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'Noreaster Noel pounds New England; new tropical depression may hit Nicaragua

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 3:59 PM GMT on November 03, 2007

Hurricane Noel is now 'Noreaster Noel, and wind and seas are steadily rising near New England and Nova Scotia. Sustained winds of 53 mph, gusting to 61 mph, were observed at Buzzard's Bay, Massachusetts at 1pm EDT, and winds at Nantucket Island were 43 mph, gusting to 53 mph. At 3am this morning, strong winds along North Carolina's Outer Banks pushed the sea over Highway 12 near Rodanthe, cutting off the islands from the mainland. Seas were 10-12 feet along North Carolina, and much higher in the open ocean--up to 37 feet at buoy 41048 a few hundred miles west of Bermuda. Waves up to 30 feet are expected to batter the shore of western Nova Scotia, where 'Noreaster Noel is expected to barrel ashore tonight. 'Noreaster Noel has already brought up to an inch of rain to eastern Long Island and coastal Massachusetts (Figure 2), and heavy rains of 4 inches will be common along the coast.

Figure 1. Visible satellite image of 'Noreaster Noel taken at 10:45am EDT 11/03/07. Disturbance 91L is visible at the bottom of the image. Image credit: NASA Goddard.

Noel's trail of destruction
Noel's death toll now stands at 127, with many more missing. The Dominican Republic suffered 82 deaths, Haiti 43, the Bahamas one, and Jamaica one. Noel is the deadliest storm this hurricane season.

Links to follow for 'Noreaster Noel
New England Marine weather and buoy reports
Long range radar out of Boston, MA
Google Maps interface, zoomed in on Nantucket, MA

Figure 2. Total rainfall from 'Noreaster Noel.

New tropical depression could form near Nicaragua
A region of disturbed weather that was the southern portion of Hurricane Noel's rainy regime has acquired a spin of its own, and appears to be organizing into a tropical depression. This disturbance has been labeled "91L" by NHC today. Wind shear is about 10 knots over 91L, and is expected to be 10-20 knots through Monday. This should allow the system enough time to organize into a tropical depression or weak tropical storm before it makes landfall over Nicaragua on Monday. Heavy rains will begin to affect northeastern Nicaragua tonight and spread into northeast Honduras on Sunday. Total rain amounts of 4-8 inches are likely by Tuesday. An Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate 91L Sunday afternoon.

I'll have an update Sunday morning.

Jeff Masters
Raise the Roof
Raise the Roof
LDD-DR employees and neighbors help the Valerio Family repair their home.
Waves from Noel
Waves from Noel
Taken at 1500 (3 PM) at Lynnhaven Inlet on the Chesapeake Bay - waves from Hurricane 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.