Buresh Blog: Wet August!... September averages... Hurricane Laura tidbits

Buresh Blog: Wet August!... September averages... Hurricane Laura tidbits

Jacksonville, FL — Were fast approaching the peak of the hurricane season. “Talking the Tropics With Mike” is an overview of the tropics updated every single day from June 1 - Nov. 30.

August is usually wet but Aug., 2020 was particularly wet at JIA. At 10″, the month was 3.21″ above avg. pushing the annual rainfall to more than 4″ above avg. And we’re not done yet. September is usually even wetter & is - on avg. - the wettest of the year for NE Fl./SE Ga.

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September averages at JIA:

Hurricane Laura roared ashore last week - on Aug. 27th - as a powerful Cat. 4 storm. It was the first Cat. 3 or stronger landfall to ever occur at Cameron, Louisiana. I must admit I was caught off guard by some (a loud minority - surprise, surprise) who thought the storm was “over played”. When I left the First Alert weather office after landfall about 3am, I was thinking “nice job by the NHC & forecasters as a whole” giving ample warning prior to the most intense U.S. landfall since Michael in Oct., 2018. Check out the forecast map below. The NHC missed the landfall location by 0.6 miles! nearly 4 days in advance. I guess the use of “catastrophic” & a storm surge forecast of up to 20 feet caused some folks to expect a repeat of Katrina in the Gulf or Dorian in the Bahamas or Michael in the Fl. Panhandle. It turns out the landfall on the southwest coast of Louisiana was in a sparsely populated area but storm surge has so far been measured at least reaching 17 feet... & measured wind speeds of at least 154 mph. The city of Lake Charles missed out on the worst of the storm surge (eye not far enough west) but the entire city was still without electricity 5 days later with 100% restoration not expected for at least a month. The surge was so strong at Beaumont that the Neches River was reversed for a full 12 hours!

KPLC studio in Lake Charles:

Lake Charles home.... sent to us by an evacuee that stayed in Jacksonville during & shortly after the storm:

Knocked out during the hurricane, pic below is what’s left of the Lake Charles N.W.S. Doppler radar:

A good deal of upwelling near & east of the track of Laura as shown in the blue shaded area below - cooler water temps. The upwelling will “mix out” within a week or so & the water will likely increase again overwhelmed by the much larger area of surrounding warm sea surface temps.

Cat. 4 & Cat. 5 landfall since 1851 on the coast from Texas to Fl. & north to the N./S. Carolina border:

Interesting map shows virtually all of the Gulf Coast & eastern seaboard has either been under a tropical storm or hurricane warning this hurricane season..... except for the west coast of Florida: