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 WetBankGuy:
If 300 hours is subtitled Fantasy, what is 360 hours out?


That would be west of due west...
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Since she has another hour to impress, Katia might become a 65mph ts at 5pm AST. Also to note, Katia could be a major threat to the NE Lesser Antilles islands. Not sold on a NW movement around 55w, maybe around 60w. I think she stays more southwest of current NHC forecast track for the time being and therefore she has no choice but to head towards the islands. Bad news because Katia is likely to become our strongest storm of the year to this point, perhaps a legitimate shot at category five status.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
502. I could easily see that happening, Katia could become a very powerful Category 4 hurricane. Going to be cranking out a HUGE amount of ACE.


If that's the case it better go out to sea.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
What's up guys?



Katia looking good...May be up to 60 mph at 5PM.



AL, 12, 2011083018, , BEST, 0, 125N, 346W, 50, 997, TS
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115362
502. I could easily see that happening, Katia could become a very powerful Category 4 hurricane. Going to be cranking out a HUGE amount of ACE.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Junky! I saw you talking about me earlier!


And?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Expect quite the upward shift in the 5p.m intensity forecast from the NHC. 150mph in 132 hours on the intensity consensus model. Just shy of major hurricane status in 3 days.

AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 0, 0N, 0W, 50, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 12, 0N, 0W, 60, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 24, 0N, 0W, 68, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 36, 0N, 0W, 76, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 48, 0N, 0W, 82, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 60, 0N, 0W, 88, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 72, 0N, 0W, 97, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 84, 0N, 0W, 102, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 96, 0N, 0W, 105, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 108, 0N, 0W, 109, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 120, 0N, 0W, 114, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 132, 0N, 0W, 128, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,



hi 09 can you see my post? if so can you plzs tell me what mode run showed and where they are heading? seens like too me the GFS is more W today all so it seem like there pointing at FL
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115362
Quoting hurricanejunky:
Passaic River still flooding in NJ:


Thx for the pic.
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Passaic River still flooding in NJ:
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What's up guys?



Katia looking good...May be up to 60 mph at 5PM.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32529
12.0n32.6w has been re-evaluated&altered for TS.Katia's_6pmGMT_ATCF
12.0n32.8w, 12.5n34.6w are now the most recent positions
Starting 29August_6pmGMT and ending 30August_6pmGMT

The 4 eastern line-segments represent TropicaStormKatia's path
and the westernmost line-segment is the straightline projection.

Using straightline projection of the travel-speed&heading derived from the ATCF coordinates spanning the 6hours between 12pmGMT then 6pmGMT :
TS.Katia's travel-speed was 21mph(33.8k/h) on a heading of 286degrees(WNW)
TS.Katia was headed toward passage over NeckerIsland,BritishVirginIslands ~3days22&1/2.hours from now

Copy&paste nto, 10.6n28.1w-11.0n29.4w, 11.0n29.4w-11.5n30.9w, 11.5n30.9w-12.0n32.8w, 12.0n32.8w-12.5n34.6w, vij, 12.0n32.8w-18.529n64.355w into the GreatCircleMapper for more info

The previous mapping (for 30August_12pmGMT)
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Expect quite the upward shift in the 5p.m intensity forecast from the NHC. 150mph in 132 hours on the intensity consensus model. Just shy of major hurricane status in 3 days.

AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 0, 0N, 0W, 50, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 12, 0N, 0W, 60, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 24, 0N, 0W, 68, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 36, 0N, 0W, 76, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 48, 0N, 0W, 82, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 60, 0N, 0W, 88, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 72, 0N, 0W, 97, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 84, 0N, 0W, 102, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 96, 0N, 0W, 105, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 108, 0N, 0W, 109, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 120, 0N, 0W, 114, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 12, 2011083018, 03, IVCN, 132, 0N, 0W, 128, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
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Quoting WetBankGuy:
If 300 hours is subtitled Fantasy, what is 360 hours out?



Fantasy Squared.
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 591
If 300 hours is subtitled Fantasy, what is 360 hours out?
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Levi32 what dos the mode runs show on this today
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115362
Hopefully Katia will be a fish storm. No more East coast troubles please...
Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811
Junky! I saw you talking about me earlier!
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 591
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Afternoon everyone!
AL, 12, 2011083018, , BEST, 0, 125N, 346W, 50, 997, TS

60 mph TS at least at 5. Could be a hurricane tomorrow at this rate.

The disturbance in the Caribbean also holds a big threat to develop in the GOMEX later this week.


Looks like a 60 mph TS already. Reminds me of TS Bill, that went on to become Hurricane Bill.
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Quoting jascott1967:


Örganic material". You know the chief meterologist was under his desk in a fetal position laughing.



Seawater that tastes like Shift!
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 591
Quoting earthlydragonfly:


poor guy..... But you gotta laugh


Örganic material". You know the chief meterologist was under his desk in a fetal position laughing.
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Seems like the gfs wants to build the ridge westward.
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Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Afternoon everyone!
AL, 12, 2011083018, , BEST, 0, 125N, 346W, 50, 997, TS

60 mph TS at least at 5. Could be a hurricane tomorrow at this rate.

The disturbance in the Caribbean also holds a big threat to develop in the GOMEX later this week.
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looking at typhoon tallas is kind of scary if it telleconnects to the atlantic look for another landfall in the carolina area 7 to 10 days
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I think Katia might make hurricane status by tomorrow morning.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8024
RitaE,

Anything that can cause movement makes money for the traders. I am so glad we get to suport their habit.

Woof
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Quoting Tazmanian:
whats new with the GFS on are storm?


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"This summer has been the UK's coolest since 1993, provisional Met Office figures indicate.

The figures cover 1 June to 29 August. But while this summer has been wetter than 2010, it has not been as wet as 2007, 2008 or 2009.

The temperature during August has been below normal by about one degree Celsius in most parts of the UK."

Link

It doesn't feel like it though, 2007 was truly awful. 2008 was pretty bad too. Even 2009 and 2010 was average to below average at best. At least we've had sunshine this year, though all the warmth was in Spring.

Maybe our new tourism pitch can be 'The island that Global Warming forgot'. Winner. ;)
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Quoting JNCali:

With all that radiating ground heat I hope the rain is more than just viagra...


:O
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Viagra???
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Quoting oreodogsghost:
Energy spot and futures prices beginning to move up on worries from a potential gulf system.


Stupid huh, there's nothing out there that exists
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Expect Coastal Flood advisories for TX coast if something spins up (talking about tidal flooding not rain)


If someone sneezes in the right direction they'll put up coastal flood advisories for some length of coast.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Expect Coastal Flood advisories for TX coast if something spins up (talking about tidal flooding not rain)

With all that radiating ground heat I hope the rain is more than just viagra...
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Quoting twincomanche:
Under as in South?
Yes , meaning south of the "fcts points",...
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Quoting angiest:


Oddly, just about anyone else would have wanted the rain to stay away for the weekend...


yeah, weird isn't it? Usually you are like rain rain go away. Now, we are like hurry up already.....any day now.:)
Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811
Quoting Tazmanian:
whats new with the GFS on are storm?
One run had it moving nw towards Houston, stalling and then moving southeast down the coast towards Brownsville and then intensifying as it moved nw and eventually inland between NOLA and Pensacola. I didn't like that run.
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 591
Keep an eye on the TVCN model,looks to be trending west again on Katia.
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Energy spot and futures prices beginning to move up on worries from a potential gulf system.
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Expect Coastal Flood advisories for TX coast if something spins up (talking about tidal flooding not rain)
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Quoting TX2FL:


If it intensifies then it would be going Wild West..


in TX its... Dude West
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Seeing cumulus clouds on visible moving from east to west in the NW gulf, that's a sign to me that if something gets going, tide levels are gonna be high for TX coast, the Ekman flow will be in full force...
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470. DFWjc
Quoting angiest:


A&M still plays football?


ROTFLMFAO!!!
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469. DFWjc
Quoting 1900hurricane:

Yeah, Texas A&M football starts Sunday. It'd be nice if it wouldn't rain that day. Otherwise, I say bring it!


Yes it would be nice, no Aggies, is a very good thing...
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Quoting 1900hurricane:

Yeah, Texas A&M football starts Sunday. It'd be nice if it wouldn't rain that day. Otherwise, I say bring it!


A&M still plays football?
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whats new with the GFS on are storm?
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115362
Quoting TexasHurricane:


If it moves inland. Looks to be hanging out in the Gulf teasing everybody...so close...yet so faraway....


Good Point....it is kinda chilling out there.
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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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