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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Quoting KoritheMan:


Ah, I didn't know about your daughter and niece. Glad they fared okay. :)

Yeah, I've only been here for four years, believe it or not. But I've really matured a lot since then, both as a person and as a forecaster. It's been an interesting time.


Thank you YOu have and I've seen it. :o)
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 297 Comments: 40881
Outside of Katia and the potential GOMEX system. there's another area near Bermuda that bears watching for subtropical development. Most of the models develop a tropical/subtropical depression through the next 48 hours with CMC the most agressive, as usual. There's some divergence aloft NW of the TUTT and a good supply of moisture around the Bermuda high available. Most of the phase diagrams take it into warm-core territory for a few days. May just bring some rain and a bit of wind to Nova Scotia or Newfoundland.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:


Wind speed is irrelevant. It lacked organized convection.


BUT at the time of declaration, it had deep convection.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Hurricane deductable is the usual $1,000. Just for the record, I live in a two-story townhouse. Not very big.



FYI

http://moneywatch.bnet.com/saving-money/blog/devi l-details/hurricane-irene-5-steps-to-take-now/5073 /
Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 27
Quoting Bayside:
I see the blog picking up with a GOM threat. Still lots of work in SE Virginia for us after Irene, but we (my family,not everyone) really got lucky and dodged a bullet. 1.5 hrs before high tide and the water quite litterally at my door step (house is 75 feet from Chesapeake bay), I got a text that the water was receding, we weren't ther to see but it was GREAT news! Nor'Ida was higher for us.

I don't know if reed has posted yet, but this time I'm gonna have to agree with him when he comes out and say katia is gonna be more west than the models say ;). I just feel doomcon is elevated for a while on the mid Atlantic coast and instead of getting back to normal, I'm prepping for the next one.

Havent seen anything from 'Coopswife' and hope he/she got the kid to school ok and fared ok through the storm.

Cheers all!


Glad you fared well through Irene!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1360. CCkid00
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Hurricane deductable is the usual $1,000. Just for the record, I live in a two-story townhouse. Not very big.

i got in the tail end of this conversation, but my deductible is like 2% of my home's value....around $4000
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GetReal:



I found this ship report:

Ha Sklenar


Last reported at 2011-Aug-30 18:00 UTC. Time now 2011-Aug-31 00:54 UTC.
Position N 22°36' W 084°48'.


Wind from 050 at 11 knots

Barometer 1013.0 mb
Air temperature 31.0 ° C
Visibility: greater than 10.8 NM
Dewpoint 27.0 ° C
Water temperature 33.5 ° C
Conditions at 42056 as of
(6:50 pm CDT)
2350 GMT on 08/30/2011:
Unit of Measure: Time Zone:

Click on the graph icon in the table below to see a time series plot of the last five days of that observation.
5-day plot - Wind Direction Wind Direction (WDIR): NNW ( 340 deg true )
5-day plot - Wind Speed Wind Speed (WSPD): 7.8 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 9.7 kts
5-day plot - Wave Height Wave Height (WVHT): 3.6 ft
5-day plot - Dominant Wave Period Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 7 sec
5-day plot - Average Period Average Period (APD): 4.8 sec
5-day plot - Mean Wave Direction Mean Wave Direction (MWD): ESE ( 108 deg true )
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.80 in
5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): +0.01 in ( Rising )
5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 80.8 °F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 86.7 °F
5-day plot - Dew Point Dew Point (DEWP): 74.7 °F
5-day plot - Heat Index Heat Index (HEAT): 86.2 °F
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


I at first thought Jose was a wasted name on that storm...but on that day there was people posting that it had TS force sustained winds and therefore it was a good call on the NHC to classify it...


Wind speed is irrelevant. It lacked organized convection.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1357. Bayside
I see the blog picking up with a GOM threat. Still lots of work in SE Virginia for us after Irene, but we (my family,not everyone) really got lucky and dodged a bullet. 1.5 hrs before high tide and the water quite litterally at my door step (house is 75 feet from Chesapeake bay), I got a text that the water was receding, we weren't ther to see but it was GREAT news! Nor'Ida was higher for us.

I don't know if reed has posted yet, but this time I'm gonna have to agree with him when he comes out and say katia is gonna be more west than the models say ;). I just feel doomcon is elevated for a while on the mid Atlantic coast and instead of getting back to normal, I'm prepping for the next one.

Havent seen anything from 'Coopswife' and hope he/she got the kid to school ok and fared ok through the storm.

Cheers all!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DrLucreto:


Will that mistake mark me forever?


Ya think?
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
1355. aquak9
Quoting DrLucreto:


Will that mistake mark me forever?

Only if you get a squirrel tattoo and tell folks it's a rabbit.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25732
1354. bappit
Quoting aislinnpaps:


So basically, if we live on the TX/LA border, we should watch this thing? And this is for in three days, correct?

Sounds like it. Probably more than Port Arthur/Holly Beach residents should pay attention, too. Then again it's just a gleam in Levi's eye rite now.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 5951
1353. Dakster
Quoting synthvol:
Not a nice place for a tropical storm to be developing at.


It 'tis a tad warm there, isn't it???
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10034
Quoting KoritheMan:


Or because it was a wasted name?


I at first thought Jose was a wasted name on that storm...but on that day there was people posting that it had TS force sustained winds and therefore it was a good call on the NHC to classify it...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FLdewey:


Pssst... ^_^ alert.


^_^
Is this the I'm trying not to laugh face or I've been drinking face? This is a face, right?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1350. GetReal
Quoting CloudGatherer:
Well, that's odd. SAB places the storm a full degree north of the other estimates. Is that a mistake in the readout? Or might it explain why SAB is coming up with much less impressive T numbers than CIMSS and TAFB?



Bingo!!!
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8806
Not a nice place for a tropical storm to be developing at.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
hahahahaha
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Satellite estimates remain the same since 18z. TAFB at 55kts and SAB at 45kts.

AL, 12, 201108302345, 10, DVTS, CI, , 1270N, 3620W, , 3, 55, 2, 994, 2, DVRK, , , , , , , , , , , , , , L, TAFB, GR, I, 5, 3535 /////, , , MET9, CSC, T, ADT CI/FINAL T 3.5... AND ADJ T/RAW T 3.8

AL, 12, 201108302345, 10, DVTS, CI, , 1370N, 3610W, , 2, 45, 2, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , L, SAB, EG, IM, 3, 3030 /////, , , GOES13, LLCC, T, DT=3.0 BO CBND MET=3.5 PT=3.0 FTBO DT
Well, that's odd. SAB places the storm a full degree north of the other estimates. Is that a mistake in the readout? Or might it explain why SAB is coming up with much less impressive T numbers than CIMSS and TAFB?
Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 460
Quoting seflagamma:


I was here every minute for Irene, I just did not post. I lurked and left the comments to all of you... My Daughter lives in Mass and niece in Virginia Beach.VA..I was here..

and I have been here for every storm since Katrina in Aug 2005... and I was here looking at radar before then in 2004...

You just joined us in when 2007???





Ah, I didn't know about your daughter and niece. Glad they fared okay. :)

Yeah, I've only been here for four years, believe it or not. But I've really matured a lot since then, both as a person and as a forecaster. It's been an interesting time.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1343. aquak9
Quoting DrLucreto:
Hmm semantics was posted on this blog in only a 1 minute time limit in response to the same post, odd. Now we only have to find a way to incorporate the word adamant into our discussions.

I am adamantly sure, that those were not both rabbits.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25732
1342. bwi
West-ish winds in August in the Yucatan channel. Hmmmm.

Continuous Winds TIME
(CDT) WDIR WSPD
6:50 pm NNW ( 345 deg ) 8.0 kts
6:40 pm NNW ( 342 deg ) 9.7 kts
6:30 pm NW ( 324 deg ) 10.5 kts
6:20 pm NW ( 310 deg ) 11.5 kts
6:10 pm NW ( 310 deg ) 10.9 kts
6:00 pm WNW ( 302 deg ) 11.1 kts

08 30 5:50 pm W 11.7 15.5 4.3 7 5.4 ESE 29.79 -0.01 81.5 86.9 75.9
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Quoting DrLucreto:
Now we only have to find a way to incorporate the word adamant into our discussions.


Leave that to the walking dictionary.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Hurricane deductable is the usual $1,000. Just for the record, I live in a two-story townhouse. Not very big.


Oh ok...I know for sure doesn't matter which insurance company are you with...the state of Florida -hurricane deductibles are between 1% to 5 % based on your Coverage A limits. So I guess yours will be 1% and you are only insure for 100,000.

Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 27
Quoting KoritheMan:


I'd rather say near 100 because meteorology is an inexact science. Remember, semantics are sometimes important, especially in a field where personal (and in the case of professionals, public) credibility is on the line.


True to be cautious in predictions...but at the same time at some point things become 100% even in meteorology. I mean if the eye is 1 mile east of you and heading west at 15 mph...I would be saying 100% chance of that eye coming over....LOL

If I was writing a forecast...I would put 90% chance instead...but my gut tells me 100% chance of Katia becoming a hurricane tomorrow.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1337. GetReal
Phoenix Beta


Last reported at 2011-Aug-30 09:00 UTC. Time now 2011-Aug-31 00:59 UTC.
Position N 21°36' W 085°48'.


Wind from 150 at 20 knots

Waves 1.5 meters (5 feet), 4 second period


Barometer 1012.0 mb
Air temperature 28.0 ° C
Visibility: greater than 10.8 NM
Dewpoint 27.0 ° C

Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8806
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Aye! Jose is brought up again...for some reason I found this storm really annoying...maybe because it wasn't expected...LOL


Or because it was a wasted name?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting P451:


CDO becoming a little asymmetric.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Aye! Jose is brought up again...for some reason I found this storm really annoying...maybe because it wasn't expected...LOL

Nobody wanted it...LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:


You think this is fast? You should have been here during Irene.


I was here every minute for Irene, I just did not post. I lurked and left the comments to all of you... My Daughter lives in Mass and niece in Virginia Beach.VA..I was here..

and I have been here for every storm since Katrina in Aug 2005... and I was here looking at radar before then in 2004...
actually I was here for radar and sat in mid-late 1990's.
You just joined us in when 2007???



I was "over" Irene after her destruction the previous two go arounds, she should be retired this year.
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 297 Comments: 40881
Quoting bappit:
Houston forecast discussion:

TROFINESS IN THE WRN CARIBBEAN STILL FCST TO MOVE WNW ACROSS THE YUCATAN AND INTO THE W/NW GULF IN THE COMING DAYS. MODELS ALL STILL POINTING TOWARD VARYING TYPES OF DEVELOPMENT SOMEWHERE IN THE VICINITY OF 300 MILES SOUTH OF THE UPPER TX/WRN LA COAST TOWARD EARLY FRI.
FROM THERE...STEERING CURRENTS ARE WEAK AND THERE IS A LARGE SPREAD OF SOLNS/TRACKS RANGING FROM CNTL LA ALL THE WAY TO S TX. THING TO KEEP IN MIND IS NOTHING HAS FORMED YET AND UNTIL IF/WHEN SOMETHING DOES DEVELOP...MODELS WILL LIKELY SHOW DRASTIC RUN-TO-RUN
GUESSES (BOTH STRENGTH AND POSITION).


So basically, if we live on the TX/LA border, we should watch this thing? And this is for in three days, correct?
Member Since: August 22, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3115
i think that the trough coing down from the north is not going to influence Katia...she is going to Slooow down and then she going to do what a lot of them do have a mind of her own...Only person who knows is the man upstairs.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1328. GetReal
Quoting nofailsafe:


Very nice, I see that too. Any buoys in the area?



I found this ship report:

Ha Sklenar


Last reported at 2011-Aug-30 18:00 UTC. Time now 2011-Aug-31 00:54 UTC.
Position N 22°36' W 084°48'.


Wind from 050 at 11 knots

Barometer 1013.0 mb
Air temperature 31.0 ° C
Visibility: greater than 10.8 NM
Dewpoint 27.0 ° C
Water temperature 33.5 ° C
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8806
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

LoL


Aye! Jose is brought up again...for some reason I found this storm really annoying...maybe because it wasn't expected...LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Agreed...but I personally think that Katia will become a hurricane tomorrow...100% chance of that IMO...


I'd rather say near 100 because meteorology is an inexact science. Remember, semantics are sometimes important, especially in a field where personal (and in the case of professionals, public) credibility is on the line.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1324. bappit
Houston forecast discussion:

TROFINESS IN THE WRN CARIBBEAN STILL FCST TO MOVE WNW ACROSS THE YUCATAN AND INTO THE W/NW GULF IN THE COMING DAYS. MODELS ALL STILL POINTING TOWARD VARYING TYPES OF DEVELOPMENT SOMEWHERE IN THE VICINITY OF 300 MILES SOUTH OF THE UPPER TX/WRN LA COAST TOWARD EARLY FRI. FROM THERE...STEERING CURRENTS ARE WEAK AND THERE IS A LARGE SPREAD OF SOLNS/TRACKS RANGING FROM CNTL LA ALL THE WAY TO S TX. THING TO KEEP IN MIND IS NOTHING HAS FORMED YET AND UNTIL IF/WHEN SOMETHING DOES DEVELOP...MODELS WILL LIKELY SHOW DRASTIC RUN-TO-RUN GUESSES (BOTH STRENGTH AND POSITION).
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 5951
Quoting P451:


Good lord stop the presses!



There's more than one presslord?????

OMG
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting KoritheMan:


It really doesn't look any better organized to me.


Agreed...but I personally think that Katia will become a hurricane tomorrow...100% chance of that IMO...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1321. Dakster
Quoting FLdewey:


<--- turns off sprinklers.


LOL...
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10034
Quoting P451:


Half of the storms we've had in the Atlantic this year would fit inside that "eye". LOL


LoL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
@BreakingNews
Breaking News
Hurricane Irene destroyed more than 1,100 NC homes, caused at least $70 million in damages, gov. says - @newsobserver bit.ly/ph6HGR
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010

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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.