Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Ophelia 5

I'm certain many people in North Carolina and Southeast Virginia do not consider this a "miss" as landfall is technically considered to be when the more than half the eye crosses over land. This Category 1 storm will turn out to cause as much damage as a Cat 2 or 3, because of the slow movement, long duration of onshore winds accompanied by heavy rain. The big problem for Eastern North Carolina is that all that water is being shoved up the sounds and rivers, and it will have no choice but to cause significant upstream flooding as it has nowhere to go. Couple that with 6 to 12 inches of rain on top of the surging water, and you have another significant flood event on the heels of the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. The NC governor was right to jump all over this storm early on, as the potential for inland flooding damage is just as great as storm surge damage along the coast. I don't recall a situation in recent times where a slow moving storm affected the Carolinas quite like this, unless you count flooding from Tropical Storm Dennis shortly before Floyd arrived in September 1999. Of course nothing in our time will compare to the ultimate slow moving catastrophic rainmaker that was Hurricane Mitch in October 1998 that devastated parts of central America under 3 feet of rain. More on the effects of Ophelia shortly.


Terpboy said...

So much for the "grazing" hit predicted by a noted web met.


another web met says that it going to cling to shore and soak the 95 corridor.

Let's wait and see.

Tom said...

I think the corridor is going to get some rain but not directly from Ophie...she's not moving quick enough to get up her but the tropical airmass she's pumping up into the Mid-Atlantic is leading to scattered, heavy rain.

We got our first rains in two weeks yesterday -- while I was golfing of course!

Tom said...

Foot --

Hurricane Emily in 1993 is another storm you can bring up as a slow-moving didn't move as slowly as Dennis but it hung off the Outer Banks for a day or so.

James Shannon said...

Ophelia's hitting us tomorrow in Nova Scotia as a tropical storm, lot of rain and wind...

Foot's Forecast said...

James.. thanks for posting and reminding me that TC's reach well beyond the U.S. I have posted a discussion of the likely impacts of Ophelia in your area. I don't like to overlook the Canadian coast in my forecasts, so thanks for keeping me on my toes.