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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451. tornadodude
12:12 AM GMT on September 23, 2009
we doubled our rainfall for this month today
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8301
Quoting obsessedwweather:
UMMMM....somebody tell me...is that Fred close to Florida???? If so, what's going on with it?? Doesn't look organized, however, is the rain/wind coming to FLA???


No worries. Rain, probably, and doesn't look like anything more than you would be used to.

Directly under current convection

Cape Canaveral offshore
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
Quoting obsessedwweather:
UMMMM....somebody tell me...is that Fred close to Florida???? If so, what's going on with it?? Doesn't look organized, however, is the rain/wind coming to FLA???


Thats the tail end of a TROUGH that streatches all the way up here to NC. It does have a lot of precip associated with it but the TROUGH itself is offshore
Member Since: September 19, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 4130
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Aussie

So sorry to hear.

I was just watching the news...Severe, super severe flooding and damage in Altanta, GA; more fires in California and a dust storm, I believe, in Arizona (could be wrong on that state). Weather...always a mystery and one never knows....
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Hurricane, do you mind getting on Tropics Chat?
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Quoting Chicklit:

Hi Dude. He got busted at the beach tonight.
(no dogs allowed)
The officer gave us a warning said next time he'll get a ticket.


haha a rebellious dog, eh? ;)
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8301
UMMMM....somebody tell me...is that Fred close to Florida???? If so, what's going on with it?? Doesn't look organized, however, is the rain/wind coming to FLA???
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Quoting tornadodude:


figures :P

Hey Chicklit, how's the dog doing?

Hi Dude. He got busted at the beach tonight.
(no dogs allowed)
The officer gave us a warning said next time he'll get a ticket.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11267
Hope I can manage to keep my internet connection long enough to post this. It's pretty neat when you loop it.

Link
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Quoting antonio28:
Good Evening!

All quiet only 7 days left of Sept 09 and no tropical development is expected by any reliable global forrescast models over the next week in the atlantic. So if no storm formed in the rest of this season this could be the shortest season in terms of activity August 12th to Sept 7th 26 days between first and last storm formed.

Could this be a record?

Thanks good that Fred phanton is about to disapear.


Ok, in 1914, there was only one storm, an unnamed tropical storm. It lasted from september 14th - september 19th. thus making it the shortest season on record. It is also one of two seasons without a hurricane, the other coming in 1907.

link
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8301
Quoting miajrz:

Dear Aussie, Good golly, Miss Molly! Are you all right?

Sydney is in chaos, airport is closed, Sydney harbour ferries have been stopped, Trains are running at reduced speeds, roads are a mess.









Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Quoting Chicklit:


Exactly, Chicklit. Can't imagine anything getting going in that SAL.

But, you never know. Closer to home atm is the only possibility, but you never know.
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
Good Evening!

All quiet only 7 days left of Sept 09 and no tropical development is expected by any reliable global forrescast models over the next week in the atlantic. So if no storm formed in the rest of this season this could be the shortest season in terms of activity August 12th to Sept 7th 26 days between first and last storm formed.

Could this be a record?

Thanks good that Fred phanton is about to disapear.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11267
Quoting will40:


nada


figures :P

Hey Chicklit, how's the dog doing?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8301
Quoting tornadodude:


whats popping in the tropics?


nada
Member Since: September 19, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 4130
evening wunderbloggers.
fairly healthy wave coming off of africa, don't you think?

Loop

Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11267
Quoting homelesswanderer:


Well I'm not one of the guys but I'll "good evening" you anyway. Lol. Hi Matt. :)


haha :) good to see you
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8301
I guess Georgia will be happy to share some water with Alabama and Florida now, to bad it had to happen this way.
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Quoting will40:
Hi matt


whats popping in the tropics?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8301
Quoting tornadodude:
good evening guys


Well I'm not one of the guys but I'll "good evening" you anyway. Lol. Hi Matt. :)
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Hi matt
Member Since: September 19, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 4130
good evening guys
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8301
Quoting Ashcat32935:
I was under the impression that it was moving SW toward the Palmbay/Vero area but I could be wrong.


that is the tail end of a trof
Member Since: September 19, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 4130
I was under the impression that it was moving SW toward the Palmbay/Vero area but I could be wrong.
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Politics (?) and weather combined:

Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11099
nm.
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Quoting Ashcat32935:
Yep the storm formally known as Fred wants to pay us a visit. I wonder if it will have enough strength to get past me here in Palmbay.


evidently it had the strength cuz it has already past you
Member Since: September 19, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 4130
Yep the storm formally known as Fred wants to pay us a visit. I wonder if it will have enough strength to get past me here in Palmbay.
Quoting gordydunnot:
Looks like fred-ex wants to vacation in Disney World.
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Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11099
Looks like fred-ex wants to vacation in Disney World.
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Quoting hurricane23:
Before heading off to work i wanted to post a link to steve lyons blog this morning from the weather channel were he goes into some detail on reasons why this season has been quiet. tutt's, sinking air... pick one

What's Different This 2009 Hurricane Season?
Excellent link! Thank you! Being meteorlogically challenged, that helped me to understand better.
Member Since: August 20, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 107
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
I read earlier that Grothar was leaving the blog. Did he give a reason?


No sir, not to the main blog anyway.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3712
I read earlier that Grothar was leaving the blog. Did he give a reason?
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11099
Quoting GatorWX:
Nice looking wave coming off Africa, but a LOT of dry, dusty air stands in its way.
Did You notice the huge Plume of Dust that exited with it?
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 263
test
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I remember the other day, there was someone going on about the political situation of PR. No one banned or ignored him. Be consistent folks, i am not saying i agree with watcher, but you cannot say it is alright for one person to be political, but not another one. I do not takes sides unless someone is getting a bum deal. Either be consistent in the way you do things or dont do them at all.
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wussup wit dat blob east of bermuda?
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So far, six named storms this season...and half of them formed over one weekend in August!
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11099
your excited meteorologist video had me roflmao!!!! too funny!
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Quoting AussieStorm:
Good morning all,
I have awoken to the strangest scene.
A dust storm has hit Sydney.

Dear Aussie, Good golly, Miss Molly! Are you all right?
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Quoting Weather456:
Amazing that September has been so quiet and even more so relative to August.


mjo went down at he right time :) thank goodness.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3712
Amazing that September has been so quiet and even more so relative to August.
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Thank you Hurricane009 Are you on coast? I am! Just wondering what strenght the winds will be?
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Good morning all,
I have awoken to the strangest scene.
A dust storm has hit Sydney.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
African Wave: Link
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11099
that was a really amazing video! I watched it just now and even before I knew I was watching Katrina, I watched it all the way across the atlantic fighting to live sort of like fredex. That was very informative for this novice weather watcher to see. Thanks for posting it!
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AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI
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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