Lee drenching the Gulf Coast; Katia a Cat 2

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:31 PM GMT on September 04, 2011

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Tropical Storm Lee made landfall on the southern coast of Louisiana near 4 am CDT this morning, and continues to inch slowly northward and dump very heavy rains. The storm is not a threat to intensify, since its center lies over land, but enough of the storm's circulation is over water that Lee will be slow to weaken. At New Orleans Lakefront Airport, 8.85" inches of rain had fallen from Lee as of 9 am CDT this morning. Top winds this morning hit 46 mph, gusting to 57 mph, at 6:28 am CDT, when a heavy squall blew in. Latest satellite loops show Lee has lost quite a bit of its heavy thunderstorms since yesterday, but the storm remains a formidable rain-maker. Lee brought a storm surge of 4 feet to New Canal Station in Lake Pontchartrain and at Shell Beach east of New Orleans yesterday afternoon. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center reported eight probable tornadoes from Lee yesterday. These tornadoes damaged approximately ten buildings, but caused no deaths or injuries.


Figure 1. Observed rainfall for the seven-day period ending at 8 am EDT Sunday Sep 4, 2011. Tropical Storm Lee had dumped 5 -10 inches of rain over a large swath of the coast, with a few areas in excess of ten inches (pink colors). Image credit: NOAA/AHPS.


Figure 2. Predicted rainfall for the 5-day period 8am EDT Sunday - 8 am EDT Friday, Sep 9, 2011. Lee is expected to bring a large swath of 4+ inches of rain all the way to the mid-Atlantic. Image credit: NOAA/HPC.

Forecast for Lee
Lee's large size and slow movement will make heavy rains the main concern today. Later in the week, the remnants of Lee's may be a problem for the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, where recovery efforts from the devastating flooding due to Hurricane Irene may be hampered by an additional 2 - 3 inches of rain. Tornadoes from Lee are a potential hazard today, as NOAA's Storm Prediction Center is highlighting the Northern Gulf Coast in their "slight risk" area for severe weather. A tornado watch is posted for the region, but no tornadoes have been reported as of 9 am CDT.

Hurricane Katia
Hurricane Katia finally overcame the wind shear and dry air interfering with it, and intensified into a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds this morning. Latest satellite loops show a well-defined eye for the first time, but the hurricane still has a lopsided appearance, due to he impacts of dry air and moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots on its southwest side.

Katia will not pose a danger to any land areas over the next five days, but may be a threat to the U.S. late this week. The computer models disagree considerably on the position and strength of a trough of low pressure that will develop over the Eastern U.S. late this week, and thus how Katia will be steered. The evolution of this trough will be strongly affected by Tropical Storm Lee, and the models are not very skillful at predicting transitions from tropical storm to extratropical storm, which will happen to Lee by Wednesday this week. We have two of our reliable models--the ECMWF and UKMET--predicting that the trough will form farther west, steering Katia very close to North Carolina late this week. The rest of the models predict a more easterly position of the trough, which would force Katia to turn northwards towards Canada well before reaching North Carolina. Either scenario is possible, and it will probably be at least another day before the models converge on a solution for the long-term fate of Katia. It's likely that locations on the U.S. coast south of North Carolina will not receive a direct hit from Katia, but the entire coast from North Carolina northwards to New England and Canada's Maritime Provinces is definitely at risk. Long period swells from Katia will begin affecting the Bahamas tonight, then reach the Southeast U.S. by Monday morning. By Tuesday morning, the entire U.S. East Coast will see high surf from Katia, and these waves will increase in size and power as the storm grows closer. Given the slow movement of Katia as it approaches the coast, plus its expected Category 1 to 3 strength as it approaches, the storm will probably cause extensive beach erosion and dangerous rip tides for many days.


Figure 3. Morning satellite image of Hurricane Katia.

Elsewhere in the tropics
This week and next week typically mark the two most active weeks of the Atlantic hurricane season, and there are two potential threat areas we need to watch. The GFS model predicts that a tropical depression could form in the southern Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche by Friday or Saturday this week. Several other models give support to this idea, and predict such a storm would track northwards or north-northeastwards towards the northern Gulf Coast between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle. The other region to watch is between the Lesser Antilles and the coast of Africa. The NOGAPS model is predicting that a tropical wave currently near the coast of Africa could develop into a tropical depression late this week, and arrive in the northern Lesser Antilles by Saturday or Sunday.

Jeff Masters

Tropical Strom Lee (taco2me61)
This is what happens when you do not tie up your boat.... This was taken in Pass Christian MS
Tropical Strom Lee

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Quoting Grothar:
I am a family member of Grothar. As some of you know he has not been well. He told me he has not been on here much. During the night he took took a bad turn. He asked me to just drop a message to you on here. I hope you don't mind. He talks about you people all the time and you have given him many laughs and enjoyment over the years. Those of you that know him are aware of what a remarkable and kind man he truly is. At this time we would prefer if you do not contact him. I promise that one of us will keep you informed when we can. He just asked us to tell you one thing, please do not fight with each other too much.


My thoughts are with him.. I sure hope he gets better soon.
Member Since: September 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1073
So, my uneducated guess of 20-10-5 at the beginning of the season is looking good so far.

Anybody else on track?
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Quoting Grothar:
I am a family member of Grothar. As some of you know he has not been well. He told me he has not been on here much. During the night he took took a bad turn. He asked me to just drop a message to you on here. I hope you don't mind. He talks about you people all the time and you have given him many laughs and enjoyment over the years. Those of you that know him are aware of what a remarkable and kind man he truly is. At this time we would prefer if you do not contact him. I promise that one of us will keep you informed when we can. He just asked us to tell you one thing, please do not fight with each other too much.


What? Is he going to be ok?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30245
The NOGAPS model is predicting that a tropical wave currently near the coast of Africa could develop into a tropical depression late this week, and arrive in the northern Lesser Antilles by Saturday or Sunday.

Good for rain!!
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Quoting Hurlo:


South of I-10 is more New Jersey.

That would be south of I-4.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Fires exploding over Texas. Huge Bastrop fire is 9000 acres and threatening 1000 homes. It's clearly visible on radar. I have various links and pics on my blog.
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1132. Grothar
I am a family member of Grothar. As some of you know he has not been well. He told me he has not been on here much. During the night he took took a bad turn. He asked me to just drop a message to you on here. I hope you don't mind. He talks about you people all the time and you have given him many laughs and enjoyment over the years. Those of you that know him are aware of what a remarkable and kind man he truly is. At this time we would prefer if you do not contact him. I promise that one of us will keep you informed when we can. He just asked us to tell you one thing, please do not fight with each other too much.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Yes, and should get even more so over the coming days. I am praying that she steers well away from land.


I sure hope so... she would mean major trouble for the east coast. Even if she does not "hit" the tides will be effected greatly I am sure if she gets to close.
Member Since: September 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1073
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


See, I told you. Lee is nearing Category 4 status...but no, you laughed.

uh-huh, look at that.

Seems Lee has burned your brain as well. :P
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5521
Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 58. North wind between 10 and 15 mph.


Lake Charles NWS forecast....Sweeeet!!!!
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:
Is that an eye?

Lee has burned my brain.


See, I told you. Lee is nearing Category 4 status...but no, you laughed.

uh-huh, look at that.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30245
1127. scott39
Lee is the BEST developing TS/sub tropical/post TC future whatever storm on land, that I have ever seen! No joke the radar is impressive compared to what he looked like on water.
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Quoting HoustonTxGal:


WOW!! She is impressive ain't she!


Yes, and should get even more so over the coming days. I am praying that she steers well away from land.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30245
Is that an eye?

Lee has burned my brain.
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5521
Quoting scooster67:


The big bend rains haven't gotten here yet. I was referring to that tiny little storm entering Columbia county. I'll take what I can get. :)


Had a couple of brief frog stranglers earlier in St Johns County. Tallied 1.36 inches. Those cells have alot of water with them.

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Quoting HoustonTxGal:
img src="">


LOL! I thought that only happened in the UK
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Now this is scary...



WOW!! She is impressive ain't she!
Member Since: September 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1073
Now this is scary...

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30245
Quoting thechanger:
well this is has been a very wild season with all these storms lets all just hope its over soon
Dream on!!
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Quoting JLPR2:


Yes I noticed the model moves it further to the west and turn it far away from you guys. Great!


Also, a disturbance is shown in the Bay of Campache.


That disturbance was the one Dr. Master's must have been talking about in his blog.
Member Since: September 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1073
Quoting scooster67:


I want to see it that way too.

Can I have some of what you got?

Sharing is one of the rules of the Blog. Just ask Aqua.


lol.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30245
Quoting Ameister12:

What's the clearing to the north of it's eye than. EWRC, or what.


You could be right though..
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30245
Quoting Pirate999:
So I just returned from my boat in Kemah. The wind has been blowing from the north for awhile and is blowing quite a bit of water out of the bay. My boat's keel is sitting firmly on terra firma. I checked my anemometer and it was a constant 27+kt and I saw a gust of 38kt. Of course, with this wind there are plenty of dark clouds and NOT A DROP OF RAIN!


I know what you mean, I am up in Spring and the wind has been howling since yesterday and besides a few drops last night.. no rain in sight.
Member Since: September 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1073
Quoting BahaHurican:
So we r talking potential to be the first genuine fish ' cane of the season....

Oh the danger of statistics... did you know that before Katia every hurricane this season hit the US?????

LOL

L O L
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5521
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


No, I am quite certain that Lee is nearing Category 4 status, and Katia is headed back towards Africa.


I want to see it that way too.

Can I have some of what you got?

Sharing is one of the rules of the Blog. Just ask Aqua.
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1112. JLPR2
Quoting BDADUDE:

Bermuda is fine. Katia is going to pass west then north of us as it recurves. It is forecast to pass more than 300 miles from us.


Yes I noticed the model moves it further to the west and turn it far away from you guys. Great!


Also, a disturbance is shown in the Bay of Campache.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8459
Quoting BahaHurican:
So we r talking potential to be the first genuine fish ' cane of the season....

Oh the danger of statistics... did you know that before Katia every hurricane this season hit the US?????

LOL


I see what you did there... -.-
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30245
So I just returned from my boat in Kemah. The wind has been blowing from the north for awhile and is blowing quite a bit of water out of the bay. My boat's keel is sitting firmly on terra firma. I checked my anemometer and it was a constant 27+kt and I saw a gust of 38kt. Of course, with this wind there are plenty of dark clouds and NOT A DROP OF RAIN!
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1109. h0db
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


No, I am quite certain that Lee is nearing Category 4 status, and Katia is headed back towards Africa.


Both of which PROVE that AGW is occurring.
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Quoting BDADUDE:

Bermuda is fine. Katia is going to pass west then north of us as it recurves. It is forecast to pass more than 300 miles from us.
So we r talking potential to be the first genuine fish ' cane of the season....

Oh the danger of statistics... did you know that before Katia every hurricane this season hit the US?????

LOL
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Quoting Ameister12:

What's the clearing to the north of it's eye than. EWRC, or what.



thats a eye lol
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Quoting Hurlo:


South of I-10 is more New Jersey.


...you and Jethro Bodine dropped out of school in the fourth grade to become double knot spies dincha....
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Quoting Ameister12:

What's the clearing to the north of it's eye than. EWRC, or what.


We can't derive anything from one satellite image like that.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30245
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
I have relatives and friends in Bastrop evacuated due to Huge Fires, radar is picking up the smoke on radar. Dozens of homes in jeopardy.


That is terrible, I sure hope everything goes ok for them and they can get the fires under control. Byt with the winds, it is going to be a big fight.
Member Since: September 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1073
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Where? There isn't any dry air intrusion...

What's the clearing to the north of it's eye than. EWRC, or what.
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ACE forecasts range between 140-170.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30245
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:


Looks like drought stricken Georgia....getting some rain !! Good to see....(I know...Nascar race ~~~~~~)sorry
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Lee looks to be moving ese now who knows where it's going I am just ready for it to get the h out of here!!! 6.5 in of rain and counting.
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I have relatives and friends in Bastrop evacuated due to Huge Fires, radar is picking up the smoke on radar. Dozens of homes in jeopardy.
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Quoting washingaway:
I shall now translate the NHC 4:00 PM disscussion on tropical storm Lee.

LEE HAS NOT DONE A DAMN THING WE EXPECTED IT DO. IN FACT IT'S ACTUALY GOING THE WRONG WAY. HOWEVER, WE EXPECT IT TO DO SOMETHING SIMILAR TO WHAT WE THOUGHT IT WOULD DO. IN THE MEANTIME, WE WILL USE CONFUSING TERMS LIKE BAROCLINIC, EXTRATROPICAL, SUB-TROPICAL, ETC... THESE TERMS ARE GENERALLY MEANINGLESS TO THE PUBLIC BUT IT MAKES US SOUND REALLY SMART.


That is so very awesome ROFLMBO
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Right... we do have a SOLAR calculator, but not an ACE calculator. Maybe we can get one for the next season upgrade? What do u guys think?


Definitly,I am for that addition.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Lee is definitely nearing Category 4 status.

LOL Lee?
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5521
ACE forecasts should be in the 2011 season forecasts also somewhere on the front page of the blog.

There is a boatload of info posted there via links which we do not always make good use of....
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Quoting weatherb0y:
You do mean Katia, right? lol


No, I am quite certain that Lee is nearing Category 4 status, and Katia is headed back towards Africa.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30245
The Appalachians and the Southeast are getting soaked.
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Quoting hunkerdown:
I would call that the big bend area, not N Central FL


The big bend rains haven't gotten here yet. I was referring to that tiny little storm entering Columbia county. I'll take what I can get. :)
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Quoting Ameister12:
Dry air intrusion.




She is a pretty storm isn't she.
Member Since: September 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1073

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About JeffMasters

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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