Matthew drenching Central America and Mexico

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:35 PM GMT on September 25, 2010

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Tropical Storm Matthew continues to dump heavy rains over Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, and neighboring regions of Mexico today. Puerto Barrios, in northern Guatemala, has received 4.57" of rain in the past 24 hours. With Matthew expected to slow down and dissipate by Sunday, the storm's heavy rains of 6 - 15 inches can be expected to cause severe flooding and dangerous mudslides. The rains are of particular concern for Guatemala, which suffered its rainiest August in its history, followed by the landfall of Tropical Depression 11E during the first week of September, which dumped torrential rains on the country that triggered flooding and mudslides that killed at least 48 Guatemalans.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image from NASA's Terra satellite taken yesterday, showing Tropical Storm Matthew approaching landfall.


Figure 2. Forecast rain amounts for the 5-day period beginning at 2am EDT today (Saturday, September 25) as predicted by this morning's 2am EDT (6Z) run of the GFDL. Very heavy rains in excess of eight inches (yellow colors) are predicted for portions of Central America along Matthew's track. Image credit: Morris Bender, NOAA/GFDL.

Lisa
Tropical Storm Lisa pulled a bit of a surprise last night, intensifying into a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds in the far Eastern Atlantic. Lisa's longitude of 27.9W at the time made it the 10th strongest hurricane so far east in the Atlantic. Record keeping began in 1851, but it is likely that many hurricanes stronger than Lisa were missed prior to the advent of reliable satellite coverage in 1974. Lisa is even farther east than Category 4 Hurricane Julia, which earlier this month set the record for strongest hurricane ever recorded so far east. Lisa's glory will be short-lived, though, as strong upper level winds out of the west are expected to increase tonight, bringing high wind shear of 20 - 45 knots over the storm. The high shear may be capable of destroying the storm by early next week. It appears unlikely that Lisa will affect any land areas.

Forecast for the rest of the tropics
Most of the models continue to predict that by Wednesday, the remnants of Matthew, and/or a piece of a tropical disturbance over the Eastern Pacific off the coast of Guatemala, will evolve into a huge and very wet low pressure system that will start spinning over Central America and the Western Caribbean. NHC has been referring to this expected storm as a "monsoon low", and these sorts of storms are very dangerous for Central America and the Western Caribbean, even if they do not develop into a tropical storm. In October 2007, a similar monsoon low I dubbed "the sleeping giant" spent a week spinning over the region, dumping very heavy rains over all of Central America and the countries bordering the Western Caribbean. Rains from this system triggered flooding that killed 45 people in Haiti, damaged thousands of homes in Cuba, and caused havoc in Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, Mexico, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and the Bahamas. A similar type of storm is likely to develop on Wednesday and Thursday, and most of Central America and the nations surrounding the Western Caribbean can expect to see dangerous flooding rains develop this week in association with this giant low. Most of the models also predict that this big low will eventually develop into a tropical storm or hurricane that would be drawn northwards over Cuba late in the week, and threaten the Bahamas, Florida, or the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast. This is an exceptionally difficult system to forecast correctly, and the models have been coming up with some pretty unusual solutions as to what might happen. We'll just have to wait and see what unfolds over the next few days.

I'll have an update Sunday by 2pm.

Jeff Masters

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2264. Seastep
My understanding.
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Quoting weatherman12345:
when will Nicole be a TD?
A. TODAY
B. MONDAY
C. TUESDAY
D. WEDNESDAY


C
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Development in the Caribbean should be slow to occur. I expect a possible TC by early Tuesday morning.
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2261. Seastep
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Does that influence the development of a low pressure system? Because what lower level divergence induces is sinking air or subsidence, which I thought only influenced the development of thunderstorm activity.


Yes. Need rising air to get anything going. Like when Atlantic was popping with strong systems. Carib was shut down, mainly due to subsidence.

It is the upper divergence that is enhancing TSTM activity.
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Quoting weatherman12345:
when will Nicole be a TD?
A. TODAY
B. MONDAY
C. TUESDAY
D. WEDNESDAY

B
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The area of vorticity that will spawn Nicole that is developing in the NW Caribbean was visible on the water vapor loops last night. It continues to strengthen as I review the water vapor loops again. While many of the models are in consensus about this development, the most important factor as to path will be how rapidly "Nicole" become a storm. I believe it is very premature to plot a path until Nicole starts to show her true colors.
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Quoting Neapolitan:


Perhaps...but that makes it no less true, does it?
you hit the nail on the spot very very good
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Quoting utilaeastwind:


That looks good to me.

However,I think you mean 16.4N. Sometimes the Floater loops do not place the coordinates in the right location.
yeap thats right
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Quoting gordydunnot:
2247 Harsh man.


Perhaps...but that makes it no less true, does it?
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
it appears a low is forming near 84.8W and 15.4N


That looks good to me.

However,I think you mean 16.4N. Sometimes the Floater loops do not place the coordinates in the right location.
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Quoting Seastep:


atm, there is LL divergence, which will prevent that for now.

Does that influence the development of a low pressure system? Because what lower level/surface divergence induces is sinking air or subsidence, which I thought only influenced the development of thunderstorm activity.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting weatherman12345:

when do you think this will be named or be a TD
I'd go with TD at 11.
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2247 Harsh man.
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Guys, you people are being immature this morning.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32511
Yeah on the pouch product they show her turning back out to sea just east of Bermuda that's probably why the NHC doesn't want to waste anytime on her. But the little system at 12n 34w looks like it's heading due west for the next few days maybe last shot at the Antilles.
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2248. OneDrop
Quoting hunkerdown:
who the hell is Karen ????
It is an old joke from a few years back when an old TC was swirling around the Atlantic.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
It would be nice if the western Caribbean disturbance were to get designated as an invest to get some model plots and intensity forecasts on it.
Miami see post 2244
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
It would be nice if the western Caribbean disturbance were to get designated as an invest to get some model plots and intensity forecasts on it.



There's no central low pressure area or organized convection. Those forecasts would be utterly useless.
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it appears a low is forming near 84.8W and 15.4N
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2243. Seastep
Just seeing if you were awake. ;)
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Quoting Seastep:
Ex-Julia firing convection and heading straight for the Carolinas.

In all seriousness, gordy, she really doesn't have a shot out there due to many factors. Dry, stable air for starters.

I do wonder how long her swirl will hang around just as a curiosity, though. Been two weeks so far.


I saw that...
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It would be nice if the western Caribbean disturbance were to get designated as an invest to get some model plots and intensity forecasts on it.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2240. Seastep
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I'm starting to look for the development of a low pressure system near 16N 85W.



atm, there is LL divergence, which will prevent that for now.

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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I'm starting to look for the development of a low pressure system near 16N 85W.

indications are that we may have something forming . when does the Ascat come out ??
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Thank you for confirming my previous thought


Yuo're welcome Orca. Have a good one, I've enough excitement for one morning.
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I'm starting to look for the development of a low pressure system near 16N 85W.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2235. Seastep
Ex-Julia firing convection and heading straight for the Carolinas.

In all seriousness, gordy, she really doesn't have a shot out there due to many factors. Dry, stable air for starters.

I do wonder how long her swirl will hang around just as a curiosity, though. Been two weeks so far.
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Quoting StormSurgeon:


I think it's right over there...


Thank you for confirming my previous thought
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting gordydunnot:
last time I mention this does anyone out there think Ex=Karen is getting better organized all the time. Won't mention it anymore fear the dreaded monomania tag.
Where and what are u looking at
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Where be this ???


I think it's right over there...
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where is DRAK ???
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Quoting weatherman12345:

nicole


Where be this ???
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting Orcasystems:


What this ???


this is this.....that is that.....don't you know that/this....oh whatever....
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Sorry my bad maybe that's why no one answered, I meant Julia. Anyway from from the desk of Rosana Rosana Dana never mind. Actually 28n 54w. Also last gasp of Cape Verde season at 12n 34w.
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Quoting weatherman12345:

when do you think this will be named or be a TD
Sometime during the next 60 hours.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting weatherman12345:

when do you think this will be named or be a TD


What this ???
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting weatherboykris:


Lol it's a really old blog joke from 2007...


Sorry, bad memory I guess...LOL
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Quoting Patrap:



The beginning of the formation of THE SHIELD that will protect the NW Gulf/N Cen Gulf from any tropical penetration for the next 2-3 weeks.

Even the GFS has now gotten off the bad Kool-Aid and removed TX/LA/MS from the threat of tropical impact.

For all practical purposes, the 2010 hurricane season is over for the upper TX and LA coast (and probably MS and AL, too)....barring any freak surprises, of course.

Not wishing anything bad to our friends in FL, of course...but it is looking more and more like the gun is pointed squarely at them now. And given the monsoonal trough and the still pretty hot temps in the NW Caribbean, things could still get very nasty indeed. Nicole, then Otto...and a potential Richard?!?!? (And a possible threat to Bermuda AGAIN in the long term??)

The bad news is that this season is set to go out with a bang. Or FIVE. Fortunately, for my neck of the woods, we get to watch the emerging show from a distance...and we're ready to assist if needed.

In the meantime, here in Cajun Country, we get low/mid 80's highs, upper 50's-low 60's lows, fresh N-NE winds, and clear skies for the next week or two. HELL TO THE YEAH!!


Anthony






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Quoting StormSurgeon:


I was asking myself the same thing....


Lol it's a really old blog joke from 2007...
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Quoting hunkerdown:
who the hell is Karen ????


I was asking myself the same thing....
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Holy smokes! Mobile finally got rain. Heading your way IKE.
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last time I mention this does anyone out there think Ex=Karen is getting better organized all the time. Won't mention it anymore fear the dreaded monomania tag.
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Quoting anyotherliestotell:
good news is, tampa, which NEVER gets hurricanes, won't get one again this year. a weak and soppy low or TC could cross extreme south florida but that's about it. all this "well this one didn't pan out, but the NEXT one looks bad, florida watch out" none-sense is getting old. season's almost over.


LOL. The season is FAR from over. Come back and squawk in November.
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Not sure what my kids (teens) are going to do tomorrow morning. It's supposed to be in the 50's with the cold front coming down. They've been wearing jackets in the mornings for 70!

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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