A very large ‘bomb cyclone’ storm system in the northeast Pacific Ocean generated an atmospheric river of rain that hit northern California today. Most of the West Coast had storm winds and rain as well.
There are reports of flooding and mudslides from California, but the good news is that the storm has brought the 2021 wildfire season to an end.
I realized on Sunday, driving around in the pouring rain, that’s it’s a new experience for me in my car (it’s been dry ever since I had gotten the car at the end of June).
The windshield wipers switch on automatically, but at times they seem to be a little too frantic (enthusiastic?) with the wiping. I intervene then, and adjust the wiper frequency down a notch.
I like the stalk on the right of the steering wheel to push on*, to get to the wiper controls (and not to have to go through the console screen selections).
*Tesla’s new steering wheel on the Model S and X has none of that, as the steering column is not equipped with any stalk.
We have had about 1 in. of rain here in the city, and there will likely be more by the way of showers tomorrow.
The snowcap on Mount Rainier’s peak is back, after most of it had melted away in the heat of the summer.
On August 22, Tropical Depression Henri dumped 1.94 inches on Central Park between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m., breaking the record for the most rain in an hour in New York City. Ida bested that record just 11 days later, dropping three inches of rain between 8:51 and 9:51 p.m. on Wednesday night. The intense downpour caused flooding throughout the city, as well as the first flash-flood emergency* ever to be issued in New York City.
– Matt Stieb writing in Intelligencer
*Emergency means the flooding poses an imminent, ongoing severe threat to life, and catastrophic damage.
The gauge at Seattle-Tacoma airport recorded only 0.11 inches of precipitation for the month of August, far below the mean of 0.92 in.
The East Coast of America is getting soaked, and the West is dry as a bone.
Hurricane Ida is the ninth named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, and formed on Thursday in the Caribbean Sea.
A levee failed near Highway 23, resulting in flash flooding. I hope Monday will bring news that the infrastructure that had been added after hurricane Katrina, to mitigate the storm surge threat from the ocean and the bodies of water in the area, had done exactly that.
Mon 8/30 update: Reported by Reuters: A $14.5 billion system of levees, flood gates and pumps has largely worked as designed during Hurricane Ida, sparing New Orleans from the catastrophic flooding that devastated the area 16 years ago in the wake of Katrina, officials said.
With Hurricane Ida projected to slam Louisiana on anniversary of Katrina, anxiety grips the region
People across Louisiana were deciding Saturday whether to leave or ride out what officials were calling a potentially “life-altering” storm as Hurricane Ida rapidly gained strength in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico — threatening to become one of the strongest storms to make landfall in the state since 2005, when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the region.
The National Hurricane Center was predicting that Ida would strengthen to a Category 4 hurricane with 140 mph sustained winds before making landfall in rural Terrebonne Parish, southwest of New Orleans, on Sunday afternoon. The storm was projected to bring an “extremely life-threatening” storm surge, “potentially catastrophic wind damage,” and widespread flooding, and with Ida projected to come ashore on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, anxiety gripped the region.
– Emmanuel Felton, Tim Craig, Carmen K. Sisson, April Capochino Myers, Leslie Fain & Ashley Cusick writing for the Washington Post
Batten down the hatches, close the gates
Today, a decade* after Katrina left 80 percent of New Orleans underwater and killed more than 1,600 people, the Big Easy has been reconstructed as a walled city. The Lake Borgne Surge Barrier is just one of a series of gargantuan structures and reinforced levees and floodwalls designed to defend the city against a 100-year storm—a Katrina-like catastrophe that has a 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year. This feat of engineering, prosaically called the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System, forms a 133-mile enclosure around New Orleans and the 350 miles of canals that traverse the city—the canals the Corps had relied on to contain floods and that failed so disastrously in 2005. “We’re taking the fight to the storm instead of letting it come to us,” says Boyett.
-*From a 2015 article asking ‘Will the ‘Great Wall’ of New Orleans Save It From the Next Killer Hurricane?’ by Todd Woody
The high was 94°F (34°C) here in the city today, and the air quality was not the best (wildfire smoke from Canada and eastern Washington). Bellingham to the north of Seattle recorded 100°F (38°C), a new record for any month.
Even so, early evening found me on the Lower Woodland Park tennis courts for the regular Thursday night social tennis. I made sure I had extra water and a banana to keep me going.
Update Fri 8/13: Friday’s highs here in Seattle reached 96°F (35.5°C). It is going cool down on Saturday and Sunday, thankfully.
A little rain fell into the gauge at Seattle-Tacoma airport yesterday, ending the 51-day dry streak there.
There were pleasant, cool temperatures around the city today (69 °F/ 21 °C). A little bit of rain may fall later tonight and in the morning.
Summer is definitely not over, though: we are going to get into the mid-90s by Thursday, and even have to deal with wildfire smoke.
A few rain drops fell on the tennis courts at Woodland Park tonight, and there was thunder and lightning overhead.
There was a little bit of rain in the city as well, but none was recorded at Seattle-Tacoma airport. Today was day 50 without rain there (longest on record is 55, in 2017).
It has been 22 days since we had any rain, and there is none really, in the forecast for the next 7 days (‘chance of drizzle’ for tomorrow morning).
July is the driest month on the Seattle weather calendar, but even so, its average is about 1 in. of rain.
‘The most severe heat wave in the history of the Pacific Northwest is near its climax. The National Weather Service had predicted it would be “historic, dangerous, prolonged and unprecedented,” and it is living up to its billing as it rewrites the record books.
On Monday, Portland, Ore., soared to at least 115 degrees (46 °C), the highest temperature in more than 80 years of record-keeping. It marked the third straight day the city had climbed to an all-time high. On Sunday, it hit 112 (44 °C) Sunday after reaching 108 (42 °C) Saturday, both of which broke the previous all-time record of 107 (41.6 °C) .
Seattle was up to at least 107 degrees (41.6 °C) on Monday afternoon, surpassing the all-time record of 104 degrees (40 °C) set Sunday, which had topped the previous mark of 103 (39.4 °C)’.
– Jason Samenow and Ian Livingston, reporting for the online Washington Post on June 28, 2021 at 5:50 p.m. PDT