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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Impressive Loop of Comet Lovejoy approaching SOL.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125715
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Should that happen, it will be while also trying to adapt to AGW.

We went off the gold standard in 1973.
With gold at $1800.00 an ounce, maybe we should make it standard...I bet there is still pleny of gold in Fort Knox.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19606
Large Comet Nearing Sun :
The large comet named Lovejoy is getting closer to the Sun on Thursday and is expected to burn up later today.

Comet Lovejoy approaching the Sun (Thursday - Latest) - Lasco



www.solarham.com
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NASA - LARGE COMET TO HIT THE SUN 15/16TH DECEMBER 2011 (HD)

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Quoting RitaEvac:
History channel had show on last night, about Fort Knox. Possible it's half empty and might not even have gold in it. This one rich guy talked about it, used to work there and now has gone off the grid. Says our lives are going to be living like the early 1900s. Expect fallout from economic crash on the way.

Talking about AGW....going to be moot


Should that happen, it will be while also trying to adapt to AGW.

We went off the gold standard in 1973.
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209. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #19
TROPICAL STORM WASHI (T1121)
3:00 AM JST December 16 2011
===============================

SUBJECT: Category One Typhoon East Of Mindanao

At 18:00 PM UTC, Tropical Storm Washi (1000 hPa) located at 7.5N 129.4E has 10 minute sustained winds of 35 knots with gusts of 50 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west at 16 knots

Dvorak Intensity: T2.5

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

Forecast and Intensity
======================
24 HRS: 8.9N 124.0E - 35 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
48 HRS: 9.4N 118.9E - 35 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
72 HRS: 9.2N 113.7E - 35 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 48 Comments: 43702
Link


Lovejoy is getting bright...
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History channel had show on last night, about Fort Knox. Possible it's half empty and might not even have gold in it. This one rich guy talked about it, used to work there and now has gone off the grid. Says our lives are going to be living like the early 1900s. Expect fallout from economic crash on the way.

Talking about AGW....going to be moot
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9625
Quoting Inyo:
not just global warming - watershed degradation and the spread of impervious substrates as well. In this case just about everything was impervious due to all the rain and saturation but more wetlands and flood plains would have meant less flooding.

We are throwing so many straws at the camel, how do we even know which one to point at?


I doubt that the camel will care which straw broke its back. The camel will care that we keep throwing straw on its back.
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205. Inyo
not just global warming - watershed degradation and the spread of impervious substrates as well. In this case just about everything was impervious due to all the rain and saturation but more wetlands and flood plains would have meant less flooding.

We are throwing so many straws at the camel, how do we even know which one to point at?
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Navy Official Discusses Climate Change Investment Strategy

By Bob Freeman
Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy



WASHINGTON, June 21, 2010 – A number of recent strategic Defense Department documents have recognized that the changing climate may affect national security and military operations later in the century.
This is particularly true for the globally deployed U.S. Navy, and investments to address climate challenges may need to be made, the service’s oceanographer said in a June 18 “DoD Live” bloggers roundtable.
“We're going to have to fold these challenges into a tight fiscal budget,” acknowledged Navy Rear Adm. David W. Titley, who also serves as director of the Navy's Task Force Climate Change. He explained that it is important not only to know what investments are right to meet future requirements, but also to know when to make them.

“We want to basically pace the threat,” Titley said. “We don't want to get into a tail chase over climate change, but at the same time, … we do not want to spend ahead of need, spending for things that may not be required for years or decades later.”
Titley explained that to define the scope of needed investments the Navy will conduct capabilities-based assessments, which he described as foundational studies to determine the requirements for such things as force structure, infrastructure, command and control and communications. “We're doing one of these capabilities-based assessments for climate change in general, and another one focused specifically on the Arctic,” he said.
Titley said the assessments were timed to coincide with the Navy's program objective memorandum for fiscal 2014. POMs are annual events in which critical decisions on the budget and investment spending are made. Titley said he believes the 2014 budget is where the first climate-change investments may potentially be made.

“One of the investments we're really going to have to think about in the next several decades is the impact of sea level rise on the Navy's infrastructure,” Titley said. “That includes our ports and piers in the continental United States, but we also need to think about bases we use in conjunction with our partners and allies overseas.”
As an example, Titley mentioned Diego Garcia, a small, low-lying island in the Indian Ocean that hosts a strategic airfield.
“The observations have shown us that through the 20th century, sea level rose by an average of two millimeters per year,” Titley said. “So that means over the course of the century, we had about 20 centimeters, or roughly eight inches, of sea level rise. The sea level rise we've seen in the first 10 years of the new century is already 50 percent greater than the average sea level rise in the 20th century.”
Titley explained that as the oceans get warmer, they expand and take up more space, causing the sea level to rise. In addition, the land-based ice that already is melting -- including mountain glaciers, the Greenland ice field, and even the western Antarctic ice sheet -- will add volume to the ocean.

He acknowledged considerable uncertainty over the time line and extent of sea level rise, but he noted that leading climate scientists believe sea levels could rise as much as six feet by the end of the century.
“How probable is this?” Titley asked. “I'm not really sure right now, but I am sure there are significant consequences. We need to make sure, as time goes by, that we understand it, we have a plan, and we know what it will cost us to execute that plan.
“That's really one of the foundational elements the task force is going to pursue,” he added.
In response to a question on specific infrastructure upgrades, Titley noted that there is no single answer, and said scientists and engineers will need to work together with local communities, taking into account the specifics of every critical location, to determine what types of solutions will be needed.
“That is what our capabilities-based assessments will be tasked to figure out,” he said.

When asked whether naval bases were prepared for stronger and more intense hurricanes, Titley said that the impact a warming climate may have on tropical storm development is controversial and subject to much research. He explained that ocean warming is only one component of hurricane formation, and that other factors such as upper level wind shear may not support increased frequency and intensity.
“What I can tell you,” he said, “is that our regional commanders make sure their bases are prepared for severe hurricanes every year.”

Titley said it’s essential to improve predictive capabilities on a variety of time lines to provide reliable forecasts to decision makers. These predictions need to include weather and ocean forecasts in the near term, as well as climatological forecasts extending decades out, he added.
“In the past, many federal agencies tended to produce their own predictive models,” Titley said. He noted that he is engaging the leadership of other agencies to create partnerships that will ensure that the best minds in the nation are working collectively on solutions. These joint climate models could serve both military and civilian purposes, he said, recognizing that details regarding classification and security would need to be worked out.

“I believe that the time is right, and the leadership in many agencies is right, to work this at a national level,” he said, “to make sure the taxpayer money we put into these predictions give the absolute best return on our collective investment. We owe this to the American people.”
Titley said international partnerships also are important to dealing effectively with potential climate-change challenges, particularly in the Arctic. He mentioned that the Canadian navy had invited the United States to participate this year in its annual Operation Nanook polar exercise. U.S. participants will include a destroyer, a maritime patrol aircraft, and specialized ice diving units.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for several hundred of our sailors and officers to experience operating ships and aircraft well north of the Arctic Circle,” Titley said.
There is also a proposal to share lessons learned with the Danish navy, which has significant experience operating in the Arctic waters around its territory Greenland. In addition, Titley said, the Naval Research Laboratory is working with the Russian navy in the Kara Sea this summer, and there are current discussions with the International Hydrographic Organization to determine how to best work with regional partners in cooperative ocean-surveying operations.
“This is not meant to be all inclusive,” Titley said, “but it is an indication of progress in just the last couple of months towards opportunities to work with our international partners.”
Titley noted some other examples of progress in considering the strategic impact of climate change.
“Recently, the chief of naval operations signed out the Navy's Arctic strategic objectives,” he said, “and this gives everybody in the Navy a common frame of reference to understand what we are trying to achieve.”

He added that the Navy wants to ensure a “safe, stable, and secure Arctic.”
Titley said the main goal of Task Force Climate Change is to ensure the Navy is not taken by strategic surprise, and he expressed satisfaction that climate change is being considered in strategic war games and limited objective experiments. He described these as “thinking exercises” that examine various strategic scenarios to determine how to handle them, to evaluate whether the assets are available to handle them, and to identify shortfalls.

“Nobody knows what the future will entail,” Titley said, “but if you run a range of scenarios, and you see that there are common capabilities and capacities that you would need to answer those scenarios, then you can really inform a future budget debate.”


Biographies:
Navy Rear Adm. David W. Titley
Related Sites:

"DoD Live" Bloggers Roundtable
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125715
Aussiestorm, that was some video. Yes, I care. Just more of the same weather this year to extend into next year I think. Just 372 days until the EOTW!
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Quoting ChillinInTheKeys:
Slight chance of a second sun this evening.

BIG COMET PLUNGES TOWARD THE SUN...

Link

Hi all, thanks for the heads up Chillin. Now where do I find exposed film so I can look for the comet? I guess I could use two polarized sunglasses or just break my clip ons. :)
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Link
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Quoting CaneHunter031472:
AGW such a load of crap and lies. Good luck trying to sell that.
I just had to plus this post.100000000+.
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AGW such a load of crap and lies. Good luck trying to sell that.
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nice size storm over Aleutians
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting hydrus:
Washi lookin a bit better past few hours..
Looks like he's going to be a WASH OUT for the islands.Lolol.
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Washi lookin a bit better past few hours..
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19606
Quoting StormTracker2K:


Last year SST's around FL were in the 40's & 50's. Infact their were some nights were I got down into the upper teens around this time last year in C FL.
Some foreshowdowing of next year?.Lol.
Quoting WxGeekVA:


Yes, I was thinking the same thing. Cold air seems to be in place and the wave of low pressure does seem to be trending north on the models which could lead to a few hours of said light snow. Still, whatever falls will have a hard time sticking and if it does accumulate it will be melted by mid afternoon....
I still wanna see some before it goes away :).
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Quoting AussieStorm:
If anyone cares............
Parts of the North Island of New Zealand was hit by a destructive deluge of wet weather. In some parts 500mm(19.5in) in 36hrs.

Here are the results.




wow
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Looks quite destructive, thank you for keeping us informed, always interested in world wide weather. It is all going around and affecting everyone eventually.
Quoting AussieStorm:
If anyone cares............
Parts of the North Island of New Zealand was hit by a destructive deluge of wet weather. In some parts 500mm(19.5in) in 36hrs.

Here are the results.



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tried to form eyewall earlier, trying again

Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
If anyone cares............
Parts of the North Island of New Zealand was hit by a destructive deluge of wet weather. In some parts 500mm(19.5in) in 36hrs.

Here are the results.


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150000Z TS Washi

CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.6 / 993.9mb/ 57.0kt

Raw T# 3.5
Adj T# 3.5
Final T# 3.5

Scene Type: UNIFORM CDO CLOUD REGION
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Hello from Texas, i have 2 ponds behind my backyard, my house backs up to a very nice and big farm. These ponds have been bone dry for at least the past 6 months. Had a good rain this morning and water is finally going into these ponds. It is such a positive feeling for me. If we get some heavy rains our ground is finally saturated and Lake levels will go up.


Finally huh



Southwest and Southern Great Plains: Some light but beneficial rains (generally less than 1.0 inch) fell across central Texas with more substantial amount (1.0 %u2013 2.9 inches) falling across southern Texas. Accordingly, the depiction of exceptional drought (D4) was modified to remove much of Duval, Webb, and Starr counties, retaining extreme drought (D3) designations. According to the Weather Forecast Office in Brownsville, the higher relative humidity values during the past week and daily cloud cover aided the recovery by minimizing evaporation. Across Maverick and western Dimmit counties, rainfall also prompted a slight improvement to moderate drought (D2) from extreme drought conditions. The area near Victoria, TX missed out on the rains, and is experiencing its driest year on record. The year-to-date total precipitation (according to ACIS) in the Victoria area is 12.10 inches, nearly 3.5 inches drier than the previous driest year on record (1956).
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9625
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Hello from Texas, i have 2 ponds behind my backyard, my house backs up to a very nice and big farm. These ponds have been bone dry for at least the past 6 months. Had a good rain this morning and water is finally going into these ponds. It is such a positive feeling for me. If we get some heavy rains our ground is finally saturated and Lake levels will go up.


Those lakes will be filling up fast over the next 10 days as lots of heavy is in the forecast for most of Texas. Great news as I'm really happy you guys are getting some much needed rains.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
187. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Philippine Atmospherical Geophysical Astronomical Services and Administration
Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #3
TROPICAL STORM SENDONG (WASHI)
11:00 PM PhST December 15 2011
=================================

Tropical Storm "SENDONG" has maintained its strength as it increases its threat to Northeastern Mindanao and Eastern Visayas area

At 10:00 PM PhST, Tropical Storm Sendong located at 7.9°N 130.4°E or 430 km east southeast 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 15 knots.

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

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

Visayas region
=============
1.Eastern Samar
2.Western Samar
3.Leyte Provinces
4.Camotes Island
5.Bohol

Mindanao region
==============
1.Surigao Del Norte
2.Siargao Island
3.Surigao Del Sur
4.Dinagat Province
5.Agusan Provinces
6.Misamis Oriental

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

Luzon region
============
1.Sorsogon
2.Ticao Island
3.Masbate

Visayas region
=============
1.Northern Samar
2.Biliran Island
3.Panay Island
4.Guimaras
5.Negros Provinces
6.Cebu
7.Siquijor Island

Mindanao region
==============
1.Davao Oriental
2.Daval Del Norte
3.Samal Island
4.Bukidnon
5.Lanao Provinces
6.Misamis Occidental
7.Zamboanga Provinces

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

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.

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.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 48 Comments: 43702
Hello from Texas, i have 2 ponds behind my backyard, my house backs up to a very nice and big farm. These ponds have been bone dry for at least the past 6 months. Had a good rain this morning and water is finally going into these ponds. It is such a positive feeling for me. If we get some heavy rains our ground is finally saturated and Lake levels will go up.
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Quoting FtMyersgal:


Wrong again Nea


Yeah, that's wrong Nea. I checked it out and I haven't seen anything sinister there...
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Slight chance of a second sun this evening.

BIG COMET PLUNGES TOWARD THE SUN...

Link

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Quoting Neapolitan:

Well, I'm glad you and your son are getting some good from the site. But anyone can pay a visit there, as I did just this afternoon, and see many posts over many pages berating a solid WU member who's military service wasn't what they think it should have been, or tittering about how they'd conspire to cleverly repost those unclever and offensive "12 Days of Christmas" comments so admin wouldn't be able to keep up, and bragging about how they'd plused their own comments so many times that they actually had more plus votes than Dr. Masters' entry itself, and so on, and so forth. It's my opinion--and I could be wrong--that there's a lot more of that sour grapes stuff going on there than there is being charitable to your unfortunately ill child. (Perhaps if more members were busy being charitable, they'd have less time for stunts such as today's?)

I hope your son gets better.


Wrong again Nea
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Quoting hcubed:


Can't tell you - it would violate the "community standards":

"...Generally, links to non-commercial (that is, personal) weather sites, personal sites/blogs, and especially photographers' site (even commercial) are allowed. If sites are found to contain information or discussion that goes beyond our own rules or is found to be abusive it will be removed..."

Besides, even if I did type out the site's name, it would magically change...


oh, ok. sorry if i did possibly mess with anybodys nerves there, i didnt know what that was....altho i do gots my own weather site, but it aint private. anybody welcome. :D

again, apologies for the question:)
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting SPLbeater:
what is bunker? can somebody explin this please?


Can't tell you - it would violate the "community standards":

"...Generally, links to non-commercial (that is, personal) weather sites, personal sites/blogs, and especially photographers' site (even commercial) are allowed. If sites are found to contain information or discussion that goes beyond our own rules or is found to be abusive it will be removed..."

Besides, even if I did type out the site's name, it would magically change...
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Quoting sunlinepr:


This Dec. 8, 2011 satellite image provided by the the DigitalGlobe Analysis Center shows the Chinese aircraft carrier Varyag sailing in the Yellow Sea, approximately 100 kilometers south-southeast of the port of Dalian, China. (AP Photo/DigitalGlobe) MANDATORY CREDIT

APNewsBreak: Satellite gets pic of Chines
e carrier

DENVER (AP) - A commercial U.S. satellite company said it has captured a photo of China's first aircraft carrier in the Yellow Sea off the Chinese coast.

DigitalGlobe Inc. said Wednesday one of its satellites photographed the carrier Dec. 8. A DigitalGlobe analyst found the image Tuesday while searching through photos.

Stephen Wood, director of DigitalGlobe's analysis center, said he's confident the ship is the Chinese carrier because of the location and date of the photo. The carrier was on a sea trial at the time.

DigitalGlobe, based in Longmont, Colo., sells satellite imagery and analysis to clients that include the U.S. military, emergency response agencies and private companies. DigitalGlobe has three orbiting satellites and a fourth is under construction.

The aircraft carrier has generated intense international interest because of what it might portend about China's intentions as a military power.

The former Soviet Union started building the carrier, which it called the Varyag, but never finished it. When the Soviet Union collapsed, it ended up in the hands of Ukraine, a former Soviet republic.

China bought the ship from Ukraine in 1998 and spent years refurbishing it. It had no engines, weaponry or navigation systems when China acquired it.


More Link


first AC...well, they got the basic layout alright, lol. last night i watched my DVD of the Aircraft Carrier history, from WWI to now. we have a fleet of 13 super carriers, 10 of which are in the newest Nimitz class. (the interest of mine behind weather is military, Navy in particular lol)
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting washingtonian115:
Some wet snow could fall in the very early morning hours of Saturday.At least I hope by the time I wake up (which is around 7 in the morning at times) it doesn't all melt away.


Yes, I was thinking the same thing. Cold air seems to be in place and the wave of low pressure does seem to be trending north on the models which could lead to a few hours of said light snow. Still, whatever falls will have a hard time sticking and if it does accumulate it will be melted by mid afternoon....
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Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting washingtonian115:
The gulf stream water temps arn't that bad for this time of year.I remember back in 09 they were much colder than that if memory serves me correctly.


Last year SST's around FL were in the 40's & 50's. Infact their were some nights were I got down into the upper teens around this time last year in C FL.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting StormTracker2K:
Looks like the beach may not be a bad idea this Christmas in FL as water are still warm!

The gulf stream water temps arn't that bad for this time of year.I remember back in 09 they were much colder than that if memory serves me correctly.
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Looks like the beach may not be a bad idea this Christmas in FL as water are still warm!

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Boy this snow cover map is pathetic for this time in December.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Boy I guess someone doesn't like wx maps being posted. Well let me tell you that this is a wx blog and people come for wx updates and for other information that's related to our ever changing climate.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Some wet snow could fall in the very early morning hours of Saturday.At least I hope by the time I wake up (which is around 7 in the morning at times) it doesn't all melt away.
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Another Warm day across the SE US.

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
Thunderstorms building in N Texas this morning.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #15
TROPICAL STORM WASHI (T1121)
15:00 PM JST December 15 2011
===============================

SUBJECT: Category One Typhoon Near Caroline Island

At 6:00 AM UTC, Tropical Storm Washi (1000 hPa) located at 7.8N 132.5E has 10 minute sustained winds of 35 knots with gusts of 50 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west at 19 knots

Dvorak Intensity: T2.5

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

Forecast and Intensity
======================
24 HRS: 9.6N 126.7E - 45 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
48 HRS: 10.6N 122.0E - 35 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
72 HRS: 10.9N 117.5E - 35 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
Washi???.Cool name :).
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Quoting mickharp:

Hahaha. I had to read your reply 3 times because I just couldn't believe you actually took the couple hours to compose that.

Next time, why don't you simply tell the other blogger that they are wrong...

It's a lot easier and saves a lot of time.

He stepped on your corns, didn't he !
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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.