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 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: 32802
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1263. Dennis8
Quoting DavidHOUTX:


I saw that as well. All I can say to that (being from Houston) is man its been baking here. If this rainmaker the models are predicting doesn't give us any relief and we go through september with well below avg rainfall, we will have some problems this winter into spring (whatever spring Houston has ha!).

This has been quite a crazy year though, especially having temperatures in the teens in Houston in February and then cranking out the hottest year ever recorded thus far, and probably one of the driest. All I can imagine is a flood is on the horizon. This coming week/weekend will be very interesting to say the least!


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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks Geoff!

Link

BBB link for what it's worth. Rumor has it that they can be bought, but they are trying to clean that up.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1261. Dakster
Quoting ChillinInTheKeys:
Just for the record, we had Florida Fire and Casualty during Andrew, They were gone in something like 5 days. Make sure they have broad coverage!!!


Basically make sure that they are in the Florida Catastrophe/gaurantee fund. (There is a better name for this now...) The retail insurance company has purchased catastrophic loss insurance, which gaurantees you will be paid. Basically, make sure they are not a surplus line carrier, which is exempt from this requirement.

Disclaimer: I am not an insurance agent and don't make your insurance decisions based on this comment or any comment in a blog. Just sharing what I believe to be true.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10744
Quoting PcolaDan:


nerd
(I don't get it) :(


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. >_<
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:

Yes, a group of discerning, open-minded, intelligent viewers. It's not a huge group, but what they lack in numbers they make up for in desirability to advertisers.




Open-minded?!!!

Like Chris Matthews or Ed Shultz and now Al Sharpton?
I gotta hand it to you Nea, you said it with a straight face. (So to speak)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting twincomanche:
All five of them.LOL.


Ooooo, good comeback.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010


Voie d'Irene, je t'ai deja vu longtemps!

What, WU doesn't support accented letters?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting presslord:
Based strictly on the photos...it would appear Jeff Masters has access to a more impressive array of tools...

bhahahhahahahalololol!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1254. emcf30
Quoting presslord:
Who ya gonna trust?

This?!


or

This?!

LMAO
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
00Z ATCF Update for 93E....No change:

EP, 93, 2011083100, , BEST, 0, 167N, 1019W, 25, 1004, DB, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1007, 120, 70, 0, 0, E, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802

WOW
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1251. marmark
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Federated National Insurance Company. Located in Ft. Lauderdale. They include Loss of Use...which I could of used during Wilma.
Thanks, Geoff
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.
What company?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:

Yes, a group of discerning, open-minded, intelligent viewers. It's not a huge group, but what they lack in numbers they make up for in desirability to advertisers.
Ahhh....true to my heart. Unlike those idiots at Fox Noise
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dennis8:
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
530 PM CDT TUE AUG 30 2011

THE NEXT THING IN THE OFFING IS POSSIBLY EXTRA OR ACTUALLY TROPICAL
IN NATURE.
IT DOES NOT MATTER TOO MUCH WHICH CATEGORY WE GIVE IT
SINCE WIND SPEED IS WIND SPEED REGARDLESS. WE WILL BEGIN TO SHOW AN
UPWARD BUMP IN WIND SPEEDS OVER THE COASTAL WATERS TOWARD THE
WEEKEND. A STRONG TROPICAL WAVE OVER THE WESTERN CARIBBEAN WILL
COLLIDE WITH A STALLED FRONT OVER THE CENTRAL GULF. THIS WILL
ACTIVATE THE FRONT TO MOVE BACK TO THE NORTH. AN UPPER TROUGH DIGS
SLIGHTLY OVER THE MID-WEST THEN LIFTS LEAVING THE GULF LOW BEHIND AS
A MID AND UPPER LEVEL HIGH BUILDS OVER IT. THIS WILL CAUSE THE LOW
TO DRIFT AS STEERING CURRENTS WEAKEN. THE MAJOR IMPACTS EXPECTED AT
THIS TIME IS WIND SPEEDS OVER THE COASTAL WATERS...A HIGHER
POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING RAINFALL...COASTAL FLOODING...AND TROPICAL
WATERSPOUTS/TORNADIC SPINUPS.



Well, that explains the wobbly stall all the models display, there's a front in the way.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Just for the record, we had Florida Fire and Casualty during Andrew, They were gone in something like 5 days. Make sure they have broad coverage!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DrLucreto:


I am very skeptical of a meandering system in the Gulf it would require a relatively complicated pattern for that to occur.


Yea kind of agree with you but which pattern was not complicated so far this year?
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Curious. ECM has Zip in the Gulf next week.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dennis8:
RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX
224 AM CDT TUE AUG 30 2011

..RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT HOUSTON INTERCONTINENTAL

A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 107 DEGREES WAS SET AT HOUSTON
INTERCONTINENTAL YESTERDAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 103
DEGREES SET IN 1909. THIS IS THE FOURTH CONSECUTIVE DAY WITH A HIGH
TEMPERATURE RECORD AND THE 39TH 100 DEGREE DAY THIS SUMMER.




..RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT HOUSTON/HOBBY AIRPORT

A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 103 DEGREES WAS SET AT HOUSTON/HOBBY
AIRPORT YESTERDAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 99 DEGREES SET IN
1998. THIS WAS THE 13TH DAY THIS SUMMER WITH A TEMPERATURE OF 100
DEGREES OR HIGHER.


I saw that as well. All I can say to that (being from Houston) is man its been baking here. If this rainmaker the models are predicting doesn't give us any relief and we go through september with well below avg rainfall, we will have some problems this winter into spring (whatever spring Houston has ha!).

This has been quite a crazy year though, especially having temperatures in the teens in Houston in February and then cranking out the hottest year ever recorded thus far, and probably one of the driest. All I can imagine is a flood is on the horizon. This coming week/weekend will be very interesting to say the least!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting marmark:
Which company? I am having a hard time finding insurance since Frances, Jeanne, and Wilma.


Federated National Insurance Company. Located in Ft. Lauderdale. They include Loss of Use...which I could of used during Wilma.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11537
Quoting NoVaForecaster:
18Z GFS shows DOOM for FL panhandle AND Bermuda

Link


I still think in the crosshairs is the best place to be this far out but we have been there for 2 days now, 2 more days and I will be worried.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1238. marmark
Quoting CrazyDuke:
I think Katia will max out at exactly (2.4 x 10^6)^(1/3) * i^5 knots.

You will need to know a decent amount of math to get that joke.
I guess that depends on your carrot....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1237. Dakster
Quoting ChillinInTheKeys:


Link or info. please. Dropped ours this year, will probably become a magnet now.


Really, share that link... Citizens charged me $9000 this year. I don't have a choice at the moment.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10744
1236. Dennis8
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
530 PM CDT TUE AUG 30 2011

THE NEXT THING IN THE OFFING IS POSSIBLY EXTRA OR ACTUALLY TROPICAL
IN NATURE.
IT DOES NOT MATTER TOO MUCH WHICH CATEGORY WE GIVE IT
SINCE WIND SPEED IS WIND SPEED REGARDLESS. WE WILL BEGIN TO SHOW AN
UPWARD BUMP IN WIND SPEEDS OVER THE COASTAL WATERS TOWARD THE
WEEKEND. A STRONG TROPICAL WAVE OVER THE WESTERN CARIBBEAN WILL
COLLIDE WITH A STALLED FRONT OVER THE CENTRAL GULF. THIS WILL
ACTIVATE THE FRONT TO MOVE BACK TO THE NORTH. AN UPPER TROUGH DIGS
SLIGHTLY OVER THE MID-WEST THEN LIFTS LEAVING THE GULF LOW BEHIND AS
A MID AND UPPER LEVEL HIGH BUILDS OVER IT. THIS WILL CAUSE THE LOW
TO DRIFT AS STEERING CURRENTS WEAKEN. THE MAJOR IMPACTS EXPECTED AT
THIS TIME IS WIND SPEEDS OVER THE COASTAL WATERS...A HIGHER
POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING RAINFALL...COASTAL FLOODING...AND TROPICAL
WATERSPOUTS/TORNADIC SPINUPS.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PensacolaDoug:



That network still has viewers????!!!!

Yes, a group of discerning, open-minded, intelligent viewers. It's not a huge group, but what they lack in numbers they make up for in desirability to advertisers.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
ADT a lil' bit higher ATM.

2011AUG30 234500 3.6 997.5 57.0 3.6 3.8 3.8 NO LIMIT OFF OFF -67.10 -66.46 UNIFRM N/A N/A 12.88 36.16 FCST MSG2 44.1


Which supports a 55 knot. system....Will likely be higher by 11PM though.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
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.


Link or info. please. Dropped ours this year, will probably become a magnet now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1232. Dakster
-- deleted - repost --
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10744
Quoting DrLucreto:


I am very skeptical of a meandering system in the Gulf it would require a relatively complicated pattern for that to occur.


At the very least, it could be an indicator that this system will be a slow-moving one.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 602 Comments: 21301
1229. buoyboy
8-30-2011
What is the TS showing up in the NAM model going to do?
It is not showing up in other models or is it?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Grothar how many Hrs out is that?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1227. GetReal
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8898
ADT a lil' bit higher ATM.

2011AUG30 234500 3.6 997.5 57.0 3.6 3.8 3.8 NO LIMIT OFF OFF -67.10 -66.46 UNIFRM N/A N/A 12.88 36.16 FCST MSG2 44.1
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting PcolaDan:

Why not?



No reason.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1223. Dakster
Quoting presslord:


'sup, dude?! When ya comin' back through this way?


Couled be sooner, but right now Next summer... I came thru a couple of months ago, but we had to make driving time...

Got another load of clothes and things for you piling up as well!
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10744
1222. marmark
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Finally got some extra Homeowner%u2019s Insurance. Citizens was charging me more than $3,000, so I dumped them. Found another company with the same coverage for $1,100.
Which company? I am having a hard time finding insurance since Frances, Jeanne, and Wilma.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PensacolaDoug:



That network still has viewers????!!!!
Joey B. still has subscribers
Quoting PcolaDan:

Why not?
Quoting PensacolaDoug:



That network still has viewers????!!!!
There's no accounting for taste.
Case in point, there's folks out there who pay for Joe Bastardi hype.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dakster:
PRESSLORD!!!

HOW are you and the folks doing? I see you are up to helping other as always. Glad you could come on the blog.



'sup, dude?! When ya comin' back through this way?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1218. Grothar
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11537

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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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