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

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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

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We're in Chula Vista - not far from the border of mexico. We're expecting aftershocks. But I feel little stuff all the time - this one was larger than usual - much larger. The kind that makes me walk around the house and wonder - perhaps the tv shouldn't be in that place - and last week when i put the kids photos above their bed - said - "you are going to soooo get konked on the head with that crap if we have a quake." I feel kind of out of the loop with you guy in the hurricane zone so i don't say much anymore. Miss all of you in a huge way. Trying to adapt to our new weather and what is going on here. Tough transition - from sailing to figuring out our weather to even getting used to the bought-boobs and upgraded faces. Nothing like feeling the floor beneath you start giving way. I know it's been a post here and there - about what is better or worse - hurricane season or having an earthquake. I don't think either one is wonderful. One has a warning which comes with it's own stress factors. The other strikes without and you have to hope that you've figured it all out ahead of time.

Sweet dreams...I'm sure I'll be up a few times this evening. Latitude: 32.641774 / Longitude: -116.943162
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LowerCal, KOG:

Do you have a link/info on your earthquake foreshock info? The USGS and Wikipedia say foreshocks (and the main quake and aftershocks) are basically classified as such after the fact.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthquake_prediction#Foreshock_predictions

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/step/explain.php

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Quoting aquak9:
sure wish melwerle would check in...she's in SanDiego.

As far as the west coast of North America is concerned, no this is not THE big one...it's just A big one.


Aquak - you make me almost come to tears - I have been so busy with the home remodel and all the things that life gets busy with - then today - Easter...and I looked up the shake maps this morning because I watch. It's been a litle quiet. And MAN it was amazing. The floor started shaking, I usually hear them coming but I didn't - it was a roller. And it rolled and rolled - lamps were swaying. We were about 40 miles north of the quake when it hit - and we lived closer to where it was but we were at familie's house. CAlled our neighbor to see if all was well (we hae been doing a remodel here - complete and can you imagine not having the house insured for it when an earthquake hits? I just called the insurance company on Friday). This was the worse we have felt since we've been home. I'm sure it's not done. We are really close to Mexico - about 4 exits and I'm nervous.
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Quoting Seastep:
Love it, but 6am? Just can't do it. :)

Same here. I'm just barely in the range of visibility so I wouldn't see much but a spec anyway. I stay up late but 6-7am is pretty much sunrise so I want to be asleep well before that.

Also, it's crazy how many earthquakes hit southern california. It must just be constant ground vibration...
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from CNN

"At least one person was killed in a building that collapsed in Mexicali, according to the assistant director of civil protection in Tijuana.

Pictures from Mexicali, a major metropolitan area and the capital of Mexico's Baja California state, showed sides ripped off buildings, telephone poles toppled, roads cracked and supermarket aisles strewn with food that had fallen off shelves.

The entire city has lost power, according to Alan Sandoval, Tijuana's assistant director of civil protection."
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Goodnight Baha.

Me too.

Life is precious.
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Quoting AstroHurricane001:
Population exposure map:



500 people subjected to "violent" shaking:

General panic; damage considerable in specially designed structures, well designed frame structures thrown out of plumb. Damage great in substantial buildings, with partial collapse. Buildings shifted off foundations.

Mexicali, population 600,000, was exposed to "very strong" shaking:

Difficult to stand; furniture broken; damage negligible in building of good design and construction; slight to moderate in well-built ordinary structures; considerable damage in poorly built or badly designed structures; some chimneys broken. Noticed by people driving motor cars.

Info from Wikipedia.
OK, this could definitely have been worse. Looks like the epicentre wasn't as close to the heart of Mexicali as it could have been. Hopefully we won't be getting huge reports of deaths from that area in the red and orange tomorrow.

In any case, since I've now mentally committed myself to getting up at 6 a.m. [lol] I think I better get into bed. I'll post if I actually see any thing :o).

Nite-nite!
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21595
Population exposure map:



500 people subjected to "violent" shaking:

General panic; damage considerable in specially designed structures, well designed frame structures thrown out of plumb. Damage great in substantial buildings, with partial collapse. Buildings shifted off foundations.

Mexicali, population 600,000, was exposed to "very strong" shaking:

Difficult to stand; furniture broken; damage negligible in building of good design and construction; slight to moderate in well-built ordinary structures; considerable damage in poorly built or badly designed structures; some chimneys broken. Noticed by people driving motor cars.

Info from Wikipedia.
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Can't say for sure, but I'd think you'd be able to see a night launch.
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Quoting Seastep:
Where are you baha?
Nassau, Bahamas. Dunno what, if anything will be visible from here, but I'm thinking pple in Grand Bahama and Nrn Abaco should have fairly good views from about 2 - 6 minutes....
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21595
Quoting BahaHurican:
Hope somebody takes pics....

TS, how visible is a "night" launch on the west coast?

Modified: Wait, somebody answered even before I asked... lol. Seems even I may be able to see something. I think I'll strain myself and get up about 6 a.m. tomorrow morning, even though it's a holiday here.


AS clear as it will be. YOu will see a very good show! It is always better when it comes toward the West coast but, this launch takes it East. But, it will be a very good show.
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I was talking to CRS this afternoon about this... seems he's going to be close enough to watch the blast live tomorrow. Should be a spectacular sight.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21595
Blogger skyepony is going to be Close to the Launch near the Firing Room and should have some excellent Pics of the ascent.

Some of her photos can be found in Lowercal's entry as well.
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Where are you baha?
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Discovery set for Monday morning launch

CAPE CANAVERAL - NASA is fueling space shuttle Discovery for a Monday morning launch.Discovery is scheduled to blast off at 6:21 a.m., nearly an hour before sunrise. That will be a sight early morning.....YEPPIE! The sky will glow!
Hope somebody takes pics....

TS, how visible is a "night" launch on the west coast?

Modified: Wait, somebody answered even before I asked... lol. Seems even I may be able to see something. I think I'll strain myself and get up about 6 a.m. tomorrow morning, even though it's a holiday here.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21595
Happy Easter, Pat.

Prayers.
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"Bonus" ISS Pass shortly before the Discovery Launch.


6:04 A.M. EST



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Love it, but 6am? Just can't do it. :)
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Thanks KOTG.
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Discovery set for Monday morning launch

CAPE CANAVERAL - NASA is fueling space shuttle Discovery for a Monday morning launch.Discovery is scheduled to blast off at 6:21 a.m., nearly an hour before sunrise. That will be a sight early morning.....YEPPIE! The sky will glow!


It is a very rare launch tomorrow. Should be quite the view for many!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20100402/sc_space/raretwilightshuttlelaunchonmondayvisiblealongeaster nunitedstates

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Discovery set for Monday morning launch

CAPE CANAVERAL - NASA is fueling space shuttle Discovery for a Monday morning launch.Discovery is scheduled to blast off at 6:21 a.m., nearly an hour before sunrise. That will be a sight early morning.....YEPPIE! The sky will glow!
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appears to have settled down for now
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53308
happy easter to you seastep
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53308
big picture

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53308
Happy Easter!
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Isn't Idaho that state right next to WY, right next to the Yellowstone supervolcano????
move to canada

nothing happens here

lol
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53308
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53308
Tornado signature detected in oklahoma
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455 :) Happy Easter all !

Will California eventually fall off into the ocean?
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Quoting SevereHurricane:


Me too. The good thing is that this 7.2 didn't hit a terribly populated area. But I would be on my toes tonight in Southern California.


guadalupe mexico population 725k
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i just thought i'd post that 9 minutes after the 7.2 in baja there was a 4.1 20 miles ne of santa rosa, ca. numerous reports of windows shaking was reported in santa rosa. usgs has now changed that eq into a 2.3.

a 2.3 eq would not shake windows over 20 miles away.
a 2.3 eq would not shake windows in the immediate area.
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Images of San Diego damage that we're getting into our newsroom

Link
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Hmmmm.... never actually made into ID.... been to Montana, WY, CO, UT.... never actually stepped foot in ID just yet...drove within 15 miles of the WY/ID border once, though.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21595
Quoting aquak9:
Idaho...safe? They grow potatoes there, right?

Ever smelled a rotting potato?

it's not safe...
Isn't Idaho that state right next to WY, right next to the Yellowstone supervolcano????
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21595
Anecdotal information about the quake.
EarthquakehitsBaha
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Quoting P451:
Well, a number of us were talking about how the entire eastern pacific seemed to be under the gun. Chile, then Argentina to the north, then Mexico had a 5+, and now just south of Cali.

The entire region is releasing stress and it's likely all connected to that initial Chile quake.

Let us hope this is all there is for now.

We all know again it's not a question of IF it's a question of WHEN when it comes to the west coast US getting a big one.

It will happen. As likely as it is that Florida will see another thunderstorm...the west coast of the US will see another major earthquake.

It is what it is...you just hope people can deal with it when it comes.


Huh? The odds are more likely that Florida will see a thunderstorm....than California will fall into the Pacific. Yes, both will happen, but I think in differing time periods.
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This is good news:
Nine Chinese Miners Rescued
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Quoting AstroHurricane001:


ONE million years? That sounds a bit fast for plate movement. I'd say that 30 million years would be more reasonable.


Good catch! That must be a typo in the linked page. 2 inches per year for one million years only works out to 31.5 miles, lol.
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Quoting LowerCal:
.... western California will, in about one million years, be part of Alaska (assuming Alaska stays put) ....


ONE million years? That sounds a bit fast for plate movement. I'd say that 30 million years would be more reasonable.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53308

TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT NUMBER 1
NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI
1248 PM HST SUN APR 04 2010

TO - CIVIL DEFENSE IN THE STATE OF HAWAII

SUBJECT - TSUNAMI INFORMATION

THIS STATEMENT IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. NO ACTION REQUIRED.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

ORIGIN TIME - 1241 PM HST 04 APR 2010
COORDINATES - 31.9 NORTH 115.5 WEST
LOCATION - BAJA CALIFORNIA MEXICO
MAGNITUDE - 7.3 MOMENT

EVALUATION

BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS
NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII. REPEAT. A
DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO
TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.

THIS WILL BE THE ONLY STATEMENT ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS
ADDITIONAL DATA ARE RECEIVED.

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53308


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Quoting aquak9:


ping ping ping...I'm with ya on that. Notice the aftershocks are all to the north.


California is headed out to sea toward Alaska (at about 2 inches per year). Lower (Baja) California has already unzipped from the mainland.
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DATE LAT LON MAG DEPTH km REGION
05-APR-2010 00:07:11 31.89 -114.78 5.1 9.6 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
04-APR-2010 23:25:09 32.12 -115.06 5.4 10.0 CALIF.-BAJA CALIF. BORDER REGION
04-APR-2010 23:15:14 31.90 -115.14 5.2 10.0 BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO
04-APR-2010 22:40:45 32.19 -115.10 7.0 10.0 CALIF.-BAJA CALIF. BORDER REGION
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


383. KEEPEROFTHEGATE 12:00 AM GMT on April 05, 2010
updated

Magnitude 7.2 - BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO
2010 April 04 22:40:40 UTC
DetailsMapsScientific & TechnicalTsunami Earthquake Details
Magnitude 7.2
Date-Time Sunday, April 04, 2010 at 22:40:40 UTC
Sunday, April 04, 2010 at 03:40:40 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location 32.128°N, 115.303°W
Depth 10 km (6.2 miles) (poorly constrained)
Region BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO
Distances 26 km (16 miles) SW (225°) from Guadalupe Victoria, Baja California, Mexico
60 km (38 miles) SSE (165°) from Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico
62 km (38 miles) SW (233°) from San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora, Mexico
167 km (104 miles) ESE (105°) from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 2.4 km (1.5 miles); depth +/- 31.6 km (19.6 miles)
Parameters Nph= 13, Dmin=70 km, Rmss=0.28 sec, Gp=259°,
M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=2
Source California Integrated Seismic Net:
USGS Caltech CGS UCB UCSD UNR

Event ID ci14607652



My bad i did not see your post....scrolling bar said it was a 6.9 and raised to 7.2...guess that was a while ago then...sorry.
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Just got a report the quake was raised to 7.2


383. KEEPEROFTHEGATE 12:00 AM GMT on April 05, 2010
updated

Magnitude 7.2 - BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO
2010 April 04 22:40:40 UTC
DetailsMapsScientific & TechnicalTsunami Earthquake Details
Magnitude 7.2
Date-Time Sunday, April 04, 2010 at 22:40:40 UTC
Sunday, April 04, 2010 at 03:40:40 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location 32.128°N, 115.303°W
Depth 10 km (6.2 miles) (poorly constrained)
Region BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO
Distances 26 km (16 miles) SW (225°) from Guadalupe Victoria, Baja California, Mexico
60 km (38 miles) SSE (165°) from Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico
62 km (38 miles) SW (233°) from San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora, Mexico
167 km (104 miles) ESE (105°) from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 2.4 km (1.5 miles); depth +/- 31.6 km (19.6 miles)
Parameters Nph= 13, Dmin=70 km, Rmss=0.28 sec, Gp=259°,
M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=2
Source California Integrated Seismic Net:
USGS Caltech CGS UCB UCSD UNR

Event ID ci14607652

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53308
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53308
Quoting presslord:
mel felt it...she's ok
Glad to hear this.

Poor mel... if it ain't forest fires, it's earthquakes.... wonder if it makes her wish for the GA coast and hurricane threats again ;o)

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21595
Just got a report the quake was raised to 7.2
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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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