Nicole kills five in Jamaica; historic rains in North Carolina; tornadoes in the Mid-Atlantic

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:23 PM GMT on September 30, 2010

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The season's fourteenth named storm, Tropical Storm Nicole, lasted only six hours as a tropical storm, but triggered torrential heavy rains that caused havoc from the Caribbean to North Carolina. In Jamaica, flash flooding from Nicole's rains killed at least five, and several other people were swept away by flood waters and are feared dead. The storm cut power to 170,000 island residents, and caused millions of dollars in damages. Nicole dumped 6.93" of rain on Kingston, and 8.62" in the Kingston suburb of Norbrook. Rains were heavier on the western end of the island; 8.47" fell at a personal weather station at Irwindale before the power failed and data was lost.


Figure 1. NASA MODIS satellite image of Tropical Storm Nicole at 2:20pm EDT on 9/29/10. Image credit: NASA.


Figure 2. Flooding in Jamaica from Tropical Storm Nicole. Image credit: Jamaica Observer.

In Southeast Florida, Nicole brought 5.83" of rain to Miami, 9.58" to Plantation Key, and 5.44" to Homestead. However, Florida escaped serious flooding. Cuba also received widespread rain amounts of 5 - 10 inches, but there are no reports of serious flooding on the island. The remnants of Nicole will continue to bring heavy rains to portions of Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and the Bahamas today.

Historic rainfall event for eastern North Carolina
In North Carolina, the the tropical moisture streaming northwards in advance of Nicole has generated an epic rainfall event. Wilmington, NC recorded 20.69 inches of rain over the past four days, and 21.28" for the five-day period ending at 10am EDT this morning. The incredible rainfall totals have eclipsed the city's record for heaviest 4-day and 5-day rainfall events, set in September 1999 during Hurricane Floyd (19.06".) Another 1 - 3 inches of rain are likely today in Wilmington, which might make this month the rainiest month in city history. A series of non-tropical low pressure systems have been developing along a stalled front off the Carolina/North Carolina coast over the past day, and this activity will continue through tonight before the rains finally end late tonight. The historic rainfall is causing severe and damaging flooding across much of eastern North Carolina. Fortunately, eastern North Carolina was under moderate drought conditions prior to this week's rainfall onslaught, so the flooding damage will not be as great as the billions of dollars of damage wrought by Hurricane Floyd.


Figure 3. Radar-estimated precipitation for North Carolina since Sunday shows that the precursor moisture from Nicole has brought widespread rain amounts in excess of ten inches to eastern North Carolina, with over fifteen inches (white colors surrounded by dark purple) near Wilmington.

Heavy rain, flooding, and tornadoes expected from Virginia to New England
The intense plume of tropical moisture streaming northwards along the U.S. East coast will bring heavy rains of 3 - 6 inches across a wide swath of coast from North Carolina northwards to New England today and Friday. The wunderground severe weather map shows that flood warnings are already posted for portions of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, and flood watches extend northwards though Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and the rest of New England. Tornado watches have been posted for much of the Mid-Atlantic coast, and NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has put the region in their "slight risk" area for severe weather. One tornado warning has already been issued for coastal Virginia this morning. Three possible tornadoes were reported yesterday in northeastern North Carolina.

Disturbance 97L
Two tropical waves, located 600 - 1000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, are generating a large area of disorganized thunderstorms. NHC has designated this area Invest 97L this morning. The SHIPS model predicts that wind shear over 97L will remain moderate, 10 - 20 knots, through Saturday morning, then increase to levels marginal for development, 15 - 25 knots, Saturday afternoon through Monday. Some slow development of 97L is likely over this time period, and NHC is giving it a 30% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Saturday. The system is headed west-northwest at 15 mph, and should slow down to about 10 mph by Saturday. 97L will bring heavy rains and strong gusty winds to the Lesser Antilles Islands on Sunday and Monday. The ECMWF model is the only model that develops 97L, and foresees that 97L will track across the northern Lesser Antilles and pass near Puerto Rico on Monday and the eastern Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands by Wednesday. There are major differences in how the models handle the steering current forecast for next week, and the long-range track of 97L is highly uncertain at this point.


Figure 4. Morning satellite image of Invest 97L. The upper right portion on the disturbance, centered near 13.5N 45W, is most likely to develop into a tropical depression.

Next update
I'll have an update Friday morning.

Jeff Masters

Post Tropical Storm Nicole Sunset. (bethinking)
Taken at the Lower Sugarloaf Key Estuary as the skies cleared after TS Nicole moved north.
Post Tropical Storm Nicole Sunset.
Hooray for the power company! (AnnaThomas)
Current rain storm took out a tree and a power line. This is what my front yard looks like right now. Praise the power company for responding so quickly- so I could post this picture!
Hooray for the power company!

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....old
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Quoting JRRP:
here we go


A PUES BIEN!!!
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I expect 97L to be raise dto 40%.

Looks like we finished off the month of September with 8 named storms...Tying 2002 and 2007.

Wow!
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Its chaos on the blog right now...

Reedzibe has an imposter under the name of reeedzone.

Levi and Drak were arguing (After looking at all their responses, I have to agree with Levi).

Taz keeps writing "REPORTED REPORTED REPORTED".

The TWBHP is at a record-breaking 120.

TWBHP - Tropical Weather Blog Heat Potential.
Sounds like an average day to me, and I believe L&D were debating.  There is a critical difference.  I'm not hairsplitting.  Got a lot to do with respect.  It is possible to intensely disagree while still maintaining respect.  Not a common concept nowadays.
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Quoting hydrus:
And if by some chance the Bermuda High shifts, builds or noses westward, that could change things in a big way....It almost looks like Lisa is trying to make a little come back,...



that is old
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reed or levi or anyone else, can you explain what is going on with 97L? is the COC looking like its forming in the NE part of the convection as DrM and Levi were saying or the SE part? Or is that still unclear? I've been staring at the visible on and off all day but I don't really know all that much about nada, especially the invest to TD stage of TC development. Thanks!
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Quoting srada:


Yeah..the news is just full of sunshine..not..LOL!! I hope to GOD that scenario does not play out..


me too sweety you stay safe
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


*Credit to tkeith
lol...j/k

I own no copyrights :)
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Quoting Jeff9641:
After this rain moves out of the Northeast then get ready for the COLD AIR with freezes possible at night. OUCH! OLD MAN WINTER is a coming for people up north.


Frosts and freezes have arrived as scheduled this year, no surprises.

Fall color across Wisconsin is reaching peak across the northwoods,
the Fall Color Report map: http://www.travelwisconsin.com/fallcolor_report.aspx

It looks like an Indian Summer up here next week with highs continuing in the 60s.
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758. JRRP
Quoting Jeff9641:


It's in line with the CMC model. CMC takes this straight thru the Bahamas toward S FL.

yeah
very near PR
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756. srada
Quoting will40:



hush gurl lol


Yeah..the news is just full of sunshine..not..LOL!! I hope to GOD that scenario does not play out..
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I will be interested to see how the amount of convection and heat buildup in the Caribbean interacts with 97L if at all.
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Quoting Jeff9641:


It's in line with the CMC model. CMC takes this straight thru the Bahamas toward S FL.
Link?.....
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19608
Quoting Jeff9641:


GFS is showing a snowstorm for the Upper Midwest down the road.


Interesting, well gotta go.. Bible study soon
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Quoting JRRP:
here we go
And if by some chance the Bermuda High shifts, builds or noses westward, that could change things in a big way....It almost looks like Lisa is trying to make a little come back,...
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19608
Quoting stormpetrol:
I trust you and yours are keeping well.

We are are well,dry and fed.  Some of the fortunate.  As to the weather; we are getting a summers worth of rain in one event as happens here so often.  Too bad it couldn't have come in time to save the crops.  My oldest Son "farms on the side" as we say around here and gave up on his 3rd cutting of hay a while ago and the corn farmers are badly hurt.
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Interesting.. ECMWF shows a system somewhat similar to Omar on the last run from 97L (?)
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Quoting tkeith:


you gonna give me any credit for that one TA13? :)

lol


*Credit to tkeith
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336
WWUS72 KMHX 302011
NPWMHX

URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEWPORT/MOREHEAD CITY NC
411 PM EDT THU SEP 30 2010

..STRONG WINDS POSSIBLE ALONG THE COAST TODAY

NCZ090-092-098-302115-
/O.CAN.KMHX.WI.Y.0015.000000T0000Z-101001T0000Z/
DUPLIN-JONES-ONSLOW-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...WALLACE...WARSAW...ROSE HILL...
KENANSVILLE...BEULAVILLE...MAGNOLIA...MAYSVILLE...POLLOCKSVILLE...
TRENTON...JACKSONVILLE
411 PM EDT THU SEP 30 2010

..WIND ADVISORY IS CANCELLED

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEWPORT/MOREHEAD CITY HAS
CANCELLED THE WIND ADVISORY.

WINDS ARE NOT MEETING ADVISORY CRITERIA SO THE WIND ADVISORY IS
CANCELLED
.



NCZ047-081-095-103-104-010400-
/O.EXT.KMHX.WI.Y.0015.000000T0000Z-101001T0400Z/
MAINLAND DARE-MAINLAND HYDE-CARTERET-OUTER BANKS DARE-
OUTER BANKS HYDE
-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...MOREHEAD CITY...BEAUFORT...
EMERALD ISLE...NEWPORT...KILL DEVIL HILLS...KITTY HAWK...
NAGS HEAD...SOUTHERN SHORES
411 PM EDT THU SEP 30 2010

..WIND ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT EDT TONIGHT

THE WIND ADVISORY IS NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT EDT TONIGHT.

AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE WILL MOVE RAPIDLY NORTH ACROSS THE
COASTAL PLAIN THIS EVENING. STRONG WINDS WILL BE POSSIBLE THROUGH
LATE EVENING. WINDS WILL DIMINISH LATE AS THE LOW MOVES NORTH AWAY
FROM THE AREA.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT WINDS OF 31 TO 39 MPH WITH HIGHER
GUSTS ARE EXPECTED. WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING
DIFFICULT...ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA
CAUTION.
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hey stormpetrol I guess I wasn't the only one looking at the same AOI
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
strengthening as it crosses over the Canadian Maritimes



Snow for upper Michigan?
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739. JRRP
here we go
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hmm...97L over Hispaniola? Not Good!

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Quoting h0db:


Can you provide your mother's maiden name, your social security number, and date+place of birth just so we can be sure? Thanks...
lol
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19608
Quoting srada:
Local Media saying NC may get hit again come this Saturday by a weak tropical system according to some model runs..



hush gurl lol
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732. srada
Local Media saying NC may get hit again come this Saturday by a weak tropical system according to some model runs..
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Man I'm not much into the whole global warming Climate change deal, because I'm not a panic/slash doom and gloom type of person, but I tell ya, heavy rain events and heat events sure do seem to be getting worse...

Seriously, 2.5 inch PW's in the northeast U.S.? That's even a big deal down here in central Florida, I cannot believe the amount of tropical moisture that is surging into such non tropical areas, Nicole, and what is now left of it is by far the most destructive storm probably for the season.

Even though they are saying rainfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour in the mid atlantic. Trust me, they are MUCH heavier then that at times, the convection is moving too fast too really show how heavy the rain rate is. But looking at moisture profiles, I'm telling you from experience being in central Florida, with the moisture profiles I'm seeing, there are rainfall rates as high as a staggering 5 inches per hour which having been occurring and will spread into the northeast tonight.

As I said, that is even considered torrential rain here in Florida, those soils and drains can't even handle 1 inch per hour rainfall intensity, must less tropical cloud bursts up to 5 inches per hour!
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730. IKE
Hey Wilmington,NC....there is light at the end of the tunnel. Here's a classic to get you in a better mood...if there's a cure for this, I don't want it....

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Its chaos on the blog right now...

Reedzibe has an imposter under the name of reeedzone.

Levi and Drak were arguing (After looking at all their responses, I have to agree with Levi).

Taz keeps writing "REPORTED REPORTED REPORTED".

The TWBHP is at a record-breaking 120.

TWBHP - Tropical Weather Blog Heat Potential.
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727. GS121
so, where is 97 going exactly? this isn't going into GOM is it? is la/miss/al still protected?
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strengthening as it crosses over the Canadian Maritimes

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Quoting CoopsWife:
Dumped the rain gauge again. 5 inches. Either it's getting way contaminated or I'm getting a different line of storms than the airport, LOL. Moving it waaaay out to the front corner during the next rain break.


lol that gauge giving you a fit
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996 mb on extratropical low Nicole in 12hrs. as it comes ashore.

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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.