Irene's rains heaviest on record in Vermont; Tropical Storm Katia forms

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:40 PM GMT on August 30, 2011

Share this Blog
29
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 215 - 165

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53Blog Index

NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT TUE AUG 30 2011

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON TROPICAL
STORM KATIA...LOCATED ABOUT 630 MILES WEST-SOUTHWEST OF THE
SOUTHERNMOST CAPE VERDE ISLANDS.

A TROPICAL WAVE OVER THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA IS ACCOMPANIED
BY DISORGANIZED CLOUDINESS AND SHOWERS. THIS SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO
MOVE GENERALLY WESTWARD AT 10 TO 15 MPH ACROSS THE YUCATAN
PENINSULA DURING THE NEXT DAY OR TWO...AND HAS SOME POTENTIAL FOR
DEVELOPMENT OVER THE WESTERN GULF OF MEXICO IN A FEW DAYS. THIS
SYSTEM HAS A LOW CHANCE...10 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL
CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.


The first steps of future Lee
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NavarreMark:
Katia appears to be moving slightly west of due west.


Wow
Member Since: August 7, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 95
Why the forecast strength for Irene was so far off explained here:

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Can't believe there's an Atlantic Nina and an Indian Nina. Albiet very weak.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MississippiWx:
It's interesting to see how cool the Eastern Pacific has become recently. Their hurricane season may be ending early and the cool SSTs are probably the reason why the monsoon trough is much farther north than it has been this season.



Hey Miss what is your opinion about the mischief in the Gulf starting and its affect in our part of the Gulf (since we are both in the Northern Gulf Coast). Always value your opinion:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting P451:


Exactly.

Had Irene completed her EWRC after exiting the Bahamas it would have struck the outer banks as a Cat 3 and landfall in NY would have been a Cat 2. Widespread maximum winds were sustained 50 gusting 65 - a few isolated 70mph.... and we saw the damage this wreaked on NJ/NY/CT. Imagine if that was 75 gusting 100+. Just forget about it. You wouldn't know much about the damage because people like myself would be without power and barricaded in by all the fallen trees.

So, no, the hype was not over done, nor was the evactuation.

You couldn't wait to see what was coming. There would have been no time to prepare.

Death toll is 40 and climbing. Damage is 15B and climbing. 5 million still without power. As many as 10 million at one time or another had no power.

Catastrophic storm. Yet, because we didn't have Andrew wind damage and Camille storm surge it's downplayed if not joked about by quite a few.



Yes..If one life was spared due to people heeding the alerts and opting not to go 'sightseeing' or doing something not in their best interest than it isn't hype.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 628
It's interesting to see how cool the Eastern Pacific has become recently. Their hurricane season may be ending early and the cool SSTs are probably the reason why the monsoon trough is much farther north than it has been this season.

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
Cantore and Bastardi aren't on the same level as Norcross
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Can anyone tell me what Joe Bastardi has blogged about Katia today?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ncstorm:
12Z NOGAPS Loves Texas..

Link



Boy, I love those models.. I am the the bulls eye here in Bridge City, Tx. Bring the rain.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
12Z GFS will not let the potiential TC go into Texas! The High is too strong! The Texas coast looks to get beneficial rain fall.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6912
Quoting aspectre:
Dakster "Why was Rick Scott spotted on the West Coast??"

Katia's gonna take the NorthWestPassage through the Arctic for a landfall on Seattle's coffee plantations.


I guess I should have specified the west coast of Florida, not the US...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting angiest:


That much rain and possibly wind sitting on top of a forest full of dry ground and dead or dying trees doesn't look so good.


Too much rain after a drought can lead to extreme flooding as there is little in the way of vegetation still alive to hold ground together and help absorb the sudden moisture. In addition the ground I'm sure is hard as cement from being dry for so long and run off could be bad with heavy rains. Be carefull what you ask for Texans, you need a nice slow soaking rain not necessary the 20+ inches that can come from a Tropical System.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Dakster "Why was Rick Scott spotted on the West Coast??"

Katia's gonna take the NorthWestPassage through the Arctic to the Pacific for a landfall on Seattle's coffee plantations.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aprinz1979:


So Global Warming only happens in the USA?


We did have one of the hottest and driest springs we've ever had though
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting vernco11:
I bet the person who has the house in the picture that was taken in Sharon, Vermont has all kinds of worries about getting back on his feet. For one what are is he going to do with the old house, a real headache. I don't want to be an awful person but I think the United States is not all that good a country as most people want to portray it as. You can go ahead and remove my post if you want to.

YOU may not like our country, and we are not perfect, but a HELL OF LOT BETTER THAN MOST! WE AMERICANS LOVE OUR COUNTRY IMPERFECTIONS AND ALL. At least we do not castrate our women, do not kill our women if they are raped and lose their virginity and bring SHAME on their family. The list of atrocities to women and children could go on and on, but I will stop with those. If you don't like us, you don't have to visit.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IpswichWeatherCenter:
Here is something for you, this Summer has been the coldest we've had since 2003 in the United Kingdom. We've had 25% additional rain overall, and today it is really cold - currently it is 13c (degrees Celsius)


So Global Warming only happens in the USA?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Here is something for you, this Summer has been the coldest we've had since 2003 in the United Kingdom. We've had 25% additional rain overall, and today it is really cold - currently it is 13c (degrees Celsius)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting redwagon:

I LOVE that model! More! More!


That much rain and possibly wind sitting on top of a forest full of dry ground and dead or dying trees doesn't look so good.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I have to admit that I am a little more than cautious about a potential TC in the GOM, and what the GFS and EURO are picking up on.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6912
Quoting Levi32:


It looks pretty darn close to on the track to me.


That is what I thought, but with all the DUE WEST or just WEST of DUE WEST posters one never knows for sure. (I am hoping the poster meant just NORTH of Due West)

Thanks.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting angiest:


I love how it intensifies over the Hunstville area (~150 miles inland).

I LOVE that model! More! More!
Member Since: August 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3280
Quoting NavarreMark:
Katia appears to be moving slightly west of due west.


Um, how is that possible?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
By looking at everyone's posting of the 12z GFS model, it appears that it wants to push the system back towards the South. Am I looking at that correctly? Just curious.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I hope the GOM wannabe storm doesnt turn into anything more than a good Texas soaker!!
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6912
Quoting Dakster:
Levi32 - Do you think Katia will hit the next NHC tropical storm point of 13N 35.75W?

(anyone else can chime in too)


It looks pretty darn close to on the track to me.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
124 Elena85Vet "The actual deaths and destruction have proven enough for the alert. Not to mention Irene was an eyewall and a day from it being much worse."

Try about 6hours of travel dueNorth after passing through the Bahamas. Replace those 6hours with travel NorthNorthEastward instead, and Irene woulda missed darn near everything that weakened her for a straight KABOOM on LongIsland.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aprinz1979:


C'mon, Bastardi, Cantori, and Norcross are the 3 legends! You know anything they say will stirr emotions.


Easy about Norcross being added to the other two...... He got many of us South Floridians through Andrew in '92
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aprinz1979:


Not saying he's like the other two by any means! Just saying they are legends.


Phew!

I have a lot of respect for him (and others).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dakster:


You either huh?

Are you in the rain eveyday category now too? I don't think a morning or an afernoon goes by without rain...

Having said that, I would rather HAVE rain than not... Although I wish I could send TX some of it!


No, yesterday was the first time since Irene went by that we had any decent rain. It's been dry from a rain standpoint but REALLY high heat and humidity. Now we're getting a healthy dose of tropical moisture and I'm not complaining. It just looks like something trying to get organized...
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2899
Levi32 - Do you think Katia will hit the next NHC tropical storm point of 13N 35.75W?

(anyone else can chime in too)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dakster:


I am upset you mentioned Norcross with the other two...


Not saying he's like the other two by any means! Just saying they are legends.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aprinz1979:


C'mon, Bastardi, Cantori, and Norcross are the 3 legends! You know anything they say will stirr emotions.


I am upset you mentioned Norcross with the other two...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ncstorm:
12Z NOGAPS Loves Texas..

Link


I love how it intensifies over the Hunstville area (~150 miles inland).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Food airlifted into Vermont towns cut off by Irene

I haven't been able to follow the blog 100% the last couple of days, is there much news out of the Bahamas yet?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ElConando:


He's busy cutting the budget for the Tampa Bay Hurricane Shield.


I am sure he will figure out a way to mess that up too!

But only if there is money in it for his family... and only if it causes great financial difficulty for the middle class...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ncstorm:
12Z NOGAPS Loves Texas..

Link
What are the chances of that happening? I would say slim
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 215 - 165

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Lake Effort Snow Shower Over Windsor, Ontario
Sunset on Dunham Lake
Pictured Rocks Sunset
Sunset on Lake Huron