Arthur claims the season's first victims

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:28 AM GMT on June 03, 2008

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Reports coming in from Belize indicate that Tropical Storm Arthur hit that country hard. Rainfall totals of about six inches were measured at the airport, and up to 11 inches in the Corozal Town area. The resulting flooding has claimed the first lives of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season--at least four people are confirmed dead, and another two are missing. Arthur's rains forced some rivers higher than was observed during devastating Hurricane Mitch of 1998. According to one government official, "We have been accustomed to flooding but no one expected a flood of this magnitude. Certainly we had no warning because these floods are beyond anything we have experienced in the last thirty to forty years and so that is one of the quirks of nature." If the minister quoted is correct, Arthur's flooding is the worst since Category 4 Hurricane Hattie hit the country in 1961, killing at least 275 people.


Figure 1. Upper left: An aerial view of the flooding in Dangriga Town. Upper right: Section of the Hummingbird Highway near Middlesex Village in Southern Belize washed away, making the roadway impassable.
Lower left: Kendall Bridge, Southern Belize, Washed Away by Flooding Waters. Lower right: Flooding in Sarawee Village, Southern Belize has left many homes under water. Image credit: Belize National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO).

The heavy rains from Arthur ended at about 10am EDT Monday June 2. One resident of Ambergris Caye wrote me to say she thought a supercell thunderstorm hit her island at 4:30am June 2, during the height of the rain. She heard the roar one hears from a tornado, she thought. Given the prodigious amount of rain that fell from the very intense thunderstorms over Belize at that time, I wouldn't be surprised if a supercell thunderstorm with a tornado did hit the island.

There has been no heavy rain over Belize for the 24 hours since Monday morning, but additional rains of 1-2 inches could fall over the next day or so, in association with the remains of Arthur.


Satellite estimated rainfall for the 24 hours ending at 8am EDT 6/02/08. The red bullseye marks where up to 11 inches of rain fell in just 24 hours, triggering serious flooding. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Jeff Masters

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515. BajaALemt
8:03 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
Sea breeze a little more active today, yay! TS's boofin' up nicely.

Link
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
514. 786
7:43 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
Yay back to weather blogging as oppose to discussing Stormkats multiple personality disorder.

Congrats to all the births (in the midst of all the deaths that have been on the news) I am conjuring up the courage to conceive but it sounds tough to say the least - scary but not pain no gain I guess. I will be taking opiates during.

This season is starting off very interesting indeed, there are 3 waves showing in the Atlantic, they will however all have to contend with the high amounts of shear between the Lesser Antilles and Caribbean which is where their best chance of development usually is.
Member Since: August 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 910
513. 69Viking
7:24 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
Wow that's a lot of moisture still pouring into southern Mexico. I hate to think about the stories we might hear about tomorrow if it keeps raining over that same area all night. They have effectively had 3 weak rain producing tropical systems for days now, not good considering the terrain there.
Member Since: August 25, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 3055
512. 69Viking
7:18 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
Ok, back and catching up. My wonderful wife has given me two beautiful boys, ages 10 and 3 months! The swirl in the central atlantic is interesting. I like how we can call it a swirl straight off instead of a blob! I agree that we'll have to see how the convection does tonight. This just adds to the fact I think this is going to be a wild year.
Member Since: August 25, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 3055
511. tallahasseecyclone
7:12 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
OMG please stop talking about babies. Unless they are baby canes. and I'm not talking about future miami U students either
510. NWWNCAVL
6:27 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
I havnt read back, but since we are talking about kids. I got to hear the heart beat for the first time today.
Member Since: August 20, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 391
509. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
6:26 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
seen that before but I thought it read gusts up to 200 MPH the one I saw.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 45599
508. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
6:24 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
only thing i notice is all the dry air in atlantic is disappearing fast may see something soon
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54367
506. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
6:21 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
National Hurricane Center - Miami, Florida
Tropical Cyclone Outlook (East Pacific)
18:00 UTC June 3 2008

======================================
A small area of low pressure is centered near the pacific coast of extreme southeastern Mexico near the Gulf of Tehuantepec. Due to its proximity to land, further development of this system appears less likely.

Regardless of any more development, locally heavy rains are expected to continue over portions of Guatamala and southeastern Mexico. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides..especially in mountainous terrain.

Tropical Cyclone Development Potential
=======================================
LOW (<25%)
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 45599
505. TheWeatherMan504
6:17 PM GMT on June 03, 2008


Lets hope this doesent happen again.
Member Since: May 18, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 1042
504. TheWeatherMan504
6:15 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
Checkout the video below.
Member Since: May 18, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 1042
503. NEwxguy
6:13 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
Its not a very impressive wave and don't expect it to do much,but it has a nice swirl.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
502. weathersp
6:10 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
496.

100% Agree...

Were getting to the time of the Durnal max and convection is building.. Wait 12 hours for Min.. If it doesnt look like much now wiat till 11PM-2 AM this morning.
Member Since: January 14, 2007 Posts: 17 Comments: 4140
501. NEwxguy
6:10 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
wow,if the bloggers here are any indication,the US birthrate is doing just fine thank you!!!
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
500. TheWeatherMan504
6:09 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
.
Member Since: May 18, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 1042
498. quakeman55
6:06 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
weatherman, it would be classified as Tropical Depression 2, since Arthur was essentially a depression before advisories were initiated on it; it simply wasn't caught until it was already at storm strength. That happens sometimes, when no official advisories are issued on a particular storm while it is still a depression, but it is still counted. Depression numbers go by the absolute number of cyclones that form (depressions, storms, and hurricanes).
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
497. Patrap
6:06 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
Jeff Masters on TV after Myanmar Cyclone,Nargis



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
496. cchsweatherman
6:06 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
491. weathersp 2:00 PM EDT on June 03, 2008
That's the sorriest little blob if I've ever seen one cchs. I'm not biting yet. I wanna see one whole cycle of the Durnal Phase before I take serious interest in it.


Read my post 490. I agree with you, but it must be noted that convection has begun to develop for the first time with this low-level circulation. Like I stated, we must wait for persistent and increase in convection before we need to be concerned with tropical development.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
495. Patrap
6:05 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
Vary Carefully....

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
494. TheWeatherMan504
6:04 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
how do you get youtube videos on here?
Member Since: May 18, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 1042
493. presslord
6:03 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
atmo...it's kinda the same theory as not naming your boat "Sea Conqueror"...or "Wave Master"...or anything else that might tempt the Sea Gods to remind you who's in charge....
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
492. quakeman55
6:02 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
Not sure if it's been posted yet, but the new Gray/Klotzbach forecast is out now. They kept everything essentially unchanged from their April 9 forecast. Here is the link:

http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu/Forecasts/2008/june2008/jun2008.pdf

Expect a Dr. Masters expert review on this sometime shortly...
Member Since: March 31, 2002 Posts: 1 Comments: 1276
491. weathersp
6:00 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
That's the sorriest little blob if I've ever seen one cchs. I'm not biting yet. I wanna see one whole cycle of the Durnal Phase before I take serious interest in it.
Member Since: January 14, 2007 Posts: 17 Comments: 4140
490. cchsweatherman
6:00 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
JRRP - The NHC will be looking for the convection to continue to increase and remain persistent. Just by the wording the NHC used, they know that something may be brewing with this tropical wave. If by later tonight or tomorrow morning this convection has increased and maintained itself, it would not surprise me to see a Tropical Depression from this by tomorrow. Just a question here. If this were to become a tropical depression, would it get the number 1 or 2?
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
489. cchsweatherman
5:56 PM GMT on June 03, 2008


Based upon the latest CIMSS Shear Map, this tropical wave/low will enter an area with DECREASED shear of 5-10 kts., perfect for tropical development.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
488. JRRP
5:56 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
A TROPICAL WAVE REMAINS WELL DEFINED ALONG 17N32W 2N35W
MOVING W 10-15 KT. A WEAK CIRCULATION APPEARS TO HAVE FORMED
ALONG THE AXIS NEAR 9N. THIS WAVE IS VERY LARGE WITH ITS
ASSOCIATED CYCLONIC FLOW COVERING AN AREA OF OVER 12 DEG OF
LONGITUDE. HOWEVER...DESPITE THE CONTINUED IMPRESSIVE
STRUCTURE...CONVECTION REMAINS LIMITED AND MAINLY EMBEDDED
WITHIN THE ITCZ. HOWEVER...SCATTERED SHOWERS AND ISOLATED TSTMS
HAVE BEGUN TO DEVELOP NEAR THE WEAK CIRCULATION CENTER.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5974
487. homegirl
5:55 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
re comment 479.

I'm in the same boat! My 3.5 year old is a teenie weather weenie! He can almost recite Tornado Alley USA by heart...and he loves to sit and watch visual loops with me!

My almost 2 year old (both boys also) loves the thunderstorms and wind...
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 45 Comments: 7425
486. Skyepony (Mod)
5:55 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
Tropical storm Arthur



Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 174 Comments: 38171
485. LakeShadow
5:54 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
Thanks for your well wishes, guys!
And congrats to you, too Venture, NoName and Fire...

Spring is in the air. wunderbloggers seemed to be inspired by the season, eh?

Just remember kids, prophylactics dont always work. :o)

Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
484. presslord
5:52 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
hey atmo....I WU mailed ya back...another example of what I'm talkin' about is the phenomenon of rogue waves...until a few years ago, they were generally thought to be the stuff of drunken sailor lore...satellite imagery has captured a few and they have been confirmed as a valid occurrence...anything can happen out there...and will happen to me if I get cocky....
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
483. marknmelb
5:51 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
cchs - I saw that earlier and was just about to ask if there was any development possible from this system.
Member Since: July 17, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 408
482. Floodman
5:50 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
470. BajaALemt

Nope, my motto is "Always opt for the opiates"
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
481. TheWeatherMan504
5:48 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
I agree CCH we would have Bertha if it gets some better convection.This low reminds me of last year when we had that strong wave that came off africa with a llc and it was an invest for like 6 days but then it hit high sheer and degenerated back to a wave i was suprised the NHC didnt turn it into an unamed storm in the post season analisis.
Member Since: May 18, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 1042
479. atmoaggie
5:42 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
I'm actually the boss around here...everybody likes that I have you guys to keep me occupied

Hey press, sent you mail.

Congrats on the babies, many of you. I have 1.5 and 3.5 year-olds. It has been terrific, wouldn't trade it. Both boys. The older one has to dragged inside and then away from windows during a storm (just like pop). Mom calls him mini-me. ;-)

My current avatar is the older one, but 2+years ago.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
478. CatastrophicDL
5:40 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
fire831, I say keep going! After three, you lose track and seven really isn't much harder ! :o)
Member Since: September 3, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 1519
477. Skyepony (Mod)
5:37 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
Cloudsat of Arthur reminents from yeasterday.

Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 174 Comments: 38171
476. HIEXPRESS
5:37 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
449. 831

"Basic fire frequency axiom: the farther you are from the last fire, the closer you are to the next one."
Alan Brunacini

Works for Hurricanes too.
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156
475. fire831rescue
5:36 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
DL, I already have two. One eight year old and one five year old. I guess one more wouldn't hurt. Well, hopefully it won't hurt.
Member Since: August 18, 2007 Posts: 5 Comments: 1807
474. cchsweatherman
5:36 PM GMT on June 03, 2008



This Central Atlantic wave has now finally caught my attention. I have been waiting for the defined low associated with the wave axis to generate some convection before it became an entity that could have some tropical development potential. We will have to monitor this development to see if the convection can not only maintain itself, but increase. It certainly has the winds to become a tropical depression, but needs the convection. In my opinion, with the decreasing shear coming up from the south, there could be some tropical development with this tropical wave/low.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
473. BajaALemt
5:35 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
Tig?
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
472. CatastrophicDL
5:34 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
Congratulations NoName and Fire831! Kids are the greatest!
Member Since: September 3, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 1519
471. fire831rescue
5:32 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
Noname, I think it's in the water. My brother just found out last night that his wife is pregnant. LOL. They must be drinking from the same glass.
Member Since: August 18, 2007 Posts: 5 Comments: 1807
470. BajaALemt
5:31 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
Now flood, I would have thought you'dve opted for the "out of body experience" lol
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
469. smmcdavid
5:31 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
It's in the water... drink the beer instead.

Gotta run, check back later.
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 31 Comments: 2309
468. cchsweatherman
5:31 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
458. NoNamePub 1:28 PM EDT on June 03, 2008
While we are off Topic -
Had my first on 4/16 -
8lbs 8 oz....all natutral - no meds -
my wife is a trooper!


Any women who has to carry a child around and give birth is a trooper in my book. Just can't imagine the pain involved and how much intestinal fortitude they have to have to complete the process.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
467. BajaALemt
5:31 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
Congrats noname
Also to you, fire
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
466. Floodman
5:30 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
Congrats, Pub...btw, your wife is certainly a trooper...if it was me I'd want all the morphine I could get LOL
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
465. smmcdavid
5:30 PM GMT on June 03, 2008
The first year goes by quick... mine is turning one on Friday. I still can't believe it. Congrats to you guys. Enjoy it!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 31 Comments: 2309

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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.