Irene's rains heaviest on record in Vermont; Tropical Storm Katia forms

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:40 PM GMT on August 30, 2011

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Record flooding continues in the Northeast from Irene's torrential rains. Hardest hit was Vermont, where heavy rains in the weeks prior to Irene's arrival had left soils in the top 20% for moisture, historically. Irene dumped 5 - 8 inches of rain over large sections of Vermont, with a peak of 11.23" at Mendo. The reading from Mendo was the greatest single-day rainfall in Vermont's history, according to wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt, beating the 9.92" that fell at Mt. Mansfield on 9/17/1999 during the passage of Tropical Storm Floyd. The 13.30" that fell on East Durham, NY during Irene was just shy of New York State's all-time 1-day rainfall record: 13.70" at Brewster on 9/16/1999, from Tropical Storm Floyd.


Figure 1. Wunderphotographer 43BJAGER recorded this image of a house in Sharon, Vermont, that started out the week on the other side of this underpass.

According to the final Hurricane Irene summary from the NWS, the storm dropped 20" of rain in two locations, one in North Carolina and one in Virginia. Here are the highest rain amounts from the hurricane for each state:

Virginia Beach, VA: 20.40"
Jacksonville, NC: 20.00"
East Durham, NY: 13.30"
Freehold Twp, NJ: 11.27"
Mendon, VT: 11.23"
Ellendale, DE: 10.43"
New Hartford, CT 10.15"
Baxter St. Park, ME: 9.91"
Savoy, MA: 9.10"
Lafayette, PA: 8.82"
Pinkham North, NH: 7.33"
Warren, RI: 5.37"

Tropical Storm Katia forms
Tropical Storm Katia formed this morning in the far Eastern Atlantic off the coast of Africa. Katia will be in a moist, low wind shear environment with ocean temperature 1 - 2°C above the threshold needed to support a hurricane, and should be able to intensify to major hurricane strength when it passes to the north of the Lesser Antilles Islands 5 - 6 days from now. It is possible that some of the outer spiral bands of the storm might bring heavy rain squalls to the northern Lesser Antilles, but it would be a surprise if the core of the storm passed through the islands. The long term fate of Katia is unknown. Dr. Bob Hart's Historical Tropical Cyclone Probability web page suggests shows that tropical storms in Katia's current position have a 19% chance of hitting North Carolina, a 16% chance of hitting Canada, an 11% chance of hitting Florida, and a 47% chance of never hitting land.


Figure 2. The morning run of the GFS Ensemble prediction. The ensemble prediction was done by taking a lower-resolution version of the GFS model and changing the initial distributions of temperature, pressure, and humidity randomly by a few percent to generate an ensemble of 20 different computer projections of where Katia might go. The operational (highest-resolution) version of the GFS model (white line) is usually more accurate, but the ensemble runs give one an idea of the uncertainty in the forecast.

Katia is the 11th named storm this year, and comes a full twelve days before the half-way point of the Atlantic hurricane season. Climatologically, September 10 marks the half-way point. A typical hurricane season has just 10 - 11 named storms, so we've already had a whole season's worth of storms before reaching the half-way point. At this rate, 2011 will see 25 named storms, making it the 2nd busiest season on record, behind 2005. Katia's formation date of August 30 puts 2011 in 5th place for earliest date of arrival of the season's 11th storm. Only 2005, 1995, 1936, and 1933 had an earlier 11th storm.

Gulf of Mexico development possible late this week
Several of our best computer models for predicting formation of tropical cyclones, the GFS and ECMWF, are predicting that an upper level pressure interacting with a tropical wave now over the the Western Caribbean could combine to spawn a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico late this week or early next week. The formation location is likely to be off the coast of Louisiana or Texas, but the track of the system is hard to predict at this point.


Figure 3. Portlight volunteer Thomas Hudson clears a driveway yesterday in Hollywood, Maryland.

Portlight disaster relief effort in Maryland
Hurricane Irene heavily damaged the town of Hollywood, Maryland, when a tornado cut off electric power, water, and phone service. Portlight and Team Rubicon volunteers arrived before emergency personnel, after following up on a local tip. What they found was an isolated area whose plight was unknown to the larger community. Most residents were trapped at their homes by heavy debris. Portlight and Team Rubicon worked for two days to clear paths to each address, extract vehicles from debris, and cut down trees that constituted safety hazards. Portlight also instructed local residents how to operate and maintain chainsaws and safely clear debris. No other volunteer organizations or emergency personnel arrived at any time, and Portlight succeeded in meeting the specific needs of the underserved, unserved, and forgotten. Visit the Portlight blog to learn more; donations are always welcome.

I'll have a new post on Wednesday discussing if the evacuations and media hype surrounding Irene were excessive.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting ncstorm:


Bermuda is in the crossfires..


cue up crossfire hurricane...
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Quoting snow2fire:
Does anyone know what happened to grandpa? He was thinking about leaving crystal coast in NC and going to Raleigh where his daughter lives.

he got frustrated with the blog and the trolls when Irene was coming in. I hope he got to Raleigh and had a chance to relax and watch the storm go past.


He ended up in the same location as Stormtop when he fled NO as Katrina came ashore. It's a secret.
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Quoting snow2fire:
Does anyone know what happened to grandpa? He was thinking about leaving crystal coast in NC and going to Raleigh where his daughter lives.

he got frustrated with the blog and the trolls when Irene was coming in. I hope he got to Raleigh and had a chance to relax and watch the storm go past.


I haven't heard...I too was disappointed that he may have decided to stay in Atlantic Beach.

I remember the models shifting east toward Cape Hatteras in the days before...and I said to him that was better for you and I...but I would be cautious as the models can shift back...and even if it went straight to Hatteras...Atlantic beach would have gotten a strong northerly wind.....
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1411. ncstorm


Bermuda is in the crossfires..
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Does anyone know what happened to grandpa? He was thinking about leaving crystal coast in NC and going to Raleigh where his daughter lives.

he got frustrated with the blog and the trolls when Irene was coming in. I hope he got to Raleigh and had a chance to relax and watch the storm go past.
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


This is it on its first advisory:



I wish I had a better image of it when it was just classified, but that convection isn't deep, near the center, or organized..

It just puzzles me, considering the NHC has held out on naming so many systems because of a lack of organized deep convection and then they go out and name this.

Best image I found...
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Ok, I'll be a little more specific. At the time of declaration, Jose had a deep ball of convection atop its vigorous low-level circulation. IMO, it warranted an upgrade AT THE TIME.


I didn't see him at the advent of his classification. However, subsequent satellite pictures were less than impressive, to say the least. As Stewart, the less conservative amongst the NHC stated yesterday regarding Katia (then TD12): "one thunderstorm does not make a tropical storm".
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 553 Comments: 19890
Quoting kmanislander:
Katia is not looking too good tonight. Symmetry has been lost in the past couple of hours



What's this Katia that you speak of?
We've been tied up in blog business for awhile:)
Do tell, what's going on.
Kman....our grounding rod.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5525
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


No Taz, 93L is not going through RI.





can you plzs re read what i this said i did not say any thing
about 93L going under a RI i said per could be RI geting better
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Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10972
Quoting CCkid00:

i got in the tail end of this conversation, but my deductible is like 2% of my home's value....around $4000
Yes in FL it's always 2% of the home's insured value. It is with my house anyway.
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1401. Matt74
Quoting tropicfreak:


Possible LLC developing?
Local weatherman here in se texas said that thats where one was trying to form.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
i think per 93L is oganizeing RI



No Taz, pre-93L is not going through RI.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31438
1399. rv1pop
Quoting floodzonenc:
@CrazyDuke "I think Katia will max out at exactly (2.4 x 10^6)^(1/3) * i^5 knots."

134 knots (assuming that last part read 1 to the 5th... I suck at reading italics).

Good evening, all. It's a beautiful night in eastern NC.
That is an i not a 1, and my mind is saying, "that part of your brain closed in 1965. It refuses to open up."
Let me see if I can get my 8 yr old granddaughter to solve it for me.... Nope she's in CC and has gone to bed.
Member Since: August 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 191
i think per 93L is oganizeing RI

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1397. Bayside
Quoting KoritheMan:


Glad you fared well through Irene!


Very nice, thanks!
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Quoting proroller:


Oh ok...I know for sure doesn't matter which insurance company are you with...the state of Florida -hurricane deductibles are between 1% to 5 % based on your Coverage A limits. So I guess yours will be 1% and you are only insure for 100,000.



I also live in an Association. So I have some coverage from them. But after Wilma, I knew I needed something extra.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10972
Quoting Tazmanian:




do you think are gulf strorm is be comeing better organized
Nothing there yet, lol. We're gonna have to wait for the tropical wave currently over the western Caribbean to get into the Gulf of Mexico before we start watching for the development of a cyclone.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting CCkid00:
There is a marsh fire in East New Orleans. I live an hour north of there and today, the smoke rolled in, HEAVY. Supposed to get heavier tonight and tomorrow. Amazing how a fire from that far away can come in here so strong!


Actually I live in Terrytown and it was horrible most of the day on the westbank. I was sick almost all day. I hope we get rain soon to put it out.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


BUT at the time of declaration, it had deep convection.


This is it on its first advisory:



I wish I had a better image of it when it was just classified, but that convection isn't deep, near the center, or organized..

It just puzzles me, considering the NHC has held out on naming so many systems because of a lack of organized deep convection and then they go out and name this.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:Based on these data I'd say Katia is a 55kt cyclone, but since the CDO nor the banding have become too better organized over the past few hours, the NHC will probably keep it as a 50kt cyclone. Let's see...

Agreed. But CIMSS just took Katia to hurricane status in its raw t - and the final t will get there by 11pm. They don't like to discard their in-house numbers in favor of the objective estimates. In general, they're more likely to use the UW/CIMSS to confirm. But with SAB looking in the wrong place, it might be enough to nudge the forecast up to at least 55kts in the next advisory.

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 31 AUG 2011 Time : 004500 UTC
Lat : 12:56:59 N Lon : 36:26:13 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.8 / 994.8mb/ 61.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
3.8 4.1 4.1
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1390. Oct8
Quoting synthvol:
Not a nice place for a tropical storm to be developing at.


That spot is a powder keg. Sooner or later something lights it.
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Wow! This is going to be a interesting month of September. I think New England has a good chance of getting another round of tropical weather before the season is done. I hope we see a bunch of storms curve out to sea with no hits. I'll take the Nor'easters but no more tropical storms or Hurricanes!
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Deep =/= organized.


I can kinda see that Jose did have circularly organized convection...but I think the problem with classifying Jose is that it didn't have that for long I suppose.

This is not a good way to classify organized convection...everyhting is subjective with this...because everyone on this blog saw the sat pics with Jose...and some said it was oragnized...other say it wasn't....others say it wasn't for a long enough timeframe.....
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Wind speed is irrelevant. It lacked organized convection.
Lol, I was touching upon this earlier too. Here's the interesting thing, just a few hours after it got classified T-number from both TAFB and SAB supported the designation of a tropical depression (satellite presentation-wise). Obviously since an ASCAT the night prior revealed winds in excess of 35 knots, they went right ahead and classified it Jose.

AL, 11, 201108281745, 10, DVTS, CI, , 3220N, 6580W, , 1, 30, 2, 1009, 2, DVRK, , , , , , , , , , , , , , L, TAFB, JS, VI, 1, 2020 /////, , , GOES13, CSC, T,

AL, 11, 201108281745, 10, DVTS, CI, , 3230N, 6570W, , 2, 30, 2, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , L, SAB, EG, VI, 3, 2020 /////, , , GOES13, LLCC, T, DT=2.0 BO CBND MET=1.5 PT=1.5 FTBO DT

I personally would of never classified it, but ehhh, what's done is done.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting QPhysFTW:


Is there an underlying joke? Choosing the principle branch of the cube root, it's about 133.9 * i knots...are you saying 135 knots in the eye? Or are you giving us a glimpse of Apple's new product, the iKnot?


Jason,
Are you creating handles again?
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Deep =/= organized.


Ok, I'll be a little more specific. At the time of declaration, Jose had a deep ball of convection atop its vigorous low-level circulation. IMO, it warranted an upgrade AT THE TIME.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31438
Katia is not looking too good tonight. Symmetry has been lost in the past couple of hours



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last thing we is that per 93L gos under RI organize
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Quoting seflagamma:


I was here every minute for Irene, I just did not post. I lurked and left the comments to all of you... My Daughter lives in Mass and niece in Virginia Beach.VA..I was here..

and I have been here for every storm since Katrina in Aug 2005... and I was here looking at radar before then in 2004...
actually I was here for radar and sat in mid-late 1990's.
You just joined us in when 2007???





You tell em Gamma!
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I agree. The coordinates updated in the ATCF file seem to have just split the difference.

AL, 12, 2011083100, , BEST, 0, 131N, 366W, 50, 997, TS

Similar to TAFB, ADT has it beneath the deepest convective activity, hence the higher T-number, as you mentioned.

2011AUG31 001500 3.7 996.2 59.0 3.7 3.9 3.9 NO LIMIT OFF OFF -68.46 -66.40 UNIFRM N/A N/A 12.92 36.30 FCST MSG2 44.2

Based on these data I'd say Katia is a 55kt cyclone, but since the CDO nor the banding have become too better organized over the past few hours, the NHC will probably keep it as a 50kt cyclone. Let's see...




do you think are gulf strorm is be comeing better organized
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


BUT at the time of declaration, it had deep convection.


Deep =/= organized.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 553 Comments: 19890
1375. CCkid00
There is a marsh fire in East New Orleans. I live an hour north of there and today, the smoke rolled in, HEAVY. Supposed to get heavier tonight and tomorrow. Amazing how a fire from that far away can come in here so strong!
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1374. ncstorm
Quoting Progster:
Outside of Katia and the potential GOMEX system. there's another area near Bermuda that bears watching for subtropical development. Most of the models develop a tropical/subtropical depression through the next 48 hours with CMC the most agressive, as usual. There's some divergence aloft NW of the TUTT and a good supply of moisture around the Bermuda high available. Most of the phase diagrams take it into warm-core territory for a few days. May just bring some rain and a bit of wind to Nova Scotia or Newfoundland.



I agree, there is already a Low there..

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"TROFINESS". That's a good one.
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1372. GetReal
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8806
1371. Bayside
I would also like to say that local and state authorities as well as the red cross handled the virginia part of the storm incredibly! I don't think that I could be happier with the emergency services and recommend anyone that can donate to the red cross, should! Of course port light does great stuff too, so maybe split the donation ;)...just my thoughts after all of this...
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Quoting CrazyDuke:
I think Katia will max out at exactly (2.4 x 10^6)^(1/3) * i^5 knots.

You will need to know a decent amount of math to get that joke.


Is there an underlying joke? Choosing the principle branch of the cube root, it's about 133.9 * i knots...are you saying 135 knots in the eye? Or are you giving us a glimpse of Apple's new product, the iKnot?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


BUT at the time of declaration, it had deep convection.


I guess herein lies the controversy with Jose...did it have organized deep convection?

This seems to be subjective rather than objective opinion...and the folks that day at the NHC said it did and therefore it got named...but I wonder if different folks at the NHC were there that day, would Jose have been declared?
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Quoting CloudGatherer:
Well, that's odd. SAB places the storm a full degree north of the other estimates. Is that a mistake in the readout? Or might it explain why SAB is coming up with much less impressive T numbers than CIMSS and TAFB?
I agree. The coordinates updated in the ATCF file seem to have just split the difference.

AL, 12, 2011083100, , BEST, 0, 131N, 366W, 50, 997, TS

Similar to TAFB, ADT has it beneath the deepest convective activity, hence the higher T-number, as you mentioned.

2011AUG31 001500 3.7 996.2 59.0 3.7 3.9 3.9 NO LIMIT OFF OFF -68.46 -66.40 UNIFRM N/A N/A 12.92 36.30 FCST MSG2 44.2

Based on these data I'd say Katia is a 55kt cyclone, but since the CDO nor the banding have become too better organized over the past few hours, the NHC will probably keep it as a 50kt cyclone. Let's see...
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
are gulf storm is starting too look better


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Quoting CCkid00:

i got in the tail end of this conversation, but my deductible is like 2% of my home's value....around $4000


Me too!
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Ah, I didn't know about your daughter and niece. Glad they fared okay. :)

Yeah, I've only been here for four years, believe it or not. But I've really matured a lot since then, both as a person and as a forecaster. It's been an interesting time.


Thank you YOu have and I've seen it. :o)
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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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