Tropical Storm Franklin For 8/7/2017 2200 CDT

Tropical Storm Franklin is about to make landfall on Yucatan Peninsula as I type. Franklin has 60 mph 96 km/h 52 knot winds. Gusts are high as 75 mph 120 km/h 64 knots. The highest wind at landfall should be 51 mph 81.6 km/h 44 knots with gusts as high as 77 mph 123 km/h 67 knots. Many areas will likely see tropical storm force winds and heavy rain. Many areas will see 4 to 7 inches (10.16 to 17.78 centimeters) of rain with isolated totals of 12 inches (30.48 centimeters). Tropical storm force winds extend up to 140 miles 224 km 122 nautical miles.

Where doe Franklin go after it passes Yucatan Peninsula and how strong will it be? Most of the forecast model has Franklin going over Bay of Campeche and into Mexico again. One forecast model has it heading towards the Central Texas Coast. However, I do not think Franklin will have much of an impact on Texas as it is likely to move westward. The heat map is generated from ATCF data file. The cone is from National Hurricane Center.

Looking at the heat map, there is a general consensus that Franklin is likely going to make landfall on Mexico again. Intensity is of most concern. Here is an intensity forecast from National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Most forecast models have Franklin as a tropical storm as it goes over Yucatan Peninsula. Once it enters the Gulf of Mexico, some forecast models have Franklin becoming our first hurricane of the season with 75 mph 120 km/h 65 knots winds. I think Franklin will be our first hurricane of the season. I would not be surprised if Franklin intensified into a Category 2 hurricane.

Tropical Storm Cindy For 6/21/2017 2200 CDT

Tropical Storm Cindy is getting closer to land. The latest position from National Hurricane Center is 95 miles or 153 kilometers from Port Arthur, Texas as of 10:00 PM or 2200 CDT. Here is the latest Doppler radar image out of NWS Lake Charles.

It is moving 7 mph or 11 kilometers north-northwest. Cindy could make landfall between 3:00 AM to 5:00 AM or 0300 to 0500 CDT at this rate. The question is where Cindy will make landfall.

The data is from UCAR, to be more specific from ATCF data file. I also included the 5 day cone from National Hurricane Center.Looks to make landfall in East Texas our Southwest Louisiana. Still cannot rule a landfall closer to Houston at this time as tropical cyclones tend to wobble. The area around the center of Cindy has produced heavy rain.

Many areas have seen 1 to 2 inches or 2.54 to 5.08 centimeters of rain per hour. Doppler radar estimates the heaviest rainfall rate is 4 inches or 10.16 centimeters per hour! Some areas could see as much as 5 inch or 12.7 centimeters per hour!

Many areas have seen 3 to 6 inches or 7.62 to 15.24 centimeters of rain based on Doppler radar estimates. The highest is 11 inches or 27.94 centimeters of rain. Again, Doppler radar tends to underestimate rainfall totals. I suspect the highest rainfall total is around 12 to 14 inches or 30.48 to 35.56 centimeters of of rain. I think Houston area could see rain from Cindy, especially later tonight. Rainfall total should be about 1 to 3 inches or 2.54 to 7.62 centimeters with amount as high as 5 inches or 12.7 centimeters of rain. I would not be surprised if thunderstorms form on the west side of Cindy and dumps heavy rain over the Houston area while you sleep.

Once Cindy makes landfall, where does it go? Could it stall out over Texas and dump more heavy rain like Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 did? Or could it just move away from Texas? Here is the next 5 day forecast model.

The cone and heat map has Cindy moving towards Arkansas. No forecast model has Cindy stalling over Texas. It can be possible that Cindy will stall over Texas, but that is unlikely at this point. The forecast models are divided where Cindy will go once inland. It can go to the Midwest and Canada or go all the way to the East Coast. Right now, we should keep an eye on Tropical Storm Cindy as it is getting closer to land.

Katrina, Ten Years Later

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It is hard to believe it has been ten years ago that Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005. It remains the most costliest hurricane to this very day. The monsterous storm surge flooded Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. The same storm surge that caused flood walls and levees to fail in New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish. The flooding caused New Orleans area to be uninhabitable for months.

So, how it all begin? Mesoscale Convective System (MCS) form over Central Africa. Than on August 8, 2005, the cluster of thunderstorms emerge over the Atlantic. It travels across the Atlantic Ocean. Than on August 11, 2005, the thunderstorms become better organized. It becomes Tropical Depression 10. Meanwhile, another tropical wave with the same origin as Tropical Depression 10 has emerged. It too started as a MCS over Central Africa. Both tropical waves are spawned by monsoons over Africa.

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Tropical Depression 10 had to deal with strong wind shear from a tropospheric trough. The wind shear eventually killed Tropical Depression 10 by August 14. Had Tropical Depression 10 be named, it would have been Jose. The tropical wave that emerged on August 11 continues traveling towards the Bahamas.

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Despite the wind shear, thunderstorms continue to persist in what was Tropical Depression 10. The remnant of Tropical Depression 10 dissipates on August 18. What remains of Tropical Depression 10 runs into a tropical wave that left Africa on August 11. The two systems with its origin in Africa begin to merge north of Puerto Rico on August 19. Tropical Depression 10 is being revived albeit without the lower level circulation. The two storms have merged and moving towards Bahamas. Than on August 23rd, the thunderstorms become better organized and becomes Tropical Depression 12.

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Tropical Depression 12 becomes better organized and becomes Katrina. Katrina is rapidly intensifying. Had it had more time over the warm Atlantic, Katrina could have been a Category 3 hurricane. Katrina makes it first landfall on South Florida as a small Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds on August 25th at 7:25 PM. It had hurricane force winds extend up to 10 miles. It caught people off guard as Katrina traverses over South Florida with strong winds and heavy rain.

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In South Florida, there is flooding and wind damage from Katrina. The highest wind on land from Katrina is 68 mph with gusts as high as 102 mph. Many areas see 10 to 15 inches of rain from Katrina. Katrina exits South Florida into the warm Gulf of Mexico was a tropical storm. The weakness is short lived as it becomes a hurricane again. 14 people lost their life from Katrina as it did $623 million in damages.

Hurricane Katrina is over the warm Gulf of Mexico intensifying and getting larger. The once midget hurricane is getting larger thanks to large area of humid airs and warm Gulf of Mexico. Than Katrina becomes a major hurricane with 115 mph on August 27. Katrina undergoes explosive intensification on the night of August 27 to 28. Waves are building up on the Gulf Coast as Katrina is making its presence felt.

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By the morning of August 28, Katrina is a monsterous Category 5 hurricane with 175 mph winds. It has a central pressure of 902 millibars, making it the fourth strongest Atlantic hurricane at the time. It is a very large hurricane and has its sights on the Gulf Coast. Forecast models have it going near New Orleans.

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New Orleans is below sea level and vulnerable to high storm surge. People have to evacuate the city to avoid the dangerous storm surge. NWS WFO in Slidell issued this dire weather bulletin as Katrina underwent explosive intensification.

000
WWUS74 KLIX 281550
NPWLIX

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!

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for people in coastal areas including New Orleans. Some people who cannot evacuate end up at a refuge of last resort, the Superdome. About 14,000 people have taken up shelter at the Superdome. Something that would prove disasterous later on.

New Orleans, LA. August 28, 2005 -- Residents are bringing their belongings and lining up to get into the Superdome which has been opened as a hurricane shelter in advance of hurricane Katrina. Most residents have evacuated the city and those left behind do not have transportation or have special needs. Marty Bahamonde/FEMA

Katrina is barreling towards the Gulf Coast as a Category 5 hurricane. It weakens due to eyewall replacement cycle and dry air from America as it is now a Category 4 hurricane with 150 mph winds. The outer bands of Katrina are affected Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The outer bands produce squally weather. Each feeder bands get more intense as Katrina gets closer. The Mississippi Delta is experiencing hurricane force winds with heavy rain and storm surge. Conditions are deteriorating throughout the Gulf Coast as Katrina is moving northwards.

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Storm surge and waves are getting higher in Louisiana and Mississippi as the weather gets worse. People are hunkered down in hopes they survive. The winds get stronger and rain heavier as Katrina is getting closer and closer by the minute.

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Than at 6:10 AM, Katrina makes it first landfall on Louisiana as a Category 3 hurricane with 125 mph winds. On land, due to friction, the highest land wind is 106 mph with gust as high as 160 mph. It has a central pressure of 920 millibars, making it the third strongest hurricane to make landfall on America. Only 1935 Labor Day Hurricane and Camille are stronger. Interestingly, Camille made landfall in the same area as Katrina is about to on August 18, 1969. It could be said that Katrina is the cousin of Camille.

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Storm surge is getting higher and higher in Louisiana as Katrina moves northward. It goes east of New Orleans a couple hours after it made its first landfall. New Orleans is on the west side of Katrina, which is the so called “clean” side of the storm. Regardless, storm surge is getting higher around New Orleans including Lake Ponchartrain to the north. As Katrina is heading towards Mississippi, the flood walls and levees begin to fail, allowing water to flood New Orleans and surrounding areas.

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In St. Bernard Parish, flood waters are reaching up to roof level. The storm surge is from Mississippi River–Gulf Outlet Canal (MRGO) and Industrial Canal. It is the same storm surge that is heading towards Mississippi. The breached levees and flood walls flooding St. Bernard Parish is also flooding New Orleans.

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Katrina makes it second landfall on the Gulf Coast at 9:45 AM. Katrina is still a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds. The highest wind is 102 mph with gusts as high as 153 mph. Katrina’s central pressure rises to 927 millibars, a still very intense hurricane by all measures. It is over Coastal Mississippi, as it takes the full brunt from Katrina. Massive storm surge hammers the coast. Storm surge rises rapidly in Mississippi as anyone at the coast has very little time to escape. Storm surge as high as 35 feet flood the coast. Anyone who did not evacuate are in deep trouble. They could drown and be swept away by the deadly storm surge.

The strong winds and heavy rain are destroying buildings in Mississippi and Louisiana. Most of New Orleans is starting as water comes out of the drains as Katrina is going inland over Mississippi. Flood waters are rapidly rising in New Orleans and surrounding areas. By the evening of of August 29, Katrina is far inland over Mississippi as a Category 1 hurricane. Flood waters are continuing to rise in New Orleans and St Bernard Parish. This is on top of the heavy rain Katrina dumped on the Gulf Coast. Many areas see 8 to 12 inches of rain with amounts as high as 16 inches.

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Storm surge has subsided in Mississippi as it reveals the catastrophic damage unleashed by Katrina. It looks like if a powerful nuclear bomb exploded over Mississippi. Meanwhile in Louisiana, the scene is similar in Slidell and Buras, leveled buildings from storm surge. New Orleans and St Bernard Parish are underwater as they lie below sea level from breached levees and flood walls meant to protect the area from storm surge. They failed and allowed the area to be inundated with flood water.

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New Orleans became a ghost town as most of the city is rendered uninhabitable from the contaminated flood waters. The Superdome and New Orleans Morial Convention Center become scenes of refugees who lost everything from Katrina. The situation at the Superdome is getting worse and worse as more people come and supplies are almost non-existent. A scene only seen in Third World nations, happening in America. It becomes crowded with people who have nowhere to go.

There are many stranded people on roofs who are being rescued by helicopter or boat. Since, order has been lost, looting and crime become a serious problem in New Orleans. People have to be evacuated from the city to other cities throughout the South and America. Many are evacuated to Houston and many are in the Astrodome. Some go to Baton Rouge, Dallas, and Atlanta.

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Katrina is the deadliest hurricane to strike America since the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane. It claimed over 4,000 lives in Florida and Puerto Rico. The deadliest American hurricane is the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900. The hurricane claimed 12,000 lives, mostly from storm surge. It remains America’s deadliest disaster to this very day.

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Katrina is second disaster to kill over a thousand in America in the same decade of 2000s. The first disaster that claimed over a thousands lives in the 2000s is the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks that claimed 3,000 lives in 2001. Four hijacked airplanes crash into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. A fourth hijacking, United Airlines Flight 93 is thwarted. The attack left the World Trade Center a toxic mess and Pentagon burning. The last time that happened in history is the 1900s, the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. They are in fact the deadliest disasters to strike America.

The rubble of the World Trade Center smoulders following the Sept. 11, 2001 attack in New York City. 14 June 2007 (B8) no cutline

Top 10 Deadliest Disasters In America
1.) 1900 Galveston Hurricane September 8, 1900 12,000
2.) 1906 San Francisco Earthquake April 18, 1906 6,000
3.) 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane September 13 and 16, 1928 +4,078
4.) 9/11 Terrorist Attacks September 11, 2001 3,000
5.) Pearl Harbor Attack December 7, 1941 2,466
6.) Johnstown Flood May 31, 1889 2,209
7.) 1893 Cheniere Caminada Hurricane October 2, 1893 2,000
8.) Hurricane Katrina August 29, 2005 1,833
9.) SS Sultana April 27, 1865 1,700
10.) Peshtigo Fire October 8, 1871 +1,200

Hurricane Ike 5 Years Later

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It is hard to believe it has been 5 years since Hurricane Ike made landfall on Southeast Texas as a monsterous Category 2 hurricane in the early morning hours of September 13, 2008. Ike pelted Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana with hurricane force winds and heavy rain.

Thunderstorms over Sudan that later became Ike.

Thunderstorms over Sudan that later became Ike.

What was the origin of Hurricane Ike? Ike started as a mesoscale convective system (MCS) that formed over Sudan on August 19th. Most tropical waves come from thunderstorms that form in the Northeast part of Africa. They are set off by the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). The ITCZ is where there is thunderstorms from the clash of trade winds. These thunderstorms often provide beneficial rains in tropical and subtropical areas. The thunderstorms in ITCZ can break away and travel away. One of those thunderstorms from the ITCZ managed to do that. The MCS traveled over Africa and entered the Atlantic Ocean as a tropical wave on August 29th. The tropical wave traveled across with multiple vortices competing. One of them would win out as the thunderstorms in the tropical wave got better organized that on September 1, they were upgraded to Tropical Depression #9. Later that day, it was named Ike as it traveled over the open Atlantic. Tropical Storm Ike had to deal with wind shear in the upper level early in its life. The wind shear blows tops of thunderstorms, especially westerly wind shear. Since 2008 season was Neutral to La Nina, conditions were more favorable as there is less westerly wind shear. If 2008 was El Nino, there would be more westerly wind shear, which is why generally El Nino Atlantic Hurricane seasons see less storms. Wind shear generally kills tropical development. The higher the storm clouds are, the cooler it is. Higher storm clouds also mean they are more intense.

Hurricane Ike around its peak.

Hurricane Ike around its peak.

However, Ike gets a reprieve as the wind shear weakens and encounter warmer waters on September 3rd. This allowed Ike to rapidly intensify into a major hurricane. By the next day, Ike had become 2008’s strongest hurricane with 145 mph winds and central pressure of 935 millibars. Ike’s strength did not last as it encountered wind shear on September 5th. The wind shear weakened Ike to Category 2 strength. However, Ike was pushed southwards into more favorable areas due to upper level ridge to the north. Ike became a Category 4 hurricane as conditions were favorable. As it went westward, Ike made its first landfall on Turks and Caicos Islands as a Category 4 hurricane on the early morning hours of September 7th. The Turks and Caicos Islands were the first to feel Ike’s violent wrath in the form of strong winds, heavy rain, storm surge, and high waves. The South Caicos and Grand Turk took the brunt of Ike. Despite Ike’s fury, there were no reports of fatalities.

Damage in Grand Turk.

Damage in Grand Turk.

While Ike is ravaging the Turks and Caicos Islands, the outer bands of Ike were dumping heavy rain on Haiti and Dominican Republic, which had been ravaged by Fay, Gustav, and Hanna. The flooding from Ike claimed 74 lives in Haiti and 2 in Dominican Republic. Prior to Ike, Tropical Storm Hanna ravaged Haiti and Dominican Republic with heavy rain that led to massive flooding. The flooding claims 529 lives in Haiti, while just one died in Dominican Republic. Why did Haiti see more fatalities than Dominican Republic? The lack of trees in Haiti makes it even more vulnerable to mudslides from the mountains. The heavy rain causes deadly mudslides that destroys houses and killed people.

Stranded Cubans following Ike.

Stranded Cubans following Ike.

Once Ike passed Turks and Caicos Island, Ike headed for Cuba. The hurricane made landfall on Cabo Lucrecia, Holguín Province, Cuba. Cuba has in a very rough ride with Ike as traversed over the entire island nation. Cuba was being pelted by heavy rain, strong wind, high waves, and storm surge. Briefly, Ike went over the water only to make a second landfall on Punta La Capitana, Pinar del Río, Cuba on September 8th as a Category 1 hurricane. Ike claimed 7 lives in Cuba.

Ike near its secondary peak in Gulf of Mexico.

Ike near its secondary peak in Gulf of Mexico.

Once Ike exited Cuba, it was a large Category 1 hurricane. Ike traveling over all of Cuba caused the storm to expand as energy is spread out from land interaction. Ike had large area of warm water in the Gulf of Mexico and was getting close to the Loop Current, which is one of the warmest spot. Ike rapidly deepen from 963 to 944 millibars on the night of September 10th as it was over the Loop Current. However, the wind did not strengthen much, only from 80 to 100 mph. The reason was Ike was a very large hurricane with hurricane force winds extending up to 125 miles from the eye. The pressure gradient was not tight due to its large size. Normally, an Atlantic hurricane with central pressure of 944 millibars is a Category 3 or 4 hurricane.

On September 11th, Southeast Texas is sunny and dry because on the west side of a hurricane in Northern Hemisphere, the west side is usually the clean side. It blows in dry and sinking air from the north. The nice sunny day is very deceptive as Ike is ever inching closer. Meanwhile in the Gulf of Mexico, Ike is generating massive waves that are heading towards the Texas and Louisiana. Ike continued across the Gulf of Mexico as a large Category 2 hurricane. Waves are coming ahead of Ike in coastal Texas. People are evacuating from coastal areas including Galveston. Some choose to stay behind. The outer cloud banks of Ike are over Southeast Texas as winds start to pick up. By the afternoon of September 12th, some coastal areas are getting squally weather from the feeder bands entering Texas.

By the night of September 12th, conditions have gotten much worse. Winds and rain is picking up more in Cuba. Meanwhile in Houston area, it is still windy with occasionally light rain. As the night progress, Ike is getting closer to landfall. The hurricane force winds enter Texas around the late hours of September 12th. Ike is getting stronger and developing a more organized eyewall. Ike now has a central pressure of 951 millibars and 110 mph winds. Ike still remains a large hurricane with hurricane force winds extending up to 125 miles and tropical storm force winds extending up to 260 miles.

Ike at landfall on Southeast Texas.

Ike at landfall on Southeast Texas.

By the early morning hours of September 13th, Houston area is seeing stronger winds and heavier rain. Power starts to go out throughout Southeast Texas as power lines are being knocked by the strong wind. The coastal areas are seeing storm surge getting higher and higher. Anyone who stayed behind in Galveston or Bolivar Peninsula are doomed by the massive storm surge. Ike makes landfall on the eastern end of Galveston Island at 2:10 AM Central Time. People who are staying behind in the coastal areas are wishing they had evacuated as they are surrounded by rising storm surge. Ike travel to the northwest towards Houston. By 4:00 AM, Ike went over Baytown, which is flooded by storm surge. A large area of Southeast Texas is getting hurricane force winds including all of Houston.

Bolivar Peninsula following Ike.

Bolivar Peninsula following Ike.

Bolivar Peninsula following Ike.[/caption]By the time the Sun rises, Ike is still ravaging Southeast Texas despite the fact it has weakened to Category 1 hurricane. Ike remained a monsterous and very dangerous hurricane. Many areas are still seeing heavy rain and strong winds. The wind blew down numerous trees and damage many buildings and houses. There is widespread flooding reported throughout Southeast Texas. Bayous and rivers are overflowing from widespread heavy rain. Coastal areas had storm surge as high as 25 feet. Bolivar Peninsula saw the higher storm surge as the whole area looked like if a nuclear bomb had exploded. Once it was all over, many buildings and houses were damaged or destroyed while many trees were uprooted. Coastal areas were gutted from the massive storm surge. Millions of people were out of power for days. A large area saw 6 to 12 inches of rain from Ike.

The damage was not just limited to Texas. Louisiana also felt the brunt of Ike, especially in Southwestern Louisiana. It is the same area that had been ravaged by Hurricane Rita in 2005. Many areas were flooded by Ike. There was even flooding in New Iberia, which is in Central Louisiana. It shows that Ike’s massive size had a huge impact over a large area from Texas to Louisiana. This is despite the fact that they only got tropical storm force winds. It shows that large, but not so strong hurricane is very dangerous as it produces massive storm surge and high waves.

Thunderstorms ahead of a cold front in the early morning hours of September 14, 2008.

Thunderstorms ahead of a cold front in the early morning hours of September 14, 2008.

The following night, a cold front came, which allowed thunderstorms to form from moisture left by Ike. The storms dumped 5 to 8 inches of rain. The heavy rain causes more flooding on top of what Ike dumped in Southeast Texas. Once the rain ended, many areas saw a two day total ranging from 10 to 20 inches of rain. Meanwhile, the remnants of Ike continued to wreak havoc in the Midwest. Ohio saw hurricane force gusts, which caused more power outages. The remains of Ike continued into Canada and dumped heavy rain in Ontario and Quebec. A total of 112 people lost their life with 34 unaccounted for in America. Most of the deaths were in Texas, where 84 people died.

So, how was 2008 like prior to Ike. The winter of 2007-2008 was La Nina, so it was warmer and drier. Despite the La Nina, there were storms. Spring of 2008 was mostly dry. There were days of pleasant weather in spring 2008. Summer of 2008 was average in terms of temperature and rainfall. Texas first brush with a hurricane was Dolly, which affected South Texas. The outer bands of Dolly dumped heavy rain in the Houston area. Not too long after Dolly came, Tropical Storm Edouard paid a visit to Houston area. It was a rather unremarkable tropical storm that dumped up to 6 inches of rain. Edouard moved inland and gave beneficial rains to drought ridden Central Texas.

More photos of Ike.

Haiti following Ike.

Haiti following Ike.

Galveson flooded following Ike.

Galveson flooded following Ike.

New Iberia flooded following Ike.

New Iberia flooded following Ike.

Hurricane Ike rainfall total for America.

Hurricane Ike rainfall total for America.

NHC Hurricane Ike Report
NHC Hurricane Ike Advisory Report
Morphed Integrated Microwave Imagery at CIMSS (MIMIC)

Tropical Storm Allison-10 Years Later

Ten years ago, Tropical Storm Allison made landfall on June 5, 2001. No one realized how bad it would be a few days later for the Houston area.

Tropical wave that became Allison leaves Africa.

Allison formed from a tropical wave that left the African coast on May 21. It traveled across the Atlantic Ocean and moved over northern part of South America. It crosses Central America and into the Pacific Ocean. A low level circulation develops as it is moving towards Mexico on June 3. The disturbance traverses over Mexico and on June 4 enters the Gulf of Mexico. This disturbance was not forecasted to develop into anything tropical. Despite not so favorable conditions, the disturbance developed into Tropical Storm Allison on June 5th, the first named storm for 2001. It was an elongated and strong tropical storm. Had Allison stayed over the water longer, it would have been a hurricane.

Allison makes landfall around Freeport, Texas that same day. As it moved inland, Allison dumped heavy rain. Some areas saw up to 12 inches of rain, mainly in Friendswood and Greens Bayou. As Allison moved to the north, it weakened to a tropical depression. Allison that stalled when it came around Lufkin, Texas. As it stalled, Allison continued dumping heavy rain over Texas and Louisiana. In the early morning hours of June 7th, feeder bands formed over Beaumont and Sugarland area. Heavy rain begin to fall, which leads to street flooding. Once the rain ended, Sugarland saw up to 12 inches of rain, while Beaumont saw up to 15 inches of rain.

Allison is still lingering over Texas due to a high pressure system to the north. Allison is a weak area of warm core low pressure with 10 mph winds. This weak tropical depression had plenty of moisture, which allowed heavy rain to fall. Allison was viewed as an annoyance at this point. Even in the early morning hours of June 8th, more feeder bands formed along coastal Texas, where 6 to 10 inches of rain fell. Once the rain ended, it was a sunny and clear day. One can see the blue sky. However, it was very humid and one would realize that heavy rain can develop again.

As the heat of the Sun beats down, thunderstorms begin to form north of Houston over Huntsville area in the afternoon hours. The area of storms is dumping heavy rain. Meanwhile, west of Houston, intense thunderstorms are forming and move into Houston. The two area of thunderstorms merge together over Houston setting the stage for more heavy rain. This time the heavy rain is near the center of Allison and is a core rain event. Core rain events happen when the atmosphere cools down for the night and thunderstorms form near the center of a warm core low pressure system. It can be tropical or non-tropical in nature, it is just the low pressure is warm. The warm and cool air clashes leading to thunderstorm development. The storm is confined to a county or couple counties and the rain falls at night. Core rains can lead to extremely heavy rain as it is happening on the night of June 8th.

Allison on June 9, 2001.

Heavy rain falls during the rush hour as people are heading home for the weekend. However, the commute is proving to be a dangerous one as roadways and even freeways start to flood. The heavy rain gets worse as the night progresses and storms get more intense. Storms keep forming and back building which leads to even heavier rain. People are wondering when the rain will stop since it had been raining since afternoon. The heavy rain goes on endlessly and that all Houston television stations have to cut into regular programming to cover the unfolding disaster. Many people are now stranded since they cannot get home due to the ever worsening floods. The heavy rain just keeps on pounding hard with plenty of lightning and thunder booming overhead. Bayous are overflowing from the heavy rain and it is not even over yet. If things were bad, it got worse when midnight came. The large area of thunderstorms get more intense, which means heavier rain. This also leads to more misery for the stranded people who want to get home. They are wondering if their houses are flooded due to Allison.

As the bayous continue to overflow from all the rain that had fallen in the past few days, they are getting overwhelmed by the extremely heavy rain. The bayous are going out of their banks and streets are flooding on top of super saturated grounds. The water had nowhere to go, which means flooding is happening again and in places that were hit hard by it from the landfall of Allison. To make matters worse, up to 6 inches of rain fell in one hour!

Downtown Houston flooded.

The Sun rises on the morning of June 9th and morning revealed massive flooding throughout Houston. Streets and freeways were heavily flooded. Houston became a lake from all the heavy rain that fell. Freeways became  lakes and many cars and even big rig trucks were flooded. The Texas Medical Center, the largest medical area in the world was flooded, especially at the basements. Many research projects that were going on for years were lost in the flood. Research projects that improved the quality of life for people with health problems. The Texas Medical Center flooded before in the June 15, 1976 flood, when heavy rain up to 15 inches fell in a short time and history repeated itself 25 years later. Some people could not leave their own home and the Coast Guard had to rescue them.

Once it all ended, up to 28.3 inches of rain fell in 12 hours in the Greens Bayou area. It is likely up to 34 inches of rain fell in that same area. Many areas saw 10 to 20 inches of rain from the massive storm over Houston. The five day total were up to 40 inches of rain! It is certainly possible, some areas saw a total equivalent to an average annual rainfall total in five days. Allison dumped some of the heaviest rain in Texas and American history. The 40 inch rainfall total ranks up there with Tropical Storm Amelia (1978) and Claudette (1979) and a flood event triggered by a hurricane remnant in Central Texas in 1921. Amelia dumped up to 52 inches of rain from August 1-4, 1978 . Claudette dumped 43 inches of rain in 24 hours near Alvin on July 25-26, 1979 and remains the 24 hour record to this very day. Thrall, Texas saw 38 inches of rain in 18 hours, which is also an American record on September 9-10, 1921.

Tragically, 22 people lost their life from Allison in Houston area. Of the 22 killed, 12 people died while driving into flooded streets, 6 died while walking only to be washed away, 3 were electrocuted at their homes, and the most ghoulish of them all,  a person used an elevator to reach the garage below the street. Think about 22 families who lost loved ones from Allison and the flood event. Allison did $5 billion in damage and is the most costliest tropical storm in US history. No one thought Allison would be responsible for a horrible disaster. Can another Allison happen again? The answer is yes, it will happen again. It is not a what if, it is just a matter of when.