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Thirsty California soaks up Melor's Deluge

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 12:44 PM GMT on October 14, 2009

The remains of Super Typhoon Melor dumped record-breaking amounts of rain over California over the past 24 hours, but the storm is now departing the state without having caused major damage. Mining Ridge in Monterey County had an extraordinary 21.34" of rain, and several locations in Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Santa Clara counties had over 10" of precipitation. Downtown San Francisco recorded 2.49 inches of rain, which is the greatest 24 hour rainfall for the month of October (records have been kept since 1849). Monterey also set a record for the greatest October rainfall, 2.66". Strong winds accompanied the storm, with the Twin Peaks in San Francisco recording a hurricane-force gust of 75 mph, Angel Island, 77 mph, and Los Gatos in the Santa Cruz Mountains, 87 mph. Sustained winds in excess of tropical storm force were experienced at several locations along the coast. The Point Reyes Lighthouse experienced sustained winds of 46 mph, gusting to 63 mph, at the peak of the storm. The Sierra Mountains probably experienced hurricane-force wind gusts, and received several feet of snow. California was lucky this storm came early in their rainy season, since the ground was dry from a year-long drought and the soils were able to absorb a great deal of the rain. Melor's Deluge in California will be a great boon for the state, helping it to overcome one of the most severe droughts in the past 50 years.

Figure 1. Radar-estimated precipitation for Melor's Deluge.

Tropical Storm Patricia dies
Tropical Storm Patricia is no more. The storm died out as it approached Mexico's Baja Peninsula, and caused no major flooding or wind damage.

Quiet in the Atlantic
There are no threat areas in the Atlantic to discuss, and none of the computer models are calling for tropical storm formation over the next seven days.

Listen live at 10:10 am EDT to my Hurricane Hugo lecture
I'm subbing today for Professor Perry Samson's Extreme Weather course at the University of Michigan. He's set up a system where one can listen to the lecture and see the slides of the presenter live (though not the pretty faces). Between 10:10 - 11:00 am EDT today, I'll be presenting a talk, "Hurricane Hugo: the Hurricane Hunters' wildest ride" to the Extreme Weather class, and you're all welcome to tune in. Simply point your browser to http://samson.lecturetools.org and click the "Low Speed Video Stream" button. There is also a "high speed" button, but I'm not sure the network will be able to bear the load if there are a lot of folks tuning in. The lecture will also be recorded for those wanting to view it later.

I haven't heard yet how yesterday's Senate vote on NOAA funding went, the Senate web site indicates that they are still not done debating the bill.

I'll post my rest-of-hurricane-season outlook on Thursday.

Jeff Masters
Storm's Comin'
Storm's Comin'
October Rain
October Rain


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.