Saturday, May 3, 2014

Overview of and Summary Precipitation Statistics for the April 28th - May 1st, 2014 Baltimore / Washington Region Heavy Rainfall Event

**This entry was posted May 3rd, 2014.**

Stunning video of the "Baltimore Landslide" that occurred on April 30, 2014 on the day of the heaviest rainfall (part of a four day event that dropped 5 to 7 inches of rainfall area-wide -- see below). The landslide, initially reported as a sinkhole, occurred as a wet, unstable earthen embankment stretching along East 26th Street in the Charles Village section of the city spectacularly collapsed onto a freight CSX train line.

The video was filmed by local resident Nick Reyes and posted both on YouTube and in this Baltimore Sun online article along with this follow-up one -- and it has already had over 7 million hits. The video lasts 90 seconds but the real action starts around 75 seconds. One thing is clear: this embankment had been a problem for these folks for quite some time as you can hear in the conversation before all hell breaks lose.

Fortunately, no one was hurt -- but those folks on that block won't be able to go home for up to 40 days. That sucks but better that their homes are secured for the years to come.

Aerial view of the aftermath of the Baltimore landslide along 26th Street, Baltimore, Md., May 1, 2014.


Rainfall Overview ...

The four-day precipitation totals for the extended Baltimore / Washington region between April 28th and May 1st, 2014 were in the 3 to 7 inch range with the highest amounts recorded, as reported in this public information statement issued by Sterling LWX at 12:33PM* on May 1st given as 7.57 inches at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds; 7.48 inches in Highland (Howard County); and 7.33 inches near Norbeck (Montgomery County). In the Rockville - Bethesda - Silver Spring - Colesville area, there was a general 5.0 to 6.7 inches of rainfall.

*This statement does not take into account additional rainfall that day such as another 0.12 inches at KDMH (see below).

7-day radar-estimated precipitation total for the Baltimore / Washington region for 23Z April 26th, 2014 - 23Z May 3rd, 2014. The legend is on the right but red indicates 6 inches. Click on image for larger version.


Summary Statistics ...

This entry specifically contains the 4-day rainfall totals from April 28th - May 1st ("event total"), April totals and departures from normal, and the current year-to-date (YTD) and departures from normal through the end of today (May 3, 2014*) at the four regional civilian climate stations.**

*The May 3rd, 2014 totals are based on the 5PM preliminary climo summaries from LWX Sterling. I will only update the numbers if there is any measurable rainfall between now and midnight hour.

**As ever, we have the following four locations:
KDCA: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
KBWI: Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
KIAD: Washington Dulles International Airport
KDMH: Maryland Science Center / Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Md.
Note: KDMH does not yet have a full 30-year record for the period 1981 - 2010. The given departures are based on its existing record, which stretches back, I think, to about 1987. Whatever the year, it isn't back to 1981.

All totals are taken from the daily climate reports (CLI's) and the preliminary monthly climate data (CF6's) on the Sterling LWX climate page.

Event total: 4.18 inches
April 2014 total: 6.47 inches (+3.41 inches / normal: 3.06 inches)
2014 YTD (through May 3rd): 17.49 inches (+5.17 inches / normal: 12.32 inches)
2013 YTD: 9.76 inches

Event total: 4.89 inches
April 2014 total: 8.60 inches (+5.41 inches / normal: 3.19 inches)
2014 YTD (through May 3rd): 20.54 inches (+7.16 inches / normal: 13.38 inches)
2013 YTD: 10.43 inches

Event total: 5.48 inches
April 2014 total: 7.41 inches (+3.94 inches / normal: 3.47 inches)
2014 YTD (through May 3rd): 18.14 inches (+5.48 inches / normal: 12.66 inches)
2013 YTD: 10.79 inches

Event total: 5.89 inches
April 2014 total: 9.30 inches (+6.08 inches / normal: 3.22 inches)
2014 YTD (through May 3rd): 20.05 inches (+7.13 inches / normal: 12.92 inches)
2013 YTD: 10.33 inches

OK, I intend to post at least one more entry tonight but I want to do it no later than 11PM.


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