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

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

Share this Blog
29
+

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

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: 1865 - 1815

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53Blog Index

Quoting ncstorm:


the GFS just keeps surprising me with its wacky runs

Excuse my blip up, post 1847.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
1864. ncstorm
this has doom all over it..192 hours

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
192 hours has 'Lee' moving NW to the Maryland panhandle. Lot of rain pulled off the Atlantic I bet.

Katia looks like a Bermuda Basher.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1861. centex
Quoting BrockBerlin:


Useful Geology lesson, however, I fail to see its relevance in regards to my post.
Educate is to admit when accidentally post bogus post. I've done plenty.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Anyways while Lee and Katia are busy making out, here comes little old Maria off the coast of Africa. Link
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Systems like the one that is forecast to develop in the Gulf are very difficult for the models to forecast. Steering currents are going to change a lot and even breakdown at times. However, it is starting to look like the chances of development are going up. I said earlier today that I thought a Texas solution was odd with the passing trough to the north. That same trough is forecast to recurve Katia. If the trough misses potential Lee, the Texas solution comes back in play as the ridge builds overhead.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Yahoo news Panel reveals new details of 1940's experiment
APBy MIKE STOBBE - AP Medical Writer | AP – 14 hrs ago

ATLANTA (AP) — A presidential panel on Monday disclosed shocking new details of U.S. medical experiments done in Guatemala in the 1940s, including a decision to re-infect a dying woman in a syphilis study.

The Guatemala experiments are already considered one of the darker episodes of medical research in U.S. history, but panel members say the new information indicates that the researchers were unusually unethical, even when placed into the historical context of a different era.
"The researchers put their own medical advancement first and human decency a far second," said Anita Allen, a member of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.

From 1946-48, the U.S. Public Health Service and the Pan American Sanitary Bureau worked with several Guatemalan government agencies to do medical research — paid for by the U.S. government — that involved deliberately exposing people to sexually transmitted diseases.....

Link

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1857. ncstorm
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:


That would be a Floyd type disaster.


the GFS just keeps surprising me with its wacky runs

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sunlinepr:
Will move directly N South of Bermuda


There's another African monster preparing to do a cannonball into the pool. Hopefully Kat will carve a good recurve path for it, too.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MississippiWx:


This is the 00z run.
Oh snap!
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
180 hours has 'Lee' hanging out over SE Virginia. Looks like a healthy easterly moisture flux into NJ, PA, DE, MD.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Wasn't it a one-two in 1999 in NC with Dennis and Floyd? I bet the Floyd floods wouldn't have been nearly as bad if Dennis hadn't been there first.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Lee basically moves inland over North Carolina. Quite the interesting track to say the least.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Don't worry the 18z GFS has had an act for doing some nutty things, remember 92 & 93L?


This is the 00z run.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MississippiWx:
136 hours...Makes landfall in Fl. Lol. Kind of a change from earlier today when the GFS had a landfall in TX.

However, the more eastern solutions make sense with the trough passing to the north.



No offense but i hope that is wrong. Here in Corpus, we are doin whatever dance it takes to get that moisture to us!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TexasGulf:
Did anybody notice some "Global Warming" happening after all of those hurricane hunter flights into Irene? All of the fossil fuel burned, the jet trails and the huge carbon footprint of those umpteen-dozen hurricane hunter flights supposedly added a tiny bit to global temperatures... ironically making future hurricanes just a little bit stronger. That in turn necessitates even MORE future hurricane hunter flights.

Wouldn't we all be so much better off if they just STOPPED. NOAA and the NWS should just admit that they are, in fact, helping to compound the very problem that they are studying. Perhaps I need to bring this up to the Republican budget cutting committees in Congress. A stiffly worded letter may suffice. :>) just kidding.


Realize you're just kidding but could you imagine all the fuel used to evacuate the entire east coast of florida without a good forecast? lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ncstorm:
WHAT!!!

Don't worry the 18z GFS has had an act for doing some nutty things, remember 92 & 93L?
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting ncstorm:
WHAT!!!



That would be a Floyd type disaster.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:


I'm wondering if it will track up the east coast in this run. Give us a one-two like Connie and Diane in 1955.
up the east coast
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1844. DFWjc
Quoting MississippiWx:


Really small breasts?


ROTFLMAO!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1843. ncstorm
WHAT!!!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
162 hours has Katia on the move again about 28 N 61 W and 'Lee' hugging the Carolina coast, moving northeast.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I am confused. The high over us was suppose to move....what happened? Our locals were all a BIG change in the weather pattern, lots of rain coming this weekend,possible TS and so on. Now, tomorrow it will be...sorry, it was just a dream.
Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811
Quoting centex:
Little different from Florida.



You could take those chunks, stack them up, and build a brick house out of them and at the rate we're going we'll all be able to do that.
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 3 Comments: 944
Quoting Drakoen:
Lee might be a backwards Dolly ( I'll leave the puns to you), judging by the GFS presentation.


Really small breasts?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Will move directly N South of Bermuda
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
GFS accumulated rainfall thru 9/5/2011

Link

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MississippiWx:
There might be an interaction with Katia and Lee on this run...

Yes Fujiwhara time :P
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Did anybody notice some "Global Warming" happening after all of those hurricane hunter flights into Irene? All of the fossil fuel burned, the jet trails and the huge carbon footprint of those umpteen-dozen hurricane hunter flights supposedly added a tiny bit to global temperatures... ironically making future hurricanes just a little bit stronger. That in turn necessitates even MORE future hurricane hunter flights.

Wouldn't we all be so much better off if they just STOPPED. NOAA and the NWS should just admit that they are, in fact, helping to compound the very problem that they are studying. Perhaps I need to bring this up to the Republican budget cutting committees in Congress. A stiffly worded letter may suffice. :>) just kidding.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
150 hours has 'Lee' (?) heading off the coast of GA and Katia barely moving in 12 hours.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1833. Grothar
Quoting BrockBerlin:


Yep back in college here, spent the summer doing my SCEP work at NWS Corpus Christi.


Bet you were glad to get back to Florida to cool off.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 25986
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
138 hr GFS has Katia at 25 N 59 W and a big floppy storm in the northeast Gulf.
This run looks interesting for both our storms, Lee makes landfall in the Big Bend of FL. & Katia is still out there over the open waters of the Atlantic, the direction Lee moves in, might give you an idea where Katia goes.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
There might be an interaction with Katia and Lee on this run...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SamWells:


Oh you mean good for Texas! We are so parched and dry the dirt could deflate a Category 1 hurricane.
No, he may mean its worse as in the gfs model has what little blob of a storm, moving ne and away from tx
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1829. Drakoen
Lee might be a backwards Dolly ( I'll leave the puns to you), judging by the GFS presentation.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1828. Skyepony (Mod)
Residents between the Gold Coast and Gladstone have been warned to brace for flash flooding and large hailstones as severe thunderstorms batter Queensland's south-east. The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) issued a warning this evening advising people as far west as Dalby to prepare for damaging winds and heavy rainfall. An Energex spokesman said about 4500 customers had been without power at various times throughout the afternoon. Power had been restored to more than 2300 homes and businesses since 1pm (AEST), he said. Almost 20,000 lightning strikes had occurred across the region, causing the blackouts. Queenslanders were advised earlier in the afternoon to secure any loose items around their home and monitor the radio ahead of the thunderstorm. A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Brisbane, Toowoomba, the Sunshine and Gold coasts, as well as Gympie and Moreton Bay.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting centex:
Little different from Florida.



I live in TX but...wow.....come on rain! PLEASE
Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811
1825. DFWjc
Quoting MississippiWx:
136 hours...Makes landfall in Fl. Lol. Kind of a change from earlier today when the GFS had a landfall in TX.

However, the more eastern solutions make sense with the trough passing to the north.



Yep once again Florida taking Texas' weather! LOL!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MississippiWx:
136 hours...Makes landfall in Fl. Lol. Kind of a change from earlier today when the GFS had a landfall in TX.

However, the more eastern solutions make sense with the trough passing to the north.



I'm wondering if it will track up the east coast in this run. Give us a one-two like Connie and Diane in 1955.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1822. TX2FL
Quoting newbee:
the latest run GFS has a major hurricane just south of mobile and pensacola 168 hours out

http://moe.met.fsu.edu/tcgengifs/


That run looks so odd in animation, it has Katia and the Gulf storm almost "rolling" towards each other.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
136 hours...Makes landfall in Fl. Lol. Kind of a change from earlier today when the GFS had a landfall in TX.

However, the more eastern solutions make sense with the trough passing to the north.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1820. centex
Little different from Florida.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1819. DFWjc
Quoting BrockBerlin:


The WV imagery of Don upon impact with Texas cracks me up


Do you have the link, i need a good laugh right now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
138 hr GFS has Katia at 25 N 59 W and a big floppy storm in the northeast Gulf.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BrockBerlin:
It is kind of sad that the rain that has occurred in the last 30-40 minutes is roughly the same amount that occurred over a 2 month period in Corpus from early June-early August.

Actually some decent winds 30-35 gusts in this line as well pretty frequent lightning.


Lucky you.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BrockBerlin:
It is kind of sad that the rain that has occurred in the last 30-40 minutes is roughly the same amount that occurred over a 2 month period in Corpus from early June-early August.

Actually some decent winds 30-35 gusts in this line as well pretty frequent lightning.



wow, the texas high is breaking up. i guess it is true that all things have an end eventually. what a miserable summer across Texas; in fact across the entire southeast. The Texas high also caused drought conditions from Louisiana into the Fla. Panhandle. I think I saw it rain in Mobile maybe 8 times over a 4 month period. And it probably wasn't even that many times, and the rain did not last long on most of those occasions. There were no fireworks for the 4th because of the dry conditions in combination with the fact that the state is broke from a lack of tax revenue.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1865 - 1815

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.