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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1314. GeoffreyWPB
12:53 AM GMT on August 31, 2011
Quoting proroller:


Ok sounds great....now can you tell me how much will be your hurricane deductible? How much will be your premium? Thanks!


Hurricane deductable is the usual $1,000. Just for the record, I live in a two-story townhouse. Not very big.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11150
1313. NCHurricane2009
12:53 AM GMT on August 31, 2011
Interesting...tropical wave added in western Caribbean taht was not previously there in the TAFB surface analyses and discussions...I firmly believe this is the southern fracture of Invest 98L but was not analyzed because it was previously poorly defined...tropical waves don't just pop out of the blue...

If this can bring rain to Texas...that would be the besst outcome....
Member Since: September 15, 2009 Posts: 473 Comments: 3668
1312. Delsol
12:53 AM GMT on August 31, 2011
Link

Huffington Post interview w/ Dr. Masters.
Member Since: August 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 65
1311. KoritheMan
12:52 AM GMT on August 31, 2011
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Appears Katia's intensity should hold steady at 11PM...Slight chance of 65 MPH.


It really doesn't look any better organized to me.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20564
1310. Abacosurf
12:52 AM GMT on August 31, 2011
Quoting GetReal:


Anyone else see a weak rotation near the western tip of Cuba???


http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station =42056

wind switched to NNW on the yuc channel buoy.

Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 360
1309. HouGalv08
12:52 AM GMT on August 31, 2011
Quoting GetReal:


Anyone else see a weak rotation near the western tip of Cuba???
UH oh! First evidence!
Member Since: July 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 359
1308. KoritheMan
12:52 AM GMT on August 31, 2011
Quoting seflagamma:
this is moving way too fast for me tonight.. I have work early really early tomorrow morning..

thank you all for your thoughts and comments.


You think this is fast? You should have been here during Irene.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20564
1307. WeatherNerdPR
12:52 AM GMT on August 31, 2011
Quoting P451:
What's with the WPac and storms with gigantic cores this year? This is the third storm I think that has done this.


Good Lord!
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5682
1306. tropicfreak
12:52 AM GMT on August 31, 2011
Quoting GetReal:


Anyone else see a weak rotation near the western tip of Cuba???


Possible LLC developing?
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6877
1305. TropicalAnalystwx13
12:51 AM GMT on August 31, 2011
Appears Katia's intensity should hold steady at 11PM...Slight chance of 65 MPH.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32002
1303. OracleDeAtlantis
12:50 AM GMT on August 31, 2011
Quoting GetReal:


Anyone else see a weak rotation near the western tip of Cuba???
Yes ... fascinating, and a little scary too. Someone pointed out today that Camille came from this region of the Caribbean.
Member Since: August 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 524
1302. seflagamma
12:50 AM GMT on August 31, 2011
this is moving way too fast for me tonight.. I have work early really early tomorrow morning..

thank you all for your thoughts and comments.
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 298 Comments: 40902
1301. aislinnpaps
12:50 AM GMT on August 31, 2011
Evening, everyone. God Bless the Portlight guys! How wonderful what they do is.
Member Since: August 22, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3125
Quoting Dennis8:


I lived in upper Kirby district in Houston during Alison..25 inches plus in my rain gauge that night. I remember going to take pictures of the 18-wheelers under water on I-10.....Wecan catch up in one night! :>)


59 might be a sight now that it's finished.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Oh, how in the world could I have forgotten Claudette in '79 ! 48" in 24 hours at the city of Alvin! In Texas everything is big, sort of like the ego of the present occupant of the Gov's mansion.
Member Since: July 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 359
1297. marmark
Quoting aquak9:
grothar- post 1268

uhh...what did you do with Florida? I don't see it.
hehehehehe
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CosmicEvents:
I fear the same thing. Let's hope it stays contained within the blog, and doesn't cause much damage.
.
I probably shouldn't say anything...but I think both you and Nea are really good bloggers that help make the site better. It's not right to see one of you saying they don't like the other. Agreeing that everyone has their own political pov or personality quirks, I keep these things private...away from the blogs, especially the main.


Cosmic, you and I have agreed to disagre but mostly agre for years now..
and I am sure NEO can do the same...
sometimes I read what he posts and I can nod my head that maybe he has a point or two..and some times I just smile...
But I welcome all comments...well except those that are useless and those are on Ignore and will be there until January 2012! that is when I relase all the trolls and give them another chance next year! LOL

Thank you.



Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 298 Comments: 40902
Quoting GetReal:


Anyone else see a weak rotation near the western tip of Cuba???


Very nice, I see that too. Any buoys in the area?
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Quoting Grothar:
Dear God,
what the heck is that? Pretty scary looking to me!!!
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1293. Dennis8
Quoting HouGalv08:
Lets see....Allison dumped 36" on a remote rain gage where the San Jacinto River passes under I-10, 30+ on a rain gage where Greens Bayou crosses under I-59. And the west fork of the San Jacinto River and watershed between Lake Conroe and I 59 got 33" in four days in Oct 1994, which flooded my house. Yep, we can make up 30" in no time with the right weather system. Sick, ain't it?


I lived in upper Kirby district in Houston during Alison..25 inches plus in my rain gauge that night. I remember going to take pictures of the 18-wheelers under water on I-10.....Wecan catch up in one night! :>)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting bappit:
I sure would like the tropical wave to just hurry up and get on shore in Texas. I don't like this idea of a weak steering pattern. I want a SURGE of moisture. On the bright side, it got up to only 102 at IAH today.


I always thought IAH was a funny place to use as the official gauge for the Houston area. Hobby or somewhere on the north loop made a little more sense to me.

Happily I didn't have to carry a fire extinguisher around with me today to put out my shoes from the heat. I can't wait for fall to finally roll around.
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1291. aquak9
grothar- post 1268

uhh...what did you do with Florida? I don't see it.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 165 Comments: 25914
1290. WBNC
Soooo....I just got done celebrating the Irene best scenario (in Wrightsville Beach) ...it is even worth worrying about this one yet? I don't like where it formed...never been good for the Carolinas.
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UW/CIMSS shows further strengthening - Raw T# is now up to 3.9, and if it holds, the Final T will follow well in advance of the 11PM advisory. The NHC will have the option of declaring Katia a hurricane. But SAB is holding constant at 45kts. I suspect they'll wait for SAB to cross the threshold - so far out to sea, there's no rush - but if she's not a hurricane by 11PM, she'll certainly be one by morning.

UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 8.1.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 31 AUG 2011 Time : 001500 UTC
Lat : 12:55:00 N Lon : 36:17:51 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.7 / 996.2mb/ 59.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
3.7 3.9 3.9

Center Temp : -68.5C Cloud Region Temp : -66.4C

Scene Type : UNIFORM CDO CLOUD REGION

Positioning Method : FORECAST INTERPOLATION

Ocean Basin : ATLANTIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

C/K/Z MSLP Estimate Inputs :
- Average 34 knot radii : 52km
- Environmental MSLP : 1014mb

Satellite Viewing Angle : 44.2 degrees

Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 460
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
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
1286. GetReal
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8871
Quoting marmark:
Thanks, Geoff
Good luck we had them and they are droping us after one year and they went up $300 after the fact in the middle of the year!!
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1284. marmark
Quoting bappit:
If it's too good to be true ... ?

Dr. Master's blog is probably a good place to do some astroturfing if you are a home insurance company in Florida. Just noting an obvious fact. Draw your own conclusions.

just curious...where do you live?
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My local paper is already trying to hype up Katia and it's still a week away.

Link
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Finally got some extra Homeowners Insurance. Citizens was charging me more than $3,000, so I dumped them. Found another company with the same coverage for $1,100.


Ok sounds great....now can you tell me how much will be your hurricane deductible? How much will be your premium? Thanks!
Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 27
1280. GetReal


Anyone else see a weak rotation near the western tip of Cuba???
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8871
Quoting Dennis8:


I agree..I have lived on the Texas coast my enitre life -49 years . Weather is mother natures way of evening it out. I fee quite confident we are about to get some stormy wx.

9-11, 1961 my parents had to delay their wedding day to to Hurricane Carla ( largest hurricane in the Atlantic basin to date) and we are going to Corpus for their 50th anniversary ..we are hoping not to have a repeat of anything that severe but I expect some sort of rainmaker/storm. We have 30 inches to make up at least.
Lets see....Allison dumped 36" on a remote rain gage where the San Jacinto River passes under I-10, 30+ on a rain gage where Greens Bayou crosses under I-59. And the west fork of the San Jacinto River and watershed between Lake Conroe and I 59 got 33" in four days in Oct 1994, which flooded my house. Yep, we can make up 30" in no time with the right weather system. Sick, ain't it?
Member Since: July 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 359
Quoting Grothar:


sweet mother of jesus hurricane at my doorstep
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1277. bappit
I sure would like the tropical wave to just hurry up and get on shore in Texas. I don't like this idea of a weak steering pattern. I want a SURGE of moisture. On the bright side, it got up to only 102 at IAH today.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6021
Quoting CrazyDuke:


There's no point if no one gets it. :(

It's an inaccurate, irrational, imaginary number that is roughly equivalent to the wind speed at which a Hurricane becomes a Category 5 storm. In other words, I'm poking fun at people that predict doom at this point.

Wait, it might technically not be irrational. >_<


There's more than one here that I am sure would have understood it. But they don't seem to be here unfortunately. Me and math? Eh!
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
1275. beell
Quoting bappit:

Monsoonal? The monsoon trough is on the other side of Mexico. The 8 pm TWO (conveniently posted above by CloudGatherer) clearly states:

A LARGE AREA OF DISORGANIZED CLOUDINESS AND SHOWERS OVER THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA IS ASSOCIATED WITH A TROPICAL WAVE.


Try looking about 36 hours ahead at 700mb.
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1273. Dakster
Quoting Grothar:


I don't like that run grothar... pick another one please.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10276
Quoting Neapolitan:
ATCF says Katia's still holding at 50 knots/60 mph:

AL, 12, 2011083100, , BEST, 0, 131N, 366W, 50, 997, TS, 50, NEQ, 20, 0, 0, 20, 1012, 200, 20, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, KATIA, D,


No! Must-Let-Me-Post-It-Before-You!

lol.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32002
ATCF says Katia's still holding at 50 knots/60 mph:

AL, 12, 2011083100, , BEST, 0, 131N, 366W, 50, 997, TS, 50, NEQ, 20, 0, 0, 20, 1012, 200, 20, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, KATIA, D,
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I've been burned twice. Once, "Andrew", another was medical, Judge said we were the insurer, instead of getting paid, (International Forum of Florida), had to pay more that double.
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1269. bappit
If it's too good to be true ... ?

Dr. Master's blog is probably a good place to do some astroturfing if you are a home insurance company in Florida. Just noting an obvious fact. Draw your own conclusions.

Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6021
1268. Grothar
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NoVaForecaster:
18Z GFS shows DOOM for FL panhandle AND Bermuda

Link


Wow, although I doubt that scenario...however crazier things have happened...
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Today--when it hit 109 degrees--was the 94th this year in which Wichita Falls, Texas, reached at least 100 degrees; the previous record for 100-degree days there was 79. It was the city's fifth consecutive record high, and 13th so far this month. (The average high for the month has been 106.9.) It was also the city's 64th day this year at or above 105 degrees; the previous record was 41. In short, it's hot--though a few days with sub-100 highs are expected by the weekend, so that's some relief. (The middle of the month also saw two sub-100 days.)

And now you know...

(BTW: someone asked me once why I speak so frequently of Wichita Falls. First, I have a lot of family there, and have spent time there myself. Second, it's been really, really hot this year, and I think that's interesting.)
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Quoting DrLucreto:


Careful when posting EPAC info, the rays of apathy emitted by the board can cause injury.


You've done good today, don't ruin it now :)
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32002

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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.