Northeast flooding continues; Hong Hong breathing easier

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:12 PM GMT on May 16, 2006

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Major flooding continues across New Hampshire, southwest Maine, and northeast Massachussetts today, where an additional 1-3 inches of rain has fallen in the past day and another inch is expected today. The culprit "cut off low"--a large low pressure system that got separated from the jet stream--is drifting slowly northeastward, and is expected to leave the area tonight, bringing an end to the heavy rains and the worst of the flooding. However, an active jet stream pattern over the next seven days will continue to bring occasional rain to the area, and area rivers--which are generally five to eight feet above flood stage--will be slow to fall. By next Tuesday, the GFS model is indicating that a more summer-like weather pattern may emerge, with the jet stream retreating northwards and warmer, dryer air moving in.


Figure 1. Rainfall amounts for New England estimated by radar, ending at 10am EDT Monday May 16.

Typhoon Chanchu
The season's first typhoon has continued to weaken, and was a Category 3 storm with 125 mph sustained winds at 8am EDT this morning. Chanchu (which means "pearl" in Chinese), is expected to continue to weaken over the next day due to dry air, cooler ocean temperatures in its path, and interaction with land. The typhoon is expected to spare Hong Kong a direct hit, and come ashore over the Guangdong province on China's eastern coast on Wednesday as a Category 2 storm. This is a far cry from last Friday's intensity forecast, which projected that Chanchu would strike as a Category 5 supertyphoon! Chanchu is yet another example of our poor ability to make accurate long-range hurricane intensity forecasts.

Chanchu delivered a serious blow to the Philippines over the weekend, killing at least 37 and leaving thousands homeless.


Figure 2. Typhoon Chanchu at 5:30 am EDT Tuesday, with 125 mph sustained winds.

My next blog will be Wednesday, when I'll talk more about air pollution, plus the Northeast flooding and Typhoon Chanchu.

Jeff Masters

Flooding of the North River in Lee NH (SiriusleeNH)
Normally this river is about 10 feet below the bridge. The pavement across the bridge is about half eroded, the bridge will probably need replacing.
Flooding of the North River in Lee NH
Serious Flooding in Chester (FromChester)
This was taken along Hanson Rd in Chester near the Raymond line. Who knows how deep it is here, but I'm assuming no one will be driving through here for awhile.
Serious Flooding in Chester

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133. Alec
3:12 PM EDT on May 16, 2006
no didnt see CNN franck, but I dont approve(disagree) of accuweather telling certain regions that are low risk, medium risk...etc..we better ALL be prepared because accuweather has been wrong about these predictions last yr(Bastardi said the mid Atlantic would spell big trouble, but it was the Gulf Coast....they also said to expect 5 or 7 billion worth of damage...sad to say, multiply that by 20...)
132. franck
7:10 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
No, I don't either Colby. I was making light. Somebody in here last week called me down for 'dammit', I think it was Mr. Dobson. An expletive now and then doesn't bother me. At times it's needed for emphasis. Guess we would have some real toilet mouths in here if it weren't for people like Dobson policing though.
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1150
131. franck
7:08 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
Did you see that guy Bastardi on CNN. Is he animated or what? If a big storm were to hit the upper northeast coast this season he would become the weather God/hero/darling of the media.
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1150
130. ForecasterColby
7:09 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
Oh, BTW, the JTWC's purpose is to provide the navy with accurate cyclone avoidance stuff.
129. Alec
3:06 PM EDT on May 16, 2006
The one really bad thing is if most storms this yr get diverted up the east coast or up the Atlantic and leave the Gulf untouched for months then when one enters the Gulf..look out!!!
128. ForecasterColby
7:07 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
Personally, I have no problem with language, and 'friggin' is hardly objectionable.

The 'hot tower' thing is just overshooting cloud tops...been there, done that.
127. franck
7:02 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
Atlantic SST steadily increasing. I think that is what Accuweather/Bastardi is basing the Atlantic high risk storm potential on more than anything else. Just as a normal progression it looks like well over 80 degree water off New York by August.
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1150
126. Alec
3:04 PM EDT on May 16, 2006
Yes GPTGUY...the waters have cooled temporarily(some upwelling but mostly our front that has caused us to remain below normal).....but temps are on the rise soon!
125. atmosweather
3:04 PM EDT on May 16, 2006
I don't know of any maps that do that Michael, but that would be very helpful.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
124. Alec
3:01 PM EDT on May 16, 2006
sorry Rich....that STUPID Gulf system decided to rain mostly in the straits(like the ocean needs rain..arggg) And that other dumb system in the Great Lakes have flooded out the NE!
123. MichaelSTL
2:00 PM CDT on May 16, 2006
Is there any place that will tell you the average temperature of the Atlantic (that would be the best way to compare, rather than comparing warmer and colder areas)?
Member Since: February 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
122. GPTGUY
1:58 PM CDT on May 16, 2006
hey alec sst seem to be coming down a lil bit water off Tampa is only about a half a degree cooler than SSE of Biloxi...guess it was that low moving across Florida upwelling the cooler water
Member Since: August 26, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 391
121. atmosweather
2:59 PM EDT on May 16, 2006
Could someone PLEASE send central Florida some rain? Is it that much to ask? I'm so desperate, everything is dying and there are fires everywhere.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
120. Alec
2:57 PM EDT on May 16, 2006
119. Alec
2:56 PM EDT on May 16, 2006
new SST anomaly maps:
a href="http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/dat
a/anomnight.5.17.2005.gif" target="_blank">2005 SST anomalies for May 17
2006 SST anomalies for May 16
118. weatherguy03
2:54 PM EDT on May 16, 2006
Ha Ha!! Yes, on alittle hiatus! Been here and there..LOL No rain here. Not coming either. Have to wait another week! Oh well:(
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 592 Comments: 29707
117. franck
6:53 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
Friggin's cool by me. Can we say shaggin as well? Guess there's no context here.
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1150
116. Alec
2:54 PM EDT on May 16, 2006
LOL franck.....HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!that's what I call funny!
115. Alec
2:53 PM EDT on May 16, 2006
bob? You on vacation?lol How's the weather? Any rain?lol
114. franck
6:51 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
Hey man, I was trying to be funny. Yes, the main convection just keeps slipping south. There will be more though. Suddenly there is moisture all around the Gulf.
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1150
113. weatherguy03
2:51 PM EDT on May 16, 2006
Please. You cannot be serious franck!..LOL
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 592 Comments: 29707
112. Alec
2:51 PM EDT on May 16, 2006
friggin isnt obscene franck....sounds just as it is..
111. atmosweather
2:50 PM EDT on May 16, 2006
Flag it if you wish. I was trying to be as mild as possible, I'm just exceptionally annoyed at this and many other things that have happened today.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
110. franck
6:46 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
atmosweather...'friggin', not sure, is that an oscenity? I may need to flag that.
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1150
109. NOLAinNC
2:43 PM EDT on May 16, 2006
Micheal, thanks for posting the link to the first blog.
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108. GPTGUY
1:45 PM CDT on May 16, 2006
yessss!!! thanks alec lol
Member Since: August 26, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 391
107. MichaelSTL
1:43 PM CDT on May 16, 2006
Chanchu looks just like Wilma during its EWRC.
Member Since: February 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
106. Alec
2:42 PM EDT on May 16, 2006
Hey GPTGUY, your favorite buoy is updated!lol
105. atmosweather
2:41 PM EDT on May 16, 2006
Yeah, and look how tiny her inner eye is!
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
104. Alec
2:39 PM EDT on May 16, 2006
Michael, ST thought Emily would be a cat 4 in the Gulf, when clearly it didn't have enough time to develop so rapidly...
103. MichaelSTL
1:37 PM CDT on May 16, 2006
EMILY WILL STRENGTEN TO A CATEGORY 5

Well, he got that part right - Emily was upgraded to a Category 5 in the post season report.
Member Since: February 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
102. SafeInTexas
6:35 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
Here is an interresting article on msnbc.com

‘Hot towers’ above are a sign of stronger winds below

Hot plumes that tower above some hurricanes presage stronger winds at the surface, NASA researchers said Tuesday.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
101. ForecasterColby
6:37 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
Wow...look at the size of Chanchu's outer eye!!

100. Alec
6:36 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
With the archives i found this:

Posted By: STORMTOP at 11:52 PM GMT on July 17, 2005.
EMILY WILL STRENGTHEN AGAIN AND BECOME A STRONG CAT 4....IF SHE GOES UP THE CENTRAL GULF THE TEMPS ARE CLOSE TO 90 DEGREES THERE...EMILY WILL STRENGTEN TO A CATEGORY 5 ON MONDAY IF THIS HAPPENS..IF SHE TAKES MORE OF A NW COURSE TOWARDS TEXAS SHE WILL NOT STRENGTHEN THE WATER TEMPS ARE AROUND 82 IN THAT AREA OF THE GULF PLUS SHE WOULD MISS THE GULF STREAM...ALSO SHE WILL ENCOUNTER WESTERLY SHEAR WHICH MIGHT WEAKEN HER FURTHER...


-The ENTIRE forum saw a high to the north of Emily the whole time...Emily was very easy to track beause of it..
99. atmosweather
6:36 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
And he continually maintained throughout her lfie that she would never touch Mexico and go towards SE LA as a Category 5. He actually thought Grand Cayman would get 160 mph winds as well.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
98. GPTGUY
6:31 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
Colby..even when Emily was making landfall in northern Mexico he said that Emily would drift south stall out in the Bay of Campeche and rapidly move NE toward the Central Gulf Coast specifically SE Louisiana as a cat 4 or 5
Member Since: August 26, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 391
97. atmosweather
6:29 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
I really don't believe this. Less than a tenth of an inch here, yet the entire friggin low is anchored over the state. I've given up on this stupid drought, this is absurd.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
96. ForecasterColby
6:28 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
How well ST did with Emily?

Who in the world could've misforecast Emily? That was one of the most by-the-book storms ever.

While wunderground does have a search feature and does keep posts, it's annoying to look for them though a 500-comment entry.
95. Alec
6:06 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
correct rwdobson..look at Stormtop's predictions with Emily, Gert for example...shows the models were doing good during those times...
94. rwdobson
6:04 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
the archived blogs are interesting...a good way to go back and check on those who claim to have exceptional abilities to predict the paths of hurricanes....
Member Since: June 12, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1589
93. MichaelSTL
5:49 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
Here is Jeff Masters' very first blog entry
Member Since: February 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
92. rwdobson
5:48 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
of course stormtop is right sometimes. like a broken clock is right 2x/day.

and right now, there really is no chance of tropical development for a while. the big cutoff low is making sure of that.
Member Since: June 12, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1589
91. Alec
5:46 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
Colby this wunderground has a search option on the upper right. Type in the key words "Stormtop and Emily" and it will show you all the blogs from last yr and how ST did w/Emily...
90. ForecasterColby
5:45 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
Never mind, it was only used through 1977. The last one was a weak TS.
89. MichaelSTL
5:44 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
Doesn't Wunderground keep all of your posts (unless the blog owner deletes them)?
Member Since: February 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
88. ForecasterColby
5:44 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
I just realized something - Emily is a name in EPAC too!
87. ForecasterColby
5:42 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
Hey, Stormtop, I don't suppose you'd like to blog on my site? It keeps posts forever, so you'd be able to go back and show your successes.
86. Alec
5:40 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
Hey guys, ditto with Levi...we can talk what we want to in here(weather-related)...
85. FLCrackerGirl
5:39 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
On The Next Episode of
"As The Storm Spins..."

Our Intrepid Forecasters Try to Ferret Out
The Location & Motives of the Sinister Alberto...
Tensions Rise, Egos Clash, Rain will Fall.
Will Anyone Perish?? Only The Fishies May Know...

Stay Tuned.
Member Since: August 12, 2004 Posts: 47 Comments: 597
84. StormJunkie
5:35 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
Sorry.....last year
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
83. weatherguy03
5:34 PM GMT on May 16, 2006
Hey Levi, at least you're not his neighbor!..LOL
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 592 Comments: 29707

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

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