUBTROPICAL storm Olga

Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115252
554. WeatherfanPR
3:08 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
emergency agency report trees down, power lines down, a house lost the roof partially, also a tree felt down over a car and 1 person was injured.
Member Since: August 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1590
553. JLPR
3:05 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
wow there have been down trees and electric stuff in PR umm i didnt know that
wow down trees who would have thought
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
552. 0741
3:03 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
STORM when will sw track start? if move little more west it affect southeast bahamas
551. KoritheMan
3:02 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
Yeah, those islands have been hit hard this year, WeatherFanPR. Let's hope for the best, but obviously, residents there are probably preparing for the worst.

If anyone is interested, here is my newest blog. It covers Olga. If anyone reads it, fine, if not, they don't, just thought I would post it anyway.

See you guys later, going to watch TV.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 587 Comments: 20877
550. WeatherfanPR
2:59 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
It could be a tragic scenario for the Dominican Republic and Haiti again.
Member Since: August 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1590
549. Cavin Rawlins
2:59 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
The microwave imagery is does not show much in terms of circulation but shows the heavy convection to the west and north. I can see some slight curvature over the open ocean.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
548. mobal
2:58 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
Yea Storm, But no worry I was in Mexico last week, Ha Choo, sorry, got a cold now!

Interesting late storm, Looks like another lower lat.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 482 Comments: 5333
547. CaneAddict17
2:57 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
I think that the reason for no storm watches or warnings, is because conditions will continue nearly the same. If the maximum winds are at 40, which are almost definately on the north side, and the storm is moving west at 15mph, then winds on the south side would be at around 10mph gusting to 20mph. I think that for those in puerto rico, even though it seems like a tropical storm is just to your north, conditions will only get slightly worse.
Member Since: August 31, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 156
546. HurricaneKing
2:56 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
I wonder if it followed the BAMM's track would it give moisture to the Nor'Easter that's going to form this weekend?
Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 71 Comments: 2485
545. moonlightcowboy
2:55 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
Add one more name, storm to the total! OLGA, let's hope she diminishes and there's no death and injury! But, if we could get some rain out if in the seCONUS, that'd be nice! But, not likely I know!
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
544. StormHype
2:55 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
ok this season donot want to end!!!!!!


End? When did it even start? lol

Anyway, hope we get some rain from it in FL eventually but that is a long shot this far out.
Member Since: May 31, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1204
542. Cavin Rawlins
2:53 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
its subtropical, no suprise
its a storm, for the past 12 hrs, no suprise
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
541. nash28
2:52 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
Well, Olga just goes to show everyone that "dates" mean nothing to mother nature.

Off to bed. Will engage tomorrow:-)
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
540. Cavin Rawlins
2:52 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
the NHC finally did their job
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
539. WeatherfanPR
2:51 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
If it'll be near the northern coast of PR, why no TS warning for PR????

maybe they think it's not so important because we already have a wind advisory and the stronger winds are going to stay to the north of us.


Member Since: August 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1590
538. Cavin Rawlins
2:51 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
hello everyone
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
537. southbeachdude
2:50 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
thanks for posting the cone. looks like this will be a non event for the US. good night.
Member Since: July 29, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 697
534. Relix
2:48 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
Not much happening here in Levittown, PR. Maybe the show will begin in a few hours. Is there really NO possibility of T-Storm winds? The local news are saying that.
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2725
529. TheCaneWhisperer
2:44 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
This begs the question, where does a storm go that forms in this area beyond 5 days. Is there any climatology to support any guesses?
528. SouthernLady
2:43 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
.
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 115 Comments: 29926
527. mobal
2:42 AM GMT on December 11, 2007
Oops, I mean the NWS, My bad.....
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 482 Comments: 5333

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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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