Major flooding in Austin from Hermine

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:24 PM GMT on September 08, 2010

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Major flooding is occurring in the Austin, Texas region after Tropical Storm Hermine dumped an estimated 10 - 15 inches of rain over the past 24 hours. The flash flood warning for Austin from the National Weather Service at 4am this morning summarized the danger:

"Areas along I-35 and the Balcones Escarpment in and around the Austin Metro area will continue to experience a very dangerous flash flood event over the next few hours. Numerous evacuations and high water rescues have already been reported by the media and law enforcement personnel."

As wunderground's Dr. Rob Carver reports in his blog this morning, hardest hit was the area ten miles north-northwest of Austin, where an NWS cooperative station measured 10.11" of rain yesterday. The rains have swollen the South Fork of the San Gabriel River at Georgetown, Texas to 50-year flood heights.

Hermine has dissipated, but its heavy rains live on, and are now affecting the Dallas/Fort Worth region, where 1 - 3 inch rainfall amounts have been common. Hermine's rains are still lingering over the hard-hit Austin area, but should remain under one inch for the remainder of the morning. However, this afternoon, additional significant rains are possible near Austin as the sun's heat drives thunderstorm development in the very moist airmass over Central Texas.


Figure 1. Radar estimated rainfall for the Austin, Texas area shows that over fifteen inches of rain may have fallen in the region ten miles north-northwest of the city.

Gaston's remains no longer a threat
Dry air has significantly disrupted the remains of Tropical Storm Gaston, which are now over the Dominican Republic. NHC is now giving Gaston a 0% chance of developing, and no models are calling for development. It appears Gaston is finally dead.

Invest 91 off the coast of Africa
A large, well-organized tropical wave (91L) is just off the coast of Africa, near the Cape Verdes Islands, and is bringing sustained winds of 30 mph this morning to Praia in the southeast Cape Verdes. 91L is under a high 20 - 30 knots of wind shear, but this shear will decline to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, by Thursday. Water temperatures are warm, 28°C, and 91L has plenty of spin. The Saharan Air Layer (SAL) is well north of 91L, and should not be an impediment to development over the next few days. The models are pretty unanimous about developing 91L into Tropical Storm Igor sometime in the next 1 - 3 days. NHC is giving 91L a 70% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Friday. The GFDL model predicts 91L will be Hurricane Igor five days from now. The storm will track west to west-northwest over the next week, with long range forecasts from the GFS and ECMWF models putting 91L several hundred miles northeast of the Lesser Antilles Islands 7 - 10 days from now. History shows that about 20% of all tropical cyclones that have existed at 91L's current position have gone on to hit the U.S. East Coast; these odds are 10% for the U.S. Gulf Coast, 5% for Puerto Rico, and 10% for Canada. The forecast steering pattern for the coming two weeks from the GFS model shows a continuation of the pattern we've seen all hurricane season, with regular strong troughs of low pressure moving off the U.S. East Coast. This pattern favors a continuation of the sort of tracks we saw for Danielle, Earl, and Fiona, with threats to the northern Lesser Antilles, Bermuda, the U.S. East Coast, and Canada.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of Invest 91L (Igor?)

Elsewhere in the tropics
The GFS and ECMWF models are predicting the development of a new tropical wave off the coast of Africa 5 - 6 days from now.

Death toll in Guatemala from Tropical Depression 11E rises to 54
In the Eastern Pacific, heavy rains from Tropical Depression 11E have killed at least 54 people in Guatemala, with many more missing and feared dead. The heavy rains triggered nearly 200 landslides and collapses, causing damages near $500 million. Fifteen landslides hit portions of the Inter-American Highway, burying a number of vehicles and a bus. Tropical Depression 11E formed on September 3, moved over Mexico and Guatemala, and dissipated by the next day. Remnants from the depression may have played a role in the formation of Tropical Storm Hermine in the Gulf of Mexico on September 5.

Guatemala is still recovering from the impacts of Tropical Storm Agatha, which killed 287 people in the country and did over $1 billion in damage in May. This September's heavy rains in Guatemala come on the heels of the rainiest August in Guatemala's history, according to preliminary data from the National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology (INSIVUMEH). Rain was more than 100% above average in many parts of the country, and more than 200% above average in some regions. September and October are historically Guatemala's rainiest months, and any additional tropical cyclones which affect the country can be expected to cause more serious flooding.


Figure 3. Satellite image from Friday, September 3, 2010, showing Tropical Depression 11E over Mexico and Guatemala. Image credit: NASA.

Next post
I'll have an update Thursday morning.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting btwntx08:
interesting 18z had a landfall at 300 hrs now 336 hrs hmmm is this system gonna take its sweet time


Yeah thats what I said. That is too slow.
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2430. will40
2429. AtHomeInTX 12:50 AM EDT on September 09, 2010

uh hu they yours already on the way lol
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Quoting will40:


not look good for TEX


Uh um Will. Can I take the kids this month? SmileyCentral.com
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Good morning night shift....Coffee is ready!!
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In fact, at the beginning of computer forecasts, the advances in accuracy were huge. But even though computing power has grown, the increase in accuracy of extended forecasts has been slowing.
Member Since: August 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5236
I still hear talk of Gaston. Remember, the last Gaston, was an after-the-fact hurricane (post-season analysis), and it hit the same area as Hurricane Hugo in '89, and a weakened-after-hitting-Florida Cat 1 Hurricane Charley a couple of weeks earlier. The area is known as McClellanville. It's like halfway between Myrtle Beach and Charleston, on the low-country. It's generally-speaking, the area hit by Hurricane Hazel in 1954.
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2424. will40
Quoting txsweetpea:

which storm could this be hitting texas/La? Just wondering...prolly wont happen...


now that i cant say its too far out
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Alrighty then, hammer time. It's been raining steady all day from Hermine, and then several hours ago, it starting raining really hard. But now, we are getting hammered from the rain, for real. Oh my goodness. Fortunately looks as though the worst of it will pass through soon. We are under a flash flood warning and the roads are starting to get a bit washed over along the sides.
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2422. leo305
Quoting will40:


just one model run but that is what it sees


and it can change dramatically in the next run, or stay the same =P

it's long term..
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
Quoting will40:


not look good for TEX

which storm could this be hitting texas/La? Just wondering...prolly wont happen...
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Quoting pottery:

AH! But, did you check the "Made in China" label LOL?


DOH!
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2419. will40
Quoting txsweetpea:

Is this for real???


just one model run but that is what it sees
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Quoting moonlightcowboy:



Ask anyone here that's familiar with me - I don't do models. Not offended by them, but it's a ton of data that's not readily absorbed. I mean, there's no 100 gig backbone from the atmosphere to visual output - just doesn't work that way. Always maintain too much reliance, but still, a heckuva great tool-so, not dissing them, but not giving them the "be all, end all" either.

I trust my eyes more, trust my understanding of what I've learned from others more. xG ain't done YET!


Models are only as good as the algorithoms sused to build them and the data that is entered....not to mention, the chaotic nature of the system being modeled causes breakdowns in the out periods.
Member Since: August 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5236
2417. leo305
well besides that model run, the area near the lower antilles needs to be watched.. something is definately developing there
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Quoting Orcasystems:


That has to be close to the dumbest post I have ever seen?


You have to learn how to read the models then you will understand. Most models indicate a fish storm. Bermuda is in the line of fire more than any land mass.
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Quoting will40:


not look good for TEX

Is this for real???
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2414. xcool
okay no hype lets seeing if trend continues.
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
2413. pottery
Quoting PrivateIdaho:


I'm pretty sure it's real..I got shorts from there!

AH! But, did you check the "Made in China" label LOL?
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2412. xcool
txsweetpea .lol :)~~~
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting xcool:


NOW SHOWS development Caribbean AOI HIT LA TX

NOW you are just trying to "SHOW OFF" being a "little ray of sunshine".LOL...
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2409. xcool
YOU WHAT FUUNY ECMWF shows this about week ago.
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
2408. will40


not look good for TEX
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2407. xcool


Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
2406. xcool


NOW SHOWS development Caribbean AOI HIT LA TX
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
2405. xcool


Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting flsky:
Anything going on w/circulation going west across the Yucatan into the BOC?


Weakening upper low. No development.
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2402. xcool
gfs slow development Caribbean AOI
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
2401. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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Ernesto caused an 81-mile per hour wind gust on the Jersey Shore! However, it was an extratropical low moving up upon a well-established high! It wasn't a purely tropical wind. A hybrid!
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Quoting CaneHunter031472:


This is the problem with becoming too dependent on the forecast models. I would not discard Gaston till it is completely gone, but since the models are not picking it up the NHC wont give it any respect.



Ask anyone here that's familiar with me - I don't do models. Not offended by them, but it's a ton of data that's not readily absorbed. I mean, there's no 100 gig backbone from the atmosphere to visual output - just doesn't work that way. Always maintain too much reliance, but still, a heckuva great tool-so, not dissing them, but not giving them the "be all, end all" either.

I trust my eyes more, trust my understanding of what I've learned from others more. xG ain't done YET!
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2398. pottery
Quoting beell:


Slowed down quite a bit from this afternoon. Looked better on visible but still evident on IR.
Link

On that link, there are some peculiar wind-barbs at high level, at the eastern periphery.
North winds, south winds....
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Quoting xcool:
txsweetpea
4 storms.

OH!
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Quoting pottery:

That's because you assume that Bermuda is a real place.
With land, people, houses, pets, vegetation. etc.


I'm pretty sure it's real..I got shorts from there!
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2395. xcool
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
2394. xcool
txsweetpea
4 storms.
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting xcool:
F4PHANTOM gfs maker sense,
this time.

what is it saying ?
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2392. pottery
Quoting Skyepony:


Seems the surface trough is taking on the inverted V shape. Looks like the east side is resisting a bit & kicked east a touch. May have something to due with the dry sinking air it's working against on that side.

Could be that...
I dont recall seeing that kind of stuff before.
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2391. flsky
Anything going on w/circulation going west across the Yucatan into the BOC?
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Quoting pottery:

That's because you assume that Bermuda is a real place.
With land, people, houses, pets, vegetation. etc.


It was the last time I looked.
Mind you... some of the vegetation is interesting :)
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2389. xcool
F4PHANTOM gfs maker sense,
this time.
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting moonlightcowboy:
I can appreciate that "boredom" thought for about two seconds - xG is in every way (at least nearly) in perfect conditions for development. Granted, I've been working my tail off all day and have not had a chance to look, but just my initial thoughts are - there should still be a low pressure, spin there still, convection there, little shear (supposedly), high TCHP, etc, etc.

I'm still thinking he has a chance, be it just seast or just south of Jamaica.

I think xG is a steamroller (and that's crazy, going against every official odd out there) - but, just the way I see it. Sure glad you folks don't rely on my obs and opinions! ;)



Gaston is already redeveloping. It is crossing 75W soon and then things are all clear for development!
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


look i see tumble weeds


ROFL.... you stoled it :)
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2385. pottery
Quoting Orcasystems:


That has to be close to the dumbest post I have ever seen?

That's because you assume that Bermuda is a real place.
With land, people, houses, pets, vegetation. etc.
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Quoting Skyepony:
Interesting comparison of Igor earlier today at the same time from Goes 12, 13 & 15.


That is interesting...looks like one series from a REALLY fast satellite.
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2383. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)


look i see tumble weeds
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2382. xcool


4 storms.
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684

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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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