Sunday, September 4, 2011

No rain on some parades...
but not so elsewhere

TROPICS: Visit the Tropical Zone for latest reports on Katia and Lee
SOUTHEAST: Forecasters in MississippiSouthern GeorgiaMetro Atlanta | Tennessee
SEVERE: Visit and like our Southeast Severe Weather page for fast updates, and our Affiliate/Regional forecasters at in Nashville, TN
MID-ATLANTIC: Team reports from Charlotte NC; Cape Fear NC, The Virginia Tidewater, West Virginia, Maryland's eastern shore, the Capital Region, Central Maryland and our Affiliate/Regional forecaster at the Maryland Weather Center.

8:00 AM EDT 9/4/2011 Our forecasters in Crisfield, Maryland reported wonderful blue skies and delightful southerly breezes (Youtube) for the 64th annual National Hard Crab Derby on Saturday. Despite a bungled up City Dock caused by Irene's unwelcome visit, and an earthquake shakin' to accompany crab cake bakin' last week, "the Derby" as locals call it bounced right back in fine Eastern shore style. Folks from this Bay-facing town on the Delmarva peninsula have many a story to tell about infamous storms of yesteryear. The raking from 1954's Hurricane Hazel and the inland flooding of 2003's Isabel "ranks up there" in the minds of many old-timers alongside the 1962 Ash Wednesday Storm and the Chesapeake-Potomac Hurricane of 1933.

Folks in this rural but dynamic part of the Maryland Eastern shore, while pickin' crabs, can tell a story like a Ken Burns PBS documentary. Those I talked with in the shade at the Crab Derby parade sounded a familiar theme: "It used to be we had a bad gale in these parts about every 5-10 years or so. Seems like lately they just keep a-comin." Disclaimer: "Lately" may refer to a 30-year interval if the interviewee talks about Roosevelt as if he was the last President. Maybe it is just perception, or perhaps they are on to something. (Inset: The long time tradition of a crab-picking contest at the Derby)

The possible interaction of Tropical Storms Lee and Katia later this week lend evidence to what the crab-pickers of Crisfield perceive. Our Severe Weather and Tropical Teams alike have significant concerns about the increasing proximity of Lee and Katia in the Wednesday-Friday time period. Moisture propagating northeastward from Lee, and driven east by an approaching cold front could collide with western streaming energy and moisture from Katia. Neither system has an effective escape route at present, and the avenues seem to be closing. The least desirable scenario may be the most plausible one: Moisture from both systems converges to deliver 6-10" of rain Wednesday to Friday in places which are still reeling from the impacts of Irene.

OUR BEST ADVICE? If you lost power or had downed trees from Irene, we cannot rule out those problem recurring from the remnants of Lee. Weakened tree root systems from recent heavy rains will be compounded by another dose of torrential rainfall Wed through Fri. If your basement or property is prone to flooding in even a thunderstorm, we urge you to take necessary precautions or expedite your cleanup by Wednesday.