Torrential rains of 40+ inches deluge Thailand

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:47 PM GMT on March 31, 2011

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Torrential rains in excess of 40 inches (1.016 meters) deluged Thailand's Malay Peninsula this week, triggering floods that have killed at least 17 people. The floods submerged 61 major highways, affected 840,000 people, and forced the helicopter rescue of thousands of stranded tourists. Late March is usually a fairly dry time of year for Thailand, but near-record cold air settled in over the region this week, dropping temperatures to 5 - 10°C (9 - 18°F) below average. Heavy storms accompanied the cold air, and downpours with rainfall rates of up to 2 inches/hour affected the region for many days in a row. Sea surface temperatures of the waters surrounding the flood regions were near average, but were plenty warm enough to supply copious moisture to feed the storms. Flood recovery will slowed by additional moderately heavy rains of 3 - 5 inches expected to fall over the flooded region during the next week, according to the latest precipitation forecast from the GFS model.


Figure 1. The Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) analysis above was made using data that were calibrated using data from NASA's TRMM satellite. This analysis shows that rainfall for the past week over the Malay Peninsula was particularly extreme with totals of almost 1200 mm (~47 inches). TRMM satellite data revealed that rainfall in that area was frequently falling at a rate of over 50 mm/hr (~2 inches/hr). Image credit: NASA.

Jeff Masters

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In the time frame that Jedkins got 13 inches, I got 13 drops.
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ET Hail damage from 2007


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Quoting TomTaylor:
all this talk about hurricanes makes me want it to be hurricane season already. 2 months to go
This blog will go looney toons, but still fun. Its alot of "wading through the muck"!
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Quoting InconceivableF6:

you strike me as being someone who wouldn't even use electricity and just live by candlelight like in the 1800's. a true salt of the earth.
if only teh truth be known
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Quoting Patrap:
I heard the Shuttle had some Hail Damage on the ET Nose Skye..have you heard the same?


Maybe those pink slips will have to wait.
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all this talk about hurricanes makes me want it to be hurricane season already. 2 months to go
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
I heard the Shuttle had some Hail Damage on the ET Nose Skye..have you heard the same?
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246. Skyepony (Mod)
Yay.. FPL got my power restored..

Lost it with a lightning strike.
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Comparing this year's SSTs to one of our analogs, 2008, we see that for the most part, this year's SSTs are relatively warmer throughout the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and southwestern Atlantic. The only spot I see just slightly cooler than 2008 in this year's SST graph is the western Caribbean, however I guess you can counterbalance that with the warmer eastern Caribbean visible in this year's SST graph.



Looking towards the west, we see the continued collapse of the La Niña that was present this past season across the equatorial Pacific.

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Quoting weatherboy1992:
During the past few hurricane seasons I've observed I've never seen the water temperature too low to support hurricane development in the main development regions during the heart of hurricane season. Warmer waters help but are not by themselves sufficient to create an active hurricane season. The atmospheric conditions also need to be favorable.

Of course. Here are the SSTs for 2010 on July 15th



Pretty nasty looking, yet we didn't reach our C storm until August last year.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
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Quoting PalmBeachWeatherBoy:
wow this line of thunderstorms going through Florida is just crawling, probably will be April by the time it arrives in South Florida


Ya it's surely taking its time. But it will happen, probably just after midnight or so. I dont wanna really exaggerate so I'm just gonna say that we might see some potentially heavy rainfall and gusty winds, MAYBE an isolated weak brief tornado or two, just maybe.
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Quoting Neapolitan:

I'm of the opinion that there's leftover heat from last year that is providing a startup boost for this year. The fact that some of last year's record heat would carry over onto this spring was widely discussed last fall; and now it appears--or is at least possible--that that's exactly what has and is happening.

Makes sense to me.

Here is the gulf near the coldest it got all year



Doesn't look that cold for the heart of winter time...
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233. PalmBeachWeatherBoy 11:50 PM GMT on March 31, 2011
wow this line of thunderstorms going through Florida is just crawling, probably will be April by the time it arrives in South Florida
Action: Quote | Ignore User
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hang on let me see o thats why the machine been in neutral all day i just put it back in drive

should start moving soon


lol
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Quoting TomTaylor:

yep. on the sst side of things, upwelling was the first thing that came to mind when you posted the 26c isotherm depth pictures. The gulf is unusually warm at the surface right now, but a shift in the winds causing upwelling could easily reverse that

I'm of the opinion that there's leftover heat from last year that is providing a startup boost for this year. The fact that some of last year's record heat would carry over onto this spring was widely discussed last fall; and now it appears--or is at least possible--that that's exactly what has and is happening.
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Quoting cat5hurricane:

Yep. I know. And a good one too. I appreciate it, Tom.

Thanks :)

Quoting PalmBeachWeatherBoy:
wow this line of thunderstorms going through Florida is just crawling, probably will be April by the time it arrives in South Florida

yup

WV image




WV Loop
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
wow this line of thunderstorms going through Florida is just crawling, probably will be April by the time it arrives in South Florida
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220. cat5hurricane 11:40 PM GMT on March 31, 2011
Quoting Patrap:
SST's are variable and not the overall factor for cyclone FORMATION,,as is the depth OF THE 26c isotherm..it is the depth of the 26c or greater isotherm that SUSTAINS AND ALLOWS large HURRICANES TO MAINTAIN INTENSITY.,along with Limited shear and other Atmospheric variables as well.
The upwelling affect comes to mind, among others.

It's a whole array of factors bud. You got it.
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hey bud here is the scoop stop with the poop

The formation of tropical cyclones is the topic of extensive ongoing research and is still not fully understood. While six factors appear to be generally necessary, tropical cyclones may occasionally form without meeting all of the following conditions. In most situations, water temperatures of at least 26.5 °C (79.7 °F) are needed down to a depth of at least 50 metres (160 ft); waters of this temperature cause the overlying atmosphere to be unstable enough to sustain convection and thunderstorms. Another factor is rapid cooling with height, which allows the release of the heat of condensation that powers a tropical cyclone.High humidity is needed, especially in the lower-to-mid troposphere; when there is a great deal of moisture in the atmosphere, conditions are more favorable for disturbances to develop. Low amounts of wind shear are needed, as high shear is disruptive to the storm's circulation. Tropical cyclones generally need to form more than 555 kilometres (345 mi) or 5 degrees of latitude away from the equator, allowing the Coriolis effect to deflect winds blowing towards the low pressure center and creating a circulation. Lastly, a formative tropical cyclone needs a pre-existing system of disturbed weather, although without a circulation no cyclonic development will take place.


would you like the requirements for a TCFA
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
compare year 2011/2010


simply looking at that picture, one would have expected the 2010 Eastern Pacific season to be an active one.

La Nina made sure that never happened, though.

Just goes to show you why you shouldn't take too much care in the SSTs 3 months out from hurricane season.
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GOES Animations
Regions:
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Quoting cat5hurricane:

So the further out the forecast, the higher confidence in the forecast. Hmmm. Interesting.

Okay. Thanks for the insight there.
well do keep in mind that's just my guess
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Earth Scan Laboratory GOES Night Time SST/SSH Composite Imagery and Animations

Project Director: Nan Walker

GOES night time composite imagery and animation sequences are viewable in three areas

* Gulf of Mexico
* Central Gulf of Mexico
* And, a large area encompassing the coastal region of Central America, the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern Atlantic

The thermal composites are built using the "warmest pixel" approach from a sequence of night time imagery (obtained every 30 minutes) spanning about 10 hours. The pixel size is ~ 4km in size. The GOES-8 and 12 SSTs were computed with GVAR channel 2. The SST algorithms have been developed in the ESL with RMS errors < 0.5 C. (see Walker et. al. 2003) The Sea Surface Height (SSH) data were provided by Dr. Bob Leben, University of Colarado. The project is funded by the Minerals Management Service.
Note : The most recent 8 days of GOES composite imagery is not published.
Sea Surface Height measurements are valid only within the 200 meter bathymetry contour.


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Quoting Patrap:
SST's are variable and not the overall factor for cyclone FORMATION,,as is the depth OF THE 26c isotherm..it is the depth of the 26c or greater isotherm that SUSTAINS AND ALLOWS large HURRICANES TO MAINTAIN INTENSITY.,along with Limited shear and other Atmospheric variables as well.

yep. on the sst side of things, upwelling was the first thing that came to mind when you posted the 26c isotherm depth pictures. The gulf is unusually warm at the surface right now, but a shift in the winds causing upwelling could easily reverse that
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
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Quoting cat5hurricane:

It's cool.
I would assume there is a greater degree of confidence with climatology not from experience or any evidence, but simply because the NWS provides climatological outlooks for the US for 15 months out ( http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/ 90day/ look at the end, there is a forecast for April-May-June 2012). Meanwhile, hurricane predictions are never made this far out (that would be like predicting 2012 hurricane season right now).

If there willing to make there predictions further out, I'd assume they have greater confidence. That's just my guess anyway.
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Now I'm headed back out to do some more damage surveying, thank God for my Chevy 4X4, my street has between 1 and 2 feet deep of water in it! Lots of water the deep all around here which is amazing for this area cause we have great drainage!
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Quoting RastaSteve:
7.11" here in Wekiva Springs. That's about 9.50" since Monday! I think the drought maybe over here in C FL. It looks like water world around here.



Hey man I gotta hand it to you for calling out the severe weather this week as well as saying Parts of Central Florida would get 10 inches this week!


This is just amazing to see this rain. This is the heart of the dry season in Tampa Bay! Ive now had a whopping 8.36 inches of rain today! add that to the 0.73 last night and we've had 9.09 in the last 24 hours!

We also had over 4.50 on Monday so this week we have had a little more than 13.00 inches here for the week!

I have never seen rain like this in the dry season since the severe weather and flooding during the 97 98 El Nino, I was just a fresh 6 to 8 years old during those events....

This is even a big rain event in the heart of the wet season. We may have approached March rainfall records around here since its the dry season.
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compare year 2011/2010


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SST's are variable and not the overall factor for cyclone FORMATION,,as is the depth OF THE 26c isotherm..it is the depth of the 26c or greater isotherm that SUSTAINS AND ALLOWS large HURRICANES TO MAINTAIN INTENSITY.,along with Limited shear and other Atmospheric variables as well.
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Quoting severstorm:
Ok rain is over final total today 6.48 and for the week i had 12.73inches. Wow! Haven't seen this much rain in a week since 2004. Z-hills fl.

That's more than I get on an average year here in San Diego, California
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Quoting cat5hurricane:

Is there generally a greater degree of confidence with climatology? Or about the same? Or less?

Idk, I'm not the person to ask lol.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
Ok rain is over final total today 6.48 and for the week i had 12.73inches. Wow! Haven't seen this much rain in a week since 2004. Z-hills fl.
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


I noticed that you and Ponce De Leon had little luck with his quest for the fountain. Truthfully, I wish the two of you had found it. I could use a sip or two from it about now. What the heck. Stand aside, everyone! I'm diving in! ..... no comments about, "surf's up!".


How do you know one of us did not find it? I do live in Florida you know.
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26C Isotherm Depth






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Quoting hurricaneben:


Well...maybe not AS bad in total storms, maybe like 2008 or a bit more in totals but the US (especially Gulf Coast) could be in danger, not that I exactly want it to be but it seems that way.

Don't be so confident lol

Dozens of dedicated meterologists take in dozens of factors to try and determine how many storms we will see in the year, and even still, they are not very accurate.

That's why although they usually make specific projections on the number of named storms, canes, and majors, they also stick to terms like average, below average, well below average, above average, and well above average so that they can show you the large amount of uncertainty they have.
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Quoting Patrap:
When you cant collect the dead due to the radiation level,,and when you do you cant cremate them as per tradition, cuz the burning bodies would release the radiation to the atmosphere,,well things are not so good.
things were not so good right from the get go and its been nothing but smoke and mirrors ever since
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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.

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