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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2565. Patrap
Quoting rushisaband:
hi again ... been out for 10 days. flew to japan to visit daughter. hey PAT, looks like possible mischief in the gulf ..(soup)



Yeppar's..and it may linger and pile up some Flooding outside the LPS.
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2564. JNCali
Soooo much moisture to the SE of TX.... if everyone in Dallas faces that way and inhales strongly maybe it will start moving that direction.. come on.. everyone.. all together... (I was gonna say 'suck' but.. well...)
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2563. ncstorm
Per the current GFS run, Katia dosent look like a recurve..look like she heading to meet up with the GOM storm..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15299
Quoting scottsvb:
When you guys going to learn to not look at models until something develops? if you have to follow any model.. follow the ECMWF but even that wont give you details on where something might form.

1 Day it's Texas
next Day it's Florida
next day its Louisana-Fl.

guys models before anything develops is worthless


please stop being so rational
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2561. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting tiggeriffic:


dont post a september historic map...hugo is on that one {{SHUDDER}}


Read the map...it's only August storms.
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2560. jpsb
Quoting WxLogic:
@114HR... The GOM system appears to have missed the chance of getting away from the GOM and might stick around longer, but we'll see about that shortly:

Well with a very nice TD perhaps even a TS now developing right off the coast of Mexico at the same latitude as our Lee, I think Lee chances of being born are now greatly diminished. That Mexican Tropical thingy is gonna build a dry high where Lees' wet low is suppose to be.
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Quoting presslord:


stop it


didn't you read...i have CDO
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hi again ... been out for 10 days. flew to japan to visit daughter. hey PAT, looks like possible mischief in the gulf ..(soup)
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2557. Patrap
IR Short Wave

Gulf Of Mexico - Infrared Channel 2 Loop



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Quoting scottsvb:


Wasn't Irene suppose to move up the east coast of Florida along the Palm beach-Daytona like Reed said? Hmm cause he lives north of the Cape? Always everything comes close to florida for him.He's been dreamcasting for years!


Instead of being jealous of reed, why don't you contribute to this blog and learn.
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Quoting tiggeriffic:


dont post a september historic map...hugo is on that one {{SHUDDER}}


stop it
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2554. ackee
right now KITAI seem to be moving WEST to me
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Quoting reedzone:


I see there are idiots on the blog mocking me today.. I don't understand when people will get the hint that I don't wish storms to Florida or predict doomsday.. Anyways...

GFS is definitely over-estimating the trough like t always does but I still believe Katia recurves west of Bermuda, east of the USA.. In between, something like Earl is possible but slim until we get further evidence of a western component. Katia should be a Hurricane by 5 p.m. and that puts her much greater to recurve. Bermuda and Canada will have to watch her closely, and the East Coast should keep a weary eye on her just in case she gets closer in the long term.


Thanks!

I agree, some people like weatherman1234 have nothing better to do than to criticize you. They are just jealous that they aren't as good at forecasting as you are. BTW, you nailed Irene down as well, we experienced some really rough conditions here in VA.
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Quoting wxobsvps:
GFS really just leaves that GoM thing over the North Central GoM for a long time



nothing out there to stear it?
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Quoting Elena85Vet:


hmmm. I guess I've never seen a blue crab come out of the water voluntarily.

Low dissolved oxygen conditions will drive them to the surface, then out of the water if it continues into the upper layers of the water. Happens several times a year in Mobile Bay. They call it a "Jubilee".
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Quoting Skyepony:
Now that Katia has ventured a little more west we have some other historical storms to compare her too.


dont post a september historic map...hugo is on that one {{SHUDDER}}
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We should see a new invest tagged later today, you can see the area has some deep convection along with banding to the east.

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Quoting reedzone:


I see there are idiots on the blog mocking me today.. I don't understand when people will get the hint that I don't wish storms to Florida or predict doomsday.. Anyways...

GFS is definitely over-estimating the trough like t always does but I still believe Katia recurves west of Bermuda, east of the USA.. In between, something like Earl is possible but slim until we get further evidence of a western component. Katia should be a Hurricane by 5 p.m. and that puts her much greater to recurve. Bermuda and Canada will have to watch her closely, and the East Coast should keep a weary eye on her just in case she gets closer in the long term.


Wasn't Irene suppose to move up the east coast of Florida along the Palm beach-Daytona like Reed said? Hmm cause he lives north of the Cape? Always everything comes close to florida for him.He's been dreamcasting for years!
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Quoting tampahurricane:
So is it me or are the models becoming less fond of this thing re-curving. Just looked at them and seems it has it missing the trough, and continuing on a west ward path. Am I correct?


no thank you please...i already have reservations for next weekend for camping...
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2545. Skyepony (Mod)
Now that Katia has ventured a little more west we have some other historical storms to compare her too.
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2544. Patrap
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2543. Patrap
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When you guys going to learn to not look at models until something develops? if you have to follow any model.. follow the ECMWF but even that wont give you details on where something might form.

1 Day it's Texas
next Day it's Florida
next day its Louisana-Fl.

guys models before anything develops is worthless
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So is it me or are the models becoming less fond of this thing re-curving. Just looked at them and seems it has it missing the trough, and continuing on a west ward path. Am I correct?
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Quoting Matt1989:
The gfs has been the best model this year.. I think as far as long term track goes. I hope this system doesn't just sit in the central GOM for a few days.. Because if conditions are right it will be a monster . =/


It won't be a monster if it sits in one place though, it will pull up cooler waters that will weaken it. A slow moving storm is the worst situation for the GOM.
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2538. Skyepony (Mod)
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
What's so funny? That Levi is not perfect? Who is?


levi33
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Quoting Skyepony:


In the case of an actual pinhole eye that would have said "pinhole" not eye..now back to the uniform CDO...


i have CDO...it is like OCD but the letters are in alphabetical order just as they should be....
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Quoting CaneHunter031472:
For what I can see the NHC is predicting Katia to move North and if a threat, it will be for bermuda. US East Coast again would be worst case scenario, but as far as the GOMEX go not even going to sweat Katia. Maybe a TS or TD in between MS and AL but that's all. I'm in almost complete agreement with the NHC.


Katia appears to be moving due west, if not just south of due west.
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Quoting SPLbeater:
Now this is funny. Levi32 saidnothing would become of 93L in the East pacific, and here we have TD Eight-E. LOL!
What's so funny? That Levi is not perfect? Who is?
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POLL TIME

What size is Katia?
A.Small sized
B.Medium sized
C.Large Size
D.Smaller/Larger/Inbetween

What will Katia be in 12 hrs?
A.70 MPH
B.75 MPH...Min CAT1
C.80 MPH...CAT1
D.90 MPH...CAT1
E.Higher/Lower/Inbetween
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Quoting MississippiWx:
Brought back east at 135 hours. That seems more realistic with the trough passing to the north.



i am still paying attention to Katia...watching that bermuda high very closely...still don't trust the models just yet...the Bermuda high was not in typical form for Irene by inching westward....
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2531. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting tropicfreak:




It's a taz pinhole eye alert!


In the case of an actual pinhole eye that would have said "pinhole" not eye..now back to the uniform CDO...
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2529. ackee
Quoting xtremeweathertracker:
Link
THANKS where can I get link to the original GFS that was on the under ground weather along with the NAM
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For what I can see the NHC is predicting Katia to move North and if a threat, it will be for bermuda. US East Coast again would be worst case scenario, but as far as the GOMEX go not even going to sweat Katia. Maybe a TS or TD in between MS and AL but that's all. I'm in almost complete agreement with the NHC.
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Reed, do you think that the models are overestimating the trough a little? Isn't it a little too early to see troughs this deep and amplified?
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Quoting MahFL:


I thought I saw an eye.




It's a taz pinhole eye alert!
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Brought back east at 135 hours. That seems more realistic with the trough passing to the north.

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.
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2523. DFWjc
Quoting tiggeriffic:


just got home and got on...i missed the post you quoted but if a storm is in the gulf...wouldn't it have to move east to hit florida?


hi tigger...Yeah the model at 12:30a this morning showed it going east
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The catastrophy that nobody outside of Texas is talking about:

From beef prices to the cost of a pair of socks, the Texas drought of 2011 will leave its mark on family budgets. "This drought is just strangling our agricultural economy," says professor Travis Miller, of Texas A&M University's Department of Soil and Crop Sciences. Losses, so far, are estimated at $5 billion. Texas has lost a little over half of its cotton crop as parched fields brought back memories and statistics not seen since the great dust bowl of 1933. Texas produces 55% of the U.S. crop.



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Quoting ackee:
can I GET A LINK TO this GFS PLease
Link
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Quoting JasonDroolsMan:
SHE GONNNA POP A BLOWHOLE SOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Bye bye JFV!
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Quoting PrivateIdaho:


Not true.

A storm in the Gulf can move in a Reedwesterly direction and hit Florida.


just got home and got on...i missed the post you quoted but if a storm is in the gulf...wouldn't it have to move east to hit florida?
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2518. ackee
Quoting MississippiWx:


The GFS no longer shows it moving east, but it wouldn't have anything to do with it being weak if it were still moving it east.

12z GFS is more in line with the NAM, just a little more east.

can I GET A LINK TO this GFS PLease
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2517. MahFL
Quoting Skyepony:
Brief eye on Katia...


I thought I saw an eye.
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114 hours...The GFS brought Lee up to the MS Coast and then took it southwest with a trough over the Mid South. That solution seems almost impossible.

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2515. WxLogic
@114HR... The GOM system appears to have missed the chance of getting away from the GOM and might stick around longer, but we'll see about that shortly:

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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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