• September 2021 National Storm Summary

    From James Munley@21:1/5 to All on Wed Oct 13 16:21:00 2021
    SEPTEMBER 2021
    Aug. 29-Sep. 4: Hurricane Ida cut a destructive swath from the central Gulf Coast region into the Northeast, spending parts of 5 days (August 29 – September 2) inland. Initially, primary hurricane impacts included high winds and a coastal storm surge,
    which resulted in extensive damage and power outages across southeastern Louisiana. Once inland, the focus turned to freshwater flooding and heavy rain, which totaled 4 inches or more in eastern Louisiana and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, and western
    Florida. Despite significant weakening (to a tropical depression after spending a little more than 24 hours inland), Ida sparked catastrophic mid-Atlantic flooding on September 1-2, as the remnant circulation merged with a cold front. Totals of 4 to 8
    inches or more fell from southeastern Pennsylvania into southern New York, accompanied by locally severe thunderstorms and isolated tornadoes.

    Heavy rain also fell across portions of the Plains, Southwest, and western Corn Belt, due to the interaction between the monsoon circulation and a cold front. Some of the heaviest rain, locally 4 inches or more, fell in eastern Kansas and environs.

    As Hurricane Ida roared ashore near Port Fourchon, LA, on August 29, a ship in port recorded a gust to 172 mph. Several other coastal Louisiana wind gusts exceeded 120 mph, including a report of 122 mph at a University of Florida meso-network tower
    installed near Galliano, LA. Farther inland, wind gusts were clocked to 90 mph in New Orleans, LA, and 68 mph in Gulfport, MS. On Lake Borgne, LA, at Chef Menteur Pass, the peak water level on August 29 rose to within 2.37 feet of the record set during
    Hurricane Betsy on September 10, 1965. On Breton Sound at Black Bay, near Stone Island, LA, there was a 10.39-foot water level rise reported in just over 12 hours, ending at 10:30 am CDT on August 29. Water pushing inland from the Gulf of Mexico led to
    the sixth-highest crest on record along the Mississippi River at Venice, LA. Ida’s August 29 crest in Venice was 2.75 feet lower than the record associated with Hurricane Camille on August 17, 1969—and was also lower than water levels observed with
    Georges (1998), Betsy (1965), Ida (2009), and Gustav (2008). Farther inland, the Biloxi River near Lyman, MS, crested 5.24 feet above flood stage on August 31, marking the highest level in that location since April 28, 2016. In Mobile, AL, the last 3
    days of August featured 9.37 inches of rain. Record-setting rainfall totals for August 31 included 2.21 inches in Frankfort, KY, and 2.18 inches in Chattanooga, TN. Separately, a cold front crossing the Midwest contributed to a daily-record sum (2.56
    inches on August 31) in Moline, IL. Ida’s most impressive rain occurred in early September across the Northeast. In fact, September 1 was the wettest day on record in Newark, NJ (8.41 inches), and New York’s LaGuardia Airport (6.80 inches). Previous
    records had been 6.73 inches on November 8, 1977, and 6.69 inches on April 15, 2007, respectively. September 1 was the third-wettest day on record in Harrisburg, PA (6.64 inches), and Poughkeepsie, NY (5.57 inches). With 7.13 inches on the 1st, New York
    s Central Park experienced its wettest day since April 15, 2007, when 7.57 inches fell—and wettest September day since 1882, when 8.28 inches fell on the 23rd. Daily-record totals in the 4- to 6- inch range on September 1 occurred in Bridgeport, CT (5.
    77 inches); Trenton, NJ (5.60 inches); Mount Pocono, PA (5.56 inches); Scranton, PA (5.09 inches); Reading, PA (4.95 inches); Allentown, PA (4.15 inches); Baltimore, MD (4.13 inches); and Hartford, CT (4.07 inches). In the wake of Northeastern downpours,
    record flooding engulfed several river basins across Pennsylvania and New Jersey on September 1-2; for more details, see the flood summary on page 8. In addition, the remnants of Ida spawned more than a dozen Northeastern tornadoes, mainly on September 1.
    On that date, a thunderstorm in Montgomery County, PA, resulted in the nation’s first tornado-related fatality since April 10. Meanwhile, locally heavy showers stretched from the Southwest to the Midwest, with some rain falling as far west as southern
    California. Record-setting amounts for August 31 included 1.34 inches in Norfolk, NE, and 0.32 inch in Alpine, CA. On September 1 in Arizona, record-setting rainfall amounts reached 1.12 inches in Safford and 0.44 inches in Nogales. With 2.30 inches,
    Alliance, NE, also netted a daily-record sum for the 1st. On September 2 in South Dakota, Sisseton (1.92 inches), Huron (1.84 inches), and Watertown (1.57 inches) set daily rainfall records. At week’s end, a cold front sparked additional Midwestern
    rainfall; in Illinois, Carbondale (3.00 inches) and Springfield (2.36 inches) collected record-breaking amounts for September 4.
    5-11: Rain was observed, however, in several regions, including much of the East. Some of the heaviest rain (locally 4 inches or more) fell in northern New England, chipping away at lingering, long-term drought. Locally heavy showers also dotted the
    lower Southeast, including Florida’s peninsula. Elsewhere, late-week rain briefly dampened some of the driest areas of the West, temporarily aiding wildfire containment efforts. On September 10, the heaviest rain in months—up to an inch—fell in
    parts of northern California and the interior Northwest.

    late in the week, scattered to widespread showers were mostly limited to the South, East, and lower Midwest. Daily record totals were set in a few locations, including Houghton Lake, MI (1.62 inches on September 7), and Louisville, KY (1.10 inches).
    Heavier rain fell in northern New England, where Bangor, ME, measured 3.34 inches on September 9-10. Meanwhile, rainfall across the lower Southeast was enhanced by the arrival of minimal Tropical Storm Mindy, which officially made landfall on St. Vincent
    Island, FL, on September 8 at 8:15 pm CDT. Mindy’s sustained winds were briefly near 45 mph, followed by weakening the following day as the remnant circulation moved northeastward across northern Florida and southeastern Georgia. On September 8,
    Tallahassee, FL, received 2.80 inches of rain and clocked a peak gust to 40 mph. Elsewhere in Florida on the 8th, Apalachicola noted 2.10 inches of rain and had a gust to 42 mph. Toward week’s end, beneficial rain overspread northern California and the
    Northwest. With 0.37 inch on September 10, Redding, CA, experienced its wettest day since April 25, when 0.39 inch fell. Record-setting rainfall totals for September 10 included 0.63 inch in Ephrata, WA; 0.61 inch in Redmond, OR; and 0.26 inch in Red
    Bluff, CA.
    12-18: Hurricane Nicholas made landfall in Texas on the Matagorda Peninsula. Nicholas, only briefly a hurricane, moved ashore around 12:30 am CDT on September 14, with sustained winds near 75 mph. Shortly before landfall, an observation site at Matagorda
    Bay, TX, clocked a wind gust to 95 mph. The remnants of Nicholas continued to produce locally heavy showers for the remainder of the week, even after the circulation center decayed over Louisiana on September 17.
    September 12-14 rainfall in Texas associated with Hurricane Nicholas totaled 7.91 inches in League City; 5.70 inches in Pearland; 4.33 inches in Galveston; and 3.95 inches at Houston’s Hobby Airport. On September 13, easterly wind gusts were clocked to
    77 mph in Palacios, 62 mph in Galveston, and 60 mph in Bay City. Early the following day, Texas gusts reached 60 mph in Pearland and 58 mph at Hobby Airport. Record-setting rainfall amounts for September 14 included 5.20 inches in Beaumont-Port Arthur,
    TX, and 4.03 inches in Lafayette, LA. September 12-15 totals in those locations were 7.07 and 5.53 inches, respectively. Unofficially, Bunkie, LA, received 10.60 inches in a 24-hour period on September 14-15. Meanwhile, a separate area of rain crossing
    the lower Midwest and interior Southeast resulted in a daily-record sum (2.59 inches on September 15) in Bowling Green, KY. Parts of the Southeast also continued to receive heavy showers, with Hattiesburg, MS (3.02 inches), and Augusta, GA (2.77 inches),
    netting daily-record totals for September 16. Additional Southeastern rain on the 17th led to daily-record amounts in Montgomery, AL (1.90 inches), and Crossville, TN (1.15 inches). Late in the week, highly beneficial precipitation overspread the
    Northwest. In Oregon, record-setting totals for September 18 reached 1.31 inches in Portland and 1.13 inches in Salem. With a 0.42-inch sum, Spokane, WA, also collected a record-setting total for September 18. Portland’s 3-day (September 17-19)
    rainfall reached 2.52 inches.

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