South Carolina and North Carolina's epic deluge has finally ended after five days of ceaseless rains. No rain is expected to fall in either state through Thursday, giving time for the swollen rivers to recede and flooded communities to recover. The storm has killed at least fourteen people in South Carolina (eight drownings and six traffic deaths); an additional two storm-related fatalities were reported in North Carolina. The peak 5-day rainfall amount from the storm was 27.15", at CoCoRaHS station SC-CR-69 in Mount Pleasant,
a suburb of Charleston on the city's northeast side. As of 9 am EDT Tuesday, 306 state-maintained roads and 163 bridges were closed in South Carolina, which was down from a high of 368 roads/171 bridges closed at 10 pm EDT Monday. The South Carolina Emergency Management Division tweeted
Tuesday morning that eighteen dams had been breached statewide.
The National Weather Service Facebook page
has an excellent animation showing the evolution of Joaquin and then the low pressure system that brought the heavy rains to South Carolina.Figure 1.
A church is surrounded by flood waters on October 5, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Image credit: Sean Rayford/Getty Images.Hurricane Joaquin speeding out to seaHurricane Joaquin
is still a Category 1 hurricane as it speeds northeastwards out to sea, but the storm will not affect any more land areas as a tropical cyclone. By Wednesday night, Joaquin will evolve into a powerful extratropical storm, and will likely bring strong winds and heavy rain to Europe this weekend.The Miami Herald
has an excellent series of images showing the path of the ill-fated El Faro into Hurricane Joaquin, with the NHC advisory cones superimposed. It sure looks like forecast uncertainty should not have contributed much to the loss of the vessel and the 33 crew members on board.91L approaching Lesser Antilles with no signs of development
An area of low pressure (Invest 91L)
centered at 8 am EDT Tuesday about 850 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands is moving west-northwest at 15 - 20 mph. Satellite loops
show that 91L is very unimpressive, with little spin or much in the way of heavy thunderstorms. Wind shear is currently high, 30 - 35 knots, but will drop to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, by Thursday, according to the 8 am EDT Tuesday run of the SHIPS model.
One of our three reliable models for forecasting tropical cyclone genesis, the European model, shows some development of 91L this weekend, after the storm turns north over the open Atlantic. 91L may bring some heavy rain showers and gusty winds to the northern Lesser Antilles Islands on Thursday. 91L will turn to the north on Friday, and is not likely not affect any other land areas. In their 8 am EDT Tuesday Tropical Weather Outlook
, NHC gave the disturbance 2-day and 5-day odds of development of 0% and 20%, respectively.Figure 2.
MODIS image of Tropical Storm Oho as seen from NASA's Aqua satellite on Monday, October 5, 2015. At the time, Oho had winds of 65 mph. Image credit: NASA.Hurricane Oho skirting Hawaii
In the Central Pacific, Hurricane Oho
is churning the waters about 300 miles south-southeast of the Big Island of Hawaii; Oho was upgraded to a hurricane at 11 am EDT Tuesday, becoming the seventh hurricane of the 2015 season in the North Central Pacific. Oho is headed east-northeast away from Hawaii, and is not expected to bring strong winds or heavy rain to the state; high surf will be the main impact of the storm felt in the islands. In their 11 am Tuesday Wind Probability Forecast
, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center gave no odds that any point in Hawaii would receive tropical storm-force winds.Typhoon Choi-wan headed towards Northern Japan
In the Western Pacific, massive Typhoon Choi-wan
has intensified into a Category 1 storm with 80 mph winds, and is expected affect Northern Japan as a strong tropical storm on Thursday.
Bob Henson will have a post this afternoon discussing the excellent performance of the European model for Hurricane Joaquin.