Major flooding in Austin from Hermine

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:24 PM GMT on September 08, 2010

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Major flooding is occurring in the Austin, Texas region after Tropical Storm Hermine dumped an estimated 10 - 15 inches of rain over the past 24 hours. The flash flood warning for Austin from the National Weather Service at 4am this morning summarized the danger:

"Areas along I-35 and the Balcones Escarpment in and around the Austin Metro area will continue to experience a very dangerous flash flood event over the next few hours. Numerous evacuations and high water rescues have already been reported by the media and law enforcement personnel."

As wunderground's Dr. Rob Carver reports in his blog this morning, hardest hit was the area ten miles north-northwest of Austin, where an NWS cooperative station measured 10.11" of rain yesterday. The rains have swollen the South Fork of the San Gabriel River at Georgetown, Texas to 50-year flood heights.

Hermine has dissipated, but its heavy rains live on, and are now affecting the Dallas/Fort Worth region, where 1 - 3 inch rainfall amounts have been common. Hermine's rains are still lingering over the hard-hit Austin area, but should remain under one inch for the remainder of the morning. However, this afternoon, additional significant rains are possible near Austin as the sun's heat drives thunderstorm development in the very moist airmass over Central Texas.


Figure 1. Radar estimated rainfall for the Austin, Texas area shows that over fifteen inches of rain may have fallen in the region ten miles north-northwest of the city.

Gaston's remains no longer a threat
Dry air has significantly disrupted the remains of Tropical Storm Gaston, which are now over the Dominican Republic. NHC is now giving Gaston a 0% chance of developing, and no models are calling for development. It appears Gaston is finally dead.

Invest 91 off the coast of Africa
A large, well-organized tropical wave (91L) is just off the coast of Africa, near the Cape Verdes Islands, and is bringing sustained winds of 30 mph this morning to Praia in the southeast Cape Verdes. 91L is under a high 20 - 30 knots of wind shear, but this shear will decline to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, by Thursday. Water temperatures are warm, 28°C, and 91L has plenty of spin. The Saharan Air Layer (SAL) is well north of 91L, and should not be an impediment to development over the next few days. The models are pretty unanimous about developing 91L into Tropical Storm Igor sometime in the next 1 - 3 days. NHC is giving 91L a 70% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Friday. The GFDL model predicts 91L will be Hurricane Igor five days from now. The storm will track west to west-northwest over the next week, with long range forecasts from the GFS and ECMWF models putting 91L several hundred miles northeast of the Lesser Antilles Islands 7 - 10 days from now. History shows that about 20% of all tropical cyclones that have existed at 91L's current position have gone on to hit the U.S. East Coast; these odds are 10% for the U.S. Gulf Coast, 5% for Puerto Rico, and 10% for Canada. The forecast steering pattern for the coming two weeks from the GFS model shows a continuation of the pattern we've seen all hurricane season, with regular strong troughs of low pressure moving off the U.S. East Coast. This pattern favors a continuation of the sort of tracks we saw for Danielle, Earl, and Fiona, with threats to the northern Lesser Antilles, Bermuda, the U.S. East Coast, and Canada.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of Invest 91L (Igor?)

Elsewhere in the tropics
The GFS and ECMWF models are predicting the development of a new tropical wave off the coast of Africa 5 - 6 days from now.

Death toll in Guatemala from Tropical Depression 11E rises to 54
In the Eastern Pacific, heavy rains from Tropical Depression 11E have killed at least 54 people in Guatemala, with many more missing and feared dead. The heavy rains triggered nearly 200 landslides and collapses, causing damages near $500 million. Fifteen landslides hit portions of the Inter-American Highway, burying a number of vehicles and a bus. Tropical Depression 11E formed on September 3, moved over Mexico and Guatemala, and dissipated by the next day. Remnants from the depression may have played a role in the formation of Tropical Storm Hermine in the Gulf of Mexico on September 5.

Guatemala is still recovering from the impacts of Tropical Storm Agatha, which killed 287 people in the country and did over $1 billion in damage in May. This September's heavy rains in Guatemala come on the heels of the rainiest August in Guatemala's history, according to preliminary data from the National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology (INSIVUMEH). Rain was more than 100% above average in many parts of the country, and more than 200% above average in some regions. September and October are historically Guatemala's rainiest months, and any additional tropical cyclones which affect the country can be expected to cause more serious flooding.


Figure 3. Satellite image from Friday, September 3, 2010, showing Tropical Depression 11E over Mexico and Guatemala. Image credit: NASA.

Next post
I'll have an update Thursday morning.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Waltanater:
Not yet...too early to say. Will be close.

Besides Fish is not on the menu for this one, it's already impacted land!
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730. xcool
AL, 11, 2010090806, , BEST, 0, 140N, 227W, 30, 1006, TD,
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15703
KKid, hope you have that Hair dryer ready to extiguish Gaston with. He's still wheeling his gurney in you direction.

DOH! there's the boss..got to go
Member Since: August 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5236
Quoting KanKunKid:


It was noteworthy that a blogger mentioned that Texas is a record holder in floods. Hermine isn't going to help in that area. Although, parts of Texas needed rain, this isn't what they bargained for.

An excited blogger yesterday posted a report of a "Slash flood" warning, which prompted a few light hearted responses. So, my response to a Slash flood warning is to post a picture of Slash and to note that after the passing of Les Paul, the pioneer of the electric guitar and an artist in his own right, Time magazine voted Slash, former Guns and roses guitarist as one of the top ten best electric guitarists of all time.



Could be worse things than a Slash flood.


I like Slash and have been a fan since around 1987. However, I don't know if he would make the top 100 electric guitarists of all time, let alone the top 10.
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727. IKE
Same 2 favored tracks on the ECMWF....

(1)Across the Yucatan and heading for northern Mexico/extreme southern Texas.

(2)Northern islands and points NW through north.
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726. Vero1
Quoting NCHurricane2009:
Is it just me, or have the tropics gone bonkers?!

What's this, Igor? Okay fine, but there is ANOTHER LOW PRESSURE just NE of Igor, okay a bit crazy. Whats this, ANOTHER LOW PRESSURE in the southern Lesser Antilles?? From what origin?


"From what origin?" ~~~ cyclogenesis
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Quoting btwntx08:
168 hr ecmwf......


Yikes!!!!! We can't continue to be so lucky is all I can say..
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:
Is it just me, or have the tropics gone bonkers?!

What's this, Igor? Okay fine, but there is ANOTHER LOW PRESSURE just NE of Igor, okay a bit crazy. Whats this, ANOTHER LOW PRESSURE in the southern Lesser Antilles?? From what origin?


Oh yeah, and Hermine's remnants continue to be amazing over Texas. This is nuts! too much going on to keep up with.
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The caribbean is spicy for development right now.
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722. xcool
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15703
Quoting FloridaHeat:


fish
Not yet...too early to say. Will be close.
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NW between days 6 and 7, if not fully recurving yet:

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Quoting btwntx08:

better

Wow! that's hot, Igor, Julia, & Karl
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716. IKE
One week/ECMWF....

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Is it just me, or have the tropics gone bonkers?!

What's this, Igor? Okay fine, but there is ANOTHER LOW PRESSURE just NE of Igor, okay a bit crazy. Whats this, ANOTHER LOW PRESSURE in the southern Lesser Antilles?? From what origin?
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Gaston has GOT to hold some sort of record as the underdog wave, TD, etc. that managed to cross the ENTIRE Atlantic Basin during peak season... Anyone have any recollection of any?
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Quoting FLdewey:

That certainly is worth the full 10 points.


Dang straight! And it was weather related. On a related note...the Igor Haiku was greeted with a chorus of crickets.
Member Since: August 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5236
Quoting mcluvincane:



Not good.... Hugo track?

You mean maybe close to Hugo track, no two storms hit the same exact spot!
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710. IKE
Quoting yoda5150:


not necessarily a bad thing to have stuck in one's mind.


Gosh what a great guitarist.

Quoting TGTTX:


Love it, Ike! But, I just don't think Gaston can stand the weather...


Apparently not...Link
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Quoting IKE:


Not sure yet...well....maybe...day 6....although it looks like the high may be trying to build back in...




Not good.... Hugo track?
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706. IKE
Quoting clwstmchasr:


You me recurve?


Not sure yet...well....maybe...day 6....although it looks like the high may be trying to build back in...

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RecordSeason - Thanks for the reply! I figured someone was watching it and could provide some history!
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Quoting KanKunKid:


Yes, for example, PrivateIdaho could post another attempt at Limerickety..

(ohhh! that was cold and mean of me! Wasn't it? Well, so is the tropics today...so...)

Hey! that was cheap...At least my limerick rhymed...and had Nantucket in it and did not get blocked. No easy feat!
Member Since: August 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5236
Quoting IKE:


Me too...now I've got his music in my mind....Gaston walking a tightrope....


not necessarily a bad thing to have stuck in one's mind.
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702. TGTTX
Quoting IKE:


Me too...now I've got his music in my mind....Gaston walking a tightrope....A>


Love it, Ike! But, I just don't think Gaston can stand the weather...
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701. IKE
Quoting clwstmchasr:


Don't tell Storm that:)
\

Maybe I should delete it***considers it***
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700. yoboi
what is the j storm name this year?
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Quoting StormW:


Key word..COULD...not WILL
..and SHOULD is not a keyword? LOL.
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697. IKE
Quoting yoda5150:


yup that's a good one as well, but then again I'm partial to most everything he did.


Me too...now I've got his music in my mind....Gaston walking a tightrope....
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Quoting IKE:


Got another one of his...love the guitar on this one...Link

90.7 outside my window...


yup that's a good one as well, but then again I'm partial to most everything he did.
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Quoting xCat6Hurricane:


I'll have to disagree, It's been said from the start of the season by experts, mets, ect... These canes will start out with the path curving out to sea, then gradully moving more westerly, it's that time of the season where we see less storms forming, but more westerly & dangerous.
...gradually.
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692. IKE
Quoting yoda5150:


I knew I liked IKE. OK, back to the shadows.


Got another one of his...love the guitar on this one...Link

90.7 outside my window...
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691. IKE
The low/trough...to the north of E-Gore, is stronger on this run vs. the 00Z ECMWF run.
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Quoting Waltanater:
How do you know with such certainty?
It's easy. Pick any cloud on the sat. shot and it will turn into something to watch on this blog.
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Quoting IKE:
4th day...



Hi Ike,

wow- i do not see a 'weakness' there for recurviture.
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Quoting IKE:


Cued up...Link


I knew I liked IKE. OK, back to the shadows.
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686. IKE
120 hour ECMWF...

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685. TGTTX
Quoting IKE:


Cued up...Link


Yep; only one. From Desoto, but Austin became his home. Appropriate for today, I'd say. Thanks, Ike!
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Quoting IKE:


Cued up...Link


Nice
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Don't know if anyone noticed this from the 2pm TWD


MODEL
GUIDANCE SUGGEST THE LOW LEVEL CIRCULATION OF GASTON COULD
REAPPEAR OVER OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS AS IT MOVES WESTWARD ACROSS
THE N CARIBBEAN.
why cant it just die im getting tired of him already.
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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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