A rare December named storm for the Atlantic: Olga

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:49 AM GMT on December 11, 2007

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The hurricane season of 2007 is definitely not over! Subtropical Storm Olga is the 17th December named storm to develop in the Atlantic since record keeping began in 1851. Seven of these 17 storms have occurred since 1995.

As seen on visible satellite loops, the heavy thunderstorm activity that was displaced 100-300 miles to the north of the center has now wrapped closer to the center of Olga's circulation. This is the sign of a system evolving to be a tropical storm. However, an upper level low pressure system over the Virgin Islands is dumping some cold air into the storm, and Olga is still technically a subtropical storm. The difference is not important, as the winds and rain are similar for both types of storms. Long range radar out of Puerto Rico clearly shows the circulation of Olga and some steadily organizing bands of rain. Rain is the major threat from Olga, and amounts of 3-4 inches have already fallen over northern Puerto Rico, and a Flood Watch has been posted for much of the island. Heavier rain amounts of over six inches have fallen on ocean areas to the north of Puerto Rico (Figure 1), and rainfall amounts of up to 10 inches may hit the regions of the Dominican Republic hard hit by Tropical Storm Noel just six week ago. Haiti is also at risk of heavy rains that might cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.


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

Wind shear, which dropped to about 15-20 knots this evening, is low enough to allow some slow strengthening Tuesday. By Wednesday, rising wind shear, plus passage over the rough terrain of Hispaniola, should be enough to tear Olga apart. The remnants of Olga may still bring heavy rains of 2-4 inches to Jamaica and eastern Cuba Wednesday and Thursday. None of the computer models foresee that Olga will survive to become a tropical storm in the Western Caribbean. The Hurricane Hunters are not on call to fly Olga.

I'll have a update Tuesday morning by 11am EST.

Jeff Masters

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97. JRRP
4:09 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
IF THE STORM MISS RD COULD BE WORST FOR US
BECAUSE THE STRONGEST WIND IS IN THE NORTH SIDE OF THE STORM
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5690
96. listenerVT
4:00 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
NEwxguy...

Well, that's easier done from the NE where
the snow and the season allow for merriment.

Nonetheless, we've had more cold and snow this year
than I recall so early in the season.

What are your observations on this?
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5500
95. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:00 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
new blog
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53482
94. listenerVT
3:57 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Let's hope it doesn't come to this:


Hurr-i-cane, Hurr-i-cane
Blasting all the day
A Tropical Storm on Tuesday
and Olga's on her way ~ Hey!

Hurr-i-cane, Hurr-i-cane
Warnings in December
A frightful event and as bad a season
As we can all remember.
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5500
93. NEwxguy
3:50 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
I see we're getting into the season
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 877 Comments: 15704
92. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
3:50 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
lol
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53482
91. listenerVT
3:41 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Away in the Tropics
No end is in sight
For the Hurricane Season,
(Do not fly a kite).

The stars will not shine
Til the tempest has past
So we stay up all night
And prepare to leave fast.

The wind it is howling
The baby awakes
The lights have gone out
and the rain really rakes.

I love the warm Tropics
And weather is great;
But I'd rather be shopping
And baking fruit cake.
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5500
90. 786
3:33 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
000
WTNT42 KNHC 111450
TCDAT2
SUBTROPICAL STORM OLGA DISCUSSION NUMBER 3
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL172007
1000 AM EST TUE DEC 11 2007

RECENT BUOY...QUIKSCAT...AND SHIP REPORTS INDICATE THAT OLGA'S PEAK
WINDS ARE NEAR 40 KT...AND EXTEND FARTHER AWAY FROM THE CENTER THAN
EARLIER ESTIMATED. THE STRUCTURE OF OLGA...WITH ITS STRONGEST
WINDS LOCATED STILL 100-200 NMI FROM CENTER...CONTINUES TO BE
CONSISTENT WITH THAT OF A SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE.

THE INITIAL MOTION ESTIMATE IS 260/13...ALTHOUGH THE CENTER HAS
MOVED LITTLE OVER THE PAST FEW HOURS. A LOW- TO MID-LEVEL RIDGE
OVER THE WESTERN ATLANTIC IS EXPECTED TO KEEP OLGA ON A BASIC
WESTWARD PATH NEAR THE SOUTH COAST OF HISPANIOLA AND INTO THE
NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA...AND MODEL GUIDANCE IS IN RELATIVELY
GOOD AGREEMENT ON THIS SCENARIO. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST LIES ALONG
THE SOUTHERN EDGE OF THE GUIDANCE ENVELOPE AND IS IN BEST AGREEMENT
WITH THE GFS.

ALTHOUGH THE CIRCULATION OF OLGA WILL BE INTERACTING WITH THE RUGGED
TERRAIN OF HISPANIOLA...THE PRESSURE GRADIENT AWAY FROM THE
CENTER...WHERE THE STRONGEST WINDS ARE LOCATED...WILL BE SLOW TO
DIMINISH. THE UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH CURRENTLY OVER THE CYCLONE IS
FORECAST BY ALL THE GLOBAL MODELS TO WEAKEN AND BE REPLACED BY
STRONG NORTHWESTERLY SHEAR OVER THE NEXT 24-36 HOURS OR SO...AND
WHEN THIS HAPPENS OLGA SHOULD DEGENERATE TO A REMNANT LOW.

THE PRIMARY THREAT FROM OLGA IS HEAVY RAINFALL...WHICH IS
ALREADY PRODUCING LIFE-THREATENING MUD SLIDES IN PUERTO RICO.
THESE RAINS WILL BE SPREADING ACROSS HISPANIOLA OVER THE NEXT 24
HOURS...WHERE FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES ARE ALSO LIKELY.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 11/1500Z 18.1N 68.0W 40 KT
12HR VT 12/0000Z 18.0N 70.5W 35 KT
24HR VT 12/1200Z 18.1N 74.0W 30 KT
36HR VT 13/0000Z 18.2N 77.4W 30 KT...REMNANT LOW
48HR VT 13/1200Z 18.2N 80.5W 25 KT...REMNANT LOW
72HR VT 14/1200Z 18.0N 85.0W 25 KT...REMNANT LOW
96HR VT 15/1200Z...DISSIPATED

$$
FORECASTER FRANKLIN

Member Since: August 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 910
88. listenerVT
3:28 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
MP...LOL!

Points for:
Hear those transformer explosions pop n' crack,
Oh what a horrible sight
So run into the closet and grab the flashlight
'Cause Hurricane Olga comes tonight!


Mrs. Santa looks like she's trying to decide between door #1 and door #2. :~D
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5500
83. MisterPerfect
3:06 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Here comes Hurricane Olga, here comes Hurricane Olga,
Right down hurricane alley
Howlin' and Blowin' and all her low pressure
Swirlin' in the rains
Trees are fallen', candles boughten'
All is panic and fright
Board your windows and gas up your car
'Cause Hurricane Olga comes tonight!

Here comes Hurricane Olga, here comes Hurricane Olga,
Right down hurricane alley
She's got an eye that's filled with gusts
For homeowners and renters again
Hear those transformer explosions pop n' crack,
Oh what a horrible sight
So run into the closet and grab the flashlight
'Cause Hurricane Olga comes tonight!




Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20137
82. HurricaneGeek
2:58 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Winds are now 45mph, Thats up 5 from last advisory.
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 110 Comments: 7039
80. msphar
2:53 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Benirica - how much wind did you get, for how long and what wind speed ?
Member Since: August 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 289
79. NEwxguy
2:53 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Thanks Storm,interesting weather to say the least.That nor'easter expected late in the weekend,certainly doesn't need any extra energy added by Olga,will be interesting to watch.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 877 Comments: 15704
78. biff4ugo
2:50 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
I hope BAMM is right and the rainmnants pull up into Florida and even Georgia.
Member Since: December 28, 2006 Posts: 114 Comments: 1566
77. txag91met
2:48 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Another note: Hudson Bay freezes over (quickest since 2002).
Member Since: January 30, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 749
75. benirica
2:38 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Im still in complete shock. We were having great days here last week and then they say it might rain a bit on monday and all of the sudden its a storm.
Its been a heck of a ride the past 24 hours. Amazing is all I have to say.
Climate change, global warming or just a weather cycle... this is very out of the ordinary.
Stay safe, looks like it should be over soon for the eastern half of Puerto Rico. Now its time to clear the roads, put the power back on, and get back to normal.
Whatever normal means nowadays.
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74. sporteguy03
2:36 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Hey Stormjunkie!
Welcome back!
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73. HurricaneGeek
2:36 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
I wouldnna thunk it. :)
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 110 Comments: 7039
72. NEwxguy
2:32 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Gm all,who would have thunk it,tropical storm watching,while we in New England are in the grips of a nor easter watch.Expect the unexpected in weather.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 877 Comments: 15704
71. listenerVT
2:24 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Thank-you cchsweatherman~!

I love the kind of data collecting one can do with one's eye!
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70. HurricaneGeek
2:21 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
The NHC should have a new advisory in about 35-40 minutes? At 10am EST?
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 110 Comments: 7039
69. HurricaneGeek
2:20 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
cchswetherman, even if it does not TOTALY miss Hispaniola, it might miss it more then the NHC said at there 7am Advisory. According to the track.
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 110 Comments: 7039
67. stoormfury
2:08 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Morning it looks like Olga is making this transition from subtropical to tropical. It now looks from the last few frames that the storm is moving WSW and will miss the land mass of the Dominican Republic should it miss the island of Hispanoila then Olga has a chance of strenghening inthe western caribbean
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66. Fl30258713
2:06 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Lots of dry air around.

Member Since: July 24, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 985
65. cchsweatherman
2:04 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
The first Visible shots are coming in and it clearly shows the center and how this storm will miss the Dominican Republic.

img src="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket" width="" height="" alt="" />
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
64. cchsweatherman
2:01 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Good morning Storm! What do you think about my observations above? Would certainly make things interesting.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
63. IKE
1:56 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
60. cchsweatherman 7:46 AM CST on December 11, 2007
This is where I see the current center and the motion that I have been noticing on satellite. It may miss the entire island altogether.


You may be right...it may go south of the islands and stay offshore.
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60. cchsweatherman
1:46 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
This is where I see the current center and the motion that I have been noticing on satellite. It may miss the entire island altogether.
img src="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket" width="" height="" alt="" />
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58. cchsweatherman
1:41 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Why is the UCF model forecasting Olga to strengthen after its trip over Hispanola?

UCF Model
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57. 21N71W
1:38 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Morning All,
wow very windy here in the Turks and Caicos and clouding over ...I thought nothing was to be coming this way!
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56. cchsweatherman
1:32 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
VT, that would explain why the high clouds (most likely cirrus clouds) are moving so fast.
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55. cchsweatherman
1:31 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Just a question here. If Olga could miss the Dominican Republic or just barely hit it and make it back out into the Caribbean before the land has a great impact on it, could it somehow keep together and feel the effect of the cold front forecasted to move into the GOM? I noticed that the BAMM model indicates a sharp NE turn later in the week in response to the approaching front.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
54. cchsweatherman
1:29 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
I hope that anyone who lives in the Midwest is doing well this morning and that you are not suffering through this brutal cold air without electricity. It is just awestriking the effect an ice storm can have. Good luck to you all there.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
53. listenerVT
1:26 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Hey, the wind shear over my house is 100!

Is that why the high clouds are moving along at a pretty fast clip?
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52. listenerVT
1:25 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Glad youse guys came through Olga okay last night (lack of water notwithstanding), and that some even slept.

If I was him, I'd stay up all night watching it. I absolutely love windstorms!


I love them too; even as a little child. Staying up all night is great at the time, but can really mess up your day after! (At least at my age...Ha!) :~)
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5500
50. guygee
1:17 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Been enjoying the unusually warm December weather here in Florida, haven't checked this blog since Dr. Masters blog on the Gray and Klotzbach "Zero-Skill Forecast"...kudos to Dr. Masters for exposing what was suspected but remained hidden for so long, and shame on Dr. Gray for releasing these forecasts for so many years to hungry journalists and there forth to the unsuspecting public without first verifying and validating his methods.

Just reading the local Melbourne NWS Melbourne morning AFDs lately. I was kind of curious when a couple of days ago they mentioned a wave/upper low over the Leewards being a low percentage possible factor in this weekend's forecast, as systems rarely move in the easterlies this far north in December.

So I was shocked when I logged into the Melbourne website this morning to see a red "Tropical Storm Warning" graphic in the offshore waters. Turns out they mean way, way, way offshore..."TROPICAL STORM WARNING FROM 19N TO 22N E OF 71W".

...and no GOES-12???? Right after the demise of QuickSCAT, as if an ominous warning that we are wasting our treasury on many things unimportant and neglecting keeping a watchful and caring eye on Mother Earth, what NASA likes to call the "Blue Marble", our very own little home spinning out in a vast universe. Maybe Dr. Masters would care to blog on how many missions to Earth and related missions have been canceled in the last 10 years, but such topics must be approached gently and at an obtuse angle, lest grants be threatened, reputations besmirched, and careers ended.
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49. cchsweatherman
1:16 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Just a question here. If Olga could miss the Dominican Republic or just barely hit it and make it back out into the Caribbean before the land has a great impact on it, could it somehow keep together and feel the effect of the cold front forecasted to move into the GOM? I noticed that the BAMM model indicates a sharp NE turn later in the week in response to the approaching front.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
48. IKE
12:53 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Extended discussion for Birmingham,AL...

"Quickly on the hills of this rapidly developing low is Arctic
air. At this time both models are indicating the Arctic air will
wrap into the area before the moisture pulls out Saturday night.
Decided to advertise snow showers for the northern half of the
area.
Not thinking any accumulation due to the record warmth we've
been experiencing so far this week and at the speed the system is
moving."
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
47. IKE
12:50 PM GMT on December 11, 2007
Huge east coast storm this weekend...first of next week according to the 6Z GFS...

Link
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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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