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Paul Douglas on Weather

"Sept-ober" Weather Bliss Lingers - Biblical Floods in South Carolina - 6 Separate 1-in-1,000 Year Rains, Nationwide, Since 2010

Thousand-Year Rain Event Swamps South Carolina

26.88 inches of rain just fell at Boone Hall Plantation, South Carolina in about 3 days. That's 2 hurricanes worth of rain; roughly the amount of precipitation MSP sees in an entire YEAR!

Weather systems stalled; a nearly-stationary, 3-day firehose of tropical moisture from "Joaquin" focused on the Carolinas. When the weather stalls bad things often result, in this case historic, unprecedented rains.

I've seen a few conspiracy theories, suggesting a government cover-up: "HAARP weather modification gone bad". Uh huh. Yes, climate change is a hoax, the Apollo moon landings were faked and Washington D.C. is run by a race of lizard-people.

Well, that last one may be true.

Extreme rains are on the rise. For the record, Minnesota has experienced 4 separate 1-in-1,000 year flash flood events since 2004.

The mercury flirts with 70F today & Wednesday; 80F is not out of the question Sunday. Technically we can't call it Indian Summer until the first frost, which may be 2 weeks away by my calculations.

Rain settles the dust Thursday; otherwise dry with a mild bias. It's still October, right? Just checking. 

* Birmingham TV meteorologist James Spann (highlighted in a tweet above) is a living legend, not only in Alabama, but across much of the USA. He knosw his stuff - and updates a daily weather blog.

The Meteorology Behind South Carolina's Catastrophic 1,000-Year Rainfall Event. Here's excellent perspective from The Capital Weather Gang at the Washington Post; an excerpt: "...As Hurricane Joaquin tracked north, well east of the coast, a separate, non-tropical low pressure system was setting up shop over the Southeast late last week. This system drew in a deep, tropical plume of water vapor off the tropical Atlantic Ocean. At the same time, this upper-level low pressure system tapped into the moist outflow of Hurricane Joaquin. The moisture pipeline fed directly into a pocket of intense uplift on the northern side of the non-tropical vortex. Within this dynamic “sweet spot,” thunderstorms established a training pattern, passing repeatedly over the same location and creating a narrow corridor of torrential rain stretching from Charleston to the southern Appalachians..."

Map credit above: "A preliminary map of rainfall totals, estimated from radar, shows the vast extent of the deluge across most of South Carolina and parts of coastal North Carolina. The National Weather Service notes that these radar estimates have likely under-estimated the regional rainfall totals by a factor of 30 to even 50 percent in some locations." (Jordan Tessler/Capital Weather Gang)

What Does a "100 or 1000-Year Rain Event" Really Mean? Marshall Shepherd does a good job breaking this down at Forbes; here's an excerpt: "...However, as I watch the media and social media, it is apparent to me that many people still do not understand the concept of what 100- or 1000-Year rain event means. Many people literally assume it means this event “can only” happen every 1000 years (in the case of a 1000-year event). Here is what it actually means as described on the NOAA National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI, but formerly NCDC) webpage:

…it is a statistical way of expressing the probability of something happening in any given year. A “100 year” storm event has a one in one hundred or 1% chance of happening in any given year. A “500 year” event has a one in five hundred or .2% chance of happening in any year.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley: Floods are Regions "Worst in 1,000 Years". I've seen other references to a 1-in-1,000 year rainfall event for portions of South Carolina, as much as 24" in a few spots as of Monday morning; 3-4 month's worth of rain falling in the better part of 3 days. Here's a clip from The Guardian: "South Carolina governor Nikki Haley paused in efforts to cope with the record-breaking rain that hit her state over the weekend to say the resultant floods were “the worst in a thousand years”. “This is the worst flooding in the lowcountry [the region around the South Carolina coast] for a thousand years, that’s how big this is,” Haley said at a Sunday afternoon press conference. “That’s what South Carolina is dealing with right now. The Congaree river is at its highest level since 1936..."

Photo credit above: "Flood waters climb up the walls of homes in Columbia, S.C., Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. The rainstorm drenching the U.S. East Coast brought more misery Sunday to South Carolina, cutting power to thousands, forcing hundreds of water rescues and closing many roads because of floodwaters." (AP Photo/Chuck Burton).

South Carolina Flood is 6th, 1000-Year Rain since 2010. Doyle Rose has the story at USA TODAY; here's the introduction: "The biblical flooding in South Carolina is at least the sixth so-called 1-in-1,000 year rain event in the U.S. since 2010, a trend that may be linked to factors ranging from the natural, such as a strong El Niño, to the man-made, namely climate change. So many "1-in-1,000 year" rainfalls is unprecedented, said meteorologist Steve Bowen of Aon Benfield, a global reinsurance firm. "We have certainly had our fair share in the United States in recent years, and any increasing trend in these type of rainfall events is highly concerning," Bowen said..." (File photo: USGS).

How To Survive a Flood. Treehugger has some timely advice; here's an excerpt: "...The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) came up with the phrase "Turn around don’t drown" (and then registered it as a trademark) to further the National Weather Service’s (NWS) mission to help save lives. As it turns out, the CDC reports that half of all flood drownings happen when a vehicle is driven into hazardous floodwater. As mentioned above, 12 inches of moving water can take a small car; two feet will sweep away a larger vehicle. People think they can pass a puddle in the road, only to have their car stall and then ... whoosh. Turn around, don't drown!..."

Photo credit above: U.S. Geological Survey/flickr

Flood Insurance: 5 Things You Need to Know When The Water Hits. NBC News provides perspective, including the fact that most homeowner's insurance policies don't cover flooding, as amazing as that is to ponder. Here's an excerpt: "...If you're a homeowner, you have homeowner's insurance, and if you're a renter, you might even have renter's insurance. That's great, but unfortunately, your policy probably doesn't cover flooding. "The thing is, flooding is excluded under a standard homeowner's insurance policy," said Loretta Worters, VP of Communications for the Insurance Information Institute. "It's really something that everyone should think about. And if you don't live in a high risk area, you're not going to pay much, anyway..." (File photo: AP).

Belated Reprieve for the Carolinas. NOAA's 7-Day rainfall forecast shows a drying trend for the East Coast, the best chance of half an inch or more of rain over far northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Relatively Mild Into Monday. The GFS model drags colder air south of the border early next week (we're due for a real cool front). The best chance of showers comes on Thursday of this week - otherwise it's a basically dry forecast into mid-October. Source: NOAA.

1 PM Sunday. Models show a ridge of warm high pressure that might feel right at home in early September by Sunday, October 11 - 70s pushing into Duluth and Bemidji; with an outside shot at 80F over southern Minnesota Sunday afternoon. Not too shabby considering the sun is as high in the sky as it was the first week of March. Source: NOAA and AerisWeather.

Where's The Frost? The graphic above shows predicted temperatures looking out 16 days; nighttime lows mostly in the 40s. I still think there's at least a chance of a frost by the middle of next week, but no rude Canadian smacks of (really cold) air are brewing.

Record Warm September, Statewide? Here's an excerpt of the latest HydroClim update from Greg Spoden, Minnesota State Climatologist: "Average monthly temperatures for September were well above historical averages across Minnesota. Preliminary data indicate that the statewide average temperature for September 2015 was nearly six degrees above normal and may set an all-time high record for the month. Extremes for September ranged from a high of 94 degrees F at Marshall (Lyon County) on the 3rd, to a low of 18 degrees F in Isabella (Lake County) on the 29th.

  • The October precipitation outlook tilts towards below-normal conditions for all Minnesota counties. Normal October precipitation ranges from one and one-half inches in northwestern Minnesota, to over two and one-half inches in portions of northeastern Minnesota.
    [see: Climate Prediction Center 30-day Outlook  | October Precipitation Normal Map]
  • The October temperature outlook favors above-normal conditions across Minnesota. Normal October high temperatures fall from the low to mid-60s early in the month, to the upper 40s by month's end. Normal October low temperatures drop from the low 40s early in the month to near 30 by late October..." (Map above: Midwest Regional Climate Center).

WATCH: Killer Tornado Tears Through Chinese Town. Pretty amazing footage; tornadoes formed in the outer spiral bands of a landfalling typhoon - details via Daily Star: "The amazing footage captures the huge twister wreaking havoc in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong (Sunday) afternoon. It came hours after after Typhoon Mujigae landed in the region sparking off a series of tornados. Videos of the terryifying 300 ft twister began appearing online as frightened residents took cover..."

Meet The International Ice Patrol: Stopping Ships From Running into Icebergs Since 1913. I had no idea. Atlas Obscura has the details; here's a snippet: "...Using satellites to identify ice was a early and obvious application of the technology: the IIP works with agencies like the Canadian Ice Service and the National Ice Center that have a long history of spying ice from above. The Canadian Ice Service is charged with understanding ice conditions in Canada's navigable waters, which include parts of the Arctic Ocean, and the vast and remote nature of that region means that it’s almost impossible to survey with planes alone. But there are different types of ice to spy on: sea ice—frozen ocean water—is relatively easy to distinguish from above. Icebergs are whole different story. “We're looking for a tiny moving dot in the ocean,” says Hicks..." (File photo credit: Wikimedia).

Not What I Ordered: How El Nino Is Like a Bad Bartender. Great analogy. Or maybe a good bartender with a very bad memory. Bottom line: it's dangerous to generalize; every El Nino is different. Here's a clip from a good post at NOAA's "...If you’ve been following along over at The ENSO Blog, you know this El Niño event is already one of the big ones. And, it will very likely take its place among the pantheon of El Niños of the last 60-70 years. But the expectations in some places aren’t as cut and dried as you might think. Let’s say you have a favorite establishment, where everybody knows your name, and they bring you “your” beverage on sight. And then one night you go in, and based upon your past experience, you sorta expect the bartender to bring you your favorite beer. Instead, maybe he unexpectedly brings you a warmer-than-normal beer, or even <shudder> a wine cooler. El Niño is like that bartender. Seeing him when you walk in may tilt your odds toward getting your favorite beer, but it’s not a guarantee. In other words, sometimes El Niño is the bartender who doesn’t bring you what you ordered..."

Tech For A New Age. Philips sponsors a look at ways in which new technology are helping us live longer, fuller lives, and new advances that may be coming. Here's an excerpt at The New York Times: "A century ago, few folks lived past the age of 50. Most reached the milestones of young adulthood — new jobs, marriage or kids — absent their mom, dad or both. Today’s millennials are more likely than not to have both parents as well as living grandparents. This profound shift — the triumph of a century’s work in medicine, public health and technology — is rewarding us in countless ways: a great aunt’s bedtime stories, a grandfather’s passion for model trains, or a master’s skills passed in person to younger generations..."

Tim Cook's Apple Has Forced the Whole Tech World to Realign. Now that we're all walking around with shiny supercomputers in our pockets and purses the world really has changed, opening up new opportunities for business. Here's an excerpt from WIRED: "...The theme of the Box conference was mobile technology, and Cook asserted that businesses still have only a halting grasp of mobile’s potential. At the moment, he claimed, most businesses think of mobile tech as little more than a portable way to check email. “To take advantage of it in a huge way you have to rethink everything that you’re doing,” he said. “There’s no doubt in my mind the best companies will be the most mobile....” (Image: AerisWeather).

USA vs. Russia: What a War Would Look Like Between the World's Most Fearsome Militaries. I'm wide awake after reading an analysis at Military Times; here's an excerpt: "...Moscow’s military campaign in Syria is relying on supply lines that require air corridors through both Iranian and Iraqi air space. The only alternatives are naval supply lines running from Crimea, requiring a passage of up to 10 days round-trip. How long that can be sustained is unclear. That and other questions about Russian military capabilities and objectives are taking center stage as Putin shows a relentless willingness to use military force in a heavy-handed foreign policy aimed at restoring his nation’s stature as a world power. In that quest, he has raised the specter of resurgent Russian military might — from Ukraine to the Baltics, from Syria to the broader Middle East..."

Self-Driving Truck Hits the Highway in World First. What can possibly go wrong? Details via Gizmag; here's a clip: "Daimler Trucks has shifted gears in its ongoing effort to develop autonomous vehicles. By fitting its Highway Pilot self-driving system to a Mercedes-Benz Actros truck and steering it down a stretch of Autobahn 8 near Stuttgart, the company has marked the first time an autonomous production semi has been tested out on public roads..."

4 Things Businesses Can Learn from Disneyland. Here's an excerpt from Fortune: "...So why is the pricing so complicated? Why not just stick with one price? Because Disney knows that different people want different things, so it’s created a pricing structure that allows for maximum profit spread out over the greatest number of people. Some people are bound to buy the cheapest option, but many will pay more—a lot more. Does your business offer multiple pricing packages? Chances are, a small percentage of your audience would be willing to pay significantly more for your product or service if you offered more value, exclusivity and luxury..."

No Sweat? An Excercise Pill May Be Right Around the Corner. Oh happy day. Quartz tells us what we want to hear - including this tantalizing excerpt: "Imagine if, instead of sweating on the treadmill and forcing yourself through repetitive sit-ups, you could have the benefits of exercise without any of the effort. That scenario isn’t a ridiculous fantasy but a serious scientific goal, and researchers have recently published a major breakthrough: They have created a blueprint of the molecular reactions to exercise. The findings, published in Cell Metabolism on Oct. 2, show that exercise causes 1,000 molecular changes in skeletal muscles. Dr. Nolan Hoffman, an author of the study and a research associate at the School of Molecular Bioscience, University of Sydney, says that the goal is to identify the most important changes, so that these can be replicated using drugs..."

Winners of the 2015 World Beard and Moustache Championship. Perhaps the one sport not covered by ESPN; here's an excerpt (complete with unretouched photos) from Quartz: "Over 300 men competed in the 2015 World Beard and Moustache Championships, hosted in Leogang, Austria, on Oct. 3. European Press Agency photographer Angelika Warmuth was on the scene to snap portraits of the hirsute contestants, their facial hair shaped and coiffed into everything from Salvador Dalí’s famous pencil-stache, to something not unlike a pair of water buffalo horns..."

Photo credit above: "Over 300 men from around the world compete for hirsute supremacy at the World Beard and Mustache Championship." (EPA/Angelika Warmuth).

62 F. high in the Twin Cities Monday.

63 F. average high on October 5.

49 F. high on October 5, 2014.

October 6, 1997: Hail, wind, and an F0 tornado was reported in the early morning hours in several counties in west central Minnesota. Near Canby in Yellow Medicine County, hail combined with wind gusts nearing 60 mph damaged the roof of bus garage, elementary school windows and a school vehicle. Renville, McLeod, Carver, Scott, and Dakota counties also received hail and strong winds. Widespread pea to marble size hail accumulated to three inches deep in several areas, and severely damaged crops over a large part of Renville county. Also, power lines and trees were blown down. Southeast of Bird Island, a barn collapsed and killed over 100 pigs. Near Brownton in McLeod County, hail accumulated to a depth of 3 inches with one foot drifts. A brief tornado touched down near Stewart in McLeod County, damaging a few trees.

October 6, 1987: Snow falls over Arrowhead region.

TODAY: Mild sunshine - distractingly nice. Winds: W 5-10. High: 70

TUESDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear. Low: 51

WEDNESDAY: Sunny start, PM clouds. Winds: SE 7-12. High: 69

THURSDAY: Showers taper, slow PM clearing. Wake-up: 57. High: 65

FRIDAY: Plenty of sun, very nice. Wake-up: 47. High: 62

SATURDAY: Sunny, mild breeze. Winds: SW 10-20. Wake-up: 49. High: 71

SUNDAY: October sweat. Warm sunshine! Winds: SW 10-15. Wake-up: 56. High: 78

MONDAY: Sunny, too nice to work. Wake-up: 60. High: 75

Climate Stories...

South Carolina Flooding is the Type of Event Scientists Have Warned About for Year. Andrew Freedman has the story at Mashable; here's the intro: "The epic amount of rain that led to deadly, catastrophic flooding across large parts of South Carolina and North Carolina is an example of exactly the type of supercharged storm system climate scientists have been warning about for years as a likely consequence of global warming. This storm, like others that have come before it — from a massive deluge that flooded Oklahoma City to a flooding event in Houston, both of which occurred earlier this year — are examples of how the atmosphere is behaving in new ways now that there's more water vapor and heat for weather systems to work with..."

Photo credit above: "Hunter Baker surveys flood damage to his neighborhood near the flooded Black Creek, following heavy rains in Florence, South Carolina, Monday, October 5, 2015."

Hurricane Joaquin Helps Fuel Record Rains, Damaging Floods. Was record warmth in the Atlantic (according to NOAA) a factor in fueling extreme rains over the Carolinas? Here's an excerpt from Scientific American: "...Joaquin’s emergence led some to posit that the record-high sea surface temperatures this year, linked to climate change, may have played a role in its development. There is some indication that the intensities of Atlantic hurricanes have been increasing since the 1980s. Climate scientists remain unsure, however, that climate change is presently affecting hurricanes. There is simply not enough data available to separate the contribution of natural variability in the occurrence of such storms, said Thomas Knutson, a research meteorologist with NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory..."

Photo credit above: "Overall aerial view shows historic Charleston at the Battery with minor flooding still visible in Charleston, S.C., Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. The Charleston and surrounding areas are still struggling with flood waters due to a slow moving storm system." (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

Enemies of the Sun. Here's an excerpt of a Paul Krugman Op-Ed at The New York Times: "...Part of the answer is surely that promotion of renewable energy is linked in many people’s minds with attempts to limit climate change — and climate denial has become a key part of conservative identity. The truth is that climate impact isn’t the only cost of burning fossil fuels, that fossil-fuel-associated pollutants like particulates and ozone inflict huge, measurable damage and are major reasons to support alternative energy. Furthermore, renewables are getting close to being cost-competitive even in the absence of special incentives (and don’t forget that oil and gas have long been subsidized by the tax code.) But the association with climate science evokes visceral hostility on the right..." (File image: SolarCity).

New Study: Emissions From Thawing Permafrost Add Trillions in Economic Impacts. Here's the intro to a story from The National Snow and Ice Data Center: "Greenhouse gas emissions from thawing Arctic permafrost could result in an additional $43 trillion in economic impacts by the end of the twenty-second century, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Cambridge and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). These extra impacts justify the need for urgent action to reduce emissions from thawing permafrost. The study was published today in the journal Nature Climate Change. Permafrost or frozen ground, which contain about 1,700 gigatons of carbon in the form of frozen organic matter, have begun to thaw in response to Arctic warming over the past few decades..."

Photo credit above: "The village of Qannaaq, Greenland, in the Arctic, is built on permafrost." Credit: Andy Mahoney/NSIDC.

Characteristics of Climate Science Denial. I found this post at Scisnack fascinating; here's an excerpt: "...It is important to mention that not everyone that denies climate science intends to do so. Science denial can be the result of a person not having the right background knowledge to understand the issue, unconscious psychological processes that reinforce previous existing ideas, political preference or religious beliefs. However, there are science deniers who actively and publically fight the scientific consensus. That is because creating doubt about this consensus within the general public has been shown to be the single, most successful strategy to delay action. Science denial is not a recent development. There are numerous examples of society rejecting science, sometimes with horrible consequences for the scientist involved (think of Galileo Galilei). The Earth revolving around the Sun, biological evolution, and more recently, smoking causing lung cancer or the effect of vaccinations… new scientific evidence is often met with doubt in society..."

Still Nice. Rain Returns Mid-Week

Chilly Nights/Mornings

Have you noticed more of your local bodies of water steaming early in the morning? No surprise that this is the time of year when that becomes more typical. Thanks to all those wonderful long and warm summer days, bodies of water have warmed up nicely and are still retaining some of that heat. However, due to frequent overnight lows in the 30s and 40s the evaporation from lakes, rivers, ponds can actually be seen as it turns immediately into clouds of steam. Keep in mind that an air parcel can't hold as much water in a colder environment as it can in a warmer environment. With that said, as moisture evaporates from a warmer body of water and contacts colder air parcels, those colder air parcels quickly become saturated and form clouds or steam. Just like boiling water steaming on the stove, that hot liquid is MUCH warmer than the air surrounding it.

(Image courtesy: Aaron Weidner)

Minnesota Fall Color Report

What a glorious weekend it was to do a little fall color peeping! Take a look at how far along parts of northern Minnesota are in their fall colors! In fact, far northwestern Minnesota is already past peak, while a few pockets in the northcentral and northeastern part of the state are peaking right now!


"Sept-ober": Frost-Free MSP Metro Next 8-10 Days
By Paul Douglas

It's been staying milder longer; warmth extending deeper into autumn in recent years. Not every year, but factoring the random gyrations of weather, a trend is emerging. Not a much-maligned climate model, but actual thermometer readings.

Climate data since 1948 shows the median date of the first 32-degree temperature at MSP International Airport as October 7. The old rule of thumb: most Twin Cities suburbs experience their first frost the first week of October. Last year the first sub-freezing temperature was October 11. In 2013: October 21.

Gazing at the maps, with a persistent west-to-east "zonal" jet stream flow keeping the coldest Canadian air bottled up to our north, I don't see a serious metro frost through at least October 15. A longer growing season, yes, and more ragweed to annoy those of us with allergies.

A "Rex" blocking pattern, coupled with a firehose of tropical moisture from "Joaquin", dumped 2 FEET of rain on parts of South Carolina. Amazing.

Expect more 60s and a few 70s into next weekend. October remains frost, freeze and flake-free until further notice.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Patchy clouds. Low: 46.

MONDAY: Glimmers of mild sunshine. Winds: S 7-12. High: 67

MONDAY NIGHT: Partly cloud. Winds: S 5. Low: 52.

TUESDAY: Partly sunny, pleasant. High: near 70

WEDNESDAY: Early sun, showers late. Wake-up: 53. High: 68

THURSDAY: Showers slowly taper. Wake-up: 57. High: 67

FRIDAY: Blue sky, drying out. Wake-up: 48. High: 65

SATURDAY: Blue sky, no complaints. Wake-up: 49. High: 70

SUNDAY: Warm sun. Wow! Wak-up: 53. High: 74.

This Day in Weather History
October 5th

1963: Heat wave across area with 98 at Beardsley, 96 at Madison, and 94 at Elbow Lake.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
October 5th

Average High: 63F (Record: 88F set in 2011)
Average Low: 44F (Record: 25F set in 1952)

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
October 5th

Sunrise: 7:15am
Sunset: 6:46pm

*Daylight lost since yesterday: ~3 minutues & 5 seconds
*Daylight lost since Summer Solstice (June 21st): ~4 hours & 3 minutes

Moon Phase for October 5th at Midnight
1.4 Day After Last Quarter


Minneapolis Temperature Trend

After several days of cool Fall weather, temperatures look to warm back to and slightly above average levels over the next several days. In fact, extended model runs suggest a warmer bias toward the middle part of the month.

Extended Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook suggests a fairly good chance of warmer than normal temperatures across much of the Midwest by the middle part of the month.


Monday Weather Outlook

High temps on Monday will be a little warmer than what we've had over the past several days as highs warm to near 70F in far Southwestern MN. However, note that feels like temperatures will still be in the low/mid 60s across much of the state with some areas across the northern part of the holding in the 50s.

Monday Weather Outlook

An area of high pressure located over the Hudson Bay in Canada has been responsible for our pretty idyllic October weather as of late. With that said, winds have been out of the east over the past several days, but will switch to a more southerly direction Monday. This will help to bring slightly warmer temperatures to the region over the coming days.

Friday Weather Outlook

While weather conditions look to stay mostly dry on Monday, cloud cover will be quite a bit thicker, especially across the northern part of the state.

Rainfall Potential

The rainfall potential through early next week doesn't look at that impressive, but it's interesting to note that precipitation will once again be possible across parts of the state after so many dry days.


National Weather Outlook

Historic rains over the Carolinas/Mid-Atlantic States will thankfully start to ease early this week, while rainfall will be possible across the Desert Southwest. Also note that much of the middle part of the country will stay dry during the early week time frame.

5 Day Rainfall Potential

According to NOAA's WPC, the 5 day rainfall forecast suggests the heaviest rains continuing over the Mid-Atlantic States through the early week time frame. There will also be moisture spreading throughout the Southwestern and Central U.S. as we head through the week.


Significant / Historic Rains in South Carolina

Thanks to the National Weather Service out of Columbia, SC for the picture below, which was taken by a National Weather Service employee in Sumter, SC. The rainfall report from that are early Sunday was 10.42" !! There was so much water that the National Weather Service issued a Civil Emergency Message early Sunday morning:
715 AM EDT SUN OCT 4 2015




More Flooding...

Here's video from @MegMRivers:

Flooding in Downtown Columbia, SC

This was the view of downtown Columbia, SC early Sunday morning...

Historic Flooding Headlines

Thanks to Paul Douglas for compiling some of these headlines associated with the flooding:

* State of Emergency from New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland southward to Virginia and the Carolinas; as expected South Carolina hit the hardest. Flooding there is extreme, even historic, in some areas a 1-in-1,000 year flood event.

* Coastal flooding reported from New Jersey to South Carolina, especially at high tide. Water levels 2-4 feet above long term averages in some areas, driven by a strong and persistent onshore flow.

* 11.5" of rain fell on Charleston on Saturday alone, a new 24-hour rainfall record.

* Saturday afternoon's high tide in Charleston, South Carolina -- about 8.29 feet or 1.29 feet above flood stage -- was the highest measured there since Hurricane Hugo over 26 years ago. Combining with torrential rain, major flooding up to waist deep was seen in parts of the South Carolina Lowcountry.

* National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Emergency for Charleston and Berkeley counties. Details for Charleston:

Charleston Police: "If you believe your safety is in danger call 911, don't wait."
Charleston police: No traffic allowed onto peninsula until flooding recedes. Exceptions made for emergency personnel including hospital employees.
The President has declared a federal emergency in South Carolina. The state now qualifies for public safety assistance from FEMA.
At 3 pm, Charleston County will move to OPCON 1

Here is an explanation of OPCON and what the different levels mean.

Per Folly Beach Police Department: The island is now closed to all non-residents and non-renters.
The Dorchester County Emergency Management Department has implemented a curfew from 6 pm tonight until 7 am tomorrow. More details here.
On top of flooding, there is concern about tornado potential.

Tornado Preparedness
Waterspouts also possible.

Here are the current road closures
The Union Heights neighborhood in North Charleston is being evacuated.

The Dorchester Co. Sheriff's office has evacuated people from Summerwood subdivision in Ladson.

Coastal Flood Watch in effect from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m.; Flash flood watch continues for SC
Authorities issue health warnings after flooding causes sewage problems in North area and Sullivan’s Island (Post & Courier).
Closing and Cancellations
CPD: Use caution if you are walking as the rain may have popped off manhole covers.

Report overflowing manholes by calling 843-727-6800

There have been reports of water rescues and water entering homes.
The Charleston County Sheriffs Office will open a shelter at noon for citizens who are displaced from their homes.

Red Cross is opening a North Charleston shelter at 11 am today.
The Charleston Fire Department will also be a temporary shelter.
Charleston County Government has announced that the Al Cannon Detention Center Work Camp building is now open as a drying shelter. The work camp is located at the corner of Bridge View Drive and Leeds Avenue in North Charleston. 

If roads become impassable, the Charleston Police Department has plans in place for hospital access and patient care.
CARTA has suspended all services for Saturday.
Follow Holy City Sinner on Twitter for the most up-to-date information, pictures of flooding, and more.
Mayor Riley calls rain, flooding an ‘unprecedented event’ (Charleston City Paper).
Reports: Sinkhole at Meeting Street Road and Macon Avenue. Intersection is closed; road has partially collapsed.

(Image courtesy: WeatherBEll)
5 Day Rainfall fall ending 8AM Sunday

Record Flooding: Gills Creek at Columbia

The river gauge along Gills Creek at Columbia, SC showed an incredible water increase from PM Saturday to AM Sunday. In fact, this was record flooding!

"River stages at Gills Creek. Currently the gauge is reading 17.08 feet. The previous record stage was 9.43 ft on 07/24/1997. Major flooding is happening at this location as well as others around Columbia. Please stay safe! ‪#‎SEFlood‬ ‪#‎scwx‬"

Radar: PM Saturday to AM Sunday

Take a look at the incredible radar loop below from PM Saturday to AM Sunday. Unfortunately, this intense band of heavy rain persisted over some of the same areas for a very long time leading to significant and historic rainfall.

Steering Winds

The steering wind map below may help to explain why so much moisture if feeding into the Carolinas. An are of high pressure located over the the Hudson Bay in Canada  in combination with an upper level low over Florida is tightening the pressure gradient over the Mid-Atlantic States. While this is drawing moisture in off of the Atlantic Ocean, the wildcard here is Hurricane Joaquin. Deep tropical moisture from Joaquin has been getting drawn into this flow allowing for exceptional rainfall tallies to occur.

Water Vapor

Here's a look at the water vapor from early Sunday morning. While the richest moisture associated with Joaquin was well east of the Carolinas, lingering moisture from the system was still present over the Mid-Atlantic states and you can clearly see an intense band of moisture (dark blue) located over South Carolina and just east into the Atlantic.



This was the view of Hurricane Joaquin early Monday morning as Bermuda had a close encounter with a category 1 storm with winds near 74mph. Since departing the Bahama Islands, Joaquin hasn't had any major/direct impacts on any other major landmass, except helping to produce significant/historic rainfall in the Mid-Atlantic.

Tracking Joaquin

Joaquin's track changed dramatically from some of the initial forecasts. Interestingly, one of the only forecast models that pegged the correct track was the European model! Note that over the next few days, Joaquin will quickly sweep out into the North Atlantic.

Atlantic Basin

While Joaquin continues quickly moving northeast through the Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center will continue watching one waves farther east. At this time, this area of interest has a low chance of development over the next 5 days.

Tropical Update

Joaquin is the only named storm in the Atlantic Basin right and Oho is the only named storm in the Central/Eastern Pacific Basin. Interestingly there are several other waves in the Pacific Basin that bear watching...

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