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: 1815 - 1765

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 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:
1814. Grothar
Quoting Jedkins01:


Hey lets look at it from a glass half full view, the Florida drought has made huge improvements in just the last 2 months! Its getting way better. September, I expect, will probability be wetter than all the rain season months so far, based on what I see with the likely dominating patterns.

It takes a lot to overcome drought that severe, especially in a wet climate in South Florida, it takes numerous above normal rain events, not just a few, like it does in many places in the country. All that considering, Florida is doing much better than it was rain.


Like I've said Jed, maybe by you, but not on the Southeast Coast. Even with this last rain, we are way below average. P.S. My glass is always half empty. :)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26814
Quoting SamWells:


Oh you mean good for Texas! We are so parched and dry the dirt could deflate a Category 1 hurricane.


I think they meant worse in the since that it isn't coming to us...(by what that model was showing anyways)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1812. DFWjc
Quoting SamWells:


Oh you mean good for Texas! We are so parched and dry the dirt could deflate a Category 1 hurricane.


Texas already sucked up Don, who's next?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BrockBerlin:


It is starting to look worse for Texas with each run now.


Oh you mean good for Texas! We are so parched and dry the dirt could deflate a Category 1 hurricane.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It will be interesting to see how this gulf disturbance plays out, the stalling scenario seems to be gaining some validity as it appears on more runs.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 667
1809. Drakoen
Quoting flsky:
"Do We Really Need a NWS?" (Fox)

Link


Garbage.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Quite the shift northward with Katia on the 00z GFS. Has it passing north of 20%u02DAN just west of 55%u02DAW.

Lee starts to consolidate around the southern Louisiana area in 3-4 days.

Interestingly, four of the six models plotted on this diagram curve Katia back to the west (HWRF, NOGAPS, UKMET, and NGFDL) right at the end of the forecast period. Now, whether or not that will come to fruition, nobody knows. Just stating observations.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JGreco:


don't sigh..trust me...I think we in Northern Gulf are hoping you get this too. The signs are that whatever develops could rapidly strengthen into something strong and all of us (whether we experienced the "K storm" or Ivan) rather let u guys take this one for the team:0


I'll take this over nothing any day.
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 3 Comments: 946
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.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 667
1805. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting MississippiWx:
By the way, Weather Underground says that the source for their forecasts is the NWS.


There is an option to change the forecast to the bestcast, which is a WUnderprogram that comes up with a forecast specific for any weather station on WUnderground. So you can get a forecast for the weather-station in your backyard.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
americanwx.com is up to 114 hours now on the GFS run. I was going to bed earlier but this is addictive. Watching frame by frame. North GOM low organizing nicely. Katia looks to be kept out to sea in this run too. Watching to see how close she gets to Bermuda.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalWeatherGrl88:
Does anyone know what the low in the GOM forms from? Is it the tail end of a trough, or the AOI in the NW caribbean? Or something else



http://aviationweather.gov/adds/data/winds/ruc06h r_900_windstrm.gif

http://aviationweather.gov/adds/winds/
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TexasHurricane:
August 23,2011 Texas Drought Map

Link
100% of Texas is in some sort of drought...that's bad!
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quite the shift northward with Katia on the 00z GFS. Has it passing north of 20˚N just west of 55˚W.

Lee starts to consolidate around the southern Louisiana area in 3-4 days.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1800. JGreco
Quoting TexasHurricane:


yep...surprise,surprise...sigh....


don't sigh..trust me...I think we in Northern Gulf are hoping you get this too. The signs are that whatever develops could rapidly strengthen into something strong and all of us (whether we experienced the "K storm" or Ivan) rather let u guys take this one for the team:0
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like 93E will be a significant rainfall threat all along the coast of Mexico, including Baja California.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Down to 999mb at 105 hours...Stationary as well.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
August 23,2011 Texas Drought Map

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BrockBerlin:


It is starting to look worse for Texas with each run now.


yep...surprise,surprise...sigh....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MississippiWx:
Funny...The GFS is starting to come around to the NAM's solution. It's consolidating a low pressure system close to the Northern Gulf Coast.

81 hours...

81 hrs. is just a little over 3 days away, & this is when I start paying attention, since it's close to home.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
1794. centex
997 is not weaker. Should I check fox for better info?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalWeatherGrl88:
Does anyone know what the low in the GOM forms from? Is it the tail end of a trough, or the AOI in the NW caribbean? Or something else
Both are suppose to combine I think, the stalled out front in the Gulf is suppose to aid in the development of our AOI as it moves into the Gulf, but it may take some time to develop.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting MississippiWx:
Funny...The GFS is starting to come around to the NAM's solution. It's consolidating a low pressure system close to the Northern Gulf Coast.

81 hours...



It is starting to look worse for Texas with each run now.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 667
93E is looking better.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BrockBerlin:


Yeah let's have accuweather design its own dynamical models.... I would like to see them try (probably would automatically develop all cyclones into Cat.5's threatening major cities).


You'd have to dial 1-800-Weather and pay $3.99 a minute for the forecast.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
When it's thundering like how it is right now, sleep isn't the easiest thing to come by, LOL.



Lol I was just about to post that some rare nocturnal thunderstorms here in Coral Gables.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 667
Quoting NoVaForecaster:


"Do We Really Need A Fox News?"

I say no.


Oh yes we do! Best comedy network out there besides Comedy Central. Though they go a little over the top. They should take some lessons from Stephen Colbert. When it comes to being over the top, moderation is key.



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
When it's thundering like how it is right now, sleep isn't the easiest thing to come by, LOL.



I would have no problem getting to sleep.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1786. hcubed
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
I googled James Delingpole and he's an opinion journalist. Nothing wrong with that. It's a legitimate field. But I take my cues for scientific questions from actual scientists.


Better sources?

PhysicsWorld.comLink

The Global Warming Policy Foundation

Or peer-reviewed journals?

Nature

Kirkby, J. et al. Nature 476, 429-433 (2011).

Story's still the same...



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Funny...The GFS is starting to come around to the NAM's solution. It's consolidating a low pressure system close to the Northern Gulf Coast.

81 hours...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
When it's thundering like how it is right now, sleep isn't the easiest thing to come by, LOL.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1783. JGreco
Quoting carcar1967:
\

Do we really need a CNN MSNBC, ABC CBS NBC? None of them report the news in a non-biased way.


Every news channel has a bias whether left or right of center. Any of them that claims to be unbiased or "fair and balanced" are kidding themselves. I personally watch BBC America or read Reuters online....nothing more.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MississippiWx:


I would like to know how many people would have died in April's tornado outbreaks if we didn't have the NWS. Even if the NWS saved one life, it did its job. However, I imagine that they saved thousands of lives.


Yep, I shudder at the idea of some private company only giving severe weather alerts to its "premium" customers or something like that.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 667
Quoting Quadrantid:


All data you have should have associated margins of error, uncertainties, and the whole beauty of statistics is that it takes account of those uncertainties to get the correct result .....


Do you like Ted.com? For me an excellent concept...
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9874
Quoting MississippiWx:
By the way, Weather Underground says that the source for their forecasts is the NWS.


Yes, I see that. Its true for the US, they use the National digital forrcast database. I'm living in Canada and WU uses GFS model output here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BrockBerlin:
Ok I lied when I said I would not bother reading the article so I went skimmed through it.... and they honestly complain about a 1 billion dollar expenditure? That is pennies to the government, quite a bargain imo


I would like to know how many people would have died in April's tornado outbreaks if we didn't have the NWS. Even if the NWS saved one life, it did its job. However, I imagine that they saved thousands of lives.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:



Most of Southeast Florida is moderate to severe. The coast is still pretty bad.



Hey lets look at it from a glass half full view, the Florida drought has made huge improvements in just the last 2 months! Its getting way better. September, I expect, will probability be wetter than all the rain season months so far, based on what I see with the likely dominating patterns.

It takes a lot to overcome drought that severe, especially in a wet climate in South Florida, it takes numerous above normal rain events, not just a few, like it does in many places in the country. All that considering, Florida is doing much better than it was rain.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MississippiWx:
Katia's convective mass is fairly weak at the moment. The hole everyone is seeing near the center is just that...a hole, not an eye.



Thank you. I was looking at different image enhancements with untrained eyes and thought some showed her getting weaker while others showed a possible eye.

Here's a link to an IR satellite loop with a more recent image: http://www.intellicast.com/Storm/Hurricane/Active. aspx?storm=1&type=infrared&animate=true&enlarge=tr ue

Also another page with faster updates: http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/ramsdis/online/tro pical.asp




Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting redwagon:


I'm still enthralled by this loop: scrubbin' Texas:

https://www.fnmoc.navy.mil/wxmap_cgi/cgi-bin/wxma p_loop.cgi?&area=ngp_troplant&prod=z85& ;dtg=2011083 012&set=Tropical


what is it showing? Can't view it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NoVaForecaster:


"Do We Really Need A Fox News?"

I say no.
\

Do we really need a CNN MSNBC, ABC CBS NBC? None of them report the news in a non-biased way.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Guess you are right. It is still awful there. Terrible for Texas and the Southwest. Are you in FL as well?


Yep back in college here, spent the summer doing my SCEP work at NWS Corpus Christi.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 667
1773. JGreco
Quoting MississippiWx:


All of mine are exactly the same. Weather Underground even links the National Weather Service forecast discussion to your local page.


The National Weather Service, NOAA, and Hurricane Hunters all fall under the technical definition of "limited resources" that the government should provide along with things to do with basic defense and infrastructure. That article takes the idea of "limited government involvement" taking it to a level that is shameful and sensational. I'm pretty fiscally conservative, but that even makes me flinch:0
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Quoting NoVaForecaster:


"Do We Really Need A Fox News?"

I say no.

Yes, for the comic relief.  Check out some of their Irene coverage:
Link

Back to lurking...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Ok I lied when I said I would not bother reading the article so I went skimmed through it.... and they honestly complain about a 1 billion dollar expenditure? That is pennies to the government, quite a bargain imo
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 667
Quoting MississippiWx:


Combination of a tropical wave and the tail end of a frontal boundary.


Thank you, that makes sense.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1769. Gearsts
What the...!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1768. centex
Quoting BrockBerlin:


Useful Geology lesson, however, I fail to see its relevance in regards to my post.
I said NA fish, what is your point?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TexasHurricane:


I'm still enthralled by this loop: scrubbin' Texas:

https://www.fnmoc.navy.mil/wxmap_cgi/cgi-bin/wxma p_loop.cgi?&area=ngp_troplant&prod=z85&dtg=2011083 012&set=Tropical
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1766. Grothar
Quoting BrockBerlin:


I guess I've grown more resistant to drought because compared to Texas it feels like a rainforest here.


Guess you are right. It is still awful there. Terrible for Texas and the Southwest. Are you in FL as well?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26814
By the way, Weather Underground says that the source for their forecasts is the NWS.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1815 - 1765

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.

Local Weather

Overcast
9 °C
Overcast