KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Got to admit, even though I was about 1000 miles away from the eastern U.S craziness yesterday and last night, I was sucked in by the total mayhem that Ida was still creating. Tornadoes (and not little ones) and devastating flooding were the main culprits.
All under the backdrop of Louisiana slowly seeing some power come back online.
Around here though we enjoyed a nice day, and you may have noticed a lot of murkiness in our skies again due to more wildfire smoke in the area. That remains with us today as a front starts getting into the Plains, and that will be a big issue for us for about 36 hours starting later tonight into Friday morning.
Today: Clouds increasing, breezy and seasonable with highs in the mid-80s.
Tonight: Clouds with rain and perhaps a few storms later tonight into tomorrow morning. Brief heavy rains are possible. Lows in the 60s.
Tomorrow: Off-and-on rain. It won’t rain all day, but it will be iffy to plan on anything outside for any length of time. Temperatures will be closer to 80°.
Saturday: Highest rain chances in the AM with lowering chances after lunch. This may be a cool day depending on clouds. Highs in the 75-80° range.
Sunday: Nicer and pleasant with highs in the lower-to-mid-80s.
That was a day yesterday that many in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast part of the country will never forget. The tornadoes, while only five or so, were mostly big tornadoes, perhaps as strong as an EF-3 in New Jersey.
It really started in Annapolis, Maryland.
Then there were more in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The one near Mullica Hill, New Jersey was the most potent of the cluster.
That’s the real deal right there. There was a lot of damage in that area. Big homes just got crushed.
Earlier in Maryland:
Then there was the rain… so much rain.
I changed the scale and zoomed in a bit for you in this next one:
This created historic flash flooding.
Rainfall rates in excess of 3 inches per hour. Some areas with close to a foot of rain in less than 4-6 hours or so. That was the biggest issue. Some of these areas have had more rain from previous tropical systems, but the rate of rain was the key. In some areas, the amount of rain in 2-3 hours had a once-in-200-plus year recurrence rate.
So bad it was raining INSIDE.
The rain and wind combination allowed rain to come in in the open areas underneath the covering at the U.S. Open.
If you follow me on Twitter, you saw the dozens of retweets that I was sending out regarding the craziness last night. They were coming fast and furious. Here are just a few:
Needless to say the entire subway closed down last night.
A day and night that most up there won’t forget, and the flooding is still ongoing even though the rain is over.
There were actually tornado watches/warnings as far east as Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts in the wee hours of this morning.
Again, in the past there have been heavier rains, but the rate of rain is going to be tough to copy in the future for this part of the country. It’s still a mess up there with numerous roads closed by flooding and billions of dollars in damage, adding up due to flooded out cars and homes/apartments etc. Also, typically an excessive rain event of rates 3-4 inches per hour would affect a smaller area, like a county or two (that happens out here sometimes), but not a whole region like what happened in the New York City region.
In addition to all this there were so many different things happening. Tornado warnings and emergencies, severe thunderstorm warnings, flash flood emergencies, all for the same areas. New York issued its first flash flood emergencies for the city itself as well as northwest New Jersey.
Just crazy, and within two weeks that some of those same areas were dumped on by Henri in the northeast part of the country too.
Now onto our weather.
Not easy either as we await a cold front that will slowly be working into the region tomorrow. It’s out west now.
That front and its progress into the area are the issues heading into the start of the holiday weekend. The atmosphere will be really loaded up with moisture tonight, so the potential of locally heavy rains overnight into Friday AM is certainly there.
Then tomorrow, as the front only slowly works through and at some point stalls, additional showers/storms are possible, perhaps though not a total rainout. The front’s positioning will be the key to what happens then heading into Friday night and Saturday. If it’s very close to the area, between US 36 and US 50, more locally heavy rains are possible, 1-4 inches worth. Don’t necessarily look at the positioning of the heaviest rain in the next two graphics. It shows potential though.
Something to watch because we too could get some localized flooding and river/creek issues with this setup.
Right now, Sunday and Monday look to be the better two days of the weekend.
Long blog today… so much happening!
The feature photo today is from People of Cowtown on Twitter. The Big Boy train is departing today.