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More than Two Feet of Rain in South Carolina; Joaquin Heads to Sea

By: Bob Henson and Jeff Masters 5:45 PM GMT on October 05, 2015

The end is finally in sight for the epic multi-day rains that have pummeled the Carolinas over the last five days. Areas through the triangle from Columbia to Charleston to Myrtle Beach were especially hard-hit this weekend (see Figure 2). At least 9 flood-related deaths were reported across the Carolinas by Monday morning, and countless homes and cars were flooded. Transportation tangles continue across the region. As of 10 am EDT Monday, the flood had closed 391 roads and 165 bridges across South Carolina, according to the state’s department of transportation. This includes more than 70 miles of Interstate 26. Persistent high tides and coastal flooding have led to additional road closures in Virginia and Delaware. Highway 12, the main road connecting the Outer Banks, is closed in both directions at two points, near Ocracoke and Kitty Hawk, with reopening expected by 5 pm EDT Tuesday.

The upper low responsible for the epic rains is finally pushing offshore into the Atlantic, but extensive wrap-around rainbands continue across southeast North Carolina, with more widely scattered showers and storms across South Carolina. Short-range models hint that today could bring a final dose of rain totaling more than 1” in spots along a swath from near Columbia, SC, to Hatteras, NC.


Figure 1. A vehicle and a home are swamped with floodwater from nearby Black Creek in Florence, S.C., Monday, Oct. 5, 2015 as flooding continues throughout the state following several days of rain. Image credit: AP Photo/Gerry Broome.


Figure 2. 7-day rainfall totals for the period from 12Z (8:00 am EDT) Monday, September 28, through Monday, October 5, 2015. Observations are analyzed on a 4 km by 4 km grid using data from raingauges and NWS/NEXRAD radar, with supplementation by satellite data as needed. Image credit: NWS/NOAA Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service.

How the numbers are stacking up
The heaviest 24-hour rainfall at downtown Charleston happened to fall from midnight Friday night to midnight Saturday night: 9.25”. This total fell short of the record for any 24-hour period, which remains 10.57” on Sept. 6-7, 1933. (The calendar-day record also stands: 10.38” on June 11, 1973.) WIth nearly nearly four weeks left in October, Charleston may yet approach its jaw-dropping monthly record of 27.24”, set in June 1973. According to WU weather historian Chris Burt, Charleston has the longest period of record for precipitation observations in the United States. Although the record is discontinuous, rain/snow observations began almost 300 years ago in Charleston. They extend from 1738 to the present (including the entire Civil War) except for the periods 1766-1784, 1792-1806, and 1812-1831.

The rains weren’t quite as heavy at the official reporting station in Columbia, but they managed to give the city its wettest calendar day on record: 6.87” on Oct. 4, 2015 (old record 5.79” on Jul. 9, 1959). Columbia also notched its wettest two-day period on record: 10.44” on Oct. 4-5, 2015 (old record 7.69” on Aug. 16-17, 1949).

From the Columbia area east to Georgetown, several Weather Underground PWSs have racked up impressive totals, consistent with Figure 1 above.



Nick Wiltgen (The Weather Channel), who compiled a large amount of rainfall data from the region, notes that these totals appear to have clearly smashed the previous state record for 5-day precipitation, which had been 17.44” in downtown Greenville (Aug. 22-26, 1908). We’ll have to wait till Tuesday to see which station ends up on top, since any additional rain today will further boost the 5-day totals for October 1-5. A number of CoCoRaHS stations have racked up especially high storm totals, including the following (courtesy Dr. Greg Forbes, The Weather Channel):

26.88" - 6 NE Mount Pleasant, Charleston Co SC
25.50" - 3 SE Cainhoy, Charleston Co SC
24.75" - Kingstree, Williamsburg Co SC
24.10" - 3 SSW Shadowmoss, Charleston Co SC
23.74" - Longs, Horry Co SC
23.61" - 5 SSE Charleston SC
23.46" - 10 NW Kingstree, Williamsburg Co SC
22.02" - 1 NNW Limerick, Berkeley Co SC
21.45" - 3 SW Folly Beach, Charleston Co SC
20.75" - Millwood, Sumter Co SC
20.42" - 4 E Moncks Corner, Berkeley Co SC
20.28" - Gills Creek (Columbia), Richland Co SC

See also this link (not a permalink) to the latest public information statement from the National Weather Service office in Charleston, which includes many of the reports above. State and national climatologists would need to carry out further analysis to verify the accuracy of any weather station and confirm the validity of its reports before new champions are confirmed.

More than a thousand-year rain?
Using about a century of precipitation records, NOAA has constructed a Precipitation Frequency Data Server, which estimates how often we might expect to see extreme rainfall events recur. From this database, the three-day 1-in-1000 year rainfall amounts for Charleston and Columbia are 17.1" and 14.2", respectively. The 24-hour 1-in-1000 year rainfall amounts for Charleston and Columbia are 14.8", and 12.5", respectively. (Hydrologists would refer to a 1-in-1000-year rain as having a typical "recurrence interval" of 1000 years. The idea is that such events are not always separated by 1000 years; the same amount of rain could conceivably occur the very next year, or might not occur until thousands of years later.) Comparing these numbers to the data above, it appears that the one-day event may not have reached the 1000-year recurrence mark, but the 3- to 5-day cumulative totals of more than 20” easily exceeded it (see Figure 3 below). These totals actually suggest a recurrence interval well beyond 1000 years, but the NOAA database does not extend to longer time periods, in part because it becomes progressively more difficult to estimate the intervals as they become longer. Note that these recurrence interval calculations assume the climate isn't changing, which is incorrect. Global warming puts more moisture into the atmosphere, shifting the odds of extreme rainfall events like this to be considerably more likely.


Figure 3. Recurrence-interval curves for the area near Sumter, SC, as calculated by NOAA’s Precipitation Frequency Data Server. These estimates are based on NOAA’s Atlas 14 calculation of the expected recurrence frequency of rainfall events for various amounts and time periods. Across much of the northeast half of South Carolina, three-day amounts of 20” or more would easily top the 1000-year recurrence intervals. South Carolina’s data are based on the 2004 edition of Atlas 14, so they may not fully reflect the influence of recent climate change in boosting the likelihood of extremely heavy rain.


Averaged across the state as a whole, the wettest three calendar months in South Carolina weather history are July 1916 (14.41"), September 1924 (13.16"), and September 1928 (12.70"). All of these were related to tropical cyclones passing through or near the state. The last five days alone have already brought South Carolina close to the wettest month in state history--without a tropical cyclone landfall!

The Carolina rains are only the latest in a remarkable year of prolonged torrential rain events across parts of the United States. Texas and Oklahoma have already notched their wettest months on record (by far) this past May, and Illinois had its second-wettest month on record in June. Research has confirmed that our warming climate is making intense short-term rains (such as the highest 1-day totals) even heavier in many parts of the United States and the world, as warmer temperatures allow more moisture to evaporate from oceans and flow into rain-making storm systems. Less research has been done on trends in multi-day rainfall events, although the same general principle should apply. Just as warming temperatures are folded into the 30-year NOAA database used for calculating local average highs and lows, our increasing prevalence of extreme precipitation events can be expected to gradually shift the odds reflected in the recurrence intervals discussed above. It’s also possible that the ongoing El Niño event, which has intensified throughout 2015, has played a role in boosting the amount of water vapor available for heavy rains across the southern U.S. For more on the science of extremely heavy rainfall, see Bob Henson's May 2015 post, The Rains of May and the Science of Recurrence Intervals.

At Capitol Weather Gang, Jeff Halverson and colleagues have published an excellent first-cut analysis of the meteorology behind the Carolina rain event.


Figure 4. Satellite image Hurricane Joaquin (right) and the powerful low pressure system bringing heavy rain to the Southeast U.S. (left) taken at 9:15 am EDT October 5, 2015. At the time, the hurricane was a Category 1 storm with top winds of 85 mph. A band of very heavy rain can been seen feeding into South Carolina, to the west of the hurricane. Image credit: NOAA Visualization Laboratory.


Figure 5. Radar image of Hurricane Joaquin taken at 9:13 pm EDT October 4, 2015, from the Bermuda radar.

Hurricane Joaquin brushes Bermuda
Hurricane Joaquin passed 75 miles to the northwest of Bermuda on Sunday evening as a Category 2 storm with 100 mph winds, bringing tropical storm-force winds and heavy rain to the island. Bermuda International Airport reported sustained winds of 48 mph, gusting to 64 mph, at 1 am EDT Monday. Bermuda probably has the most hurricane-resistant infrastructure of anyplace on Earth, and I expect damage will be minimal on the island. Category 1 Joaquin is now speeding north-northeast out to sea, and will not affect any more land areas as a tropical cyclone. By Wednesday, Joaquin will evolve into a powerful extratropical storm, and will likely bring strong winds and heavy rain to Portugal this weekend.


Figure 6. Damage on Crooked Island in the Bahamas after Hurricane Joaquin as grabbed from a video posted to The Weather Channel.

Hurricane Joaquin heavily damages the Bahamas
Communications with the islands in the Bahamas most heavily damaged by Hurricane Joaquin are still tenuous, but it is clear that damage was heavy on Crooked Island, Acklins Island, Long Island and San Salvador. One death has been reported on Long Island due to high winds collapsing a home. The Coast Guard is still searching for survivors from the container ship El Faro, which is presumed to have gone down in the hurricane. One body from the crew of 33 has been recovered.

91L approaching Lesser Antilles with no signs of development
An area of low pressure (Invest 91L) centered at 8 am EDT Monday about 1000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands is moving west-northwest at about 15 mph. Satellite loops show that 91L has a decent amount of spin, but almost no heavy thunderstorms. Wind shear is currently moderate, 10 - 15 knots, but will rise to the high range, 20 - 25 knots, on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the 8 am EDT Monday run of the SHIPS model. One of our three reliable models for forecasting tropical cyclone genesis, the UKMET model, does develop 91L into a tropical depression late this week, as the storm heads northwards in the open Atlantic. 91L will bring heavy rain showers and gusty winds to the northern Lesser Antilles Islands beginning on Thursday morning. In their 8 am EDT Monday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the disturbance 2-day and 5-day odds of development of 10% and 20%, respectively.

Tropical Storm Oho skirting Hawaii
In the Central Pacific, Tropical Storm Oho is churning the waters about 300 miles south of the Big Island of Hawaii. With wind shear expected to relax over the next few days, Oho has a chance to intensify from its current 50 mph winds to the threshold of Category 1 hurricane status, 70 mph winds, as it heads north-northeast to northeast. While the storm is not expected to threaten Hawaii, the Air Force Hurricane Hunters are scheduled to fly the storm Monday afternoon, and the NOAA jet will fly a dropsonde mission to aid in model forecasts for the storm. In their 11 am Wind Probability Forecast, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center was giving only one place in Hawaii odds of seeing tropical storm-force winds--South Point on the Big Island, with a 3% chance.

Tropical Storm Choi-wan headed towards Northern Japan
In the Western Pacific, Tropical Storm Choi-wan is expected to head northwards towards Northern Japan this week and potentially intensify into a Category 2 typhoon. Choi-wan will then likely weaken to a tropical storm before it reaches Northern Japan on Thursday.

Tornadoes from Typhoon Mujigae kill 6 in China
Category 4 Typhoon Mujigae made landfall on the north side of the city of Zhanjiang, China near 1 am EDT Sunday (05 UTC), with sustained winds of 130 mph. Several powerful tornadoes spawned by the typhoon killed at least six people (video and new story here.) Qingqing Li of the Pacific Typhoon Research Center, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, alerted me of these videos of the tornadoes as well:

http://video.weibo.com/show?fid=1034:bed4e4b67f0fd9a2396ca4564f38270a
http://video.weibo.com/show?fid=1034:eeb1fafeee6d502df3c947519469e728

Deadly flash flood hits the French Riviera
At least 19 people were killed as the much-visited southeast coast of France was struck by disastrous flash flooding along the French Riviera on Saturday night. Mediterranean resort towns beloved by jet-setting tourists, such as Cannes, Nice and Antibes, were devastated by the torrential weekend downpour, which trapped residents in cars, parking garages and retirement homes. Rivers of water gushed through some of the world's wealthiest streets, scattering cars hundreds of feet from where they were parked and destroying businesses in what were described as 'apocalyptic' scenes. After a river surged over its banks, three people were killed in a retirement home. In just one hour, Cannes received a record 107 mm (4.21”); the previous one-hour record was 70 mm (2.76”). Dew points surged into the lower 60s Fahrenheit on Saturday at Cannes. On Sunday, supercell thunderstorms tore across northern Italy as the front responsible for the French floods surged eastward.


Figure 7. Intense thunderstorms can be seen along the coast of the French Riviera in this infrared satellite image, collected at 1800 GMT (8:00 pm local time) on Saturday, October 3. Image credit: CIMMS/SSEC/University of Wisconsin.


Figure 8. A man walks past damaged cars, in Mandelieu-la-Napoule, southern France, on October 5, 2015 after floods tore through the French Riviera. Cars are often stacked in this manner in the aftermath of flash floods, as was the case during the catastrophic Rapid City, SD, flood of 1972 (scroll page for photo). (image credit: Rapid City Image credit: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images.

Portlight disaster relief charity responding to South Carolina flooding
The South Carolina-based Portlight.org disaster relief charity, founded and staffed by members of the wunderground community, is responding to the devastating South Carolina floods by working with emergency management agencies to help ensure that those still stranded are brought to safety. They will be working with Red Cross shelters to ensure they're accessible to all, and as always, will be ready to replace lost or damaged medical equipment. If you're in South Carolina and you'd like to volunteer with them, please email the Operations Manager, Shari Myers, shari@portlight.org. You can follow Portlight's progress on the Portlight Blog. Please consider a donation to Portlight's disaster relief fund at the portlight.org website.

We'll have our next update on Tuesday.

Bob Henson (rainfall); Jeff Masters (tropical)


Hurricane Flood

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Tropical Storm Oho nearly stationary due south of Hawaii.
From the last blog
Dear Tampabaymatt,
You must have me confused with another blogger, which I will not name. I was asking an educated question because I am looking for an educated answer. I don't live in Ft. Lauderdale btw. If you can't provide me an answer, simply keep scrolling and stop comparing me to the wish casters on the blog. Thanks!
Over the years since the millennium, seems October is fairly active month whether it's just weak systems with flooding rains to full blown Canes. Seemed like once October rolled in, the season was winding down, now it's "look the hell out" time every year in October it seems.
Thank you for the Update!

91L not looking bad, but lacking convection.
So much destruction in SC, France and the Bahamas. I sure hope these places can recover quickly.
@ (5am) the time the El Faro left here is the NHC track & the actual track over layed. My point is they relied on the NHC which busted both on Track & Intensity. Some on here can't seem to understand this problem. To think some on here actually think the Captain intentionally put his crew in danger is INSANE!

NHC Track vrs Actual Track below
Todd Crawford ‏@tcrawf_nh 2h2 hours ago
Todd Crawford Retweeted Chris Shabbott
#ElFaro tragedy may have been related to early #Joaquin forecast uncertaint
y
Quoting 2. SecretStormNerd:

From the last blog
Dear Tampabaymatt,
You must have me confused with another blogger, which I will not name. I was asking an educated question because I am looking for an educated answer. I don't live in Ft. Lauderdale btw. If you can't provide me an answer, simply keep scrolling and stop comparing me to the wish casters on the blog. Thanks!


I did not refer to you or any other blogger by name. I was making a general plea that the blog stay on it's current course and not revert back to the mess it was a few days ago when some on here were making blatantly false statements to steer the conversation toward Joaquin hitting FL, when there was virtually no chance of that happening. If it appeared I was targeting your post by quoting it, I apologize for the confusion.
Quoting 6. StormTrackerScott:

@ the time the El Faro left here is the NHC track & the actual track over layed. My point is they relied on the NHC which busted both on Track & Intensity. Some on here can't seem to understand this problem.



No doubt that the NHC really didn't get this storm right and those in the area of the Bahamas paid the price. I even said that while the storm was sitting there. But what isn't understandable is the fact that they didn't change course when the storm began to head south west and strengthen. Maybe I just don't know the rules of sailing but one would think a course change should have been in order and clearly wasn't if it ended up in the eye...
Quoting 6. StormTrackerScott:

@ (5am) the time the El Faro left here is the NHC track & the actual track over layed. My point is they relied on the NHC which busted both on Track & Intensity. Some on here can't seem to understand this problem. To think some on here actually think the Captain intentionally put his crew in danger is INSANE!

NHC Track vrs Actual Track below



NHC busted the forecast when it kept going SW and intensified, but the captain should of known damn well what was going on and seeing the storm continuing to push SW and blow up right in the path of them. Where exactly did they lose power?
Why didn't they sail down the FL coast and hug the Cuban coast for safety reasons? Cuz it allllll boils down to $$$$$
Quoting 6. StormTrackerScott:

@ (5am) the time the El Faro left here is the NHC track & the actual track over layed. My point is they relied on the NHC which busted both on Track & Intensity. Some on here can't seem to understand this problem. To think some on here actually think the Captain intentionally put his crew in danger is INSANE!

NHC Track vrs Actual Track below



The point you keep missing is that the forecast changed after they left Jacksonville. They had time to alter their course based on this. The question is: why didn't they? That is a subject for official inquiries, of course, but your diagram here is disingenuous at best..
Quoting 10. RitaEvac:



NHC busted the forecast when it kept going SW and intensified, but the captain should of known damn well what was going on and seeing the storm continuing to push SW and blow up right in the path of them. Where exactly did they lose power?

According to the sources, in the eye off the coast of Crooked island. 15,000 ft deep waters too
Quoting 9. RavensFan:


No doubt that the NHC really didn't get this storm right and those in the area of the Bahamas paid the price. I even said that while the storm was sitting there. But what isn't understandable is the fact that they didn't change course when the storm began to head south west and strengthen. Maybe I just don't know the rules of sailing but one would think a course change should have been in order and clearly wasn't if it ended up in the eye...


They did they went inside the Bahama Chain thinking they would be safely away from the worst effects but the storm kept heading SW and expanding/exploding in size/intensity.

Quoting 6. StormTrackerScott:

@ (5am) the time the El Faro left here is the NHC track & the actual track over layed. My point is they relied on the NHC which busted both on Track & Intensity. Some on here can't seem to understand this problem. To think some on here actually think the Captain intentionally put his crew in danger is INSANE!

NHC Track vrs Actual Track below



Regardless Scott the ship should have kept up with the forecast of the storm and they would have known they were on a collision course with a monster. Quit blaming the NHC, they did great with this storm.
I didn't want to lead on that it was coming to Florida. I was more concerned with it ending uk in the Bahamas or possibly the Carolina's, since they have been inundated with rain. I know it's 10 days out. Just wondering is all. Sorry I felt like it was a personal attack. I know what the blog was like last week, and yes, it was annoying to say the least.
Quoting 8. tampabaymatt:



I did not refer to you or any other blogger by name. I was making a general plea that the blog stay on it's current course and not revert back to the mess it was a few days ago when some on here were making blatantly false statements to steer the conversation toward Joaquin hitting FL, when there was virtually no chance of that happening. If it appeared I was targeting your post by quoting it, I apologize for the confusion.
Quoting 11. RitaEvac:

Why didn't they sail down the FL coast and hug the Cuban coast for safety reasons? Cuz it allllll boils down to $$$$$

Hate to say it but you're probably right...
Quoting 10. RitaEvac:



NHC busted the forecast when it kept going SW and intensified, but the captain should of known damn well what was going on and seeing the storm continuing to push SW and blow up right in the path of them. Where exactly did they lose power?


Near Crooked Island.
Philip Klotzbach ‏@philklotzbach 56m56 minutes ago
July to September 2015 SST warming in the tropical Atlantic is greater than any year since 1948. HT
Quoting 13. RavensFan:


According to the sources, in the eye off the coast of Crooked island. 15,000 ft deep waters too


Captain saw the North forecasted track and thought it would of gone north, it didn't and he ran right into it without thinking safety first. Disregard for the safety of the crew and now they are all gone. Unless they all agreed to go for it like the "Perfect Storm" crew
Quoting 15. 69Viking:



Regardless Scott the ship should have kept up with the forecast of the storm and they would have known they were on a collision course with a monster. Quite blaming the NHC, they did great with this storm.


NHC does typically do a great job but they lost here with Joaquin as a result many people on several obliterated Bahama Islands also lost their lives by what was likely a record storm surge for the Bahamas. I am surprised nobody has commented on this as it appears to possibly be on par with Katrina's surge which no one expected that.
Quoting 11. RitaEvac:

Why didn't they sail down the FL coast and hug the Cuban coast for safety reasons? Cuz it allllll boils down to $$$$$


That's Bull. Had nothing to do with money what so ever.
Quoting 14. StormTrackerScott:



They did they went inside the Bahama Chain thinking they would be safely away from the worst effects but the storm kept heading SW and expanding/exploding in size/intensity.



Just a case of bad decision making, bad communication, and a terrible outcome... No matter how you look at it, the Bermuda Triangle has claimed another vessel and a life. Let's hope it ends with only 1 casualty...
Quoting 15. 69Viking:



Regardless Scott the ship should have kept up with the forecast of the storm and they would have known they were on a collision course with a monster. Quite blaming the NHC, they did great with this storm.
NHC busted with this storm.
Quoting 23. RavensFan:


Just a case of bad decision making, bad communication, and a terrible outcome... No matter how you look at it, the Bermuda Triangle has claimed another vessel and a life. Let's hope it ends with only 1 casualty...


It's sad all around I get it. My point is I heard the report and the captain did try to get out of the storm. No matter how you look @ it he would have lost. We didn't know that @ the time though this storm would just plow SW (outside of the NHC track) and explode to a cat. 4.
The Coast Guard has not "given up" the search for the El Faro. With the finding of the debris field, the focus of the search has shifted from finding the ship, now presumed to have sunk, to finding survivors in the water. There are still many aircraft and ships out searching today, and there will be for at least the next three days.
Quoting 21. StormTrackerScott:



NHC does typically do a great job but they lost here with Joaquin as a result many people on several obliterated Bahama Islands also lost their lives by what was likely a record storm surge for the Bahamas. I am surprised nobody has commented on this as it appears to possibly be on par with Katrina's surge which no one expected that.
Chris Shabbott ‏@cshabbott 4h4 hours ago
@cshabbott clearly the fact that the Tue am forecast was for TS intensity only and #Joaquin was nearly Cat 5 in The Bahamas is key as well
Quoting 22. StormTrackerScott:



That's Bull. Had nothing to do with money what so ever.


Time and cargo is $$$
Quoting 24. Gearsts:

NHC busted with this storm.


I heard nothing about this massive impending storm surge either which the Bahamas got obliterated by on atleast 3 to 4 islands.
It's also possible the ship got hit by a rogue wave. I remember Ivan near same intensity as Joaquin had a 90' wave south of the FL Panhandle.
Thanks doks!

That's a lot of rain...
Quoting 24. Gearsts:

NHC busted with this storm.


The NHC forecasts are only as good as the models man kind has created. This wasn't a bust by the NHC, this was a bust of modern weather forecasting technology.

To state it clearly, there are some weather events that are impossible for humans to forecast accurately at the current time, this was one of those events.
Regarding "Columbia also notched its wettest two-day period on record: 10.44 inches on Oct. 4-5, 2015" in the blog article, media is reporting that this was on October 3-4, not on October 4-5.
Quoting 30. StormTrackerScott:

It's also possible the ship got hit by a rogue wave. I remember Ivan near same intensity as Joaquin had a 90' wave south of the FL Panhandle.


90 feet? Really?
Quoting 16. SecretStormNerd:

I didn't want to lead on that it was coming to Florida. I was more concerned with it ending uk in the Bahamas or possibly the Carolina's, since they have been inundated with rain. I know it's 10 days out. Just wondering is all. Sorry I felt like it was a personal attack. I know what the blog was like last week, and yes, it was annoying to say the least.


I see your point, my apologies. I should not have quoted your post when I made my comment as the two were unrelated.
Quoting 15. 69Viking:



Regardless Scott the ship should have kept up with the forecast of the storm and they would have known they were on a collision course with a monster. Quit blaming the NHC, they did great with this storm.


Agreed, they did the best job they could have humanly done.

This was a slow moving storm, it never got over 6 MPH until it left the Bahamas. Any captain that got caught in this thing only has himself to blame.
Quoting 33. pipelines:



The NHC forecasts are only as good as the models man kind has created. This wasn't a bust by the NHC, this was a bust of modern weather forecasting technology.

To state it clearly, there are some weather events that are impossible for humans to forecast accurately at the current time, this was one of those events.
Why is so hard to admit the NHC fail and all the computer models except for one?
Quoting 28. RitaEvac:



Time and cargo is $$$


All day!
Well, the Euro was not out to lunch with Joaquin after all! It's was right, and there's nothing anyone can do about it!
Quoting 36. tampabaymatt:



I see your point, my apologies. I should not have quoted your post when I made my comment as the two were unrelated.

Dang Gator fans :)
ps I may be a Nole
Last week was insane. I posted a couple times but nothing beyond that!
Quoting 37. pipelines:



Agreed, they did the best job they could have humanly done.

This was a slow moving storm, it never got over 6 MPH until it left the Bahamas. Any captain that got caught in this thing only has himself to blame.


Got sucked in it from the NW to SE in the low level flow and from there it was doom? don't know
Quoting 38. Gearsts:

Why is so hard to admit the NHC fail and all the computer models except for one?


Exactly the NHC should rely more on overall weather set up and not just what a group of models say. Katrina another great example. I heard nothing from the NHC notifying the public of the Bahamas of potentially a 10' to 20' storm surge maybe even higher in some areas.
Quoting 41. RavensFan:


Dang Gator fans :)
ps I may be a Nole
Last week was insane. I posted a couple times but nothing beyond that!


UF-FSU might finally be a good game this year! Gators look better than I have seen them look in years.

It's a shame that at a time when the blog should have been at it's best, it was at it's worst.
I'd really like to know more about how climate change is applifying these massive rain events (the Carolinas, France).
The weather industry is relying way too heavily on computer models now and we are starting to witness the dilemma. No one is actually trying to predict weather like the old days, just go by what the models spit out and that should be good enough....wrong way into the future if you ask me.

Scott you liked my comment, and your number 1 on here with the models and believing them!
lmao
Quoting 37. pipelines:



Agreed, they did the best job they could have humanly done.

This was a slow moving storm, it never got over 6 MPH until it left the Bahamas. Any captain that got caught in this thing only has himself to blame.
I don't think the captain knew the storm was going through RI instead of being a minimal Tropical storm as forecasted.
Quoting 6. StormTrackerScott:

@ (5am) the time the El Faro left here is the NHC track & the actual track over layed. My point is they relied on the NHC which busted both on Track & Intensity. Some on here can't seem to understand this problem. To think some on here actually think the Captain intentionally put his crew in danger is INSANE!

NHC Track vrs Actual Track below

That is a disingenuous map, as it dates from 5:00 AM on Tuesday, before the ship left Jacksonville. How about showing the early Wednesday update, when the El faro was underway but still several hundred miles away from crossing paths with Joaquin?



Feel free to deflect blame for the tragedy onto the NHC all you wish. The simple fact of the matter is this: the captain decided to sail into the path of a developing hurricane. The loss of the ship, crew, and cargo is on him. His company may have pressured him, too. But the captain has the last word.
Quoting 46. RitaEvac:

The weather industry is relying way too heavily on computer models now and we are starting to witness the dilemma. No one is actually trying to predict weather like the old days, just go by what the models spit out and that should be good enough....wrong way into the future if you ask me.


Couldn't agree with you more.
Quoting 46. RitaEvac:

The weather industry is relying way too heavily on computer models now and we are starting to witness the dilemma. No one is actually trying to predict weather like the old days, just go by what the models spit out and that should be good enough....wrong way into the future if you ask me.


Euro once shifted early kept that solution while all others took 2 days to shift.
Quoting 25. StormTrackerScott:



It's sad all around I get it. My point is I heard the report and the captain did try to get out of the storm. No matter how you look @ it he would have lost. We didn't know that @ the time though this storm would just plow SW (outside of the NHC track) and explode to a cat. 4.

Ya, no one could have known about that rapid intensification. Also another interesting fact is that the oil slick found was found at the first debris field, the much smaller one. There hasn't been an oil slick reported on the site of the massive debris field which is the presumed spot the El Faro went down.
Quoting 46. RitaEvac:

The weather industry is relying way too heavily on computer models now and we are starting to witness the dilemma. No one is actually trying to predict weather like the old days, just go by what the models spit out and that should be good enough....wrong way into the future if you ask me.

Scott you liked my comment, and your number 1 on here with the models and believing them!
lmao


Quoting 46. RitaEvac:

The weather industry is relying way too heavily on computer models now and we are starting to witness the dilemma. No one is actually trying to predict weather like the old days, just go by what the models spit out and that should be good enough....wrong way into the future if you ask me.

Scott you liked my comment, and your number 1 on here with the models and believing them!
lmao

I agree! The models are a tool, not the end all be all of a forecast. But in any case this season has proved that they need more work, and that requires money.
Quoting 48. Neapolitan:

That is a disingenuous map, as it dates from 5:00 AM on Tuesday, before the ship left Jacksonville. How about showing the early Wednesday update, when the El faro was underway but still several hundred miles away from crossing paths with Joaquin?



Feel free to deflect blame for the tragedy onto the NHC all you wish. The simple fact of the matter is this: the captain decided to sail into the path of a developing hurricane. The loss of the ship, crew, and cargo is on him. His company may have pressured him, too. But the captain has the last word.


And like I mentioned last blog, the Bahamas were clearly in the Mariner's 1-2-3 rule shaded "danger area". For those who don't know what that is, the Mariner's 1-2-3 is an area where the "danger area" is expanded out from the 34kt wind radius 100, 200, and 300 nautical miles respectively. While not prohibitive, the information was there to understand the risk associated.
Quoting 44. tampabaymatt:



UF-FSU might finally be a good game this year! Gators look better than I have seen them look in years.

It's a shame that at a time when the blog should have been at it's best, it was at it's worst.

It will be a good game this year, which we will probably lose if we keep playing the way we are right now! This blog goes up and down all the time. Depends on the way people respond to each other, and sometimes people get offended and then go into insult mode. But it's at least better than it has been the past few years!
Just chiming in on 'El Faro'. Hurricane 'Joaquin' was just a Tropical Storm that went from this to a Cat 3 in JUST 6 hours time as was being reported here on Weather Underground. It was an amazing storm. Regardless, those on board that ship and the Captain were in a dire situation that no one could have foreseen. God bless and I hope they find some survivors. Mother Nature is wreaking havoc with weather:(
Quoting 52. RitaEvac:






Forecasting weather patterns specific to an area is different than forecasting a TS/Hurricane. It seems the NHC followed the GFS way to close only to get burned. I've said on here all year that the GFS has been horrible this year and guess what I got bashed for that too. Fact is the GFS is now one of the lowest skilled models out there.

Euro was the only model to have Joaquin go deep into the Bahamas.
Quoting 46. RitaEvac:

The weather industry is relying way too heavily on computer models now and we are starting to witness the dilemma. No one is actually trying to predict weather like the old days, just go by what the models spit out and that should be good enough....wrong way into the future if you ask me


This is happening at all levels. Local tv mets are the worst. Even the 'old' tv mets are model hungry now a days. There has to be a balance between model reading (what I can do) and knowing how weather phenomenon interact with each other (what they are supposed to have learned). Right now, as with nearly everything in our society, it's easier to let the computer do it.

Dang, I sound old!! turning 40 stinks.
Quoting 57. StormTrackerScott:



Forecasting weather patterns specific to an area is different than forecasting a TS/Hurricane. It seems the NHC followed the GFS way to close only to get burned. I've said on here all year that the GFS has been horrible this year and guess what I got bashed for that too. Fact is the GFS is now one of the lowest skilled models out there.

Euro was the only model to have Joaquin go deep into the Bahamas.


10 years ago a met I know in Houston told me GFS stood for "Good For $hit"
Quoting 57. StormTrackerScott:
It seems the NHC followed the GFS way to close only to get burned. I've said on here all year that the GFS has been horrible this year and guess what I bashed for that too. Fact is the GFS is now one of the lowest skilled models out there.
If you were bashed for knocking the GFS, it's only because you're criticisms are invalid. From the NHC on Saturday:



Source

And this, also from the NHC:



The GFS looks pretty good, no?
Quoting 58. MonsterTrough:



This is happening at all levels. Local tv mets are the worst. Even the 'old' tv mets are model hungry now a days. There has to be a balance between model reading (what I can do) and knowing how weather phenomenon interact with each other (what they are supposed to have learned). Right now, as with nearly everything in our society, it's easier to let the computer do it.

Dang, I sound old!! turning 40 stinks.


Local stations now show a week out and the general public will believe it like idiots, us weather Guru's know better than that. I can't believe stations are doing that now (In Houston at least) Talking about possible development a week out in the Gulf, I'm like for crying out loud there's no point in even mentioning it.
Quoting 58. MonsterTrough:



This is happening at all levels. Local tv mets are the worst. Even the 'old' tv mets are model hungry now a days. There has to be a balance between model reading (what I can do) and knowing how weather phenomenon interact with each other (what they are supposed to have learned). Right now, as with nearly everything in our society, it's easier to let the computer do it.

Dang, I sound old!! turning 40 stinks.


LOL! My 3 yr old watches Mickey Mouse Club House and anytime they need to do something they call O'Toodles to do it for them. I looked over @ my wife and i said what are they teaching our kids these days. Whatever happened to doing things yourself.
For those curious about if they knew what they were getting into with the storm, this is a quote from one of the girls on the ship to her mother. Note the day it was received and it is known that communication was lost Thursday morning around 7:30 am;

“Not sure if you’ve been following the weather at all,” Randolph wrote in an e-mail to her mother on Thursday, “but there is a hurricane out here and we are heading straight into it.”
Quoting 12. rwdobson:



The point you keep missing is that the forecast changed after they left Jacksonville. They had time to alter their course based on this. The question is: why didn't they? That is a subject for official inquiries, of course, but your diagram here is disingenuous at best..
Let's see if we can get the timeline compared to that graphic right. The vessel left Jacksonville on Tuesday, September 29. That was after the storm had already developed an actual south track. No skipper relies on prior models, just the current location and track. The 5:00 pm 9/29 advisory was a west to southwest track for the next two days. The skipper knew then the storm wasn't going to recurve before it got to the Bahamas. By 5:00 pm on Wednesday, 9/30, the storm was continuing SW and was about 200 miles north of the central Bahamas. Hurricane warnings had already been hoisted for that part of the Bahamas. The only miss was tropical storm warnings instead of hurricane warnings for the Acklins and Crooked Island, which is where the storm actually went. By Thursday, 10/1, the storm was just 15 miles NW of crooked Island with 130 mph winds. Again, the track continued SW.

What the exact location of the vessel was during this time I don't have and can't get from any site I know of without paying. The captain, Michael Davidson, had almost 30 years of experience under his belt. Why the skipper decided what he did, I don't know. I'm sure he had a plan about how to escape this storm. He didn't just sail into it blindly, and the hurricane track data was more than sufficient to alert him of the hazard. He had weather radar and internet access, so there's no way he didn't know. If the ship hadn't lost power I think the outcome would have been very different. It was an old vessel at 40 years old. It had been overhauled in 2006, but old vessels, just by their nature, are subject to more mechanical problems than a newer vessel. This was an American flagged vessel, however, and was subject to at least yearly Coast Guard seaworthiness inspections. The fact the company runs American flagged vessels with mostly American crews in the Caribbean tells me this is no fly by night outfit. If it was, the vessel would have been flagged in Liberia and the crew would have been mostly foreign nationals. Next time you take a cruise, see where that vessel is flagged. It won't be the US. I'm still hoping there will be survivors. Regardless, the investigation is already underway. We'll have as many answers as it's possible to get as a result. It just won't be tomorrow.
Quoting 60. Neapolitan:

If you were bashed for, it's only because it's not true. From the NHC on Saturday:




Here you go

RyanMaue @RyanMaue Oct 3
It's not just Joaquin, something really has gone haywire w/GFS. Significant recent drop-off in skill
z500 NH 5-days


66. IDTH
Personally this whole discussion brings me back to what Dr. Postel (or Norcross, I think it was postel) said on TWC about getting rid of the cone and using something else, saying it was outdated. I think because some storms have proven to be much more difficult to forecast than others especially in El Nino Years, I personally agree the cone has to be updated, we've shrunk it over the past few years because we believed we were getting better at forecasting the path but as we have learned there are some storms that are simply too difficult to pin point and we end up having giant shifts in the track and people wake up really surprised, not everyone reads the discussion they put out regarding the track, sometimes people see the tack and assume it's set in stone. Something has to change.
Quoting 57. StormTrackerScott:



Forecasting weather patterns specific to an area is different than forecasting a TS/Hurricane. It seems the NHC followed the GFS way to close only to get burned. I've said on here all year that the GFS has been horrible this year and guess what I got bashed for that too. Fact is the GFS is now one of the lowest skilled models out there.

Euro was the only model to have Joaquin go deep into the Bahamas.

Hindsight is 20/20. Why would NHC exclusively follow the ECMWF when every other reliable model showed a different path than it?
Quoting 61. RitaEvac:



Local stations now show a week out and the general public will believe it like idiots, us weather Guru's know better than that. I can't believe stations are doing that now (In Houston at least) Talking about possible development a week out in the Gulf, I'm like for crying out loud there's no point in even mentioning it.

At least WE know better! I get the 'French Toast Models' up here. The stations in Indy are in cahoots with the supermarkets. Higher snowfall predictions = higher bread, milk, egg sales.

Quoting 67. TropicalAnalystwx13:


Hindsight is 20/20. Why would NHC exclusively follow the ECMWF when every other reliable model showed a different path than it?


Euro has proven time and time again to be far more superior than any other model out there. US has a lot more catching up to do I say.
This could be fun!

Quoting 69. StormTrackerScott:



Euro has proven time and time again to be far more superior than any other model out there. US has a lot more catching up to do I say.

ECMWF might have slightly higher skill scores on average, but that is not the same thing as saying it's right all the time. There are many times when it isn't. Banking wholeheartedly on the Euro against the consensus would have been irresponsible, even if it ended up right in this situation.
Below is a great link with regards to the GFS vrs the Euro with Joaquin.

http://www.atmos.albany.edu/facstaff/tang/share/j oaquin/animation.htmlLink
73. IDTH
Quoting 71. TropicalAnalystwx13:


ECMWF might have slightly higher skill scores on average, but that is not the same thing as saying it's right all the time. There are many times when it isn't. Banking wholeheartedly on the Euro against the consensus would have been irresponsible, even if it ended up right in this situation.

Case in point Tropical storm Debby.
Quoting 53. RavensFan:


I agree! The models are a tool, not the end all be all of a forecast. But in any case this season has proved that they need more work, and that requires money.
The NHC was talking about the model disagreement all the way back to Monday. The NHC has always placed a lot of stock in the Euro as their number one model. This time, every other reliable model had a completely different track. One of the reasons why the NHC kept the track so far east was that they refused to discount the Euro. But, let's pretend you're the guy at the NHC that has to make decisions. You've got every model in the world except one showing an East Coast landfall somewhere. You have the most reliable model showing a track that never has a US landfall and takes it OTS west of Bermuda. Other than the models, how do you decide to make your forecast? I keep reading that there was some way for a human forecaster to know exactly what would happen if they disregarded the models. I'd like to know exactly how they would have done it.
75. SLU
Quoting 6. StormTrackerScott:

@ (5am) the time the El Faro left here is the NHC track & the actual track over layed. My point is they relied on the NHC which busted both on Track & Intensity. Some on here can't seem to understand this problem. To think some on here actually think the Captain intentionally put his crew in danger is INSANE!

NHC Track vrs Actual Track below



Joaquin's forecast was one of the biggest busts from the NHC since they expanded their hurricane forecasts from 3 to 5 days in 2003. Even the amount of time they took to warn the Bahamas when the storm was obviously moving south and strengthening was surprising. It's in line with the bust of Hurricane Michael in 2012 but Micheal did not affect land and thus didn't matter. There's been a lack of rapidly intensifying hurricanes in the Atlantic since 2010 which superficially helped to improve their forecast skill but Joaquin is going to mess up their forecast skill analysis for 2015 when they analyse all the data after the season ends.

Quoting 71. TropicalAnalystwx13:


ECMWF might have slightly higher skill scores on average, but that is not the same thing as saying it's right all the time. There are many times when it isn't. Banking wholeheartedly on the Euro against the consensus would have been irresponsible, even if it ended up right in this situation.


We've seen a problem this year with the GFS and its more severe than years passed. The upgrades being done on the GFS have been a waist lately. Just look @ the pattern in the medium range for later this week into next week nothing like the GFS. Euro infact has another cut off low forming around FL. This has been the pattern all summer.
Quoting 71. TropicalAnalystwx13:


ECMWF might have slightly higher skill scores on average, but that is not the same thing as saying it's right all the time. There are many times when it isn't. Banking wholeheartedly on the Euro against the consensus would have been irresponsible, even if it ended up right in this situation.
As I wrote at the time, the forecasters at the NHC must have been mainlining Excedrin to cope with this storm. It was one of the most difficult forecasts I've ever seen. Thank goodness the other models finally came over to the east track before we had watches and warnings all up and down the East Coast.
Quoting 75. SLU:



Joaquin's forecast was one of the biggest busts from the NHC since they expanded their hurricane forecasts from 3 to 5 days in 2003. Even the amount of time they took to warn the Bahamas when the storm was obviously moving south and strengthening was surprising. It's in line with the bust of Hurricane Michael in 2012 but Micheal did not affect land and thus didn't matter. There's been a lack of rapidly intensifying hurricanes in the Atlantic since 2010 which superficially helped to improve their forecast skill but Joaquin is going to mess up their forecast skill analysis for 2015 when they analyse all the data after the season ends.




Yeah for some to come on to blame the captain of the El-Faro but no blame for the NHC? I mean its obvious the NHC rerally busted this time around. Great guys over there but this was not their best forecast and it might have proved deadly this time around. Many unconfirmed deaths in the Bahamas right now. Hopefully some are just missing as in evacuated.
The Euro isn't always right, and it has plenty of room for improvement,

But during the Wunderground segment, the meteorologists explained why the Euro is a superior model when compared to the GFS (American) and the other models.

They also mentioned that the U.S. is going to invest a lot more money and resources into the GFS (American) model to improve its accuracy.

But knowing the Euro isn't perfect, you can't put blind faith in it.

91L
Quoting 74. sar2401:

The NHC was talking about the model disagreement all the way back to Monday. The NHC has always placed a lot of stock in the Euro as their number one model. This time, every other reliable model had a completely different track. One of the reasons why the NHC kept the track so far east was that they refused to discount the Euro. But, let's pretend you're the guy at the NHC that has to make decisions. You've got every model in the world except one showing an East Coast landfall somewhere. You have the most reliable model showing a track that never has a US landfall and takes it OTS west of Bermuda. Other than the models, how do you decide to make your forecast? I keep reading that there was some way for a human forecaster to know exactly what would happen if they disregarded the models. I'd like to know exactly how they would have done it.

The stars and moss... All I was saying is that the models need more work and it will be hard to do with budget cuts happening. The models are the best way, totally agree with you and Scott. But they need work. Though I thought too much faith in the GFS, but then again a few years back the GFS was the model to go by.
Any chances of this low off the SE coast gaining tropical characteristics?

It's got the shape and the spin, and we all know where Joaquin came from.
Quoting 75. SLU:



Joaquin's forecast was one of the biggest busts from the NHC since they expanded their hurricane forecasts from 3 to 5 days in 2003. Even the amount of time they took to warn the Bahamas when the storm was obviously moving south and strengthening was surprising. It's in line with the bust of Hurricane Michael in 2012 but Micheal did not affect land and thus didn't matter. There's been a lack of rapidly intensifying hurricanes in the Atlantic since 2010 which superficially helped to improve their forecast skill but Joaquin is going to mess up their forecast skill analysis for 2015 when they analyse all the data after the season ends.


What do early cycle tracks, mostly from low skill models, from Monday, 9/28, have to do with an NHC bust? The actual NHC track was mostly excellent. They had to make adjustments along the way as models and data from the aircraft came in, but the final track forecasts couldn't have been much better given the complexities of this storm. Where exactly was this bust?
I believe (IIRR) that the GFS was showing for 10/20 a major hurricane like event off the east coast of Florida, and a snow-making northeaster off Maine (via a ski the northeast site). I'm more or less moving on to the future weather. I did have to get on the roof this weekend and use some rubber sealant to fix a new leak that came with Maine's weather last week. Seems that rubber gaskets around vent pipes just don't last as long as roof shingles...did a safety moment at work with our southeastern US brethren to remind them to remind their staff (and families at home), that when the weather service predicts flooding is possible, get your car and valuables to higher ground, and don't drive through floodwater at all. Seems many people just don't seem to get the message.
Quoting 73. IDTH:


Case in point Tropical storm Debby.

Yup, exact opposite situation. Every reliable model, including the Euro, depicted a landfall in Texas. Every one except the GFS and its ensembles. And well...

Quoting 78. StormTrackerScott:



Yeah for some to come on to blame the captain of the El-Faro but no blame for the NHC? I mean its obvious the NHC rerally busted this time around. Great guys over there but this was not their best forecast and it might have proved deadly this time around. Many unconfirmed deaths in the Bahamas right now. Hopefully some are just missing as in evacuated.
You shouldn't blame the NHC for having a cat 4 over the Bahamas and taking a ship down.
An update for those who might be interested in my son's situation on the banks of Awendaw Creek yesterday.

(Ref photo)


He got home about 2 hours ago. When the water got up to the wheel wells of his truck in his friend's driveway on Saturday he moved it to a significantly higher area on the road that led out to US 17, but his friend's vehicles are stranded in his driveway on a little island that has formed around the house. Son was able to kayak out to his truck this morning and finally drive home since US 17 is open all the way down to I-526 -- for now.

However, he says there is a problem with a US 17 bridge at the outlet of Awendaw Creek to the ocean, which is just a little ways down from the house he was at. The forces of freshwater and saltwater are balanced almost perfectly right at that bridge, so the pushing and pulling of the tides meets the force of the water coming down the creek more or less equally most of the time. Now it is a major battle, however. Whenever the tide goes out, the creek (which is ordinarily a lazy little meander about 15 feet wide and is now virtually Mississippian) drains hard and rushes down toward the bridge at high speed with all the upcountry floodwaters it has gathered behind it.

He doesn't know how much more water is destined to come down from Upstate and the Midlands, and although the creek went down an inch or so at low tide this am, it was going right back up as the tide was coming in again. At which point he made his escape via kayak. (I forgot they had those up there.)

He's going to try to drive up there again tomorrow morning (lower tide) and have his friend use his own kayak to come out to the truck from the "island" so son can take him in to his job. The guy can't afford to lose any hours. But that bridge on 17 is a worry because with all the battering it's going to be getting when the tide slackens and lets the river flow against it...

Anyway, that's one small story from our part of the world.
Quoting 81. RavensFan:


The stars and moss... All I was saying is that the models need more work and it will be hard to do with budget cuts happening. The models are the best way, totally agree with you and Scott. But they need work. Though I thought too much faith in the GFS, but then again a few years back the GFS was the model to go by.
They put a lot of faith in consensus and consistency, not any individual models. The Euro was the holdout, and stuck to its forecast for at least five days. That's what the NHC was looking at. It's rare for the Euro to be consistent in a forecast and be wrong. It's not impossible, however. Every other model was different by hundreds of miles. That's not usual. The NHC was in a pickle. Given what they saw and knew about the Euro, they weren't going to disregard it, but the consensus of all the other models couldn't be disregarded either. If they didn't see the GFS shift when it did on Wednesday evening, they would have been issuing watches for the East Coast. I believed, and I think the NHC believed, the Euro was the model that was going to be right. As TA wrote, however, you can't just dump the model consensus and run with one model. I just keep reading that there was some other way than models that would have gotten all this right. I haven't seen evidence of that yet.


91L is lookin sorta sickly, but theres an area really far south about 8N 33W that looks aight.
Quoting 63. RavensFan:

For those curious about if they knew what they were getting into with the storm, this is a quote from one of the girls on the ship to her mother. Note the day it was received and it is known that communication was lost Thursday morning around 7:30 am;

“Not sure if you’ve been following the weather at all,” Randolph wrote in an e-mail to her mother on Thursday, “but there is a hurricane out here and we are heading straight into it.”

SAR, it appears you may know more about the maritime rules than I do, and you too Pat if you are lurking, but would they have reached a point to where they couldn't turn back? I mean turning a ship into 30 foot waves isn't possible but could they have turned around I don't know. And you're right, that arrow in the graphic showing the ship's last known location doesn't look like it's near Crooked Island. Things will be clearer in the next few days.
Good Afternoon. The current models are the best that we have and professional mets (NHC-Noaa) do their best, from a human standpoint, to weed out the outliers and NHC tries to follow a consensus track. We also know that intensity is a harder nut to crack than general track in terms of model weaknesses and strengths.

If you throw out the models at this point, we go back to the "stone age" of forecasting, looks only at satt loops, and throw a dart on the board...................... NHC did the best job that they could with Joaquin and the "turn" away from the US, as close as it looked over the Bahamas, did in fact materialize..............This was not a forecast failure in terms of track but the storm threw the monkey wrench in with the slow pace along with a little help from deceasing shear over very warm ssts. The Bahamians were in fact caught by surprise in terms of the intensity but the same thing happened with Andrew in that same general location as noted by Dr. Masters last week.

Intensity modelling seems to get a little tricky over/near the waters of the Bahamas.....................

Quoting 87. GreyJewel:

An update for those who might be interested in my son's situation on the banks of Awendaw Creek yesterday.

(Ref photo)


He got home about 2 hours ago.
I'm glad to hear they are both safe. It's good at least one truck is also safe. Maybe the other one will have ridden out the storm as well. Nice to hear a happy story from your part of the world.
93. SLU
Quoting 69. StormTrackerScott:



Euro has proven time and time again to be far more superior than any other model out there. US has a lot more catching up to do I say.


Eg. The EURO failed to predict Major Hurricane Danny in August and came on board very late relative to the GFS. The EURO has had near equal bust credentials as the GFS historically.




Joaquin and the low off Florida
Quoting 87. GreyJewel:

An update for those who might be interested in my son's situation on the banks of Awendaw Creek yesterday.

(Ref photo)


He got home about 2 hours ago. When the water got up to the wheel wells of his truck in his friend's driveway on Saturday he moved it to a significantly higher area on the road that led out to US 17, but his friend's vehicles are stranded in his driveway on a little island that has formed around the house. Son was able to kayak out to his truck this morning and finally drive home since US 17 is open all the way down to I-526 -- for now.

However, he says there is a problem with a US 17 bridge at the outlet of Awendaw Creek to the ocean, which is just a little ways down from the house he was at. The forces of freshwater and saltwater are balanced almost perfectly right at that bridge, so the pushing and pulling of the tides meets the force of the water coming down the creek more or less equally most of the time. Now it is a major battle, however. Whenever the tide goes out, the creek (which is ordinarily a lazy little meander about 15 feet wide and is now virtually Mississippian) drains hard and rushes down toward the bridge at high speed with all the upcountry floodwaters it has gathered behind it.

He doesn't know how much more water is destined to come down from Upstate and the Midlands, and although the creek went down an inch or so at low tide this am, it was going right back up as the tide was coming in again. At which point he made his escape via kayak. (I forgot they had those up there.)

He's going to try to drive up there again tomorrow morning (lower tide) and kayak to his friend's "island" in order to bring him in to his job, but that bridge on 17 is a worry because with all the battering it's going to be getting when the tide slackens and lets the river flow against it...

Anyway, that's one small story from our part of the world.

Good to know they made it safely!
Quoting 91. weathermanwannabe:

Good Afternoon. The current models are the best that we have and professional mets (NHC-Noaa) do their best, from a human standpoint, to weed out the outliers and NHC tries to follow a consensus track. We also know that intensity is a harder nut to crack than general track in terms of model weaknesses and strengths.

If you throw out the models at this point, we go back to the "stone age" of forecasting, looks only at satt loops, and throw a dart on the board...................... NHC did the best job that they could with Joaquin and the "turn" away from the US, as close as it looked over the Bahamas, did in fact materialize..............This was not a forecast failure in terms of track but the storm threw the monkey wrench in with the slow pace along with a little help from deceasing shear over very warm ssts. The Bahamians were in fact caught by surprise in terms of the intensity but the same thing happened with Andrew in that same general location as noted by Dr. Masters last week.

Intensity modelling seems to get a little tricky over/near the waters of the Bahamas.....................




Intensity modeling is a far from solved problem in all domains, not just the Bahamas. It's just really tough.

I'm not going to comment on track at this time.

Quoting 93. SLU:



Eg. The EURO failed to predict Major Hurricane Danny in August and came on board very late relative to the GFS. The EURO has had near equal bust credentials as the GFS historically.


It has but as a whole is what I am talking about is more than just Topical Systems. The GFS is just not picking up on certain weather patterns anymore compared to the Euro. Just here in the US the GFS has been frustrating to watch this year week in and week out.
Quoting 460. viman:

Looks like Dominica may be in for a rough ride again.



Hopefully Not TOO rough a ride...Anyways Nothing the likes of Erika we hope and pray At any time in the not too distant future!

ALSO SPARING A THOUGHT FOR THE SOULS OF THOSE AMERICANS & POLISH WHO PERISHED DURING THE TRAGIC SINKING OF THE EL FARO- THE REAL HUMAN LOSS MUST NOT BE FORGOTTEN IN THE MIDST OF THE BLAME GAME AND ENSUING SAGA AROUND THE DISAPPEARANCE & LIKELY FULL SUNKEN LOSS OF THE SHIP. INDEED IT MUST HAVE BEEN AN UTTERLY HORRIFIC, DISTRESSING, & UNBELIEVABLY TRAUMATIC END SUPPOSEDLY FOR ALL OF THE CREW- SUCCUMBING ULTIMATELY TO A WATERY GRAVE... ETERNAL REST GRANT UNTO THEM OH LORD, & LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON THEM DEAR JESUS. MAY THEIR SOULS AND THE SOULS OF ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED -REST IN PEACE! AMEN!

MAY GOD BLESS US ALL!
thank you for your continued voice of reason, sar2401.
Quoting 90. RavensFan:


SAR, it appears you may know more about the maritime rules than I do, and you too Pat if you are lurking, but would they have reached a point to where they couldn't turn back? I mean turning a ship into 30 foot waves isn't possible but could they have turned around I don't know. And you're right, that arrow in the graphic showing the ship's last known location doesn't look like it's near Crooked Island. Things will be clearer in the next few days.
I only spent one summer on a big ship, a Great Lakes ore boat. I have been a small boat sailor for about 40 years though, always sail boats, and mostly in the Caribbean. I've sailed a lot in the Bahamas.

The ship was totally under the control of the skipper. It was US flagged, and the regulations are clear. The company can't tell him what to do on the high seas any more than an airline can tell a pilot what to do. I can't know what was in the skipper's head, but turning back wasn't a realistic option. He wouldn't have known if he would get in even more trouble by doing so. He knew the seas in in front of him, and most sailors will take that compared to the unknown of turning back. My guess is he probably slowed his forward speed, waiting for the storm to pass south. He would then make a dash past the storm and sail safely away. I think that would have worked except for two things he couldn't know at the time. The first was the track was going to be right at him instead of in front of him. The second was he was going to suffer a mechanical failure that would lead to a complete loss of power. Once he lost power and had the 130 mph storm bearing down or on top of him, he, the crew, and his ship was in big trouble. If he still had power, I think the ship would have made it. It's a big ship at 733 feet, bigger than some of our carriers in WWII that survived some violent typhoons. It could have handled the seas as long as it could get the bow into the waves. Unfortunately, it couldn't, and that's what probably lead to the loss. Knowing what we do now, turning back was the correct option. Did he know that then? I don't think so.
Everytime we get a WWB the CFSv2 trends higher now back near 3C. Peak looks to be roughly 8 weeks or so away and were already @ 2.4C and likely up to 2.6C next Monday.

Seems that blame here is largely going around to either/or, instead of a little from column A and a little from column B. I think it's fair to say the captain had an idea of what he'd be getting into. The Mariner's 1-2-3 rule which has been mentioned here is posted on the NHC website with the advisories, cone, 50kt probabilities, etc. Adverse conditions were expected in the area. At the same time, the NHC and the models had a tough time with Joaquin from the get go; as accurate as the ECMWF was overall, remember it also early on had US landfalling ensemble members. The NHC didn't update their outlook to forecast a major hurricane until about the time the ship was in the Bahamas.

After the investigation and post-season analysis we'll have a better picture painted, but it's learning on both sides of the vinyl for certain.
Let's hit replay again

104. maeko
/'''| {‘ⒾxⒾ’} |'''\ ¿¿¿Is it safe to come out yet??? The worst seems to be past here in Charleston.
When I am an ancient crone, long self-sequestered to a rocker by the fireside, I'll be able to tell tales to my great-grands of the Great Thousand Year Deluge...not so different than that other Great Deluge from millennia before but without the boat and a lot fewer animals!!
Actually, it wasn't all that dramatic for me personally. I lucked out and didn't even lose power. Scolding my neighbor's landscaper for blowing the leaves into the storm drain paid off and I didn't even have standing water!
Sadly, the same cannot be said for many others here in SC and I shall thank my lucky stars. How about the footage of that poor dolt driving straight into flood waters prompting a completely preventable water rescue? He ought feel like an equine-b'hind...

Link
Quoting 100. sar2401:

I only spent one summer on a big ship, a Great Lakes ore boat. I have been a small boat sailor for about 40 years though, always sail boats, and mostly in the Caribbean. I've sailed a lot in the Bahamas.

The ship was totally under the control of the skipper. It was US flagged, and the regulations are clear. The company can't tell him what to do on the high seas any more than an airline can tell a pilot what to do. I can't know what was in the skipper's head, but turning back wasn't a realistic option. He wouldn't have known if he would get in even more trouble by doing so. He knew the seas in in front of him, and most sailors will take that compared to the unknown of turning back. My guess is he probably slowed his forward speed, waiting for the storm to pass south. He would then make a dash past the storm and sail safely away. I think that would have worked except for two things he couldn't know at the time. The first was the track was going to be right at him instead of in front of him. The second was he was going to suffer a mechanical failure that would lead to a complete loss of power. Once he lost power and had the 130 mph storm bearing down or on top of him, he, the crew, and his ship was in big trouble. If he still had power, I think the ship would have made it. It's a big ship at 733 feet, bigger than some of our carriers in WWII that survived some violent typhoons. It could have handled the seas as long as it could get the bow into the waves. Unfortunately, it couldn't, and that's what probably lead to the loss. Knowing what we do now, turning back was the correct option. Did he know that then? I don't think so.


The lose of power was likely a result of 50' waves which is what the Coast Guard was just talking about moments ago on TV. They said they can't say for sure what sank the ship other than @ the time there was 50' waves in that area.
106. SLU
Quoting 83. sar2401:

What do early cycle tracks, mostly from low skill models, from Monday, 9/28, have to do with an NHC bust? The actual NHC track was mostly excellent. They had to make adjustments along the way as models and data from the aircraft came in, but the final track forecasts couldn't have been much better given the complexities of this storm. Where exactly was this bust?


The early tracks show the difference between their first forecast when Joaquin became a TD and was not forecast to reach TS strength and the final outcome with the storm maxing out at 155mph, or higher. Usually, the NHC would fall a couple hundred miles outside their original cone from first to last forecasts but not over 600 miles and 120mph. It was just a poor performance from the experts and computer models. They have done very well in the past and I credit them for their top performances which occur 9 times out of 10 but this time around their forecasts messed up just like it did for Erika and they must also accept responsibility for bad forecasts since it's a matter of life and death. Mind you, i'm not blaming the NHC for the foolhardy behaviour of the captain of the El Faro because it seems money and convenience was valued over human life in this case and that's why they decided to take on Joaquin. There was ample time to change direction when they realized the storm was getting stronger.
107. SLU
Quoting 97. StormTrackerScott:



It has but as a whole is what I am talking about is more than just Topical Systems. The GFS is just not picking up on certain weather patterns anymore compared to the Euro. Just here in the US the GFS has been frustrating to watch this year week in and week out.


Yes I agree with that. If you want to look at key atmospheric patterns, then the EURO seems to be more stable than the GFS. Levi does that a lot in his videos. TC-wise, they bust just as frequently.
Quoting 66. IDTH:

Personally this whole discussion brings me back to what Dr. Postel (or Norcross, I think it was postel) said on TWC about getting rid of the cone and using something else, saying it was outdated. I think because some storms have proven to be much more difficult to forecast than others especially in El Nino Years, I personally agree the cone has to be updated, we've shrunk it over the past few years because we believed we were getting better at forecasting the path but as we have learned there are some storms that are simply too difficult to pin point and we end up having giant shifts in the track and people wake up really surprised, not everyone reads the discussion they put out regarding the track, sometimes people see the tack and assume it's set in stone. Something has to change.

It is disturbing, when you think about it, how many people pay little or no attention to the world around them. What justification is there, really, for people living in areas affected by hurricanes to not realize that a forecast is not gospel, that sometimes the weather doesn't get the memo and just does what it wants to? So many people are militantly ignorant, and I doubt if there is a silver bullet that can change that.
Quoting 82. Brock31:

Any chances of this low off the SE coast gaining tropical characteristics?

It's got the shape and the spin, and we all know where Joaquin came from.
The low is cold core and totally baroclinic. It's not impossible, but it is highly unlikely. If it dawdles around the tropical Atlantic for the next week, that could change.
Quoting 106. SLU:



The early tracks show the difference between their first forecast when Joaquin became a TD and was not forecast to reach TS strength and the final outcome with the storm maxing out at 155mph, or higher. Usually, the NHC would fall a couple hundred miles outside their original cone from first to last forecasts but not over 600 miles and 120mph. It was just a poor performance from the experts and computer models. They have done very well in the past and I credit them for their top performances which occur 9 times out of 10 but this time around their forecasts messed up just like it did for Erika and they must also accept responsibility for bad forecasts since it's a matter of life and death. Mind you, i'm not blaming the NHC for the foolhardy behaviour of the captain of the El Faro because it seems money and convenience was valued over human life in this case and that's why they decided to take on Joaquin. There was ample time to change direction when they realized the storm was getting stronger.


I'll give you that as they could have docked in Nassau to wait out the storm instead the captain thought he could skirt the western edge.
Why is everyone so down on the models? We have massive computing power going into them and increasing every year. It seems clear the limit on their forecast abilities is not underlying computing power and not a poor grasp of the physical dynamics. The limit is input information. Our current models might be able to give us remarkably accurate forecasts many days in advance if we had weather stations in a grid every ten miles over the whole earth that could each report local conditions and send up a balloon. But we don't have that. And we can't. It's cost prohibitive and unrealistic. But that's what I see as the limit. It's not poor modeling, it's poor input data. And that's the more difficult side to improve.
Quoting 100. sar2401:

I only spent one summer on a big ship, a Great Lakes ore boat. I have been a small boat sailor for about 40 years though, always sail boats, and mostly in the Caribbean. I've sailed a lot in the Bahamas.

The ship was totally under the control of the skipper. It was US flagged, and the regulations are clear. The company can't tell him what to do on the high seas any more than an airline can tell a pilot what to do. I can't know what was in the skipper's head, but turning back wasn't a realistic option. He wouldn't have known if he would get in even more trouble by doing so. He knew the seas in in front of him, and most sailors will take that compared to the unknown of turning back. My guess is he probably slowed his forward speed, waiting for the storm to pass south. He would then make a dash past the storm and sail safely away. I think that would have worked except for two things he couldn't know at the time. The first was the track was going to be right at him instead of in front of him. The second was he was going to suffer a mechanical failure that would lead to a complete loss of power. Once he lost power and had the 130 mph storm bearing down or on top of him, he, the crew, and his ship was in big trouble. If he still had power, I think the ship would have made it. It's a big ship at 733 feet, bigger than some of our carriers in WWII that survived some violent typhoons. It could have handled the seas as long as it could get the bow into the waves. Unfortunately, it couldn't, and that's what probably lead to the loss. Knowing what we do now, turning back was the correct option. Did he know that then? I don't think so.

Got it, thanks Sar! I know that a ship with no propulsion wouldn't last long in those waves. And I think there is another big unknown with this, did the high winds take out their weather instruments and affect the transmissions of data coming in. They may have been traveling blind for all we know...
And I know that everyone is going to say they shouldn't have traveled into the storm, but for the Coast Guard to say that they shouldn't have traveled into tropical weather, I take that to mean even if they underestimated the strength of the storm and the path, they shouldn't have taken the chance.
Philip Klotzbach ‏@philklotzbach 4h4 hours ago
September Nino 3.4 (5S-5N, 170-120W) warmest on record - 0.07C warmer than 1997. HT @EricBlake12
Quoting 89. JrWeathermanFL:



91L is lookin sorta sickly, but theres an area really far south about 8N 33W that looks aight.
which one is 91L? The one to the north or the one to the south.
Maybe 91L will visit the Yucatan or cruise the Gulf of Mexico?
Afternoon all ... lots of disaster stories out there related to flooding this p. m.


From Doc's blog:
Hurricane Joaquin heavily damages the Bahamas
Communications with the islands in the Bahamas most heavily damaged by Hurricane Joaquin are still tenuous, but it is clear that damage was heavy on Crooked Island, Acklins Island, Long Island and San Salvador. One death has been reported on Long Island due to high winds collapsing a home. The Coast Guard is still searching for survivors from the container ship El Faro, which is presumed to have gone down in the hurricane. One body from the crew of 33 has been recovered.


If the El Faro is presumed lost with all hands, as increasingly it seems may be the case, Joaquin's death toll in The Bahamas would be the highest from a single storm for more than 60 years, and possibly more than 80 years [dating back to the 1929 hurricane]. Ironically, many high fatality counts due to TCs over the years have come from large numbers of mariners lost at sea.... So far the death toll from settlements has remained at one, based on the latest reports. Hopefully everyone in the hard hit areas will have been accounted for by this evening.
Quoting 109. sar2401:

The low is cold core and totally baroclinic. It's not impossible, but it is highly unlikely. If it dawdles around the tropical Atlantic for the next week, that could change.


Thanks for the response.
Looking at the water vapor, it seems the dry air is being squeezed out and some slight convection activity near the center is occurring. Also, given its slow movement over the Gulf Stream, I would imagine it "could" have a chance.

I'm not saying I want it to. We've had enough rain already here in Wilmington.

In fact, I thought we were done, but it looks like another smaller round is setting up to just further delay our dry out.
I think almost anyone in the caribbean would take a low grade TS or TD at this point......
except Dominica ofcourse no disrespect
Quoting 116. fmbill:

Maybe 91L will visit the Yucatan or cruise the Gulf of Mexico?

Quoting 111. TwinCitiesBadger:

Why is everyone so down on the models? We have massive computing power going into them and increasing every year. It seems clear the limit on their forecast abilities is not underlying computing power and not a poor grasp of the physical dynamics. The limit is input information. Our current models might be able to give us remarkably accurate forecasts many days in advance if we had weather stations in a grid every ten miles over the whole earth that could each report local conditions and send up a balloon. But we don't have that. And we can't. It's cost prohibitive and unrealistic. But that's what I see as the limit. It's not poor modeling, it's poor input data. And that's the more difficult side to improve.


I cannot really speak to what happened with the ship as I was not on board at the time. I cannot say what the Captain knew or thought at the time or what he was trying to do in terms of going around the storm or not.

What I can say, which is my own opinion is that the NHC did it's best with the information they had. We all, laymen and experts thought that the Euro was "out to lunch" during that whole forecasting period prior to the other models coming on board with the OTS after the Bahamas. However like many have already said, the NHC really could not discount either side (the consensus or the Euro) in their forecast. Had they relied only on the Euro, thinking it was the best performing model, the would have eventually been right in this instance but had things turned out differently, would have been hugely wrong. (How to know which one is which at the time). Had they relied solely on the consensus warnings and watches would have been up for a large portion of the south/northeast US and people would have been preparing for nothing. I live in Florida and like a lot of Floridians am fairly used to Hurricanes and Tropical Storms. At the beginning of each year we semi-prepare and sit and wait for a 1-2 day advisory and then we break out the necessary storm shutters and other preps. Weather is still a fickle thing and expecting more out of the NHC than what they are currently providing is disingenuous in my opinion. That is, however, not to say that the computer, models and even the cone system doesn't need updating or overhauling. I for one am thankful for the forecasting we have.

Quoting 117. BahaHurican:

Afternoon all ... lots of disaster stories out there related to flooding this p. m.


From Doc's blog:
Hurricane Joaquin heavily damages the Bahamas
Communications with the islands in the Bahamas most heavily damaged by Hurricane Joaquin are still tenuous, but it is clear that damage was heavy on Crooked Island, Acklins Island, Long Island and San Salvador. One death has been reported on Long Island due to high winds collapsing a home. The Coast Guard is still searching for survivors from the container ship El Faro, which is presumed to have gone down in the hurricane. One body from the crew of 33 has been recovered.


If the El Faro is presumed lost with all hands, as increasingly it seems may be the case, Joaquin's death toll in The Bahamas would be the highest from a single storm for more than 60 years, and possibly more than 80 years [dating back to the 1929 hurricane]. Ironically, many high fatality counts due to TCs over the years have come from large numbers of mariners lost at sea.... So far the death toll from settlements has remained at one, based on the latest reports. Hopefully everyone in the hard hit areas will have been accounted for by this evening.


Still many missing though. Storm surge may have been over 15' according to some of the pics I've seen.

Reports from the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Joaquin indicate that several islands are, in the words of one journalist, "completely obliterated," but some help is on the way. Food, bottled water, diapers, paper towels and bathroom supplies were loaded onto a Coast Guard plane Sunday night for survivors in the hardest hit areas, according to Local 10.

A shortage of clean drinking water across the islands has created a critical need for more supply runs in the coming days. The Coast Guard is working alongside South Florida company Tropic Ocean Airways to load seaplanes with the supplies due to the major damage at San Salvador airport near Cat Island in the central Bahamas.


Bahamas' Prime Minister Perry Christie told the Tribune that the effort to clean up the islands hit hardest by Joaquin would be a long process.

"Between the various agencies of the government, NEMA, assistance we are receiving, we are relatively comfortable with where we are in terms of being able to put in place the basis of a massive effort of restoration," Christie said. "We do not know and have not assessed the extent of personal loss of homes."

Photojournalist Eddy Rafael observed the devastation from the air Saturday morning as part of an assessment flight that included Long Island, San Salvador, Cat Island, Rum Cay and Crooked Island.

On Long Island, dozens of homes without roofs could be seen from the air, as well a freighter and numerous smaller boats that had been washed inland.

"The south of the island near Clarencetown was just obliterated,” said Rafael. "People were running into the streets and making signals to land. You could see people tearing toward the airport ... thinking that we were going to head on to the airport. Which was kind of devastating; it really brought tears to your eyes that we couldn't come."

Crooked Island was also "completely obliterated", said Rafael, with massive flooding and damage to homes. "It looks like Grand Cayman did when Hurricane Ivan came through," he said. "It's just stick and stones. I didn’t see any people."
Many of the southern islands have an immediate need for food, water and sewage, according to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. Several of the islands have seen persistent extreme flooding for days.

Numerous unconfirmed deaths were reported by satellite phone from survivors on the ground, Rafael says, but communications are sporadic as many of the islands are without power and residents are attempting to conserve sat phone batteries. An elderly man died during the storm, but it was not yet determined if that death was directly caused by the storm, according to the Associated Press.
Quoting 105. StormTrackerScott:



The lose of power was likely a result of 50' waves which is what the Coast Guard was just talking about moments ago on TV. They said they can't say for sure what sank the ship other than @ the time there was 50' waves in that area.


I would not want to be anywhere on the ocean in 50 foot seas, however is it not true that boats/ships deal with huge wave action and hurricane force winds in the Bering Sea every winter?

Quoting 102. win1gamegiantsplease:

Seems that blame here is largely going around to either/or, instead of a little from column A and a little from column B. I think it's fair to say the captain had an idea of what he'd be getting into. The Mariner's 1-2-3 rule which has been mentioned here is posted on the NHC website with the advisories, cone, 50kt probabilities, etc. Adverse conditions were expected in the area. At the same time, the NHC and the models had a tough time with Joaquin from the get go; as accurate as the ECMWF was overall, remember it also early on had US landfalling ensemble members. The NHC didn't update their outlook to forecast a major hurricane until about the time the ship was in the Bahamas.

After the investigation and post-season analysis we'll have a better picture painted, but it's learning on both sides of the vinyl for certain.
A lot of this is going around on the ground here in the Bahamas. I think it's informative to look back at the advisory archive, and to realize that Joaquin was not even forecast to impact The Bahamas until late Tuesday / early Wednesday. It's also instructional to look at Best Track date and note that Joaquin went from cat 1 to cat 4 in between 18 and 24 hours. IMO this rapid deepening also led to the left of track movement that brought Joaquin more towards the SE Bahamas than originally expected. I agree there were some bad choices made, but much of what seems so obvious now was very unclear on Tuesday and even Wednesday morning.
Geez, that's a whole lotta water to come down. Odd that instead of 50, 100 year floods, we are talking about 500, 1000 year events........sumtin going on........eh?
I am very interested in hearing what was the final height of the storm surge on the southern end of Long Island as that is where there are many people missing. If it was over 15' this could be a record for the Bahamas.
Quoting 106. SLU:



The early tracks show the difference between their first forecast when Joaquin became a TD and was not forecast to reach TS strength and the final outcome with the storm maxing out at 155mph, or higher. Usually, the NHC would fall a couple hundred miles outside their original cone from first to last forecasts but not over 600 miles and 120mph. It was just a poor performance from the experts and computer models. They have done very well in the past and I credit them for their top performances which occur 9 times out of 10 but this time around their forecasts messed up just like it did for Erika and they must also accept responsibility for bad forecasts since it's a matter of life and death. Mind you, i'm not blaming the NHC for the foolhardy behaviour of the captain of the El Faro because it seems money and convenience was valued over human life in this case and that's why they decided to take on Joaquin. There was ample time to change direction when they realized the storm was getting stronger.
I don't even know where to start. Those early cycle models are not intensity models. They are track models, and mostly not very good ones. The GFDL and HWRF are our two best intensity models. The HWRF had the intensity almost nailed. What it didn't have was the track. Where exactly, however, was the track off by 600 miles? Not the official track. Some models sure were, but just look at the official track. The intensity was never off by 120 mph. The HWRF missed it by about 15 mph. Even if you want to go back to when it was a 65 mph storm and go to 155 mph, that's 90 mph, not 120. Just look at the official track for the life of the storm up until now and tell me where this big bust happened. Ignore all the model.
127. SLU
Quoting 110. StormTrackerScott:



I'll give you that as they could have docked in Nassau to wait out the storm instead the captain thought he could skirt the western edge.


Yes and another choice could have been to divert to along the coast of Cuba and continue on. They'd only face 35-40kt winds there which is chicken feed for a ship that size.
128. SLU
Quoting 117. BahaHurican:

Afternoon all ... lots of disaster stories out there related to flooding this p. m.


From Doc's blog:
Hurricane Joaquin heavily damages the Bahamas
Communications with the islands in the Bahamas most heavily damaged by Hurricane Joaquin are still tenuous, but it is clear that damage was heavy on Crooked Island, Acklins Island, Long Island and San Salvador. One death has been reported on Long Island due to high winds collapsing a home. The Coast Guard is still searching for survivors from the container ship El Faro, which is presumed to have gone down in the hurricane. One body from the crew of 33 has been recovered.


If the El Faro is presumed lost with all hands, as increasingly it seems may be the case, Joaquin's death toll in The Bahamas would be the highest from a single storm for more than 60 years, and possibly more than 80 years [dating back to the 1929 hurricane]. Ironically, many high fatality counts due to TCs over the years have come from large numbers of mariners lost at sea.... So far the death toll from settlements has remained at one, based on the latest reports. Hopefully everyone in the hard hit areas will have been accounted for by this evening.


Remarkably low death toll on land for a 3-day cataclysm with little warning. The story might have been different if Joaquin had hit the NW Bahamas.
I keep reading about how badly the NHC "busted" the forecast for Joaquin, but that's just lazy Monday morning quarterbacking from the cheap seats, if you ask me. In fact, beginning with the 11PM Tuesday TWO, the NHC's three-day forecast cone has been pretty accurate. Check out the graphical archive yourself: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2015/graphics/al1 1/loop_3W.shtml.

So far as the El Faro: those familiar with shipping will know that the captain is ultimately responsible for the safe operation of any ship s/he commands. There are no exceptions to this rule. Even if anyone here believed the NHC gave them a bum steer last Tuesday--which they didn't--they have to realize that the decision to sail into Joaquin's path rested solely on the captain, and that's true regardless of company or crew pressure--even if the company threatened to fire him, or promised him a massive bonus for getting to San Juan on time, neither of which happened. The captain has authority and responsibility. It's been that way for hundreds of years.
Quoting 122. DaytonaBeachWatcher:



I would not want to be anywhere on the ocean in 50 foot seas, however is it not true that boats/ships deal with huge wave action and hurricane force winds in the Bering Sea every winter?


Yes. They also sail in the North Atlantic every winter, with gales and massive seas. It's part of the life of being a merchant mariner or a Navy crew member. They can't head back to port every time a storm is forecast.
Quoting 129. Neapolitan:

I keep reading about how badly the NHC "busted" the forecast for Joaquin, but that's just lazy Monday morning quarterbacking from the cheap seats, if you ask me. In fact, beginning with the 11PM Tuesday TWO, the NHC's three-day forecast cone has been pretty accurate. Check out the graphical archive yourself: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2015/graphics/al1 1/loop_3W.shtml.

So far as the El Faro: those familiar with shipping will know that the captain is ultimately responsible for the safe operation of any ship s/he commands. There are no exceptions to this rule. Even if anyone here believed the NHC gave them a bum steer last Tuesday--which they didn't--they have to realize that the decision to sail into Joaquin's path rested solely on the captain, and that's true regardless of company or crew pressure--even if the company threatened to fire him, or promised him a massive bonus for getting to San Juan on time, neither of which happened. The captain has authority and responsibility. It's been that way for hundreds of years.


I've never seen you so wrong lately on just about everything you post. Comical! Bottom line Joaquin did the unexpected. Just like you think the GFS is so skillful right? LOL!
Quoting 122. DaytonaBeachWatcher:



I would not want to be anywhere on the ocean in 50 foot seas, however is it not true that boats/ships deal with huge wave action and hurricane force winds in the Bering Sea every winter?

Had they had propulsion this would have been a very different outcome.
Seriously, this condemnation of the Captain of 'El Faro' is wrong. Anyone ever watch 'Deadly Catch'... Something of that name. Much smaller ships than that of 'El Faro' and in very bad storms. The Captain is ALWAYS looking after his or her crew. His Ship and his responsibility. Settle down and just wait to see what evolves from those that are investigating this tragic loss. These 'Captains' take their jobs very seriously, even to become suicidal as some have done recently. I have the highest regards for any Captain of a ship. Yes, my Dad was Navy!
With all the torrential rains in Carolinas/East Coast....Forecasters from NWS San Diego got our storm correct just as they did for the rain event going on now.

Spotty precip in Soo Cal as I type. It is raining moderately at my location in San Diego County. Rain totals are mostly 1/4-1/2" up to 3" on orographically positioned mountains.........nice good soaking rain! We might wash away if we got what Carolina did! Good light/moderate storms wet the soil nicely and soak in preparing for the heavier winter rains and possibly very heavy storms because of El Nino. So things are working out well thus far. Have to wait and see what "The Christ Child" has in store for California.
While a bit outdated (1990's), a small portion of the very long Noaa Mariner's Guide to Tropical Cyclones; the products available to mariners has probably improved since then:


There is no single rule of thumb that can be used by vessel masters to ensure at least minimum safe
separation from a tropical cyclone. Constant monitoring of tropical cyclone potential and a continual
risk analysis when used with some fundamental guidelines are the basic recommended tools to help
minimize a tropical cyclone’s impact to a vessel at sea or in port. Even today, as our understanding
and the predictability of tropical cyclones increases, there is still much error inherent in forecasting
the movement and intensity of such complex systems. Similarly, each year, ships continue to be
caught in port or at sea struggling for survival in tropical cyclones. However, the topic of this chapter
is focused on minimizing the impact tropical cyclones will have on the mariner through objective
analysis and recurring assessment of the tropical cyclone threat to the mariner.



The purpose of conducting a recurring risk analysis both in port and at sea is to ensure that all
possible scenarios regarding a tropical cyclone’s impact to the mariner are considered in a cautious
and objective manner. The number of times a mariner should do this analysis is dependent upon the
tropical cyclone threat. During the tropical season, the risk analysis should be made a minimum of
twice daily during inactive tropical cyclone periods. However, this risk analysis needs to be made
four times daily when an active tropical cyclone is approaching or near the region where the vessel
is operating or expected to operate. The four per day risk analysis coincides with the number of
TCM’s issued daily by NHC when a tropical cyclone is active in the basin.
Quoting 127. SLU:



Yes and another choice could have been to divert to along the coast of Cuba and continue on. They'd only face 35-40kt winds there which is chicken feed for a ship that size.
It's also an American flagged ship. As such, you can't just sail along the coast of Cuba. There's a 24 mile territorial limit offshore, and big trouble if you're caught on the other side of the line. I wouldn't have been able to tell how close the storm was going to get Cuba, and that wouldn't have have been my choice in rough seas.
Quoting 134. JustPlantIt:

Seriously, this condemnation of the Captain of 'El Faro' is wrong. Anyone ever watch 'Deadly Catch'... Something of that name. Much smaller ships than that of 'El Faro' and in very bad storms. The Captain is ALWAYS looking after his or her crew. His Ship and his responsibility. Settle down and just wait to see what evolves from those that are investigating this tragic loss. These 'Captains' take their jobs very seriously, even to become suicidal as some have done recently. I have the highest regards for any Captain of a ship. Yes, my Dad was Navy!


I agree it ridiculous watching some on here thinking the captain did this to his crew and was irresponsible.
Quoting 106. SLU:



The early tracks show the difference between their first forecast when Joaquin became a TD and was not forecast to reach TS strength and the final outcome with the storm maxing out at 155mph, or higher. Usually, the NHC would fall a couple hundred miles outside their original cone from first to last forecasts but not over 600 miles and 120mph. It was just a poor performance from the experts and computer models. They have done very well in the past and I credit them for their top performances which occur 9 times out of 10 but this time around their forecasts messed up just like it did for Erika and they must also accept responsibility for bad forecasts since it's a matter of life and death. Mind you, i'm not blaming the NHC for the foolhardy behaviour of the captain of the El Faro because it seems money and convenience was valued over human life in this case and that's why they decided to take on Joaquin. There was ample time to change direction when they realized the storm was getting stronger.
I think there was tipping point [on Wednesday] when collectively we began to realize that Joaquin was just not going to do what forecasters said / though it would do. Perhaps there is some room for looking beyond the forecasts and taking the current conditions more into consideration. However, just about everything that was catastrophic about Joaquin came about at least partially because of the rapid intensification. If Joaquin had remained a mild-mannered cat 1, I believe the El Faro would have fared well. Certainly residents in Crooked Island and Acklins, Long Island and Long Cay, were not expecting 24 hours of strong hurricane winds and a cat 3+ surge. They would have handled a cat 1 much better.

Where I would give NHC and other mets "wrong" is for the same reason I think NatureIsle would fault them. That is, no left of track warnings were issued when storm warnings went up. I think even a TS warning for the SE Bahamas at the same time when the hurricane warnings were posted on Wednesday morning would have cued residents there, and particularly disaster managers, that they should be monitoring the storm. Those residents who did not notice the warnings posted at 5 p.m. were IMO justifiably caught off guard to discover a cat 3/4 storm meandering in their area on Thursday morning. Similarly, when Erika dropped a huge deluge of rain over Dominica in less than 12 hours, residents were caught off guard.

While it may be too late to go back and post the warnings that might have been helpful in these two cases, certainly it behooves forecasters to take into greater account the extent of winds in ALL directions, not just the forecasted direction of travel of a TC, when recommending and / or posting watches and warnings.
Quoting 138. StormTrackerScott:



I agree it ridiculous watching some on here thinking the captain did this to his crew and was irresponsible.


Yeah sailing into a hurricane forecast cone is super responsible.
Quoting 134. JustPlantIt:

Seriously, this condemnation of the Captain of 'El Faro' is wrong. Anyone ever watch 'Deadly Catch'... Something of that name. Much smaller ships than that of 'El Faro' and in very bad storms. The Captain is ALWAYS looking after his or her crew. His Ship and his responsibility. Settle down and just wait to see what evolves from those that are investigating this tragic loss. These 'Captains' take their jobs very seriously, even to become suicidal as some have done recently. I have the highest regards for any Captain of a ship. Yes, my Dad was Navy!


Then you should know the Captain is fully responsible for his crew and ship's actions.
Quoting 120. DaytonaBeachWatcher:



I cannot really speak to what happened with the ship as I was not on board at the time. I cannot say what the Captain knew or thought at the time or what he was trying to do in terms of going around the storm or not.

What I can say, which is my own opinion is that the NHC did it's best with the information they had. We all, laymen and experts thought that the Euro was "out to lunch" during that whole forecasting period prior to the other models coming on board with the OTS after the Bahamas. However like many have already said, the NHC really could not discount either side (the consensus or the Euro) in their forecast. Had they relied only on the Euro, thinking it was the best performing model, the would have eventually been right in this instance but had things turned out differently, would have been hugely wrong. (How to know which one is which at the time). Had they relied solely on the consensus warnings and watches would have been up for a large portion of the south/northeast US and people would have been preparing for nothing. I live in Florida and like a lot of Floridians am fairly used to Hurricanes and Tropical Storms. At the beginning of each year we semi-prepare and sit and wait for a 1-2 day advisory and then we break out the necessary storm shutters and other preps. Weather is still a fickle thing and expecting more out of the NHC than what they are currently providing is disingenuous in my opinion. That is, however, not to say that the computer, models and even the cone system doesn't need updating or overhauling. I for one am thankful for the forecasting we have.


Imagine the screams that would have come from this blog if the NHC had only relied on the Euro. Even after it was clear, at least to me, that the other models coming east was a sign the Euro really did have it right, we had a lot of people here saying the Euro was still wrong and the other models were going to come back west. There were more agendas than meteorology for a good part of Joaquin.
Quoting 108. ACSeattle:


It is disturbing, when you think about it, how many people pay little or no attention to the world around them. What justification is there, really, for people living in areas affected by hurricanes to not realize that a forecast is not gospel, that sometimes the weather doesn't get the memo and just does what it wants to? So many people are militantly ignorant, and I doubt if there is a silver bullet that can change that.
I have been living with this all weekend. It hurts to listen to reports where the caller says she didn't know about the storm, but then goes on to mention how all the government offices AND the school in her settlement were closed at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. What were you thinking was going on, lady?!

That said, I don't think there was much the people in Long Island could have done. Cat 4 winds for up to 24 hours, with related surge, would pretty much wipe out everything.
Quoting 142. sar2401:

Imagine the screams that would have come from this blog if the NHC had only relied on the Euro. Even after it was clear, at least to me, that the other models coming east was a sign the Euro really did have it right, we had a lot of people here saying the Euro was still wrong and the other models were going to come back west. There were more agendas than meteorology for a good part of Joaquin.


And we all know what those agendas were
Quoting 139. BahaHurican:

I think there was tipping point [on Wednesday] when collectively we began to realize that Joaquin was just not going to do what forecasters said / though it would do. Perhaps there is some room for looking beyond the forecasts and taking the current conditions more into consideration. However, just about everything that was catastrophic about Joaquin came about at least partially because of the rapid intensification. If Joaquin had remained a mild-mannered cat 1, I believe the El Faro would have fared well. Certainly residents in Crooked Island and Acklins, Long Island and Long Cay, were not expecting 24 hours of strong hurricane winds and a cat 3+ surge. They would have handled a cat 1 much better.

Where I would give NHC and other mets "wrong" is for the same reason I think NatureIsle would fault them. That is, no left of track warnings were issued when storm warnings went up. I think even a TS warning for the SE Bahamas at the same time when the hurricane warnings were posted on Wednesday morning would have cued residents there, and particularly disaster managers, that they should be monitoring the storm. Those residents who did not notice the warnings posted at 5 p.m. were IMO justifiably caught off guard to discover a cat 3/4 storm meandering in their area on Thursday morning. Similarly, when Erika dropped a huge deluge of rain over Dominica in less than 12 hours, residents were caught off guard.

While it may be too late to go back and post the warnings that might have been helpful in these two cases, certainly it behooves forecasters to take into greater account the extent of winds in ALL directions, not just the forecasted direction of travel of a TC, when recommending and / or posting watches and warnings.

This was at 5:00 am Wednesday. Doesn't this cover the hardest hit area?

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

The government of the Bahamas has issued a Hurricane Warning for
the central Bahamas, including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island,
Rum Cay, and San Salvador.

The government of the Bahamas has issued a Hurricane Watch for the
northwestern Bahamas excluding Andros Island. This includes the
Abacos, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and
New Providence.
We might have another storm to track soon. We'll see.
Quoting 133. Sandcat:




Lack of propulsion pretty much limits available responses/actions. I hear they found both life rafts but they were empty? Very sad situation. My prayers go out to them,their families and friends and hope for the best.
And we can't really say the sea state conditions at the time. I'm pretty sure there weren't any other ship reports from the area. Anyone who has ever sailed also knows that conditions five mle from a buoy can have completely different conditions than at the buoy. The waves could have been 70 feet or 25 feet. We have no way of knowing that.
Quoting 135. HurricaneHunterJoe:

With all the torrential rains in Carolinas/East Coast....Forecasters from NWS San Diego got our storm correct just as they did for the rain event going on now.

Spotty precip in Soo Cal as I type. It is raining moderately at my location in San Diego County. Rain totals are mostly 1/4-1/2" up to 3" on orographically positioned mountains.........nice good soaking rain! We might wash away if we got what Carolina did! Good light/moderate storms wet the soil nicely and soak in preparing for the heavier winter rains and possibly very heavy storms because of El Nino. So things are working out well thus far. Have to wait and see what "The Christ Child" has in store for California.

I notice the grass has already sprouted on the hills which is unusual in SoCal for September.
Quoting 134. JustPlantIt:

Seriously, this condemnation of the Captain of 'El Faro' is wrong. Anyone ever watch 'Deadly Catch'... Something of that name. Much smaller ships than that of 'El Faro' and in very bad storms. The Captain is ALWAYS looking after his or her crew. His Ship and his responsibility. Settle down and just wait to see what evolves from those that are investigating this tragic loss. These 'Captains' take their jobs very seriously, even to become suicidal as some have done recently. I have the highest regards for any Captain of a ship. Yes, my Dad was Navy!

With no one to defend him and possibly no evidence otherwise, the company may hang it on him. Yes there is some blame there since he was the captain, but I don't think he should be hung out to dry... Again, we don't know what the specifics were, if there was even data available to them, and if he really could have done anything about it. Watching Deadliest Catch, when a ship loses power in rough seas, they go down if they can't get power back. That's why they panic on the show when it happens. So it would stand to reason that even a ship as large as the El Faro, waves 3 times the height of waves on the show would pose a serious threat to the listing they were already dealing with. Ship would eventually turn naturally and the waves would crash over it until they eventually pushed it into a capsize and sinking. Sar, if any of that is wrong please correct me! I'm just holding out hope that they find the missing life boat and survivors. But with the sun setting, I don't know.
Quoting 149. sar2401:

And we can't really say the sea state conditions at the time. I'm pretty sure there weren't any other ship reports from the area. Anyone who has ever sailed also knows that conditions five mle from a buoy can have completely different conditions than at the buoy. The waves could have been 70 feet or 25 feet. We have no way of knowing that.


Rogue wave perhaps.
Quoting 149. sar2401:

And we can't really say the sea state conditions at the time. I'm pretty sure there weren't any other ship reports from the area. Anyone who has ever sailed also knows that conditions five mle from a buoy can have completely different conditions than at the buoy. The waves could have been 70 feet or 25 feet. We have no way of knowing that.

Don't forget about the other 200 foot ship that went down all the way north of Haiti. They found all 11 crew members in the life boat. So conditions were bad for miles...
Quoting 103. RitaEvac:

Let's hit replay again


Too bad the ECMWF isn't on that chart....
Quoting 152. canyonboy:



Rogue wave perhaps.

That's what Scott was saying earlier.
Maybe we will get 2 rain events from the same storm! Hope it happens!

From the NWS Forecast Discussion today:

EARLY NEXT WEEK...THE LOW THAT IS BRINGING THE SHOWERS TODAY IS
FORECAST BY THE LONG-RANGE MODELS TO RETROGRADE BACK OVER BAJA
MEXICO AND THEN OFFSHORE. THE POSITIONING OF THE LOW COULD HELP TO
BRING MOISTURE IN FROM THE SOUTHEAST RESULTING IN POSSIBLY SOME
PRECIPITATION FOR PORTIONS OF THE AREA.
Quoting 109. sar2401:

The low is cold core and totally baroclinic. It's not impossible, but it is highly unlikely. If it dawdles around the tropical Atlantic for the next week, that could change.
Sounds like Joaquin redux .... :o)

Just saying ....
Quoting 110. StormTrackerScott:



I'll give you that as they could have docked in Nassau to wait out the storm instead the captain thought he could skirt the western edge.
True. But if they left port on Tuesday, the decision to come into the NE Passage / Channel would have had to be made before Wednesday morning. These guys were prolly down east of Long Island before they realized the trouble they were in....
Quoting 125. StormTrackerScott:

I am very interested in hearing what was the final height of the storm surge on the southern end of Long Island as that is where there are many people missing. If it was over 15' this could be a record for the Bahamas.
Hey, Scott, I haven't heard any measurements yet, but 15 ft would not be out of the ball park for a cat 4 storm, especially on the west side of Long Island [where all the videos of flooding are coming from] and on the south side of Crooked Island [the Bight of Acklins is extremely shallow].

On the death reports, so far all the people who had been missing on Long Island have been located. One of my co-workers told me today that her family in Nassau was informed that at least one uncle was dead, but on Sunday afternoon they found him at his house. I am assuming that the reports of missing became reports of "presumed" dead before the storm subsided sufficiently to allow a thorough search to be made. I'm waiting to hear the evening report, as by now most of the affected areas should have been reached by plane, road, and / or boat.

A lot of aid is going that way, and I want to express personal gratitude yet again for those in the US Coast Guard who have already done so much to assist people who are in the impacted area.
Quoting 125. StormTrackerScott:

I am very interested in hearing what was the final height of the storm surge on the southern end of Long Island as that is where there are many people missing. If it was over 15' this could be a record for the Bahamas.
I doubt it would be the highest ever observed on Long Island, but it might be the highest DOCUMENTED in a formal way. Furthermore, a surge of 25' was documented on Eleuthera during Hurricane Andrew.


invest 91L is weak i see notting happern at all


Hurricane JOAQUIN
12.54" and raining here.

Quoting 161. TropicalAnalystwx13:

12.54" and raining here.




Surprised to see "only" 6.30" for the Greenville-Spartanburg area. I have some close friends that live there and they described a situation in which I would have guessed double that amount fell. They live on the 2nd floor of an apartment complex in Greenville and said a lot of the 1st floor units took in flood water. That seems a little much for only 6.30", unless their drainage is terrible.
Quoting 101. StormTrackerScott:

Everytime we get a WWB the CFSv2 trends higher now back near 3C. Peak looks to be roughly 8 weeks or so away and were already @ 2.4C and likely up to 2.6C next Monday.




Where are you getting the +2.6C number? I just checked Steve Gregory's blog and he doesn't have a blog about it and he was only off by 0.1C last time. I understand that he was calculating TAO anomalies and almost nailed it perfectly.
Quoting 127. SLU:



Yes and another choice could have been to divert to along the coast of Cuba and continue on. They'd only face 35-40kt winds there which is chicken feed for a ship that size.
No way they would have chosen to sail the Old Bahama Passage, not flying an American Flag. Their best bet would have been to cut through the NW/NE passage and hang about until the storm had passed...
Quoting 128. SLU:



Remarkably low death toll on land for a 3-day cataclysm with little warning. The story might have been different if Joaquin had hit the NW Bahamas.
You know you are telling the whole truth. A LOT a lot of pple in New Providence were totally not ready for this ....
Quoting 138. StormTrackerScott:



I agree it ridiculous watching some on here thinking the captain did this to his crew and was irresponsible.
I think it was a bad choice. But I am only thinking that because I am on THIS side of the choice, having seen the outcome. I think the captain sailed based on what info he had, and when he got down near Long Island and Crooked Island he found himself between a rock and a hard place.... without propulsion....

Quoting 145. sar2401:


This was at 5:00 am Wednesday. Doesn't this cover the hardest hit area?

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

The government of the Bahamas has issued a Hurricane Warning for
the central Bahamas, including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island,
Rum Cay, and San Salvador.

The government of the Bahamas has issued a Hurricane Watch for the
northwestern Bahamas excluding Andros Island. This includes the
Abacos, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and
New Providence.
It doesn't. Crooked Island and Acklins had NO warnings at all posted until 12 hours later, and then only a TS warning. I'm saying that TS warning should have been posted [or at least a watch] at the same time these warnings were posted. Realistically Crooked Island in particular should have been expected to experience TS force winds even on the original track and at the original intensity. Joaquin was never a small storm....

Even if only emergency managers were noticing the trend, there would have been a bit more coordination in those two islands. One problem, for example, was that the manager's sat phone was in one building while the manager was in another [iirc] in a different settlement.
Quoting 162. tampabaymatt:



Surprised to see "only" 6.30" for the Greenville-Spartanburg area. I have some close friends that live there and they described a situation in which I would have guessed double that amount fell. They live on the 2nd floor of an apartment complex in Greenville and said a lot of the 1st floor units took in flood water. That seems a little much for only 6.30", unless their drainage is terrible.


It takes a lot less rain to flood in upstate south Carolina is the reason why. Remember that some places can get biblical flash flooding from 2 inches of rain, other places can get 12 inches and fair well. 6 inches of rain in upstate SC is a bigger deal than 6 inches in Charleston. Not to mention the changes in elevation which make a big difference.
Quoting 148. HurricaneHunterJoe:



Lack of propulsion pretty much limits available responses/actions. I hear they found both life rafts but they were empty? Very sad situation. My prayers go out to them,their families and friends and hope for the best.
One life raft, a debris field, and at least one decomposing body.
I hate to be crude, but sharks ....
Quoting 152. canyonboy:



Rogue wave perhaps.


Being a long time surfer, there are almost always "rogue waves" hiding within the normal/consistent wave pattern. It can be an average day with 4' - 5' waves, and then a freak "rogue wave" will come rolling in that's nearly twice the size of the biggest wave of the day. Then the surf goes back to its consistent 4' - 5' range for another long period of time.

I find them really interesting and anyone that does a lot of surfing will know what I'm talking about.
Quoting 129. Neapolitan:

I keep reading about how badly the NHC "busted" the forecast for Joaquin, but that's just lazy Monday morning quarterbacking from the cheap seats, if you ask me. In fact, beginning with the 11PM Tuesday TWO, the NHC's three-day forecast cone has been pretty accurate. Check out the graphical archive yourself: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2015/graphics/al1 1/loop_3W.shtml.

So far as the El Faro: those familiar with shipping will know that the captain is ultimately responsible for the safe operation of any ship s/he commands. There are no exceptions to this rule. Even if anyone here believed the NHC gave them a bum steer last Tuesday--which they didn't--they have to realize that the decision to sail into Joaquin's path rested solely on the captain, and that's true regardless of company or crew pressure--even if the company threatened to fire him, or promised him a massive bonus for getting to San Juan on time, neither of which happened. The captain has authority and responsibility. It's been that way for hundreds of years.


Lol... Here's what Eric Blake had to say on the matter...
"I don't think anyone is happy about the early forecasts for that one. Failure on every level. Good modeling project" Link
Quoting 167. Sfloridacat5:



Being a long time surfer, there are almost always "rogue waves" hiding within the normal/consistent wave pattern. It can be an average day with 4' - 5' waves, and then a freak "rogue wave" will come rolling in that's nearly twice the size of the biggest wave of the day. Then the surf goes back to its consistent 4' - 5' range for another long period of time.

I find them really interesting and anyone that does a lot of surfing will know what I'm talking about.
They can travel long distances, too, so that a wave generated by Joaquin can impact marine craft hundreds of miles away, from what I've read.

The swells here are still high, a combination of Joaquin and the trough ....
Quoting 167. Sfloridacat5:



Being a long time surfer, there are almost always "rogue waves" hiding within the normal/consistent wave pattern. It can be an average day with 4' - 5' waves, and then a freak "rogue wave" will come rolling in that's nearly twice the size of the biggest wave of the day. Then the surf goes back to its consistent 4' - 5' range for another long period of time.

I find them really interesting and anyone that does a lot of surfing will know what I'm talking about.

Daytona '07, I was just playing around in the water with friends, 2 - 3 foot waves just normal. But then I turned around and was completely over shadowed by a rogue wave. had me by over a foot and I'm 6'2"... Friend grabbed our other friend who got pulled out in the tow. That was a sunny day
Quoting 169. Webberweather53:



Lol... Here's what Eric Blake had to say on the matter...
"I don't think anyone is happy about the early forecasts for that one. Failure on every level. Good modeling project" Link
I agree with him. There is a LOT to be learned from this storm. Maybe it can help us put our finger on intensity forecasts ....
Quoting 167. Sfloridacat5:



Being a long time surfer, there are almost always "rogue waves" hiding within the normal/consistent wave pattern. It can be an average day with 4' - 5' waves, and then a freak "rogue wave" will come rolling in that's nearly twice the size of the biggest wave of the day. Then the surf goes back to its consistent 4' - 5' range for another long period of time.

I find them really interesting and anyone that does a lot of surfing will know what I'm talking about.


A tragic example of this happened up at St. Pete Beach this weekend. A 9-year old boy was in ankle-to-knee deep water with his family when a higher than normal wave knocked them all off their feet. As they got back up, the rip current was dragging the little boy into deeper water. They found his body today.
ULL responsible for Soo Cal rain is spinning over the Mojave Desert moving very slow(cutoff low) almost looks like a tad of retrograding back west. I will tell you those light gray clouds over San Diego have some rain in them.


Quoting 174. HurricaneHunterJoe:

ULL responsible for Soo Cal rain is spinning over the Mojave Desert moving very slow(cutoff low) almost looks like a tad of retrograding back west. I will tell you those light gray clouds over San Diego have some rain in them.



I hope we don't go from drought to flood in CA ....
Regarding the El Faro, I've been scouring the internet trying to find out exactly when it departed Jacksonville on 29 September. There is very little information aside from "Tuesday". I did, however, find a page at ShippingExplorer which seems to indicate she left JAX at 21:36 which I assume is 9:36 PM EDT.

The immediately preceding Joaquin forecast products from the NHC would have been the 5 PM updates. In particular, Public Advisory #8 states, "Joaquin is moving toward the west-southwest near 5 mph (7 km/h) and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days."

It also says, "Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Joaquin could become a hurricane on Wednesday."

The Forecast Discussion (also #8) issued at 5 PM last Tuesday predicted that Joaquin would become a hurricane within 24 hours and noted that, "... the ECMWF takes Joaquin more to thewest and southwest through 72 hours than any of the other available guidance." It also says that watches and/or warnings for portions of the Bahamas were a possibility for later that same night.

This should have been plenty of notice for the captain to ascertain what he would be sailing towards. Assuming he was an experienced seaman - most of them are - he would have made his decision based on several factors and not just the weather forecast. To me, as a casual observer, he exercised bad judgment. It just frosts my onions to read in many places on the internet today (not necessarily here) that, "he couldn't have known what he was getting into because the forecasts were wrong". That's just bull.
Headed for Iceland????



:o)
Quoting 149. sar2401:

And we can't really say the sea state conditions at the time. I'm pretty sure there weren't any other ship reports from the area. Anyone who has ever sailed also knows that conditions five mle from a buoy can have completely different conditions than at the buoy. The waves could have been 70 feet or 25 feet. We have no way of knowing that.


As we've seen during WWII, a major can and will sink just about any vessel on earth if they get hit by the CDO. 140mph sustained, gusts higher, constant huge rolling 25-40 foot waves. No chance. Thoughts and Prayers for the lost at sea.
Report from Summerville/Jedburg, Dorchester County, SC

Seeing the light of day, now. Well maybe not the light as it is still cloudy. No rain to speak of today, heavy rain last night. We were under a flash flood advisory for much of the day. Edisto River still rising. Folks living on the river are asked to evacuate.

Throughout the day more neighborhoods have been evacuated, creeks overflowing and roads opened and roads closed. Schools will be closed tomorrow.

At my house, we are high and dry. A mile or so down the road they have flooding.
The pond behind the house is well below the top of the bank. (3ft). Drako the resident alligator is still missing.

I have been monitoring rainfall in our yard over the last 3 days. Used a Carolina Panther bucket (Keep Pounding - can you say 4-0). It has mostly straight sides, but I subtracted about .5 inch since it was not perfectly straight. Not meant to be an accurate measurement, but rather an indication of rainfall in our yard. Measurement was from about 4pm to 4pm.
Fri-Sat 9", Sat-Sun 10.5", Sun - Mon 5" (last nights rain)

As I was typing this - the sun (I think it's called) has shown it's face.
Quoting 163. wartsttocs:



Where are you getting the 2.6C number? I just checked Steve Gregory's blog and he doesn't have a blog about it and he was only off by 0.1C last time. I understand that he was calculating TAO anomalies and almost nailed it perfectly.


Increase in sea surface anomalies due to a very strong WWB is really warming Nino 3.4 and should attain 2.6C next Monday.



Quoting 169. Webberweather53:



Lol... Here's what Eric Blake had to say on the matter...
"I don't think anyone is happy about the early forecasts for that one. Failure on every level. Good modeling project" Link
Correct. Which is why I intentionally singled out three day forecasts made from late Tuesday onward--that is, the ones most critically important for the El Faro--as being, in my words, pretty accurate. I'm sure Blake is referring to the earliest forecasts, the ones that couldn't get a grip on either Joaquin's future path or strength.
183. SLU
Quoting 137. sar2401:

It's also an American flagged ship. As such, you can't just sail along the coast of Cuba. There's a 24 mile territorial limit offshore, and big trouble if you're caught on the other side of the line. I wouldn't have been able to tell how close the storm was going to get Cuba, and that wouldn't have have been my choice in rough seas.


Weren't these issues resolved after Obama and Castro shook hands?
Good evening hello to everyone, thanks for the new blog with a lot of different subjects (including the French flashflood) and the interesting discussion going on here in the comment section. I'm very sorry to hear the news of what has been found from the sunken ship so far and all the destruction on the Bahamas - and of course the crazy US floodings as well.

China's Mujigae is still on topic (see entry above). Euronews got an impressive video compilation of the deadly tornado which was attached to the typhoon, and other wind damage:



Typhoon Mujigae leaves 15 dead or missing in south China
English.news.cn | 2015-10-05 22:42:42
Quoting 151. RavensFan:


With no one to defend him and possibly no evidence otherwise, the company may hang it on him. Yes there is some blame there since he was the captain, but I don't think he should be hung out to dry... Again, we don't know what the specifics were, if there was even data available to them, and if he really could have done anything about it. Watching Deadliest Catch, when a ship loses power in rough seas, they go down if they can't get power back. That's why they panic on the show when it happens. So it would stand to reason that even a ship as large as the El Faro, waves 3 times the height of waves on the show would pose a serious threat to the listing they were already dealing with. Ship would eventually turn naturally and the waves would crash over it until they eventually pushed it into a capsize and sinking. Sar, if any of that is wrong please correct me! I'm just holding out hope that they find the missing life boat and survivors. But with the sun setting, I don't know.
No, that's all correct. Well, almost. :-) The company isn't the one that makes decisions about what happened, it's the Coast Guard and whole bunch of other agencies that make that judgement when the report is complete. The captain is, unfortunately, always the initial fall guy when he's not there to give his side of the story.

I suspect that, when the ship lost power, it got itself sideways in a trough. This was a container ship that was apparently carrying a full load of containers but also a full load of vehicles in the holds. That's good in terms of ballast, but bad in terms of those vehicles getting loose and rolling around the holds. The ship comes out of the trough sideways. That induces an immediate list. Containers start coming loose and go overboard. All those vehicles in the hold start coming loose and hitting the hull. The bending moment of the hull gets tested more and more as the ship continues up the trough. That can break welds and pop plates loose.

As the ship gets to the top of the trough, it's on the crest of the wave. With power, it can now plow ahead and start to turn into the next wave. Without power, it hangs until it starts to slide down the side of the wave into the trough. Everything now slides the opposite direction, pounding the other side of the hull, and more containers go overboard. The entire hull is strained again, and more things start to break. Water is probably getting in through the hold covers and breaches in the hull caused by the vehicles and the bending of the hull. Whatever the engineers are doing to restart the engines while they are also being thrown around the engine room is for nought if the water rises too high and you don't have pumps. Enough motion like this and even engine mounts start to break. If there was an emergency generator, it has probably already been torn loose from the mountings. All of these things turn into flying missiles inside the engine room. Now they are in the trough, and it starts all over again.

I don't know if my scenario is true, but most ships built to mercantile standards can't take much of this before they start to break up. The crew has very little warning before this happens, so those below decks are really in trouble. Even if the captain had the above decks crew in abandon ship mode and they got into survival suits, they'd still have to get the life raft containers overboard without having them get torn up by the waves and debris. Most merchant ships don't carry lifeboats. The crew is trained in how to use survival suits and life rafts, which are pretty large, and reasonably sturdy. They go overboard in big round orange containers, and are supposed to pop open on contact with the ocean surface, releasing the raft inside. The rafts are tethered to the ship- assuming the tethers didn't break. You're then supposed to drag the raft over toward you, hit the drink when it looks good, and paddle over to the raft. There are flexible nylon ladders that are supposed to hang below the rafts so you can climb aboard, assuming they are deployed properly and didn't get torn off. If they're gone or didn't get deployed, it's just about impossible to get into one of those rafts. It's about a four foot climb, and it's hard enough with the ladder. Imagine you're in a survival suit, exhausted, and possibly injured. That gives you an idea why we haven't seen lifeboats sailing around with the crew.

Whatever happened, I imagine the final minutes were absolutely hellacious.
Quoting 175. BahaHurican:

I hope we don't go from drought to flood in CA ....


Time will tell Baja......San Diego did have record summer rains June 21- Sept 21 of 3 inches(when the total is usually 0 to a trace) and since May1 we are approaching 6 inches(when the total for a year is 9.90 inches) Now waiting on El Nino to see if the floods will prevail this winter/spring.
Quoting 177. BahaHurican:

Headed for Iceland????



:o)
i hope so
what storm was last year where it was very huge in the Atlantic and made way through europe and caused a lot of damage.
NHC did awesome, have all season. All models except the Euro showed a land falling hurricane. Was a very close call to which won out, the ULL to the NE of Joaquin or the complex steering mechanism that would pull Joaquin into N.C northward. NHC had to go with overwhelming consensus. They did mention the Euro during that point and had a slight eastward bias because of that. With questions about timing of NE turn, more warnings further South in the Bahamas may have been warranted as Baha Hurican pointed out. As a whole, NHC excels, have had an excellent season forecasting and interpreting model data, and my first go to for the latest updates.
american license ship? thats a rare bird
Quoting 183. SLU:



Weren't these issues resolved after Obama and Castro shook hands?
No, they weren't. Cuba still seizes ships that sail within its territorial limits. They just generally don't attack them with Migs and sink them now. :-)
Quoting 180. StormTrackerScott:



Increase in sea surface anomalies due to a very strong WWB is really warming Nino 3.4 and should attain 2.6C next Monday.





How long does it take for them Kelvin waves to traverse all the regions and finally come to the surface by Peru? If Kelvin waves are still being generated, who's to say when it will peak?
Quoting 182. Neapolitan:

Correct. Which is why I intentionally singled out three day forecasts made from late Tuesday onward--that is, the ones most critically important for the El Faro--as being, in my words, pretty accurate. I'm sure Blake is referring to the earliest forecasts, the ones that couldn't get a grip on either Joaquin's future path or strength.
LOL .... that late Tuesday advisory was like, "Oh, xqyz .... this storm is NOT going to do what we thought it would do ..... " ..... This is like the third storm this season that just had to have made the NHC forecasters say multiple bad words ....
Quoting 180. StormTrackerScott:



Increase in sea surface anomalies due to a very strong WWB is really warming Nino 3.4 and should attain 2.6C next Monday.






I was just wondering where the specific number came from and hoping you could post the link. If you are making an educated guess that is fine too, it seems like a reasonable one. I guess I could look at all the individual buoy data and try to calculate it myself, but that sounds hard. A link to someone who does, however, is easy to click and I like having the scoop.
Quoting 188. bigwes6844:

what storm was last year where it was very huge in the Atlantic and made way through europe and caused a lot of damage.
Every one that went north from the tropics, it seems.
Saffir-Simpson Scale
Tropical Storm - winds 39-73 mph (34-63 kt)
Category 1 - winds 74-95 mph (64-82 kt)
Category 2 - winds 96-110 mph (83-95 kt)
Category 3 - winds 111-130 mph (96-113 kt)
Category 4 - winds 131-155 mph (114-135 kt)
Category 5 - winds 156 mph and up (135+ kt)
Quoting 184. barbamz:

Good evening hello to everyone, thanks for the new blog with a lot of different subjects (including the French flashflood) and the interesting discussion going on here in the comment section. I'm very sorry to hear the news of what has been found from the sunken ship so far and all the destruction on the Bahamas - and of course the crazy US floodings as well.

China's Mujigae is still on topic (see entry above). Euronews got an impressive video compilation of the deadly tornado which was attached to the typhoon, and other wind damage:



Typhoon Mujigae leaves 15 dead or missing in south China
English.news.cn | 2015-10-05 22:42:42
This was another RI near land / populated areas. I wasn't following this storm's progress prior to its RI just off the coast; was it expected to do that?
Quoting 193. BahaHurican:

LOL .... that late Tuesday advisory was like, "Oh, xqyz .... this storm is NOT going to do what we thought it would do ..... " ..... This is like the third storm this season that just had to have made the NHC forecasters say multiple bad words ....
I will say I thought the addition of they "Key Points" to each discussion with Joaquin made a huge difference for me having a better understanding of their thinking...and how hard it was to get this forecast nailed down.
Quoting 195. sar2401:

Every one that went north from the tropics, it seems.
No it was a Hurricane that was in the atlantic and went through europe and then caused major damage after the system combine with a snow storm near I think Ukraine.
Quoting 198. sar2401:

I will say I thought the addition of they "Key Points" to each discussion with Joaquin made a huge difference for me having a better understanding of their thinking...and how hard it was to get this forecast nailed down.

Yeah, the key messages I think are making a huge difference in terms of how their forecasts/reasoning behind their forecasts are perceived by the public as well. I don't see too many angry people with pitchforks on their Facebook page.
Quoting 186. HurricaneHunterJoe:



Time will tell Baja......San Diego did have record summer rains June 21- Sept 21 of 3 inches(when the total is usually 0 to a trace) and since May1 we are approaching 6 inches(when the total for a year is 9.90 inches) Now waiting on El Nino to see if the floods will prevail this winter/spring.
I hope not, Joe, but look at the last five strong El Ninos and the rain in California. It's pretty rare to get through one without flooding rains. I'd sure be stockpiling sandbags if I lived in a place that got high water.
Quoting 177. BahaHurican:

Headed for Iceland????



:o)

Latest Euro run I've checked (12z) says Joaquin is headed for Ireland and than passing England quite near London ...
The run before (00z) had it much weaker going more south into France. We'll see what happens. But as much as I've seen in German weatherblogs: At least Ex-Joaquin should push back for me Russia's cold air which is about to invade Europe over the weekend :-)

This is GFS 12z with Joaquin off Ireland (and recurving afterwards):

Quoting 200. TropicalAnalystwx13:


Yeah, the key messages I think are making a huge difference in terms of how their forecasts/reasoning behind their forecasts are perceived by the public as well. I don't see too many angry people with pitchforks on their Facebook page.
I'm hoping they can find a way to integrate them into the public advisories as well. I think it helps to see the NHC agonizing over the forecast that same as we do, and that models are not their only concern.
Quoting 202. barbamz:


Latest Euro run I've checked (12z) says Joaquin is headed for Ireland and than passing England quite near London ...
The run before (00z) had it much weaker going more south into France. We'll see what happens. But as much as I've seen in German weatherblogs: At least Ex-Joaquin should push back for me Russia's cold air which is about to invade Europe over the weekend :-)
It still seems to be going strong, so I'm in wait and see mode. If it hits Ireland, it's got a fair chance of still being at least quasi tropical ..... :o)
Quoting 182. Neapolitan:

Correct. Which is why I intentionally singled out three day forecasts made from late Tuesday onward--that is, the ones most critically important for the El Faro--as being, in my words, pretty accurate. I'm sure Blake is referring to the earliest forecasts, the ones that couldn't get a grip on either Joaquin's future path or strength.
Yeah, this guy emphasized the wrong words given the context of the discussion. Let's fix that!
"I don't think anyone is happy about the early forecasts for that one. Failure on every level. Good modeling project"
That is a lot less sensationalist. (Is webber priming for a career on Fox news?)
Quoting 202. barbamz:


Latest Euro run I've checked (12z) says Joaquin is headed for Ireland and than passing England quite near London ...
The run before (00z) had it much weaker going more south into France. We'll see what happens. But as much as I've seen in German weatherblogs: At least Ex-Joaquin should push back for me Russia's cold air which is about to invade Europe over the weekend :-)
I think Ireland or Portugal, depending on where Joaquin gets into that trough. Right down to the end, Joaquin is going to torture us with his track. :-)
Quoting 199. bigwes6844:

No it was a Hurricane that was in the atlantic and went through europe and then caused major damage after the system combine with a snow storm near I think Ukraine.
I don't know, but I'll bet Barbamz does... :-)
Quoting 175. BahaHurican:

I hope we don't go from drought to flood in CA ....

Local NWS forecast office in the SF Bay Area has said the low may retrograde, weakening the western ridge in conjunction with a northern system doing the same. This is the season for changes, plus the El Nino wild card, so we shall see.
In regards to your question Baha, many here looking at satellite questioned the strength of the China typhoon. Was clearly intensifying. One comment was, "That's a cat 1?" Wow those tornadoes it dropped. Was not expected to RI.
Not so sure I buy the "rogue wave" theory of El Faro's disappearance. Rogue waves certainly exist--there's no doubt about that--but the El Faro's last contact noted that the ship was already dead in the water and listing 15 degrees. (That's a hell of a lean, especially with nearly 400 containers on board.) The last message made no mention of any killer waves; just that the ship and crew were in distress, though they found the situation manageable. The thing is, though, no rogue wave is necessary to explain the ship's end. The bare fact is that the captain, for whatever reasons, chose to pilot his vessel into heavy, hurricane-tossed seas--waves that alone would be more than capable of flooding, breaking, or capsizing a large, loaded ship.
Quoting 204. BahaHurican:

It still seems to be going strong, so I'm in wait and see mode. If it hits Ireland, it's got a fair chance of still being at least quasi tropical ..... :o)
The Euro yesterday had it as at least a TD into Ireland. I've been too lazy to look at it today. I just hope it's not headed back toward Florida.
Gotta run. TTYL....
213. ariot
Quoting 191. sar2401:

No, they weren't. Cuba still seizes ships that sail within its territorial limits. They just generally don't attack them with Migs and sink them now. :-)


You have a link for all those ships Cuba has been taking and all those ships they've been sinking with their awesome Migs? Thanks in advance.
Quoting 213. ariot:



You have a link for all those ships Cuba has been taking and all those ships they've been sinking with their awesome Migs? Thanks in advance.
Well, they did sink a Bahamian boat near Ragged Island, some years ago. After that people pretty much just stayed away.
Quoting 129. Neapolitan:

I keep reading about how badly the NHC "busted" the forecast for Joaquin, but that's just lazy Monday morning quarterbacking from the cheap seats, if you ask me. In fact, beginning with the 11PM Tuesday TWO, the NHC's three-day forecast cone has been pretty accurate. Check out the graphical archive yourself: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2015/graphics/al1 1/loop_3W.shtml.

So far as the El Faro: those familiar with shipping will know that the captain is ultimately responsible for the safe operation of any ship s/he commands. There are no exceptions to this rule. Even if anyone here believed the NHC gave them a bum steer last Tuesday--which they didn't--they have to realize that the decision to sail into Joaquin's path rested solely on the captain, and that's true regardless of company or crew pressure--even if the company threatened to fire him, or promised him a massive bonus for getting to San Juan on time, neither of which happened. The captain has authority and responsibility. It's been that way for hundreds of years.
Good post Nea...I am truly disappointed with some of the comments made here about the hurricanes forecast and the what happened to the El Faro. The hurricane was not that far off from the track issued by the NHC. Most people know that hurricanes can be erratic and unpredictable. The intensity was not that surprising given its location, and above normal ocean temps that are occurring in the region. The El Faro was in a part of the world known for rapid formation and intensification of hurricanes. The captain was well informed about the hurricane. It remains to be seen where the ship was located when it lost all engine power, but like you said, the responsibility ultimately lies with the Captain. It is only my opinion, but I do speak from experience, the ship should have never ventured that close to the hurricane. Especially an aging ship like the El Faro...I would like to say more, but I have to go..
As critical as the world is, it's good to remember this is not a success only journey in forecasting tropical systems. There is much we don't know. There will be close calls about track based on very complicated forces at work. Joaquin was one for sure. One of the more dynamic for path and intensity.
Quoting 199. bigwes6844:

No it was a Hurricane that was in the atlantic and went through europe and then caused major damage after the system combine with a snow storm near I think Ukraine.

Quoting 207. sar2401:

I don't know, but I'll bet Barbamz does... :-)

:-) Probably dear Gonzalo.
From the end of this article:
"The upper-level low associated with the hurricane's remnants blanketed parts of the Alps with heavy snowfall, accumulating to several feet, and subsequently fueled torrential rains in the Balkans on October 24 and 25. Floodwaters caused by estimated rainfall totals nearing 6 in (150 mm) inundated entire villages in southeastern Bulgaria, forcing hundreds to evacuate, and there were widespread disruptions of power and water services. A woman in Burgas died from drowning. In the Greek capital city of Athens, the deluge filled streets with rushing water that swept away hundreds of vehicles. More than 300 buildings were inundated in the Attica area."

Very cherished graphic, created by wetteronline.de:

Path of Gonzalo 2014.
http://www.royalgazette.com/article/20151005/NEWS/1 51009833 looks like Bermuda weathered things well
219. SLU
Quoting 139. BahaHurican:

I think there was tipping point [on Wednesday] when collectively we began to realize that Joaquin was just not going to do what forecasters said / though it would do. Perhaps there is some room for looking beyond the forecasts and taking the current conditions more into consideration. However, just about everything that was catastrophic about Joaquin came about at least partially because of the rapid intensification. If Joaquin had remained a mild-mannered cat 1, I believe the El Faro would have fared well. Certainly residents in Crooked Island and Acklins, Long Island and Long Cay, were not expecting 24 hours of strong hurricane winds and a cat 3 surge. They would have handled a cat 1 much better.

Where I would give NHC and other mets "wrong" is for the same reason I think NatureIsle would fault them. That is, no left of track warnings were issued when storm warnings went up. I think even a TS warning for the SE Bahamas at the same time when the hurricane warnings were posted on Wednesday morning would have cued residents there, and particularly disaster managers, that they should be monitoring the storm. Those residents who did not notice the warnings posted at 5 p.m. were IMO justifiably caught off guard to discover a cat 3/4 storm meandering in their area on Thursday morning.
Similarly, when Erika dropped a huge deluge of rain over Dominica in less than 12 hours, residents were caught off guard.

While it may be too late to go back and post the warnings that might have been helpful in these two cases, certainly it behooves forecasters to take into greater account the extent of winds in ALL directions, not just the forecasted direction of travel of a TC, when recommending and / or posting watches and warnings.


Here are the actual figures which will prove that the NHC was at fault with their late issuance of warnings for the Bahamas:

CENTRAL BAHAMAS
Hurricane watch issued 18 hours before the onset of TS force winds
Hurricane warning issued 12 hours before the onset of TS force winds
No TS warnings were issued for them ahead of the onset of TS force winds

NW BAHAMAS

Hurricane watch was issued 12 hours before the TS warning was issued for the SE Bahamas who were highly threatened. There were no winds over 30kts ever experienced in the NW Bahamas so they were over warned.

SE BAHAMAS & TURKS & CAICOS IS.

TS warning issued 3 hours! before the onset of TS force winds even when the storm was obviously moving south for days.

Hurricane warning issued 3 hours! before the onset of hurricane force winds in Crooked Island and Acklins.


In summary, the NHC posted watches and warnings for the NW Bahamas that was well out of danger even before the SE Bahamas who were obviously in the path of the storm. So all those saying that the NHC didn't bust with their forecasts and warnings may I remind you all that watches are to be posted 48 hours before the storms arrival and warnings 36 hours before.

The residents of the SE and Central Bahamas who argued that they were given almost no warning were very right in hindsight if you study the NHC's graphics. Therefore, they experience a 3-day 130 - 155mph category 4 hurricane with no preparations. This really was a bust forecast from the experts and they need to accept responsibility for not forewarning people in harms way since it's not everyone who can sit in front a PC all day and interpret computer models and satellite photos like most of us here can.
Looks promising. Deep tap to Hawaiian waters.
Quoting 185. sar2401:

No, that's all correct. Well, almost. :-) The company isn't the one that makes decisions about what happened, it's the Coast Guard and whole bunch of other agencies that make that judgement when the report is complete. The captain is, unfortunately, always the initial fall guy when he's not there to give his side of the story.

I suspect that, when the ship lost power, it got itself sideways in a trough. This was a container ship that was apparently carrying a full load of containers but also a full load of vehicles in the holds. That's good in terms of ballast, but bad in terms of those vehicles getting loose and rolling around the holds. The ship comes out of the trough sideways. That induces an immediate list. Containers start coming loose and go overboard. All those vehicles in the hold start coming loose and hitting the hull. The bending moment of the hull gets tested more and more as the ship continues up the trough. That can break welds and pop plates loose.

As the ship gets to the top of the trough, it's on the crest of the wave. With power, it can now plow ahead and start to turn into the next wave. Without power, it hangs until it starts to slide down the side of the wave into the trough. Everything now slides the opposite direction, pounding the other side of the hull, and more containers go overboard. The entire hull is strained again, and more things start to break. Water is probably getting in through the hold covers and breaches in the hull caused by the vehicles and the bending of the hull. Whatever the engineers are doing to restart the engines while they are also being thrown around the around the engine room is for nought if the water rises too high and you don't have pumps. Enough motion like this and even engine mounts start to break. If there was an emergency generator, it has probably already been torn loose from the mountings. All of these things turn into flying missiles inside the engine room. Now they are in the trough, and it starts all over again.

I don't know if my scenario is true, but most ships built to mercantile standards can't take much of this before they start to break up. The crew has very little warning before this happens, so those below decks are really in trouble. Even if the captain had the above decks crew in abandon ship mode and they got into survival suits, they'd still have to get the life raft containers overboard without having them get torn up by the waves and debris. Most merchant ships don't carry lifeboats. The crew is trained in how to use survival suits and life rafts, which are pretty large, and reasonably sturdy. They go overboard in big round orange containers, and are supposed to pop open on contact with the ocean surface, releasing the raft inside. The rafts are tethered to the ship- assuming the tethers didn't break. You're then supposed to drag the raft over toward you, hit the drink when it looks good, and paddle over to the raft. There are flexible nylon ladders that are supposed to hang below the rafts so you can climb aboard, assuming they are deployed properly and didn't get torn off. If they're gone or didn't get deployed, it's just about impossible to get into one of those rafts. It's about a four foot climb, and it's hard enough with the ladder. Imagine you're in a survival suit, exhausted, and possibly injured. That gives you an idea why we haven't seen lifeboats sailing around with the crew.

Whatever happened, I imagine the final minutes were absolutely hellacious.

Hellacious is the right word... And I can't imagine that any of the abandon ship protocol went the way they trained... The video of one of the two life boats shows how bad those conditions really were, it was torn apart. Just holding out hope that they eventually find some of the missing, but the sun has gone down so we will have to wait until morning. Just got the latest update and they have now searched 160,574 square nautical miles and nothing on survivors...
Surface prog is even more interesting.
On another note, here's a link to a four-day radar loop showing the Carolina rainfall event in its entirety. Egads:

http://andrew.rsmas.miami.edu/bmcnoldy/tmp/oct201 5/southeast_radar.gif
Quoting 197. BahaHurican:

This was another RI near land / populated areas. I wasn't following this storm's progress prior to its RI just off the coast; was it expected to do that?

Doc/Bob said in one of his last entries: no, unexpected RI of Mujigae.
Quoting 179. SC29483:

Report from Summerville/Jedburg, Dorchester County, SC

Seeing the light of day, now. Well maybe not the light as it is still cloudy. No rain to speak of today, heavy rain last night. We were under a flash flood advisory for much of the day. Edisto River still rising. Folks living on the river are asked to evacuate.

Throughout the day more neighborhoods have been evacuated, creeks overflowing and roads opened and roads closed. Schools will be closed tomorrow.

At my house, we are high and dry. A mile or so down the road they have flooding.
The pond behind the house is well below the top of the bank. (3ft). Drako the resident alligator is still missing.

I have been monitoring rainfall in our yard over the last 3 days. Used a Carolina Panther bucket (Keep Pounding - can you say 4-0). It has mostly straight sides, but I subtracted about .5 inch since it was not perfectly straight. Not meant to be an accurate measurement, but rather an indication of rainfall in our yard. Measurement was from about 4pm to 4pm.
Fri-Sat 9", Sat-Sun 10.5", Sun - Mon 5" (last nights rain)

As I was typing this - the sun (I think it's called) has shown it's face.
I'm glad to hear you and your place made it through OK. Check the back bedroom for Drako. :-)

It's been amazing watching all this sitting here in Alabama, which isn't all that far away, only a little over 300 air miles to Charleston from Eufaula, according to Google. It has been cloudy here for as long as you've had rain, and it's still cloudy here, as we're developing a bit of a Georgia Wedge. It did get up to 75, which is the warmest it's been in five days. This huge ULL which contributed so much to the rain there was over me for almost two days. In all that time, I've seen about five minutes worth of drizzle. I guess the difference was that stalled front off the coast combined with the surface low and moisture inflow from Joaquin. Still, there were 60-80% pops every day and I got nothing. Talk about a forecast bust...
Quoting 173. flbeachgirl:



A tragic example of this happened up at St. Pete Beach this weekend. A 9-year old boy was in ankle-to-knee deep water with his family when a higher than normal wave knocked them all off their feet. As they got back up, the rip current was dragging the little boy into deeper water. They found his body today.


That is just so sad. I have to say that we on this blog may find it irresponsible for adults to take their families into that type of situation, but not everyone looks at NWS warnings... not everyone watches local news for warnings. These things happen, and it is unfortunately part of life. Before I moved to FL, I would have been one of those people. Ankle deep water? Please... that would have posed no immediate danger to me.
Quoting 224. barbamz:


Doc/Bob said in one of his last entries: no, unexpected RI.
Hello Barb..Doc did say recently that the ocean temps in the region are the warmest since records began in 1880...Doc likely knew that it was possible for such an event to occur.
If anyone wants to see up to date information on the search for the survivors check this link. Also has the short video of the first of two life boats they found.
Quoting 167. Sfloridacat5:



Being a long time surfer, there are almost always "rogue waves" hiding within the normal/consistent wave pattern. It can be an average day with 4' - 5' waves, and then a freak "rogue wave" will come rolling in that's nearly twice the size of the biggest wave of the day. Then the surf goes back to its consistent 4' - 5' range for another long period of time.

I find them really interesting and anyone that does a lot of surfing will know what I'm talking about.


I'm thinking that the types of waves that we surfers, even the extreme guys, associate with are not even close to the same thing that the El Faro was dealing with during its last hours/ minutes. Think about what the ocean would look like, the sea state, with 100+ mph winds (assuming they actually made it into the hurricane force winds) there would be no detectable crests and troughs it would basically be a crazy confusion of walls of foam and spray with moments of some visibility. Rouge waves, as far as I understand them are more connected with storms that have been at sea for longer with a longer fetch (wind blowing the same direction over a long stretch) but having never been in a hurricane at sea I am just musing of course. The other reason I doubt it was a rouge wave was they lost power and had time to send a distress call. The most reason the ship went down if that turns out to be true, is that it lost power and could not turn into the wind, any sailor knows that.
Quoting 228. RavensFan:

If anyone wants to see up to date information on the search for the survivors check this link. Also has the short video of the first of two life boats they found.

https://twitter.com/USCGSoutheast
Quoting 221. RavensFan:


Hellacious is the right word... And I can't imagine that any of the abandon ship protocol went the way they trained... The video of one of the two life boats shows how bad those conditions really were, it was torn apart. Just holding out hope that they eventually find some of the missing, but the sun has gone down so we will have to wait until morning. Just got the latest update and they have now searched 160,574 square nautical miles and nothing on survivors...
Yes, and each day, the area expands. That's why the Coast Guard has a formula for survivability and area to determine when to scale back the search. We had a computer program we used to feed in things like the number of square miles we wanted to search and how detectable the missing person or persons were. It told us the number of resources we'd need. It helps if it's a flat ocean, but I imagine the ocean in the Bahamas isn't very flat today. We used to train with the Coast Guard for ocean searches, since my county has about 100 miles of coastline. They'd throw a dummy dressed in an international orange survival suit overboard from a cutter, and we were supposed to find it from the helicopter. No sweat, I thought, back when I was a FNG. As it turned out, when there are swells of four feet or bigger, we would only find the Maurice (that was the dummy's name) about one pass in four. With six foot swells, it was more like one in ten. With six foot swells and 50% white caps, we could fly around for a half hour and misss poor Maurice. We had one time we never did find Maurice again, and the next one became Maurice Jr. Searching even a relatively small area of the ocean was devilishly difficult. A 160,000 square mile area...well, it's just one more reason they still haven't found the missing Malaysian airliner yet.
Quoting 223. Neapolitan:

On another note, here's a link to a four-day radar loop showing the Carolina rainfall event in its entirety. Egads:

http://andrew.rsmas.miami.edu/bmcnoldy/tmp/oct201 5/southeast_radar.gif

Amazing. Wish they could share a bit. Official weather station in my town (Mainz near Frankfurt) recorded 286mm = 11,3 inches of rain in whole 2015 so far. Means: 408mm = 16 inches are already lacking from average. Don't think we will catch up in the rest of the year.
Quoting 230. RavensFan:

I'm surprised they actually had a hard side lifeboat, but I guess that also goes to show the age of the vessel. From looking at it it doesn't appear to have been launched by the crew.
Quoting 232. barbamz:


Amazing. Wish they could share a bit. Official weather station in my town (Mainz near Frankfurt) recorded 286mm = 11,3 inches of rain in whole 2015 so far. Means: 408mm = 16 inches are lacking from average. Don't think we will catch up in the rest of the year.
Can't get that rainfall loop link to connect. :-(
October 2015 North American storm complex is what WIKI has listed for the flooding disaster occurring in the Carolina's.....Link
Some day Sar I hope you'll retell your story of how you almost met the same fate at sea and how some who didn't make the choice you did, perished in similar fates to the El Faro. Stronger storm even.
Quoting 233. sar2401:

I'm surprised they actually had a hard side lifeboat, but I guess that also goes to show the age of the vessel. From looking at it it doesn't appear to have been launched by the crew.


If they encountered the CDO, good luck with that.
Quoting 234. sar2401:

Can't get that rainfall loop link to connect. :-(

Guess you mean Nea's link? A lot of data; takes a while to load.
Quoting 223. Neapolitan:

On another note, here's a link to a four-day radar loop showing the Carolina rainfall event in its entirety. Egads:

http://andrew.rsmas.miami.edu/bmcnoldy/tmp/oct201 5/southeast_radar.gif


That says it all. WOW!
Quoting 219. SLU:



Here are the actual figures which will prove that the NHC was at fault with their late issuance of warnings for the Bahamas:

CENTRAL BAHAMAS
Hurricane watch issued 18 hours before the onset of TS force winds
Hurricane warning issued 12 hours before the onset of TS force winds
No TS warnings were issued for them ahead of the onset of TS force winds

NW BAHAMAS

Hurricane watch was issued 12 hours before the TS warning was issued for the SE Bahamas who were highly threatened. There were no winds over 30kts ever experienced in the NW Bahamas so they were over warned.

SE BAHAMAS & TURKS & CAICOS IS.

TS warning issued 3 hours! before the onset of TS force winds even when the storm was obviously moving south for days.

Hurricane warning issued 3 hours! before the onset of hurricane force winds in Crooked Island and Acklins.


In summary, the NHC posted watches and warnings for the NW Bahamas that was well out of danger even before the SE Bahamas who were obviously in the path of the storm. So all those saying that the NHC didn't bust with their forecasts and warnings may I remind you all that watches are to be posted 48 hours before the storms arrival and warnings 36 hours before.

The residents of the SE and Central Bahamas who argued that they were given almost no warning were very right in hindsight if you study the NHC's graphics. Therefore, they experience a 3-day 130 - 155mph category 4 hurricane with no preparations. This really was a bust forecast from the experts and they need to accept responsibility for not forewarning people in harms way since it's not everyone who can sit in front a PC all day and interpret computer models and satellite photos like most of us here can.
Those watches and warnings were issued by the Bahama Met Service, not the NHC. I don't know what the communication was between the two agencies, but the NHC was not responsible for them. Where did you get the data about warnings versus when the first hurricane conditions were observed? The first warning for the Acklins and Crooked Island I can find is Wednesday morning at 0500. When were they first hit with the hurricane? It does seem like the Turks were way behind on getting warned, especially considering the damage reports coming from Provo.
Quoting 238. barbamz:


Guess you mean Nea's link? A lot of data; takes a while to load.
The durn thing just times out on me. Rats!
From NBC news. One of the crew members emailed and said, "We're headed right into a hurricane."
Quoting 236. DeepSeaRising:

Some day Sar I hope you'll retell your story of how you almost met the same fate at sea and how some who didn't make the choice you did, perished in similar fates to the El Fargo. Stronger storm even.
Me and Ivan. I was lucky, since I'd be fish bait somewhere.
Quoting 242. DeepSeaRising:

From NBC news. One of the crew members tweeted and said, "We're headed right into a hurricane."
That came from a female crew member to her mother in an email, not a tweet. It's been known for at least the last day. I guess NBC News is a little behind...or looking for a way to freshen up a story with now news.
Quoting 210. Neapolitan:

Not so sure I buy the "rogue wave" theory of El Faro's disappearance. Rogue waves certainly exist--there's no doubt about that--but the El Faro's last contact noted that the ship was already dead in the water and listing 15 degrees. (That's a hell of a lean, especially with nearly 400 containers on board.) The last message made no mention of any killer waves; just that the ship and crew were in distress, though they found the situation manageable. The thing is, though, no rogue wave is necessary to explain the ship's end. The bare fact is that the captain, for whatever reasons, chose to pilot his vessel into heavy, hurricane-tossed seas--waves that alone would be more than capable of flooding, breaking, or capsizing a large, loaded ship.


Sure it would not take a rogue wave to down that ship, but I would not be as harsh on the captain. That storm was not supposed to be that far south nor that strong that fast. Then add the malfunction at the worst time. Tragedies like this are almost never a single event they are a series of events.
Looks like Iceland is seeing a little rain as well (apart from a glacier flood in Skafta river):

Skaftá Surrounds Ring Road, Swelling in South Iceland Rivers
Iceland Review, Oct 5, 2015
.... Rivers in South Iceland have swollen extensively due to extreme downpour in the region since last night. There is so much water in Hverfisfljót that the meter has stopped registering the water level and the water level by the bridge across Skálm has also reached record height. ....
Quoting 244. sar2401:

That came from a female crew member to her mother in an email, not a tweet. It's been known for at least the last day. I guess NBC News is a little behind...or looking for a way to freshen up a story with now news.


LOL, thanks Sar for correcting that. I'll get up to speed.


nice weather at my house!!
Shame on all of you blamers laying fault at the feet of the NHC, and the captain and owner of the El Faro. I'm quite sure none of the above set out to sink the freighter and kill the crew. Wouldn't your time be better served finding a solution for the next catastrophe of this magnitude when it happens again? Because it will...
Quoting 245. QueensWreath:



Sure it would not take a rogue wave to down that ship, but I would not be as harsh on the captain. That storm was not supposed to be that far south nor that strong that fast. Then add the malfunction at the worst time. Tragedies like this are almost never a single event they are a series of events.


And he lost power at the most critical time. He had to time to change course. But with no power, they sat and waited for what was to become a monster. Already listing, they stood no chance. Prayers for the Captain and Crew lost.
Quoting 219. SLU:



Here are the actual figures which will prove that the NHC was at fault with their late issuance of warnings for the Bahamas:

CENTRAL BAHAMAS
Hurricane watch issued 18 hours before the onset of TS force winds
Hurricane warning issued 12 hours before the onset of TS force winds
No TS warnings were issued for them ahead of the onset of TS force winds

NW BAHAMAS

Hurricane watch was issued 12 hours before the TS warning was issued for the SE Bahamas who were highly threatened. There were no winds over 30kts ever experienced in the NW Bahamas so they were over warned.

SE BAHAMAS & TURKS & CAICOS IS.

TS warning issued 3 hours! before the onset of TS force winds even when the storm was obviously moving south for days.

Hurricane warning issued 3 hours! before the onset of hurricane force winds in Crooked Island and Acklins.


In summary, the NHC posted watches and warnings for the NW Bahamas that was well out of danger even before the SE Bahamas who were obviously in the path of the storm. So all those saying that the NHC didn't bust with their forecasts and warnings may I remind you all that watches are to be posted 48 hours before the storms arrival and warnings 36 hours before.

The residents of the SE and Central Bahamas who argued that they were given almost no warning were very right in hindsight if you study the NHC's graphics. Therefore, they experience a 3-day 130 - 155mph category 4 hurricane with no preparations. This really was a bust forecast from the experts and they need to accept responsibility for not forewarning people in harms way since it's not everyone who can sit in front a PC all day and interpret computer models and satellite photos like most of us here can.

The Bahamas is an independent nation and the responsibility for issuing warnings is the Government of the Bahamas.
We all pay for our educations, one way or another...

and sometimes, multiple times over.
253. SLU
Quoting 240. sar2401:

Those watches and warnings were issued by the Bahama Met Service, not the NHC. I don't know what the communication was between the two agencies, but the NHC was not responsible for them. Where did you get the data about warnings versus when the first hurricane conditions were observed? The first warning for the Acklins and Crooked Island I can find is Wednesday morning at 0500. When were they first hit with the hurricane? It does seem like the Turks were way behind on getting warned, especially considering the damage reports coming from Provo.


As far as I know, if there's a storm coming, the NHC calls the island's met office and says "XYZ storm is approaching and we recommend a hurricane warning for your country based on the track and intensity". Then most times the met offices agree. The only met offices the NHC seems to get resistance from is from the French Islands (Martinique and Guadeloupe) which tend to agree to issuing warnings several hours later.

Then the NHC updates their graphics to indicate which islands are under warnings and indicates in the advisory "The Government of XYZ country has issued a hurricane warning" However, the individual met offices do not issue TS and hurricane warnings for their respective countries unilaterally and always do it on the advice of the experts at the NHC.

About the onset of the winds, I used the NHC's graphics to estimate the time. Their graphics would have been devised from ASCAT data and RECON data so they are a reasonable indicator of when those winds began affecting the respective islands.
254. SLU
Quoting 251. jambev:


The Bahamas is an independent nation and the responsibility for issuing warnings is the Government of the Bahamas.


Only on the advice of the NHC. Not unilaterally. The met offices in the islands do not have their own hurricane center that predicts hurricanes. That's why the NHC controls the whole Atlantic basin and EPAC.
as i understand it s carol. senators voted against aid for sandy. the s. florida senator is not off the hook either. still have the leftover 2015 season plus hyper active atlantic 2016. its november 2016 next presidential election.
256. MahFL
Quoting 29. StormTrackerScott:



I heard nothing about this massive impending storm surge either which the Bahamas got obliterated by on atleast 3 to 4 islands.


The storm surge info is in the Discussion, this is from Friday 11am :

"STORM SURGE: A very dangerous and life-threatening storm surge will
raise water levels by as much as 6 to 12 feet above normal tide
levels in the central Bahamas in areas of onshore flow. A storm
surge of 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels is expected in the
remainder of the Bahamas within the hurricane warning area. Near
the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous
waves."

Quoting 209. DeepSeaRising:

In regards to your question Baha, many here looking at satellite questioned the strength of the China typhoon. Was clearly intensifying. One comment was, "That's a cat 1?" Wow those tornadoes it dropped. Was not expected to RI.


I do believe that was the same exact location Rammasun RI'd in also. That location definitely seems to be a sweet spot for storms. Rammasun was not expected to intensify the way he did either.
Quoting 213. ariot:



You have a link for all those ships Cuba has been taking and all those ships they've been sinking with their awesome Migs? Thanks in advance.
Having trouble with Google? Search for the Bahamian Defense Forces ship Flamingo. Those awesome Cuban Migs sank it, in Bahamian territorial waters, killing four Marines aboard while strafing their lifeboat. That's just one incident, but it's enough to make most captains, especially captains of American flagged vessels, steer well clear of Cuba.
Quoting 226. Sangria:



That is just so sad. I have to say that we on this blog may find it irresponsible for adults to take their families into that type of situation, but not everyone looks at NWS warnings... not everyone watches local news for warnings. These things happen, and it is unfortunately part of life. Before I moved to FL, I would have been one of those people. Ankle deep water? Please... that would have posed no immediate danger to me.


I find that Ankle deep water thing a bit odd. It almost sounds like the parents were not great swimmers either. From the time I was a toddler my parents took me into the surf. They also insisted I learn to swim. By the time I was in 7th grade I was a jr Lifesaver. I am not talking about Florida waves either. I am talking about Mid Atlantic Md shore. Daily waves of 4 to 6 feet. I know there are always odd circumstances but with this kind of thing but .....
I just pray the family can heal from this loss.

All the Rain is missing me on the east side today. .09 so far this month.....
Quoting 253. SLU:



As far as I know, if there's a storm coming, the NHC calls the island's met office and says "XYZ storm is approaching and we recommend a hurricane warning for your country based on the track and intensity". Then most times the met offices agree. The only met offices the NHC seems to get resistance from is from the French Islands (Martinique and Guadeloupe) which tend to agree to issuing warnings several hours later.

Then the NHC updates their graphics to indicate which islands are under warnings and indicates in the advisory "The Government of XYZ country has issued a hurricane warning" However, the individual met offices do not issue TS and hurricane warnings for their respective countries unilaterally and always do it on the advice of the experts at the NHC.

About the onset of the winds, I used the NHC's graphics to estimate the time. Their graphics would have been devised from ASCAT data and RECON data so they are a reasonable indicator of when those winds began affecting the respective islands.
Regardless, the country's met office has the responsibility, just like a ship captain. The Bahama Met Office has responsibility for the Turks, and I recall questions why they didn't get at least a TS watch. I'm not privy to conversations the NHC has with other nations, but I really think they would have advised TS warnings for the Turks. Why the Bahamas Met Office didn't do so, I don't know. The French islands have warnings issued Meteo France, and they do have a tropical storms branch. I'm sure they are aware of NHC data, but they are completely on their own with warnings. The surrounding islands, like Domnica, usually take their cue from Meteo France before the NHC. With warnings issued by Meteo France for the French islands, the question at the time with Erika was why the same warnings weren't issued by the Dominica Met Service for Dominica. Again, I don't know the answer to that question. I'd like to see the data for your calculations. Some of those times don't seem correct form my memory, but I also haven't looked closely at data.
263. MahFL
Quoting 64. sar2401:
The fact the company runs American flagged vessels with mostly American crews in the Caribbean tells me this is no fly by night outfit.


They have to be American flagged as per the Jones Act, any ships sailing from an American port to another American port have be be flagged American.
Meanwhile in the southern hemisphere (Australia and South Africa):

Australia - Records tumble amid spring heatwave
Posted by WW Forecast Team on Tue, 06/10/2015 - 10:00
Adelaide has recorded one of its hottest October days in 70 years, with the temperature reaching 35.6 degrees Celsius, as Country Fire Service (CFS) crews battle blazes across the state.
The Bureau of Meteorology said Monday was the hottest day Adelaide had recorded so early in spring. ...


Victoria's weather warms up as Melbourne experiences hottest start to spring on record
Updated yesterday at 12:11pm
Melbourne has sweated through its hottest start to spring on record, with hot and blustery conditions expected to continue on Tuesday. ...

Warning: Second heatwave to hit Pretoria
Senior forecaster Puseletso Mofokeng said parents should not let their children play outside for a long time during the heatwave. ...
14 hours ago

I'm out. Have a pleasant evening and night everyone. And good recovery where it's needed.
265. SLU
Quoting 262. sar2401:

Regardless, the country's met office has the responsibility, just like a ship captain. The Bahama Met Office has responsibility for the Turks, and I recall questions why they didn't get at least a TS watch. I'm not privy to conversations the NHC has with other nations, but I really think they would have advised TS warnings for the Turks. Why the Bahamas Met Office didn't do so, I don't know. The French islands have warnings issued Meteo France, and they do have a tropical storms branch. I'm sure they are aware of NHC data, but they are completely on their own with warnings. The surrounding islands, like Domnica, usually take their cue from Meteo France before the NHC. With warnings issued by Meteo France for the French islands, the question at the time with Erika was why the same warnings weren't issued by the Dominica Met Service for Dominica. Again, I don't know the answer to that question. I'd like to see the data for your calculations. Some of those times don't seem correct form my memory, but I also haven't looked closely at data.



ZCZC MIATCPAT2 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM DEBBY ADVISORY NUMBER 4
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
11 AM AST SUN AUG 20 2000

...DEBBY...THE FOURTH TROPICAL STORM OF THE SEASON EAST OF
THE LESSER ANTILLES...

ALL INTERESTS IN THE NORTHEASTERN CARIBBEAN SHOULD MONITOR THE
PROGRESS OF THIS SYSTEM...AND A HURRICANE WATCH MAY BE REQUIRED FOR
A PORTION OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS LATER TODAY OR TONIGHT.




ZCZC MIATCPAT4 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
BULLETIN
TROPICAL DEPRESSION FOUR INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 3A
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
2 AM AST THU AUG 16 2001

...DEPRESSION STILL MOVING QUICKLY WESTWARD TOWARD THE WINDWARDS...

THE GOVERNMENT OF BARBADOS HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WATCH FOR
BARBADOS AND ST. VINCENT...AND THE GOVERNMENT OF ST. LUCIA HAS
ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WATCH FOR ST. LUCIA. WARNINGS AND
ADDITIONAL WATCHES WILL LIKELY BE REQUIRED FOR PORTIONS OF THE
LESSER ANTILLES LATER TODAY.




ZCZC MIATCPAT3 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
BULLETIN
TROPICAL DEPRESSION THIRTEEN ADVISORY NUMBER 4
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
11 AM EDT SUN SEP 22 2002

...TROPICAL DEPRESSION MOVING RAPIDLY WESTWARD WITH LITTLE CHANGE IN
STRENGTH...

WATCHES OF WARNINGS MAY BE REQUIRED FOR PORTIONS OF THE LESSER
ANTILLES LATER TODAY.



ZCZC MIATCPAT2 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
BULLETIN
TROPICAL DEPRESSION TWO ADVISORY NUMBER 1
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
11 AM EDT TUE AUG 03 2004

...TROPICAL DEPRESSION FORMS IN THE TROPICAL ATLANTIC EAST OF THE
LESSER ANTILLES...

TROPICAL STORM WATCHES AND WARNINGS WILL LIKELY BE ISSUED LATER
TODAY FOR SOME OF THE LESSER ANTILLES. INTERESTS IN THE LESSER
ANTILLES...VIRGIN ISLANDS AND PUERTO RICO SHOULD CLOSELY MONITOR
THE PROGRESS OF THIS SYSTEM.



ZCZC MIATCPAT5 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
BULLETIN
TROPICAL DEPRESSION FIVE ADVISORY NUMBER 1
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
5 PM AST FRI AUG 13 2004

...TROPICAL DEPRESSION FIVE DEVELOPS EAST OF THE WINDWARD ISLANDS...

WATCHES MAY BE REQUIRED FOR PORTIONS OF THE LESSER ANTILLES BY
SATURDAY MORNING. INTERESTS IN THE LESSER ANTILLES AND THE EASTERN
CARIBBEAN SEA SHOULD CLOSELY MONITOR THIS SYSTEM OVER THE NEXT FEW
DAYS.



ZCZC MIATCPAT4 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
BULLETIN
HURRICANE IVAN SPECIAL ADVISORY NUMBER 13
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1 PM AST SUN SEP 05 2004

...IVAN STRENGTHENS RAPIDLY INTO THE FOURTH MAJOR HURRICANE OF THE
SEASON...WATCHES MAY BE REQUIRED FOR PORTIONS OF THE WINDWARD
ISLANDS LATER TODAY...


INTERESTS IN THE LESSER ANTILLES SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF
IVAN.


ZCZC MIATCPAT4 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM DEAN ADVISORY NUMBER 10
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL042007
500 PM AST WED AUG 15 2007

...DEAN INTENSIFYING OVER THE CENTRAL TROPICAL ATLANTIC...

A HURRICANE WATCH MAY BE REQUIRED FOR PORTIONS OF THE LESSER
ANTILLES LATER TONIGHT OR EARLY THURSDAY. INTERESTS IN THE LESSER
ANTILLES SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF DEAN.



ZCZC MIATCPAT1 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM TOMAS SPECIAL ADVISORY NUMBER 2
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL212010
800 PM AST FRI OCT 29 2010

...TOMAS STRENGTHENING QUICKLY EAST OF THE WINDWARD ISLANDS...


SUMMARY OF 800 PM AST...0000 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...11.6N 57.6W
ABOUT 170 MI...270 KM SE OF BARBADOS
ABOUT 270 MI...435 KM ESE OF ST. VINCENT
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...60 MPH...95 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 15 MPH...24 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...999 MB...29.50 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

NONE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* MARTINIQUE
* ST. LUCIA
* BARBADOS
* ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
* GRENADA
* TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IN IN EFFECT FOR...
* DOMINICA

HURRICANE WARNINGS MAY BE REQUIRED FOR PORTIONS OF THE WINDWARD
ISLANDS LATER THIS EVENING.



As you can see from the brief sample of advisories from the NHC, they are the ones who recommend the issuance of watches and warnings for the Caribbean Islands threatened by a storm. The individual islands do not issue warnings on their own accord.
I am not sure how communications between the US and the Bahamas works ....But with a storm like this, it would be understandable to have lapses.
Hopefully lessons are learned.
Eric Webb
‏@webberweather
MEI just posted 12th highest bi-monthly value on record for any time of yr (+2.527)!! #ElNino #Climate #SuperElNino
Ah, forgot this one: eye witness of the French flashflood from New Zealand:

Kiwi caught in French floods: 'I thought I was going to die'
Last updated 13:31, October 5 2015
269. SLU
Quoting 262. sar2401:

Regardless, the country's met office has the responsibility, just like a ship captain. The Bahama Met Office has responsibility for the Turks, and I recall questions why they didn't get at least a TS watch. I'm not privy to conversations the NHC has with other nations, but I really think they would have advised TS warnings for the Turks. Why the Bahamas Met Office didn't do so, I don't know. The French islands have warnings issued Meteo France, and they do have a tropical storms branch. I'm sure they are aware of NHC data, but they are completely on their own with warnings. The surrounding islands, like Domnica, usually take their cue from Meteo France before the NHC. With warnings issued by Meteo France for the French islands, the question at the time with Erika was why the same warnings weren't issued by the Dominica Met Service for Dominica. Again, I don't know the answer to that question. I'd like to see the data for your calculations. Some of those times don't seem correct form my memory, but I also haven't looked closely at data.


Link
Quoting 264. barbamz:

Meanwhile in the southern hemisphere (Australia and South Africa):

<


Oh my yes. I had forgotten that El Nino is very dry for Australia. Not good times ahead for them.
Quoting 263. MahFL:



They have to be American flagged as per the Jones Act, any ships sailing from an American port to another American port have be be flagged American.
Ship flagging and Admiralty Laws have a long and slippery past.
272. MahFL
Quoting 100. sar2401:

The second was he was going to suffer a mechanical failure that would lead to a complete loss of power. Once he lost power and had the 130 mph storm bearing down or on top of him, he, the crew, and his ship was in big trouble. If he still had power, I think the ship would have made it.


The hurricane likely knock out the ships power hence it subsequently went broadside to mountainous waves and sank. It already had a 15 degree list when the call was made, so the writing was on the wall.
Long way out..looks large tho..

Quoting 261. Gearsts:


Is that a tropical storm or just a messy area of convection?
Quoting 274. washingtonian115:

Is that a tropical storm or just a messy area of convection?

Twave
Ship left JaxPort Tuesday, lost power Thursday in path of Hurricane Joaquin

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -
The captain of the 790-foot El Faro planned to bypass Hurricane Joaquin as he sailed from Jacksonville toward Puerto Rico, but some kind of mechanical failure left the U.S. container ship with 33 people aboard helplessly and tragically adrift in the path of the powerful storm, the vessel's owners say.
.....
Phil Greene, president and CEO of ship owner Tote Services Inc., said the captain, Michael Davidson, 53, of Windham, Maine, had a plan to sail ahead of the hurricane with room to spare.

Greene said Davidson, who had 20 years experience on cargo ships, had conferred with the El Faro's sister ship which was returning to Jacksonville along a similar route and determined the weather was good enough to go forward.

"Regrettably he suffered a mechanical problem with his main propulsion system, which left him in the path of the storm," Greene said. "We do not know when his engine problems began to occur, nor the reasons for his engine problems."


Tote Maritime has set up a web site for family members aboard the ship: http://elfaroincident.com.

-_-
Quoting 265. SLU:


As you can see from the brief sample of advisories from the NHC, they are the ones who recommend the issuance of watches and warnings for the Caribbean Islands threatened by a storm. The individual islands do not issue warnings on their own accord.
I don't see any evidence the NHC is issuing these warnings. They aren't recommending anything, just noting the watches or warnings may be required, but it's still up to each country to issue them. The one snippet you posted has the wording "will likely be issued", which I think is closer to accurate. Anyway, the NHC can recommend all they want. It's still up to individual countries like Dominica and the Bahamas to issue the actual warnings.
279. ariot
Quoting 258. sar2401:

Having trouble with Google? Search for the Bahamian Defense Forces ship Flamingo. Those awesome Cuban Migs sank it, in Bahamian territorial waters, killing four Marines aboard while strafing their lifeboat. That's just one incident, but it's enough to make most captains, especially captains of American flagged vessels, steer well clear of Cuba.


Oh ok. My experience in the matter is different, as is what I've read. Cheers.
Quoting 276. aquak9:

Ship left JaxPort Tuesday, lost power Thursday in path of Hurricane Joaquin

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -
The captain of the 790-foot El Faro planned to bypass Hurricane Joaquin as he sailed from Jacksonville toward Puerto Rico, but some kind of mechanical failure left the U.S. container ship with 33 people aboard helplessly and tragically adrift in the path of the powerful storm, the vessel's owners say.
.....
Phil Greene, president and CEO of ship owner Tote Services Inc., said the captain, Michael Davidson, 53, of Windham, Maine, had a plan to sail ahead of the hurricane with room to spare.

Greene said Davidson, who had 20 years experience on cargo ships, had conferred with the El Faro's sister ship which was returning to Jacksonville along a similar route and determined the weather was good enough to go forward.

"Regrettably he suffered a mechanical problem with his main propulsion system, which left him in the path of the storm," Greene said. "We do not know when his engine problems began to occur, nor the reasons for his engine problems."


Tote Maritime has set up a web site for family members aboard the ship: http://elfaroincident.com.


The word " incident " has been misused far too frequently when tragedy or disaster would be much closer to the truth...
Quoting 272. MahFL:



The hurricane likely knock out the ships power hence it subsequently went broadside to mountainous waves and sank. It already had a 15 degree list when the call was made, so the writing was on the wall.
The hurricane by itself wouldn't knock out the ship's power. It could have been an unrelated mechanical failure. It could have been damage to the engines, or water getting into the engine room, either one caused by the battering the ship took in the hurricane. We don't know the answer at this point.
Quoting 258. sar2401:

Having trouble with Google? Search for the Bahamian Defense Forces ship Flamingo. Those awesome Cuban Migs sank it, in Bahamian territorial waters, killing four Marines aboard while strafing their lifeboat. That's just one incident, but it's enough to make most captains, especially captains of American flagged vessels, steer well clear of Cuba.

A few years ago, I flew on Delta from Atlanta to San Jose, Costa Rica, during daylight. The plane emerged over the Gulf of Mexico just west of the Florida peninsula. I had a window seat on the left side and so had a good view of the west coast of Florida as the plane headed south. We passed the Everglades and crossed the Keys and, to my surprise, a few minutes later the plane was over a significant land mass, which was obviously Cuba. Since we weren't shot down, I assume that at least some American flagged airlines have had permission to fly over Cuba for some time now.
Quoting 280. hydrus:

The word " incident " has been misused far too frequently when tragedy or disaster would be much closer to the truth...
I imagine the web site was set up before the presumed sinking and recovery of the body was known, but I understand what you're getting at.
Quoting 260. PedleyCA:


All the Rain is missing me on the east side today. .09 so far this month.....


The rainbow didn't miss you, even ten years ago! :)
its invest 91L GOING OUT TO SEA YES OR NO
Quoting 282. ACSeattle:


A few years ago, I flew on Delta from Atlanta to San Jose, Costa Rica, during daylight. The plane emerged over the Gulf of Mexico just west of the Florida peninsula. I had a window seat on the left side and so had a good view of the west coast of Florida as the plane headed south. We passed the Everglades and crossed the Keys and, to my surprise, a few minutes later the plane was over a significant land mass, which was obviously Cuba. Since we weren't shot down, I assume that at least some American flagged airlines have had permission to fly over Cuba for some time now.
Overflights are a different story. There are now flight corridors over Cuba where scheduled airliners don't need a flight permit. We also have agreements with Cuba to allow hurricane hunter flights over the country with notification. Private and non-scheduled revenue flights still need permits to fly in the corridors, and they cost money. I haven't looked it up lately to see the cost, but it's a pain, since Cuba can't be paid directly with US funds.


Tropical Storm Oho Advisory Number 011
Issued at 1100 AM HST MON OCT 05 2015
SUMMARY OF 1100 AM HST...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
Location: 14.8N 153.7W
ABOUT 350 MI...565 KM SSE OF HILO HAWAII
ABOUT 525 MI...850 KM SSE OF HONOLULU HAWAII
Maximum sustained winds: 65 MPH...100 KM/H
Present movement: NE or 45 degrees AT 7 MPH...11 KM/H


Roads collapse as Elgin, S.C. floods on Monday, Oct. 5, 2015
Quoting 284. redwagon:



The rainbow didn't miss you, even ten years ago! :)

Good catch


An Exxon station in Columbia, S.C. is underwater on Monday, Oct. 5, 2015
Quoting 249. Loduck:

Shame on all of you blamers laying fault at the feet of the NHC, and the captain and owner of the El Faro. I'm quite sure none of the above set out to sink the freighter and kill the crew. Wouldn't your time be better served finding a solution for the next catastrophe of this magnitude when it happens again? Because it will...
No, no, no ...
"Stuff happens" is what I heard, so there is nothing you can do about it. It is just unfortunate. (/sarcasm)

Edit: agggh, WU ate my first sarcasm flag. Now I'll get flamed!
Looks like it gets in the central gulf, front comes down, merges with the front and crosses Florida.
Quoting 273. hydrus:

Long way out..looks large tho..


Quoting 245. QueensWreath:



Sure it would not take a rogue wave to down that ship, but I would not be as harsh on the captain. That storm was not supposed to be that far south nor that strong that fast. Then add the malfunction at the worst time. Tragedies like this are almost never a single event they are a series of events.

Still, when there is a storm that they knew was intensifying, specially in that particular area, they can blow up quick, with today's instrument, this isn't 1912, they were supposed to remained in port. Or head towards Miami, escaping the hurricane, it was as if they didn't had any form of communication,, kind of a very strange event, that should be investigated to the fullest. To many lost of lives, unnecessarily...
Quoting 291. hurricanes2018:



An Exxon station in Columbia, S.C. is underwater on Monday, Oct. 5, 2015
Just crazy flooding for sure!
Quoting 196. hurricanes2018:

Saffir-Simpson Scale
Tropical Storm - winds 39-73 mph (34-63 kt)
Category 1 - winds 74-95 mph (64-82 kt)
Category 2 - winds 96-110 mph (83-95 kt)
Category 3 - winds 111-130 mph (96-113 kt)
Category 4 - winds 131-155 mph (114-135 kt)
Category 5 - winds 156 mph and up (135+ kt)


The scale is revised slightly:


1 74-95 mph
64-82 kt
119-153 km/h

2 96-110 mph
83-95 kt
154-177 km/h

3
(major) 111-129 mph
96-112 kt
178-208 km/h

4
(major) 130-156 mph
113-136 kt
209-251 km/h

5
(major) 157 mph or higher
137 kt or higher
252 km/h or higher
297. MahFL
Quoting 219. SLU:



Here are the actual figures which will prove that the NHC was at fault with their late issuance of warnings for the Bahamas..


The NHC does not issue warnings for the Bahamas, the Gov of the Bahamas issues them. From what we have learned of the Gov of the Bahamas it would not be surprising if the Gov of the Bahamas did not inform their citizens in good time, or some of them not at all.
298. MahFL
Quoting 291. hurricanes2018:



An Exxon station in Columbia, S.C. is underwater on Monday, Oct. 5, 2015


It still has power though...
Quoting 232. barbamz:


Amazing. Wish they could share a bit. Official weather station in my town (Mainz near Frankfurt) recorded 286mm = 11,3 inches of rain in whole 2015 so far. Means: 408mm = 16 inches are already lacking from average. Don't think we will catch up in the rest of the year.



Only 11.3 year to date while the average would be 16 more inches at 27.3 is a bad drought. That's less than half the average year to date. What is the average for a whole year there?
Quoting 233. sar2401:

I'm surprised they actually had a hard side lifeboat, but I guess that also goes to show the age of the vessel. From looking at it it doesn't appear to have been launched by the crew.

Lets hope not Sar. And that was an incredible read about the Bahamian ship being out right attacked by the Cubans, then they came back for more. I couldn't even imagine hearing the Migs flying overhead in the dark with only cigarettes lighting the way...
as far as i know the officials at the NHC advises the met official of the islands that warning and watches maybe needed.
the met officers after briefing with disaster officials and government decide to issue warnings. when warnings are issued it is carried as the governments of these islands have issued watches and warnings. The NHC only gives the professional advice
Quoting 278. sar2401:

I don't see any evidence the NHC is issuing these warnings. They aren't recommending anything, just noting the watches or warnings may be required, but it's still up to each country to issue them. The one snippet you posted has the wording "will likely be issued", which I think is closer to accurate. Anyway, the NHC can recommend all they want. It's still up to individual countries like Dominica and the Bahamas to issue the actual warnings.


I couldn't agree more, However, it is an issue notwithstanding that needs a great deal of resolution in the soonest possible time given that many lives are often in the balance as in the case of the Nature Isle of the Caribbean Dominica- case in point Erika's impacts & most recently with Hurricane Joaquin in the central Bahamas. The NHC is not perfect but when they do appear to get it right-the least that ought to happen is adherence to the advisories and probabilities for likely impacts.

Blessings to All!
304. MahFL
Quoting 233. sar2401:

I'm surprised they actually had a hard side lifeboat, but I guess that also goes to show the age of the vessel. From looking at it it doesn't appear to have been launched by the crew.


They were old open topped lifeboats. On a maritime forum much discussion has been made on why the lifeboats were old and not updated when the ship itself was overhauled.
91L...

Quoting 295. Climate175:

Just crazy flooding for sure!


Is that the New Marina? sarc/
Sad news all around with the typhoon in southern China, the deadly flash floods in France, the sunken ship Faro and the flooding in North and South Carolina. I hope the next week is better.
309. MahFL
Quoting 281. sar2401:

The hurricane by itself wouldn't knock out the ship's power. It could have been an unrelated mechanical failure. It could have been damage to the engines, or water getting into the engine room, either one caused by the battering the ship took in the hurricane. We don't know the answer at this point.


Your third sentence contradicts your first sentence. Also never start a sentence with "It".
Quoting 298. MahFL:



It still has power though...
It looks pretty dark to me. Maybe those lights are reflections off headlights.
Quoting 303. Grothar:


Normally I love to see new invests and your the person I first want to hear about it from, however all this destruction here in Charleston that we are having right now I don't want a chance of any more rain for a long time!
Quoting 306. GeoffreyWPB:

91L...



Just a pair of clouds

Up to .10 now, Whoo-Hoo....
Quoting 304. MahFL:



They were old open topped lifeboats. On a maritime forum much discussion has been made on why the lifeboats were old and not updated when the ship itself was overhauled.
Yeah, very odd. Even most vessels that still have hard side lifeboats have them with GRP covers. There are a few large vessels that still carry them, but they are motorized, and mostly used as liberty boats, where the ship has to anchor out. Most vessels got rid of them because they are hard to launch when you really need them and they aren't as survivable as modern liferafts. It's also a lot extra weight to carry around.
Quoting 208. BayFog:


Local NWS forecast office in the SF Bay Area has said the low may retrograde, weakening the western ridge in conjunction with a northern system doing the same. This is the season for changes, plus the El Nino wild card, so we shall see.


excerpt from NWS Oxnard


THE HIGH STARTS TO BREAK DOWN SUNDAY AS THE UPPER LOW THAT IS
CURRENTLY JUST TO OUR EAST COMES ALMOST FULL CIRCLE AFTER GOING AS
FAR EAST AS TEXAS AND THEN REVERSING COURSE AND MOVING WEST THROUGH
NRN MEXICO.
Quoting 309. MahFL:



Your third sentence contradicts your first sentence. Also never start a sentence with "It".
Oh, gee. I'll be more careful next time...
Quoting 302. NatureIsle:



I couldn't agree more, However, it is an issue notwithstanding that needs a great deal of resolution in the soonest possible time given that many lives are often in the balance as in the case of the Nature Isle of the Caribbean Dominica- case in point Erika's impacts & most recently with Hurricane Joaquin in the central Bahamas. The NHC is not perfect but when they do appear to get it right-the least that ought to happen is adherence to the advisories and probabilities for likely impacts.

Blessings to All!
I don't know what the answer is. The NHC is certainly the agency with the most expertise, but they don't want the responsibility or liability for issuing watches and warnings for independent countries. Many of the independent countries look on their met service as matter of national pride, and don't brook any interference from the NHC. I'm sure there could be some agreements worked out, but that's not easy to with all those factors in play.
Quoting 311. 24lowcountrystorm:

Normally I love to see new invests and your the person I first want to hear about it from, however all this destruction here in Charleston that we are having right now I don't want a chance of any more rain for a long time!


This looks like is most likely will turn before getting to close. None of the models predict any strong system yet. I think you all have had more than your share. It is still incredible to see so much water without a direct tropical system that you all had.

Although, I am looking at a pressure drop north of Hispaniola this week.
Quoting 313. PedleyCA:


Up to .10 now, Whoo-Hoo....
If it makes you feel any more wet, that's 0.10 more inches than I've gotten since Sunday the 27th here in rainy Alabama. :-)
Quoting 219. SLU:



Here are the actual figures which will prove that the NHC was at fault with their late issuance of warnings for the Bahamas:

CENTRAL BAHAMAS
Hurricane watch issued 18 hours before the onset of TS force winds
Hurricane warning issued 12 hours before the onset of TS force winds
No TS warnings were issued for them ahead of the onset of TS force winds

NW BAHAMAS

Hurricane watch was issued 12 hours before the TS warning was issued for the SE Bahamas who were highly threatened. There were no winds over 30kts ever experienced in the NW Bahamas so they were over warned.

SE BAHAMAS & TURKS & CAICOS IS.

TS warning issued 3 hours! before the onset of TS force winds even when the storm was obviously moving south for days.

Hurricane warning issued 3 hours! before the onset of hurricane force winds in Crooked Island and Acklins.


In summary, the NHC posted watches and warnings for the NW Bahamas that was well out of danger even before the SE Bahamas who were obviously in the path of the storm. So all those saying that the NHC didn't bust with their forecasts and warnings may I remind you all that watches are to be posted 48 hours before the storms arrival and warnings 36 hours before.

The residents of the SE and Central Bahamas who argued that they were given almost no warning were very right in hindsight if you study the NHC's graphics. Therefore, they experience a 3-day 130 - 155mph category 4 hurricane with no preparations. This really was a bust forecast from the experts and they need to accept responsibility for not forewarning people in harms way since it's not everyone who can sit in front a PC all day and interpret computer models and satellite photos like most of us here can.


I'm sure someone has already stated this in relation to this comment but it doesn't hurt to repeat, while the NHC forecast was 'problematic', that's my way of being diplomatic, the fact remains that the NHC does not issue Hurricane warnings for the Bahamas or any other non US territories, that is left up to the various countries themselves.

By the way I would like to thank everyone on here for their kind thoughts towards my fellow Bahamians and also to the US government and the other countries that have already given aid or pledged aid to those affected in the Central and Southeastern Bahamas.

Fortunately for those that have suffered loses in those areas, Nassau and the rest of the Northwest Bahamas was not affected and therefore aid has been mobilized and will continue to be over the coming weeks to assist in the recovery effort. Had Joaquin turned to the northwest and continued up the chain and affected Nassau it would have been a very different story as it would have been a very long time before any help would have reached the people in the Southeastern Bahamas. That has highlighted one of the short comings of my country and our disaster plan or lack thereof, it is something that needs to be thought about, discussed and a plan put in motion for the day it happens, because it is not 'if' it will happen but rather 'when' it will happen.
Quoting 249. Loduck:

Shame on all of you blamers laying fault at the feet of the NHC, and the captain and owner of the El Faro. I'm quite sure none of the above set out to sink the freighter and kill the crew. Wouldn't your time be better served finding a solution for the next catastrophe of this magnitude when it happens again? Because it will...
Really..I wonder if your family member was on board that ship how you would comment then. Most ships and the crew are lost because of the orders they are under, or the captains decision to take a risk without thinking it through with regard for the safety of the crew, or both.. I read all the comments, and none suggested the ship was intentionally sailed into the hurricane. Most ships have auxiliary power, and some equipment is backed up with a third. Funny how you stated how people should use there time better thinking about the next catastrophe because it will happen again..
323. SLU
Quoting 278. sar2401:

I don't see any evidence the NHC is issuing these warnings. They aren't recommending anything, just noting the watches or warnings may be required, but it's still up to each country to issue them. The one snippet you posted has the wording "will likely be issued", which I think is closer to accurate. Anyway, the NHC can recommend all they want. It's still up to individual countries like Dominica and the Bahamas to issue the actual warnings.


This has been going on for over a century. Back in the 1800s and early 1900s when the hurricane center was based in San Juan PR, it was them who recommended the posting of warnings for the islands when ships would report encountering a storm in the Atlantic. Nothing has changed since the NHC was opened 40+ years ago. The NHC is still the governing body for tropical cyclones in the whole Atlantic. They are the ones with the technology and expertise to predict hurricanes and thus they recommend to every country outside the US the need to issue warnings if a storm threatens and the respective governments generally oblige. No country in the Caribbean as far as I know has its own hurricane center. That's why the NHC exists.

As for Dominica, the NHC didn't issue a TS warning for them because they were not expected to experience TS force winds and they didn't. So there's no blame for the NHC there. The NHC isn't concerned about flood warnings. Only tropical storm and hurricane warnings. The responsibility was on the government of Dominica to issue flood warnings which they didn't. That is a totally different scenario from the Bahamas. In the Bahamas, people were caught off guard because the NHC because they didn't think the storm would dip deep into the Bahamas in the earlier forecasts even if it was already moving south. If the NHC was on point with the forecast and intensity, they would have recommended to the Bahamian met office to issue earlier warnings via the same format of communication they adopt with all Caribbean countries to coordinate warnings. So again the Bahamas government or any Caribbean government will not issue tropical storm or hurricane warnings unilaterally without the advise of the NHC. It's been that way long before we were born.
My heart and my sympathies lie with the families of the crew of the fated ship. However there is much speculation going on. I would just as soon wait for the movie and see what hollywoods take on it is. It will probably be as accurate as current speculation.
Quoting 300. RavensFan:


Lets hope not Sar. And that was an incredible read about the Bahamian ship being out right attacked by the Cubans, then they came back for more. I couldn't even imagine hearing the Migs flying overhead in the dark with only cigarettes lighting the way...
I've never read a convincing story about why the Cubans would have taken such aggressive action. It seems like an attempt to force the Bahamas to back off from enforcing their poaching regulations. If so, that attempt failed. The Bahamas not only continued to arrest Cuban fishing boats and fishermen violating their territorial waters, they re-equipped the Naval force with much larger and better armed patrol vessels.
Quoting 305. Grothar:




Models already signaling a loop.
328. SLU
Quoting 297. MahFL:



The NHC does not issue warnings for the Bahamas, the Gov of the Bahamas issues them. From what we have learned of the Gov of the Bahamas it would not be surprising if the Gov of the Bahamas did not inform their citizens in good time, or some of them not at all.


Sure because the Bahamas govt has a team of hurricane specialists on its payroll.
I've been on and off today..There have been comments from people on this blog blaming the NHC or the Captain, some even blaming them both..

Why not instead post comments of hope that they find the crew alive instead of guessing at what or who was the blame...in case some of yall hadn't realized there are families that haven't given up..

The right people will be in place after all this is said and done to do a full and thorough investigation but now the purpose is to find the crew ALIVE and not lay blame when no one on this blog was on that ship to even give a first hand account of what happened..

What a impressive MEI update. WOW!

Compared to last month, the updated (August-Spetember) MEI has increased by 0.16 standard deviations to +2.53, or the 2nd highest ranking, surpassed only in 1997 at this time of year. This new peak value of the current event ranks third highest overall at any time of year since 1950, closing in on 1982-83 and 1997-98 with 'Super El Niño' values around +3 standard deviations.

Looking at the nearest 6 rankings (+1/-5) in this season, and excluding cases with declining August-September values compared to three months prior gives us five 'analogues': 1957, 1965, 1972, 1982, and 1997. All five maintained strong El Niño status for at least another four months (Dec-Jan). In terms of the timing of their peak ranks, the two biggest Niño events bracket the range of observed outcomes: 1997 peaked from May-June through October-November, while 1982-83 hung on to the pole position from November-December through April-May 1983.

Positive SST anomalies cover the eastern equatorial Pacific, all the way from just west of the dateline to the South American coast, as seen in the latest weekly SST map. This includes anomalies above +2C from about the coast to 170W, with quite a few peak values in excess of +3C.

For an alternate interpretation of the current situation, I recommend reading the NOAA ENSO Advisory which represents the official and most recent Climate Prediction Center opinion on this subject. In its latest update (September 10th, 2015), El Niño conditions were diagnosed, and are expected to continue through the winter of 2015-16 with a 95% chance. I see no reason to disagree with this assessment.

There are a number of ENSO indices that are kept up-to-date on the web. Several of these are tracked at the NCEP website that is usually updated around the same time as the MEI, just in time for this go-around. Note that I always refer to the OISSTv2 anomalies in this discussion, they tend to be bigger than the ERSSTv4 anomalies that are currently used by CPC. Since October 2014, Niño region 3.4 first hovered around +0.5C, but rose steadily from April onwards, reaching +1.3C in June, +1.6C in July, +2.1C in August, and 2.3C in September. Niño region 3 dropped out of weak El Niño conditions from January through March 2015, but quickly rose from +0.7C in April to +2.6C in September 2015. For comparison, the biggest Niño 3 anomalies reached +3.3C in January 1983 and +3.6C in December 1997, or 0.7-1.0C higher than so far in 2015. The biggest Niño 3.4 anomalies reached +2.8C in January 1983 and +2.7C in December 1997, or 0.4-0.5C higher than so far in 2015.

For extended Tahiti-Darwin SOI data back to 1876, and timely monthly updates, check the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website. This index has often been out of sync with other ENSO indices in the last decade, including a jump to +10 (+1 sigma) in April 2010 that was ahead of any other ENSO index in announcing La Niña conditions. In 2015, its value varied from +1 in February (neutral ENSO conditions) down to -11 in March, up again to -4 in April, and back down below -10 since May, reaching -20 in August, its lowest value since February 2005, followed by -18 in September. The running five-month value of -15.6 is the lowest since early 1998.

An even longer Tahiti-Darwin SOI (back to 1866) is maintained at the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia website, however with less frequent updates, with the last one to include data through 2014. Extended SST-based ENSO data can be found at the University of Washington-JISAO website, which is now more than four years behind current conditions.

Stay tuned for the next update by November 7th (probably earlier) to see where the MEI will be heading next. El Niño conditions are guaranteed to persist into the upcoming boreal winter season, most likely at strong levels for the full period. Whether it will reach the elusive 'Super El Niño' level around +3 standard deviations remains to be seen, but has become more likely over the last few months. In addition, typical El Niño impacts will be supported by positive PDO conditions that have endured since January 2014, reaching record levels from December 2014 through February 2015. Daily updates of the ENSO status can be found at the TAO/TRITON website, showing a renewed westerly wind surge near the dateline as of the beginning of October.
Quoting 265. SLU:




ZCZC MIATCPAT2 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM DEBBY ADVISORY NUMBER 4
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
11 AM AST SUN AUG 20 2000

...DEBBY...THE FOURTH TROPICAL STORM OF THE SEASON EAST OF
THE LESSER ANTILLES...

ALL INTERESTS IN THE NORTHEASTERN CARIBBEAN SHOULD MONITOR THE
PROGRESS OF THIS SYSTEM...AND A HURRICANE WATCH MAY BE REQUIRED FOR
A PORTION OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS LATER TODAY OR TONIGHT.




ZCZC MIATCPAT4 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
BULLETIN
TROPICAL DEPRESSION FOUR INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 3A
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
2 AM AST THU AUG 16 2001

...DEPRESSION STILL MOVING QUICKLY WESTWARD TOWARD THE WINDWARDS...

THE GOVERNMENT OF BARBADOS HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WATCH FOR
BARBADOS AND ST. VINCENT...AND THE GOVERNMENT OF ST. LUCIA HAS
ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WATCH FOR ST. LUCIA. WARNINGS AND
ADDITIONAL WATCHES WILL LIKELY BE REQUIRED FOR PORTIONS OF THE
LESSER ANTILLES LATER TODAY.




ZCZC MIATCPAT3 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
BULLETIN
TROPICAL DEPRESSION THIRTEEN ADVISORY NUMBER 4
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
11 AM EDT SUN SEP 22 2002

...TROPICAL DEPRESSION MOVING RAPIDLY WESTWARD WITH LITTLE CHANGE IN
STRENGTH...

WATCHES OF WARNINGS MAY BE REQUIRED FOR PORTIONS OF THE LESSER
ANTILLES LATER TODAY.



ZCZC MIATCPAT2 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
BULLETIN
TROPICAL DEPRESSION TWO ADVISORY NUMBER 1
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
11 AM EDT TUE AUG 03 2004

...TROPICAL DEPRESSION FORMS IN THE TROPICAL ATLANTIC EAST OF THE
LESSER ANTILLES...

TROPICAL STORM WATCHES AND WARNINGS WILL LIKELY BE ISSUED LATER
TODAY FOR SOME OF THE LESSER ANTILLES. INTERESTS IN THE LESSER
ANTILLES...VIRGIN ISLANDS AND PUERTO RICO SHOULD CLOSELY MONITOR
THE PROGRESS OF THIS SYSTEM.



ZCZC MIATCPAT5 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
BULLETIN
TROPICAL DEPRESSION FIVE ADVISORY NUMBER 1
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
5 PM AST FRI AUG 13 2004

...TROPICAL DEPRESSION FIVE DEVELOPS EAST OF THE WINDWARD ISLANDS...

WATCHES MAY BE REQUIRED FOR PORTIONS OF THE LESSER ANTILLES BY
SATURDAY MORNING. INTERESTS IN THE LESSER ANTILLES AND THE EASTERN
CARIBBEAN SEA SHOULD CLOSELY MONITOR THIS SYSTEM OVER THE NEXT FEW
DAYS.



ZCZC MIATCPAT4 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
BULLETIN
HURRICANE IVAN SPECIAL ADVISORY NUMBER 13
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1 PM AST SUN SEP 05 2004

...IVAN STRENGTHENS RAPIDLY INTO THE FOURTH MAJOR HURRICANE OF THE
SEASON...WATCHES MAY BE REQUIRED FOR PORTIONS OF THE WINDWARD
ISLANDS LATER TODAY...


INTERESTS IN THE LESSER ANTILLES SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF
IVAN.


ZCZC MIATCPAT4 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM DEAN ADVISORY NUMBER 10
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL042007
500 PM AST WED AUG 15 2007

...DEAN INTENSIFYING OVER THE CENTRAL TROPICAL ATLANTIC...

A HURRICANE WATCH MAY BE REQUIRED FOR PORTIONS OF THE LESSER
ANTILLES LATER TONIGHT OR EARLY THURSDAY. INTERESTS IN THE LESSER
ANTILLES SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF DEAN.



ZCZC MIATCPAT1 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM TOMAS SPECIAL ADVISORY NUMBER 2
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL212010
800 PM AST FRI OCT 29 2010

...TOMAS STRENGTHENING QUICKLY EAST OF THE WINDWARD ISLANDS...


SUMMARY OF 800 PM AST...0000 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...11.6N 57.6W
ABOUT 170 MI...270 KM SE OF BARBADOS
ABOUT 270 MI...435 KM ESE OF ST. VINCENT
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...60 MPH...95 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 15 MPH...24 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...999 MB...29.50 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

NONE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* MARTINIQUE
* ST. LUCIA
* BARBADOS
* ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
* GRENADA
* TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IN IN EFFECT FOR...
* DOMINICA

HURRICANE WARNINGS MAY BE REQUIRED FOR PORTIONS OF THE WINDWARD
ISLANDS LATER THIS EVENING.



As you can see from the brief sample of advisories from the NHC, they are the ones who recommend the issuance of watches and warnings for the Caribbean Islands threatened by a storm. The individual islands do not issue warnings on their own accord.


THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS:- ALL THE NHC CAN DO IS TO RECOMMEND OR EVEN TO STRONGLY URGE THE ISSUANCE OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS WHERE RELEVANT. HOWEVER, THE SUBSEQUENT DECLARATION OF A WATCH OR WARNING IS SPECIFIC TO THE RESPECTIVE MET OFFICE OR WEATHER SERVICE BUREAU OF A PARTICULAR COUNTRY, LAND MASS OR REGION. SOMETIMES NEIGHBOURING MET OFFICE SERVICES HAVE ISSUED WATCHES/ WARNINGS ON THE BEHALF OF NEARBY ISLANDS -SUCH AS DOMINICA -CASE IN POINT- (eg. Barbados & or Antigua Meteorological Services can be cited in the Past) *However ERIKA'S PASSAGE WAS AN EXCEPTION.

Notably, The Dominica case Re: Tropical storm Eika basically boils down to sheer Reluctance at least on the part of the Local Meteorological Office authorities as well as a diffidence in authority & competence coupled with an over reliance on the projected path forecasts & of course the tropical cyclone models. A hard & deadly lesson learnt including in the recent case of the Bahamas/ Turks and Caicos.
Consequently, its better to be rather proactive in regards to issuance of watches & warnings & its always better to err on the side of caution -precaution is way better than cure!
Case in point is actually the Turks and Caicos islands who though delayed were able to declare a warning seemingly independent of the Bahamian authorities having clearly realized that the situation warranted it given sustained weather conditions on the ground.

May Wisdom and much Common sense in-spite of projections, forecasts and models prevail upon all of our Meteorological competencies especially in the 'English speaking Caribbean' & otherwise.

Blessings to All!
Quoting 317. sar2401:

I don't know what the answer is. The NHC is certainly the agency with the most expertise, but they don't want the responsibility or liability for issuing watches and warnings for independent countries. Many of the independent countries look on their met service as matter of national pride, and don't brook any interference from the NHC. I'm sure there could be some agreements worked out, but that's not easy to with all those factors in play.
Its true. The NHC may recommend a warning to Honduras but only Copeco our official met service may declare it. Most of the time they follow what the NHC recommends. I also remember when Iris was nearing Central America and The NHC recommend a warning to Guatemala and until later Guatemala issue a warning.
333. SLU
Quoting 301. stoormfury:

as far as i know the officials at the NHC advises the met official of the islands that warning and watches maybe needed.
the met officers after briefing with disaster officials and government decide to issue warnings. when warnings are issued it is carried as the governments of these islands have issued watches and warnings. The NHC only gives the professional advice



That's what i've been saying since afternoon but they refuse to accept that is the process for issuing warnings in the Caribbean. Since the NHC is owned by the US govt, they have the authority to issue warnings for the US coastline on their own on behalf of the US govt and they do not include in their advisories "The government of the US has issued a hurricane warning from Jacksonville to Miami". But in the Caribbean, it is the NHC which advises the Caribbean met offices owned by their respective governments to issue warnings and then they carry in their advisories "The government of the Bahamas has issued a hurricane warning for the Southeastern Bahamas"
Quoting 323. SLU:



This has been going on for over a century. Back in the 1800s and early 1900s when the hurricane center was based in San Juan PR, it was them who recommended the posting of warnings for the islands when ships would report encountering a storm in the Atlantic. Nothing has changed since the NHC was opened 40 years ago. The NHC is still the governing body for tropical cyclones in the whole Atlantic. They are the ones with the technology and expertise to predict hurricanes and thus they recommend to every country outside the US the need to issue warnings if a storm threatens and the respective governments generally oblige. No country in the Caribbean as far as I know has its own hurricane center. That's why the NHC exists.

As for Dominica, the NHC didn't issue a TS warning for them because they were not expected to experience TS force winds and they didn't. So there's no blame for the NHC there. The NHC isn't concerned about flood warnings. Only tropical storm and hurricane warnings. The responsibility was on the government of Dominica to issue flood warnings which they didn't. That is a totally different scenario from the Bahamas. In the Bahamas, people were caught off guard because the NHC because they didn't think the storm would dip deep into the Bahamas in the earlier forecasts even if it was already moving south. If the NHC was on point with the forecast and intensity, they would have recommended to the Bahamian met office to issue earlier warnings via the same format of communication they adopt with all Caribbean countries to coordinate warnings. So again the Bahamas government or any Caribbean government will not issue tropical storm or hurricane warnings unilaterally without the advise of the NHC. It's been that way long before we were born.
Look, the issue here is responsibility. The National Hurricane Center is not called the INternational Hurricane Center for a reason. As the NHC says in their contents for TCU's, one of the things contained is -

* To announce changes to international watches or warnings made by other countries, or to cancel U.S. watches or warnings.

Note it's US watches and warnings. The NHC is only responsible for watches and warnings for US territory. Period. Every other independent country, absent an agreement with the NHC otherwise, issues their own watches and warnings. Other countries consult with the NHC, but it's their national met service that issues the products. What warnings went up or didn't go up in the Bahamas or Dominica were not the responsibility of the NHC. If you can find some policy that differs with what I've written, post it.
335. SLU
Quoting 331. NatureIsle:



THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS:- ALL THE NHC CAN DO IS TO RECOMMEND OR EVEN TO STRONGLY URGE THE ISSUANCE OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS WHERE RELEVANT. HOWEVER, THE SUBSEQUENT DECLARATION OF A WATCH OR WARNING IS SPECIFIC TO THE RESPECTIVE MET OFFICE OR WEATHER SERVICE BUREAU OF A PARTICULAR COUNTRY, LAND MASS OR REGION. SOMETIMES NEIGHBOURING MET OFFICE SERVICES HAVE ISSUED WATCHES/ WARNINGS ON THE BEHALF OF NEARBY ISLANDS -SUCH AS DOMINICA -CASE IN POINT- (eg. Barbados & or Antigua Meteorological Services can be cited in the Past) *However ERIKA'S PASSAGE WAS AN EXCEPTION.

Notably, The Dominica case Re: Tropical storm Eika basically boils down to sheer Reluctance at least on the part of the Local Meteorological Office authorities as well as a diffidence in authority & competence coupled with an over reliance on the projected path forecasts & of course the tropical cyclone models. A hard & deadly lesson learnt including in the recent case of the Bahamas/ Turks and Caicos.
Consequently, its better to be rather proactive in regards to issuance of watches & warnings & its always better to err on the side of caution -precaution is way better than cure!
Case in point is actually the Turks and Caicos islands who though delayed were able to declare a warning seemingly independent of the Bahamian authorities having clearly realized that the situation warranted it given sustained weather conditions on the ground.

May Wisdom and much Common sense in-spite of projections, forecasts and models prevail upon all of our Meteorological competencies especially in the 'English speaking Caribbean' & otherwise.

Blessings to All!


In the case of Dominica, the NHC is not to blame for not issuing tropical storm warnings for Erika because they didn't expect Dominica to experience tropical storm conditions and based on surface observations, Dominica did not experience tropical storm force winds. It was the flooding that did the damage. The NHC does not issue flood warnings. That's for the met office in each island. That's a totally different case compared to the Bahamas.
Quoting 333. SLU:



That's what i've been saying since afternoon but they refuse to accept that is the process for issuing warnings in the Caribbean. Since the NHC is owned by the US govt, they have the authority to issue warnings for the US coastline on their own on behalf of the US govt and they do not include in their advisories "The government of the US has issued a hurricane warning from Jacksonville to Miami". But in the Caribbean, it is the NHC which advises the Caribbean met offices owned by their respective governments to issue warnings and then they carry in their advisories "The government of the Bahamas has issued a hurricane warning for the Southeastern Bahamas"
They don't have to include that Jacksonville and Miami are part of US territory. It's obvious they are because it's the only place the NHC issues warnings. We're talking in circles now. You are entitled to your viewpoint, even in the face of the evidence. I'm done with the issue.
Quoting 330. StormTrackerScott:

What a impressive MEI update. WOW!

Compared to last month, the updated (August-Spetember) MEI has increased by 0.16 standard deviations to +2.53, or the 2nd highest ranking, surpassed only in 1997 at this time of year. This new peak value of the current event ranks third highest overall at any time of year since 1950, closing in on 1982-83 and 1997-98 with 'Super El Niño' values around +3 standard deviations.

Looking at the nearest 6 rankings (+1/-5) in this season, and excluding cases with declining August-September values compared to three months prior gives us five 'analogues': 1957, 1965, 1972, 1982, and 1997. All five maintained strong El Niño status for at least another four months (Dec-Jan). In terms of the timing of their peak ranks, the two biggest Niño events bracket the range of observed outcomes: 1997 peaked from May-June through October-November, while 1982-83 hung on to the pole position from November-December through April-May 1983.

Positive SST anomalies cover the eastern equatorial Pacific, all the way from just west of the dateline to the South American coast, as seen in the latest weekly SST map. This includes anomalies above +2C from about the coast to 170W, with quite a few peak values in excess of +3C.

For an alternate interpretation of the current situation, I recommend reading the NOAA ENSO Advisory which represents the official and most recent Climate Prediction Center opinion on this subject. In its latest update (September 10th, 2015), El Niño conditions were diagnosed, and are expected to continue through the winter of 2015-16 with a 95% chance. I see no reason to disagree with this assessment.

There are a number of ENSO indices that are kept up-to-date on the web. Several of these are tracked at the NCEP website that is usually updated around the same time as the MEI, just in time for this go-around. Note that I always refer to the OISSTv2 anomalies in this discussion, they tend to be bigger than the ERSSTv4 anomalies that are currently used by CPC. Since October 2014, Niño region 3.4 first hovered around +0.5C, but rose steadily from April onwards, reaching +1.3C in June, +1.6C in July, +2.1C in August, and 2.3C in September. Niño region 3 dropped out of weak El Niño conditions from January through March 2015, but quickly rose from +0.7C in April to +2.6C in September 2015. For comparison, the biggest Niño 3 anomalies reached +3.3C in January 1983 and +3.6C in December 1997, or 0.7-1.0C higher than so far in 2015. The biggest Niño 3.4 anomalies reached +2.8C in January 1983 and +2.7C in December 1997, or 0.4-0.5C higher than so far in 2015.

For extended Tahiti-Darwin SOI data back to 1876, and timely monthly updates, check the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website. This index has often been out of sync with other ENSO indices in the last decade, including a jump to +10 (+1 sigma) in April 2010 that was ahead of any other ENSO index in announcing La Niña conditions. In 2015, its value varied from +1 in February (neutral ENSO conditions) down to -11 in March, up again to -4 in April, and back down below -10 since May, reaching -20 in August, its lowest value since February 2005, followed by -18 in September. The running five-month value of -15.6 is the lowest since early 1998.

An even longer Tahiti-Darwin SOI (back to 1866) is maintained at the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia website, however with less frequent updates, with the last one to include data through 2014. Extended SST-based ENSO data can be found at the University of Washington-JISAO website, which is now more than four years behind current conditions.

Stay tuned for the next update by November 7th (probably earlier) to see where the MEI will be heading next. El Niño conditions are guaranteed to persist into the upcoming boreal winter season, most likely at strong levels for the full period. Whether it will reach the elusive 'Super El Niño' level around +3 standard deviations remains to be seen, but has become more likely over the last few months. In addition, typical El Niño impacts will be supported by positive PDO conditions that have endured since January 2014, reaching record levels from December 2014 through February 2015. Daily updates of the ENSO status can be found at the TAO/TRITON website, showing a renewed westerly wind surge near the dateline as of the beginning of October.




so when do we enter vary strong EL Nino
338. SLU
Quoting 334. sar2401:

Look, the issue here is responsibility. The National Hurricane Center is not called the INternational Hurricane Center for a reason. As the NHC says in their contents for TCU's, one of the things contained is -

* To announce changes to international watches or warnings made by other countries, or to cancel U.S. watches or warnings.

Note it's US watches and warnings. The NHC is only responsible for watches and warnings for US territory. Period. Every other independent country, absent an agreement with the NHC otherwise, issues their own watches and warnings. Other countries consult with the NHC, but it's their national met service that issues the products. What warnings went up or didn't go up in the Bahamas or Dominica were not the responsibility of the NHC. If you can find some policy that differs with what I've written, post it.


SOLUTION:

The NHC should only issue products for storms in the Gulf and SW ATL close to the US landmass and the islands should establish the Caribbean Hurricane Center to see after storms in the MDR and Caribbean. So there will be no confusion over who to issue warnings.
Someone in Hilo flipped the Magic Hawaiian Anti-Hurricane Force Field on again. Oho would appear to be heading off to the northeast, just missing the Big Island.
Quoting 320. NasBahMan:



I'm sure someone has already stated this in relation to this comment but it doesn't hurt to repeat, while the NHC forecast was 'problematic', that's my way of being diplomatic, the fact remains that the NHC does not issue Hurricane warnings for the Bahamas or any other non US territories, that is left up to the various countries themselves.

By the way I would like to thank everyone on here for their kind thoughts towards my fellow Bahamians and also to the US government and the other countries that have already given aid or pledged aid to those affected in the Central and Southeastern Bahamas.

Fortunately for those that have suffered loses in those areas, Nassau and the rest of the Northwest Bahamas was not affected and therefore aid has been mobilized and will continue to be over the coming weeks to assist in the recovery effort. Had Joaquin turned to the northwest and continued up the chain and affected Nassau it would have been a very different story as it would have been a very long time before any help would have reached the people in the Southeastern Bahamas. That has highlighted one of the short comings of my country and our disaster plan or lack thereof, it is something that needs to be thought about, discussed and a plan put in motion for the day it happens, because it is not 'if' it will happen but rather 'when' it will happen.

The RBDF has some decisions to make. They don't have a single helicopter in their inventory. They are totally reliant on US air assets, primarily the Coast Guard, for aerial rescue work. The Force is entirely naval, is top heavy with officers, and continues to buy patrol boats when they can't afford gas for the ones they have. There needs to be a total overhaul of the Defence Force, and some thought has to be given as to how they are going to provide hurricane relief with no helicopters and no pilots.
Quoting 318. Grothar:



This looks like is most likely will turn before getting to close. None of the models predict any strong system yet. I think you all have had more than your share. It is still incredible to see so much water without a direct tropical system that you all had.

Although, I am looking at a pressure drop north of Hispaniola this week.
I always look for your posts and a few others to get the most accurate information, so thanks! The flooding is unreal here. Our house is fine but one street down about 25 homes are under water. And that is happening all over. Apparently the water is suppose to come down from upstate so we'll see what becomes of that. Our biggest issue right now is trying to get the dogs to go out in the soggy back yard!
Quoting 339. BayFog:

Someone in Hilo flipped the Magic Hawaiian Anti-Hurricane Force Field on again. Oho would appear to be heading off to the northeast, just missing the Big Island.

It was designed and sold by the Magic 8 Ball Company, the same ones that constructed the well regarded Tampa Bay Hurricane Shield. :-)
343. SLU
Exerpt

To meet its mission, the NHC is composed of several units. The Hurricane Specialist Unit (HSU) maintains a continuous watch on tropical cyclones and areas of disturbed weather within the North Atlantic and eastern North Pacific basins. The HSU prepares and issues analyses and forecasts in the form of text advisories and graphical products. The HSU issues coastal tropical cyclone watches and warnings for the United States and its Caribbean territories and provides watch and warning recommendations to other World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Region IV meteorological services. The HSU also conducts an extensive outreach and education program, training U.S. emergency managers and representatives from many other countries affected by tropical cyclones.


Here is the explanation from the NHC's own website. Like I've said, they advise the met offices in the Caribbean about issuing warnings. No country issues warnings unilaterally without the consultation of the NHC first.

344. MahFL
From the NHC website :

"The HSU issues coastal tropical cyclone watches and warnings for the United States and its Caribbean territories and provides watch and warning recommendations to other World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Region IV meteorological services.
Quoting 336. sar2401:

They don't have to include that Jacksonville and Miami are part of US territory. It's obvious they are because it's the only place the NHC issues warnings. We're talking in circles now. You are entitled to your viewpoint, even in the face of the evidence. I'm done with the issue.
Sar, I think SLU - at least in 333 - is agreeing with you (altho their wording could have been more clear). In any event, I for one understand better how the NHC works.
Quoting 338. SLU:



SOLUTION:

The NHC should only issue products for storms in the Gulf and SW ATL close to the US landmass and the islands should establish the Caribbean Hurricane Center to see after storms in the MDR and Caribbean. So there will be no confusion over who to issue warnings.


No thanks, we will stick with the NHC, after all we are not the ones playing the 'blame game' with the NHC.
Look at the estimated max rainfall. Will it reach 10 feet?

348. SLU
Quoting 344. MahFL:

From the NHC website :

"The HSU issues coastal tropical cyclone watches and warnings for the United States and its Caribbean territories and provides watch and warning recommendations to other World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Region IV meteorological services.



It is on the NHC's advice the Caribbean governments act. Not on their own volition concerning the issuance of TS and hurricane warnings.
Quoting 310. weathergirl2001:

It looks pretty dark to me. Maybe those lights are reflections off headlights.
The digital gas sign is still on. I've noticed in quite a few photos that many buildings still had power, even when the water was up to the windows. One of the things we used to ask the power company was to cut power in areas where we knew we'd have to do boat rescues so we had a better chance of not getting electrocuted.
Quoting 321. hydrus:

Really..I wonder if your family member was on board that ship how you would comment then. Most ships and the crew are lost because of the orders they are under, or the captains decision to take a risk without thinking it through with regard for the safety of the crew, or both.. I read all the comments, and none suggested the ship was intentionally sailed into the hurricane. Most ships have auxiliary power, and some equipment is backed up with a third. Funny how you stated how people should use there time better thinking about the next catastrophe because it will happen again..


Actually NPR ran a story about it... an angle featuring a relative, mother, of someone that had been on the ship. Her daughter had been tweeting her about it, and they were knowingly pushing right on into the storm.

I would try to hunt up a link at NPR ... I am pretty sure that it would be there... but haven't time.

Disclaims: My memory is not perfect, and I was on the go when I heard the story, and also have NO idea what the previous conversation may have been, certainly don't wanting to be adding any fuel to any fire that may be going, and if there is one, my apologies.

Please pardon my prior post. I had overlooked "Note that these recurrence interval calculations assume the climate isn't changing, which is incorrect."
Quoting 340. sar2401:

The RBDF has some decisions to make. They don't have a single helicopter in their inventory. They are totally reliant on US air assets, primarily the Coast Guard, for aerial rescue work. The Force is entirely naval, is top heavy with officers, and continues to buy patrol boats when they can't afford gas for the ones they have. There needs to be a total overhaul of the Defence Force, and some thought has to be given as to how they are going to provide hurricane relief with no helicopters and no pilots.


It would be a waste of time for our Defence Force to acquire helicopters as we would not maintain them and they would be useless when we need them. We have trouble maintaining our boats, not to mention the planes our Defence Force have been through, we supposedly have three planes currently and I don't believe any of them are operational at this time. We would be much better off saving the money and use it to higher private helicopters if and when needed.
Checking in from Charleston.... we are alive and house inside (other than our laundry room which is a few inches lower than the rest of the house) is dry...I think I am now just purely exhausted from not really sleeping since sometime Thursday night... some of the pictures I am seeing from my friends and places I was at just days ago are destroyed but the deaths in SC were limited (tragic none the less) and I pray that they don't get worse and the flood gates open with the dams breaking and the water that is to travel down river over the next few days... I have friends who still are in danger of losing all they have as the rivers rise over the next couple days...the only advantage they have is that they have time to load their most prized possessions and things that cannot be replaced in their vehicles before they leave instead of watching their cars race down a river... I pray for those in the Bahama's, the ones lost from the ship and all those affected by this catastrophic event... it is mind boggling... I have been thru quakes, blizzards, a different flood than this one, and hurricanes... I have sat on this blog and read page after page of damage that has happened during an event and my heart broke for those affected...Hugo was bad...I was here for it... but this.... this is different... it was Hugo in slow motion without the wind.... I am one of the lucky ones... but what is around me... I realize that the islands were slammed as well and there is tragedy everywhere.... I just still feel like all of this is a dream and I will wake up .... but I know I wont... a major flood after the 4th blood moon .... almost a cyber smack to the back of the head.....
Quoting 350. MontanaZephyr:



Actually NPR ran a story about it... an angle featuring a relative, mother, of someone that had been on the ship. Her daughter had been tweeting her about it, and they were knowingly pushing right on into the storm.

I would try to hunt up a link at NPR ... I am pretty sure that it would be there... but haven't time.

Disclaims: My memory is not perfect, and I was on the go when I heard the story, and also have NO idea what the previous conversation may have been, certainly don't wanting to be adding any fuel to any fire that may be going, and if there is one, my apologies.




I heard it.... the mother was receiving emails from her daughter... the last one she got said the wind and seas were relentless I think was the wording...she ended it with love to all.... last message received
The Bahamas have less than 1/800th of the population of the United States. They don't have the resources to maintain a recon fleet. The population of most Caribbean nations is very small. Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti, the only Caribbean countries with large populations that could conceivably develop large economies and maintain recon are at present poor. I'm proud the USA does recon and provides information to everyone.
356. IDTH
Quoting 329. ncstorm:

I've been on and off today..There have been comments from people on this blog blaming the NHC or the Captain, some even blaming them both..

Why not instead post comments of hope that they find the crew alive instead of guessing at what or who was the blame...in case some of yall hadn't realized there are families that haven't given up..

The right people will be in place after all this is said and done to do a full and thorough investigation but now the purpose is to find the crew ALIVE and not lay blame when no one on this blog was on that ship to even give a first hand account of what happened..



Best thing that's been said all day.
Am I seeing things or does it look like 91L is trying to spin up? Seems like its trying to get started.
358. SLU
Quoting 355. BaltimoreBrian:

The Bahamas have less than 1/800th of the population of the United States. They don't have the resources to maintain a recon fleet. The population of most Caribbean nations is very small. Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti, the only Caribbean countries with large populations that could conceivably develop large economies are at present poor. I'm proud the USA does recon and provides information to everyone.


Exactly, and that's why the NHC is the designated hurricane forecasting/warning issuing agency in the whole Atlantic basin plus the EPAC. They have the resources so it makes sense to follow their recommendations concerning the issuing of warnings for storms. Not only for land but for shipping interests too.
Quoting 345. FLwolverine:

Sar, I think SLU - at least in 333 - is agreeing with you (altho their wording could have been more clear). In any event, I for one understand better how the NHC works.
When they issue warnings for US territory, they are employees. When they advise other countries, they are consultants. It's one of the reasons I liked being a consultant. No matter if they followed my recommendations or not, I still got a check. :-)
sigh..

I thought this was a done deal..

Quoting 360. ncstorm:

sigh..

I thought this was a done deal..




we are expecting rain on and off till tomorrow afternoon now....but nothing like what we had...not it is just a extra jab in the side to say...hey...
Quoting 327. redwagon:



Models already signaling a loop.


Lord, I pray that thing swings out......
Quoting 323. SLU:

As for Dominica, the NHC didn't issue a TS warning for them because they were not expected to experience TS force winds and they didn't.
More accurately, the NHS didn't issue a TS warning for Dominica because it's not the NHC's responsibility to issue TS warnings for Dominica. Or the Bahamas for that matter. If other countries want to avail themselves of the information provided gratis by the United States then by all means they are welcome to do so. But don't come crying to us when another sovereign nation chooses to take no action based on that information. Those countries really need to start looking in the mirror before blaming somebody else for their own failings.
Oho starting to pump up some serious hot towers. Now forecast to gain minimal hurricane status, but...
Seems like alot of blue areas.
HURRICANE JOAQUIN DISCUSSION NUMBER 34
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL112015
1100 PM AST MON OCT 05 2015

While Joaquin's eye is no longer present in the shortwave infrared
imagery from the GOES-East geostationary satellite this evening, a
distinct eye has been visible in the microwave imagery from the
SSMIS polar orbiting satellite passes at 2231Z and 2316Z.
There is even a suggestion of a concentric eyewall at about a 50 nm
radius. Dvorak Current Intensity numbers from SAB and TAFB remain
at 4.5, supporting continuing with an intensity of 75 kt. The wind
radii were expanded slightly based upon a CIRA AMSU wind radii
analysis from 2104Z.

Joaquin is currently embedded in moderate southwesterly vertical
shear with somewhat dry mid-tropospheric air, and is traversing
over SSTs near 27C. During the next day, the shear picks up
substantially. However, with Joaquin moving in the same direction
as the shear vector, the negative impact of the shear is lessened as
indicated in the SHIPS output. Within two days, Joaquin will move
north of the Gulf Stream and will encounter very cold waters while
the shear increases even more. This would typically lead toward a
quick decay of a tropical cyclone, but Joaquin is expected to
transform into an extratropical cyclone in about 48 hours. The
baroclinic processes should allow Joaquin instead to slowly decay.
The intensity forecast is based upon the tightly clustered IVCN
multi-model consensus through 36 hours, and then is based on
guidance provided by the Ocean Prediction Center for the 48-120 hour
period.

The initial motion of Joaquin is 35 deg/12 kt, fairly confidently
known because of the microwave fixes. Joaquin is being swept up in
the mid-latitude westerlies and should begin accelerating off toward
the east-northeast during the next two to three days. The track
prediction is based upon the tightly clustered TVCN multi-model
consensus through 36 hours, and then is based on guidance provided
by the Ocean Prediction Center for the 48-120 hour period.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 06/0300Z 36.8N 62.7W 75 KT 85 MPH
12H 06/1200Z 38.1N 59.9W 75 KT 85 MPH
24H 07/0000Z 39.6N 54.5W 70 KT 80 MPH
36H 07/1200Z 41.0N 47.2W 65 KT 75 MPH
48H 08/0000Z 42.0N 38.8W 60 KT 70 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
72H 09/0000Z 45.0N 23.8W 55 KT 65 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
96H 10/0000Z 46.0N 17.5W 50 KT 60 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
120H 11/0000Z 48.0N 12.0W 45 KT 50 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
367. flsky
The pres. signed the disaster declaration for individuals affected by the storms in SC. People can start applying tomorrow. Go to www.fema.gov

Quoting 353. tiggeriffic:

Checking in from Charleston.... we are alive and house inside (other than our laundry room which is a few inches lower than the rest of the house) is dry...I think I am now just purely exhausted from not really sleeping since sometime Thursday night... some of the pictures I am seeing from my friends and places I was at just days ago are destroyed but the deaths in SC were limited (tragic none the less) and I pray that they don't get worse and the flood gates open with the dams breaking and the water that is to travel down river over the next few days... I have friends who still are in danger of losing all they have as the rivers rise over the next couple days...the only advantage they have is that they have time to load their most prized possessions and things that cannot be replaced in their vehicles before they leave instead of watching their cars race down a river... I pray for those in the Bahama's, the ones lost from the ship and all those affected by this catastrophic event... it is mind boggling... I have been thru quakes, blizzards, a different flood than this one, and hurricanes... I have sat on this blog and read page after page of damage that has happened during an event and my heart broke for those affected...Hugo was bad...I was here for it... but this.... this is different... it was Hugo in slow motion without the wind.... I am one of the lucky ones... but what is around me... I realize that the islands were slammed as well and there is tragedy everywhere.... I just still feel like all of this is a dream and I will wake up .... but I know I wont... a major flood after the 4th blood moon .... almost a cyber smack to the back of the head.....


Northwest Atlantic Hurricane JOAQUIN and spin off the southeast coast!! maybe a invest soon
Quoting 368. hurricanes2018:



Northwest Atlantic Hurricane JOAQUIN and spin off the southeast coast!! maybe a invest soon
Quoting 353. tiggeriffic:

Checking in from Charleston.... we are alive and house inside (other than our laundry room which is a few inches lower than the rest of the house) is dry...I think I am now just purely exhausted from not really sleeping since sometime Thursday night... some of the pictures I am seeing from my friends and places I was at just days ago are destroyed but the deaths in SC were limited (tragic none the less) and I pray that they don't get worse and the flood gates open with the dams breaking and the water that is to travel down river over the next few days... I have friends who still are in danger of losing all they have as the rivers rise over the next couple days...the only advantage they have is that they have time to load their most prized possessions and things that cannot be replaced in their vehicles before they leave instead of watching their cars race down a river... I pray for those in the Bahama's, the ones lost from the ship and all those affected by this catastrophic event... it is mind boggling... I have been thru quakes, blizzards, a different flood than this one, and hurricanes... I have sat on this blog and read page after page of damage that has happened during an event and my heart broke for those affected...Hugo was bad...I was here for it... but this.... this is different... it was Hugo in slow motion without the wind.... I am one of the lucky ones... but what is around me... I realize that the islands were slammed as well and there is tragedy everywhere.... I just still feel like all of this is a dream and I will wake up .... but I know I wont... a major flood after the 4th blood moon .... almost a cyber smack to the back of the head.....
Prayers to you and the rest hit by flooding..May a fast and safe recovery happen for all.
Euro model has switched back to taking the extratropical remnant of Joaquin into the British Isles.

Also shows a major hurricane developing off the Pacific coast of Mexico next week.
372. SLU
Quoting 363. UrcaDeLima:

More accurately, the NHS didn't issue a TS warning for Dominica because it's not the NHC's responsibility to issue TS warnings for Dominica. Or the Bahamas for that matter. If other countries want to avail themselves of the information provided gratis by the United States then by all means they are welcome to do so. But don't come crying to us when another sovereign nation chooses to take no action based on that information. Those countries really need to start looking in the mirror before blaming somebody else for their own failings.


I respect your opinion.
Quoting 352. NasBahMan:



It would be a waste of time for our Defence Force to acquire helicopters as we would not maintain them and they would be useless when we need them. We have trouble maintaining our boats, not to mention the planes our Defence Force have been through, we supposedly have three planes currently and I don't believe any of them are operational at this time. We would be much better off saving the money and use it to higher private helicopters if and when needed.
I think the concept of hiring private helicopters is a good one. I know there are sightseeing helicopters in the Bahamas, so maybe one of them would be available. There needs to be at least one ship available so damage assessment can begin as well as the most urgent rescue and supply tasks. What happened with the El Faro is a good example of why the Bahamas can't depend on US aircraft to always be available. We're lucky the Coast Guard just finished a major upgrade and increase in the air assets. Ten years ago, the search for the ship and relief work in the Bahamas would have been a major strain on the available resources. It's kind of sad the RBDF can't maintain its equipment and keep things in operating order. The Bahamas are not a poor country, and the population is reasonably well educated. They should be able to do better.
Quoting 328. SLU:



Sure because the Bahamas govt has a team of hurricane specialists on its payroll.
Government of the Bahamas acted on the advice given by the experts. Also everything is crystal clear in hindsight. I'm still saying a lot of blame is being thrown about a storm that was highly anomalous from the beginning. No one person or group can fairly be blamed - there were so many variables that were difficult to anticipate.

Instead of casting blame our time would be better employed by focusing on what went wrong and how we can improve forecast and response in the future.
Quoting 353. tiggeriffic:

Checking in from Charleston.... we are alive and house inside (other than our laundry room which is a few inches lower than the rest of the house) is dry...I think I am now just purely exhausted from not really sleeping since sometime Thursday night... some of the pictures I am seeing from my friends and places I was at just days ago are destroyed but the deaths in SC were limited (tragic none the less) and I pray that they don't get worse and the flood gates open with the dams breaking and the water that is to travel down river over the next few days... I have friends who still are in danger of losing all they have as the rivers rise over the next couple days...the only advantage they have is that they have time to load their most prized possessions and things that cannot be replaced in their vehicles before they leave instead of watching their cars race down a river... I pray for those in the Bahama's, the ones lost from the ship and all those affected by this catastrophic event... it is mind boggling... I have been thru quakes, blizzards, a different flood than this one, and hurricanes... I have sat on this blog and read page after page of damage that has happened during an event and my heart broke for those affected...Hugo was bad...I was here for it... but this.... this is different... it was Hugo in slow motion without the wind.... I am one of the lucky ones... but what is around me... I realize that the islands were slammed as well and there is tragedy everywhere.... I just still feel like all of this is a dream and I will wake up .... but I know I wont... a major flood after the 4th blood moon .... almost a cyber smack to the back of the head.....
Glad to hear you, the family, and your home is OK. Of all the disasters I've been in, I hate floods the most. They are so brown and cruddy, takes days to go up and more days to go down, and what's left is a big stinking mess. At least it's not as hot as if a hurricane went through, but that's about the only good thing I can think of to say.
376. SLU
Quoting 374. BahaHurican:

Government of the Bahamas acted on the advice given by the experts. Also everything is crystal clear in hindsight. I'm still saying a lot of blame is being thrown about a storm that was highly anomalous from the beginning. No one person or group can fairly be blamed - there were so many variables that were difficult to anticipate.

Instead of casting blame our time would be better employed by focusing on what went wrong and how we can improve forecast and response in the future.


What I believe went wrong is a lack of adequate warning in line with the 36 and 48hr time frames.
Quoting 357. Midweststorm:

Am I seeing things or does it look like 91L is trying to spin up? Seems like its trying to get started.
It's really hard to get too worked up about a 10%/20% storm, down from 30% this morning. All the convection is well displaced from the center, and I don't see any signs of spinning up.
Quoting 338. SLU:



SOLUTION:

The NHC should only issue products for storms in the Gulf and SW ATL close to the US landmass and the islands should establish the Caribbean Hurricane Center to see after storms in the MDR and Caribbean. So there will be no confusion over who to issue warnings.
There's no confusion now. NHC is the SCIENTIFIC body responsible to the WMO for carrying out that body's mandate. Individual countries and territories are responsible for issuing watches and warnings. There is a whole sovereignty issue here. In both the case of Dominica and the Bahamas the NHC could advise, but not issue.

The more interesting question regarding both cases is whether in their forecasts and discussions the NHC stated or implied left of track impacts aside from wind. While advisories may indeed be pegged to SSHWS, NHC does also comment on other hazards connected with the storm. Did they suggest that stronger measures should be taken?
Storm total accumulation is approaching 14" since Mother Nature decided we weren't done with the downpours.

But there are brighter days ahead...

Quoting 380. TropicalAnalystwx13:

Storm total accumulation is approaching 14" since Mother Nature decided we weren't done with the downpours.
But there are brighter days ahead...




Sing it Cody!
Quoting 363. UrcaDeLima:

More accurately, the NHS didn't issue a TS warning for Dominica because it's not the NHC's responsibility to issue TS warnings for Dominica. Or the Bahamas for that matter. If other countries want to avail themselves of the information provided gratis by the United States then by all means they are welcome to do so. But don't come crying to us when another sovereign nation chooses to take no action based on that information. Those countries really need to start looking in the mirror before blaming somebody else for their own failings.
If NHC doesn't recommend a warning, most people have sufficient confidence in them not to post one.
Does Dominica normally post its own warnings? I know some ECar islands have agreements with others to handle these issues....
Quoting 376. SLU:



What I believe went wrong is a lack of adequate warning in line with the 36 and 48hr time frames.
Go look at the actual data, Slu. There was some serious RI with this storm between Wednesday and Thursday. IMO the RI also had an adverse impact on track in the short term. 48 hours before it was a cat 4 Joaquin was a mere TS.

I'm trying to say that there were some genuine forecast challenges here. I'm not saying warnings couldn't have been better handled for the SE Bahamas - if anything I was drawing attention to the lack on Wednesday. But I think we can be fairer in our evaluation.
Quoting 256. MahFL:



The storm surge info is in the Discussion, this is from Friday 11am :

"STORM SURGE: A very dangerous and life-threatening storm surge will
raise water levels by as much as 6 to 12 feet above normal tide
levels in the central Bahamas in areas of onshore flow. A storm
surge of 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels is expected in the
remainder of the Bahamas within the hurricane warning area. Near
the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous
waves."


The surge was in the forecast from Wednesday. It increased with each one, IIRC....
Quoting 266. QueensWreath:

I am not sure how communications between the US and the Bahamas works ....But with a storm like this, it would be understandable to have lapses.
Hopefully lessons are learned.
Again, the problem was not with the mets per se but more with the complexity of the forecast.
385. vis0
Quoting 60. Neapolitan:

If you were bashed for knocking the GFS, it's only because you're criticisms are invalid. From the NHC on Saturday:



Source

And this, also from the NHC:



The GFS looks pretty good, no?


my reply on my zilly pg.3 cmmnt#141
I know, it;s 2 weeks out but maybe it's time for the GFS to nail one at long distance like the ECMWF did with Joaquin.





only thing is, GFS each day moves the timeline back,but continues to say a storm for florida...
Joaquin Heads to Sea ???? It's heading straight towards the UK and looks like it'll hit as a PST
All I can say is WOW!!!

Anthony Sagliani
@anthonywx

A look at current global tropical cyclone activity overlayed on water vapor and precipitable water imagery.

Quoting 299. Jedkins01:




Only 11.3 year to date while the average would be 16 more inches at 27.3 is a bad drought. That's less than half the average year to date. What is the average for a whole year there?

Good morning everyone.



GFS 00z has (Ex)-Joaquin going over the British Isles (see above) and northern France/BeNeLux into southern Germany.
ECMWF 00z has it going into the northwestern tip of Spain/Portugal (wu-map).

Deathtoll of the French flood is now unfortunately at 20 (French media) or even 21 (German media).

Two missing as Riviera flood death toll rises
The Local (France) Published: 06 Oct 2015 08:10 GMT 02:00
As the mammoth clean up job continued in French Riviera towns authorities said the death toll from the weekend's floods had risen to twenty with two German nationals still missing.
Volunteers and firefighters continued the gruelling task on Tuesday of cleaning up French Riviera towns strewn with mud and debris, as the death toll from floods which tore through the region rose to 20.
Citizens of Britain, Italy and Portugal were among those who died when a torrential weekend downpour trapped people in garages and retirement homes in Mediterranean resort towns beloved by jet-setting tourists. ...

Whole article see link above.
Quoting 390. AussieStorm:

Anthony Sagliani
@anthonywx

A look at current global tropical cyclone activity overlayed on water vapor and precipitable water imagery.




Just amazing how busy it's been in Pacific.
Quoting 376. SLU:

What I believe went wrong is a lack of adequate warning in line with the 36 and 48hr time frames.
The NHC issues advisories with predicted location and intensity 12, 24, 36, 48 ... etc. hours in advance. Someone on an island in the path of the storm sits down and looks at the numbers. Then that someone picks up the phone and says, "Mr. Prime Minister, the NHC is forecasting hurricane force winds in 48 hours over some of our islands. What should we do?"

How in the world is anyone else responsible for the inaction of the affected country's government officials in that scenario? Just because the NHC is designated the regional authority by the WMO doesn't mean it is responsible - or liable - for the inaction of other non-US officials who are either unable, unwilling or incapable of issuing their own weather advisories.

Based on the WMO's mission statement, the US is already doing its part. Complaints should be directed toward those countries who are not doing theirs.
Quoting 387. LargoFl:

only thing is, GFS each day moves the timeline back,but continues to say a storm for florida...
ghost storm
Quoting 396. Gearsts:

ghost storm
yes way too far out in time to believe.
991=fl.hurricane?climatology.feasible
NHC only gives it a 10% chance but something to watch long term........................
Quoting 393. UrcaDeLima:

The NHC issues advisories with predicted location and intensity 12, 24, 36, 48 ... etc. hours in advance. Someone on an island in the path of the storm sits down and looks at the numbers. Then that someone picks up the phone and says, "Mr. Prime Minister, the NHC is forecasting hurricane force winds in 48 hours over some of our islands. What should we do?"

How in the world is anyone else responsible for the inaction of the affected country's government officials in that scenario? Just because the NHC is designated the regional authority by the WMO doesn't mean it is responsible - or liable - for the inaction of other non-US officials who are either unable, unwilling or incapable of issuing their own weather advisories.

Based on the WMO's mission statement, the US is already doing its part. Complaints should be directed toward those countries who are not doing theirs.
Just stop. You don't have a clue.
403. MahFL
Quoting 364. BayFog:

Oho starting to pump up some serious hot towers. Now forecast to gain minimal hurricane status, but...



Oho is supposed to make it the the NW USA and produce some weather there.
Good Morning.
Graphic time line of events according to The Miami Herald this morning. Part of an excellent article where they place most of the blame on the shipping company and the captain. Full article is inside link.
El Faro's path into Hurricane Joaquin
Problem with Link
Will try later after coffee :-(
wonder if the shipping company responsible is listed on wall street?
Tropical Storm Oho Advisory Number 013
Issued at 1100 PM HST MON OCT 05 2015
SUMMARY OF 1100 PM HST...0900 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
Location: 15.2N 152.6W
ABOUT 350 MI...565 KM SSE OF HILO HAWAII
ABOUT 545 MI...880 KM SE OF HONOLULU HAWAII
Maximum sustained winds: 70 MPH...110 KM/H
Present movement: ENE or 60 degrees AT 7 MPH...11 KM/H
Minimum central pressure: 982 MB...29.00 INCHES
Quoting 329. ncstorm:

There have been comments from people on this blog blaming the NHC or the Captain, some even blaming them both..

Why not instead post comments of hope that they find the crew alive instead of guessing at what or who was the blame.
Good question. I would answer that it's because this is primarily a science- and fact-based forum. Forensically analyzing a hurricane-related tragedy is right in this forum's wheelhouse, and a number of informed and logical people here can speak intelligently on the subject, adding to everyone's knowledge base. There are countless other forums devoted solely to offering prayers and uttering condolences and speaking remembrances of those tragically lost, and it's good such outlets exist. But this isn't--and shouldn't strive to be--one of them.

In short, it's important to know what happened, and when, and why. Not to assign blame--but to help avoid such events in the future.
well the 6Z GFS doesn't show the florida storm now, guess it was indeed a ghost storm afterall.
well prayers for the SC folks dealing with all that terrible flooding and dams are giving way and the rivers will flood even more,gee what a terrible situation there.
415. MahFL
JQ has a nice eye again :

FLOOD STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHARLESTON SC
646 AM EDT TUE OCT 6 2015

SCC015-019-035-061830-
/O.CON.KCHS.FA.W.0001.000000T0000Z-151006T1830Z/
/00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z .OO/
CHARLESTON SC-BERKELEY SC-DORCHESTER SC-
646 AM EDT TUE OCT 6 2015

...A FLOOD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 230 PM EDT TUESDAY FOR
CHARLESTON...BERKELEY AND DORCHESTER COUNTIES...

HIGH WATER LEVELS CONTINUE ACROSS MUCH OF THE CHARLESTON TRI-COUNTY
AREA...WITH MANY ROADS AND HOMES STILL EXPERIENCING FLOODING.
ALTHOUGH LITTLE TO NO SIGNIFICANT RAINFALL IS EXPECTED THROUGH THE
REST OF THE WEEK...WATER LEVELS ARE EXPECTED TO ONLY SLOWLY RECEDE
ACROSS REGIONS THAT ARE ALREADY FLOODED.

RIVER FLOODING WILL LIKELY WORSEN FOR AREAS ADJACENT TO THE EDISTO
AND SANTEE RIVERS AND THEIR ADJACENT TRIBUTARIES OVER THE COMING
DAYS AS RIVER LEVELS RISE. HEED THE ADVICE OF EMERGENCY OFFICIALS IF
EVACUATIONS ARE ORDERED.

SOME LOCATIONS THAT WILL EXPERIENCE FLOODING INCLUDE...
CHARLESTON...NORTH CHARLESTON...MOUNT PLEASANT...SUMMERVILLE...
GOOSE CREEK...HANAHAN...MONCKS CORNER AND MCCLELLANVILLE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

AVOID FLOODED AREAS. DO NOT DRIVE AROUND POLICE BARRICADES. IF YOU
ASKED TO EVACUATE BY EMERGENCY OFFICIALS...DO SO.

EXCESSIVE RUNOFF FROM RECENT HEAVY RAINFALL IS CAUSING FLOODING OF
SMALL CREEKS AND STREAMS...HIGHWAYS AND UNDERPASSES IN URBAN AREAS.
ADDITIONALLY...COUNTRY ROADS AND FARMLANDS ALONG THE BANKS OF
CREEKS...STREAMS AND OTHER LOW LYING AREAS ARE SUBJECT TO FLOODING.

DO NOT DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO AREAS WHERE THE WATER COVERS THE
ROADWAY. THE WATER DEPTH MAY BE TOO GREAT TO ALLOW YOUR CAR TO CROSS
SAFELY. MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND.

&&
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT TUE OCT 6 2015

For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:

The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on Hurricane
Joaquin, located more than 400 miles north-northeast of Bermuda.

1. A tropical wave located about 850 miles east of the Lesser Antilles
is producing disorganized shower and thunderstorm activity.
Upper-level winds are expected to remain unfavorable for tropical
cyclone formation for the next few days, but they could become
a little more conducive by the weekend. However, any development
of this disturbance should be slow to occur while it moves
west-northwestward at about 15 to 20 mph over the next several days.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...near 0 percent
* Formation chance through 5 days...low...20 percent

Definitely the strongest WWB so far this year. We saw how much the last strong WWB back in Late June/early July warmed Nino 3.4 and now this one is stronger. We are @ 2.4 right now and it is looking very likely that we will eclipse 3C on the weekly values for Nino 3.4 in 5 to 6 weeks.

Moving fast. Weak storm less likely to move poleward on its own. Can't say I'm enthusiastic about where and in what kind of environment it could end up.

Hopefully remains weak and just brings some much needed precip to areas that need it.

October storms in recent years have been unfortunately all too memorable.


Quoting 420. GeoffreyWPB:

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT TUE OCT 6 2015

For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:

The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on Hurricane
Joaquin, located more than 400 miles north-northeast of Bermuda.

1. A tropical wave located about 850 miles east of the Lesser Antilles
is producing disorganized shower and thunderstorm activity.
Upper-level winds are expected to remain unfavorable for tropical
cyclone formation for the next few days, but they could become
a little more conducive by the weekend. However, any development
of this disturbance should be slow to occur while it moves
west-northwestward at about 15 to 20 mph over the next several days.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...near 0 percent
* Formation chance through 5 days...low...20 percent


So last week we get over 6" of rain in NW Florida and now it doesn't look like it will rain for 20+ days. The current extended forecast says no better than a 10% chance of rain for the next 15 days, I sure hope that is wrong.
Quoting 423. 69Viking:

So last week we get over 6" of rain in NW Florida and now it doesn't look like it will rain for 20+ days. The current extended forecast says no better than a 10% chance of rain for the next 15 days, I sure hope that is wrong.
Quoting 423. 69Viking:

So last week we get over 6" of rain in NW Florida and now it doesn't look like it will rain for 20+ days. The current extended forecast says no better than a 10% chance of rain for the next 15 days, I sure hope that is wrong.
well our normal DRY season begins in November which isn't far away,im looking to see how this el-nino thing affects it....some say it could be a wet season for florida etc.
Quoting 422. HaoleboySurfEC:

Moving fast. Weak storm less likely to move poleward on its own. Can't say I'm enthusiastic about where and in what kind of environment it could end up.

Hopefully remains weak and just brings some much needed precip to areas that need it.

October storms in recent years have been unfortunately all too memorable.





Maybe 91L will stay south enough to pass through the 1st Hebert Box, then be a player for the Gulf.



A Hebert Box (pronounced AY-bear, also known as Hebert's Box) is one of two regions of the tropical Atlantic Ocean that are useful as predictors of hurricanes that will strike South Florida, USA. They are named for former National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center forecaster Paul Hebert, who observed in the late 1970s that most strong hurricanes (characterized as those with winds exceeding 110 miles per hour (177 km/h)) which had struck South Florida since 1900 had also passed through one of these two small 335-mile-by-335-mile (517-km-by-517-km) square geographic regions.[1]

Examples include unnamed hurricanes in 1926, 1928, 1933, and 1935, as well as the major hurricanes Donna and Betsy, all of which came through an Hebert Box. Collectively these storms killed more than 2,000 people in Florida. Conversely, storms such as the major hurricanes Floyd and Gert in 1999, which both were headed for Florida at one point, missed the Hebert Boxes and turned away from Florida at the last minute.[1]
Quoting 404. hurricanes2018:



If this chart plays out the effects could be very interesting for the south of Ireland and the Bristol Channel area. A bit more to the south and its will be into the English channel.
Quoting 406. tropicofcancer:

Good Morning.
Graphic time line of events according to The Miami Herald this morning. Part of an excellent article where they place most of the blame on the shipping company and the captain. Full article is inside link.
El Faro's path into Hurricane Joaquin


Link worked for me. The article accompanying it was good too. I don't see how anyone could rationally argue that this is all the NHC's fault and the ship had no way to avoid the storm. Apparently crew members were even able to email back to land - so it's not like they lost communications early.
Quoting 427. PlazaRed:


If this chart plays out the effects could be very interesting for the south of Ireland and the Bristol Channel area. A bit more to the south and its will be into the English channel.

It all depends on what Joaquin is thirsty for. Irish whiskey, scotch, dark ale, ...
Quoting 412. Neapolitan:

Good question. I would answer that it's because this is primarily a science- and fact-based forum. Forensically analyzing a hurricane-related tragedy is right in this forum's wheelhouse, and a number of informed and logical people here can speak intelligently on the subject, adding to everyone's knowledge base. There are countless other forums devoted solely to offering prayers and uttering condolences and speaking remembrances of those tragically lost, and it's good such outlets exist. But this isn't--and shouldn't strive to be--one of them.

In short, it's important to know what happened, and when, and why. Not to assign blame--but to help avoid such events in the future.


Good post Nea! Good morning to you guys in Naples. Cloudy and gloomy here. It appears the Fall doldrums have started in N C FL.
The South Carolina pressure system looks to be shaping up as it moves east. If it reaches tropical storm status, will that change how the rain event is classified?
Not much here. And strong sheer ahead.


The tropical wave axis of 99L may spawn a disturbance in the SW Caribbean in a week or so. Whether it tracks north from there or into the EPAC remains to be seen. Just a little heads up as we are nearing the secondary peak. And not to let your guard down until the season is officially over.



While everyone was talking about S & N Carolina yesterday it appears this excerpt got missed. Who says you can't get heavy rains in Death Valley. Well this Super El-Nino is doing just that!

RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LAS VEGAS, NV
514 PM PDT MON OCT 5 2015

...RECORD RAINFALL FOR A 24 HOUR PERIOD FOR OCTOBER AT DEATH
VALLEY...


A TOTAL OF 0.55 INCH OF PRECIPITATION FELL FROM 8 AM ON OCTOBER 4TH
TO 8 AM OCTOBER 5TH AT THE OFFICIAL DEATH VALLEY WEATHER STATION AT
THE FURNACE CREEK VISITOR CENTER. THIS SET A NEW 24 HOUR
PRECIPITATION RECORD FOR THIS PERIOD. THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS 0.20
INCH IN 1912.


THE 0.55 INCH MEASURED ALSO TIES THE PREVIOUS 24 HOUR PRECIPITATION
RECORD FOR DEATH VALLEY FIRST SET FROM OCTOBER 16-17, 1934 AND THEN
TIED ON OCTOBER 3-4, 1972.

THIS ALSO TIES OCTOBER 1934 FOR THE 4TH WETTEST OCTOBER ON RECORD AT
DEATH VALLEY. THE NORMAL PRECIPITATION FOR OCTOBER IS 0.07 INCH.

THE ABOVE INFORMATION IS PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO A FINAL REVIEW.
FOR FINAL CERTIFIED DATA PLEASE CONTACT THE OFFICE OF NOAA'S
NATIONAL CENTERS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION (NCEI) LOCATED IN
ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA.
Good question. I would answer that it's because this is primarily a science- and fact-based forum. Forensically analyzing a hurricane-related tragedy is right in this forum's wheelhouse, and a number of informed and logical people here can speak intelligently on the subject, adding to everyone's knowledge base. There are countless other forums devoted solely to offering prayers and uttering condolences and speaking remembrances of those tragically lost, and it's good such outlets exist. But this isn't--and shouldn't strive to be--one of them.

In short, it's important to know what happened, and when, and why. Not to assign blame--but to help avoid such events in the future.


your answer is good...but it does not address the actual question.....

There have been comments from people on this blog blaming the NHC or the Captain, some even blaming them both..

Why not instead post comments of hope that they find the crew alive instead of guessing at what or who was the blame.


you see...the consternation of the poster is not that there be a scientific discussion of what went wrong..instead there has been a rash of posts blaming the NHC or the Captain or the ships owners without the facts...or study...so the forum you describe we are...sadly many times...we're not
Quoting 436. ricderr:

Good question. I would answer that it's because this is primarily a science- and fact-based forum. Forensically analyzing a hurricane-related tragedy is right in this forum's wheelhouse, and a number of informed and logical people here can speak intelligently on the subject, adding to everyone's knowledge base. There are countless other forums devoted solely to offering prayers and uttering condolences and speaking remembrances of those tragically lost, and it's good such outlets exist. But this isn't--and shouldn't strive to be--one of them.

In short, it's important to know what happened, and when, and why. Not to assign blame--but to help avoid such events in the future.


your answer is good...but it does not address the actual question.....

There have been comments from people on this blog blaming the NHC or the Captain, some even blaming them both..

Why not instead post comments of hope that they find the crew alive instead of guessing at what or who was the blame.


you see...the consternation of the poster is not that there be a scientific discussion of what went wrong..instead there has been a rash of posts blaming the NHC or the Captain or the ships owners without the facts...or study...so the forum you describe we are...sadly many times...we're not


It's a forum to discuss issues like this heck TWC was even bashing the NHC and they are a Nationally Televised Network. TWC as much as went Ham & Cheese on the NHC because of their forecast.
Quoting 433. GTstormChaserCaleb:

The tropical wave axis of 99L may spawn a disturbance in the SW Caribbean in a week or so. Whether it tracks north from there or into the EPAC remains to be seen. Just a little heads up as we are nearing the secondary peak. And not to let your guard down until the season is officially over.




That is what the GFS keeps showing in there runs, a minimal hurricane making landfall in S. FL... Could be stronger due to the untouched waters Caribbean...
Hey Ric, it appears Nino 3.4 is going to cross the 3C mark on its weekly values with in the next 6 weeks or so. I'm sure that's something you don't want to hear this morning. Infact you should of heard JB in his video discussing the latest CFSv2 reacting to this very strong WWB with winds of 25knts @ 170W.
Eric Webb ‏@webberweather 54m54 minutes ago
Seasonally averaged (& adjusted) BEST Index is going off the charts. We blew out 1997-98 in JAS #SuperElNino #Climate
Still a little bit of vorticity with 91L


Sheer tendency gets pretty stiff but will relax as 91L moves further west.
Quoting 436. ricderr:

Good question. I would answer that it's because this is primarily a science- and fact-based forum. Forensically analyzing a hurricane-related tragedy is right in this forum's wheelhouse, and a number of informed and logical people here can speak intelligently on the subject, adding to everyone's knowledge base. There are countless other forums devoted solely to offering prayers and uttering condolences and speaking remembrances of those tragically lost, and it's good such outlets exist. But this isn't--and shouldn't strive to be--one of them.

In short, it's important to know what happened, and when, and why. Not to assign blame--but to help avoid such events in the future.


your answer is good...but it does not address the actual question.....

There have been comments from people on this blog blaming the NHC or the Captain, some even blaming them both..

Why not instead post comments of hope that they find the crew alive instead of guessing at what or who was the blame.


you see...the consternation of the poster is not that there be a scientific discussion of what went wrong..instead there has been a rash of posts blaming the NHC or the Captain or the ships owners without the facts...or study...so the forum you describe we are...sadly many times...we're not


Here's an idea on how to avoid such tragedy in the future.... Ready??

DON'T GET UNDERWAY IN THE MIDDLE OF A FRIGGIN CAT 4 HURRICANE!!!! There is no need to analyze squat!! The captain is a dumbass for putting himself AND his crew in such peril!

The "I think we can make it" attitude will continue to get people killed. Sorry for the harshness. Just sick and tired of stupidity.



Devastating Rainfall in The Bahamas and South Carolina
NASA Earth Observatory: October 6, 2015
A major October hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean never made landfall, yet it has wrecked havoc in the Americas. Hurricane Joaquin sat just offshore of The Bahamas for several days, pounding the island nation with category 4 winds and flooding rain. Meanwhile, in the southeastern United States, a separate, yet Joaquin-influenced weather system brought intense rainfall and both inland and coastal flooding.
The map above shows satellite-based estimates of rainfall in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean from October 1–5, 2015, as compiled by NASA. These rainfall totals are regional, remotely-sensed estimates, and local totals reported by ground-based weather stations can be significantly higher or lower. The darkest blues on the map represent rainfall totals approaching 800 millimeters (31.5 inches) over the five days observed.
The rainfall data come from the Integrated Multi-Satellite Retrievals for GPM (IMERG), a product of the Global Precipitation Measurement mission. IMERG pulls together precipitation estimates from passive microwave and infrared sensors on several satellites, as well as monthly surface precipitation gauge data, to provide precipitation estimates between 60 degrees North and South latitude. GPM is a partnership between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. ...

More see link above.

And most of the references at the end of this article are references to Doc 'n Bob's coverage of this rain event in here :-)
The company has defended its decision to authorize voyage. Crew members were "equipped to handle situations such as changing weather," it said in a statement.

Phil Greene, president and CEO of TOTE Services, Inc., said the captain had been observing the weather patterns and discussed the weather as the El Faro passed its sister ship going in the opposite direction.

"On Wednesday, he sent a message to the home office with the status of the developing tropical storm. He said he had very good weather ... and that his crew was prepared," Greene said.

Greene said the El Faro has been in service for many years and was built to work in the rough seas off Alaska. "She is a sturdy, rugged vessel that was well maintained and that the crew members were proud of," he said.


Fox reported from Nassau, Bahamas. Associated Press writer David McFadden contributed from Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Quoting 436. ricderr:

you see...the consternation of the poster is not that there be a scientific discussion of what went wrong..instead there has been a rash of posts blaming the NHC or the Captain or the ships owners without the facts...or study...so the forum you describe we are...sadly many times...we're not
The way you intermingle your own words with non-blockquoted quotes from others sometimes makes it difficult to interpret what exactly you're saying, so I may be misinterpreting this comment, as well; if so, let me know. ;)

You're right in stating that all the facts aren't known, not by a long shot. But two key facts *are* known, and they point a huge finger right at the captain. To wit:

1) The captain knew Joaquin was going to be more than a tropical storm by the time the El Faro reached it, yet he continued on regardless, making what's best described as a beeline for the eye. Had he planned an intentional intercept of the CoC, he couldn't have aimed any better.

2) The captain--not the NHC, not the Coast Guard, not the shipping company, not the clients, not the rest of the crew--is ultimately responsible for the ship, its crew, and its cargo. Once the vessel is underway, the captain's decisions overrule any and all decisions made by anyone else.
Did not even mention the engine failure.Just small little fact.

Likely a very active Hurricane Season next year across our Basin. Joaquin might be a indication of whats coming next Summer. All this low pressure across the Atlantic is the exact opposite of the last several seasons.

Quoting 445. RitaEvac:

The company has defended its decision to authorize voyage. Crew members were "equipped to handle situations such as changing weather," it said in a statement.

Phil Greene, president and CEO of TOTE Services, Inc., said the captain had been observing the weather patterns and discussed the weather as the El Faro passed its sister ship going in the opposite direction.

"On Wednesday, he sent a message to the home office with the status of the developing tropical storm. He said he had very good weather ... and that his crew was prepared," Greene said.

Greene said the El Faro has been in service for many years and was built to work in the rough seas off Alaska. "She is a sturdy, rugged vessel that was well maintained and that the crew members were proud of," he said.


Fox reported from Nassau, Bahamas. Associated Press writer David McFadden contributed from Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Of course, on Wednesday morning, Joaquin was already hurricane, and no longer a "developing tropical storm". And "equipped to handle situations such as changing weather" is one thing; "equipped to handle situations such as plunging headlong into a rapidly developing hurricane" is another.

SMH...
Quoting 443. nash36:



Here's an idea on how to avoid such tragedy in the future.... Ready??

DON'T GET UNDERWAY IN THE MIDDLE OF A FRIGGIN CAT 4 HURRICANE!!!! There is no need to analyze squat!! The captain is a dumbass for putting himself AND his crew in such peril!

The "I think we can make it" attitude will continue to get people killed. Sorry for the harshness. Just sick and tired of stupidity.


Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.

Albert Einstein


PRAYERS sent out to the families to cope with the unknown and I HOPE they find them alive..

I'll continue to offer my prayers on this so call "Fact basing" forum and not be told to comment elsewhere with it..
Quoting 447. help4u:

Did not even mention the engine failure.Just small little fact.



Yeah, kinda like your engine stalling out after you've driven onto a flooded bridge. I mean, who knew, really?
Quoting 447. help4u:

Did not even mention the engine failure.Just small little fact.




Which wouldn't be a factor if the captain hadn't made a beeline for the center of the storm! I really think after all the reading I've done the Captain and some of his crew thought the boat was invincible to rough seas.
Quoting 447. help4u:

Did not even mention the engine failure.Just small little fact.




It doesn't matter. The engines wouldn't have had a chance to fail, had the ship stayed put UNTIL the storm had passed! This isn't rocket surgery. Was it really worth it for the company to head out? Not anymore. Lawsuits will be coming, and they should also get sued out of existence.
Just another shining Darwin example of men thinking they can conquer mother nature.

Once again: Mother Nature- Endless wins
Man- 0
It really is refreshing to know we have so many "experts" and "captains" on here for the past couple of days.
Some who know more than the NHC and some who think they know more than a captain. Maybe instead of
posting here they should be THERE.
Quoting 451. ncstorm:

PRAYERS sent out to the families to cope with the unknown and I HOPE they find them alive..

I'll continue to offer my prayers on this so call "Fact basing" forum and not be told to comment elsewhere with it..
That's your prerogative. By the same token, we'll continue to discuss the tragedy, and not be told to stop doing so and "instead post comments of hope that they find the crew alive".

Have a good day, friend! ;-)
Quoting 427. PlazaRed:


If this chart plays out the effects could be very interesting for the south of Ireland and the Bristol Channel area. A bit more to the south and its will be into the English channel.


There's still some uncertainty as to how the situation will evolve. It seems the Euro takes it further south and weakens it before taking it into France. The GFS shows it becoming the first proper autumn storm of the season for the Republic of Ireland/Northern Ireland, but doesn't show it affecting England/Scotland/Wales too much apart from a little bit of wind and some rain.
Quoting 458. Envoirment:



There's still some uncertainty as to how the situation will evolve. It seems the Euro takes it further south and weakens it before taking it into France. The GFS shows it becoming the first proper autumn storm of the season for the Republic of Ireland/Northern Ireland, but doesn't show it affecting England/Scotland/Wales too much apart from a little bit of wind and some rain.

just curious, what are the conditions in a "proper autumn storm"? I mean temps, wind, rain, etc? I take you mean an average type one.
Quoting 428. rwdobson:



Link worked for me. The article accompanying it was good too. I don't see how anyone could rationally argue that this is all the NHC's fault and the ship had no way to avoid the storm. Apparently crew members were even able to email back to land - so it's not like they lost communications early.


I agree, it's not like the NHC was ignoring the formation of the storm. Not a single computer model accurately predicted the genesis of the storm. Not a single human accurately predicted the genesis of the storm.

Blaming the NHC is like blaming NASA for not having a colony on mars yet.
461. MahFL
Quoting 447. help4u:

Did not even mention the engine failure.Just small little fact.




The engines failed because they were in a Cat4 hurricane with 50 ft + seas and 140 mph winds, ships are not designed to sail in those conditions, especially cargo ships loaded with containers stacked high above the deck line.
Well, we made out pretty well over the weekend storms. my rain gauge only holds 5", so after multiple dumps daily, i am guessing 18-20" at my house. I live near 15 minutes to the Longs, SC total of 23.92" so it is totally believable. It was very heavy and persistent, but not the end of the world. Now if Joaquin came blowing in at Cat 4 with it...might not be here typing right now! Glad it went OTS waaayyy to close to the razors edge.
I would say highly unlikely....and that the GFS is that aggressive on it?


http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/watl/wv-l.jpg

Quoting 439. Camerooski:

That is what the GFS keeps showing in there runs, a minimal hurricane making landfall in S. FL... Could be stronger due to the untouched waters Caribbean...
Up to 4.6" of rain in the Las Vegas area. Very impressive totals for so early in the Fall Season.

Quoting 461. MahFL:



The engines failed because they were in a Cat4 hurricane with 50 ft + seas and 140 mph winds, ships are not designed to sail in those conditions, especially cargo ships loaded with containers stacked high above the deck line.
In WW2, a task force in the Pacific unwittingly sailed into a 100 mph typhoon which sank three destroyers and damaged several other ships. A top-heavy container ship in 130 mph winds and heavy seas? No chance. It probably rolled over and capsized.

Typhoon Cobra
Quoting 464. StormTrackerScott:

Up to 4.6" of rain in the Las Vegas area. Very impressive totals for so early in the Fall Season.





BOOOO they cant have it its main any ways i got 0.70" of rain thursday of last week so all most are 1st 1" of rain


so far OK KS and part of TXS have seen there spring hvys rains and flooding now NC and SC is getting major flooding i really hop CA is next
Quoting 456. DaytonaBeachWatcher:

It really is refreshing to know we have so many "experts" and "captains" on here for the past couple of days.
Some who know more than the NHC and some who think they know more than a captain. Maybe instead of
posting here they should be THERE.



It's actually an indictment of the captain that what he attempted to do was so boneheaded that lay persons can see how bad a decision that was. My knowledge of ships is limited to one class in Navy ROTC and I can see just how dangerous it is to sail a top-heavy cargo ship with wide open holds into those kind of seas.
Quoting 466. Tazmanian:




BOOOO


Your turn is coming soon Taz. This is one strong El-Nino and once the moisture train starts then it may not stop. El-Paso over to Arizona have had a lot of rain recently which gives the indication this El-Nino means business and once we get deeper into October/November then the Southern US will turn very active.
I'm sure the crew of the freighter never had a chance to prepare for the capsizing it happened so fast.
No radio call, no survival suits, nothing.
You're right in stating that all the facts aren't known, not by a long shot. But two key facts *are* known, and they point a huge finger right at the captain. To wit:

1) The captain knew Joaquin was going to be more than a tropical storm by the time the El Faro reached it, yet he continued on regardless, making what's best described as a beeline for the eye. Had he planned an intentional intercept of the CoC, he couldn't have aimed any better.

2) The captain--not the NHC, not the Coast Guard, not the shipping company, not the clients, not the rest of the crew--is ultimately responsible for the ship, its crew, and its cargo. Once the vessel is underway, the captain's decisions overrule any and all decisions made by anyone else.



first let me say.....that yes.....in the end...i think that human error will be to blame in this incident....however...until we learn more...i'm not willing to place blame on anyone...is it right to discuss it?....yes......will some as is their custom rush to judgement without the facts...of course.....that is more common in my opinion here than a factual discussion of what happened...as for those that wish to offer prayers...condolences and hope....i've no problem with that either
Quoting 464. StormTrackerScott:

Up to 4.6" of rain in the Las Vegas area. Very impressive totals for so early in the Fall Season.




If only more of that was upstream from Lake Mead.
Hurricane JOAQUIN
11:00 AM AST Tue Oct 6 2015
Location: 38.3°N 59.6°W
Moving: NE at 18 mph
Min pressure: 974 mb
Max sustained: 80 mph
The long awaited/talked about Historic El-Nino now taking shape as a result of this WWB. No question guys that this event will surpass the Super El-Nino of 1997.

Anthony Sagliani ‏@anthonywx 2h2 hours ago
Zero sign of typical trade winds in W/C Pacific as tremendous WWB is ongoing.
One can still be religious, choose to worship any God they believe in.

But at the same time, one can also choose to embrace science, be scientific, affirm many scientific ideas, thoughts, theories, laws.

Every single person is different. No two people are the same.
Quoting 471. TimSoCal:



If only more of that was upstream from Lake Mead.


Have seen the TAO charts I've posted of this WWB. Just unreal to see a complete reversal of trades with 25knt winds out of the West across the Equatorial Pacific. I suspect the NMME is going to come in very high in the next few days with its forecast.
on the local front we've finally had an end to our above average temps...last week saw two high temp records fall or tied in our region....this week we're not forecast to reah 80.......and our monsoon season has decided that it's not time to end yet.....saturday las cruces....30 miles to our west...had a level 4 hail storm and is now declared as a catastrophe zone by insurance......last night radar estimates totaled over an inch of rain in the eastern part of el paso....with flooding in tornillo...today while noaa has us in the "slight" risk of severe weather...local mets are saying our risk is high...with mainly a chance of large hail and isolated high winds....points west of el paso are warned of flash flooding



Quoting 470. ricderr:

You're right in stating that all the facts aren't known, not by a long shot. But two key facts *are* known, and they point a huge finger right at the captain. To wit:

1) The captain knew Joaquin was going to be more than a tropical storm by the time the El Faro reached it, yet he continued on regardless, making what's best described as a beeline for the eye. Had he planned an intentional intercept of the CoC, he couldn't have aimed any better.

2) The captain--not the NHC, not the Coast Guard, not the shipping company, not the clients, not the rest of the crew--is ultimately responsible for the ship, its crew, and its cargo. Once the vessel is underway, the captain's decisions overrule any and all decisions made by anyone else.



first let me say.....that yes.....in the end...i think that human error will be to blame in this incident....however...until we learn more...i'm not willing to place blame on anyone...is it right to discuss it?....yes......will some as is their custom rush to judgement without the facts...of course.....that is more common in my opinion here than a factual discussion of what happened...as for those that wish to offer prayers...condolences and hope....i've no problem with that either


Even the NHC admitted their forecast was one of their worst. Whether we agree or not the captain tried to get in the island Chain to avoid the worst of the storm as it was predicted to stay east of the Bahamas. Bottomline forecast by the Euro we're discounted which showed a track deep into the Central Bahamas. if the NHC went the Euro route we might still have the El-Faro sailing.


Hurricane JOAQUIN will be extratropical and hit British Isles watch out!
Quoting 476. ricderr:

on the local front we've finally had an end to our above average temps...last week saw two high temp records fall or tied in our region....this week we're not forecast to reah 80.......and our monsoon season has decided that it's not time to end yet.....saturday las cruces....30 miles to our west...had a level 4 hail storm and is now declared as a catastrophe zone by insurance......last night radar estimates totaled over an inch of rain in the eastern part of el paso....with flooding in tornillo...today while noaa has us in the "slight" risk of severe weather...local mets are saying our risk is high...with mainly a chance of large hail and isolated high winds....points west of el paso are warned of flash flooding






What about that El-Nino ric! LOL!


big hurricane in size
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
this El-Nino means business very warm water in the southeast maybe a hurricane in late october!
Quoting 475. StormTrackerScott:



Have seen the TAO charts I've posted of this WWB. Just unreal to see a complete reversal of trades with 25knt winds out of the West across the Equatorial Pacific. I suspect the NMME is going to come in very high in the next few days with its forecast.


It's a very impressive WWB, but it's not centered on the equator, so I'm not sure just how much it's going to reinforce the ongoing event. It'll surely have some impact, though.
Quoting 477. StormTrackerScott:



Even the NHC admitted their forecast was one of their worst. Whether we agree or not the captain tried to get in the island Chain to avoid the worst of the storm as it was predicted to stay east of the Bahamas. Bottomline forecast by the Euro we're discounted which showed a track deep into the Central Bahamas. if the NHC went the Euro route we might still have the El-Faro sailing.
Wrong. The captain knew hours before the ship sank that if he continued on, we would be making an intercept with the eyewall of a 115mph hurricane, yet continue on he did. It's the captain's fault. Not just primarily, but virtually only.



Source: Miami Herald
It's getting a tad ridiculous, this current blame game. Whatever may be the case, the damage is done. Now it's likely up to the courts to decide the final blame and the future of this case. I, for one, have assumed those that are missing are likely lost, although I still have hope. You never know. Stop laying down blame on the NHC, the captain and/or the vessel's owner. You don't know. It will however be decided, after all the facts and evidence are laid down. For now, just wish, or pray, if you do, for those missing to be found, one way or the other. For a day now, I've been coming on here and seeing this nonsense. You're not helping! The NHC does the best they can as I assume the line that owned the ship does. Trust me, they didn't wish to lose a 750 ft ship. However, individuals, such as you, make mistakes. Let it go. After the rulings are final, comment. Until, wait. Thanks.
Quoting 485. GatorWX:

It's getting a tad ridiculous, this current blame game. Whatever may be the case, the damage is done. Now it's likely up to the courts to decide the final blame and the future of this case. I, for one, have assumed those that are missing are likely lost, although I still have hope. You never know. Stop laying down blame on the NHC, the captain and/or the vessel's owner. You don't know. It will however be decided, after all the facts and evidence are laid down. For now, just wish, or pray, if you do, for those missing to be found, one way or the other. For a day now, I've been coming on here and seeing this nonsense. You're not helping! The NHC does the best they can as I assume the line that owned the ship does. Trust me, they didn't wish to lose a 750 ft ship. However, individuals, such as you, make mistakes. Let it go. After the rulings are final, comment. Until, wait. Thanks.



There is no way that we can second guess a seasoned sea captain. I see no logical reason for him to intentionally intercept the hurricane. I believe it was a close call, a lot closer than he may have realized because the track and intensity just went haywire away from forecast. There is no logical reason for this seasoned sea capt to intentionally put this ship in a cane. There was a miscaqlculation on his part because the track and intensity changed. He realized it, tried to rectify it but lost power, at which point there wasnt a lot he could do. Logic tells me this is what happened.
We can throw in all the illogical reasons that we want to. But i would bet he was a good capt and knew what he was doing but made a dire miscalculation.
Quoting 443. nash36:



Here's an idea on how to avoid such tragedy in the future.... Ready??

DON'T GET UNDERWAY IN THE MIDDLE OF A FRIGGIN CAT 4 HURRICANE!!!! There is no need to analyze squat!! The captain is a dumbass for putting himself AND his crew in such peril!

The "I think we can make it" attitude will continue to get people killed. Sorry for the harshness. Just sick and tired of stupidity.


Rather Well said though, albeit bluntly, nonetheless, I would truly like to underscore the veracity in your statement and to emphasize the critical logic there-in to always err on the side of caution, and to NOT EVER Be overly presumptuous of our Meagre technological and mechanical capabilities especially when stark in the Face of the full Fury of Mother Nature!

Blessings to All!
Been raining all year here.
Weather is terribly beautiful right now but still have simply tons of debris slowly moving "down." Might actually Dam up any Upstream problems but talk about a clean up of epic proportions.

Sporadic violence breaking out as well.

Would not advise anyone to visit here until the National Guard starts securing everything.