Comparing New England's floods to the floods of Hurricanes Connie and Diane (1955)

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:04 PM GMT on April 02, 2010

Share this Blog
2
+

The flood waters have receded in Rhode Island and surrounding regions of New England, leaving hundreds of millions of dollars in damage, but no flood-related deaths. The floods were caused by the third in a series of three extraordinarily wet Nor'easters that drenched the region with record rains over the past month. It was the wettest March on record over most of coastal New England from New York City to Boston, and the wettest month of any kind for several stations, including Providence, Rhode Island, and Blue Hill Observatory, Massachusetts. The rainfall amounts and resulting flooding in many cases exceeded the records set 55 years ago, during the notorious double-punch hurricanes of August 1955, when hurricanes Connie and Diane hit New England within five days of each other. However, this year's flooding event pales in comparison to the 1955 event, when considering damage and death toll. Hurricane Connie killed 25 people, and Hurricane Diane killed nearly 200 people when its record rains drenched regions already in flood because of Hurricane Connie. The single deadliest event occurred when a creek near Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania overflowed, killing fifty people unable to escape the rising water. Diane was the costliest hurricane in U.S. history, until it was surpassed by Hurricane Betsy in 1965. Accounting for inflation, Diane was the 16th costliest hurricane in U.S. history, with total damages of $7 billion (2004 USD.)


Figure 1. Total rainfall from hurricanes Connie and Diane in 1995. Image credit: NOAA.


Figure 2. Observed precipitation for the month of March 2010. Image credit: NOAA.

Severe weather today for Texas, Arkansas, and surrounding states
NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has designated portions of Texas and surrounding states as being at "slight" risk of severe weather today, as a strong springtime storm sweeps through the region. Check out the blog of our severe weather expert, Dr. Rob Carver, to get the details of this potential severe weather episode, which may bring damaging winds, hail, and possible tornadoes to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex this afternoon.

Portlight shipping 30,000 pounds of rice to Haiti
Portlight.org continues to work hard to get food and medical supplies into the earthquake zone in Haiti. Their latest effort is a shipment of 30,000 pounds of rice and 20,000 pounds of other supplies, mostly medical equipment, that has been loaded onto the schooner Halie and Mathew. The schooner is laying in Miami, fully loaded, waiting for a decrease in the easterly trade winds. These trade winds will blow at 10 - 20 knots over the next few days, thanks to the clockwise circulation of air around a high pressure system located just east of the Florida coast. According to the latest run of the GFS model, as visualized using our wundermap with the model map layer turned on, the high will slowly move eastward over the next week, and the easterly trade winds will finally die down by Thursday, allowing the Halie and Mathew to set sail for Hispaniola. Please visit the Portlight.org web site to learn more and to donate to this worthy cause.


Figure 3. Some of the 30,000 pounds of rice that has been loaded onto the schooner Halie and Mathew.

Jeff Masters

Rhode Island Flooding@ Newport # 9 (RIWXPhoto)
Rhode Island Flooding@ Newport # 9

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 90 - 40

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11Blog Index

Did Koltzbach / Gray post April update forecast yet?
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20684
I'm running out of analog comparisons to post on here....I've already shown them all at least once lol. This one I haven't though yet I don't think. We are hearing a lot from our fellow bloggers in the Caribbean about the dry winter there and lack of water, especially in the central-eastern Caribbean. Looking at 1964, 1998, and 2005, all these years were also very dry in the Caribbean during February and March. The mid-winter period of Dec-Feb was also drier than normal in case you're wondering.

Precipitation Rate Anomalies for February-March of 1964, 1998, and 2005:



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey Storm :0)

Glad to see you, sorry I have not had a chance to read your blog as of yet but I plan to after this weekend.... Very interested in what I might learn from what you got to learn....

Again "Thank You" for all you do for this site and the information that you get to all of us....

Taco :0)

Oh yea "You are so Welcome my Friend"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


2010/2005 apr 1 00z compare maps
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52096
Quoting StormW:
Excerpt from Bastardi's blog:

This ties in with the Long (Danger) Ranger. More on the hurricane season and the set up with the forecast for lower-than-normal pressures across the Atlantic south of 30 north (negative NAO) for May setting the playing field for what should be a long, strong, and built to bring the friction on (I am Sir Mix-With-and-Change-to-Snow Alot when I do rap at karaoke...which is never if my wife is around because I am banned from that, and for very good reason... I can't rap) hurricane season. I am laying the ground work for why this should be like a bad vacation with your sixth cousin that shows up early and stays late.



Yeah it's always scary when he sounds like that. His video showed the CFS pressure anomaly forecast for May, which continues to show a strongly negative NAO look.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TankHead93:
Levi32, how do you foresee the trade wind speeds shaping up for the rest of April and into May?


Well that is something we will be watching. The NAO isn't forecast to really go into a significant positive phase over the next couple weeks, and neither is the AO, but one can never be sure what's going to happen from one month to the next. I don't see the trades suddenly starting to howl across the Atlantic at 25+ knots though. They should stay normal to below normal this month and likely May as well.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Levi32, how do you foresee the trade wind speeds shaping up for the rest of April and into May?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormChaser81:


That looks excellent...I would be happy not to see any storms, I dont need my house torn up or family members houses or blog members. =)


Indeed =)

I doubt it will hold the gulf off for long though. It will only take a couple weeks of hot weather to get it back up to normal.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


Well this doesn't look too great for SSTs over the next couple weeks.



That looks excellent...I would be happy not to see any storms, I dont need my house torn up or family members houses or blog members. =)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks storm
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
We're now under 60 days btw gang today.
59 days until it all begins. We should start getting on our toes for pre-seasoners in about 35 days or so. Should start prepping for the season in a few weeks too, Patrap has great information when it comes to supplies needed for the season.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BahaHurican:
Warming seems to be lagging N of Cuba as well. I'm looking closely at the maps these next 2 weeks. We normally can see a big warmup in the first part of April over the Great Bahama Bank.


Well this doesn't look too great for SSTs over the next couple weeks.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormW:
Good afternoon,

Here is DAY 4 of the National Hurricane Conference (complete)

NHC DAY 4
Thanks, Storm
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20684
Quoting StormChaser81:


Northwest Caribbean has very deep waters and will take a little while to warm up or allow the warm water to build in that area.
Warming seems to be lagging N of Cuba as well. I'm looking closely at the maps these next 2 weeks. We normally can see a big warmup in the first part of April over the Great Bahama Bank.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20684
Comparison of anomalies from 3 weeks ago (March 6th) to now (March 27th).

You can see how the warmth really has expanded during March, although it may seem like February's anomalies were worse. It didn't get much warmer relative to normal during March, but the warmth expanded quite a bit.

March 6th SST Anomalies:



March 27th SST Anomalies:


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I love this quote:

Lovelock concedes that the Mail's plastic bag campaign seems, "on the face of it, a good thing". But it transpires that this is largely a tactical response; he regards it as merely more rearrangement of Titanic deckchairs, "but I've learnt there's no point in causing a quarrel over everything".
TOTALLY British.... lol
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20684
Quoting Levi32:
Despite slightly stronger trade winds, SSTs remain well above normal in the entire MDR with the exception of the NW Caribbean.



Northwest Caribbean has very deep waters and will take a little while to warm up or allow the warm water to build in that area.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


Hate that....blowing fruit off the tree contaminates the "warning signs". Thanks for checking :)
Sure - no problem. It's really nice out there today. Almost enough to make me give up my internet access.... [wondering if wireless is strong enough to pick up outside]
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20684
Despite slightly stronger trade winds, SSTs remain well above normal in the entire MDR with the exception of the NW Caribbean.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BahaHurican:
I'm back - detoured through the kitchen to pick up some more salsa and iced coffee.

The tree has some small fruit - limited amount - plus an average amount of fresh blossoms. My mom tells me that the tree blossomed fairly heavily last month, but lost quite a lot of them due to the wind/rain of frontal passages....


Hate that....blowing fruit off the tree contaminates the "warning signs". Thanks for checking :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Tropical Cyclone Warning Center Perth
Tropical Cyclone Advisory
TROPICAL LOW 12U
3:00 AM WST April 3 2010
=================================

At 18:00 PM UTC, Tropical Low (1000 hPa) located at 12.2S 92.3E has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots with gusts of 45 knots. The low is reported as moving south at 6 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T2.5/2.5/D1.0/24HRS

Forecast and Intensity
===========================
12 HRS: 13.1S 92.3E - 45 knots (CAT 1)
24 HRS: 13.9S 92.6E - 50 knots (CAT 2)
48 HRS: 14.9S 93.3E - 65 knots (CAT 3)
72 HRS: 15.4S 94.5E - 65 knots (CAT 3)

Additional Information
=========================
Deep convection has persisted near and southwest of the low level circulation centre in the past 24 hours, despite ongoing moderate vertical wind shear of between 20/30 knots. Difficult to determine centre location at sea level.

Given the persisting deep convection with very cold cloud tops through the day, further intensification is expected especially as the low moves to the south into a zone of lower wind shear. Tropical cyclone intensity is likely during Saturday morning [although a region of 35 knot winds in the southwestern quadrant is likely to exist already]. Steering flow remains light with a ridge remaining weak in the forecast period. Slow southerly movement is forecast. On Monday the passage of a mid-level trough to the south may help to deepen the system and steer it to the south southeast keeping the system east of 90E within the Australian region.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'm back - detoured through the kitchen to pick up some more salsa and iced coffee.

The tree has some small fruit - limited amount - plus an average amount of fresh blossoms. My mom tells me that the tree blossomed fairly heavily last month, but lost quite a lot of them due to the wind/rain of frontal passages....
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20684
Well the ESRL monthly reanalysis fields for March are in as of just a couple minutes ago, and here are some of them.

Trade wind speeds over the eastern Atlantic increased to a little above normal in some areas, due to a small positive NAO burst in March.

March Surface Wind Speed Anomalies:



However, the Azores High remained weaker than normal and farther south:

March Sea-level Pressure Anomalies:



March Mean Sea-level Pressures:



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


Hey Baha, check the lime tree yet? =)
Wait! I'm going right now....

BRB
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20684
Quoting Levi32:


Yeah it was probably edited. It looked too funny to be true. Too bad.
Was cool to look at, though... :o)
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20684
From Wiki.

He partly retreated from this position in a September 2007 address to the World Nuclear Association's Annual Symposium, suggesting that climate change would stabilise and prove survivable, and that the Earth itself is in "no danger" because it would stabilise in a new state. Life, however, might be forced to migrate en masse to remain in habitable climes

And sorry I can't resist lol....from the article I posted a few comments ago, Lovelock is quoted as saying this:

To Lovelock, cutting greenhouse-gas pollution won't make much difference at this point, and much of what passes for sustainable development is little more than a scam to profit off disaster. "Green," he tells me, only half-joking, "is the color of mold and corruption."

Then in Wiki I read this quote from him:

In 2005, against the backdrop of renewed UK government interest in nuclear power, Lovelock again publicly announced his support for nuclear energy, stating, "I am a Green, and I entreat my friends in the movement to drop their wrongheaded objection to nuclear energy".

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Skyepony:


Yeah it's all pretty far out there.. do like the party on attitude..may as well..I'll catch ya'll later...ponder on.


yeah agreed, have a good one!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
57. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting tornadodude:


I dont think I even want to get involved in that :p ha


Yeah it's all pretty far out there.. do like the party on attitude..may as well..I'll catch ya'll later...ponder on.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jeffs713:
The only worshipping of the earth I do is when I've had WAY too much to drink. ;)


LOL

+1 ;)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
55. Skyepony (Mod)
jeff~ I saw something the other week, published about little bit of temp diff & global patterns shift.. even if not 5 of 7 ain't bad.

Levi~ He helped save the ozone, big advocate of nuclear, came up with the Gaia theory, inventor. Famous scientist all my life, now in his wisdom, legacy years. You should learn about him.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


Eh....worshiping the earth...transcendentalism or whatever it is. I don't care for that nonsense lol.
The only worshipping of the earth I do is when I've had WAY too much to drink. ;)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Skyepony:


Well along those lines it it did make me ponder how well the whole eventually we will be stewards, coexistent with Gaia. Which totally reminded me of the Star Children, Indigo Children, Crystal Children thing in the new age movement & how we as a people are evolving is described there. Not that I'm an avid follower of either, it's just interesting to see big beyond generational pictures from different sources & compare them.

As for your point, yes, according to him it doesn't matter if you care or believe in GW since we've already tipped.


Eh....worshiping the earth...transcendentalism or whatever it is. I don't care for that lol.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Skyepony:


Well along those lines it it did make me ponder how well the whole eventually we will be stewards, coexistent with Gaia. Which totally reminded me of the Star Children, Indigo Children, Crystal Children thing in the new age movement & how we as a people are evolving is described there. Not that I'm an avid follower of either, it's just interesting to see big beyond generational pictures from different sources & compare them.

As for your point, yes, according to him it doesn't matter if you care or believe in GW since we've already tipped.

I would like an apocolypse to go, please. Hold the fries.

Honestly though, the climate IS changing, whether its man-induced or not. All we can do is try to mitigate the impact it will have upon us, and work with the cards we are dealt. Trying to "change" the climate intentionally, considering our poor understanding of the climate as is, would be foolhardy at best, and catastrophic at worst.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Skyepony:


Well along those lines it it did make me ponder how well the whole eventually we will be stewards, coexistent with Gaia. Which totally reminded me of the Star Children, Indigo Children, Crystal Children thing in the new age movement & how we as a people are evolving is described there. Not that I'm an avid follower of either, it's just interesting to see big beyond generational pictures from different sources & compare them.

As for your point, yes, according to him it doesn't matter if you care or believe in GW since we've already tipped.


I dont think I even want to get involved in that :p ha
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
50. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting tornadodude:


wow lol

so essentially people who dont want to take preventative measures against GW or CC are not as advanced or likely to survive as those who do?

:P


Well along those lines it it did make me ponder how well the whole eventually we will be stewards, coexistent with Gaia. Which totally reminded me of the Star Children, Indigo Children, Crystal Children thing in the new age movement & how we as a people are evolving is described there. Not that I'm an avid follower of either, it's just interesting to see big beyond generational pictures from different sources & compare them.

As for your point, yes, according to him it doesn't matter if you care or believe in GW since we've already tipped.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


Buoya!!

Skye...these are the kind of things he's saying.

Link

In Lovelock's view, the scale of the catastrophe that awaits us will soon become obvious. By 2020, droughts and other extreme weather will be commonplace. By 2040, the Sahara will be moving into Europe, and Berlin will be as hot as Baghdad. Atlanta will end up a kudzu jungle. Phoenix will become uninhabitable, as will parts of Beijing (desert), Miami (rising seas) and London (floods). Food shortages will drive millions of people north, raising political tensions. "The Chinese have nowhere to go but up into Siberia," Lovelock says. "How will the Russians feel about that? I fear that war between Russia and China is probably inevitable." With hardship and mass migrations will come epidemics, which are likely to kill millions. By 2100, Lovelock believes, the Earth's population will be culled from today's 6.6 billion to as few as 500 million, with most of the survivors living in the far latitudes -- Canada, Iceland, Scandinavia, the Arctic Basin.

Like....really?? Lol. And things like the Sahara moving north into Europe and letting North Africa become a rainforest again (it used to be one) both cools the equatorial climate and reduces Atlantic hurricanes...

Anyway, I don't know what sort of "predictions" he has been right about in the past, but if they had anything to do with warming, then of course he was right because it's been warming since satellite measurements began in 1979 and so, anybody predicting warming has been right so far.



Some of those points, I agree with, while others I do not.
>Russia and China duking it out - absolutely. They've hated each other for decades.
>Atlanta becoming a kudzu jungle - yep
>More wars over reduced resources - absolutely
>More epidemics and food shortages - absolutely
>The population reducing to 500M by 2100... um.. no.
>North Africa becoming a jungle again - no, a lot more than some warming has to happen. Patterns must change on a global scale.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tornadofan:


Well the heck with exercising, staying in shape, and saving for retirement then! Party like it is 1999!
Is that all there is?
Is that all there is?
If that's all there is, my friend,
Then lets keep dancing,
Let's break out the booze
And have a ball
If that's all
There is.
- Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20684
Quoting jeffs713:

I think it is more like "people who refuse to live WITH the earth, and rather try to exploit it, are not as advanced or likely to survive"


hmmm :p
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BahaHurican:
Afternoon, all. I'm kicking back here, enjoying a serving of freshly made tomato salsa, some yellow and white tortilla chips, and an iced coffee.... life is good.


Hey Baha, check the lime tree yet? =)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tornadodude:


wow lol

so essentially people who dont want to take preventative measures against GW or CC are not as advanced or likely to survive as those who do?

:P

I think it is more like "people who refuse to live WITH the earth, and rather try to exploit it, are not as advanced or likely to survive"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BahaHurican:
u mentioned the ads.... what I find fascinating is that while they may look a bit different, each ad is addressing the exact same topic.... hmmmm.......
Quoting Skyepony:


Looking back at the covers of Time for April 1977 it's ironic April 4th was about Mr Energy being a super problem..


April 11th is about flying safe. They didn't even put one out that day in 1977.


Yeah it was probably edited. It looked too funny to be true. Too bad.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tornadofan:


Well the heck with exercising, staying in shape, and saving for retirement then! Party like it is 1999!


Buoya!!

Skye...these are the kind of things he's saying.

Link

In Lovelock's view, the scale of the catastrophe that awaits us will soon become obvious. By 2020, droughts and other extreme weather will be commonplace. By 2040, the Sahara will be moving into Europe, and Berlin will be as hot as Baghdad. Atlanta will end up a kudzu jungle. Phoenix will become uninhabitable, as will parts of Beijing (desert), Miami (rising seas) and London (floods). Food shortages will drive millions of people north, raising political tensions. "The Chinese have nowhere to go but up into Siberia," Lovelock says. "How will the Russians feel about that? I fear that war between Russia and China is probably inevitable." With hardship and mass migrations will come epidemics, which are likely to kill millions. By 2100, Lovelock believes, the Earth's population will be culled from today's 6.6 billion to as few as 500 million, with most of the survivors living in the far latitudes -- Canada, Iceland, Scandinavia, the Arctic Basin.

Like....really?? Lol. And things like the Sahara moving north into Europe and letting North Africa become a rainforest again (it used to be one) both cools the equatorial climate and reduces Atlantic hurricanes...

Anyway, I don't know what sort of "predictions" he has been right about in the past, but if they had anything to do with warming, then of course he was right because it's been warming since satellite measurements began in 1979 and so, anybody predicting warming has been right so far.


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Afternoon, all. I'm kicking back here, enjoying a serving of freshly made tomato salsa, some yellow and white tortilla chips, and an iced coffee.... life is good.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20684
41. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting Levi32:


Ha, and here I thought the 2007 April Time Magazine Cover was an April Fool's joke....lol. Or maybe April 1977 was? Who knows....

1977 Time Magazine Cover (left) and 2007 Time Magazine Cover (right):



I really thought this was an edited image to make a joke of it....but so far I haven't found anything saying it was edited, and it doesn't even look like it was. The ads on top are different too. If it's real, it is one of my favorites of all time lol.


Looking back at the covers of Time for April 1977 it's ironic April 4th was about Mr Energy being a super problem..


April 11th is about flying safe. They didn't even put one out that day in 1977.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


Ha, and here I thought the 2007 April Time Magazine Cover was an April Fool's joke....lol. Or maybe April 1977 was? Who knows....

1977 Time Magazine Cover (left) and 2007 Time Magazine Cover (right):



I really thought this was an edited image to make a joke of it....but so far I haven't found anything saying it was edited, and it doesn't even look like it was. The ads on top are different too. If it's real, it is one of my favorites of all time lol.
u mentioned the ads.... what I find fascinating is that while they may look a bit different, each ad is addressing the exact same topic.... hmmmm.......
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20684

Viewing: 90 - 40

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11Blog Index

Top of Page

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.