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

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

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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

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Quoting CybrTeddy:


2002 had a very active September, not so much July.

2002 had record activity in September.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32532
Didn't know what to call it other than Me, so....

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32532
Quoting StormTracker2K:


That's my thinking. I could be wrong but did 2002 have an active July? I think TX had a couple of landfalls that summer.


2002 had a very active September, not so much July.
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MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0680
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0353 PM CDT THU MAY 03 2012

AREAS AFFECTED...CNTRL IL

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH NEEDED SOON

VALID 032053Z - 032130Z

PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...95 PERCENT

SUMMARY...TORNADO WATCH WILL BE ISSUED SHORTLY.

DISCUSSION...ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS HAVE BECOME FAVORABLE FOR
SEVERE STORMS AND A WATCH ISSUANCE WILL BE COORDINATED BETWEEN THE
SPC AND THE AFFECTED LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICES SHORTLY.
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well with just under a month to go, for the opening of the 2012 hurricane season the bickering has staated and sensitivies are begining to show it's self once again. let us have a more meaniful discussion rather than the negatives that prevail on this blog last season. let us all be civil to each other rather than be antagonistic.
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@hurricane23

In youtube, under the video that you want to share, click the "Share" button.

From there, click the "Embed" button.

Check the box below the code that's next to "Use old embed code."

Select all that code in the box, copy it, then paste it, over here, in your comment box. Preview the comment to make sure everything looks ok. Then click "Post Comment" Et voila!

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Quoting Grothar:
I think you are all wrong. :)


LOL!! Hey I'm wrong a lot so don't feel bad ncstorm.
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92 BobWallace: Look at what is happening to the ice in the Great Lakes. It's just a matter of time before we see a decrease in the overall area that experiences all-winter freeze up.

blog2063comment0 Jeff Masters: Ice cover on North America's Great Lakes--Superior, Michigan, Huron, Ontario, and Erie--has declined 71% since 1973, says a new study published in the Journal of Climate by researchers at NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. The biggest loser of ice during the 1973 - 2010 time period was Lake Ontario, which saw an 88% decline in ice cover. During the same time period, Superior lost 79% of its ice, Michigan lost 77%, Huron lost 62%, and Erie lost 50%. The loss of ice is due to warming of the lake waters.
Winter air temperatures over the lower Great Lake increased by about 2.7°F (1.5°C) from 1973 - 2010, and by 4 - 5°F (2.3 - 2.7°C) over the northern Lakes, including Lake Superior.
Lake Superior's summer surface water temperature warmed 4.5°F (2.5°C) over the period 1979 - 2006 (Austin and Colman 2007). During the same period, Lake Michigan warmed by about 3.3°F (1.7°C), Lake Huron by 4.3°F (2.4°C), and Lake Erie showed almost no warming.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Quoting CybrTeddy:


I wouldn't be surprised though if a lot of our activity happened before September.


That's my thinking. I could be wrong but did 2002 have an active July? I think TX had a couple of landfalls that summer.
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Quoting Grothar:
I think you are all wrong. :)

What an awful personal attack! Absolutely reporting that one!
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 7948
Starting to look like a summer pattern here in orlando

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Quoting StormTracker2K:


I'm not disputing that I was just saying we are going into a El-nino. I agree 2002 & 2004 come to mind when I think of this year and I hope I'm wrong. Could have a good number of storms in July & August this year while late Sept & Oct turn quiet due to the increasing wind shear.


I wouldn't be surprised though if a lot of our activity happened before September.
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I think you are all wrong. :)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26897
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Honestly, CSU is too low imo. TSR's seems more accurate to me. While the El Nino may be similar to 2009, nothing else really is. SST's, TCHP, NAO, ect, are not similar to 2009, which is for whatever reason CSU picked as one of our 'analog' years.


I'm not disputing that I was just saying we are going into a El-nino. I agree 2002 & 2004 come to mind when I think of this year and I hope I'm wrong. Could have a good number of storms in July & August this year while late Sept & Oct turn quiet due to the increasing wind shear.
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160 minutes of constant T-storms(at various intensity)...and maybe it's the end. Maybe - one cell can still came to me.
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Quoting ncstorm:
and can I say guys, a lot of people have left this blog because of the "I know more than you" attitude..try to be considerate of people's postings and dont show your "great knowledge" by belittling other people's posts or comments..I have seen many of you guys forecasts gone wrong but I never point them out..I even give kudos when you are right..If I am wrong, I am wrong but be nice about it when you comment..no one on here is an expert and I will be the first to say I am clearly an amateur but I do love weather

That may be true. However, I don't see anybody attacking you, I just say disagreements. I really wouldn't consider that a personal attack.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32532
Quoting StormTracker2K:


There's going to be an El-Nino this summer infact Nino regions 3 & 4 really warmed last week to -.01. We are at nuetral now and the Pacific is still warming so I would say all of the experts at Colorado State have a good handle on this season's predictions. Bottomline expect to see atleast weak El-nino by August if not sooner.


Honestly, CSU is too low imo. TSR's seems more accurate to me. While the El Nino may be similar to 2009, nothing else really is. SST's, TCHP, NAO, ect, are not similar to 2009, which is for whatever reason CSU picked as one of our 'analog' years.
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Quoting hurricane23:


dont see old embeded code

Do you have a link to the video?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32532
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Share --> Embed --> Use old embed code

Just paste that code into the text box and post comment.


dont see old embeded code
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Quoting ncstorm:
and can I say guys, a lot of people have left this blog because of the "I know more than you" attitude..try to be considerate of people's postings and dont show your "great knowledge" by belittling other people's posts or comments..I have seen many of you guys forecasts gone wrong but I never point them out..I even give kudos when you are right..If I am wrong, I am wrong but be nice about it when you comment..no one on here is an expert and I will be the first to say I am clearly an amateur but I do love weather


Sorry you felt attacked but it wasn't meant to be that way we were just explaining our opinions. Nothing personal.
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Quoting jeffs713:

Was someone trying to belittle you? If so, I didn't notice it. Both ST2K and I posted that we disagreed with your assertion of a potential tropical disturbance. Nothing personal was said, and neither one of us were trying to be condescending or arrogant.


I agree. I wasn't being rude I was just disagreeing with his take on the model. Niether of us said anything wrong.
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Quoting ncstorm:
and can I say guys, a lot of people have left this blog because of the "I know more than you" attitude..try to be considerate of people's postings and dont show your "great knowledge" by belittling other people's posts or comments..I have seen many of you guys forecasts gone wrong but I never point them out..I even give kudos when you are right..If I am wrong, I am wrong but be nice about it when you comment..no one on here is an expert and I will be the first to say I am clearly an amateur but I do love weather

Was someone trying to belittle you? If so, I didn't notice it. Both ST2K and I posted that we disagreed with your assertion of a potential tropical disturbance. Nothing personal was said, and neither one of us were trying to be condescending or arrogant.
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Quoting ncstorm:


Its a LOW attached to a front depicted by both the GFS and CMC and the Euro has it as on the 850 mb vorticity and we know from last year that cyclones do form from fronts with the bermuda storms..dont dismiss it just yet guys..and I did say the word "might"..all Im saying its been on several runs now and yes it is bringing rains to the SE if this materializes

The low doesn't stay parked in one place - it moves all over.
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Quoting hurricane23:
How can i post youtube video here?


Here's a video I found on Youtube about embedding on blogs...



Just don't use the iframe option and don't change size as that messes up the blog.
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3476
and can I say guys, a lot of people have left this blog because of the "I know more than you" attitude..try to be considerate of people's postings and dont show your "great knowledge" by belittling other people's posts or comments..I have seen many of you guys forecasts gone wrong but I never point them out..I even give kudos when you are right..If I am wrong, I am wrong but be nice about it when you comment..no one on here is an expert and I will be the first to say I am clearly an amateur but I do love weather
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormTracker2K:


Euro shows the same a stalled front with upper energy moving SE along it. Could be great news for a parched SE US as we could get some much need rains from starting Sunday thru next week.


Its a LOW attached to a front depicted by both the GFS and CMC and the Euro has it as on the 850 mb vorticity and we know from last year that cyclones do form from fronts with the bermuda storms..dont dismiss it just yet guys..and I did say the word "might"..all Im saying its been on several runs now and yes it is bringing rains to the SE if this materializes
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Share --> Embed --> Use old embed code

Just paste that code into the text box and post comment.


Dont quite understand which code and were do i enter it.
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Looks like it is really winding up.
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Quoting hurricane23:
How can i post youtube video here?

Share --> Embed --> Use old embed code

Just paste that code into the text box and post comment.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32532
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41002
Quoting StormTracker2K:


Constantly Making Cyclones. Looks like a stalled front with some upper sir disturbances moving from NW to SE across TN, GA, & FL.




Constantly Making Cyclones, LOL sounds about right :)
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Quoting jeffs713:

I can't see the Euro... blocked by the evil IT department at work (they say its not "business related")

I say a front because there isn't much else to get a low going this time of year.


Euro shows the same a stalled front with upper energy moving SE along it. Could be great news for a parched SE US as we could get some much need rains from starting Sunday thru next week.
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Quoting ncstorm:


I did post the Euro as well and the GFS has been showing the same thing as well..I dont see a front..I see a low

I can't see the Euro... blocked by the evil IT department at work (they say its not "business related")

I say a front because there isn't much else to get a low going this time of year.
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Quoting jeffs713:

I don't see a disturbance there. I see a front stalling offshore, and the model not knowing wtf to do with it.

Also, it is the CMC, I wouldn't place much faith in it for tropical purposes.


Constantly Making Cyclones. Looks like a stalled front with some upper sir disturbances moving from NW to SE across TN, GA, & FL.
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How can i post youtube video here?
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Quoting nigel20:

Looking at the SST anomalies you'll noticed that any possible el nino will not occur anytime soon...the CPC is saying that after September there is a 50-50 chance of having ENSO neutral or el nino conditions, if there prediction comes through I think we may have atleast a slightly above average hurricane season.


It all depends on how strong are going to be the Kelvin Waves that transport the warmer waters from west to east.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14574
Outlook done. 2 to 4 cells near me :)
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Quoting jeffs713:

I don't see a disturbance there. I see a front stalling offshore, and the model not knowing wtf to do with it.

Also, it is the CMC, I wouldn't place much faith in it for tropical purposes.


I did post the Euro as well and the GFS has been showing the same thing as well..I dont see a front..I see a low
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Quoting ncstorm:
Im thinking we may have our first disturbance next week

CMC




moves back in to SC and then rides back up the coast of NC and goes somewhat off shore and comes back in to NC..I wont post all the images




The Euro


I don't see a disturbance there. I see a front stalling offshore, and the model not knowing wtf to do with it.

Also, it is the CMC, I wouldn't place much faith in it for tropical purposes.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Looks like above average precip for the East Coast next week



Whoa! Hope that above average over TX pans out. :)
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SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GAYLORD MI
404 PM EDT THU MAY 3 2012

MIC011-051-032045-
/O.CON.KAPX.TO.W.0003.000000T0000Z-120503T2045Z/
ARENAC MI-GLADWIN MI-
404 PM EDT THU MAY 3 2012

...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR GLADWIN AND ARENAC
COUNTIES UNTIL 445 PM EDT...

AT 359 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS DANGEROUS
STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR BEAVERTON...OR 7 MILES SOUTH OF GLADWIN...
MOVING EAST AT 40 MPH.

LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
ALGER...STERLING...STANDISH...AU GRES...WINEGARS...WOODEN SHOE
VILLAGE...OMER...TWINING...MAPLE RIDGE AND TURNER.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE OR
OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT
YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 7948
Quoting Thrawst:
Back to regular weather in the Bahamas :) sun sun sun sun, then a line of clouds forms on the sea breeze boundary on the western side of the island... not enough instability to get a storm out of them, sun sets. Love it.

Hey Thrawst. Good to know
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Quoting hurricane23:


Most of this is being predicted by statistical models and the more important dynamical models are almost all showing el nino developing sooner rather. I think its pretty likely we will see atleast a weak el nino during the meat of the season.

Right. Also, ENSO changes will take a bit to really have an impact in the NATL basin for hurricanes. From what I've seen, if the waters are Neutral during AMJ, the ENSO atmospheric effects on the basin will also be neutral during ASO.

That said, I wouldn't count on an El Nino - type season this year. I'd expect more of a "neutral" season, with a weak bias.
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Quoting nigel20:

Looking at the SST anomalies you'll noticed that any possible el nino will not occur anytime soon...the CPC is saying that after September there is a 50-50 chance of having ENSO neutral or el nino conditions, if there prediction comes through I think we may have atleast a slightly above average hurricane season.


There's going to be an El-Nino this summer infact Nino regions 3 & 4 really warmed last week to -.01. We are at nuetral now and the Pacific is still warming so I would say all of the experts at Colorado State have a good handle on this season's predictions. Bottomline expect to see atleast weak El-nino by August if not sooner.
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Looks like above average precip for the East Coast next week

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 7948
Back to regular weather in the Bahamas :) sun sun sun sun, then a line of clouds forms on the sea breeze boundary on the western side of the island... not enough instability to get a storm out of them, sun sets. Love it.
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Long time of no-posting because of VERY strong t-storm that was overhead for near 40 minutes. But this is ending,and I plan the visible outlook soon.
PS.T-storms,weaker or heavier,are near me for 2 hours now
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Adrian,something to raise the spirits of people who like to track systems, at least we can track a little bit more with a weak El Nino,rather than a Moderate to Strong one.

Looking at the SST anomalies you'll noticed that any possible el nino will not occur anytime soon...the CPC is saying that after September there is a 50-50 chance of having ENSO neutral or el nino conditions, if there prediction comes through I think we may have atleast a slightly above average hurricane season.
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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.