Saturday, September 2, 2017

Saturday Afternoon Blog Labor -OR- Hurricanes Harvey & Irma: Recapping and Anticipating

Evening sky at the intersection of Annapolis Rd and Max Blob Park Rd, Jessup Md., 7:07PM September 1, 2017.

Yes, it is named Max Blob -- for the historic old Bavarian restaurant / beer hall called Blob's Park in Jessup that opened in 1933 and closed at the end of 2014 and has since been demolished. Max Blob Park Road is designated Md. Rt. 917 and is just 0.09 miles long -- one of the shortest


Evening sky, Annapolis Rd., Odenton, Md., 7:09PM September 1, 2017.

OK, I actually wrote the bulk of this last night but simply was too tired to post it. In fact, I've been trying to post some form of this entry with additional Harvey impact-related pictures for the past several days.


Yesterday evening, after I got off the MARC train at Odenton, we went to the All American Steakhouse and had a nice dinner / dessert. Actually, I had the salmon and broccoli with baked potato, so hopefully that was a healthier choice.

Speaking of beef, on the way to Glen Burnie, we passed a Walmart and the related Sam's Club in Severn. Apparently, Sam's Club is selling "grass-fed ground beef" -- which tells you that "grass-fed" is all-American-bullshit with no meaning.

But we knew that already.

Evening sky, silhouetted trees, Odenton, Md., 7:11PM September 1, 2017.


For later today, we're planning on going to Mike's Crab House. We went to the one (Mike's Crab House North) in Pasadena in early August. We might go back to that one or to the other one in Riva Beach. This assumes it doesn't rain too heavily (more on that below), in which case we are likely to remain in Glen Burnie.

Yours truly, Glen Burnie, Md., 7:47PM September 1, 2017.


Right now, it is gloomy gray, wet, and cool Saturday midmorning here in Glen Burnie. It is actually quite rainy as waves of showery rain pass across the Baltimore/Washington region. The weather is associated with a complex occluded weather system nearly stalled over eastern Kentucky -- itself the post-tropical remnants of what was once Hurricane and later Tropical Storm Harvey.

NWS LWX county warning area (CWA) weather advisories updated 10:08AM September 2, 2017.


The day is distinctly cool with noon air temps as follows:


NWS high-resolution surface weather map, portion, eastern U.S., 12Z September 2, 2017.


Yesterday (Friday) featured an afternoon high of only 67F at KDCA on this first day of September -- although the calendar day high was 73F but that occurred shortly after midnight. The afternoon high was 65F at KBWI following a calendar day high of 70F right after midnight. The normal daily highs are 84F and 83F, respectively.

NWS Great Lakes sector composite radar mosaic looped 1218-1328UTC September 2, 2017.

You can see in the circulation pattern the center of post-tropical cyclone Harvey is over eastern Kentucky.


NWS Northeast Sector composite radar mosaic looped 1228UTC - 1338UTC September 2, 2017.


Sterling (LWX) NWS composite radar looped 9:46AM - 10:13AM EDT September 2, 2017.


For today and the bursts of heavy showery rainfall, KDCA is already up to 0.74" of rainfall for the event and the other three main regional ASOS climate stations are reporting:

KBWI 0.60"
KIAD 0.62"
KDMH 0.49"

This adds to the yearly surplus.

Harvey is, of course, the system that unleashed the greatest single rain event in United States history with widespread 30 to 50+ inches of rainfall across the entire Houston / Galveston and Beaumont / Port Arthur areas, dropping a few tens of trillions of gallons of rainwater (the CWG estimated 24.5 trillion and CNN put it has 27 trillion for a five and six-day period, respectively).


The return intervals for rainfall amounts over the Greater Houston area in Hurricane Harvey; Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies.

This shows rather definitively that the entire Houston area experienced -- under non-climate changing conditions, itself a problematic assumption -- a one-thousand year or more rainfall event.


The situation along the Texas Gulf Coast remains very bad although flood waters have receded. The death toll is at 40 and likely to rise higher and the overall damage is probably at least a quarter of a trillion dollars with tens of thousands of homes and other structures destroyed or damaged. Beaumont, Texas is presently without clean drinking water. The number of rescues is in the tens of thousands (CNN put the number at 72,000 as of Friday).

Flooded neighborhoods near Addicks Reservoir, Houston, August 29, 2017.


Evacuees on a truck, Houston, Texas, August 29, 2017.


Fortunately, the electrical grid never collapsed in Houston, thus avoiding a far worse situation -- although there were widespread outages, including those at the exploding Arkema chemical plant (filled with all manner of explosive organic peroxides) in Crosby (where the one-party rule of the Texas GOP allows -- no, demands -- that anything and everything happen in secret).

Aerial view of Houston flooding, Instagram photo by Christopher Ingraham, August 27, 2017.


These opening paragraphs from this Friday Washington Post article sum things up well:

BEAUMONT, Tex. -- The prolonged misery from Hurricane Harvey peaked here Friday in the southeast corner of the state, where a crippled municipal water system left residents lacking running water, unable to flush toilets, desperate for basic sanitation and fearful for their health.

Meanwhile, a massive fire sent up a towering pillar of acrid, black smoke from the Arkema chemical plant northeast of Houston hours after company officials said they could do nothing to stop 19.5 tons of volatile chemicals from igniting.

Flooded home, Spring, Texas, August 28, 2017.



Beaumont's dire situation and the uncontrolled chemical fire near Crosby, Tex., provided vivid reminders of the cascading effects of a natural disaster: wind, storm surge, torrential rain, floodwaters and now all the secondary consequences, including industrial accidents, environmental contamination, and broad concerns about sickness and disease.

An elderly couple and their dog being evacuated in River Oaks section of Houston, Texas, August 27, 2017.


Even better was this New York Times headline from yesterday:

I'll bet "Tears, snakes and stench" have never been before in a banner New York Times headline. (I do wish the Times would use the serial comma.)

An enormous federal and state response is underway but given the scope of this megadisaster -- and given who and what heads the federal government including the Vulgar Talking Yam, things are even more difficult.

Melani Zurawski cries upon seeing the wreckage of her home in Port Aransas, Texas, August 27, 2017 following a direct strike by Hurricane Harvey.


Understandably, the Texas Teabagger Congressional-Critter delegation is eager to get as much aid as possible to the affected region -- but most of these GOP ass-hats are the same ones who voted against any and all aid for Hurricane Sandy victims because it was an Obama Democrat thing. Having said that, the New York and New Jersey Congressional delegations -- both Dems and Reps -- will vote for the Harvey aid, as they should, but calling out the obscene hypocrisy is the right thing to do.

An elderly, bed-ridden patient awaits evacuation in the flooded Gulf Health Care Center, Port Arthur, Texas, August 30, 2017.

This is really a horrifying picture.


Of course, the "Freedom Caucus" head neo-Confederate Teabagger (Mark Meadows) and his ilk -- from the Deep South -- are still opposed to anything if it involves raising the debt ceiling, which must be done within a few weeks to avoid a federal government default. However, as ever, the cult-like inverted Marxist philosophy of the corporatist overclass oligarchical GOP is hitting up against the actual necessities and exigencies of governing, in particular, a country as vast and disparate as this one.

Haha ...

One more ...

It's just fun mocking Joel Osteen. It's What Jesus Would Do.


I need to note that there is a powerful hurricane far out in the central tropical Atlantic -- Hurricane Irma -- that could potentially have an major impact on the East Coast in about 10 days. (Note: Hurricane Irma is not the tropical system was anticipated to form off the U.S. earlier this week. That system never formed -- as in a named tropical one.)

The operational GFS 0Z Sept. 2, 2017 run showing 6-hour averaged precipitation rate (in mm/hr), mean sea level pressure (in hPa), and 1000-500mb thicknesses (in dam) valid at hour 204 12Z Sept. 10, 2017 for the northeastern U.S., as prettied up by the Tropical Tidbits site.


Hurricane Irma is a Cape Verde tropical system and is chugging westward across the Atlantic presently at 15MPH with 973mb (28.74") with maximum sustained winds of 110MPH. It is located at 18.8N / 43.3W or 1220 miles east of the Leeward Islands.

The operational GFS 0Z Sept. 2, 2017 run showing 6-hour averaged precipitation rate (in mm/hr), mean sea level pressure (in hPa), and 1000-500mb thicknesses (in dam) valid at hour 210 18Z Sept. 10, 2017 for the northeastern U.S., as prettied up by the Tropical Tidbits site.


The long-range GFS and Euro models are showing Irma intensifying to a strong category tropical cyclone while slowly curving toward the WNW, hopefully bypassing the Lesser Antilles. Irma is not expected to recurve sharply because the Bermuda - Azores ridge to the north will be too large and strong. Meanwhile, a trough moving into the central and eastern U.S. by the end of next week might shear out -- or, alternatively, become a cut-off upper level low.

Here are outputs from the latest 12Z runs for hours:

The operational GFS 12Z Sept. 2, 2017 run showing 6-hour averaged precipitation rate (in mm/hr), mean sea level pressure (in hPa), and 1000-500mb thicknesses (in dam) valid at hour 204 0Z Sept. 11, 2017 for the northeastern U.S., as prettied up by the Tropical Tidbits site.


If the trough shears out, Irma will curve northward at some distance now unknown from the East Coast -- possibly right along the coast with a grazing landfall in New England. But if the upper low cuts off, then Irma could get captured -- recovering, Sandy-like, into the mid-Atlantic, which would be a very bad outcome.

The operational GFS 12Z Sept. 2, 2017 run showing 6-hour averaged precipitation rate (in mm/hr), mean sea level pressure (in hPa), and 1000-500mb thicknesses (in dam) valid at hour 210 6Z Sept. 11, 2017 for the northeastern U.S., as prettied up by the Tropical Tidbits site.


And for comparison, here is the much-vaunted ECMWF ("Euro") model:

The operational Euro 0Z Sept. 2, 2017 run showing 6-hour precipitation (converted to inches) and MSLP (in hPa) valid at 0Z September 12, 2017 (with precipitation for the preceding six hours) as prettied up by


This is not an outcome that we need. It would be an extended major disaster. My concern is the consistency of the GFS now for 24 hours -- for something 9 days away.

There is still a lot of time for all of this to change.

OK, that's all for now. And given how aggravating it was to post this entry, I'm not likely to post another one until late Monday. I'm not planning on any Saturday Evening Post or Jukebox Saturday Night entries tonight.


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