Hurricanes 2017: All time Records Featured

02 October 2017 By In Blog style

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria set all time historic records of intensity, duration and catastrophic damage.  This is byfar the worst most destructive hurricane season the United States has ever had. We have suffered hundreds of deaths, massive destruction of property and land, and Billions in damage.  These hurricanes were well predicted and emergency evacuations ordered days in advance of the landfall thanks to NOAA's forecast teams, emergency managers and local governments and privte sector meteorologists and firms.  Tracks of the storms clearly show the destruction.  Harvey developed rapidly in the Gulf of Mexico and stalled over the Texas coastal region. Irma moved rapidly across the Carribean islands and up the Florida west coast.  Maria hit the windward islands and flattened Dominica as the Cat 5 eye passed directly over then on to USVI and Puerto Rico.  NASA showed the devastation in LANDSAT images of Barbuda and the US Virgin Islands where the lush green vegetation turned brown as leaves were torn off.

The European Center for Medium Range Forecasts provided an excellent long range prediction of the track and total precipitation in Hurricane Harvey over Texas.  Windy.com provided a map of 10-day total accumulated precipitation which matched Harvey's track and record precipitation remarkably well. Harvey approached the Texas coast with 95 to 115 kt winds and had a very large slowly moving classic satellite image shown below


The models continued to increase their precipitation forecast as the storm oscillated over the land and Gulf of Mexico for 4 days, dumping huge amounts of rainfall. Windy's ECMWF 6-day forecast from 082517 is shown below. NASA's Earth Observatory provided an analysis from the Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) of more than 500 mm fom 25-28 August 2017.  They also noted that record precipitation of 49.2 inches was observed from 25-29 August. NASA's Soil Moisure mission SMAP also showed significant increases in soil moisture in the Houston area which contributed to the rapid runoff and wide spread devastating record floods.


















The River Forecast Center predicted record floods from the early forecasts of heavy rains.  This helped emergency managers announce manditory evacuations early as the storm approached, thus saving lives and property. AccuWeather also alerted its commercial clients to the flood emergency and told them to protect staff and equipment. The TV networks were on top of the warnings and kept the public informed as the storm approached.





Read 12862 times Last modified on Monday, 09 October 2017 10:19