(CNN) — It’s hard to know where to start this morning. I’ve been reflecting all weekend and my heart is heavy for the people of Florida.
Many people take years to get their lives back to the way they were before.
Hurricane Ian was one of the largest and most impactful hurricanes I have encountered in my nearly 20-year meteorological career.
I will never again see another hurricane that compares, at least I hope so.
I spoke with National Hurricane Center forecaster Robbie Berg, who did many of the forecasts for Ian and has worked on hurricanes with similar scares.
“I’m one of those forecasters who makes the forecast live. It’s a different kind of disaster because you put all your effort into predicting what might happen based on the forecast, and you know what will happen if that forecast comes true.” Berg said.
The National Hurricane Center has worked tirelessly to issue better forecasts and done so with incredible accuracy.
Cayo Costa, where Ian made landfall, was in the forecast cone of all forecasts, according to CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.
Miller noted that Ian’s landfall (as a major hurricane) was predicted to within 5 miles 120 hours in advance.
But we know that ConeBy definition, there are no impacts, but only where the center of the cyclone is.
With Ian, as with many hurricanes, impacts are felt well beyond the center.
“You have to look at the hurricane as a whole. What’s the risk of heavy rain? Or, what’s the risk of high winds or storm surge?” Berg said. “Regardless of whether the cone is moving a little bit or accelerating or decelerating, we’re trying to get the message across to what’s really important. Hurricanes?
With Ian, the impacts are clearly storm surge and rainfall.
The storm’s size and power pushed a wall of water onto the vulnerable, low-lying coast of southwest Florida, and it had a long reach, far from where the eye came ashore.
The rainfall accompanying this slow-moving cyclone is historic.
Ian’s impressions were recorded for posterity
For an overview of rainfall and freshwater flooding: Ian ranks 3rd in areas with 10″ or more in 24 hours since 2005. This is just behind Harvey’s 3rd and 2nd days in TX/LA, respectively, and slightly more than Matthew’s 2nd day over the Carolinas. . pic.twitter.com/5ImCYW1Rf6
— NWS Weather Prediction Center (@NWSWPC) October 3, 2022
Ian has the third highest amount of rainfall within a tropical system.
Harvey ranks first and second for the two days of rain in Texas in 2017.
Berg explained that in Ian’s case, his belief in the hurricane’s severity was too high.
They knew it would become a major hurricane in the Gulf, and it did. However, knowing his path for sure was a bit complicated.
“Monitoring the forecasts, in this case, was a little difficult. But these kinds of forecasts are always difficult when you’re dealing with a hurricane that runs parallel to the coast. The landfall is going to be over a very wide area.” “The angle at which the hurricane approaches the coast,” Berg explained.
Berg has worked as a forecaster at the Hurricane Center for 20 years.
You know how the predictions you make are interpreted in people’s decisions and their implications.
“When you write those discussions, to get the messages out, a lot of people go very carefully. You have to make sure that everything that is said is clear, meaningful, and conveys the most important points. Not only will people not read those discussions, but it will be amplified and the media or their users will share it. ” said Berg. “We set the tone and the message of these events.”
Now, like all of us, he’s thinking about what happened during Ian.
“Hearing and seeing the stories from Southwest Florida and other areas affected by Ian is so difficult, but it’s those stories and pictures that make us ask ‘what can we do better next time?'”
Ion’s moisture continues to cause problems in the Mid-Atlantic
Ian isn’t just going to disappear. That’s part of what’s happening in the Mid-Atlantic this week.
A persistent low pressure area is located along the coast of the Mid-Atlantic states, which will continue to bring windy and wet conditions through the week.
“The heaviest rainfall will occur around the Chesapeake Bay east of the Delmarva Peninsula, with totals of 25-50 mm over the next two days, and inland totals of more than 76 mm,” the Weather Forecast Center said.
— NWS Mount Holly (@NWS_MountHolly) October 3, 2022
This push of onshore winds causes flooding for more than 20 million people from Long Island to the island chains of North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
According to the National Weather Service in Wakefield, Virginia, this Monday is expected to be “one of the highest tides in the past decade.” Hampton Roads and some towns around Virginia Beach could see major flooding and their highest water levels in 5 to 10 years, according to the NWS.
The cause of this excessive coastal flooding is a combination of coastal low pressure and moisture left behind by Ion.
A strong area of high pressure is found around the Great Lakes, so high pressure and low pressure work together.
A dozen gauges are expected to record flood levels at high tide Monday afternoon along the coast of Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. Water is expected to reach 0.6 to 0.9 meters above ground level in some areas.
“Severe flooding will spread inland from the coast and coast, inundating homes and businesses, and isolating some neighborhoods. Several inches of water and many roads will be impassable. [posiblemente] Vehicles are submerged,” the NWS added.
Strong wind and wave warnings have been issued across much of the region, with winds of up to 80 km/h and waves of 2.5 to 3.5 meters battering the coast.
Flooding will peak at high tide this Monday afternoon, but the risk of flooding will continue into Tuesday as the coastal low is expected to persist.
— CNN meteorologists Monica Garrett and Dave Hennon contributed to this report.
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