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Olga: deadliest December tropical storm ever; Northeast U.S. braces for storms

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 4:05 PM GMT on December 13, 2007

Tropical Storm Olga is gone, destroyed by high wind shear and dry air. The storm, only the fourth December tropical storm on record to hit land, is also the deadliest December tropical cyclone on record. At least 22 people have died due to flooding in its wake. One man was killed on Puerto Rico in a mudslide, two people died on Haiti due to flash floods, and at least 19 people died in the Dominican Republic. The only other December killer storm on record was Tropical Storm Odette, a 65-mph tropical storm that killed eight people in the Dominican Republic on December 7, 2003.

Most of the deaths in the Dominican Republic occurred in its second largest city, Santiago, when water was released from the Taveras dam upstream of the city in order to keep the dam from failing. Questions are being raised about why evacuations orders given several hours before the water release were not heeded, according the local Dominican Today newspaper. The tourist areas of the Dominican Republic were largely unaffected by Olga's rains, which were concentrated in regions of the northern part of the country.


Figure 1. Water is released from the Taveras dam during Tropical Storm Noel in late October 2007. Image credit: Wunderphotographer DRWeather.

Double whammy of winter storms for the Northeast U.S.
The Northeast U.S. is expected to receive a double helping of severe winter weather over the next few days. Today, a quick but intense winter storm is expected to dump 6-12 inches of snow across northern Connecticut, northern Rhode Island, and much of Massachusetts. A full-fledged 'Noreaster is expected Sunday, bringing heavy snow amounts of 1-2 feet and significant ice accumulations to inland regions of Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. Rain appears to be the most likely type of precipitation at locations nearer the coast, such as Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston. It is too early to be confident of this forecast, since minor changes in the storm's track will greatly influence the type of precipitation. Minor coastal flooding due to strong northeast winds is expected along the coast from New York City to Maine on Sunday.

Jeff Masters
Tropical storm Olga
Tropical storm Olga
Tropical storm Olga swept over Puerto Rico Monday night with 60 mph winds, leaving behind waves 12-16 feet

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

Storm, no problem man. I can't wait to see your analysis now that shear has been dropping like a rock off a cliff.
that's ok... we don't even want a TS, we just want a nice little wet TD! LOL
got to go to work later all
Shear all over the western Caribbean is decreasing, While shear in the gulf is increasing...according to shear tendency maps.
Good morning Keeper. That is a great story.
506. IKE
seflagamma 8:07 AM CST on December 14, 2007
that's ok... we don't even want a TS, we just want a nice little wet TD! LOL


We need the rain here in the panhandle...from what I've read the moisture will be east of I-65 in Alabama...or most of it.
CaneAddict, I have been saying ever since Olga formed that if it could survive until Friday, it could regenerate as the NAVY had predicted shear to drop by today.
I'm just curious, and don't mean to stir the pot, wasn't there some convection developing over the center last night and went poof? And is this new re developing convection more significant? If so, why? Just wondering. Thanks
507. cchsweatherman 2:10 PM GMT on December 14, 2007
CaneAddict, I have been saying ever since Olga formed that if it could survive until Friday, it could regenerate as the NAVY had predicted shear to drop by today
.

I know buddy, I saw that in a few of your post's.

HurricaneGeek, all you need to look at is the shear tendency maps and the shear maps at this Link. Last night, there was still some high shear that prevented the convection from rising, but shear has dropped significantly this morning.
Geek yes the convection went poof last night but todays has actually formed over the COC which would be significant because it may aid in redevelopment if it can or will occur.
508. HurricaneGeek 2:10 PM GMT on December 14, 2007
I'm just curious, and don't mean to stir the pot, wasn't there some convection developing over the center last night and went poof? And is this new re developing convection more significant? If so, why? Just wondering. Thanks


Last night shear was not decreasing like it is now. That should explain why.

You know the morning forcaster at the NHC walked by the loop screen and spit his coffee all over the place as he watched that convection pop the second the sun came over the horrizon and crossed ex-Olga
Ok, thanks for the answers!! :)
There really isn't that much convection there. Just a couple sheared cells. I know what the map says but you can tell from the satellite it's still getting sheared pretty bad.
Is that true Bonedog? That's awesome. Seems like they may have underestimated her.
TWD @ 7:05 AM

OLGA'S REMNANTS IS STILL SPINNING IN THE NW CARIB NEAR
19.5N84W...ANALYZED 1009 MB MOVING W 10-15 KT. BUOY 42056 HAS
BEEN VERY HELPFUL IN ESTIMATING THE MINIMUM PRESSURE. WHILE THE
LOW-LEVEL CIRCULATION IS WELL DEFINED...DEEP CONVECTION IS JUST
ABOUT ABSENT. FAIRLY DENSE CLOUD BANDED STRUCTURES ARE N OF THE
CENTER JUST S OF THE SW PORTION OF CUBA. SHALLOWER SCATTERED
SHOWERS ARE ELSEWHERE WITHIN 180 NM OF THE CENTER. A LOW-LEVEL
ELY SURGE IS APPARENT ON NIGHT CHANNEL VIS IMAGES ALONG 79W.
SCATTERED SHOWERS EXIST NEAR THE SURGE LINE FROM 15N-19N BETWEEN
78W-80W. ISOLATED TO SCATTERED ACTIVITY EXISTS E OF THERE
CARRIED BY STRONG ELY TRADES. THE UPPER LEVEL PATTERN CONSISTS
OF A RIDGE ACROSS THE WRN HALF AND A TROUGH OVER THE ERN
PORTIONS. STRONG ZONAL FLOW NEAR THE BASE OF THE TROUGH IS
PRODUCING A FAIR AMOUNT OF CLOUD COVER ACROSS THE SE CARIB S OF
14N E OF 67W.


According to this all Ex-Olga needs is some deep convection as i stated earlier.
beats me CCH was more of a haha post. :)

its basically what I did when I looked at your images of Olga.

I have been so busy watching the upcoming Nor'Easter I forgot about the circulation down there. After yesterday I basically wrote it off.

Congrats BTW on sticking to your guns admid critisim about the storm. If she does regen then you had it pegged
My friends at the office were saying that we might get a Christmas Day hurricane in Florida someday and I basically said not to laugh and that it could well happen........

...I would like to see how


Kori, anything is possible these days, example, who would have thought that we would have had a Tropical System nail Hispanola
this year, Im not saying that its gonna happen this year, but next year who knows???


I bet until 1975 they said it would never snow in Miami...
514. Bonedog 9:14 AM EST on December 14, 2007
You know the morning forcaster at the NHC walked by the loop screen and spit his coffee all over the place as he watched that convection pop the second the sun came over the horrizon and crossed ex-Olga


4caster not only one i bet.
I'm quite surprised they did not mention anything regarding the impressive shear drop in the Western Caribbean.
518. CaneAddict 9:21 AM EST on December 14, 2007
According to this all Ex-Olga needs is some deep convection as i stated earlier.


appears from the last few images it might be there :/
Bonedog, that is the key attribute a meteorologist needs to have in order to have a successful career, I have learned. You need to be able to stand up to criticism. I use something as part of my forecasting that I bet no other meteorologist today uses. I use my gut instinct. It turns out to be far more accurate than some forecast models out there. The human instinct, that has laid dormant inside us ever since we lost our nomadic ways, can be quite powerful, I have found.
it is moving into warmer waters. Thank God the Gulf cooled down

523. Bonedog 2:23 PM GMT on December 14, 2007
518. CaneAddict 9:21 AM EST on December 14, 2007
According to this all Ex-Olga needs is some deep convection as i stated earlier.

appears from the last few images it might be there :/


Well the NHC also needs to see some consistence with the convection....but yeah it's getting there.

I think ConsistentConvection would be a great name for a handle.
I hear you CCH. I use my gut when making my forcasts for the Nor'Easters up here. Sometimes, as you stated, something just tells you inside that somethings up.

I admire your conviction. Not alot of folks here have it. The second something happens to a system its written off and after that its pegged as wishcasting.

Keep it up :)
morning JP.

Yea Storm, going through a whole roll of Brawny. Then calling Juan Valdez for a delevery.
525. cchsweatherman 2:26 PM GMT on December 14, 2007
Bonedog, that is the key attribute a meteorologist needs to have in order to have a successful career, I have learned. You need to be able to stand up to criticism. I use something as part of my forecasting that I bet no other meteorologist today uses. I use my gut instinct. It turns out to be far more accurate than some forecast models out there. The human instinct, that has laid dormant inside us ever since we lost our nomadic ways, can be quite powerful, I have found.
Action: | Ignore User


I did say from day 1 of the invest it was going to Cancun, and I bet it still does.

My luck is holding..

Cancun Holiday
22 days 3 hours 26 minutes
very interesting developements!

May get some late year tropical rain from a system yet!
lol, yeah CON-SIS-TENT. :)
LOL dont look for Olga on WV you wont see it

yea. There have been a few storms this year that caused cleanups of spit coffee and I bet a few keyboards and monitors needed replacing.
Hope all will have a safe and good weekend; unfortunately, for many of us in the SE (including northern Florida) the approaching front is going to bring us some significant rain and t-storms on Saturday and some pretty cool temps (lower 30's/upper 20's) going into early next week....Burrrrrrrrr, but, it is almost Christmas...........Yall Have a Great Day.....
I will try and give you satellite updates with this system throughout the day and I have already begun to save some Rainbow images, so that later on, I can provide you all with a comparison at different times of the day.

Taking a look at the latest satellite, it looks like the convection has started to expand and deepen somewhat. The NHC better be watching this closely.

By the way, thank you all for the comments you have given me and the respect that I rarely get, even from my own family. It just makes me feel so much better about myself knowing that there are actually, caring and compassionate people out there.
that's no good... if there is no water with it..then we don't want it! It can just go away if it is not going to bring rain! LOL
seflagamma, once the energy from Olga meets with the front, then we may receive more rain than we would get from Olga alone. We need Olga, no matter how little moisture there may be with it, to come here and meet the cold front since it will create very unstable dynamics in the atmosphere.
30's and 20's where??? maybe the panhandle, not here...we got 53 for the lowest forecast temp due to this cold front. LOL.
CCH no problem. I give credit where its due
Yeah; I meant the Panhandle where I'm at, but, the rest of Florida will probably see some very nice temps over the nest few days........LOL
547. IKE
Panhandle....

"Monday Night
Clear. Lows 26 to 31."
thanks and by the way, please call me Gams or Gamma.. my handle is way too long!

yes, all the unsettled atmosphere we can get the better.

Hey that Cold front is going to bring our HIGHs down to the 70's Sun and Mon (that is now our low each night). LOL


and we are getting into low 50's Mon and Tue nights (actually early morning temps)
GOM IR Loop Link
Looks like most of the country will be in winters grip. I see upper 30s lower 40s all the way to Lake O!!

Morning Ike; I wanted to try and catch the meteor shower last evening (here in Bonifay) but we got "fogged out".....Guess the same in your parts? (man it was thick driving to work this morning/like pea soup on I-10)..........
Thats what I see also Storm.

The only diffrence is some have it as a dual Low system while others keep it as a single Low.

As I said in my forcast this morning appears to be a warm sector event for the I-95 corridor.
550. StormW 2:45 PM GMT on December 14, 2007
Hey Bone,
Looking at the models, it would appear they are fairly clustered...most bring the center of the Nor'easter over or near your area. I haven't finished yet, but the CMC brings it a little further west.
Action: | Ignore User


Storm, did I miss the link to your latest WX synopsis? or is it not posted yet?
557. IKE
weathermanwannabe 8:47 AM CST on December 14, 2007
Morning Ike; I wanted to try and catch the meteor shower last evening (here in Bonifay) but we got "fogged out".....Guess the same in your parts? (man it was thick driving to work this morning/like pea soup on I-10)..........


It's been terrible all week. I'm bug-eyed from driving in it!
yep. when florida goes below 60 its officially winter :)
CCHSWEATHERMAN, Sorry to hear your family doesn't give you the respect you deserve. Well, because you DO deserve it. Also, standing up to critisizem, (or however you spell it) makes you a stronger person not only in the world of weather, but in life, too. Now, I'm not saying that you say you're right when you're not, and I'm sure you don't, but keep doing what your're doing and hopefully someday we'll all see you on TV. :) (if thats what you wated, I froegot.) :-)
Orca

If my chicken bones and voodoo doll are working you aren't going to believe the weather in Caned 'coon.
Olga's decapitating Sw shear is a coming fast..Link
Storm have you seen the GFSX MOS graphic?

not a good scenario



Thats for 12z on the 16th

then it does this for Monday 00Z


not good at all
LOL, yes, below 60 down here and we are wrapped up in our sweaters and jackets and can even wear the leather we can only wear a few times a winter! and boots LOL...

I do remember a Christmas Day in Mid 90's that we got a real cold front.. day was very windy and cold..we were having an Christmas Day Open House and no one could use the outside patio which is like an extension of our living room. and usually winter time is the nicest time to be out there! LOL We do get these cold snaps every now and then... but I haven't had to "bring in the potted plants" in years... and haven't "watered the plants & ground" late at night to protect them in several years now...
StormW 8:51 AM CST on December 14, 2007
555. Bonedog 9:49 AM EST on December 14, 2007
Thats what I see also Storm.

The only diffrence is some have it as a dual Low system while others keep it as a single Low.
As I said in my forcast this morning appears to be a warm sector event for the I-95 corridor.

Roger that!
I'm kinda inclined to think it may be a dual...think the secondary further SE may be due to the energy from Olga's remnants, then the two merge.


Yes........Both of you are correct; from the Tallahassee NWS discussion this morning:

REMNANTS OF THE INITIAL FRONT (NOTED ABOVE) WILL LARGELY WASH OUT TODAY SANDWICHED BETWEEN TROPICAL MOISTURE APPROACHING FROM NWWD
MOVING INVERTED TROUGH ASSOCD WITH TS OLGA AND THE NEXT STORM SYSTEM DEVELOPING OVER CENTRAL CONUS. UPPER TROUGH WILL HELP FORM NEXT
WEATHER MAKER FOR LOCAL AREA SLATED FOR SATURDAY INTO EARLY SUNDAY. INITIAL LOW DEVELOPS OVER THE LOWER MS VALLEY EARLY SATURDAY AND OCCLUDES AS IT LIFTS NEWD INTO THE OH VALLEY SATURDAY NIGHT. THIS
LOW WILL MERGE WITH ANOTHER LOW FORECAST TO DEVELOP NEAR THE NC COAST SATURDAY NIGHT...AND THEN RAPIDLY DEEPEN AS IT LIFTS NWD ALONG
COAST TO CAPE COD AREA OVERNIGHT SUN. ALL THIS WILL PUT THE CWA IN THE WARM SECTOR ON SATURDAY AND ASSOCD COLD FRONT WILL BE DRAGGED ACROSS CWA SATURDAY NIGHT INTO EARLY SUNDAY.


Last Winter was warm here, I live in West Palm Beach.
I remember New Years Time was mid 80's°. I didn't like it.
Storm also I was thinking.. yesterday when the NAM initialized Olga in the wrong place, could it have been seeing its energy not its circulation? Being the storm was sheared NE would explain the NAM. And now today showing the split Low with the southern energy off the Carolinas would fall in line with where Olga's energy should be in that time frame.
What is this all about from the NHC Aircraft Plan?
000
NOUS42 KNHC 141500
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1000 AM EST FRI 14 DEC 2007
SUBJECT: WINTER STORM PLAN OF THE DAY (WSPOD)
VALID 15/1100Z TO 16/1100Z DEC 2007
WSPOD NUMBER.....07-0143

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. FLIGHT 0NE -- TEAL 70
A. A62/ TROUT(30.4N 77.0W) / 16/0000Z
B. AFXXX 03WSA TRACK62
C. 15/1615Z
D. 6 DROPS AS PUBLISHED PLUS LACKS EQUAL 7
E. 30,000 FT/ 16/0100Z
2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK.....NEGATIVE.
JWP
So we are basically saying a good chance of some pretty strong t-storms/gusty winds for parts of the SE/Eastern US over the weekend as the warm and cold fronts "collide" this weekend?......
the GFS (MAV) MOS isnt any better



12Z 16th


00Z 17th

basically a bad situation for the NE
Invest Flight into Cold Core Low to Form with Front,,in Atlantic
CCH basically they will be doing a flight into the Nor'Easter this weekend

Will make the forcast models ALOT more accurate
North of Fla showers to Kink in front by the Carolinas...Storm to form and Invest sonde drops are to be done. Teal 70 is the actual Flight Call Sign.Link
they will be going in off the Carolinas

I just started to notice that Storm. Nice pick-up there. It almost looks like it may be going slightly south of due west.
Gotcha Storm.

This will be a VERY complex system. I think thats why its been so hard to forcast.

Yes the models had some sort of system developing even at the 340hr mark. But Olga through a fly into the ointment and now the models are having a hard time with it.

Not unusal though, bet alot of the algorithms don't factor tropical systems into the mix after Nov. 30
Olga has reached its most western point. Now the Lifting will begin..WV LoopLink
interesting...
Thats One Booming Low N'oreaster a coming...Link
Morning all :~)

Good to see ya bone, you have a link to the intro page to those MOS model graphics?
Dr M has a new blog up
stand still and witness whats about to transform primary low will bomb backside appl. in 24 hrs follow by secondary low (ogla) trackin w nw n over fla panhadle to atlata ga. then ne ward bombing out an absorbing the primary low to its nw an establishing one main low pressure area imo THIS IS A MAJOR SIGNIFICANT EVENT.