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Noel stalls out; no change in strength

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 8:08 PM GMT on October 31, 2007

Tropical Storm Noel remains stuck in a region of weak steering currents, just offshore the coast of Cuba. It is common for a tropical cyclone to move slowly and erratically when a trough of low pressure is about to pick it up and scoot the storm out to sea. The latest (12Z, 8am EDT) model runs continue to unanimously insist that Noel will turn north and then north-northeast tonight, and I have no reason to doubt that will happen.

Visible satellite imagery shows that the low level center of Noel is exposed to view, thanks to wind shear of 20 knots. Strong upper level winds from the west are keeping all the heavy thunderstorm activity to the east of Noel's center. Noel will not be able to undergo more than slow intensification, due to this shear. The last three fixes from the Hurricane Hunters have shown a surface pressure of 995 or 996 mb, so Noel is not intensifying appreciably this afternoon. Peak surface winds remain in the 50 mph vicinity.

The latest GFDL and SHIPS intensity model runs bring Noel's winds up to 65-70 mph by Thursday afternoon, when the storm should be exiting the Bahamas. The HWRF model is less aggressive, forecasting winds of 55 mph at that time. Given that the current wind shear is already causing Noel trouble, and is not forecast to decrease, I expect top winds for Noel of 55-60 mph Thursday afternoon. Wind shear is expected to rise above 45 knots when Noel moves north of the northern Bahamas, so the storm should weaken then. By Friday, the models agree that Noel will transition to a powerful extratropical storm. Noel is expected to bring winds near hurricane force to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland on Saturday. Noel's remains may pass close enough to Nantucket and Cape Cod, Massachussetts to bring sustained winds of 50 mph, according to the latest run of the HWRF model. The GFDL forecasts winds closer to 40 mph. Other models take Noel farther from Cape Cod, and do not bring winds quite as high as the GFDL and HWRF.

Noel's death toll
Another 1-2 inches of rain has fallen today over hard-hit Hispaniola, where the death toll is at least 59. In the Domincan Republic, the death toll stands at 41, with another 38 missing. At least 6,000 buildings were damaged, and 10 bridges washed out. Most of the deaths were in the southern part of the country, just west of the capital of Santo Domingo. Up to 20 inches of rain fell in that region. Haiti suffered 18 deaths, but not as much damage as the Dominican Republic. Noel is the deadliest tropical cyclone to affect the Dominican Republic since Hurricane Georges hit Hispaniola in 1998, killing 380 Dominicans and causing over $1 billion in damage to the county.

Links to follow for Noel
Satellite loop
Camaguey, Cuba radar.
Long range radar out of Miami, FL
Nassau, Bahamas current weather
Google Maps interface, zoomed in on Nassau, Bahamas

Impact on Florida
There is no change to the forecast for Florida. Noel will pass east of the state as a weak but strengthening tropical storm. Winds will probably blow 20-30 mph with gusts to 40 mph along the coast of Florida on Thursday morning and afternoon, when Noel makes its closest approach. Florida will be on the dry side of Noel, thanks to upper level winds from the west that will be creating about 15-25 knots of wind shear over the storm. Expect occasional heavy rain showers with rain amounts totaling 1-3 inches if you live along the Southeast Florida coast. Most of Noel's heavy rains should stay offshore. The main hazard from Noel will be beach erosion, thanks to the 10-foot seas expected to pound area beaches.

I'll have an update Thursday morning.

Jeff Masters
Up Close and Personal
Up Close and Personal
This is under the plume of water shooting 50 ft. in the air at Taveras Dam. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone! While we were taking these photos, the North end of the Baitoa Bridge was being washed away.
Noel: Storm damage
Noel: Storm damage
A huge banner was taken down by the wind generated by the Tropical Storm Noel.

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

1501. yamil20
1482. outrocket 1:39

can you please stop!! Stormw is a individual with lots of knowlege about meteorology and how the h-ll you say is has not debating skills,look at his synopsis,even the kids can understand his synopsis.ok now lets back to noel
1502. guygee
1465. surfmom 1:32 PM GMT on November 01, 2007
"...I see a migration of all west coast FL surfers to the other coast - not me though that stuff is way too heavy. I am sure all east coast surfers are waxing their boards if and when Noel starts to cruise up the coast."

Surfmom - Beaches are pretty beat up here, with a lot of debris, some of it from damaged beach access platforms, and a lot of "stuff" gets carried up the Gulf Stream and then blown onshore. My son found a raft three days ago with a small diesel engine still attached. Right now with wind backing towards the north there's going to be some nasty cross-chop. Should be good as soon as Noel gets far enough north to turn winds offshore.
Hey storm just saw the 1545 frame on the RAMMB visable and I think I can see the center popping out from the conv. At 23N 79W seems to be moving west. Please confirm?
1504. surfmom
Yes PBGOO, sometimes these dudes get rough on the WU the playground. Only mother nature should be the bitch here. Although anyone who is nasty w/Storm gets me annoyed. Never try to teach a pig to sing, it only annoys you and makes the pig angry
1499. NEwxguy 9:45 AM EDT on November 01, 2007
1494. TampaSpin 1:42 PM GMT on November 01, 2007
1490. NEwxguy 9:41 AM EDT on November 01, 2007
Going to be interesting this weekend here in the Northeast

Looks like a blizard setting up for you....lol you like Tampa now......lol

Nah,don't see any blizzards in the near future,
(saying it with lack of conviction)

Might want to look hard at about day 5 LMAO might surprise ya...get your shovel
1506. Patrap

I opened a window to let some of the testosterone out..Should be better now..
Tropicofcancer: This is a good blog that's why they have the ignore button for people. Press it and they disapear. I love this blog because of people like StormW,Nash,Floodman,StormJunkie,and others if I missed someone.
Here check it out.Link
1512. NEwxguy
Tampa,where are you looking nothing at all in the long range up here.
new blog
1516. NEwxguy
1506. Patrap 1:47 PM GMT on November 01, 2007

I opened a window to let some of the testosterone out..Should be better now..

There's more in here then the sports blogs.
1518. guygee
I think StormW gets unfairly targeted by many young jealous anemometer-slingers who couldn't even lift StormW's windsock.
Oh my bad!!
Never try to teach a pig to sing, it only annoys you and makes the pig angry

Robert Heinlein fan?
MP if you have put StormW on ignore your losing out on alot of good info he knows what he talks about unlike some folks on here.
Outrocket: I am with the other person that said when someone messes with storm needs to be ignored and that's where you have been put. and reported because coming on here starting trouble with people. The blog has been really nice since they updated the ignore button. So lets keep it like it suppose to be.
When using Dr. Masters' blog, please refrain from posting material not relevant to the discussion of tropical weather, or the topic of the blog entry itself. Please do not engage in personal attacks or bickering. Material not conforming to these standards should be flagged with the button and ignored.
Rules of the Road — How to ignore a blogger
During active periods of hurricane season, these rules will be strictly enforced. Violations will be met with a minimum 24 hour ban.
MP: You know I have seen you on here before and you love stirring sh*t when ever you can.
StormW has NEVER done anything to anyone on here except give good forecast. And I am very glad he's a Featured Blogger!!!!!!!!!!!
He knows what he talks about.
Know enough said.
So is Noel heading straight for the Bahama's?
1531. guygee
1504. surfmom 1:46 PM GMT on November 01, 2007 "...Never try to teach a pig to sing, it only annoys you and makes the pig angry"

Surfmom's most biting indictment. If served with this formal accusation, don't wonder for long who the pig is.

1532. NEwxguy
people,Drak made a good point yesterday,don't feed the trolls,it's what they live for,since they lack the intelligence to add anything worth while to the blog,so the ignore button is the way to go.
Still sunny, very light winds and no rain in west Miami Dade...

Just waiting to check what will happen. Schools are open so far

MrP, That was a good one. Sometimes sad but true to form.
1518. guygee 9:53 AM EDT on November 01, 2007
I think StormW gets unfairly targeted by many young jealous anemometer-slingers who couldn't even lift StormW's windsock.

You are preaching to the choir and you're accurate to + or - .0001%.LOL Good post!
1536. surfmom
well i am off to work, definitely wearing a helmet today, amazing how a plastic bag blowing in the wind can unsettle the bravest of Polo Ponys.

StormW want to express my thanks and appreciation for all that you share, teach and write. I have learned more this season about weather then I have ever imagined. Your dedication to weather is unbelievable...your life is weather. There are so many people who appreciate and have benefited from you and your desire to educate who ever wants to learn. Please remember for every idiot you encounter, there are 20+ people who have benefited from our knowing you
1537. surfmom
Mr. Perfect...better stop tapping your keys...your on the ignore list - clearly your name expresses your great fault
So, the beast is on its way out to the east... NHC nailed it two days ago although not at the time they expected. Kudos to them to hold any large and unecessary warnings and, so far, too much of a hype for a storm that was never there...too many predicitons of higher cats to South Florida... Joe Bastardi lost another one...when this guy will stop? One day he will be right among a thousand wrongs and he will say..See? I was right...geezzzz Media this time was better behaved here, thanks to the very assertive NHC track. I have the day out so I will be leaving soon. Ligh winds and sunny in West Miami Dade..doomsday didn't arrive as many said.

Cheers all
MrP (ha)I complimented one of your posts before I read the rest of your venom. I've said this before and here we go again. StormW is one of the best here, if you don't think so take a look at the list of organizations that use his services and see if they'll let you forecast for them for a few hours. He ain't no saint, he can be provoked to snap back at someone who persistently digs at him or insults his competence. He has a great deal more restraint than I would if I had the credentials he has. If you enjoy sniping, join the US Army. (If you try the Marines Patrap will probably be really anoyed.)