Irene's rains heaviest on record in Vermont; Tropical Storm Katia forms

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:40 PM GMT on August 30, 2011

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Record flooding continues in the Northeast from Irene's torrential rains. Hardest hit was Vermont, where heavy rains in the weeks prior to Irene's arrival had left soils in the top 20% for moisture, historically. Irene dumped 5 - 8 inches of rain over large sections of Vermont, with a peak of 11.23" at Mendo. The reading from Mendo was the greatest single-day rainfall in Vermont's history, according to wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt, beating the 9.92" that fell at Mt. Mansfield on 9/17/1999 during the passage of Tropical Storm Floyd. The 13.30" that fell on East Durham, NY during Irene was just shy of New York State's all-time 1-day rainfall record: 13.70" at Brewster on 9/16/1999, from Tropical Storm Floyd.


Figure 1. Wunderphotographer 43BJAGER recorded this image of a house in Sharon, Vermont, that started out the week on the other side of this underpass.

According to the final Hurricane Irene summary from the NWS, the storm dropped 20" of rain in two locations, one in North Carolina and one in Virginia. Here are the highest rain amounts from the hurricane for each state:

Virginia Beach, VA: 20.40"
Jacksonville, NC: 20.00"
East Durham, NY: 13.30"
Freehold Twp, NJ: 11.27"
Mendon, VT: 11.23"
Ellendale, DE: 10.43"
New Hartford, CT 10.15"
Baxter St. Park, ME: 9.91"
Savoy, MA: 9.10"
Lafayette, PA: 8.82"
Pinkham North, NH: 7.33"
Warren, RI: 5.37"

Tropical Storm Katia forms
Tropical Storm Katia formed this morning in the far Eastern Atlantic off the coast of Africa. Katia will be in a moist, low wind shear environment with ocean temperature 1 - 2°C above the threshold needed to support a hurricane, and should be able to intensify to major hurricane strength when it passes to the north of the Lesser Antilles Islands 5 - 6 days from now. It is possible that some of the outer spiral bands of the storm might bring heavy rain squalls to the northern Lesser Antilles, but it would be a surprise if the core of the storm passed through the islands. The long term fate of Katia is unknown. Dr. Bob Hart's Historical Tropical Cyclone Probability web page suggests shows that tropical storms in Katia's current position have a 19% chance of hitting North Carolina, a 16% chance of hitting Canada, an 11% chance of hitting Florida, and a 47% chance of never hitting land.


Figure 2. The morning run of the GFS Ensemble prediction. The ensemble prediction was done by taking a lower-resolution version of the GFS model and changing the initial distributions of temperature, pressure, and humidity randomly by a few percent to generate an ensemble of 20 different computer projections of where Katia might go. The operational (highest-resolution) version of the GFS model (white line) is usually more accurate, but the ensemble runs give one an idea of the uncertainty in the forecast.

Katia is the 11th named storm this year, and comes a full twelve days before the half-way point of the Atlantic hurricane season. Climatologically, September 10 marks the half-way point. A typical hurricane season has just 10 - 11 named storms, so we've already had a whole season's worth of storms before reaching the half-way point. At this rate, 2011 will see 25 named storms, making it the 2nd busiest season on record, behind 2005. Katia's formation date of August 30 puts 2011 in 5th place for earliest date of arrival of the season's 11th storm. Only 2005, 1995, 1936, and 1933 had an earlier 11th storm.

Gulf of Mexico development possible late this week
Several of our best computer models for predicting formation of tropical cyclones, the GFS and ECMWF, are predicting that an upper level pressure interacting with a tropical wave now over the the Western Caribbean could combine to spawn a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico late this week or early next week. The formation location is likely to be off the coast of Louisiana or Texas, but the track of the system is hard to predict at this point.


Figure 3. Portlight volunteer Thomas Hudson clears a driveway yesterday in Hollywood, Maryland.

Portlight disaster relief effort in Maryland
Hurricane Irene heavily damaged the town of Hollywood, Maryland, when a tornado cut off electric power, water, and phone service. Portlight and Team Rubicon volunteers arrived before emergency personnel, after following up on a local tip. What they found was an isolated area whose plight was unknown to the larger community. Most residents were trapped at their homes by heavy debris. Portlight and Team Rubicon worked for two days to clear paths to each address, extract vehicles from debris, and cut down trees that constituted safety hazards. Portlight also instructed local residents how to operate and maintain chainsaws and safely clear debris. No other volunteer organizations or emergency personnel arrived at any time, and Portlight succeeded in meeting the specific needs of the underserved, unserved, and forgotten. Visit the Portlight blog to learn more; donations are always welcome.

I'll have a new post on Wednesday discussing if the evacuations and media hype surrounding Irene were excessive.

Jeff Masters

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FWIW the nam and nogaps has the storm.lee? basially over TX/LA ish at the same hour.


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1964. Mucinex
TWO still 10%. Night all.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TexasHurricane:


all I get is an error. What is it showing?


wouldn't load for me either.
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Quoting 7544:
cmc things that make u go hmmmmmmmmmmmmminteresting new run

Link


all I get is an error. What is it showing?
Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811
1961. 7544
cmc things that make u go hmmmmmmmmmmmmminteresting new run


Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AtHomeInTX:

Yeah our water is 91 off our coast. That would be bad. The locals mentioned that while pulling out their hair. I don't want a monster at all. Still hoping for the open twave they were first showing that got the whole state thinking rain. Droughts horrible. Fire fighters can't get water out of any ponds or resevoirs. That said a major is a heck of a price to pay.


I saw or read something earlier about with the dry air Texas had that it would keep whatever was developing in check......so a TD or TS at most. Don't know?....
Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811
Quoting AtHomeInTX:

Yeah our water is 91 off our coast. That would be bad. The locals mentioned that while pulling out their hair. I don't want a monster at all. Still hoping for the open twave they were first showing that got the whole state thinking rain. Droughts horrible. Fire fighters can't get water out of any ponds or resevoirs. That said a major is a heck of a price to pay.


Not to mention the toll the drought is taking on the wildlife.

My Dad winters around Port Isabel and comes up here for the summer so I hear a lot about what is happening down there. Hope you get some relief soon.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AtHomeInTX:

Yeah our water is 91 off our coast. That would be bad. The locals mentioned that while pulling out their hair. I don't want a monster at all. Still hoping for the open twave they were first showing that got the whole state thinking rain. Droughts horrible. Fire fighters can't get water out of any ponds or resevoirs. That said a major is a heck of a price to pay.


New fire back up at Possum Kingdom lake, they're just getting over the last one they had up there this summer. New one near Huntsville, and then there's a grass fire near the Addicks reservoir.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Quoting nofailsafe:


I am certainly not staying up for the NAM update, but I'll be sure to check it in the morning. It's not the best model in the world but it's been pretty consistent. When does or who has the next ECMWF?
The ECMWF starts running just after 1am. Usually takes most of an hour to complete. Haven't even seen the noon runs yet.
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Quoting PrivateIdaho:


He posted some good Irene pics on his blog....He is about 30 miles inland but the eye ran right over him.


wow... I bet that was something.
Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811
Quoting nofailsafe:


I'm already losing mine, this is just making the inevitable happen a little faster. :P


LOL..... :)
Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811

Quoting PrivateIdaho:


I'd westcast for you but it that thing happens to get to Texas, it will be a monster.

:^(
Yeah our water is 91 off our coast. That would be bad. The locals mentioned that while pulling out their hair. I don't want a monster at all. Still hoping for the open twave they were first showing that got the whole state thinking rain. Droughts horrible. Fire fighters can't get water out of any ponds or resevoirs. That said a major is a heck of a price to pay.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TexasHurricane:


wasn't saying anything negative about the person. Just referring to all the Lee stuff is making me want to pull my hair out. :)


I'm already losing mine, this is just making the inevitable happen a little faster. :P
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Quoting TexasHurricane:


wasn't saying anything negative about the person. Just referring to all the Lee stuff is making me want to pull my hair out. :)


He posted some good Irene pics on his blog....He is about 30 miles inland but the eye ran right over him.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PrivateIdaho:


P451....he knows his tropical weather. he has a "forceful personality" but is a good guy.......(for a Yankee).:^)


wasn't saying anything negative about the person. Just referring to all the Lee stuff is making me want to pull my hair out. :)
Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811
Quoting AtHomeInTX:

Lol. That's what the ch 12 guy said he'd be doing til this at least forms. Lol.


lol....this is just so frustrating.....I know you feel the same way. :)
Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811
Quoting TexasHurricane:


now, this shows TX again? So confusing... I feel like that avatar on here where it is pulling out its hair....


Sorry to confuse you; 0Z steering is always late - this is 12. 'Lee' appears poorly initialized thats why I think the models can't seem to grab it. Can't help but notice Katias "head-fake" to the west in the last frame!(LOL)
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:

Hey Tex. Yeah that's the only one I've seen yet.


I am certainly not staying up for the NAM update, but I'll be sure to check it in the morning. It's not the best model in the world but it's been pretty consistent. When does or who has the next ECMWF?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AtHomeInTX:

Yeah. That was a head scratcher for me. I hope the GFS is just wrong! Lol. We need the rain! So yep I'ma Texascasting again. Lol. Guess the rest of the models will tell if they go that way too. That would be a bummer.


I'd westcast for you but it that thing happens to get to Texas, it will be a monster.

:^(
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Quoting TexasHurricane:


now, this shows TX again? So confusing... I feel like that avatar on here where it is pulling out its hair....
Lol. That's what the ch 12 guy said he'd be doing til this at least forms. Lol.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Quoting TexasHurricane:


Hi AtHome,

last model I saw has it going towards the east GOM....
Hey Tex. Yeah that's the only one I've seen yet.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TexasHurricane:


now, this shows TX again? So confusing... I feel like that avatar on here where it is pulling out its hair....


P451....he knows his tropical weather. he has a "forceful personality" but is a good guy.......(for a Yankee).:^)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Quoting DFWjc:


I'm in the same boat with ya AtHome, they have the bloody thing going to FLA now.. with Katia as a tag-team weather disaster...ugh
Yeah. That was a head scratcher for me. I hope the GFS is just wrong! Lol. We need the rain! So yep I'ma Texascasting again. Lol. Guess the rest of the models will tell if they go that way too. That would be a bummer.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1942. DFWjc
Quoting nofailsafe:


Take care, I'm up for the 2AM EDT update then then that's a night for me. Cheers!


I'm getting too old to stay up late...i know it's only a half hour...(yawns)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Kowaliga:
Mawnin' 3rd shift! ...sssup!



now, this shows TX again? So confusing... I feel like that avatar on here where it is pulling out its hair....
Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811
Quoting Kowaliga:
Mawnin' 3rd shift! ...sssup!



Morning, the Texas division is lamenting the eastward track of the GOM low the models have been predicting for a couple days and Katia is still spinning out in the atlantic.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting redwagon:


so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.

--------------
At least I looked it up :)


wagon....wheel barrow....pretty good for an old dude.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DFWjc:
Well... my fellow Texans, I'm out for the night only hoping to wake up in the morning with news of a tropical rain maker coming our way, good night and god bless...


Take care, I'm up for the 2AM EDT update then then that's a night for me. Cheers!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Mawnin' 3rd shift! ...sssup!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1936. DFWjc
Well... my fellow Texans, I'm out for the night only hoping to wake up in the morning with news of a tropical rain maker coming our way, good night and god bless...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I gotta tell ya, Katia it's wrapping up, looking better

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Quoting centex:
No significant vorticity yet in future GOM system.

I was hoping someone would post that. Thanks! One of the locals said there was a weak surface circulation. He stressed weak.
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Quoting TexasHurricane:


ughhhh.....I sure hope we get better news tomorrow regarding Lee. Hoping for a good strong rain maker...


Yep, put out the Addicks reservoir (Well that sure sounds funny.) fire and the one up near Huntsville. It seemed like we were doing well for a while and then those two popped up.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AtHomeInTX:
Evening everybody. Still trying to catch up.  Concerning the possible GOM storm. Unless something drastically has changed in the past couple hours I'm very confused with the latest GFS.
On my 10pm local news they said there will be a ridge to our west, a ridge to our east, and they will be bridged on top. Supposedly this is why it can't move north and just sits and spins off our coast until the western part of the ridge builds back east over TX again turning any potential storm s/sw.  Earlier the Lake Charles NWS called this set up a Rex block? Also why it will sit and spin is this set up would create weak steering currents. And the front would be after the ridge turns the storm s/sw.

Sigh. Has anything changed? Which is quite possible of course. Also confusing the issue is the NHC said the storm or whatever it will be would move west north west with the Bermuda high building west on top of it.

Lol. I'm probably just way behind today. :)

NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1030 PM CDT TUE AUG 30 2011

OFFSHORE WATERS FORECAST FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO



GMZ089-310930-
SYNOPSIS FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
1130 PM CDT TUE AUG 30 2011

.SYNOPSIS...SURFACE TROUGH ALONG 95W S OF 23N WILL DRIFT NW
THROUGH THU. A TROPICAL WAVE IN THE NW CARIBBEAN SEA ALONG 85W
IS EXPECTED TO MOVE NW INTO GULF WED WITH POSSIBLE LOW PRES
DEVELOPING IN THE WESTERN GULF THU. MEANWHILE...AN ATLC RIDGE
WILL BUILD W ACROSS N GULF STATES THROUGH WEEK.



Hi AtHome,

last model I saw has it going towards the east GOM....
Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811
1931. DFWjc
Quoting AtHomeInTX:
Evening everybody. Still trying to catch up.  Concerning the possible GOM storm. Unless something drastically has changed in the past couple hours I'm very confused with the latest GFS.
On my 10pm local news they said there will be a ridge to our west, a ridge to our east, and they will be bridged on top. Supposedly this is why it can't move north and just sits and spins off our coast until the western part of the ridge builds back east over TX again turning any potential storm s/sw.  Earlier the Lake Charles NWS called this set up a Rex block? Also why it will sit and spin is this set up would create weak steering currents. And the front would be after the ridge turns the storm s/sw.

Sigh. Has anything changed? Which is quite possible of course. Also confusing the issue is the NHC said the storm or whatever it will be would move west north west with the Bermuda high building west on top of it.

Lol. I'm probably just way behind today. :)

NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1030 PM CDT TUE AUG 30 2011

OFFSHORE WATERS FORECAST FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO



GMZ089-310930-
SYNOPSIS FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
1130 PM CDT TUE AUG 30 2011

.SYNOPSIS...SURFACE TROUGH ALONG 95W S OF 23N WILL DRIFT NW
THROUGH THU. A TROPICAL WAVE IN THE NW CARIBBEAN SEA ALONG 85W
IS EXPECTED TO MOVE NW INTO GULF WED WITH POSSIBLE LOW PRES
DEVELOPING IN THE WESTERN GULF THU. MEANWHILE...AN ATLC RIDGE
WILL BUILD W ACROSS N GULF STATES THROUGH WEEK.



I'm in the same boat with ya AtHome, they have the bloody thing going to FLA now.. with Katia as a tag-team weather disaster...ugh
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PrivateIdaho:


*sigh*.....the demise of the liberal arts education...

Link


so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.

--------------
At least I looked it up :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DFWjc:


if you put this into google maps 32.831712,-97.367409, this is a reservoir in North Ft Worth that was 20-25 ft deep it's now only 36 inches at the deepest, you can see where was (the current view doesn't even show how bad it is today)


ughhhh.....I sure hope we get better news tomorrow regarding Lee. Hoping for a good strong rain maker...
Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811
Quoting PrivateIdaho:


Secret to grad school....(never take a class that starts before 10 am):^)


Done and done. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Evening everybody. Still trying to catch up.  Concerning the possible GOM storm. Unless something drastically has changed in the past couple hours I'm very confused with the latest GFS.
On my 10pm local news they said there will be a ridge to our west, a ridge to our east, and they will be bridged on top. Supposedly this is why it can't move north and just sits and spins off our coast until the western part of the ridge builds back east over TX again turning any potential storm s/sw.  Earlier the Lake Charles NWS called this set up a Rex block? Also why it will sit and spin is this set up would create weak steering currents. And the front would be after the ridge turns the storm s/sw.

Sigh. Has anything changed? Which is quite possible of course. Also confusing the issue is the NHC said the storm or whatever it will be would move west north west with the Bermuda high building west on top of it.

Lol. I'm probably just way behind today. :)

NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1030 PM CDT TUE AUG 30 2011

OFFSHORE WATERS FORECAST FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO



GMZ089-310930-
SYNOPSIS FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
1130 PM CDT TUE AUG 30 2011

.SYNOPSIS...SURFACE TROUGH ALONG 95W S OF 23N WILL DRIFT NW
THROUGH THU. A TROPICAL WAVE IN THE NW CARIBBEAN SEA ALONG 85W
IS EXPECTED TO MOVE NW INTO GULF WED WITH POSSIBLE LOW PRES
DEVELOPING IN THE WESTERN GULF THU. MEANWHILE...AN ATLC RIDGE
WILL BUILD W ACROSS N GULF STATES THROUGH WEEK.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dennis8:


Last Thursday Houston Heights got .03"..not a good bit on my lawn....


Then that means we got even less than that... :Sad face:
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1925. centex
No significant vorticity yet in future GOM system.

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Quoting nofailsafe:


Don't remind me. The joys of being a first year Ph.D student... At least I've got all afternoon in the lab.


Secret to grad school....(never take a class that starts before 10 am):^)
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11:00pm Advisory
*Click on image to magnify (Images can further be magnified in the Link window by clicking on them)

Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
1922. DFWjc
Quoting TexasHurricane:


I hear ya.....We have been able to mow our ditches pretty much all summer. We have been here for 11 years and have never been able to do that. They usually always have water in them.


if you put this into google maps 32.831712,-97.367409, this is a reservoir in North Ft Worth that was 20-25 ft deep it's now only 36 inches at the deepest, you can see where the water was (the current view doesn't even show how bad it is today)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PrivateIdaho:
Don't you weather Geeks have school tomorrow?


Don't remind me. The joys of being a first year Ph.D student... At least I've got all afternoon in the lab.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GTcooliebai:
I'm hating it & it just started, I think it's because I haven't taken pre-calc. in over a year!


yeah, I had a very hard time in pre calc, very hard time, I got a B for final grade though
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1919. Dennis8
Quoting want2lrn:


No offense but i hope that is wrong. Here in Corpus, we are doin whatever dance it takes to get that moisture to us!
.

You in Corpus?? My hometown.
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1918. Mucinex
I'm super tight for time tonight. Does anybody have an estimated pressure for Lee at landfall in panhandle?
TIA :)
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Quoting redwagon:


Who?


*sigh*.....the demise of the liberal arts education...

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1916. DFWjc
Quoting GTcooliebai:
I'm hating it & it just started, I think it's because I haven't taken pre-calc. in over a year!


oh i agree, the best way i learned was taking pre-calc in a prep class and also be in a teacher's aide in calculus, then the next year take calculus.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nofailsafe:


Houston here, the afternoon storms died off about a month ago, for a few weeks there we'd actually get some spotty showers. Last thursday we received a good bit of rain but nowhere near what we need to relieve the drought. The ground was still hard after it stopped.


I hear ya.....We have been able to mow our ditches pretty much all summer. We have been here for 11 years and have never been able to do that. They usually always have water in them.
Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811

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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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