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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OK...so if we got Igor, let's fire a few pre-emptive strikes to get them out of the way. Pretty sure he is poised for rapid intensification into either an annular fish storm or an annular Cat 6 hit in South Florida following through to New Orleans. Did that cover it? ;-)
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Hows the water front property Flood... I hope its starting to dry out.


Oh no, Orca; it's just starting to get outlined...on the way into the office this morning (an hour and 20 minutes instead of the usual 25) I noted no less than 4 bridges overwashed and the rain still coming down hard
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for weather logic storms dont break thru ridges....
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Quoting Floodman:
Thanks, Doc!

Somewhere between 4 and 5" of rain in the Fort Worth area so far; numerous small streams are out of their banks and flooding roadways.

I saw a large number of people driving their cars through flood waters this morning and I want to remind any of you that are in Hermine's area of influence that driving through water for which you aren't sure of depth is foolhardy at best; 6" of fast flowing water can knock down a person on foot and 12" can move your car...


We get street flooding in Houston frequently and yet you still see people flooring it through the water. And I'm not just talking pickups. I'm talking short sports cars that I could jump over.

To be fair, though, it can be hard to tell that the water is deep enough to be a problem, especially when it is a road that does not normally flood. But some flood when people sneeze on them and there's really no excuse for driving through it.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Quoting Floodman:
Thanks, Doc!

Somewhere between 4 and 5" of rain in the Fort Worth area so far; numerous small streams are out of their banks and flooding roadways.

I saw a large number of people driving their cars through flood waters this morning and I want to remind any of you that are in Hermine's area of influence that driving through water for which you aren't sure of depth is foolhardy at best; 6" of fast flowing water can knock down a person on foot and 12" can move your car...


Unless your Chuck Norris! Good morning Flood.
Member Since: July 12, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 235
"Spinning" is a strong word to use with little gaston. Yesterday none of the weather buoys recorded any pressure drops or winds that could be construed as asociated with low pressure. But that was yesterday (sigh) I guess I'll check them again....(now I REALLY hate Gaston)
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Quoting 7544:
will the nhc say td or ts igor at 11 am ?


Since it is a TS, I suspect it'll be the latter...
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Quoting Floodman:


Remember the last TD 10 we had that was called dead?


Hows the water front property Flood... I hope its starting to dry out.
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I will be watching IGOR Closely, i may plan on a fishing trip depending on how big he gets.
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good morning storm. how are you today?
Member Since: July 12, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1130
Thanks, Doc!

Somewhere between 4 and 5" of rain in the Fort Worth area so far; numerous small streams are out of their banks and flooding roadways.

I saw a large number of people driving their cars through flood waters this morning and I want to remind any of you that are in Hermine's area of influence that driving through water for which you aren't sure of depth is foolhardy at best; 6" of fast flowing water can knock down a person on foot and 12" can move your car...
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Gaston is related to Karen.

I dunno why anyone would be surprised at his antics...
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
Can someone explain to me how Invests are numbered? I thought we had 91L back in June.Also why do I sometimes see lots of circles on the NHC page, but there are no spagetti models on the wunderground tropical page?
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.
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115. 7544
will the nhc say td or ts igor at 11 am ?
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Quoting PrivateIdaho:
Two months from now , has the pitiful remains of Gaston make their 2nd trip around the earth, people will be saying "He's not dead yet...is that some spin? Look at that blowup!"...(I have grown to hate Gaston!)


You might be right because the fact is what's left of him is still there spinning just South of the Dominican Republic, see for yourself on the link below!
Link
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Excuse an ignorant question here, but which area is the threat to develop, the area to the SSW of the CV's, or the area to the East of the CV's? TIA
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Naval FNMOC is calling it Igor, as well:

https://www.fnmoc.navy.mil/tcweb/cgi-bin/tc_home.cgi
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Is it TD 11 or TS Igor? Either way... rut roh.
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Quoting JBirdFireMedic:
AL, 11, 2010090812, , BEST, 0, 137N, 233W, 35, 1005, TS, 34, NEQ, 0, 45, 45, 30, 1010, 180, 30, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, IGOR, S,

TROPICAL STORM IGOR IS BORN.


Why I'm not surprised...
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Quoting WxLogic:


Here we go...
Is he a TD or a TS?
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
I see that Gaston c'est si mort this morning. We'll watch these clouds now in case the little French zombie springsback to life. He hasn't had a bath since Africa, just picked up a little perfume when passing through the Antilles, so he may still decide to take a dip in the hot waters near the Caymans. Doubt it though.
.
.
All eyes...turn to....IGOR!!!!!!!!!!!!


Remember the last TD 10 we had that was called dead?
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Good afternoon.

Last rites on ex-Gaston given, but new storm born?

Poetic.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
Quoting StormW:
TROPICAL DEPRESSION 11


Here we go...
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I see that Gaston c'est si mort this morning. We'll watch these clouds now in case the little French zombie springsback to life. He hasn't had a bath since Africa, just picked up a little perfume when passing through the Antilles, so he may still decide to take a dip in the hot waters near the Caymans. Doubt it though.
.
.
All eyes...turn to....IGOR!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Quoting Patrap:
NEXRAD Radar
Austin-San Antonio, Storm Total Surface Rainfall Accumulation Range 124 NMI



Wow. That's a lot of water.

Morning, Pat
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Quoting angiest:


Let me start over. The last entry shows tropical storm Igor, but the previous entry you had there shows a depression. Looks like they could have initiated advisories already on a depression, but they did not do so.


Oh, I think I know what you're saying. At 9:58, they issued a renum on 91L; at 10:01 they issued the Igor statement, in effect bypassing the TD stage so far as public notice is concerned. I've seen it happen before...
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102. 7544
looking at the lsat model runs takes igor all the way to 23 n then stops looks at the high will that drive him west from there or will be a fish getting interesting tia
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I think Gaston makes his move today.
Member Since: September 3, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 203
Two months from now , has the pitiful remains of Gaston make their 2nd trip around the earth, people will be saying "He's not dead yet...is that some spin? Look at that blowup!"...(I have grown to hate Gaston!)
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Quoting Neapolitan:


Not sure what you mean. All I know is that Igor is officially a 35-knot, 1005 mb tropical storm.


Let me start over. The last entry shows tropical storm Igor, but the previous entry you had there shows a depression. Looks like they could have initiated advisories already on a depression, but they did not do so.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Quoting StormW:
TROPICAL DEPRESSION 11


LINK

[http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/tc-bin/tc_home2.cgi?YEAR=2010&MO=09&BASIN=ATL&STORM_NAME=11 L.ELEVEN&PRO D=track_vis&PHOT=yes&ARCHIVE=active&NAV=tc&AGE=Latest&SIZE=full&STYLE=tables &AID_DIR=/SATPRODUCTS/TC /tc10/ATL/11L.ELEVEN/tpw/microvap&TYPE=geo]


That's the north most one? Why NHC don't make a differentiation with the south most one?
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Quoting angiest:


Right but the last entry there names it Igor. Implying that they would initiate advisories on a tropical storm.


Not sure what you mean. All I know is that A) Igor is officially a 35-knot, 1005 mb tropical storm, and B) a lot of people present right now must have me on ignore... :-)
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AL, 11, 2010090812, , BEST, 0, 137N, 233W, 35, 1005, TS, 34, NEQ, 0, 45, 45, 30, 1010, 180, 30, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, IGOR, S,

TROPICAL STORM IGOR IS BORN.
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Quoting StormW:












The MJO forecast models have been wacking all season. I don't think we have really had a good uplift since June. just my opinion.
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Quoting Neapolitan:


'Twas a renum at 9:58 EDT...


Right but the last entry there names it Igor. Implying that they would initiate advisories on a tropical storm.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
90. 7544
hmm if gaston does get gas today looks like he might then heads for the yucatan and with the fronts coming down if he gets in the gulf and develops further will he be kiked to ne like a wilma ttrack ?
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Hey guys I have a question and I was wondering if anyone could give their opinion. Ever since the 2005 Hurricane Season with the exception of Ike we havent had a significant hurricane to threaten the U.S. I was thinking if El Nino/La Nina have anything to do with it because typically El Nino's year have hurricane tracks that track out into the open Atlantic and typically La Nina's years have track's that track into Central America/Mexico. I have done some research and it looked like most of the big U.S hurricane landfall's occured in years where we had a neutral ENSO. So my question is that is a netural ENSO really more favorable for U.S landfall's than a El Nino/La Nina?
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That's the north most one? Why NHC don't make a differentiation with the south most one?
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Quoting Gearsts:
TD?the wave already a td?


No, the wave already a TS...
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For those playing along at home, that's six named storms in a 17-day span--more than one every three days--taking us to 9/3/2.
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Quoting StormW:
TROPICAL DEPRESSION 11
TD?the wave already a td?
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Gaston is not death, I disagree with you on that Dr. Master.
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Quoting angiest:


Aroo? The previous entry there shows TD but AFAIK they didn't issue an advisory.
TS?
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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.