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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2264. scott39
Quoting P451:


It's impossible to say which storm will get Lee...or the M name, etc. With the GFS runs there's as many as five systems that could be named in the next 16 days. Which one gets named first is a mystery at this point. It could be STS development in the NW Atlantic. It could be the GOM home brew. It could be the system following Katia. ETc- We just can't really tell with all that chaos going on.



Are the models(not forecast) showing a possible Cat 1 hurricane developing in the GOM?
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Quoting overwash12:
If Katia threatens the east coast,I am sure this time the media will not overhype this storm! You have my word.LOL


Curious. I see peopel complain about teh media overhyping storms. Tell the over 30 people that died from Irene and tell thier families that the storm was over hyped tell the millions without power it was overhyped. Tell the folks that lost businesses that it was overhyped.

Beign prepared and telling people to be careful and prepar is not overhyping. If only one life was lsot it was not overhyped.

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Quoting 69Viking:


Sorry to hear you won't be posting anymore Allyson, I enjoyed reading the information you post. It's sad that others (jerks) have to attack people for posting good information. Seems a lot of good people that were on this blog in the past have left because of this, such a shame. Trust me when I say the number of people that appreciate the information you post far outnumber the jerks that chased you away. Hopefully you'll understand this and not let them get to you and stick around.


Appreciate the note and support from you and several others. I'll post the morning and afternoon reports...just to give you guys another prospective on it all. I've lived on the Gulf Coast (Houston, TX & Point-Aux-Chenes, La.) all of my 43 years so I know that information is knowledge in these situations and no one can accurately predict Mother Nature. I'm not easily scared away just don't want to cause any trouble.

Got to get back to work...that's what could get me written up...not posting weather updates :)
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Well, I have to go now so you all enjoy the day. Will catch up later.
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If Katia threatens the east coast,I am sure this time the media will not overhype this storm! You have my word.LOL
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Quoting Bayside:
Kman - I don't think I've said it before, but your posts can be quite insightful and respectful to others.

Thanks.


Thank you. I look for discussion, not confrontation Lol
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Quoting P451:


I can tell you this much: Neighbors were going to take the kids to Cooperstown today. I told them it's not possible. All road leading in that direction from here are wiped out or closed. That includes I88 and I90. NY 145 would have been the primary road of choice and that thing is destroyed.

With whole towns wiped out or isolated there is no real idea of how bad this is. The list of damage in the end will be unreadable.
,how did you area fair as far as damage,i'll be in ossining next week and was wondering if i'll see damage?
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Quoting P451:


It's impossible to say which storm will get Lee...or the M name, etc. With the GFS runs there's as many as five systems that could be named in the next 16 days. Which one gets named first is a mystery at this point. It could be STS development in the NW Atlantic. It could be the GOM home brew. It could be the system following Katia. ETc- We just can't really tell with all that chaos going on.





yeah, always a wait and see game. Thanks :)
Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811
Quoting WxLogic:


Likewise...
Quoting kmanislander:
Good morning

Some interesting possibilities opening up as to the long term solution for Katia. Several of the model runs have the ridge building to the West as Katia tries to turn NW keeping the storm fairly far to the West and just North of the PR area.

The GFS has a potential collission between Katia and the GOM system just off the SE coast which, if it did play out as shown on the GFS runs, would probably cause a Fujiwhara effect between the two. When this happens the two systems rotate around a common center point between them cyclonically but they might then merge and Katia as the stronger of the two would dominate.

The danger of this scenario playing out is that it would occur close to the SE coast and could produce a radical track shift for Katia that could bring it close to a landfall. I am very interested to see the future runs of the GFS to see if it hangs on to this as well as how it handles the Fujiwhara interaction between the two.

" yep, Many models have the high ridge building to the West, holding Katia farther south. And the GFS model whould be a nightmare if that came true. It looks as if we might have 3 named systems on our radar in 5-7 days. . if the mid Atalnitc or NE gets any kind of storm, well,...... :^( "
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Quoting jpsb:
Not down casting Katia but have not just about all the TC had a difficult time developing this year? Why would one thing that Katia will not also have a difficult time developing too?


We are into the peak weeks for development now and the conditions that were negatively impacting the early season storms are falling away. You will see at least two or three very powerful hurricanes this year IMO, that is alomst a certainty, though not written in stone as is anything with the tropics.
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silly question on my part, but....at what point does an area of interest become and invest? Does it have to do with the percentage of possible development given by the NHC? Just curious. TIA
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Quoting Allyson00:


No worries I won't be posting anymore....it's not worth the aggravation. But FYI, we have more than 38,000 employees who all have access to these updates so not too concerned with how many "extra" people read it. It's a summary anyway, it's not like I'm posting the tons of graphics and tools that go along with it, nor posting a link to their server with login information. I'm also posting their copyright info so they get the credit and future business.

Back to being a lurker only ....hope you all have a good day !


Thank you for the post, Allyson. I really enjoyed it. Most informative. Sorry you caught all kinds of "stuff" because of it. Maybe, in the future, if some part of the report catches your eye, you can copy and share just that info. Again, sorry folks got touchy about it. It was a very interesting source of weather information to share.
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2249. Bayside
Kman - I don't think I've said it before, but your posts can be quite insightful and respectful to others.

Thanks.
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2248. GetReal


Latest UKMET for the GOM gumbo....
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2247. Vero1
Quoting scott39:
looks like that map is from Aug 18th. COULD have changed since then.
Created on 18 Aug for the next 2.5 months. But nothing in Weather is for certain.
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Quoting superpete:
Morning Kman.We got some heavy rain last night here & looks like more on the way this morning, judging by the visible sat'


Hi there. We got close to 2 inches in SS yesterday but only .09 since midnight last night. Another very wet day on tap though.

September 1st is around the corner and 5 potentially dangerous weeks ahead before we leave the CV season and start watching the cold fronts. I am keeping my fingers crossed :-)
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Not sure if this has been posted yet but I saw it and thought - HOLY COW!
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Link

what is showing up just at the end of the loop?? the "M" storm??
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2133. FLPandhandleJG

15 MB of download in one post? Possibly could link some of the larger ones?
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2240. jpsb
Quoting kmanislander:


Good morning.

I don't recall ever seeing a potential set up like this that close to the US coast and at a time when you want a system to start recurving. Katia is going to be a nail biter for many until we see how this plays out but interestingly enough many of the model runs flatten the track with the ridge continuing to build to the West above Katia just N of PR.

One or two take the ridge to the Outer Banks area.
Not down casting Katia but have not just about all the TC had a difficult time developing this year? Why would one think that Katia will not also have a difficult time developing?
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2239. WxLogic
Quoting kmanislander:
Good morning

Some interesting possibilities opening up as to the long term solution for Katia. Several of the model runs have the ridge building to the West as Katia tries to turn NW keeping the storm fairly far to the West and just North of the PR area.

The GFS has a potential collission between Katia and the GOM system just off the SE coast which, if it did play out as shown on the GFS runs, would probably cause a Fujiwhara effect between the two. When this happens the two systems rotate around a common center point between them cyclonically but they might then merge and Katia as the stronger of the two would dominate.

The danger of this scenario playing out is that it would occur close to the SE coast and could produce a radical track shift for Katia that could bring it close to a landfall. I am very interested to see the future runs of the GFS to see if it hangs on to this as well as how it handles the Fujiwhara interaction between the two.


Likewise...
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Quoting hydrus:
Good morning K-Man..NOAA has the the gulf low meandering for days..


The GOM system could go anywhere, including the solution offered by the GFS which takes it across Northern Fla and off the east coast. We just have to wait and see.
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Quoting RMM34667:


Those pictures are amazing. Anyone who says Irene was over hyped should look at each and every one of them!

Wow!

No words to express here... So sad...
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Quoting P451:


With a woodchipper.



How very Coen Brothers. LOL
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Morning Kman.We got some heavy rain last night here & looks like more on the way this morning, judging by the visible sat'
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Quoting P451:


I think we're gunna have to evacuate Bermuda for a month if the GFS get's it's way. Looks like three monsters in a row for them.

The Gulf isn't pretty either.


I know. Well, this is looking more and more to pan out as speculated for the 2011 hurricane season. What started out early, but mild, it ramping up into a year that could go down in history as one of the worst ever - IMO.
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Quoting FLdewey:


Hahaha... "Return to sender"


lol...."can't we all just get along"
Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811
2230. hydrus
NOGAPS at 144 hours...
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Quoting P451:



Morning.

Yeah as I am looking at the GFS and even ECMWF runs showing this merger I had a momentary butterflies in the stomach moment watching Katia slingshot west right into the US coastline somewhere...particularly the mid-atlantic it would seem if that scenario played out.

I also don't like watching Bermuda get destroyed twice if not three times (gfs hints at a third as the run ends).

Some pretty radical model runs and we'll just leave them as that. Model runs and not a forecast.





Good morning.

I don't recall ever seeing a potential set up like this that close to the US coast and at a time when you want a system to start recurving. Katia is going to be a nail biter for many until we see how this plays out but interestingly enough many of the model runs flatten the track with the ridge continuing to build to the West above Katia just N of PR.

One or two take the ridge to the Outer Banks area.
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Quoting Allyson00:


No worries I won't be posting anymore....it's not worth the aggravation. But FYI, we have more than 38,000 employees who all have access to these updates so not too concerned with how many "extra" people read it. It's a summary anyway, it's not like I'm posting the tons of graphics and tools that go along with it, nor posting a link to their server with login information. I'm also posting their copyright info so they get the credit and future business.

Back to being a lurker only ....hope you all have a good day !


Sorry to hear you won't be posting anymore Allyson, I enjoyed reading the information you post. It's sad that others (jerks) have to attack people for posting good information. Seems a lot of good people that were on this blog in the past have left because of this, such a shame. Trust me when I say the number of people that appreciate the information you post far outnumber the jerks that chased you away. Hopefully you'll understand this and not let them get to you and stick around.
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2226. hydrus
Quoting kmanislander:
Good morning

Some interesting possibilities opening up as to the long term solution for Katia. Several of the model runs have the ridge building to the West as Katia tries to turn NW keeping the storm fairly far to the West and just North of the PR area.

The GFS has a potential collission between Katia and the GOM system just off the SE coast which, if it did play out as shown on the GFS runs, would probably cause a Fujiwhara effect between the two. When this happens the two systems rotate around a common center point between them cyclonically but they might then merge and Katia as the stronger of the two would dominate.

The danger of this scenario playing out is that it would occur close to the SE coast and could produce a radical track shift for Katia that could bring it close to a landfall. I am very interested to see the future runs of the GFS to see if it hangs on to this as well as how it handles the Fujiwhara interaction between the two.
Good morning K-Man..NOAA has the the gulf low meandering for days..
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2224. vince1
OK, Neapolitan, just saw your response about that Spain study on green jobs. Honestly, the truth is hard to find, but if you're suggesting the PHD who conducted the study was bankrolled to make big energy look good, I'd like some proof, lol. Not "rigorous" according to whom? Al Gore? :P

Sorry, just prodding, I am trying my damndest to be civil and objective. :)
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Quoting FLdewey:
If I write anything on myself it won't be my SSN. I'd want to get a chuckle out of the rescuers.

I would write "This end up" with an arrow.


LOL.... or "Please recycle"
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Complete Update

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI





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2220. ncstorm
Quoting FLdewey:


That is such a ridiculous scare tactic. As I first responder I can assure you we don't care if you write your SSN on yourself or not. It doesn't help, or hurt us.

I can also assure you that the medical examiner isn't going to take the SSN on a body as proof - they still have to confirm it.

It is fun to see people go crazy as a storm approaches. Inevitably Emergency managers pull out the Sharpie trick in the final 24 hours.

Hmmm... I might have to buy some Sharpie stock.


well water is associated with hurricanes, I would think writing your SS number on your arm would most likely get washed off anyway if something god forbid happen, so whats the point in doing that
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16215
Quoting Hhunter:
. Nice taste in weather babes indeed..

And to think she started as the local met on a Tallahassee station.
Member Since: July 13, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 70
Quoting marknmelb:


Actually the best place to write anything like your SSN is on your heal. In most disasters, plane crashes and such, the heal/foot remain intact. Just an FYI ...


I had my SSN tattooed on my spleen. It was painful but well worth it.

Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 553
Quoting AustinTXWeather:

It's definitely already more humid here today. Rain will be welcomed.
Unfortunately there is no rain in Texas forecast unless you live along the coast.
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2215. GetReal


GFDL is also on board with the more westerly CMC and NOGAPS solution.
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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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