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NATIONAL STORM SUMMARY
1st-9th…Weekly rainfall totaled 2 to 4 inches or more from the central Plains into the middle Mississippi Valley, but pockets of short-term dryness persisted in the northern and eastern Corn Belt. Significant and highly beneficial rainfall also spread through the Tennessee Valley into the Carolinas. Most other areas of the Plains received some rain, with the highest amounts (1 to 3 inches or more) occurring from northern Oklahoma to southern and eastern South Dakota.
Elsewhere, locally heavy monsoon showers dotted the Great Basin, Intermountain West, and Southwest, even California, causing flash flooding but providing local drought relief.
On August 3, locally heavy showers peppered southern California. A phenomenal 3.98 inches of rain was reported in an hour (from 3:45 to 4:45 pm PDT) at the Mt. Baldy Fire Station, leading to severe flash flooding on the slopes of the mountain. Mt. Baldy’s 2-hour total, ending at 4:45 pm, reached 4.48 inches. Elsewhere in California, daily record totals for August 3 included 0.49 inch in Needles and 0.20 inch in Bishop. In Nevada, Las Vegas (0.28 inch) also netted a daily-record sum for August 3. As the week progressed, showers lingered across California and other parts of the West. Selected daily-record totals included 1.97 inches (on August 6) in Jerome, ID; 1.17 inches (on August 4) in Grand Junction, CO; and 0.63 inch (on August 5) in Klamath Falls, OR. Farther east, scattered showers resulted in several daily record totals. Daily amounts topped 3 inches in several locations, including Columbia, SC (3.61 inches on August 9); Kansas City, MO (3.47 inches on August 6); and Lake Charles, LA (3.35 inches on August 3). With a 6.73-inch total on August 4, Naples, FL, experienced its wettest August day on record (previously, 3.84 inches on August 11, 1958). Starting on August 5, when Rapid City, SD, received a daily record total of 1.75 inches, several concentrated areas of rain spread southeastward from the northern and central Plains. In the Midwest, daily record totals reached 2.53 inches (on August 7) in West Plains, MO; 2.26 inches (on August 7) in Quincy, IL; and 1.86 inches (on August
6) in Des Moines, IA. At week’s end, unsettled weather persisted from the central Plains into the Southeast. On August 9, Grand Island, NE (2.04 inches), noted its wettest August day since August 11, 1997, when 3.22 inches fell. Elsewhere on August 9, daily record amounts climbed to 2.66 inches in Bluefield, WV; 2.59 inches in Florence, SC; and 2.40 inches in Blacksburg, VA.
10th-16…Drenching rain led to flash floods in the Washington and Baltimore metro areas Tuesday as a potent storm system slogged through the Mid-Atlantic. The heavy rain is forecast to pelt the Northeast and New England later on Tuesday and into Wednesday.
A flash flood emergency was in effect for parts of the Baltimore area as of late afternoon.
Several people were rescued from flooded cars and numerous roads were closed in the D.C. area, WUSA-TV reported. Roads are also closed in the Baltimore area.
As of late afternoon, Baltimore had picked up 6.27 inches of rain, making this the city's second-rainiest August day since records began in 1871. Photos on social media showed cars swamped in a parking lot at BWI airport. Some spots had picked up an estimated 10 inches of rain, the National Weather Service reported. "Numerous water rescues and road closures have been reported." Further north, "rainfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour are likely during the periods of heaviest rain," according to an online forecast from the weather service in New York City. "Widespread rainfall amounts of 2 to 3 inches and locally over 4 inches are possible." Rainfall of this intensity and magnitude could cause significant urban and poor drainage flooding, the weather service warned. Flooding of small streams is also possible. The National Weather Service has placed parts of the region under a flash flood watch. This includes the entire New York City metro area and most of southern New England.
Heavy rain fell along the southern Atlantic Coast and from the lower Great Lakes region into the Northeast. Early week totals reached 4 to 8 inches or more at a few locations in the northern Mid-Atlantic States and coastal New England. Later, on August 15-16, locally heavy rain also soaked portions of the northern Plains and the middle Mississippi Valley. Totals of 4 inches or more were noted in parts of southern Iowa and northern Missouri.
Prior to the arrival of cool weather, heavy showers soaked parts of the South and East. On August 10, daily record totals included 5.38 inches in Lexington, KY, and 4.02 inches in Charleston, SC. For Lexington, it was the fourth highest daily total on record. A day later in Michigan, record-setting amounts for August 11 reached 4.57 inches in Detroit and 2.94 inches in Alpena. Elsewhere in the Great Lakes States, record setting totals for August 11 climbed to 1.85 inches in Ft. Wayne, IN, and 1.40 inches in Eau Claire, WI. Torrential rainfall shifted into the Mid-Atlantic region by August 12, when record breaking totals reached 6.30 inches in Baltimore, MD; 4.41 inches in Atlantic City, NJ; and 3.40 inches in Williamsport PA. Heavy rain lingered along the northern Atlantic Coast through August 13, when Portland, ME (6.43 inches), experienced its fifth wettest day and wettest day on record not associated with a tropical system. Portland also set an all-time record with a 1-hour total of 2.57 inches (previously, 2.08 inches on August 19, 1991, with former Hurricane Bob). In addition, a state-record 13.51 inches of rain fell on August 13 in Islip, NY. Previously, the highest documented 24-hour total in New York occurred in Tannersville on August 27-28, 2011, during the passage of Hurricane Irene. Elsewhere in the Northeast, daily-record totals for August 13 reached 2.29 inches in Hartford, CT, and 2.26 inches in Providence, RI. Late in the week, locally heavy rainfall developed in parts of North Dakota, where Dickinson (1.85 inches) netted a daily-record sum for August 15. On
August 15-16, a few 6 to 10 inch rainfall amounts were reported in western North Dakota. Heavy, late-week rain also soaked southern Iowa and northern Missouri. Kirksville, MO, received 5.83 inches of rain on August 15-16. Farther west, widespread showers dampened areas from the Four Corners States to the Northwest. On August 12, Eureka, NV, measured a daily-record total of 1.14 inches. The following day, Northwestern daily record amounts for August 13 reached 0.85 inch in Seattle, WA, and 0.44 inch in Medford, OR. Elsewhere in Washington, Wenatchee’s weekly rainfall climbed to 0.81 inch, aided by daily record amounts (0.27 and 0.51 inch, respectively) on August 12 and 14.
17th-23rd…Strong storms that moved through the Dallas area on Saturday afternoon produced several microbursts, downing power lines and trapping people in their cars. A microburst is a narrow, but strong, column of downward-moving air," says weather.com meteorologist Chrissy Warrilow. "At times, winds within a microburst can exceed 60 mph and cause extensive damage when it makes contact with objects near the ground." According to the National Weather Service, several people were being rescued by Dallas Fire and Rescue after power lines fell on their vehicles.
Widespread, locally heavy rain fell from the northern Plains into the Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic States. Weekly rainfall totaled at least 4 inches in several areas, including central Montana, parts of the Dakotas, and some northern locations in Illinois and Indiana. Rainfall in general was much lighter across the southern U.S., although locally heavy showers were observed in central portions of Arizona and Texas, and scattered locations in the Southeast.
During the early- to mid-week period, locally heavy showers stretched across the Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic States. Selected daily record rainfall totals included 3.61 inches (on August 18) in Wisconsin Rapids, WI; 3.56 inches (on August 18) in New Bern, NC; 2.33 inches (on August 17) in Evansville, IN; and 2.12 inches (on August 20) in Sioux City, IA. Later, the focus for heavy rain shifted to the northern Plains, although showers lingered farther east. In Montana, record-setting rainfall totals for August 23 reached 3.62
inches in Stanford, 3.34 inches in Lewistown, and 2.87 inches in Great Falls. In Lewistown, the August 23 rainfall accounted for nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of the year-to-date total of 14.42 inches. Meanwhile in South Dakota, daily-record amounts for August 23 included 2.85 inches in Aberdeen and 1.67 inches in Huron. A day earlier in the East, record-setting totals for August 22 had climbed to 2.33 inches in Fort Wayne, IN, and 2.29 inches in Watertown, NY. Also, heavy rain had sparked flash flooding in parts of Arizona, where 24-hour totals on August 18-19 topped 5 inches in the Yavapai County communities of Black Canyon City (5.71 inches) and Crown King (5.24
24th-31st…Heavy rain developed across parts of the Midwest, generally benefiting immature summer crops but causing local flooding. Weekly rainfall totaled at least 2 to 4 inches in a broad area stretching from the western Plains into the upper Great Lakes region. Some of the heaviest rain fell in southwestern Iowa and eastern Nebraska. Scattered but locally heavy showers also dotted the remainder of the Midwest, as well as the Plains and South.
Early in the week, heavy rain lingered across the northern Plains. Great Falls, MT, received 2.93 inches of rain in a 24-hour period on August 23-24, setting an August record (previously, 2.74 inches on August 24-25, 1989). Lewistown, MT, also experienced its wettest 24-hour period in August, with 3.42 inches occurring on August 23-24. Previously,
Lewistown’s wettest such period had been August 2-3, 1985, when 3.39 inches fell. The late-month rain propelled several Montana locations, including Glasgow (6.72 inches) and Lewistown (6.06 inches) to a record-wet August. For both Glasgow and Lewistown, former August rainfall records had been set in 1985. Farther east, Dickinson, ND, set an August rainfall record with 6.25 inches. Later, heavy showers shifted into several other areas, including the central Plains, western Plains, interior Southeast, and the western Gulf Coast region. Selected daily record totals included 4.55 inches in Paducah, KY; 3.38 inches (on August 28) in Des Moines, IA; 2.49 inches (on August 28) in Springfield, IL; and 2.03 inches (on August 29) in St. Cloud, MN. Paducah’s total also represented a single-day record for August (previously, 3.16 inches on August 11, 1952). Late-week rainfall was also heavy in Louisiana, where daily record amounts for August 30 climbed to 7.87 inches in Lake Charles, 2.85 inches in Monroe, and 2.56 inches in Alexandria. Lake Charles also capped its wettest summer on record (36.90 inches, or 213 percent of normal), surpassing the June-August 1989 standard of 33.31 inches.
Jim G. Munley, jr.
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