Chilling reminder of Hurricane Katrina

Some of you check out the National Weather Service’s AFD (Area Forecast Discussion) on a regular basis. Usually these contain current forecast thoughts and are highly technical in nature. Here is an example paragraph from today’s Quad Cities AFD:  OVERVIEW…INITIALIZATION AND VERIFICATION IS AVERAGE WITH EVIDENCE UPPER LOW PER WATER VAPOR OVER OREGON MAY STILL BE UNDERPLAYED BY MOST/ALL SOLUTIONS FOR TUESDAY RAIN EVENT. TRENDED TOWARD A 65/35 BLEND OF HI-RES ECMWF AND GFS INTO DAY 3 WITH THEN A HIGH WEIGHT TO GFS DAY 4 AND BEYOND FOR TEMPERATURES AS HI-RES ECMWF WARM BIAS THEN BECOMES EVIDENT. ALL SOLUTIONS ARE SIMILAR FOR A SIGNIFICANT COLD FRONT THIS NEXT WEEKEND AND TURNING MUCH COOLER. PHASING ISSUES SUGGEST SLOWER FRONT WITH A DECENT SEVERE RISK WITH FRONTAL PASSAGE.

On this 6 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, this AFD offers a chilling reminder of what happened in New Orleans. Check out this discussion prepared just before landfall:

URGENT – WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
1011 AM CDT SUN AUG 28 2005

…DEVASTATING DAMAGE EXPECTED…

.HURRICANE KATRINA…A MOST POWERFUL HURRICANE WITH UNPRECEDENTED
STRENGTH…RIVALING THE INTENSITY OF HURRICANE CAMILLE OF 1969.

MOST OF THE AREA WILL BE UNINHABITABLE FOR WEEKS…PERHAPS LONGER. AT
LEAST ONE HALF OF WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES WILL HAVE ROOF AND WALL
FAILURE. ALL GABLED ROOFS WILL FAIL…LEAVING THOSE HOMES SEVERELY
DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.

THE MAJORITY OF INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS WILL BECOME NON FUNCTIONAL.
PARTIAL TO COMPLETE WALL AND ROOF FAILURE IS EXPECTED. ALL WOOD
FRAMED LOW RISING APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL BE DESTROYED. CONCRETE
BLOCK LOW RISE APARTMENTS WILL SUSTAIN MAJOR DAMAGE…INCLUDING SOME
WALL AND ROOF FAILURE.

HIGH RISE OFFICE AND APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL SWAY DANGEROUSLY…A
FEW TO THE POINT OF TOTAL COLLAPSE. ALL WINDOWS WILL BLOW OUT.

AIRBORNE DEBRIS WILL BE WIDESPREAD…AND MAY INCLUDE HEAVY ITEMS SUCH
AS HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES AND EVEN LIGHT VEHICLES. SPORT UTILITY
VEHICLES AND LIGHT TRUCKS WILL BE MOVED. THE BLOWN DEBRIS WILL CREATE
ADDITIONAL DESTRUCTION. PERSONS…PETS…AND LIVESTOCK EXPOSED TO THE
WINDS WILL FACE CERTAIN DEATH IF STRUCK.

POWER OUTAGES WILL LAST FOR WEEKS…AS MOST POWER POLES WILL BE DOWN
AND TRANSFORMERS DESTROYED. WATER SHORTAGES WILL MAKE HUMAN SUFFERING
INCREDIBLE BY MODERN STANDARDS.

THE VAST MAJORITY OF NATIVE TREES WILL BE SNAPPED OR UPROOTED. ONLY
THE HEARTIEST WILL REMAIN STANDING…BUT BE TOTALLY DEFOLIATED. FEW
CROPS WILL REMAIN. LIVESTOCK LEFT EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL BE
KILLED.

AN INLAND HURRICANE WIND WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN SUSTAINED WINDS NEAR
HURRICANE FORCE…OR FREQUENT GUSTS AT OR ABOVE HURRICANE FORCE…ARE
CERTAIN WITHIN THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS.

ONCE TROPICAL STORM AND HURRICANE FORCE WINDS ONSET…DO NOT VENTURE
OUTSIDE!

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Posted under tropical weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 29, 2011

So Long Irene!

Irene maintains tropical storm status with sustained winds at 50 mph as it moves North-northeast at 26 mph into Canada.  Irene is likely to reach the Canadian border overnight as well as lose the status of tropical storm.  Some good new, flights out of 3 major New York airports will resume tomorrow morning, though delays are expected.  Flights have already resumed out of Washington and Philadelphia. New York’s subway systems will slowly resume on Monday after inspectors check the tunnels and tracks for any damage.

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Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 28, 2011

Tropical Storm Irene makes final sweep through New England.

New York City dodged a bullet.  Early this morning Irene, then classified as a hurricane, started to close in on the Big Apple.  As the storm became more land based, Irene was quickly down graded to a Topical Storm.  NYC waterfronts and low-lying areas became flooded but avoided the critical hit that some feared.  There was just one narrow escape in Staten Island Where 64 people were trapped in 5 feet of water and had to be rescued.  In Lower Manhattan, Irene was still producing winds up to 60 mph and a foot of water quickly filled the streets. Another city that avoided any major damage wasWashingtonD.C.  Irene dumped up to 8 inches across the city and produced winds up to 60 mph that tore down trees and power lines.  So far, Irene has knocked out power to at least 3.6 million people, left 12 dead and caused severe flooding along the East Coast.  Irene is now leaving Massachusetts and headed into Vermont and Connecticut as a tropical storm.   Winds are still gusting up to 50- 60 mph and the heaviest rainfall bands now leaving Maine.

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Posted under tropical weather, weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene slams New England

REUTERS/Mike Segar

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

People in New York and New Jersey were greeted this morning with winds up to 75 mph and torrential rainfall thanks to Hurricane Irene.  With sustained winds at 75 mph; Irene is just in the criteria to be called a category 1 hurricane (74 mph sustained winds is the minimum).  Irene sped up a bit since yesterday moving North-northeast at 18 mph and hit JFK International Airport with 60 mph winds.  New York Harbor was also struck by a 3.5-foot storm surge and heavy rainfall pounded the streets of New York City.  An estimated 65 million people have been or will be affected by Irene’s vast size and so far over 3 million homes are without power. Irene will likely be down graded to a Tropical Storm by later today but still cause damage as it continues up the East Coast.

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Posted under tropical weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene vs. New York Skyline

Hurricane Irene has weakened just a bit with winds now sustained at 80 mph, however with warmer waters ahead; Irene is likely to stay a Category 1 as it makes its way to New England.  With winds of this magnitude, Irene could produce peak winds up to 100 – 110 mph, 7-10 foot waves and flooding rainfall that might threaten the New York Harbor.  As Irene heads towards New York, many people (including myself) are wondering how the tall buildings (Empire State, 1 World Trade Center, Bank of America Tower and the Chrysler Building) will withstand Irene.  These buildings are built to withstand hurricane strength winds.  However, if the wind picks up any debris, that is a different story.  Since most of these buildings’ exteriors are made of glass, anything that smashes into them could break the glass.  If the windows break, the high winds from Irene would create tons of internal pressure on the backside of the buildings and shatter the glass on the opposite side.  This would produce more debris to damage other buildings that are close by.  Let us hope this scenario does not happen when Irene slides through the upper East Coast.

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This post was written by qni_it on August 27, 2011

Irene wreaks havoc along the East Coast

Irene is slowly moving North-northeast at 15 mph up the East Coast, with sustained winds up to 85 mph and gusts up to 100 mph.  Irene has shut down airports (8,000 flights canceled), subways, buses and trains along the mid-Atlantic Coast.  About 2.3 million people were told to evacuate, which ranks in the top five most people ever told to evacuate because of a single storm in US history.  The rain bands of Irene stretch from Boston to Myrtle Beach. That is over 600 miles of US soil that is currently being affected by Irene.  This morning winds as strong as 115 mph ripped across North Carolina and created waves as high as 7 feet.  Two piers at Outer Banks, NC were completely wiped out due to Irene’s storm surge and pounding surf.  As of now, an estimated 830,000 people are without power from North Carolina to Delaware.  By tonight, Irene will move closer WashingtonD.C., then over Southern New England by Sunday.

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Posted under tropical weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 27, 2011

Hurricane Warning issued for Philadelphia

Just in: The National Weather Service has issued a Hurricane Warning for the city of Philadelphia. New York City has a Hurricane Watch, meaning hurricane conditions are not yet imminent, but maybe in the coming day or so.

This afternoon, Irene has weakened ever so slightly. However, it will still bring about extensive, region-wide power outages, and potentially significant damage to the high-rise downtown areas of Philadelphia and New York City. Storm surge will also be significant in the Delaware Bay, Delaware River (Philadelphia), Chesapeake Bay, New York harbor, and Long Island sound.

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Posted under tropical weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 26, 2011

First bands of rain slide into the Carolinas

As of the noon hour today, the first bands of rain have begun to slide into the Carolina outer banks.  Winds along the coast are generally 20 to 30 mph at this time, but will certainly increase later tonight and tomorrow as the storm nears northern North Carolina.

-Aaron

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Posted under tropical weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 26, 2011

Latest model runs

Here are three model solutions to Hurricane Irene in the next 48 hours. In the left images, you have the model assessed landfall position and time along the outer banks of North Carolina. As the storm nears this area, notice that there are only subtle differences in position and strength.

Moving onward to a possible 2nd landfall further north, there are a few discrepancies. The ADONIS model takes the storm center a bit further east. This would act to impact more people, but may cause the storm to be a bit weaker. On the other hand, the NAM and GFS keep it over water a bit longer which would cause a bit stronger landfall and impact cities such as Hartford, New York, and Boston a bit more than a westerly solution.

To see larger images of these models, feel free to click them.

-Aaron

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Posted under tropical weather, weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 26, 2011

Great sunset tonight

Jenna Springer sent me this shot of tonight’s sunset. What a great shot of an evergreen in the foreground. Thanks Jenna! -ES

p.s. If you have any weather photos, we love to get them. Just send to weather@wrex.com

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Posted under weather

This post was written by qni_it on August 25, 2011