TD 16 organizing; Mexican landslide kills hundreds; hottest day ever in Los Angeles

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:25 PM GMT on September 28, 2010

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The large area of low pressure centered just south of Cuba's Isle of Youth has developed enough of a well-defined circulation to be classified as Tropical Depression Sixteen, and is likely to become Tropical Storm Nicole by Wednesday. The depression has a very broad center, with little heavy thunderstorm activity near the center, and is this very dissimilar to the usual types of tropical depressions we see in the Atlantic. The large size, broad center, and lack of heavy thunderstorm activity near the center of TD 16 will limit the storm's ability to rapidly intensify. TD 16 resembles the "monsoon depressions" common in India's Bay of Bengal or the Western Pacific. A monsoon depression is similar to a regular tropical depression in the winds that it generates--about 30 - 35 mph near the outer edges (and usually stronger on the eastern side of the circulation.) Monsoon depressions have large, calm centers, and can evolve into regular tropical storms, if given enough time over water to develop a tight, closed circulation. Today's monsoon-like depression in the Caribbean was able to form because the atmospheric flow pattern of the Eastern Pacific has shifted eastwards into the Western Caribbean, bringing in the Eastern Pacific ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone, a region of converging surface winds that creates a band of strong thunderstorms). This unusual flow pattern is forecast to remain in place for at least the next ten days.

An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft has been flying at 700 feet in TD 16 since 1:30pm EDT, and has thus far found a central pressure of 999 mb. The strongest winds at flight level seen as of 3:20pm EDT were 32 mph, located about 100 miles east of the center of TD 16. Surface observations show that the strongest winds at any surface station continue to be at Buoy 42057, several hundred miles to the southeast of TD 16's center. Winds were 27 mph, gusting to 34 mph at 2:43pm EDT this afternoon. Rotation of TD 16 can be seen on radar loops out of Pico San Juan, Cuba, and well as satellite imagery. The heavy thunderstorms are currently quite disorganized, but a curved band is beginning to wrap around the north side of the center, signaling that TD 16 is growing more organized. TD 16 has brought torrential rains to the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Cuba, and Honduras today.


Figure 1. Radar-estimated precipitation for South Florida and Cuba. TD 16 has brought 2 - 4 inches of rains to the region.

Forecast for TD 16
Because TD 16 is so large, it will take more time than a typical depression for it to spin up into a strong tropical storm. Given that the steering currents are expected to pull TD 16 north-northeastwards over Cuba and into South Florida and the western Bahamas on Wednesday, the storm lacks sufficient time over water to be any stronger than a 50 mph tropical storm for Florida. TD 16 is organizing pretty slowly this afternoon, and I think the top winds in Southeast Florida are most likely to be in the 25 - 35 mph range on Wednesday. Winds are likely to be stronger in the western Bahamas, perhaps 30 - 40 mph, since they will be in the stronger right front quadrant of the storm. By the time TD 16 makes landfall in South Carolina or North Carolina on Thursday morning, it could be as strong as a 50 - 60 mph tropical storm. However, wind shear will increase sharply on Thursday as TD 16 gets caught in an upper-level trough of low pressure, and NHC is giving TD 16 only a 9% chance of making it to hurricane strength before it becomes an extratropical storm on Thursday. The primary danger from TD 16 is not wind, but heavy rainfall. A potent upper-level low and stationary front over the U.S. East Coast have been pulling moist, tropical air from the Caribbean northwards over the past few days, bringing heavy rains that have saturated the soils. This is called a Predecessor Rain Event, or PRE, since it comes in advance of the actual rain shield of the storm. (A PRE from Hurricane Karl brought southern Wisconsin the heavy rain that caused the levee on the Wisconsin River to fail yesterday.) Wilmington, NC received 10.33 inches of rain yesterday, its second greatest one-day rainfall since record keeping began in 1871. Only the 13.38" that fell during Hurricane Floyd on September 15, 1999 beat yesterday's rainfall total. With TD 16 expected to bring another 6 - 8 inches of rain to the region later this week, serious flooding is likely, and flash flood watches are posted for the North Carolina/ South Carolina border region. South Florida is also under a flood watch, for 3 - 5 inches of rain. Flooding rains of similar magnitude can also be expected in Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and the Western Bahamas through Wednesday night. Both the GFDL and HWRF models are predicting that TD 16 will dump rains in excess of eight inches along narrow portions of its path in eastern Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina.


Figure 2. Forecast precipitation for the 5-day period from 8am today through 8am EDT Sunday, October 3, 2010. Image credit: NOAA Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.

Up to 1,000 feared dead in Mexican landslide
Mexico has taken the brunt of the devastation from the hurricane season of 2010, thanks to the landfalls of this year's two deadliest and most damaging storms, Hurricanes Alex and Karl. But Mexico's worst blow yet hit this morning, when heavy rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Matthew triggered a landslide in Mexico's mountainous Oaxaca state that buried as many as 1,000 people in Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec, a town of 9,000. Rescuers have not reached the area yet, but hundreds are feared dead in the 300 homes that were buried by the early morning landslide. Matthew hit Belize on Saturday as a minimal tropical storm with 40 mph winds, and dissipated Sunday over southern Mexico. However, Matthew's remains stalled out over the region of Mexico that had already received torrential rains from Hurricane Karl, which hit on September 18. Satellite estimates of Matthew's rains over southern Mexico (Figure 3) show that a foot of rain may have fallen in the landslide area. Matthew's remains still linger over the region, but are probably only capable of bringing 1 - 2 inches of additional rain through Thursday.


Figure 3. Satellite-estimated rainfall for the five-day period ending at 8pm EDT Monday September 27, 2010. The dark green colors show where rainfall amounts of 300 mm (about 12 inches) fell, due to the remnants of Tropical Storm Matthew. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Elsewhere in the tropics
Once TD 16 moves out of the Caribbean, the GFS model predicts that the Western Caribbean will "reload" and produce another tropical disturbance capable of developing into a tropical depression early next week. The GFS also predicts a tropical or subtropical storm will form over the Bahamas late this week, and move north-northeast along the U.S. East Coast, missing hitting land. The NOGAPS model hints at the Bahamas storm, and also predicts development of a tropical wave a few hundred miles northeast of the Lesser Antilles Islands, about a week from now.

Hottest day in Los Angeles history
The mercury hit a blistering 113°F (45.0°C) at 12:15 pm PDT yesterday in downtown Los Angeles, making it the hottest day in Los Angeles history. It may have gotten hotter, but the thermometer broke shortly after the record high was set. The previous record in Los Angeles was 112°F set on June 26, 1990; records go back to 1877. Nearby Long Beach tied its hottest all-time temperature yesterday, with a scorching 111°F. And Christopher C. Burt, our new featured blogger on weather records, pointed out to me that a station in the foothills at 1260' elevation near Beverly Hills owned by the Los Angeles Fire Department hit 119°F yesterday--the hottest temperature ever measured in the Los Angeles area, tying the 119°F reading from Woodland Hills on July 22, 2006. Yesterday's record heat was caused by an unusually large and intense upper-level high pressure system centered over Nevada that generated winds blowing from the land to the ocean, keeping the ocean from exerting its usual cooling influence. Remarkably, Los Angeles had its second coldest summer on record this year, and temperatures just five days ago were some the coldest September temperatures in the region for the past 50 years.

The remarkable summer of 2010
Wunderground is pleased to welcome a new featured blogger--weather historian Christopher C. Burt. Chris is a leading expert in the U.S. on weather records, and is author of the world's most popular weather records book published to date, Extreme Weather: A Guide and Record Book. He's spent a lifetime collaborating with like-minded individuals from around the world, and no one--including official sources such as the National Climatic Data Center and the National Extremes Committee--has done as thorough a job correlating the various weather records available and determining the most accurate extreme values of such. Each month he'll be reporting on the notable records for heat, cold, and precipitation set world-wide, and his first post takes a look at the remarkable summer of 2010. It's great to have someone like Chris who stays on top of weather extremes, and I hope you'll pay a visit to his blog and welcome him to the wunderground site!

"Hurricane Haven" airing this afternoon
My live Internet radio show, "Hurricane Haven", will be airing again today at 4pm EDT. The call in number is 415-983-2634, or you can post a question to broadcast@wunderground.com. Be sure to include "Hurricane Haven question" in the subject line.

Today's show will be about 30 minutes, and you can tune in at http://www.wunderground.com/wxradio/wubroadcast.h tml. The show will be recorded and stored as a podcast.

I'll have updates as the situation with TD 16 requires.

Jeff Masters

Alone again, naturally (ftogrf)
Lonely Seagull, as a storm associated with TD 16 is approaching.
Alone again, naturally

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28/1745 UTC 20.8N 83.2W ST2.5 16L

STD16?
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Quoting Twinkster:
Wednesday: Tropical storm conditions possible. Periods of rain and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. High near 85. East wind 31 to 36 mph, with gusts as high as 49 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%.


this is for my area in palm beach county. They will not close school unless there are sustained winds of 40 mph or higher. I think it would be smart if they closed school but they have a guideline they typically follow. if they shift the track west at 11pm then there is a remote possibility they will cancel schools tomorrow
+1 iagree but it needs to be TS NIcole first will not close for a depression
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For Miami:

Wednesday:
Tropical storm conditions possible. Periods of rain and isolated thunderstorms. Rain may be heavy at times. Highs in the mid 80s. East winds 30 to 35 mph becoming southeast 25 to 30 mph in the afternoon. Gusts up to 55 mph. Chance of rain near 100 percent.
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Quoting StormHype:


BTW, that was late October and it wasn't 40 degrees after it went through. I was low 60s in SW and S FL. Thank God, cause the power was out with no A/C.


It was Oct 24th if I remember off the top of my head and it was in the 40's at night and the 60's during the day by the following wednesday the temp was rising but I was on the same power grid as a Bell South station so I was up by Wednesday night.
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Quoting Patrap:


Hazardous Weather Outlook
Issued by NWS Charleston, SC




"THE HEAVIEST RAINFALL IS EXPECTED [IN] MAINLY THE CHARLESTON METRO AREA."

Grrr!
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I still think that the COC will relocate to the south and to the east of where it is now
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9548
NEXRAD Radar
Melbourne, Base Reflectivity 0.50 Degree Elevation Range 248 NMI



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Quoting leo305:
is it just me or is cantore being a bit bitter towards chieft met bryan norcross?


why? Is Cantore hyping it while Norcross is pooping on his parade saying this is going to be pretty lame?
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Quoting leo305:
is it just me or is cantore being a bit bitter towards chieft met bryan norcross?
cantore is an idoit and giving bryan a hard time is a big no no brayn is a true professional in tropical weather
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NEXRAD Radar
Wilmington, Base Reflectivity 0.50 Degree Elevation Range 248 NMI




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Quoting Levi32:


We could still get a major in the Caribbean. This is a tropical depression, not doing a whole lot. The Caribbean has two whole months of hurricane season left. This is very very far from over.

We're about to get our 14th storm and I still think 18 is a good final number.
Me too. I wouldn't be surprised to exceed that number considering that the entire month of October and November are still to come.

I wouldn't be surprised to get at least 2 tropical or subtropical cyclones during November due to the La Niña.
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Quoting floridastorm:
A couple of hours ago, i thought TD 16 would dissapate. As of right now, it looks to me that its trying to get something going. The question is will it be enough to consider it a tropical storm?


Depends on how much time it spends over water.

If it goes across Cuba, directly into the southern tip of FL, I personally doubt it.

If it goes up either coasts, there's a lot better possibility.
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Quoting StormHype:


Watch those words! Mentioning cooler weather in Sept on a tropical wx blog is like throwing water on the wicked witch.


No, there is nothing wrong with mentioning cooler weather in September. When you state that because of this cooler weather, that it is the end of the tropical threats than that is another story; which is exactly what you said.

Quoting StormHype:
The longer range global models show a monster cold front sweeping into the GOM within a couple weeks.... looks like the fat lady is warming up soon for the 2010 season.
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this is the most complicated system thus far this year
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Quoting weatherman12345:
just sayin its odd to see a pressure so low in a TD.


True that, but this isn't really the normal TD either.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 856
Pressures are RELATIVE..

997 is low,,but not compared to the surrounding envelope which is 1010mb comparatively.

Again,,dont think of TD-16 in the Atlantic Tropical Sense,,

Its a Monsoonal Trof,,that will most likely transfer the energy to a Baroclinic Low,and actually if you Look at the Radars ,,is doing so already.

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is it just me or is cantore being a bit bitter towards chieft met bryan norcross?
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
misswx....welcome to the party!!! (from Johns Island)
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Quoting mississippiwx23:
I am in Mt. Pleasant, SC...and I am fully expecting 8 inches in my raingauge. This will be my first tropical system in this area (wish I could change my user name!) so it will be interesting to see how the area takes such heavy rainfall.


Hey there.. Summerville, SC here!
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863. IKE
"Center" is about 90 miles due south of Havana,Cuba....

Havana, CU (Airport)
Updated: 10 min 21 sec ago
Rain
81 °F
Rain
Humidity: 79%
Dew Point: 73 °F
Wind: 8 mph from the ENE
Pressure: 29.53 in (Steady)
Heat Index: 85 °F
Visibility: 5.0 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds:
Mostly Cloudy 1500 ft
Mostly Cloudy 18000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 194 ft
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I am in Mt. Pleasant, SC...and I am fully expecting 8 inches in my raingauge. This will be my first tropical system in this area (wish I could change my user name!) so it will be interesting to see how the area takes such heavy rainfall.
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Quoting presslord:
Chucktown's competition just called this goin' way further east than I think it's gonna go...and way underestimated the potential rainfall...


Have they bothered looking at anything beyond the 00z and 06z models from today? LOL!
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
Why do they keep referring to the Carribean low as monsoonal? I understand how the monsoon works in India and the SWest America but have never heard that thrm in the Carribean. Can anyone enlighten me?


Read Doc's post above and the one from this morning.
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3412
Quoting aislinnpaps:
Good evening, everyone. I am loving this cooler weather.


Watch those words! Mentioning cooler weather in Sept on a tropical wx blog is like throwing water on the wicked witch.
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Thanks both Nash and Levi!
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Chucktown's competition just called this goin' way further east than I think it's gonna go...and way underestimated the potential rainfall...
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Quoting Ryuujin:
Levi,

How much energy do you think this will take out of the Carrib? Do you think it will be enough and that we are late enough in the season to avoid any majors, or is there still a distinct possibility of such?


We could still get a major in the Caribbean. This is a tropical depression, not doing a whole lot. The Caribbean has two whole months of hurricane season left. This is very very far from over.

We're about to get our 14th storm and I still think 18 is a good final number.
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A couple of hours ago, i thought TD 16 would dissapate. As of right now, it looks to me that its trying to get something going. The question is will it be enough to consider it a tropical storm?
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Quoting Ryuujin:
Levi,

How much energy do you think this will take out of the Carrib? Do you think it will be enough and that we are late enough in the season to avoid any majors, or is there still a distinct possibility of such?


I'm not Levi:-) However, I don't see this system sucking that much latent heat out of the CB. This system is nowhere near deep enough to transfer the latent heat out of the depths where it resides... It will stir up a bit, but not deep enough to render the remainder of the season closed as it were.
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Good evening, everyone. I am loving this cooler weather.
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016L/TD/XX
MARK
17.79N/79.79W

RE-LOCATION
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52189
Quoting weatherman12345:

it should be named at 997mbs


Tropical Storm:
A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed (using the U.S. 1-minute average) ranges from 34 kt (39 mph or 63 km/hr) to 63 kt (73 mph or 118 km/hr).

Glossary of NHC Terms

They don't go by pressure.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 856
Wednesday: Tropical storm conditions possible. Periods of rain and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. High near 85. East wind 31 to 36 mph, with gusts as high as 49 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%.


this is for my area in palm beach county. They will not close school unless there are sustained winds of 40 mph or higher. I think it would be smart if they closed school but they have a guideline they typically follow. if they shift the track west at 11pm then there is a remote possibility they will cancel schools tomorrow
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Quoting masonsnana:

This is nothing for Cape Coral. We have had worst afternoon T-storms. Come on down and enjoy!


Sounds like TWC needs to give the bong a break.
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Quoting masonsnana:

This is nothing for Cape Coral. We have had worst afternoon T-storms. Come on down and enjoy!
Famous last words.
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Levi,

How much energy do you think this will take out of the Carrib? Do you think it will be enough and that we are late enough in the season to avoid any majors, or is there still a distinct possibility of such?
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center moving south.. then should move south east.. then should ignite with convection..

and turn north east when it does..
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
well....gotta bounce for a bit...taking peewee to CiCi's for dinner...it is his schools night there tonight...figure let em have fun b4 the monsoon hits thurs and we are stuck stuck stuck....
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Quoting HuHunter:
The Weatherchannel says most models are pointing at West Florida right now.....What do you experts think where Nicole will make landfall? (direct hit)

I'm from Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and i'm for a holiday in Cape Coral, Fl.

Thanks!!!


Doesn't matter much. It's a large system and the key feature to it will be relentless rain. The majority of the State of Florida will be affected. Bring a rain jacket!
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Quoting Patrap:
Our younger Hobbyists and other need to understand this is more a Pacific Monsoonal Trof than a Typical TD or TS from the East or Cv style.

Its a Large Monsoonal type Gyre with the effects to be felt far removed from the center of circ which is broad and ill defined and will likely remain till it goes extra in 48.


Pat is dead on the money. This is not a wind event, as is typical for a strengthening TS. This is a huge monsoonal rain event for some. Hopefully not here!
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Quoting HuHunter:
The Weatherchannel says most models are pointing at West Florida right now.....What do you experts think where Nicole will make landfall? (direct hit)

I'm from Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and i'm for a holiday in Cape Coral, Fl.

Thanks!!!

This is nothing for Cape Coral. We have had worst afternoon T-storms. Come on down and enjoy!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Our younger Hobbyists and other need to understand this is more a Pacific Monsoonal Trof than a Typical TD or TS from the East or Cv style.

Its a Large Monsoonal type Gyre with the effects to be felt far removed from the center of circ which is broad and ill defined and will likely remain till it goes extra in 48.
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Quoting StormHype:


Sounds like the "Hokie Pokie" LOL


It is pokie getting its developemnt together, but those rainfall amounts are very hokie, just down right scary!
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About JeffMasters

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