Hurricane Irma helped bring heavy rain to parts of the Southeastern U.S. during September 2017, but numerous areas to the north and west of that area saw one of their driest Septembers on record. We also saw pockets of heat spread out across the nation. In this edition of D.J.'s PraeDigits, we take a look back at September 2017 across the nation.
Irma Helps Bring Heavy Rain In September 2017
Some of the heaviest precipitation in September 2017 fell across parts of Florida, which was battered by Hurricane Irma during the second weekend of the month (and early into the next week). A COOP station in Ft. Pierce, FL, ended up with 25.71" during the month, most of that falling within a three day stretch surrounding Irma. Because of this, Ft. Pierce saw their … Continue Reading
sWildfires are a yearly given in the United States with certain areas being more prone than others. While wildfires are often a natural occurrence, climate change, higher population density and extensive human development are increasing the risk of loss of property and even life. Development on land that is considered “wildlife-urban interface” is growing; this is land where “human development meet[s] or intermingle[s] with undeveloped wildland,” and “where wildfires have their greatest impacts on people.”
Recent Notable Wildfires in the US
In June 2012, the Waldo Canyon Fire started as a brush fire approximately 4 miles northwest of Colorado Springs and its explosive growth resulted in 2 fatalities, 346 buildings destroyed and insurance claims totalling more than $453 million. At the time, it was considered the most destructive fire in Colorado history until the following year, when the Black Forest Fire consumed 511 homes and killed 2 … Continue Reading
The Cassini–Huygens mission, commonly called Cassini, came to an official and rather destructive end on September 15th, 2017 when it flew right into the planet's atmosphere. The nearly 20-year long mission (WHOA!) was a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) to study Saturn, its rings, and satellites.
The Grand Finale
Again, the mission officially came to that exciting end on September 15th 2017. Before that, the final orbits around the ringed planet started on April 22nd. Each of these last 22 orbits took about six and a half days to complete. When Cassini was nearest to Saturn during each orbit, the spacecraft’s speed was anywhere from 75,000 and 78,000 miles per hour (121,000 and 126,000 kilometers per hour)!
Photos Good enough to stick in an album (photo names credit: NASA JPL)
The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season has been very active so far and incredibly, we still have another 10 weeks until the season officially ends on November 30th! With that said, Harvey, Irma, and now Maria have made this season already very memorable.
Hurricane Harvey will go down as the first major hurricane to make landfall with the U.S. of the 2017 season and the first since Wilma in 2005. Harvey made landfall near Rockport, TX on August 25th with sustained winds of 130mph. While significant wind damages were reported due to strong winds, the storm will be most memorable for the significant amounts of rain it produced in and around Houston, TX with many locations seeing up to 40". The maximum rainfall reported was 51.88", which becomes the record for the highest precipitation total observed with a tropical cyclone in the contiguous United States! Flooding was reported across … Continue Reading
There were two big stories in August 2017 across the United States - the stalling out of Harvey across Texas bringing feet of rain to Houston, and the heat across the western U.S. (especially that started the month off). However, we did see some dry locations, as well as cool locations. In this edition of D.J.'s PraeDigits, we take a look back at August 2017 across the nation.
Hurricane Harvey Brought Feet Of Rain, Numerous Records
The rainfall story was dominated by Hurricane Harvey at the end of August, which moved into the central Texas Gulf coast and then essentially became stationary for an extended period of time. This directed a lot of Gulf moisture (and therefore heavy rain) into parts of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana.
* Irma has left widespread damage across Florida due to the winds and water over the past 24-36 hours. About 6 million power customers are without power across the state this morning. Miami International Airport is closed until further notice due to significant water damage. Marco Island, where Irma made its second landfall in Florida, has restricted access to the island until a full damage assessment has been completed, with search and rescue operations underway.
* Even though Irma has weakened to a tropical storm this morning, the system is still bringing strong winds to portions of the Southeast. Wind gusts are still over 60 mph this morning in parts of
Praedictix Briefing: Sunday morning, September 10, 2017
*Hurricane Irma's eye reaches the lower Florida Keys this morning with reported gusts over over 90 mph, though observations are limited in that area. Winds exceeding 100 mph will be expected as the eye tracks through. An Extreme Wind Warning has been issued.
*Irma's maximum wind speeds increased to 130 mph overnight, which pushes it to a Category 4 hurricane.
*The National Hurricane Center's 8AM EDT update maintains Irma's strength as a Category 4 through today as it works its way up the Florida west coast. Irma is expected to maintain its strength as a Category 4 through Sunday, weakening to a Category 3 as it scrapes
Praedictix Briefing: Saturday morning, September 9th, 2017
* Irma has weakened a little bit overnight as the system interacts with Cuba, however re-strengthening is likely as the storm reaches the warm waters of the Florida Straits tonight into Sunday morning. Irma is expected to remain a powerful hurricane as it reaches the Florida Keys and southern Florida Sunday.
* Outer rain bands from Irma are already impacting parts of southern Florida, and winds have already gusted to 49 mph this morning in Miami and 48 mph in Marathon (in the Florida Keys).
* The system will continue off to the west-northwest over the next 12-24 hours, before making a turn to the north-northwest, bringing Irma parallel to
Praedictix Briefing: Friday morning, September 8th, 2017
* Irma is battering the Bahamas this morning with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. That makes Irma a Category 4 hurricane, but it is still (and will continue to be) a very dangerous storm as it approaches Florida over the next couple days.
* The storm will continue to remain in favorable conditions for the system to maintain at least Category 4 strength until landfall Sunday in Florida. Tropical storm force winds are expected to begin across southern Florida and in the Keys as early as tomorrow morning, with severe hurricane winds possible by Saturdaynight.
* Hurricane and Storm Surge Warnings are in effect across portions of southern
Praedictix Briefing: Thursday, September 7th, 2017
* Irma brought major damage to islands in the northeastern Caribbean yesterday, and is continuing off to the west-northwest over the next couple days. Irma will continue to track north of Hispaniola today as a major category 5 hurricane with winds of 175 mph. This track will bring it into the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas tonight into Friday.
* Into the weekend, Irma will take a hard turn northward, impacting south Florida by Sunday morning. This system will still be at least a category 4 hurricane by this time, meaning we can expect extreme winds and life-threatening storm surge throughout the day.