Hurricane Irene of 2011 now rated history's 6th most damaging hurricane

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:33 PM GMT on May 03, 2012

Share this Blog
32
+

New damage estimates released last month by NOAA now place the damage from 2011's Hurricane Irene at $15.8 billion, making the storm the 6th costliest hurricane and 10th costliest weather-related disaster in U.S. history. Irene hit North Carolina on August 27, 2011, as a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds, and made landfalls the next day in New Jersey and New York City as a tropical storm. Most of the damage from Irene occurred because of the tremendous fresh water flooding the storm's rains brought to much of New England. Irene is now rated as the most expensive Category 1 hurricane to hit the U.S. The previous record was held by Hurricane Agnes of 1972, whose floods did $11.8 billion in damage in the Northeast. NOAA also announced that the name Irene had been retired from the list of active hurricane names. Irene was the only named retired in 2011, and was the 76th name to be retired since 1954. The name Irene was replaced with Irma, which is next scheduled be used in 2017.


Figure 1. True-color MODIS image of Hurricane Irene over North Carolina taken at 11:35 am EDT August 27, 2011. At the time, Irene was a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

At last month's 30th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology of the American Meteorological Society, Paul Ruscher of Florida State University explained how Irene's storm surge came within 8 inches of flooding New York City's subway system, which would have caused devastating damage. At the current global rate of sea level rise of 3.1 mm/year, a repeat of Irene 65 years from now would be capable of flooding the subway system, if no action is taken. Since sea level rise is expected to accelerate as the planet warms in coming decades, an Irene-type storm surge would likely be capable of flooding the NYC subway system much sooner than that. To read more about New York City's vulnerability, see Andrew Freedman's analysis at Climate Central, Climate Change Could Cripple New York’s Transportation, or my November 2011 blog post, Hurricane Irene: New York City dodges a potential storm surge mega-disaster.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

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

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

Viewing: 386 - 336

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11Blog Index

386. Gaara
Quoting Tribucanes:
South Central Wisconsin going to get in on this outbreak tonight or is the cap too high? Grothar, evening, question for ya, what do Portugal, Greece, Italy, and Spain have in common?


Youth unemployment rates well over 20%!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Sure, now that you read all of our answers.

(How come you never noticed the mistake before in Unisys? You seem to notice everything else, like my mistake in posting images. :))

I don't use Unisys :P
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31409
or birds would have been fine too
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


And what is odd about the dates on Alice that you see twice. Very good, Grasshopper. I will give you a hint. It has only happened once since 1851


Alice 1954–1955 December 30–January 6
Zeta 2005–2006 December 30–January 7
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Yeah it did, Alice. ;)

The storm was shared between 1954 and 1955 because it spawned two calendar years.

That's why there are two Alice's.


Sure, now that you read all of our answers.

(How come you never noticed the mistake before in Unisys? You seem to notice everything else, like my mistake in posting images. :))
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Likely tornado in Iowa.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31409
Quoting Tribucanes:
South Central Wisconsin going to get in on this outbreak tonight or is the cap too high? Grothar, evening, question for ya, what do Portugal, Greece, Italy, and Spain have in common?


They all have low tax rates and high corruption. An issue which has been coming up at the EU meetings with Germany. There will elections coming up soon in France and Greece which may change the political spectrum. Anything else you want to know?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Or not... :S

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN ANGELO TX
848 PM CDT THU MAY 3 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SAN ANGELO HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
NORTHEASTERN HASKELL COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL TEXAS...

* UNTIL 930 PM CDT

* AT 843 PM CDT...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WAS 7 MILES SOUTHWEST OF
WEINERT...OR 7 MILES NORTH OF HASKELL...MOVING EAST AT 25 MPH.

STORM HAZARDS INCLUDE...
GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL.
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH.

WITH POSSIBLE STORM IMPACTS...
NUMEROUS VEHICLE DENTS...
MODERATE TO SIGNIFICANT ROOF AND PLASTIC SIGN DAMAGE...
SOME EXPOSED HOME AND VEHICLE WINDOWS WILL CRACK OR BREAK...
INJURY TO UNPROTECTED PEOPLE AND ANIMALS...
SOME TREE LIMB DAMAGE...WEAKENED TREES TOPPLED...
UNSECURED LIGHT OBJECTS BLOWN AROUND...
SCATTERED POWER OUTAGES POSSIBLE...
POTENTIALLY DEADLY LIGHTNING.

* THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WILL BE NEAR...
WEINERT BY 855 PM CDT...
IRBY BY 920 PM CDT...

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

HAIL UP TO GOLFBALL SIZE HAS BEEN REPORTED 6 MILES NORTHEAST OF RULE
WITH THIS STORM. IF YOU ARE IN THE PATH OF THE STORM...TAKE
IMMEDIATE ACTION TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY.

&&

LAT...LON 3313 9947 3313 9948 3318 9982 3337 9983
3340 9947
TIME...MOT...LOC 0146Z 270DEG 20KT 3325 9973

$$
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31409
Quoting Grothar:





OK, Kori. Did you ever notice 1955 did not have an A name?

Yeah it did, Alice. ;)

The storm was shared between 1954 and 1955 because it spawned two calendar years.

That's why there are two Alice's.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31409
Quoting Tribucanes:
South Central Wisconsin going to get in on this outbreak tonight or is the cap too high? Grothar, evening, question for ya, what do Portugal, Greece, Italy, and Spain have in common?


Olive oil?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The Severe Thunderstorm Warning on the storm in Texas just expired.

Pretty sure a Tornado Warning is upcoming.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31409
Quoting KoritheMan:


Two Alice's are correctly listed in 1954, except the second one still says June.





OK, Kori. Did you ever notice 1955 did not have an A name?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting presslord:


and you remember every one of them...


Yes, and I also remember before the split of North Carolina and South Carolina and remember when it was just called the Carolinas.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
When does everybody think our first named storm will form?

I'm going with May 21 to June 2.

June 25 -July 15
Member Since: June 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 583
A0 69 dBZ 43,000 ft. 79 kg/m² 100% chance 100% chance 2.75 in. 17 knots W (264)

Tornado vortex signature n of abilene.

I just read this blind off the NWS radar and thought it looked tornadic, so I check the other system and sure enough it has 79vil and a vortex signature.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Ok, you are going by dissipation month, I was going by formation month.


Either way, I agree.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RTSplayer:


Yeah, about what I expected.

"The official forecast calls for ENSO-neutral conditions through JAS, followed by approximately equal chances of Neutral or El Niño conditions for the remainder of the
year"


So somewhere between true neutral and weak el nino from ASO forwards.


This is quite different from the pre-season hurricane forecasts.

June 1 is the big day for forecasts and we'll see how this patterns evolve this month, but it looks like the first half to 2/3rds of the season will actually be neutral conditions.

I'd say 15 to 16 named Atlantic systems.


Yes, I agree. I am not being funny, but it is what I have maintained all long. I do not believe it will be a below average season.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


1995 only had 2 and in 1966 I was out of the country but I think they had 4.

Very good,nr.


Ok, you are going by dissipation month, I was going by formation month.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Thundercloud01221991:


The A storm from 55 is in 54 record with the wrong information


Excellent. How come no one ever noticed that before.

Actually, Alice is the only storm to be named twice in one year. Actually there was no A named storm in 1955 because they used Alice twice in 1954 and posted both on the records as being in June when actually Alice formed in June and another storm formed on December 30, 1954, also called Alice,which ended on January 6, 1955.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
A little off topic, but was the hatched hail area in Texas really needed? :P

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
Now don't all start jumping on me if this has been mentioned. NOAA announced today its final La Nina advisory. It is officially over and is now ENSO neutral probably through the summer. He is the link for the entire report.

Link


Yeah, about what I expected.

"The official forecast calls for ENSO-neutral conditions through JAS, followed by approximately equal chances of Neutral or El Niño conditions for the remainder of the
year"


So somewhere between true neutral and weak el nino from ASO forwards.


This is quite different from the pre-season hurricane forecasts.

June 1 is the big day for forecasts and we'll see how this patterns evolve this month, but it looks like the first half to 2/3rds of the season will actually be neutral conditions.

I'd say 15 to 16 named Atlantic systems.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting Grothar:
Since 1851 only 81 storms have formed in the month of June.


and you remember every one of them...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:


Two Alice's are correctly listed in 1954, except the second one still says June.


Darn. I was beat to it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Here is something I posted earlier and no one responded. It really is a mistake and no one has caught it. See you can find it.

There is an almost mistake in the Unisys records for 1954 and 1955. It is a trick question, but who can find the mistake first.

I will even give you the link.

Link


Two Alice's are correctly listed in 1954, except the second one still says June.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


What about 1966 and 1995?


1995 only had 2 and in 1966 I was out of the country but I think they had 4.

Very good,nr.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PedleyCA:


1954- I see Alice Twice


And what is odd about the dates on Alice that you see twice. Very good, Grasshopper. I will give you a hint. It has only happened once since 1851
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
In other news, Russia seems to want another Cold War with the U.S....

Russia's military threatens preemptive strike if NATO goes ahead with missile plan
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
Since 1851 only 81 storms have formed in the month of June.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


2005 - 5 storms
1997 - 4 storms
2008 - 3 storms

Oddly, 2004, a devastating year only had 1 storm form on July 31.


What about 1966 and 1995?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Here is something I posted earlier and no one responded. It really is a mistake and no one has caught it. See you can find it.

There is an almost mistake in the Unisys records for 1954 and 1955. It is a trick question, but who can find the mistake first.

I will even give you the link.

Link


1954- I see Alice Twice
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
South Central Wisconsin going to get in on this outbreak tonight or is the cap too high? Grothar, evening, question for ya, what do Portugal, Greece, Italy, and Spain have in common?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PedleyCA:
Grothar - What was the answer to the July storms question?


2005 - 5 storms
1997 - 4 storms
2008 - 3 storms

Oddly, 2004, a devastating year only had 1 storm form on July 31.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I found this online

This guy dosent believe we will see only a few hurricanes

The Hurricane Circuit
Posted on May 1, 2012 by adminB
Reply

I received an interesting email about my hurricane outlook for this summer asking about this hurricane season. I’m flattered by people asking me this. I will never post a blue print about my forecast, but I will tell you it will be above normal, that’s my view. From my perspective, more direct hits and impacts along the east coast and the Gulf. You have to correlate a couple of things when it comes to forecasting a hit at which I will not mention on this page. The question is the availability of information and actual data. It stems down to that if this answers the questions to my forecasting an ”almost” flawless six years but, there is a whole culture of people forecasting weather now, but not many do what I do. I’d be the last person to deny I’m part of that culture!…. America leads the way with computer technology at which I don’t fully trust when it comes to predicting hurricanes. For me, I started keeping books about hurricanes at a early age and started learning each historical hurricane. I thought by doing this, this would make me learn quicker and it did. You have to study. This is the key for learning. I did study tracks of powerful hurricanes and learned what weather patterns triggered these storms….What I learned was that patterns were not the key in predicting a busy hurricane season. I also learned that analog years is the same–nothing. History doesn’t always repeat itself…. For god sakes, Long Island is “supposed” to be hit by a hurricane every ten years! How long has it been? These are just one of the things that bother me and I’ll explain more about this to some extent..What I will say is that I have a hot circuit inside me that understands hurricanes, starting young for me and I think everybody has this potential, just in different fields..Be seeing you.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a reply
Projected Hits And Impacts
Posted on April 24, 2012 by adminB
1

What we will see is a year of hurricane hits and the number could be staggering. Impacts will be impressive along the east coast. My main concern for this season will be the Gulf and the west coast of Florida for mid- summer. Typically, Cape Verde storms/hurricanes take a swing north before hitting the coast—not this year. The pattern we’ve been seeing will break, but at the worst time, during the peak of hurricane season… More about this later next week. Be seeing you.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14397
265 EugeneTillman: How many other times has the Arctic been ice free?

blog1932comment0 Jeff Masters: The Northwest passage may have been open multiple years in a row for ice-free navigation at some period during the Medieval Warm Period, between 1000 and 1300 AD.
A better candidate was the period 6,000 - 8,500 years ago, when the Earth's orbital variations brought more sunlight to the Arctic in summer than at present. Funder and Kjaer (2007) found extensive systems of wave generated beach ridges along the North Greenland coast that suggested the Arctic Ocean was ice-free in the summer for over 1,000 years during that period.

[On the other hand, they didn't report finding evidence of beach ridges/etc on the other coasts. Such unidirectionality is more suggestive of tsunami-induced ridge-marking/building than that which would be produced by normal wave-action over ice-free waters. Continuing with Dr.Masters' writings...]

Prior to that, the next likely time was during the last inter-glacial period, 120,000 years ago. Arctic temperatures then were 2 - 3degreesC higher than present-day temperatures, and sea levels were 4-6 meters higher.
However, it is possible that the recent summer low-ice conditions in the Arctic are unprecedented for the past 800,000 years, according to a 2011 press release by Project CLAMER, a European group dedicated to climate change and European marine ecosystem research. They found that a tiny species of plankton called Neodenticula seminae that went extinct in the North Atlantic 800,000 years ago has become a resident of the Atlantic again, having drifted from the Pacific through the Arctic Ocean thanks to dramatically reduced polar ice. The 1999 discovery represents "the first evidence of a trans-Arctic migration in modern times" related to plankton...

[I would expect that conditions leading to a totally ice-free ArcticOcean would also lead to a sufficient albedo change to cause oceanicly&atmosphericly-induced melting of seabed&land-based ice-sheets... and the rise in sea-level that would cause.
But offhand, I can't think of any factor other than colder-than-survivable seawater topped by year-around sea-ice barriers that would prevent the free migration of plankton through the ArcticOcean.
]
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Here is something I posted earlier and no one responded. It really is a mistake and no one has caught it. See you can find it.

There is an almost mistake in the Unisys records for 1954 and 1955. It is a trick question, but who can find the mistake first.

I will even give you the link.

Link


It has hurricane alice forming on june 24 and it was actually in two calendar years, give me a cookie

Represent youngest one on te blog
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
338 PedleyCA: Grothar - What was the answer to the July storms question?
338 Grothar: What question?
340 TropicalAnalystwx13: I worry about you sometimes.

And sometimes the plausible-deniability offense is the best defense for not having an answer.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Here is something I posted earlier and no one responded. It really is a mistake and no one has caught it. See you can find it.

There is an almost mistake in the Unisys records for 1954 and 1955. It is a trick question, but who can find the mistake first.

I will even give you the link.

Link


The A storm from 55 is in 54 record with the wrong information
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
Now don't all start jumping on me if this has been mentioned. NOAA announced today its final La Nina advisory. It is officially over and is now ENSO neutral probably through the summer. He is the link for the entire report.

Link
Most southerners hated La nina so I know they won't be missing it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


Story of my spring....
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
Quoting luvtogolf:


You just ruined my summer:(

Why
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Shortly after June 20th.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:



Sheeeeeeze! I have enough trouble trying to remember which month had the most July storms.


Here is something I posted earlier and no one responded. It really is a mistake and no one has caught it. See you can find it.

There is an almost mistake in the Unisys records for 1954 and 1955. It is a trick question, but who can find the mistake first.

I will even give you the link.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
When does everybody think our first named storm will form?

I'm going with May 21 to June 2.


June 25-30
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
Now don't all start jumping on me if this has been mentioned. NOAA announced today its final La Nina advisory. It is officially over and is now ENSO neutral probably through the summer. He is the link for the entire report.

Link


You just ruined my summer:(
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Now don't all start jumping on me if this has been mentioned. NOAA announced today its final La Nina advisory. It is officially over and is now ENSO neutral probably through the summer. He is the link for the entire report.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


What question?

I worry about you sometimes.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31409
Quoting PedleyCA:
Grothar - What was the answer to the July storms question?


What question?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Grothar - What was the answer to the July storms question?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting yqt1001:


Not over 9000 in particular, more like the entire season happening on that entire day.

Although it would be EPIC if a storm formed on december 21st.


Tropical Storm Zeta (2005)



Tropical Storm Zeta was a late-developing tropical storm over the central Atlantic which formed after the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season had officially ended (on November 30), and continued into January 2006. Becoming a tropical depression at approximately midnight on December 30 (UTC),[1] it became the record-breaking thirtieth tropical cyclone of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season and after intensifing into Tropical Storm Zeta six hours later, it become the season's twenty-seventh named storm. Zeta was one of only two Atlantic tropical cyclones to span two calendar years (the other being Hurricane Alice in 1954-55).

Zeta originated from an area of low pressure on December 29, which previously developed within an upper-level trough. After becoming a tropical storm, the National Hurricane Center continually predicted it would weaken rapidly. Like the previous tropical cyclone, Hurricane Epsilon, Zeta defied these predictions. The storm reached its peak strength on January 2, 2006 before finally dissipating on January 6.
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
Quoting WxGeekVA:


I said it on like comment number 20...



Not over 9000 in particular, more like the entire season happening on that entire day.

Although it would be EPIC if a storm formed on december 21st.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 386 - 336

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11Blog Index

Top of Page

About

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