Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:05 PM GMT on December 13, 2007
Tropical Storm Olga is gone, destroyed by high wind shear and dry air. The storm, only the fourth December tropical storm on record to hit land, is also the deadliest December tropical cyclone on record. At least 22 people have died due to flooding in its wake. One man was killed on Puerto Rico in a mudslide, two people died on Haiti due to flash floods, and at least 19 people died in the Dominican Republic. The only other December killer storm on record was Tropical Storm Odette, a 65-mph tropical storm that killed eight people in the Dominican Republic on December 7, 2003.
Most of the deaths in the Dominican Republic occurred in its second largest city, Santiago, when water was released from the Taveras dam upstream of the city in order to keep the dam from failing. Questions are being raised about why evacuations orders given several hours before the water release were not heeded, according the local Dominican Today newspaper. The tourist areas of the Dominican Republic were largely unaffected by Olga's rains, which were concentrated in regions of the northern part of the country.
Figure 1. Water is released from the Taveras dam during Tropical Storm Noel in late October 2007. Image credit: Wunderphotographer DRWeather.
Double whammy of winter storms for the Northeast U.S.
The Northeast U.S. is expected to receive a double helping of severe winter weather over the next few days. Today, a quick but intense winter storm is expected to dump 6-12 inches of snow across northern Connecticut, northern Rhode Island, and much of Massachusetts. A full-fledged 'Noreaster is expected Sunday, bringing heavy snow amounts of 1-2 feet and significant ice accumulations to inland regions of Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. Rain appears to be the most likely type of precipitation at locations nearer the coast, such as Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston. It is too early to be confident of this forecast, since minor changes in the storm's track will greatly influence the type of precipitation. Minor coastal flooding due to strong northeast winds is expected along the coast from New York City to Maine on Sunday.
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