Heavy rains kill seven in Georgia

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:27 PM GMT on September 22, 2009

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Very heavy rains exceeding fifteen inches have soaked the Atlanta, Georgia region over the past two days, triggering widespread major flooding. Record flood levels have been observed on seven rivers and creeks in the Atlanta area, breaking records that had been set as long ago as 1919. In one case, the new flood record (for Utoy Creek near Atlanta), was more that ten feet above the previous record, with the creek still rising. The Chattahoochee River was one of the rivers that rose to record levels, and flood waters from the Chattahoochee crested over the I-285 bridge in western Atlanta, forcing closure of the expressway. At least seven people have been killed, according to ajc.com, with at least six people still missing.


Figure 1. Radar estimated rainfall for the Atlanta, Georgia region ending on September 22. More than 15 inches (white colors) had fallen in and around Atlanta.

A list of the records set so far:

Noonday Creek near Woodstock 19.66 ft 21/530 PM, old record 16.30 ft (07/11/2005)

Nickajack Creek at Mableton 19.30 ft 22/215 am, old record 16.60 ft (07/11/2005)

North Fork Peachtree Creek at Atlanta 18.07 ft 21/715 PM, old record 17.70 ft (09/16/2004)

Utoy Creek near Atlanta 27.04 ft 22/715 am, old record 16.86 ft (05/06/2003)...still rising

Chattahoochee River at Whitesburg 29.58 ft 21/1015 PM, old record 29.11 ft (12/11/1919)

Suwanee Creek at Suwanee 14.30 ft 21/645 PM, old record 12.04 ft (10/05/1996)

Yellow River at Lithonia 25.50 ft 22/515 am, old record 17.53 ft (05/07/2003)... nearly steady

Yellow River near Conyers 20.80 ft 22/730 am, old record 16.36 ft (07/08/2005) below Milstead...still rising

Chattahoochee River at Franklin 28.71 ft 22/715 am, old record 28.40 ft (12/15/1919)...still rising

The strong flow of moist air from the southeast that fueled the heavy rains has diminished today, and no widespread heavy rains will affect northern Georgia over the next few days. However, there will be some scattered thunderstorms in the region the next two days that will dump heavy downpours over local areas, and these thunderstorms will keep flood waters from receding much along some flooded rivers and creeks. It is possible that some additional moisture from the remains of Hurricane Fred will affect northern Georgia and South Carolina Wednesday and Thursday, boosting rainfall totals from these scattered thunderstorms.


Figure 2. AVHRR visible satellite image of Hurricane Hugo taken on September 22, 1989. Hugo was over Ohio at this time, and had finally been declared extratropical.

Twenty years ago today
Hurricane Hugo plowed through the center of South Carolina on September 22, 1989, reaching the North Carolina border 140 miles inland by 8am EDT. Amazingly, Hugo remained at hurricane strength for its entire passage through South Carolina--a full eight hours. The hurricane caused massive damage to forests, buildings, and power lines along the way, killing thirteen South Carolinans in total. Charlotte, North Carolina, over 200 miles inland, and a place of refuge for many South Carolinans that fled the storm, received sustained winds of 69 mph from Hugo--just below the 74-mph threshold of hurricane strength. Hugo turned northwards and roared through Virginia, where it killed six people, then into West Virginia and Ohio, where it was finally declared extratropical at 2pm EDT on the 22nd. The hurricane claimed its final victim near Buffalo, New York, when winds from Hugo toppled a tree onto a motorist.

In all, Hugo did $7 billion in damage to the continental U.S., and $10 billion over its entire path ($17.6 billion in 2009 dollars), making it the most costly hurricane ever at that time. The final death toll was 56.


Figure 3. Maximum wind gusts recorded from Hurricane Hugo of 1989. Wind gusts in excess of 80 mph (green hatched areas) were recorded all the way to the North Carolina border, 140 miles inland. Image credit: National Hurricane Center.

There are no threat areas in the Atlantic to discuss today, and none of our reliable computer models are forecasting tropical storm development over the next seven days.

Jeff Masters

Suwanee Creek Greenway flooding (takabanana)
Suwanee Creek Greenway flooding

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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tacoman:
nice call tampa you were one of the lower ones on here..it looks like storm w had 11 you 10 and myself 6 which we are at right now..we still have technically a little over 2 months to go in the 2009 season..it should be interesting..


We may have 2 months less, with the return of an uplift in MJO in a couple of weeks....it might be some of the most busy upcoming times of the year. But, it will all be local bread systems if anything develops.......the way shear has been one would have to say the season is winding down sooner than normal....BUT, IT ONLY TAKES ONE FOR YOU OR ME to say it was a bad season.
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Negative NAO Index

* The negative NAO index phase shows a weak subtropical high and a weak Icelandic low.


* The reduced pressure gradient results in fewer and weaker winter storms crossing on a more west-east pathway.


* They bring moist air into the Mediterranean and cold air to northern Europe


* The US east coast experiences more cold air outbreaks and hence snowy weather conditions.


* Greenland, however, will have milder winter temperatures
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Well, I gotta get my butt to work. Wishing everyone a good day. Might check back later if my wife hasn’t commandeered the pc for Facebook’s “Farmtown” (she has crops to harvest, fields to plow, seeds to plant…she’s very busy).

Remember Portlight.org is looking for donations to help victims of the flood.

Also

Do you know someone you would like to help financially, but don’t want them to know the money came from you?

Go to:
http://www.givinganon.org/

There is no fee. All the money you give goes to the person you want to help.

Catch ya’ll on the flip…

Mike
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
Quoting ElConando:


yes there are thats why I didn't say named storms :).


Let It Snow.
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Quoting Tigerose:
891: Awake, thank you. Best I go back to just reading while I might be ahead.



Me, too, thanks everyone.
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891: Awake, thank you. Best I go back to just reading while I might be ahead.


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887. Tigerose 2:00 PM GMT on September 23, 2009

I can give a quick report on Fredex here on the south coast of NC. We had 3.80 inches of rain over about 36 hours. NO problems and the wind was even unusually calm.


That's actually very helpful/interesting to me, Tigerose; don't discount yourself.
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Quoting StormW:


There are other implications as well.


yes there are thats why I didn't say named storms :).
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P451, I have been watching those 3 for a couple days now.. I have been calling them the three stooges.

Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
877: Hmmm you don't have to 'say' who he is;-) I found this blog 2 years ago and gain much insight as to what might be brewing in the tropics. Just don't post much as I don't have that much to offer.

I can give a quick report on Fredex here on the south coast of NC. We had 3.80 inches of rain over about 36 hours. NO problems and the wind was even unusually calm.

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Mighty strong wave that has rolled off, but its got lots of shear to deal with across the Atlantic...


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Quoting Orcasystems:


I have never put certain people on Ignore... because as soon as it slows down and everyone gets bored again.. he is the only source of conversation...and everyone starts to miss him and ask where he is :)


I won't even say who it is.. but the regulars will know who I am talking about immediately :)


...and even some of us "irregulars" would miss aforesaid (Sir, sits-with-fishes :))
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Quoting StormW:


Thank you, Orca.


I give credit where credit is due :) You have proven your abilities on here time after time... and you still kicked the locals butt that Mexico trip.

You might also notice your the only one who gave him an answer based on factual information and data.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
I think my 8-4-2 still has a chance...
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
Quoting Tigerose:
867: Orca

Thanks for the heads up. I try not to use the ignore feature either. Then with on 'average' the usual trolls aren't shown, the option is always there to click to see them. Sometimes that's amusement in itself.


I have never put certain people on Ignore... because as soon as it slows down and everyone gets bored again.. he is the only source of conversation...and everyone starts to miss him and ask where he is :)


I won't even say who it is.. but the regulars will know who I am talking about immediately :)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Still, valuable input from you Orca...thanks.
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
Thanks Storm, Tampa (get well soon), & Cane -
As Arte Johnson said, "Verrry in-te-rest-ing!"
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
Quoting StormW:


Some of it is good.

However, rule out the El Nino (oceanic) portion. It has been what's happening in the atmosphere that has driven the oceanic side of the "El Nino".

I don't buy all of the Atlantic ridge being so far south either. It shifted further north beginning in August I believe, and looking at this, is centered fairly far north. That is what has allowed the ITCZ to come further north over the past 2 months.



From my analysis this season, the 3 items I find that have been with us mostly is:

1.) Persistent TUTT (providing shear)

2.) SAL during the first 2-2 1/2 months of the season

3.) Subsidence from the MJO (has been present more than upward motion).



StormW this might be a silly question but, in the years past with ElNino present has above average TUTT and MJO subsidence been present. I guess what i'm saying is ther any possible corealation at all with El Nino or purely a coincidence.
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Quoting mikatnight:
Morning Storm, Orca -
You guys have any opinion on Dr. Lyons explanation for the slow season?


I was hoping StormW would answer that one for you.. you have just learnt a valuable lesson. There are maybe 5 people on this blog qualified to answer that question, and trust me.. I am not one of them :)

If I had a question like that, I would ask only two people who are on a lot and would know the answer... StormW and Weather456.


Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting Orcasystems:


I just use the show all setting... and use the ignore function to turn off the ones I don't want to see.

You have to do something pretty drastic to get put on ignore.. or act like a teen on to much sugar will do it also.

Many thanks, Orca, I always appreciate your opinions and counsel. (Hmm, pocky-lips comments not showing up, the system works!)
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867: Orca

Thanks for the heads up. I try not to use the ignore feature either. Then with on 'average' the usual trolls aren't shown, the option is always there to click to see them. Sometimes that's amusement in itself.
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Quoting Tigerose:
Awake--I have mine set on show average ---yours come thru.

Thank you, Tigerose. Cool moniker, strong & beautiful (smile).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tigerose:
Awake--I have mine set on show average ---yours come thru.


I just use the show all setting... and use the ignore function to turn off the ones I don't want to see.

You have to do something pretty drastic to get put on ignore.. or acting like a teen on to much sugar will do it also.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting mikatnight:
Morning Storm, Orca -
You guys have any opinion on Dr. Lyons explanation for the slow season?


Strange year of Shear. One would think if you didn't know the facts that we was in a strong El Nino summer and fall....that simply is not the case. But, yet the weather pattern has been setup to be the looks at as if we was in a strong El Nino position. Looking at things, it appears to be moving back to nuetral soon and possibly go toward a La Nina summer for next year IMO!
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Awake--I have mine set on show average ---yours come thru.
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That dust storm in Austalia ia amazing and scary.
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Quoting mikatnight:
Morning Storm, Orca -
You guys have any opinion on Dr. Lyons explanation for the slow season?


Post 835
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post 843

I don't think I've ever agreed with Dr. Lyons before, lol. Glad I'm not the only one who thinks El Nino is not driving the car.
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Still going west.This could be trouble.
Has a lot of convention.
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Morning Storm, Orca -
You guys have any opinion on Dr. Lyons explanation for the slow season?
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
Convention is outstanding.
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Australia dust storm turns sky over Sydney deadly red


Some fantastic pictures with this news article.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Hi again, got TWC back, maybe they'll report on something besides Atlanta flooding today, hope springs eternal.

Hope you all can help me with a blog admin. question, don't mean to bore you.

I usually use "show all" for the comments. A couple of times I have tried the "show average" to see what and what doesn't get screened. The question is, would the blog always show the poster's comments, that is, say, mine, even if my post was stupid/irrelevant/off-topic (like this one). Wow, I am having trouble wording this...some communications major.
In other words, I want to see if my posts are considered at all "worthy"...or being hidden. So far none have been hidden, but this one may be for being incoherent!
Thanks for any insight any of you can give me, and I beg your forgiveness in advance!
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Model guidance recently continue to indicate a pretty hostile environment close to home in response to a deepening upper level trough. As this deepening takes place, strong northerly shear could become established across the Caribbean sea with further shear forming over the NW Caribbean in response to a divergent flow aloft about the base of the upper level trough and ridging to form over the Gulf of Mexico. models are also hinting at amplification of the Southern North America jet stream during the next few days thanks in part to what will become a strong cut-off upper low resulting from present Pacific Northwest energy. The presence of a stronger southern jet should further intensify shear across the southeast coast and perhaps across the northern half of the GOM.

All in all this season thus far has been a non issue for the U.S. and caribbean lets hope it continues. On a side note look for potential cool air masses to penetrate farther south in the coming weeks.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13621
855. Murko
Quoting Autistic2:
I am surprised the blog survives this feb er um I mean September.

What will we talk about in February? The great snow storm of 2010?

Not exactly tropical but...at least its not political or religious, unless we say the snow storm is a result of Man Made Global Cooling caused by Al gore being quiet.?


Don't you know that all global catastrophies are god's wrath? LOL j/k!
Member Since: July 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 155

AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting Orcasystems:


You might be right.. but I don't think so. There is to much stored up energy in the GOM.




the gulf is shuting down has well
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114653
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511

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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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