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 washingtonian115:
With those sst and favorable conditions forcasted I wouldn't be surprised if we have a hurricane in the gulf next week(Hey it's my damn opinion if anybody has a problem!!!).It's happened before....Alicia.
855 see 857 looks like they might think Saturday or Sunday! That might be this week.
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The New York Times published an article yesterday detailing how Hurricane Irene did, in fact, live up to the "media hype" some have been criticizing (thanks Daniel Dix for first bringing it to my attention!). The author did a ranking of storms based on the proportion of media reports for that storm during its lifetime. The top 3 storms by proportion of articles dedicated to them (definition of hype?) were Ivan, Andrew, and Floyd. Irene tentatively comes in at #10. Katrina at #14.

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/ 29/how-irene-lived-up-to-the-hype

"This got me thinking about the reporting of hurricanes relative to the amount of damage they ultimately cause. Of course we can't really know exactly how much damage a storm will cause before it hits land, but it's interesting to see which storms deserved more coverage and which maybe should have had less. If you divide the normalized damage for the top 20 costliest U.S. storms by the "News Coverage" stat developed by the author, you get this list:

1. Georges (98) 69.1
2. Floyd (99) 43.6
3. Isabel (02) 40.0
4. Gustav (08) 34.3
5. Rita (05) 27.0
6. Frances (04) 26.8
7. Ivan (04) 24.7
8. Fran (96) 21.9
9. Jeanne (04) 16.3
10. Irene (11) 16.1
11. Hugo (89) 15.4
12. Juan (98) 15.1
13. Opal (95) 13.4
14. Allison (01) 8.3
15. Alicia (83) 8.2
16. Wilma (05) 7.5
17. Charley (04) 5.7
18. Andrew (92) 5.5
19. Ike (08) 5.1
20. Katrina (05) 1.7

Based on this list, the most "over-hyped" of the costliest storms would be Hurricanes Georges, Floyd, and Isabel. It could be argued that the 3 costliest storms (Katrina, Andrew, and Ike) did not receive nearly as much coverage as they should have given the damage they were about to cause at the time. Irene fit snugly in the middle at #10 of 20. If you do the same technique for deaths, the most "over-hyped" of the deadliest storms would be Gustav, Ivan, and Andrew; the storms to not receive enough coverage were Katrina, Allen, Tropical Storm Charley (98), and Tropical Storm Allison."

by Robbie Berg
National Hurricane Center
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Quoting tropicfreak:


And we are only in August taz.





yup



SEP we could get too W
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Quoting nofailsafe:


Don't forget Humberto.
Ah yes.I remember coming out the house that morning and then coming back home to a hurricane hitting Texas.
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The female name are always the meanest on a hurricane list.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
With those sst and favorable conditions forcasted I wouldn't be surprised if we have a hurricane in the gulf next week(Hey it's my damn opinion if anybody has a problem!!!).It's happened before....Alicia.


Don't forget Humberto.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
its going too be fun too track are K storm


And we are only in August taz.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


We should be watching the weekend closely for development?


Yes, possibly beginning even earlier than that, but we'll have to see. Things look bubbly down there already.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


We should be watching the weekend closely for development?


That's what the WFO in Corpus, Houston, and Tallahassee have all been saying today. I would strongly take their word on it at this point.
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Quoting PlazaRed:


So here's one for you data devourers/record delvers, do the worst {"things that cant be named,"normally have female or male names?} I'm sure this has been postulated before.I heard the female ones are the worst historically.
Looks for the animations that this Kat "X" is going to be a carbon copy of the 950mb we had last week, maybe the real significance of this reading will emerge this time.


Not always the storms with female names are the worst for example Hugo was an absolute disaster for PR i didnt have power for two months and spent the rest of elementry school in trailers also Georges was bad too!!
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Quoting Levi32:
The 12z ECMWF ensembles are offering fantastic support for Lee to develop in the Gulf of Mexico. The member variance (purple/pink colors) is very strong over the NW gulf in 5 days, with the ensemble mean showing a low pressure area of sub-1005mb.

With those sst and favorable conditions forcasted I wouldn't be surprised if we have a hurricane in the gulf next week(Hey it's my damn opinion if anybody has a problem!!!).It's happened before....Alicia.
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Quoting PlazaRed:


So here's one for you data devourers/record delvers, do the worst {"things that cant be named,"normally have female or male names?} I'm sure this has been postulated before.I heard the female ones are the worst historically.
Looks for the animations that this Kat "X" is going to be a carbon copy of the 950mb we had last week, maybe the real significance of this reading will emerge this time.


Hmmm. ANDREW, DAVID, FLOYD, and IKE all come to mind as male name PITA storms... I am sure there are many others.
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Quoting angiest:


Aren't those water temps?
Sorry, I believe you are right.
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Why is there a Cane threat for Tampa? I don't see anything.

Quoting nofailsafe:


To soak up the bay?
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851. Gorty
Quoting BrockBerlin:


The physics and math can be hard but if weather is your passion you can make it through it (that being said I like math, physics not so much)... of course weather really has to be your passion as the curriculum is roughly on par with engineering, and the end result is a stressful career with much less earning potential (yeah I sound really smart for majoring in meteorology lol).


It is my passion. I am a huge weather geek and love to analyze models and what not.

I mean, meteorology is like the only field I can easily remember stuff and learn quickly at. Everything else takes me forever, so pretty much slow to learn if it is not weather lol.
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Quoting Levi32:
The 12z ECMWF ensembles are offering fantastic support for Lee to develop in the Gulf of Mexico. The member variance (purple/pink colors) is very strong over the NW gulf in 5 days, with the ensemble mean showing a low pressure area of sub-1005mb.



We should be watching the weekend closely for development?
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Quoting Dragod66:
cant escape the trolls on levi's youtube videos...


I know that guy, but don't like him. He thinks the NWS and NHC sucks, and we shouldn't have one.
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its going too be fun too track are K storm
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Quoting tropicfreak:
The only way I see Katia being a threat is if something forms in the gulf, that could mess up the system of upper level troughs.


Could you explain why that would be? Would greatly appreciate it just to help me understand more.
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If any eyewall is taking place wemight see RI somewhere down the road towards early thursday maybe, depending on how fast an eyewall would come into existence
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Quoting Grothar:
The GFS 384 hours out. Way after Katia moves out.
this is their forecast for the next wave that moves off of Africa.


img src="">
The storms just won't stop!!!
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The 12z ECMWF ensembles are offering fantastic support for Lee to develop in the Gulf of Mexico. The member variance (purple/pink colors) is very strong over the NW gulf in 5 days, with the ensemble mean showing a low pressure area of sub-1005mb.

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Quoting mrpuertorico:
Iknow!!!! Irene was enough for me this year thank you. And from now on lets just call these storms something else...how about those that must not be named.


So here's one for you data devourers/record delvers, do the worst {"things that cant be named,"normally have female or male names?} I'm sure this has been postulated before.I heard the female ones are the worst historically.
Looks for the animations that this Kat "X" is going to be a carbon copy of the 950mb we had last week, maybe the real significance of this reading will emerge this time.
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Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting DrLucreto:


I would give it very good odds >80% of becoming a major hurricanes it should have very little land interaction, a moist environment, little shear (+ an ULAC), and high SST's. Also stability has decreased since Emily and Don supporting greater amounts of convection. Exactly how high it ends up is difficult once a system reaches major status it requires near ideal conditions to continue strengthening and something as simple as a poorly placed ULL or TUTT feature could provide enough shear to limit intensity.


I just hope it stays away from any landmass once it reaches major status. I am a little worried for Bermuda, but we have a long way to go.
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Quoting Gorty:


I guess your right, I just suck at it.


Meteorology? or Math and Physics? Either way, don't think of yourself bad-fully. :)
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cant escape the trolls on levi's youtube videos...
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It does look like some type of eyewall wants to start forming. I really don't like these big storms.


Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
The only way I see Katia being a threat is if something forms in the gulf, that could mess up the system of upper level troughs.
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834. Gorty
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Then that means you really didn't want to be one in the first place. Because if you really did, you would be willing to do a lot to get that job.


I guess your right, I just suck at it.
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Quoting scott39:
Forecast for Caribbean wave: Who the Heck knows!!
I think anywhere from FL. to Mexico is fair game at this point.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting Gorty:


I wish you didn't need to take all that hard math and physics to get a met degree :(

Because of that, idk if I really want to become a met.


Then that means you really didn't want to be one in the first place. Because if you really did, you would be willing to do a lot to get that job.
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831. Gorty
Quoting BrockBerlin:


Yes TAFB is located at the NHC, and is a popular career stepping stone for the NHC senior forecasters.


I wish you didn't need to take all that hard math and physics to get a met degree :(

Because of that, idk if I really want to become a met.
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Quoting emcf30:


The GFDL has Katia becoming a monster around 130 Kts



* ATLANTIC SHIPS INTENSITY FORECAST *
* GOES AVAILABLE, OHC AVAILABLE *
* KATIA AL122011 08/30/11 18 UTC *

TIME (HR) 0 6 12 18 24 36 48 60 72 84 96 108 120
V (KT) NO LAND 50 56 63 70 77 89 98 103 105 106 107 106 107
V (KT) LAND 50 56 63 70 77 89 98 103 105 106 107 106 107
V (KT) LGE mod 50 56 62 69 77 90 97 100 98 95 94 97 101
Storm Type TROP TROP TROP TROP TROP TROP TROP TROP TROP TROP TROP TROP TROP

SHEAR (KT) 5 6 6 6 2 4 9 15 8 8 7 13 12
SHEAR ADJ (KT) 1 0 0 0 0 3 2 3 9 0 -3 -3 -1
SHEAR DIR 71 76 79 82 87 193 149 224 245 267 122 262 170
SST (C) 28.0 27.9 27.9 27.9 27.8 27.8 28.0 28.3 28.5 28.6 28.8 29.0 29.0
POT. INT. (KT) 139 137 138 138 137 136 139 142 144 145 149 153 153


Not too surprising.
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Quoting angiest:


Aren't those water temps?


Yes..water temperatures
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826. Gorty
Quoting BrockBerlin:


For storms this far out, TAFB satellite estimates play a very big role in determining intensity. Obviously once RECON is available that role diminishes.


Wait, but isnt TAFB people that works there? Because it stands for Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch.
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Forecast for Caribbean wave: Who the Heck knows!!
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The GFDL has Katia becoming a monster around 130 Kts



* ATLANTIC SHIPS INTENSITY FORECAST *
* GOES AVAILABLE, OHC AVAILABLE *
* KATIA AL122011 08/30/11 18 UTC *

TIME (HR) 0 6 12 18 24 36 48 60 72 84 96 108 120
V (KT) NO LAND 50 56 63 70 77 89 98 103 105 106 107 106 107
V (KT) LAND 50 56 63 70 77 89 98 103 105 106 107 106 107
V (KT) LGE mod 50 56 62 69 77 90 97 100 98 95 94 97 101
Storm Type TROP TROP TROP TROP TROP TROP TROP TROP TROP TROP TROP TROP TROP

SHEAR (KT) 5 6 6 6 2 4 9 15 8 8 7 13 12
SHEAR ADJ (KT) 1 0 0 0 0 3 2 3 9 0 -3 -3 -1
SHEAR DIR 71 76 79 82 87 193 149 224 245 267 122 262 170
SST (C) 28.0 27.9 27.9 27.9 27.8 27.8 28.0 28.3 28.5 28.6 28.8 29.0 29.0
POT. INT. (KT) 139 137 138 138 137 136 139 142 144 145 149 153 153
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NWS Tallahassee

LONG TERM...(FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY).
A RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE WILL EXTEND FROM NEW ENGLAND DOWN THE
ERN SEABOARD INTO GA AT THE START OF THE PERIOD. THIS HIGH WILL
MOVE LITTLE ON FRI...BUT THEN BEGIN TO SETTLE SWD TO A POSITION
OFF THE CAROLINA COAST OVER THE WEEKEND. MUCH OF THE FORECAST FROM
THE WEEKEND ONWARD WILL DEPEND ON THE TROPICS. MOST OF THE MODELS
ARE DEVELOPING A TC SOMEWHERE IN THE VICINITY OF THE YUCATAN OR
SRN GULF IN THE WED NIGHT THROUGH THU TIME FRAME. THE NAM APPEARS
TO DEVELOP THE SYSTEM TOO QUICKLY. THE GFS AND EURO BOTH SHOW A
MORE GRADUAL SPIN UP WITH A CYCLONE CENTERED ABOUT 280 MI E OR ESE
OF BROWNSVILLE TX ON FRI. AFTER THAT TIME...THE GFS TAKES THE
SYSTEM ON A MORE NLY TRACK TOWARD LA AND THEN TAKES A SHARP LEFT
TURN BACK TOWARD THE TX COAST EARLY NEXT WEEK. THE 29/12Z EURO
ALSO SHOWED SOME TYPE OF LOOP OVER THE NWRN GULF...BUT THE LATEST
00Z RUN ALLOWS IT TO SIT AND SPIN PRETTY MUCH IN PLACE. THESE
DISCREPANCIES WILL LARGELY IMPACT HOW BREEZY IT GETS OVER THE ERN
GULF. HOWEVER...ANY SCENARIO WITH A TC IN THE WRN GULF WILL LIKELY
ALLOW AN INCREASE IN MOISTURE AND ASSOCIATED POP...ESPECIALLY WITH
A FRONT APPROACHING FROM THE NW. THIS UPWARD TREND IN POPS BEGINS
SUN WITH LIKELY POPS FOR MUCH OF THE AREA SUN AND MON. ALL OF THIS
MOISTURE WILL FINALLY PUT A CAP ON MAX TEMPS WITH UPPER 80S ACROSS
THE WRN ZONES ON SAT AND UPPER 80S TO AROUND 90 EVERYWHERE SUN AND
MON.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting sunlinepr:


I wonder why models always draw those round cicles that they call Hurricanes over PR.... lol
Iknow!!!! Irene was enough for me this year thank you. And from now on lets just call these storms something else...how about those that must not be named.
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Quoting angiest:


Aren't those water temps?


No, those are much higher...
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Quoting scott39:
Which Global model did the best job with Irenes track from developement until death??


Depends on which time frame, for 72 hours the best were GFS, HWRF and GFDN. For 120 hours GFDN, NGPS, CMC and GFS. However the GFDN only had 8 forecasts at 120 hours and the CMC had 4. The GFS had 21, so a much larger sample size.

Link
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At 8:00 the Caribbean wave will be________.
A.0%-10%
B.20%-30%
C.40%-50%
D.High chance
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Quoting aprinz1979:



The Cantori effect?


LOL
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Quoting flowrida:
Man I love when there is a hurricane scare in the tampa area, Im a bread distributor and my sales skyrocket!!


To soak up the bay?
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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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