World's deadliest weather disaster of 2010: Rio de Janeiro floods kill at least 183

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:06 PM GMT on April 09, 2010

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The world's deadliest and most expensive weather disaster so far this year hit Brazil this week, where at least 183 people are dead due to flooding and mudslides in the Rio de Janeiro region. Damage from the flooding has been estimated at 23.76 billion reais (US$13.3bn, €9.9bn), about 8% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of Rio de Janeiro State. Rio's heavy rains began near 5 pm local time (2000 UTC) on Monday April 5, and continued for 24 hours, with a total of 28.8 cm (11.5") of rain falling--more than the average rainfall for the entire month of April. It was the heaviest rainfall ever recorded in Brazil's 2nd largest city. The rains triggered devastating mudslides that roared through slums built on steep, unstable hillsides. According to the Associated Press, crews have pulled 17 bodies from the debris so far at at a new mudslide that hit in Niteroi, next to Rio, on April 7. Authorities fear an additional 150 people may have died there.


Figure 1. Flooding from this week's record rains in Rio de Janeiro. Image credit: Carolina Goncalves / Agência Brasil.


Figure 2. A mudslide in Niteroi, next to Rio de Janeiro, is feared to have killed 200 people. Image credit: Vitor Abdala / Agência Brasil.

The previous deadliest weather disaster this year was the snow avalanche in Afghanistan that killed 172 people on February 8 and 9.

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Jeff Masters

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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Is the first time since early October that the 30 day SOI index goes up to positive.



Wow quite a jump..

Really not sure why the Nino isnt cooling yet.
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LBJ and the Response to Hurricane Betsy

On the evening of September 9, 1965, Hurricane Betsy came ashore near Grand Isle, Louisiana, as a Category 4 storm, with the National Weather Service reporting wind gusts near 160 mph. As the storm tracked inland, the city of New Orleans was hit with 110 mph winds, a storm surge around 10 feet, and heavy rain. Betsy devastated low-lying areas on the eastern side of the city and eventually led to the expansion of an already impressive levee system to protect a city that lay mostly below sea-level. After the storm passed, Louisiana Senator Russell Long, the son of the legendary Senator and Governor Huey Long, called President Johnson to get the President to tour the devastated areas. In Longs unique style, he let the LBJ know that the Betsy had severely damaged his own home and had nearly killed his family.

In the Ninth Ward, Johnson visited the George Washington Elementary School, on St. Claude Avenue, which was being used as a shelter. "Most of the people inside and outside of the building were Negro," the diary reads. "At first, they did not believe that it was actually the President." Johnson entered the crowded shelter in near-total darkness; there were only a couple of flashlights to lead the way.

"This is your President!" Johnson announced. "I'm here to help you!"

The diary describes the shelter as a "mass of human suffering," with people calling out for help "in terribly emotional wails from voices of all ages. . . . It was a most pitiful sight of human and material destruction." According to an article by the historian Edward F. Haas, published fifteen years ago in the Gulf Coast Historical Review, Johnson was deeply moved as people approached and asked him for food and water; one woman asked Johnson for a boat so that she could look for her two sons, who had been lost in the flood.

"Little Mayor, this is horrible," Johnson said to Schiro. "I've never seen anything like this in my life." Johnson assured Schiro that the resources of the federal government were at his disposal and that "all red tape [will] be cut."
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Also a footnote: CSU's April predictions for this year are the exactly the same as they were in 2008. 15/8/4.

Drak, what is the TSR's predictions?


16/8.5/4

TSR
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Also a footnote: CSU's April predictions for this year are the exactly the same as they were in 2008. 15/8/4.

Drak, what is the TSR's predictions?
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Is the first time since early October that the 30 day SOI index goes up to positive.

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Quoting Drakoen:


I guess that's for us to find out


Hopefully not another 2 Category five landfall year!! Or worse, Ike and Gustav.
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Hey guys.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
What is a good site for getting rainfall figures in Brazil from the latest storm?


HPC has this:


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230. Skyepony (Mod)
Aerial footage of Brazil mudslide damage
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Quoting Levi32:


Yeah, and the wet eastern Pacific and dry Caribbean make sense because most of those years had El Nino winters.

yep yep. It's actually a bit disconcerting the dry spell they have had, far from comforting anyway. Come July-Oct they'll be wishing it would stay dry I'm afraid.
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Quoting SouthALWX:
@ levi
Makes sense to me, those years featured above average SSTs ... that would be enhanced with less cloud cover/less precip.


Yeah, and the wet eastern Pacific and dry Caribbean make sense because most of those years had El Nino winters.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
226. Skyepony (Mod)
Storm~ How's the Davis? Worth the price?
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
What is a good site for getting rainfall figures in Brazil from the latest storm?


The satellites sure aren't picking up the heaviness of the rainfall....I wonder how localized it was. Dr. Masters only mentions this one city being affected.

Rainfall Accumulation from 12z April 5th to 0z April 7th, based on TRMM multi-satellite analysis:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
224. Skyepony (Mod)
Yellow has the potential to soon flood.
Orange is flooded right now.
Red is severe Flooding.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Historic? How so?


I guess that's for us to find out
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30575
@ levi
Makes sense to me, those years featured above average SSTs ... that would be enhanced with less cloud cover/less precip.
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Quoting Drakoen:
I see TSR has released their forecast today reflecting an above average season. Seems all the indications are in place for a historic Atlantic hurricane season.


Historic? How so?
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Quoting Drakoen:
I see TSR has released their forecast today reflecting an above average season. Seems all the indications are in place for a historic Atlantic hurricane season.
a general agreement of an active year has been established as per current conditions
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Looking at the precipitation anomalies this year compared to the most active Atlantic hurricane seasons in recorded history, we see that those years also featured a dry Caribbean and wet eastern Pacific.

This year's January-March Precipitation Anomalies:



Years with 15 or more named storms January-March Precipitation Anomalies:



Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SAN FRANCISCO HAS ISSUED A HIGH
WIND WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM LATE SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH
SUNDAY EVENING.

AN UNSEASONABLY STRONG PACIFIC STORM SYSTEM WILL MOVE TOWARDS THE
CENTRAL CALIFORNIA COAST THIS WEEKEND. THIS WILL RESULT IN STRONG
SOUTHERLY WINDS ALONG THE RIDGE TOPS...VALLEYS AND COASTLINE FROM
SONOMA COUNTY SOUTH INTO MONTEREY COUNTY.

* TIMING:LATE SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING.

* WINDS:SOUTHERLY RANGING FROM 30 TO 40 MPH SUSTAINED WITH GUSTS
TO 60 MPH POSSIBLE. THE STRONGEST WINDS WILL BE SEEN OVER THE
RIDGE TOPS AND ALONG THE COASTLINE.
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I see TSR has released their forecast today reflecting an above average season. Seems all the indications are in place for a historic Atlantic hurricane season.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30575
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214. SLU
Quoting SevereHurricane:


But hasn't precipitation been running well below normal this year?


Yes we experienced one of the most severe droughts to affect the islands probably in the last 25 - 30 years. Many weather stations recorded their lowest ever monthly totals at different times during the last 6 - 8 months.

Not sure about some of the other islands but ever since late March, St. Lucia has experienced a significant change in the weather pattern. So far for April the rainfall at some stations on the island is already higher than the monthly average for the whole of April and today is only the 9th. I suppose the weakening el nino is starting to reverse the drought conditions in some parts of the Caribbean and the long term forecast is for exceptional rain so more relief is on the way.
Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 5281
Going Under,revisiting Hurricane Betsy
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I found a interesting articule about if the hurricane forecasts can be trusted. I agree with the last sentence that says it only takes one regardless of how many systems form.

Link
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Hurricane Emily,Low Angle Orbital Image,LARGE
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April 08, 2010 — Rescue workers in Brazil are searching for more than 200 trapped and missing people after the city of Rio de Janeiro and its surroundings were hit by the heaviest rains seen in half a century.

More than 140 people have now been killed in landslides and flooding.


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Quoting SLU:



If my memory still serves me well, April/May 2004 wasn't much different. Neither was 2008. Those years featured extremely wet "dry seasons". This tends to suggest that the tropics are already becoming more moist than normal for this time of year.

Not to send panic waves through the air but don't 2004 and 2008 ring a bell?


But hasn't precipitation been running well below normal this year?
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Quoting Patrap:
www.canefever.com/links


Great link Pat.
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206. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting StormW:


Skye,
I like that Tycon...is it pretty accurate?


It seems to be. The old La Crosse would give me random 100mph winds on a calm day once in a while. Haven't seen any of those. Liking it way better, anemometer looks much sturdier too but wasn't a huge jump in price.
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Ike surge debris field,post storm

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204. SLU
Quoting SevereHurricane:


Yeah... Thats pretty spoooky. Has there ever been a winter with similar conditions?



If my memory still serves me well, April/May 2004 wasn't much different. Neither was 2008. Those years featured extremely wet "dry seasons". This tends to suggest that the tropics are already becoming more moist than normal for this time of year.

Not to send panic waves through the air but don't 2004 and 2008 ring a bell?
Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 5281
www.canefever.com/links


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Quoting SevereHurricane:


Good to see you, Levi!


You too, SH :)
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
So whats the deal with the NOAA AOML site? They haven't updated the SST map in about 4 days.
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Quoting Levi32:
Afternoon all.

Storm, you have WU Mail. I apologize for how much I rambled.....didn't mean to when I started lol.


Good to see you, Levi!
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Afternoon all.

Storm, you have WU Mail. I apologize for how much I rambled.....didn't mean to when I started lol.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting sailingallover:
The weather here around the Caribbean is just wierd right now.. the Columbina low has been weak all winter, we didn't get our usual NE trades so SST's are still REALLY high and we have mid-summer like moisture over the windwards.. if it were not for the shear from strong upper level easterlies I wouldn't be surprised with at a storm already...this season looks scary..all the boaters here are planning to head north..even ones that have been here for over a decade..


Yeah... Thats pretty spoooky. Has there ever been a winter with similar conditions?
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The weather here around the Caribbean is just wierd right now.. the Columbina low has been weak all winter, we didn't get our usual NE trades so SST's are still REALLY high and we have mid-summer like moisture over the windwards.. if it were not for the shear from strong upper level easterlies I wouldn't be surprised with at a storm already...this season looks scary..all the boaters here are planning to head north..even ones that have been here for over a decade..
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194. Skyepony (Mod)
Baha~ I think one problem of the portable PWS that you can leave in a storm is one step closer to being solved... At least for real time weather observations. That little WeatherPlug I've been testing is working out great. It's become available to the public today. It uses 5 watts & total replaces the personal computer needed to upload. One of those, a battery pack, internet & the sturdiest PWS you can find (the real expense) would be the best bet at the moment.

With this configuration & my Tycon which has everything on one stick..next time I've got to hunker at hurricane house..I'm probably taking the whole thing over there & putting it up. Unlike here, there is a battery pack & alot less trees to destroy it with..
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Aright guys i have to go but i will be back after dinner see ya and it was good meeting all of you!
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Link

link above is to my blog i have updated the tropical section check it out leave some comments as to what you would like added if anything
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Quoting CycloneOz:


The only reason I can think of that we do not yet have weather instruments that can withstand extreme conditions is that the market is too small.

Inexpensive plastic devices work fine for "normal" weather. Unfortunately (I guess,) the Earth is a wonderful planet that features day after day of "normal weather."

If our weather was extreme all the time, we would've designed and put to market super-WX stations that could withstand the extremes.

Good weather = inexpensively made WX stations.

Capitalism IS BOSS!
Good points, I agree. But it doesn't solve our problem of insufficent data, does it?

Maybe a "dataset" worth of the more expensive, sturdier instruments could be set up in the potential path of a landfalling hurricane? Sort of like an earthbound dropsonde.... that would be a compromise of sorts.
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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.

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