A new rainfall world record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:15 PM GMT on March 13, 2007

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The world record for most precipitation in a 72-hour period was shattered this month when the French island of La Réunion recorded 12.9 feet (3.929 meters) of rain. La Réunion is a small island in the South Indian Ocean east of Madagascar. Despite the island's small size--about 30 miles across--it has two tall volcanoes that rise over 8,500 feet in altitude. These volcanoes can squeeze prodigious amounts of rain out of the moist tropical atmosphere when strong winds force this moist air up their flanks. La Réunion already held the world record for a 3-day precipitation event, the 3.24 meters that fell during January 1980 in Tropical Cyclone Hyacinthe. Another tropical cyclone--Category 3 Tropical Cyclone Gamede--set the world record this time. Gamede never hit the island, but passed close enough (120 miles away) and moved slowly enough that its outer spiral bands stayed over the island for many days. The 3-day record was set at Commerson's Crater, a remote site at 7,500 feet altitude. The village of Hell Bourg at 3000 feet altitude also exceeded the former world record, measuring 3.264 meters of rain over the same 3-day period. Regions along the island's shore received much less rain--Gillot, 0.439 meters, St-Benoît, 0.309 meters, and Pierrefonds, 0.247 meters.

Gamede's rains also brought world records for the most rain recorded for multi-day periods up to nine days:

3 days: 12.9 feet (3.93 meters)
4 days: 16.0 feet (4.87 meters)
5 days: 16.3 feet (4.98 meters)
6 days: 16.6 feet (5.07 meters)
7 days: 17.7 feet (5.40 meters)
8 days: 18.1 feet (5.51 meters)
9 days: 18.1 feet (5.51 meters)

The 10-day record was not broken, and is still held by Tropical Cyclone Hyacinthe's 18.4 feet of rain that fell from January 18-27, 1980.


Figure 1. Tropical Cyclone Gamede on February 27, 2007 at 10am local time, as it brought world-record rains to La Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. At the time, Gamede was a Category 2 storm with top winds of 100 mph. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

I'll be back Wednesday or Thursday with a new blog.

Jeff Masters

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148. ricderr
4:02 PM GMT on March 15, 2007
LOL... I had no idea that there was even a blob in the East Pacific until now


and he promises to never be unaware again..ta da da boom!!!
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 674 Comments: 21770
147. HurricaneMyles
4:01 PM GMT on March 15, 2007
I didnt know either, STL. At least Taz keeps us updated on them.
Member Since: January 12, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 827
145. HurricaneMyles
3:54 PM GMT on March 15, 2007
The blob is under 10N. There's little chance anything can spin up when it's so close the equator. It's also under shear around 20-30kts.

**imagines the blob-watchers come hurricane season and shivers**
Member Since: January 12, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 827
144. Skyepony (Mod)
3:48 PM GMT on March 15, 2007
There has been several blobs that have looked worse that have been pegged as invest recently in the NH, but they only seem to do it in basins other than those around the US. The models make no deal of this. Probibility is at .4%. I doubt it, but good fun for blob watchers:)
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 179 Comments: 38327
143. Tazmanian
3:41 PM GMT on March 15, 2007
sky could we see 90E out of this?
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115255
142. Skyepony (Mod)
3:39 PM GMT on March 15, 2007
It's your blob Taz. It's slowly been moving North. Which it needs to get to around 10N & shear could stand to drop more to really see anything.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 179 Comments: 38327
141. Inyo
3:39 PM GMT on March 15, 2007
i dont know but i hope it goes north-northeast for about 2000 miles
Member Since: September 3, 2002 Posts: 42 Comments: 873
140. Tazmanian
3:34 PM GMT on March 15, 2007
now what is this?

lol
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115255
139. Skyepony (Mod)
3:33 PM GMT on March 15, 2007
EP Blob pic. Shear in the area is around 20 & falling. I was just posting about this in my blog.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 179 Comments: 38327
138. roberie
2:21 PM GMT on March 15, 2007
YOU CAN NOW BET ON HURRICANES THROUGH CHICAGO MERCANTILE EXCHANGE.
Joseph Mann. South Florida Sun Sentinel. March 12, 2007. Page N/A. On March 12 the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) began offering contracts extending its existing weather contract market. The new contracts cover the first three hurricanes that hit Florida and four other coastal regions during this year’s hurricane season. The contracts allow insurers, utilities, oil companies and others protection against risks not covered by traditional insurance. Buyers can obtain a contract covering the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida, for example, after a storm begins to form off the coast of Africa. The CME Carvill Hurricane Index determines the risk level of the storm on a sliding scale based on the size of the hurricane, maximum wind speed and potential for damage. The index rises as the storm approaches any part of Florida and its category goes up. For example, a contract purchased when the index was 2 at $2,000 would be worth $10,000 when the index rises to 10. A futures’ owner can hold on to the contract or sell it for a higher price if the risk increases. The contract allows the holder to obtain the value in cash a few days after a hurricane strikes. If a hurricane does not make landfall during the 2007 the contracts become worthless. Robert Hartwig, president and chief economist of the Insurance Information Institute, says that this approach to managing risk has limitations. Hartwig sees the contracts as complementary to some reinsurance products but is uncertain about the success of the approach and curious about who will be making the speculations. Hartwig warns that the contracts could increase the volatility of the market.
Member Since: December 17, 2003 Posts: 0 Comments: 36
137. hurricane23
1:30 PM GMT on March 15, 2007
Interesting little blow up but chances are small as windshear is anywere between 30-50kts currently.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13807
136. TayTay
1:15 PM GMT on March 15, 2007
There's something interesting looking in the East Pacific. Don't get your hopes up though, taz.
135. hurricane23
1:06 PM GMT on March 15, 2007
(The NOAA analysis of the pending La Nina is due out today around 3 p.m.)

Its will quite interesting to see how they feel about this situation.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13807
133. Skyepony (Mod)
3:10 AM GMT on March 15, 2007
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 179 Comments: 38327
132. Skyepony (Mod)
3:02 AM GMT on March 15, 2007
The landfall is on the Indlala movie now. Looks like it akes a hard jog right(north) following the coast.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 179 Comments: 38327
131. Tazmanian
2:58 AM GMT on March 15, 2007
it will most likey be overe $4 her and why not we dont want to talk about high gas not march weather going on so why not
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115255
130. Tazmanian
2:55 AM GMT on March 15, 2007
this keeep the hurricans out of the gulf and will be ok
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115255
129. BahaHurican
2:54 AM GMT on March 15, 2007
Please don't talk about gas prices going up again . . . :o(

If we have another active season in the gulf, gas is likely to go over $5.00 here.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22359
128. BahaHurican
2:52 AM GMT on March 15, 2007
Reunion, which is responsible for the "official" forecast for this region, looks like it is taking the pink line, with, it seems, the eye (or what's left of it) pass almost directly over the capital city. The rain is likely to be torrential, regardless of the exact track, since the hills rise very steeply on that side of the island.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22359
127. Skyepony (Mod)
2:51 AM GMT on March 15, 2007
That storm looks ugly, atleast it's not night.

Just the start of 'cane season will bring up gas. Help us if something actually threatens supply.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 179 Comments: 38327
126. BahaHurican
2:48 AM GMT on March 15, 2007
Sky,

Sig. wave heights are supposed to be around 36 ft near Indlala, according to either Mauritius or Reunion weather website.

I wouldn't want to be at that wonderful land and sea park in Madagascar right now. That storm looks like it is packing a mean punch right about now. It should be just about daylight there right now . . .
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22359
125. Tazmanian
2:46 AM GMT on March 15, 2007
hello my gas jump from $3.05 to $3.15 today so whats keeep all hurricane out of th gulf or my gas will go higher
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115255
124. Skyepony (Mod)
2:41 AM GMT on March 15, 2007


The blue line with triangles or a little left is my guess.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 179 Comments: 38327
123. Skyepony (Mod)
2:35 AM GMT on March 15, 2007
This waves on the other side of the world can't be right.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 179 Comments: 38327
122. Skyepony (Mod)
2:33 AM GMT on March 15, 2007
Yeah Indlala is making landfall now.

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 15 MAR 2007 Time : 013000 UTC
Lat : 14:51:25 S Lon : 50:21:12 E


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
5.9 / 932.6mb/112.4kt


6hr-Avg T# 3hr-Avg T# Adj T# Raw T#
5.6 5.5 5.7 5.7

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +2.8mb

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 9 km

Center Temp : -41.0C Cloud Region Temp : -70.3C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : RING/SPIRAL COMBINATION

Ocean Basin : INDIAN
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : PACIFIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : ON
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 179 Comments: 38327
121. BahaHurican
1:34 AM GMT on March 15, 2007
Wow, no picture or link . . .
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22359
120. BahaHurican
1:30 AM GMT on March 15, 2007
Here's Indlala about 1/2 hour ago; looks like it's making landfall.



Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22359
119. Skyepony (Mod)
10:40 PM GMT on March 14, 2007
Indlala movie
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 179 Comments: 38327
118. hurricane23
10:36 PM GMT on March 14, 2007
Here's an IR image of Indlala from my photo album...Feel free to look threw it.

Adrian's Indlala pics

Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13807
116. catastropheadjuster
10:07 PM GMT on March 14, 2007
Hello everyone. Hope all is having a nice day. It's raining here and suppose to rain all night and part of the day tomorrow.
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 21 Comments: 3678
115. hurricane23
9:47 PM GMT on March 14, 2007
The Judge usually follows the jurys recommendation.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13807
114. Patrap
9:37 PM GMT on March 14, 2007
Jury only reccomends to the Judge.1 more hurdle yet.Lets hope he sees it that way too.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128874
113. hurricane23
9:35 PM GMT on March 14, 2007
Jury recommends DEATH PENALTY FOR JOHN COUE!!Justice is now served....
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13807
112. Patrap
9:33 PM GMT on March 14, 2007
Houston Webcams..pick your view here..Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128874
111. Patrap
9:28 PM GMT on March 14, 2007
animated view with storm tracks..Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128874
110. Patrap
9:26 PM GMT on March 14, 2007
Houston at 4:18 cst...6
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128874
109. Inyo
9:19 PM GMT on March 14, 2007
is it normal for the Indian Ocean to be so active? I dont ever recall seeing so many hurricanes there but I didn't used to really follow them.
Member Since: September 3, 2002 Posts: 42 Comments: 873
108. Patrap
9:13 PM GMT on March 14, 2007
The story here..Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128874
107. Patrap
9:12 PM GMT on March 14, 2007
New Yorker Magazine,Dan Baum, New Orleans Journal section
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128874
106. Tazmanian
9:12 PM GMT on March 14, 2007
Posted By: hurricane23 at 1:52 PM PDT on March 14, 2007.

I emailed them on this issue so they will get to fixing the problem in the coming hours

why did you do that i like the map the way it is
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115255
105. hurricane23
8:52 PM GMT on March 14, 2007
I emailed them on this issue so they will get to fixing the problem in the coming hours.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13807
103. hurricane23
8:44 PM GMT on March 14, 2007
Yea there probably not updated....
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13807
100. hurricane23
8:35 PM GMT on March 14, 2007
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13807
99. hurricane23
8:33 PM GMT on March 14, 2007
Why would you say that?CAT5 winds and pressure in alot of places across the atlantic is probably far fetched for this time of the year so it could be a little off.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13807

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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.