Flood walls hold on the Susquehanna

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:09 PM GMT on June 29, 2006

The Army Corps of Engineers is breathing a sigh of relief today. After the failure of New Orleans' levees during Hurricane Katrina revealed that the Army Corps had failed to properly construct those structures, they must have been very anxiously watching the flood walls restraining the rampaging Susquehanna River in Wilkes-Barre, PA yesterday. The new flood walls, built in response to the record flooding from Hurricane Agnes in 1972, were built 3-5 feet higher at a cost of $200 million. The new walls took 20 years to build, and were completed in 2003. Do to the uncertainty of how long the new walls could hold back such a large volume of water, over 100,000 people were evacuated yesterday from the Susquehanna's flood plain. The Susquehanna crested late Wednesday at 34.4 feet, just six feet below the tops of the new flood walls, and 16 feet above flood stage. The river is slowly declining, and was at 32 feet this morning at 4 am EDT.

Figure 1. Measured rainfall from the week's rains. Tropical moisture streaming north along a stationary trough of low pressure triggered rains as heavy as 3 inches per hour in the mountains of Pennsylvania.

Hurricane Agnes of June 1972 did $8.6 billion in damage to Pennsylvania and surrounding areas. Agnes at the time was the costliest hurricane in history, a distinction it held for 20 years--when Hurricane Andrew came along. Thanks to the recent spate of intense hurricanes hitting the U.S., Agnes has fallen to number nine on the list of costliest hurricanes of all time. Six of the nine costliest hurricanes of all time occurred in the past two years!

Tropical wave in the Caribbean
A strong tropical wave moved through the Windward Islands yesterday, bringing heavy rain and wind gusts up to 36 mph. Strong upper-level winds from the west severely disrupted the wave overnight. This wind shear of 20-30 knots is expected to continue, and no development is likely today. The wave is expected to bring thunderstorms and gusty winds to Puerto Rico and Hispanolia as it moves west-northwest at 20 mph. The wave could get more organized once it gets closer to the U.S., if it can find an area of lower wind shear to take advantage of. The prospects of this happening are low, as most of the ocean areas surrounding the U.S. are expected to have high wind shear over the coming week. None of the computer models develop this wave, and there is really nothing anywhere in the Atlantic that looks to be of concern over the next few days.

Figure 2.Latest satellite image of the tropical wave in the Caribbean.

Figure 3. Model forecast tracks of the tropical wave in the Caribbean.

Thanks to all of you who tuned into my "Tropical Round Table" interview last night on http://radio.nhcwx.com/. I'll be summarizing much of what I said in tomorrow's blog. In particular, I'll focus on how different the large-scale atmospheric patterns for this year's hurricane season are compared to last year's season. This year will not be a repeat of 2005!

Jeff Masters

Susquehanna River flooding in Endicott (dockwpk)
Flooding afternoon of June 28, 2006 - Endicott. Union Endicott High School athletic facilities
Susquehanna River flooding in Endicott

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430. bappit
2:11 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
Just wonderin' if you were an LDog I know. Not a common name.
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429. bappit
2:09 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
This bacteria can get into an open cut and start growing. Happened to a wade fisherman about the time they had those flesh-eating strep cases around Austin and Houston, Texas. The health authorities explained that this one wade fisherman had gotten it through a cut in his foot wading in Galveston Bay. I think they saved most of his foot.
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427. Ldog74
2:07 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
No, i was but i was there for Erin in 95, Opal, Got flooded out in Georges, Ivan, and Dennis though so i know what its like.
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426. Tazmanian
7:07 PM PDT on June 29, 2006
: bappit yes you are right but 93 aea temps wow
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5101 Comments: 118229
425. bappit
2:05 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
LDog: "Think about Allison. A mere tropical storm that flooded houston."

Were you there?
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424. bappit
1:57 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
Hey, Taz!

Interesting to see those water temps. I think what makes the two you point out so high is that they are not in the open Gulf. Eagle Point is in Galveston Bay and I'll guess that the Clearwater Beach is on the land side of the barrier island.

What really stirs my morbid curiosity is that a kind of bacteria grows in that kind of warm saltwater that eats flesh. Not my choice for wade fishing!
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420. Ldog74
2:00 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
Think about Allison. A mere tropical storm that flooded houston.
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418. bappit
1:54 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
Ok, I see the map at the top of the KAC model runs. It shows wind speeds. The damage, though, should be consistent. Seems to increase in scope inland.
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416. bappit
1:54 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
intensity = damage ?
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415. bappit
1:51 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
I know where Eagle Point is!
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413. bappit
1:45 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
Looking at http://hurricane.methaz.org/tracking/#AL942006.

Don't understand the colors well inland on the map for 94L. Seems to intensify after onshore.
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412. Tazmanian
6:44 PM PDT on June 29, 2006
tornadodude yes they are
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5101 Comments: 118229
411. Stormy2day
1:39 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
SJ -
Thanks - good to be here. This is good stuff.
I will be out on the island (Shell Island, off Mullet Key) through Monday morning - we head out tomorrow morning. I'll keep an ear close to the marine radio.
Meanwhile, if you all change your mind and there is something ugly coming my way - send the Coast Guard!

Thanks for all the great information.

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410. tornadodude
8:41 PM CDT on June 29, 2006
Taz, those really warm, especially for this early!
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409. Skyepony (Mod)
1:32 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
The UCF Model for 94Lrainfall & wind damage. It has a Mexico landfall, pushing up into SW Texas. Highest damage~ downed trees & widepread power outages, 6 inches of rain.

UCF 93L model showing skirt south of Cuba. Grand Cayman only one slated for winds.
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408. Tazmanian
6:39 PM PDT on June 29, 2006
did any one see my sea temps i post this a few a go this is not a joke
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5101 Comments: 118229
407. tornadodude
8:36 PM CDT on June 29, 2006
hi yall. weather is fine and dandy here in Indiana!
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406. Ldog74
1:34 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
I doubt this thing will even get *that* close to becoming a TD.
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405. Tazmanian
6:27 PM PDT on June 29, 2006
hey evere one the sea temps are way off the maps today eeeeeek loook at this ok

Clearwater Beach, FL Water Temperature (WTMP): 93.4 °F not a joke

Eagle Point, TX Water Temperature (WTMP): 91.9 °F not a joke

Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5101 Comments: 118229
404. GetReal
1:20 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
I believe that a trof split will occur over the western Gulf tomorrow, and a upper level anti-cyclone will form over the system in the Bay of Campeche. This trof split will add to the convection (fuel) for the system. I also believe that it will initially take a more northerly coarse into the western Gulf, coming ashore in S. Texas, near Corpus Christi as a TS. It is also possible, in my opinion, that we will have TD #2 in the SW Gulf by tomorrow morning.
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403. amd
1:17 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
this system will probably be in mexico by tomorrow morning. IMHO.
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402. mobal
1:21 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
South Texas needs the rain..
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401. taco2me61
1:15 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
Good Evening All,
Just thought I would check in and see what was going on.

Do you think that the one in the Caribbean has any chance at all to develope???

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399. weatherguy03
9:12 PM EDT on June 29, 2006
Thats about right. thanks WSI!
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398. WSI
1:12 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
Yeah. Shows it reacting to the ridge that will be building in. Will be interesting to see what the GFDL comes up with.
397. cjnew
1:08 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
Thanks WSI
Looks just like I expected
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396. WSI
1:06 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
Models runs are here...

392. Weather456
8:58 PM AST on June 29, 2006
New Hurricane Names
Should the National Hurricane Center or World Meteorological Organization introduce the letters Q, U, X, Y, Z letters into the naming scheme or introduce surnames to storms?

Answer to Sunday's Question: Hurricane Katrina was more intense than Hurricane Camille. Intensity refers to central pressure. But Hurricane Camille winds were higher than Hurricane Katrina.

my blog

leave the answers at my blog or email me
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
390. Ldog74
12:55 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
where did you get this "information"?
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387. StormJunkie
12:19 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
Evening again all. Just stopped in to catch up on the blog. diligently working on getting the a new page up on StormJunkie.com. Not getting to look at the models or imagery much right now, but hope to be back on it soon. I'll let you know when the page is up. Also will try to update the sst maps in my blog.

See ya'll later
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386. FLweather
12:23 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
I have to leave. I will be back on later. Hopefully this nuicanse in the Bay will get sheered to pieces. Talk to you all later.
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385. FLweather
12:21 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
What areas should we be concerned about for tropical formation coming into july
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384. FLweather
12:20 AM GMT on June 30, 2006
Oo, then im not sure what i was lookin at when i saw the models i saw. Maybe it was just a practice? I have no clue. It didnt say 94L. So maybe it wasnt even for that system.
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383. weatherguy03
8:19 PM EDT on June 29, 2006
Fl weather, I give it about a 5% chance. Shear and terrain will kill it.
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382. weatherguy03
8:18 PM EDT on June 29, 2006
Right, we wont get any GFDL or BAMM model runs for 94L until probably the 0Z runs. It missed the 18Z set earlier.
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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