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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AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
nice video Oz, of course there were 28 storms in 2005 lol
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Nice looking wave coming off Africa, but a LOT of dry, dusty air stands in its way.
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My favorite Tv weather man video EVER!!!
img src="" alt="" />
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Hello all..Is there any spin in Fred? At any level?
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Very cool Oz. Thanks.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11540
Quoting P451:


Mild it may be but it's effects are quite obvious. Atlantic shear and a mid-atlantic and north east US with cooler and wetter conditions.


...meanwhile CBS 2 NY suggests we're going to have a ho-hum 79 degree day tomorrow, but, WATCH OUT! We're going to take that 79 degrees and take it ALLLLL THE WAY UP TO 80 ON THURSDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


...and, yes, he was that enthusiastic discerning between 79 and 80 degrees on back to back days. You would have thought he said we were taking 40 all the way up to 80 on back to back days.

nope.

ho-hum 79 ALLLLLLLLLLL THE WAYYYY UP TO EIGHTYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!111oneoneonetwothree!

...how do these clowns get these jobs!


Well you must remember TV meteorologists usually are not experts on weather. They don't even need a true meteorology degree. Usually the ones that are the meteorologists are the experts in something. Like Greg Forbes. Or hurricane experts like Don Noe, and Brian Norcross in South Florida. Granted many of the TV meteorologists also know somethings but occasionally you may get a few who seem to survive off reading a teleprompter.
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390. Murko
Watcher: Woah, scary. I rest my case!
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Shear around the South American AOI is low but shear is 20kts close to it. Shear in the NW Caribbean is atm low. When the upward phase comes up and if it hits the W Caribbean (As 456 says an upward pulse does not mean one everywhere) there may be something to watch as these would likely drift Northwest to North northwest. Into very warm water that has had barely anything come into it this year. Providing that waves continue to come off the Coast of South America during this upward pulse a named storm should come out of it.
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Someone posted this video earlier today. Very interesting to watch:

Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11540
yes reed 2005 had more storms in October than
September. In fact October had 8 named storms for 2005, more than any other month

there are others im sure
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


your such a wishcaster LOL

a wishcaster on this site means you are forecasting development of even 1 storm during an El Nino October, even if you are using facts to back up said claim.

LOL


You downcaster! Ruining my hopes for a storm.. :P
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364. watcher123 377. IKE
watcher123, please take IKE advice.
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Quoting IKE:
watcher123...I've never clicked your screen-name, so I'm not privy to whether you have your own blog, but if not, why not start your own blog about the subject and others will come.

Admin will ban you on here for posting that because it's off-topic and even though it's quiet in the Atlantic today and probably for the balance of September, I look for more named systems in October.

I'm not trying to be a jerk about it, just giving some friendly advice.


Well said, with the upward MJO Pulse, I expect some activity. A more active month then September? Has there ever been a season where October was more active then September?
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The south American disturbance looks interesting to say the least.
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Quoting reedzone:
Haha I've been called out for "wishcasting" storms to New York. Yet, I was only going by trends and steering. It seems like the downcasters are in full force this year, and currently are right about the season, SO FAR things have been below average, but October can change things in a heartbeat, especially with an upcoming upward MJO Pulse. I see at least 2-3 more storms on the way before the season closes out.


your such a wishcaster LOL

a wishcaster on this site means you are forecasting development of even 1 storm during an El Nino October, even if you are using facts to back up said claim.

LOL
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Ok, I have been through two hurricanes and swimming in one, (to rescue people off a ship).

I am sincerly a WISHFULLDOWNCASTER...........
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377. IKE
watcher123...I've never clicked your screen-name, so I'm not privy to whether you have your own blog, but if not, why not start your own blog about the subject and others will come.

Admin will ban you on here for posting that because it's off-topic and even though it's quiet in the Atlantic today and probably for the balance of September, I look for more named systems in October.

I'm not trying to be a jerk about it, just giving some friendly advice.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Tony???
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Haha I've been called out for "wishcasting" storms to New York. Yet, I was only going by trends and steering. It seems like the downcasters are in full force this year, and currently are right about the season, SO FAR things have been below average, but October can change things in a heartbeat, especially with an upcoming upward MJO Pulse. I see at least 2-3 more storms on the way before the season closes out.
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373. 786
Just so I or anyone else learning is not confused, orange is positive MJO(sinking air) and green is negative MJO, rising air, instead of the other way around below?

"Sinking air (orange) continues to dominate over the Atlantic for the first two forecast periods through October 1 (Negative MJO). Slowly the green area (rising motion - positive MJO) makes its way from the Pacific into the Caribbean and then into Atlantic through the middle and end of October."
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Quoting CycloneOz:


I know you've been calling me out on this, so I'll try to explain my position.

I have no position.

I'm interested in calm weather as much...or more...than I'm interested in extreme weather.

Climate and weather always changing...always interesting. From dead calm stillness to raging chaos...from hot to cold...from dry to wet...it's all so very interesting to me.

I hunt down hurricanes only because of their extreme nature. I get calm weather here all the time, and awesome thunderstorms with hail...and killer blizzards.

Hurricanes are special storms in many ways and since I was a kid, I've been fascinated by them.

However, I have not built an empire hunting 'canes, nor am I emotionally tied to doing it.

Zero emotion. Great interest in all types of weather, special fascination with hurricanes...zero emotion.

I hope that helps you understand why. I took the time to explain to you because aside from the Doc, your work in this blog is very important to me personally. Storm's is, too...but he's in 3rd.


ok, well said and no, I havnt been calling you out it, just curious.
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Quoting superpete:
I've just activated ignore for him


agree, wrong forum.
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Post 357

I have been a christian for over 40 years. If you enjoy what you typed try reading "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God". Just google it.

I come here to learn social graces and tropical weather, however;even I know post such as yours do not belong on THIS Blog.

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Reed! please don't quote him/her...cause then his posts will STILL show up, after he/she's been banned.

NEVER quote a troll...
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Quoting watcher123:
359:

No disrespect to the administrator, he can ban away if he likes.

I've been banned off supposedly Christian forums for quoting the Bible(Literally, in one case opened a thread with no text other than direct quote from the Bible, and got banned for it...) or pointing out the falsehood that is obamanation, so why should I expect any different on a secular blog?


Don't sound like the political correctness crap coming from Joel Osteen or Rick Warren, do I? Thank God, as I have no interest in making money or friends, I can simply tell the truth as I know it, rather than tickling ears.


I agree, but it's stricked here. Next time think before you post any faith based stuff. Christianity is a Faith to me, not religion, but anyways, there's nothing in the tropics so I can see why we are posting un-related stuff.
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:
Watcher

please take the political and religious rantings elsewhere, it has no place here

hope admin sees this and bans you
I've just activated ignore for him
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Quoting Weather456:


You have to be careful when you use the Empirical wave propagation scheme for the MJO. It assumes that the MJO is a perfect oscillation. If you look at the dynamic models like the CFS and GFS, they tell a different story.


Agreed. Other factors feed back into the MJO including localized areas of convection/convergence, and long wave (extra-tropical) patterns also feed back into the system. It is certainly far from a perfect oscillation.

It's like a guitar analogy of sorts, as thunderstorms explode over eastern Asia strumming the "string" that is the tropopause, the resonating effects propagate eastward along the Tropics. How muffling of the sound occurs is very complicated obviously...

As I wrote, I just have a feeling that this newest pulse starting over eastern Asia/Indonesia will give us one more upward phase during October.
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I am a Christian to watcher, but Faith has no place here, sorry man. It was the wrong thing to do. I hope you know better next time.
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Quoting atmoaggie:

My only problem with any forecast of activity is the MJO amplitude. We (collectively) have been, ummm, ok at the MJO phase most of the season, but the forecasts of amplitude have been horrible.


Yeah, the forecast for MJO should certainly has been off at different times during the summer.

What makes me more confident about the current expected pulse is that it is in agreement with the Kelvin Wave upper ocean heat content diagram found on page 16 of the following PDF.
ENSO DISCUSSION SEE PAGE 16

MJO pulses originate over eastern Asis/Indonesia. Strong thunderstorms/divergence aloft are associated with strong surface convergence...

Essentially, the trade winds over the central/eastern Pacific pick up as the Pulse starts...leading to a oscillatory cooling of the eastern Pacific and warm water piling up in the western Pacific.

As the pulse starts traveling east, the trade winds weaken allowing the warmer water to slosh eastward through the central and then into the eastern Pacific.

Several iterations of this MJO pulse can drive an El Nino to form...

Looking at the chart, one Kelvin wave is moving across the central Pacific currently and is headed for the eastern Pacific. It appears that the upper air pulse associated with this ocean wave pretty much died as it crossed into the eastern Pacific.

Another wave is starting to build over eastern Asia, as is shown in the following link. It is also hinted at in the pg 16 slide. MJO Animations

Now the question is whether this one will similarly die? Uncertainty exists for sure, but my opinion is that the most recent one "softened" up the environment and the next wave will be able to pass into the Atlantic.
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Watcher

please take the political and religious rantings elsewhere, it has no place here

hope admin sees this and bans you
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358. JRRP
Georges

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Wish it felt like fall here! lol.
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Quoting MisterJohnny:
Good Evening Everyone. Happy "Welcome to Fall"


good evening, it has been fall for 12 minutes now
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Good Evening Everyone. Happy "Welcome to Fall"
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Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:
Weak 850Vort popping up @ 18N 71W



Any convection there?
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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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