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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being a troll is so stupid......basically identity theft all it is really
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Quoting Patrap:


Dr. Masters was also interviewed today on the MSNBC show Dylan Ratigan.


Dylan was awesome on CNBC. It was a shame they lost him. How was the interview?
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Quoting Neapolitan:

Honestly, there aren't many days--especially during season--that Dr. Masters and/or this blog aren't quoted in the national press.
I've seen the Dr. as the weather expert on the national news many many times, and snippets from his blog post here and there...but I don't recall ever seeing a story about THIS BLOG.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5677
1059. DFWjc
Quoting JGreco:
How many poofs Am I aloud...geez:o


Ask Taz, he's got atleast 275....
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PLEASE IGNORE LEVI33, THE IMPOSTER OF OUR REAL LEVI32 ;)
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32703
Quoting flowrida:
katia really scares me for some reason
The name sounds a little scary to me, but the meaning isn't so bad. It means "pure."

Of course that could go both ways, I suppose. Pure tiger woman, or lily of the valley leaves U.S. alone.
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Hey Levi(32) :)

I know its to early to forecast a track for our GOM system. However since you did bet on Katia would you like to wager on a spot for the disturbance to spin up.

TIA
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Quoting ackee:
seem like the GULF will be very intresting to watch this weekend into next week KATIA seem like a sure fish now
Yeah a fish swimming through the florida everglades
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Quoting JupiterFL:


Not really. I have been on here a few days longer than you plus my face doesn't look like a planet.


LOL.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32703
1052. ackee
seem like the GULF will be very intresting to watch this weekend into next week KATIA seem like a sure fish now
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Quoting Levi32:
Wow, really?


You know it ;)
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32703
1050. JGreco
Quoting Neapolitan:
Dear Immature Trolls--

     Some advice: if you're going to try to impersonate Levi, at least use enough of your minuscule brain to spell correctly. Otherwise it makes it far too easy for us to spot your lame attempts and to send you packing.

--Sincerely,
The Adults


+1000:)
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Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11517
Quoting Patrap:


Dr. Masters was also interviewed today on the MSNBC show Dylan Ratigan.
Interesting.
I've seen him before on the national news, as I'm sure you and most of us have....but I've never seen a story about THIS BLOG. Oh well, the know-everything New Yorkers will be here, but they'll quickly learn we know a lot more about tropical cyclones than they do. Fuhgetaboutit!
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5677
Dear Immature Trolls--

     Some advice: if you're going to try to impersonate Levi, at least use enough of your minuscule brain to spell correctly. Otherwise it makes it far too easy for us to spot your lame attempts and to send you packing.

--Sincerely,
The Adults
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katia really scares me for some reason
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please let that wave in the western carribean continue to develop... and for a low to move west into the gom and swing some badly needed moisture towards texas... thank you in advance...
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Quoting KoritheMan:


I haven't closely looked at her today (about to do a blog, though), but I don't see any northerly component of motion, at least anything beyond a WNW movement, which was expected.


Ah, never mind; I missed the word "progressively". We are not going to see a significant poleward bend until next week.
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Thank you Levi!
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1037. JGreco
How many poofs Am I aloud...geez:o
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Quoting Tazmanian:



POOF bye bye


You're being a real jerk. You should be ashamed of yourself. I've never said one bad thing to you and for you to treat me like that is wrong.
Member Since: September 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 260
will the real Levi plzs stan up
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115437
Quoting JupiterX:


Oh no our names are going to cause problems, although clearly we had different intentions when creating them


Not really. I have been on here a few days longer than you plus my face doesn't look like a planet.
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Quoting weatherjr:
I can see the storm direction progressively northward (perhaps because of intensification-relocalization). I think that is normal. What is the bloggers opinion?


I haven't closely looked at her today (about to do a blog, though), but I don't see any northerly component of motion, at least anything beyond a WNW movement, which was expected.
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1030. JGreco
Quoting tropicfreak:


Troll alert!


Yeah what happen to the 32....??hmmmm
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1028. Levi32
Wow, really?
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1027. Hhunter
Quoting Barkeep1967:



No they would not have. Just because they were weak and did not hit land has nothing to do with it.

I am glad somebody on a blog would like to decide what should be named over the people that get paid to do it.

Poof
Quoting Levi32:


We will probably see something attempting to form up this weekend, regardless of whether it actually develops.
Quoting Levi32:


We will probably see something attempting to form up this weekend, regardless of whether it actually develops.


Why global warming?...LOL
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
Wow....a national story about THIS BLOG. Thanks Pat.

Honestly, there aren't many days--especially during season--that Dr. Masters and/or this blog aren't quoted in the national press.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



am not him but he did say it could be are 1st cat 4 so i woud say there is a vary high ch of that yes


Dang that guy with the PHD said the same thing, so if the models still show it threatening tomorrow I might have to start initial preparations.
Member Since: August 28, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 49
Katia just took a huge wooble to the south!!! Watch out florida!!
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1022. Patrap
Jeesum,,Levi-itis is really catching Like da flu.




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LOL, people talking to levi33. Ignore him to avoid the confusion.

*Awaits WuMail*
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting JupiterFL:
It is really amazing how often this blog reverts back into the Fish Storm debate. Who really cares. If your offended by something posted on Jeff Masters Wunderblog, you have big problems.


Oh no our names are going to cause problems, although clearly we had different intentions when creating them
Member Since: August 28, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 49
Quoting Tazmanian:
ooops


Did you let one out for Katia ;)
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ooops
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115437
Levi! Your popular!
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32703
Quoting Tazmanian:



am not him but he did say it could be are 1st cat 4 so i woud say there is a vary high ch of that yes
That's not the real Levi, Taz
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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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