Tropical Storm Lee's flood in Binghamton: was global warming the final straw?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:55 PM GMT on December 14, 2011

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With one of the wildest weather years in U.S. history drawing to a close, it's time to look back at some of this year's unprecedented onslaught of billion-dollar weather disasters--and the lessons we should have learned. One of these disasters was the approximately $1 billion in damage due to flooding from Tropical Storm Lee, which brought torrential rains along a swath from Louisiana to New York in early September. Among the hardest hit cities was Binghamton, New York (population 47,000), where record rains due to the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee on September 8 brought a 1-in-200 to 1-in-500 year flood to the city's Susquehanna River. A flood 8.5 inches higher than the city's flood walls spilled over into the city that day, damaging or destroying over 7,300 buildings in Greater Binghamton, and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Damage to Binghamton's sewage treatment plant and city infrastructure alone are estimated at $26 million. Damage to one elementary school is estimated at $11 - 19 million. The total damage to the county Binghamton lies in (Broome) and the downstream Tioga County is estimated at $1 billion. I argue that there is strong evidence that the extra moisture that global warming has added to the atmosphere over the past 40 years could have been "the straw that broke the camel's back" which allowed Binghamton's flood walls to be overtopped, causing tens of millions in damages. Had this event occurred 40 years ago, before global warming added an extra 4% moisture to the atmosphere, the Susquehanna flood would have likely stayed within the city's flood walls.


Figure 1. Front Street Bridge on the Susquehanna River in Vestal, NY, immediately following the flood of September 8, 2011. Image credit: USGS, New York.


Figure 2. The Susquehanna River at Binghamton crested on September 8, 2011, at the highest flood height on record, 25.71'. The previous record flood was 25', set June 28, 2006. Flood records in Binghamton go back to 1846. Image credit: NOAA/AHPS.


Figure 3. Damage survey of Binghamton, New York after rains from the remains of Tropical Storm Lee sent the Susquehanna River over the city's flood walls on September 8, 2011. Image credit: City of Binghamton.

Binghamton's 2nd 1-in-200-year+ flood in five years
This year's flood is the second 1-in-200 to 1-in-500 year flood in the past five years to hit Binghamton. On June 26 - 29, 2006, tropical moisture streaming northwards over a front stalled out over New York state brought over thirteen inches of rain to portions of southern New York. The Susquehanna River swelled to record levels, triggering devastating flooding that cost at least $227 million. In Binghamton, the Susquehanna River crested eleven feet over flood stage, the greatest flood since records began in 1846. The flood walls protecting Binghamton were overtopped by a few inches, allowing water to pour into the city and cause tens of millions of dollars in damage. This flood is another example of a case where global warming may have been "the straw that broke the camel's back", allowing the flood walls to be overtopped by a few inches. While it is not impossible that the 2006 flood and the 2011 flood could have occurred naturally so close together in time, such a rare double flood has been made more likely by the extra moisture added to the atmosphere due to global warming.


Figure 4. Susquehanna River floodwaters overtop a flood wall along North Shore Drive, Binghamton, NY, on June 28, 2006. Photo courtesy of Alan A. Katz, and available in the USGS report, Flood of June 26 - 29, 2006, Mohawk, Delaware, and Susquehanna River Basins, New York.

The 2011 Tropical Storm Lee flood event on the Susquehanna: a convergence of rare events
Near-record rains fell over much of New York, Pennsylvania, and surrounding states during the first four weeks of August 2011, thanks to an active weather pattern that brought numerous thunderstorms. By August 27, Binghamton, New York had already received nearly double its normal total of 3.45" of rain for the month. When Hurricane Irene swept northwards along the mid-Atlantic coast on August 28, the storm dumped record rains that triggered billions of dollars in flood damage. The Susquehanna River Valley and Binghamton were spared the heaviest of Irene's rains and suffered only minor flooding, but the region received 3 - 5 inches of rain, saturating the soils. The 2.72 inches of rain that fell on Binghamton brought the total rainfall for August 2011 to 8.90", making it the rainiest August in city history (weather records go back to 1890.) Irene's rains helped give New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Vermont their wettest Augusts since record keeping began in 1895.


Figure 5. Rainfall amounts from Hurricane Irene ranged from 3 - 5 inches over Binghamton and the Susquehanna River Valley upstream (northeast) of the city. Image credit: David Roth, NOAA/HPC.


Figure 6. Rainfall amounts from Hurricane Lee ranged from 5 - 10 inches over Binghamton and the Susquehanna River Valley upstream (northeast) of the city. Image credit: David Roth, NOAA/HPC.

Irene set the stage for what was to become the greatest flood in recorded history on the Susquehanna River. On September 5, a front stalled out over Pennsylvania and New York. Tropical moisture streaming northwards in advance of Tropical Storm Lee was lifted up over the front, and heavy downpours resulted. The rains continued for four days, and were amplified by the arrival of Tropical Storm Lee's remnants on September 7, plus a stream of moisture emanating from far-away Hurricane Katia, 1,000 miles to the south-southeast. Binghamton, New York received 8.70" of rain in 24 hours September 7 - 8, the greatest 24-hour rainfall in city history. This was nearly double the city's previous all-time record (4.68" on Sep 30 - Oct. 1, 2010.) The record rains falling on soils still saturated from Hurricane Irene's rains ran off rapidly into the Susquehanna River, which rose an astonishing twenty feet in just 24 hours. By noon on September 8, the rampaging Susquehanna River crested in Binghamton at 25.71', the highest level since records began in 1846. The river would have risen higher had the city's flood walls been higher, but since the water was overtopping the flood walls and spreading out over the city, the river was limited to how high it could rise. By month's end, precipitation in Binghamton for September 2011 totaled 16.58", more than thirteen inches above normal, making it Binghamton's wettest month since records began in 1890.

We can thus see how the record Susquehanna River flood of September 8, 2011 was due to a convergence of rare events, which included moisture from three tropical cyclones:

1) The unusually heavy rains during the first four weeks of August, before the arrival of Hurricane Irene.

2) Hurricane Irene's 3 - 5 inches of rain.

3) The extreme rains from Tropical Storm Lee's remnants.

4) The enhanced rainfall on September 7 - 8 due to a moisture plume from Hurricane Katia.

Had any one of these events not occurred, it is questionable whether the flood walls in Binghamton would have been overtopped. One could also argue that the flood walls would not have been overtopped had there been less development in the Susquehanna's floodplain. Dr. Peter Knuepfer, Associate Professor of Geology and director of the Environmental Studies Program at Binghamton University, and Dr. Burrell Montz, who is now Professor and Chair of Geography at East Carolina University, wrote in a 2007 essay titled, Flooding and Watershed Management, "the 2006 flood might be considered a land use flood, due to the levels of development in floodplains in Conklin and elsewhere in the Binghamton area." They argued that development on the Susquehanna's floodplain has been driven by economics, without enough thought to how development increases flood heights downstream. "It can hardly be argued that we need to reacquaint the river with its floodplain," they concluded. In an email I received from Dr. Knuepfer, he indicated that some positive steps have been taken to reduce flood vulnerability in the Binghamton area before this year's flood: "There's still more development in the floodplain than should be, though there is a little more awareness (but only a little!) about the downstream implications of raising levees and walls (and certainly this seems to be true at the Federal level). From Binghamton downstream--the Susquehanna River had a 200+ year flood (the number one chooses depends on how one treats the historic flood record, but it was clearly an event well beyond the historical record.) Some areas flooded by the river in 2006--houses, specifically--no longer exist due to FEMA buy-outs. Yet there is still development in flood-prone areas, so there is still a degree of floodplain development that contributes significantly to the disaster. On the other hand, this flood overtopped levees and flood walls precisely because it was a bigger natural event than these were designed to withstand. So there's still more exposure than I'd like to see, but this was a natural disaster." To illustrate how development in a flood plain can increase flood height, consider this stat from nrdc.org: a 1-inch rainstorm falling on a 1-acre natural meadow produces about 28 bathtubs full of runoff into local rivers. However, a 1-inch rainstorm falling on a 1-acre parking lot produces sixteen times as much runoff--448 bathtubs full. We obviously can't convert our parking lots into meadows, but we can create permeable pavement, planted swales around parking lots, rain gardens planted along sidewalks, green roofs, and more trees to help absorb rainwater like a sponge. The city of Philadelphia has recently started an ambitious effort to reduce flood through such green infrastructure efforts.


Figure 7. Water vapor satellite image taken at 2:45 pm EDT September 7, 2011, during the height of the heavy rainstorm affecting the Susquehanna River Valley near Binghamton, NY. Moisture came from the remains of Tropical Storm Lee, tropical moisture streaming northwards and lifting over a stalled front, and from Hurricane Katia, located 1,000 miles to the south-southeast, between Florida and Bermuda. White and blue colors show where copious atmospheric moisture lies, while brown colors show dry air. Image credit: NOAA/NESDIS.

The global warming connection
Finally, I'll add one more "straw that broke the camel's back" that contributed to the overtopping of the flood walls in Binghamton: global warming. Had the flood of September 8, 2011 occurred in the atmosphere of the 1970s or earlier, the flood walls would have been less likely to be overtopped. There is a well-established relationship in atmospheric physics called the Clausius-Clapeyron equation, which says that atmospheric moisture will increase by 6% - 7% for every degree Centigrade increase in Earth's temperature. Global sea surface temperatures in the regions where hurricanes form, between 30°S and 30°N latitude, warmed 0.9°F (0.5°C) between 1970 - 2004, due to global warming (Trenberth et. al, 2007.) Satellite observations show that atmospheric moisture over the oceans increased by 1.3% per decade between 1988 - 2003 (Trenberth, 2006), so we can expect that the amount of moisture storms have to work with has increased by 4% since 1970 and 5% since 1900 (IPCC, 2007.) The amount of rainfall a hurricane can now drop as a result of this increase in moisture can be much more than 4 - 5%, though. The extra moisture in the atmosphere helps intensify storms by releasing "latent heat" energy when it condenses into rain. Latent heat is the extra energy that is required to convert liquid water to gaseous water vapor, and this energy is liberated when the vapor condenses back to rain. The released latent heat energy invigorates the updrafts in a storm, allowing it to draw in moisture from an area greater than usual (a typical storm draws in moisture from an area 3 - 5 times the radius of the precipitating region, according to Trenberth et.al, 2003.) This effect is thought to be the main reason why heavy precipitation events--the ones most likely to cause floods--have been increasing over the past 50 years, in general agreement with the predictions of climate models (Figure 8.) A 2008 study in the Netherlands by Lenderink and Meijgaard called "Increase in hourly precipitation extremes beyond expectations from temperature changes," found that "one-hour precipitation extremes increase twice as fast with rising temperatures as expected from the Clausius–Clapeyron relation when daily mean temperatures exceed 12°C. In addition, simulations with a high-resolution regional climate model show that one-hour precipitation extremes increase at a rate close to 14% per degree of warming in large parts of Europe." A 2007 study led by Dr. Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, "Water and energy budgets of hurricanes: Case studies of Ivan and Katrina", looked at how much additional rainfall hurricanes might be dropping as a result of global warming. The researchers found that global warming likely increased the amount of rain dropped Hurricane Ivan and Hurricane Katrina by 6 - 8%. The authors wrote, "We conclude that the environmental changes related to human influences on climate have very likely changed the odds in favor of heavier rainfalls and here we suggest that this can be quantified to date to be of order 6 to 8% since 1970. It probably also results in more intense storms. The key point is that the value is not negligible, and nor is it large enough to dominate over the natural processes already in place. In the case of Katrina and New Orleans, where rainfalls locally exceeded 12 inches (305 mm), this would mean an enhancement of about 0.75 to 1 inch (19 to 25 mm). Although incremental, such changes can cause thresholds to be exceeded (the straw that breaks the camel's back.) Small differences of a few percent in rainfall can matter a great deal when that extra water is concentrated by a river drainage system to create a flood. For example, observations of flooding events in the Pennsylvania's 7.2 square km Mahantango Creek watershed (Troch et al., 1993) showed one case where two rainfall events with the same maximum precipitation rate generated flow rates in the creek a factor of seven different, even though the difference in total precipitation between the two events was about a factor of two. A modeling study by Jha et al. (2004) predicted that climate change would cause a 21% annual increase in precipitation over the Upper Mississippi River basin by 2040. However, their model predicted that streamflow would increase much more than this--51%. This occurred as a result of rain falling on saturated soils, which creates disproportionately large runoff. Much of the rain falling on dry soils takes time to infilrate the soil, and the arrival of this water into a river is delayed. But if soils are saturated, a greater percentage of the rain runs off immediately into the river, resulting in higher stream flows and higher flood potential. The largest increases in streamflow in their model occurred in spring and summer, when flood danger is at its highest.


Figure 8. Percent increase in the amount falling in heavy precipitation events (defined as the heaviest 1% of all daily events) from 1958 to 2007, for each region of the U.S. There are clear trends toward more very heavy precipitation events for the nation as a whole, and particularly in the Northeast and Midwest. Climate models predict that precipitation will increasingly fall in very heavy events in coming decades. Image credit: United States Global Change Research Program. Figure updated from Groisman, P.Ya., R.W. Knight, T.R. Karl, D.R. Easterling, B. Sun, and J.H. Lawrimore, 2004: Contemporary changes of the hydro-logical cycle over the contiguous United States, trends derived from in situ observations. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 5(1), 64-85.

Conclusion
There is strong evidence that the extra moisture that global warming has added to the atmosphere over the past 40 years could have been "the straw that broke the camel's back" in the case of the Susquehanna River floods of June 2006 and September 8, 2011, which overtopped the flood walls in Binghamton, New York, causing tens of millions of dollars in damages. During September 8, 2011 flood, the Susquehanna River rose twenty feet in 24 hours and topped the flood walls in Binghamton by 8.5 inches, so just a 6% reduction in the flood height would have led to no overtopping of the flood walls and a huge decrease in damage. Extra moisture in the air due to global warming could have easily contributed this 6% of extra flood height. It is possible that detailed computer modeling studies of the event may conclude that global warming was not a significant factor in this particular case, but we will see an increasing number of these back-breaking extreme flooding events in the future as the climate continues to warm and we increasingly load the dice in favor of greater extreme rainfall events. It is wildly improbable that two 1-in-200 to 1-in-500 year floods could have occurred on the same river within five years of each other naturally. Increased moisture in the atmosphere due to global warming and increased flood plain development are shifting the odds in favor of more extreme floods occurring more often. Our flood control system, which is designed for the climate of the 20th century and a lesser degree of flood plain development, is bound to be increasingly overwhelmed if we continue to put more structures into flood plains and continue to pump more heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, we are not dealing well with the "new normal" for extreme floods. The National Flood Insurance Program, which charges unrealistically low insurance premiums, is $18 billion in debt. A government shut-down was narrowly avoided in September over disputes on how to pay for the damages from this year's 1-in-100 to 1-in-500 year floods on the Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Souris, Susquehanna, and hundreds of smaller rivers. Federal funding to operate 321 USGS stream gauges critical for issuing accurate and timely flood warnings was eliminated this year, and funding for an additional 69 gauges is threatened, including gauges on the Susquehanna River where this year's extreme flooding occurred. Eliminating funding for stream gauges in an era of increasing floods is like being too cheap to replace your cracked windshield that's hard to see out of, when you're about to drive the most difficult and dangerous road your car has ever attempted, at night, in a heavy rainstorm. You'll be unaware of the coming danger until it's too late to avoid it. Flood damages are going to grow much worse and potentially cause serious harm to the American economy in the coming decades, and our politicians need to adopt intelligent policies that don't cater to special interests in order to deal with the increasingly frequent and larger extreme floods that a warmer climate will bring.

References
IPCC, 2007: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M.Tignor and H.L. Miller (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

Jha, M., Z. Pan, E. S. Takle, and R. Gu (2004), Impacts of climate change on streamflow in the Upper Mississippi River Basin: A regional climate model perspective, J. Geophys. Res., 109, D09105, doi:10.1029/2003JD003686.

Lenderink, G., and E. van Meijgaard (2008), Increase in hourly precipitation extremes beyond expectations from temperature changes,, Nature Geoscience 1, 511 - 514 (2008)
Published online: 20 July 2008 | doi:10.1038/ngeo262

Suro, T.P., G.D. Firda, and C.O. Szabo, 2009, Flood of June 26 - 29, 2006, Mohawk, Delaware, and Susquehanna River Basins, New York, USGS Open-File Report 2009-94-1063.

Trenberth, K. E., A. Dai, R. M. Rasmussen and D. B. Parsons, 2003: The changing character of precipitation", Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 84, 1205-1217.

Trenberth, K. E., C. A. Davis and J. Fasullo, 2007: "Water and energy budgets of hurricanes: Case studies of Ivan and Katrina," J. Geophys. Res., 112, D23106, doi:10.1029/2006JD008303.

Trenberth, K.E., J. Fasullo, and L. Smith. 2005. "Trends and variability in column-integrated atmospheric water vapor," Climate Dynamics 24:741-758.

Trenberth, K. E., 2011: Changes in precipitation with climate change. Climate Research, 47, 123-138,
doi:10.3354/cr00953.

Troch, P.A., J.A. Smith, E.F. Wood, and F.P. de Troch, "Hydrologic Controls of Large Floods in a Small Basin: Central Appalachian Case Study", Journal of Hydrology, 156:285-309, 1994.

Other posts looking back at the remarkable weather events of 2011
Wettest year on record in Philadelphia; 2011 sets record for wet/dry extremes in U.S.
Hurricane Irene: New York City dodges a potential storm surge mega-disaster

Jeff Masters

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Report Global Warming & Climate Change (2011 Durban Conference)
Updated: Dec. 12, 2011

Global warming has become perhaps the most complicated issue facing world leaders. Warnings from the scientific community are becoming louder, as an increasing body of science points to rising dangers from the ongoing buildup of human-related greenhouse gases — produced mainly by the burning of fossil fuels and forests.

Global emissions of carbon dioxide jumped by the largest amount on record in 2010, upending the notion that the brief decline during the recession might persist through the recovery. Emissions rose 5.9 percent in 2010, according to an analysis by the Global Carbon Project, an international collaboration of scientists. The increase solidified a trend of ever-rising emissions that scientists fear will make it difficult, if not impossible, to forestall severe climate change in coming decades.

However, the technological, economic and political issues that have to be resolved before a concerted worldwide effort to reduce emissions can begin have gotten no simpler, particularly in the face of a global economic slowdown.

For almost two decades, the United Nations has sponsored global talks, known as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, an international treaty signed by 194 countries in 1992 to cooperatively discuss global climate change and its impact.

The conferences operate on the principle of consensus, meaning that any of the participating nations can hold up an agreement. In recent years, the meetings have often ended in disillusionment. The conflicts and controversies discussed are monotonously familiar: the differing obligations of industrialized and developing nations, the question of who will pay to help poor nations adapt, the urgency of protecting tropical forests and the need to rapidly develop and deploy clean energy technology.

The negotiating process itself has been under fire from some quarters, including the poorest nations who believe their needs are being neglected in the fight among the major economic powers. Criticism has also come from a relatively small but vocal band of climate-change skeptics, many of them sitting members of the United States Congress, who doubt the existence of human influence on the climate and ridicule international efforts to deal with it.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting Cat5Hurricane:

Wow. Posting all these cool, colorful, pretty maps around the world and one doesn't even possess the intelligence to distinguish a celsius temperature reading from a fahrenheit temperature reading... There's a good one, folks.

Oops.

Hmmm. Would you not call -22.F (in Ulan Bator) or -13 (in Novosibirsk) or -1 (in Khatanga) a "deep freeze"?

Now, what were you saying about possessing intelligence?
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Quoting StormTracker2K:
Boy Asia is in the midst of a Deep Freeze.





those numbers are celsius, but still cold
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481

Comet Lovejoy survives its trek around SOL.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127559
Boy Asia is in the midst of a Deep Freeze.



Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
407. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Philippine Atmospherical Geophysical Astronomical Services and Administration
Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #7
TROPICAL STORM SENDONG (WASHI)
11:00 PM PhST December 16 2011
=================================

Tropical Storm "SENDONG" maintained its strength and is now in the vicinity of Malaybalay, Bukidnon

At 10:00 PM PhST, Tropical Storm Sendong located at 8.3°N 124.6°E or 50 km west northwest of Malaybalay Bukidnon has 10 minute sustained winds of 35 knots with gusts of 45 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west at 11 knots.

Signal Warnings
===============

Signal Warning #2
-----------------

Mindanao region
==============
1.Misamis Oriental
2.Misamis Occidental
3.Camaguin Island
4.Bukidnon
5.Lanao del Norte
6.Lanao del Sur
7.Zamboanga Provinces

Signal Warning #1
----------------

Luzon region
============
1.Palawan

Visayas region
=============
1.Bohol
2.Siquijor
3.Southern Cebu
4.Negros Oriental
5.Southern Negros Occidental

Mindanao region
==============
1.Surigao Del Norte
2.Agusan del Norte
3.Agusan del Sur
4.Davao del Norte
5.Compostela Valley
6.North Cotabato
7.Maguindanao

Additional Information
========================

All signals elsewhere are now lowered.

Residents in low lying and mountainous areas under Public Storm Warning Signals are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides. Likewise, those living in coastal areas are alerted against big waves or storm surges generated by this tropical cyclone.

Estimated rainfall amount is from 10-25 mm per hour (heavy) within the 400 km diameter of the Tropical Storm.

Mining operators and small scale miners are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides and take necessary precautionary measures.

Fishing boats and other small sea crafts are advised not to venture out into the sea.

The public and the disaster coordinating councils concerned are advised to take appropriate actions and watch for the next bulletin to be issued at 5 AM tomorrow and the hourly updates.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44744
Quoting AussieStorm:

I wouldn't really say it's over land, It's over an Island so it can still get energy it need to strengthen.


was completely over when i posted dat. its not over land much now
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting PakaSurvivor:
401. Barbamz

Sounds like some excitement for your area. Lived in Florsheim for a year in the early 90's. Wife love to shop in Maintz. Hope it doesn't get to rough tomorrow.


Nice to hear that, thank you. Flörsheim unfortunately got very severe noise problems with a new runway at Frankfurt Airport, which was opened some weeks ago.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
401. Barbamz

Sounds like some excitement for your area. Lived in Florsheim for a year in the early 90's. Wife love to shop in Maintz. Hope it doesn't get to rough tomorrow.
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Massive outage as storm batters France

A STORM has battered north-western France, leaving hundreds of thousands without power, disrupting rail traffic and grounding a ship that spilled oil off the coast of Brittany.

There were no immediate reports of serious injuries or significant damage as storm Joachim moved further inland to Switzerland and Germany.

Interior Minister Claude Gueant said France had escaped largely unscathed from the storm.

"It seems there have been no victims," he said, adding that "a certain number" of people living in low-lying areas in Brittany had been evacuated because of the storm.

Officials said 400,000 homes had lost electricity, mainly in the west of the country. By mid-day, the number of homes without electricity had fallen to 330,000 as workers scrambled to restore electricity infrastructure.The storm caused a cargo ship, the TK Bremen flying the Maltese flag, to run aground and spill some oil into the sea off Brittany early today, officials said.

"The level of pollution is limited," said local maritime official Marc Gander, adding that regional authorities were deploying equipment to try and contain the slick and to empty the ship of its 190 tonnes of fuel and 50 tonnes of diesel.

All 19 members of the ship's crew were evacuated by helicopter.

Local prosecutors in Brest said they had opened an investigation into the spill.

Train traffic was disrupted, with more than 15 trains cancelled in central France and significant delays, the French rail authority said.

The storm had little effect on international flights but the strong winds did force some tourist sites to close, including the park at the Chateau de Versailles near Paris and the famed Christmas market in Strasbourg.

The storm was moving its way inland today, with Swiss authorities reporting it caused a train to derail in Switzerland, lightly injuring three people.

"Friday morning a train derailed in the forest near Tramelan," in the northwest of the mountainous country, police said in a statement.

The storm had been battering the area since Thursday night, with gusts of wind of up to 133km/h and waves up to 7m high.

Brest,France Live cam.

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Quoting SPLbeater:
Washi is over land and strengthening

I wouldn't really say it's over land, It's over an Island so it can still get energy it need to strengthen.
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Quoting sar2401:


Holy cow, Barb, that's one heck of a storm. I sure hope your roof stays on. Let us know how you're doing.


Good evening from Germany. You see, we luckily still are alive and yes, I'm still protected by my roof :)

It has been a very interesting day, weatherwise, but not catastrophic so far. Regionally very different because of the complicated structure of storm "Joachim": warm and humid frontside, cold arctic and dry backside which right now is rushing in (temps are strongly falling).

So there has been some very strong and lasting rain and some flooding, quite a lot of snow in certain regions, some wind damage and accidents, some closed schools, christmas markets and traffic issues. In Mainz nothing severe seems to have happened, but tomorrow the newspapers will tell the whole story.

The pressure has been very low. In my place unusual 972 hpa, in the "eye" more to the north I think 965 hpa had been measured. And it's not over yet. In the east of Germany things are still developing, and I as well can still hear some howling around my house, huuu, huuu ...

Greetings to all of you! Barbara



Edit/Addition: I've learned on the German weatherblogs that Joachim is a typical "Shapiro-Keyser-Cyclone". I've found the following explanation in English:

"The Shapiro-Keyser cyclone model is named after the authors of the study that first presented this conceptual model of the frontal structure in some marine cyclones. As with the Norwegian cyclone model, an incipient cyclone develops cold and warm fronts, but in this case, the cold front moves roughly perpendicular to the warm front such that the fronts never meet, the so-called 'T-bone'. Also, a weakness appears along the poleward portion of the cold front near the low center, the so-called 'frontal fracture' and a back-bent front forms behind the low center. (In the final stage), colder air encircles warmer air near the low center, forming a warm seclusion. Typically, the Shapiro-Keyser cyclone is oblong, elongated east-west along the strong warm front".

Source: http://weatherfaqs.org.uk/node/98

Edit: Here comes the warm "T-bone". Arts were done by me (I really missed Levi doing some tidbits in preparation of Joachim!)

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Modify and Preview are on vacation too. Ah well I'll do my best. :)
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SOHO Movie of Comet Lovejoy
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127559
One can MODIFY a post by simply using the feature on every comment that you post.

Preview is a good thing as well as its "under" the comment box below.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127559
Thanks SPL. :)  I'd quote ya but goodness knows what would happen then. Lol.
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Very pronounced twist in the extreme S.W.Caribbean Sea..
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Intensity raised to 50 knots....JTWC getting data i aint, lol
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting AtHomeInTX:
So it's been awhile. ;-)

Rain falls across Southeast Texas



December 16, 2011 8:55 AM

SOUTHEAST TEXAS- Rain is falling across Southeast Texas. leading to a number of accidents but no reported serious injuries Friday morning.
A jackknifed 18 wheeler near Winnie and another truck accident in Orange County have caused traffic delays.
There's a 30% chance of rain Friday. High temperatures will be in the mid 60's.
No rain is in the forecast this weekend. Highs will reach the mid 50's Saturday and low 60's Sunday.
Our forecast calls for a 20% chance of rain Monday and a 60% chance of rain Tuesday.




good to hear your getting some rain down there


Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Once again apologies for the messed up post. WU's becoming quite the box of chocolates for me these days.  :)
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Quoting RitaEvac:
I make maps everyday for my work, and I lie on those maps everyday. In fact in college, there is a book titled "How to Lie with Maps" it's a common thing. Don't believe maps, people can tweek and make it to fit our needs for whatever the project is, TRUST me.



"I lie on those maps everyday" and "TRUST me"

?????
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
So it's been awhile. ;-)

Rain falls across Southeast Texas



December 16, 2011 8:55 AM

SOUTHEAST TEXAS- Rain is falling across Southeast Texas. leading to a number of accidents but no reported serious injuries Friday morning.
A jackknifed 18 wheeler near Winnie and another truck accident in Orange County have caused traffic delays.
There's a 30% chance of rain Friday. High temperatures will be in the mid 60's.
No rain is in the forecast this weekend. Highs will reach the mid 50's Saturday and low 60's Sunday.
Our forecast calls for a 20% chance of rain Monday and a 60% chance of rain Tuesday.


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Friends flight from Berlin to Cairo was canceled, have to assume it was due to the storm. Been rain-snowing here all day. I guess its get worse?
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Washi is over land and strengthening
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
There now 370 Giorni Day's left until the 2012 Winter Solstice.

Enjoy your Friday.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127559
Quoting RitaEvac:
I make maps everyday for my work, and I lie on those maps everyday. In fact in college, there is a book titled "How to Lie with Maps" it's a common thing. Don't believe maps, people can tweek and make it to fit our needs for whatever the project is, TRUST me.



I'm agreeing with you there. For example, look at the main post statement:

"...Had this event occurred 40 years ago, before global warming added an extra 4% moisture to the atmosphere, the Susquehanna flood would have likely stayed within the city's flood walls..."

and realize that those final flood walls were completed in 1943. One could say that, if this flood had occured 68 years ago, the flooding would have been much worse (there would have been no flood walls at all).

And one thing not shown on that annotated map of Binghampton above is the location of the flood walls.

Look here to see the report on the Binghampton flood project (especially page 6).

It shows where the flood walls were put in, and which areas are "protected". To me, it looks like those areas numbered 7, 8, 9 and 10 are "within" the walls, while those labelled 2, 3, 4 and 5 were not.

I 'd like to see pictures of the flood walls that were overtopped or breached around that school (McArthur Elementary, which suffered major damage).

For that matter, I'd like to know if that school was there 40 years ago.

And, look at the legend. The green areas were NO DAMAGE. Take that green out, and look at it again.
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Quoting yqt1001:


In the long term future I believe only Brazil and India can achieve such heights (maybe Iran if they can pull a pre-war Nazi Germany by legally annexing their neighbors). A world war to see who becomes the next world powers would work well though....


You believe, in the long-term future, that Brazil, india or (gasp!) Iran can be the next superpower to lead the world? How long do you expect to live? :) As far as a world war to duke it out, ah, no, I don't think so. If you're concerned about the climate and global warming now, a new world war would bring those worries to an end very quickly. Frankly, I'm a lot more worried about a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan in the short run than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
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Quoting yqt1001:


It wasn't really supposed to end up as an anti-America rant, but all Canadians have a tendency to dislike America so I'm sure my speech just reeks of it when I'm done talking.


That's interesting. I've always liked and respected Canadians. Whenever there's been a war, we've always fought shoulder to shoulder. I've never felt any hostility when I visited Canada. Both country's have some odd-ball politics at time, but I think that's one of the things that links us together.

I suspect some Canadians, especially younger Canadians, may resent the US because Canada is dependent on us for so many things, including protection. In the 50's and 60's, Canada had a very respectable size military for the size of the country. By 2009, the entire armed forces had been run down to a total 67,000, which is less than half the size of the RCAF in 1965. I'm happy to see the current government beginning to build the force strength up again and revert to the tradional names for the Navy, Army, and Air Force, instead of that ridiculous "Forces Canada" name that they've been stuck with since 1964. So, I don't know if what you say about Canadians is true in general but I sure like and respect Canadians...well, except for the occasional Alberta Clipper you guys send down our way. :)
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The November State of the Climate - Global Analysis report from NOAA is out. A few highlights:

--Despite the cooling effects of an ongoing La Nina, November 2011 was the 12th warmest on record (or, if you find that terminology "deceitful", the 121st coolest);

--November 2011 was the 321st consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. (The last below average month was February, 1985.)

The cool, blue Pacific is readily evident in this dot map:

uh-oh

...and the La Nina cooling can be seen in these graphs:

uh-oh
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Quoting barbamz:
Wow, watch our "eye" in Germany!

source: wetteronline.de
But nothing too serious till now.


Holy cow, Barb, that's one heck of a storm. I sure hope your roof stays on. Let us know how you're doing.
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382. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #25
TROPICAL STORM WASHI (T1121)
21:00 PM JST December 16 2011
===============================

SUBJECT: Category One Typhoon Overland Mindanao

At 12:00 PM UTC, Tropical Storm Washi (998 hPa) located at 8.2N 125.5E has 10 minute sustained winds of 40 knots with gusts of 60 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west at 14 knots

Dvorak Intensity: OVERLAND

Gale Force Winds
===============
180 NM from the center in northern quadrant
90 NM from the center in southern quadrant

Forecast and Intensity
======================
24 HRS: 9.0N 120.4E - 35 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
48 HRS: 9.0N 115.2E - 40 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
72 HRS: 9.0N 110.7E - 40 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44744
381. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Philippine Atmospherical Geophysical Astronomical Services and Administration
Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #6
TROPICAL STORM SENDONG (WASHI)
5:00 PM PhST December 16 2011
=================================

Tropical Storm "SENDONG" has made landfall in the vicinity of Hinatuan, Surigao Del Sur

At 4:00 PM PhST, Tropical Storm Sendong located at 8.2°N 126.1°E or In the vicinity of Hinatuan, Surigao Del Sur has 10 minute sustained winds of 35 knots with gusts of 45 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west northwest at 11 knots.

Signal Warnings
===============

Signal Warning #2
-----------------

Mindanao region
==============
1.Surigao Del Norte
2.Siargao Island
3.Surigao Del Sur
4.Dinagat Province
5.Agusan Provinces
6.Bukidnon
7.Davao del Norte
8.Davao Oriental
9.Compostela Valley
10.Camiguin

Signal Warning #1
----------------

Luzon region
============
1.Palawan

Visayas region
=============
1.Negros
2.Cebu
3.Bohol
4.Southern Leyte
5.Siquijor

Mindanao region
==============
1.Misamis Occidental
2.Lanao del Norte
3.Lanao del Sur
4.North Cotabato
5.Samal Island
6.Maguindanao
7.Davao del Sur
8.Zamboanga Provinces

Additional Information
========================

All signals elsewhere are now lowered.

Residents in low lying and mountainous areas under Public Storm Warning Signals are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides. Likewise, those living in coastal areas are alerted against big waves or storm surges generated by this tropical cyclone.

Estimated rainfall amount is from 10-25 mm per hour (heavy) within the 400 km diameter of the Tropical Storm.

Mining operators and small scale miners are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides and take necessary precautionary measures.

Fishing boats and other small sea crafts are advised not to venture out into the sea.

The public and the disaster coordinating councils concerned are advised to take appropriate actions and watch for the next bulletin to be issued at 11 PM today and the hourly updates.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44744
Quoting yqt1001:


It wasn't really supposed to end up as an anti-America rant, but all Canadians have a tendency to dislike America blah blah..


No they don't. Both American and Canadian politics and politicians these days are dislike-able for good reasons, but the people have a lot in common.
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For those who don't know:
Comet Lovejoy survives close encounter with the sun

To the surprise and delight of astronomers, a comet discovered just two weeks ago as it hurtled towards the sun has skimmed the star and re-emerged the other side.
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Looks to be a low north of Panama moving WNW or NW toward C America. However a turn more NW or N could happen in few days as a trough digs in across the western Gulf.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
This is very interesting! Thanks JLPR for pointing this out.

Link
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting sar2401:
As far as the rest of your anti-American rant, exactly who else would you like to see as the world's superpower? China? Russia? The (chuckle) EU? Let's face it, for a country that could turn any other country to glass in minutes, I think we've been pretty restrained. And next time there's a little trouble spot in the world, call France. They'll be glad to help, and we'll have more money to pay off our bills.


It wasn't really supposed to end up as an anti-America rant, but all Canadians have a tendency to dislike America so I'm sure my speech just reeks of it when I'm done talking. Honestly, for a world power I would like someone who is at least partially functional at doing something. In the long term future I believe only Brazil and India can achieve such heights (maybe Iran if they can pull a pre-war Nazi Germany by legally annexing their neighbors). A world war to see who becomes the next world powers would work well though....
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Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Looks like something maybe trying to brew down here. I wouldn't rule out another Tropical Storm.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Thnking the fog sounded extra soupy this a.m. I checked to be sure and, yep, it's raining at my house. NOBODY BLINK!  =)


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Quoting washingtonian115:
The name Sarah Palin should be illegal to say in the U.S."I can see Russia from my house".Pfffff.Yeah.Just like I can see Bermuda from my house over 1000 freakin miles away from me.




You DO realize that the line you're quoting was actually spoken by Tina Fey on "Saturday Night Live" during a skit, don't you?

Since you believe SP's name ought to be illegal,
How dou feel about:
Adolf Hitler
Pol Pot
Idi Amin
Joseph Stalin
Saul Alinsky
Vladimir Lenin
Mao Tse Tung (sp?)

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Good morning! We're at our highest temp for the day right now as the cool front will follow behind the rain. But it's been great weather the last couple of days. Hope everyone has a wonderful Friday.
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Quoting yqt1001:
Anyone watching the Republican debate? I'm watching the live feed through the BBC (probably a nice left bias being shown). I must admit, most republicans make no sense at all. Ron Paul seems to make the most sense of them all, but he is more of an independent than an actual conservative.

I'm sorry, but if I weren't ideologically opposed to the republicans, and I didn't support the democrats at all (or if I was old enough to vote and even lived in the US), I would go independent next year. The republicans don't seem to care about anyone but the people who financially support them this year..they don't even show any interest in anything but (incorrect) foreign politics and Obama bashing. I mean really!? The terrorists are attacking the US because the US is free, not because you guys stopped funding them...? *sigh*

I kinda wish that the US wasn't the heart of the world so this stupidity wouldn't actually matter to anyone outside of the US. I really hope that someone who can actually run a country is able to get a majority in the US government next year.

Sorry if I offended someone, but really, from a foreigner looking in, it's pretty sad, especially when I compare our conservatives to yours. Thankfully Sarah Palin isn't in it this year. XD



The leftist policies that the EU has persued have worked out so well for you guys. I'd rather our country not follow that model.


"If you're not a liberal when you're 20, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative when you're 40, you have no brain."
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mornin fellowes

usually dont sneak a peek during off season

making the call

good day / night to you all
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Wow, watch our "eye" in Germany!

source: wetteronline.de
But nothing too serious till now.
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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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