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September 7, 2008

A month's rain in a day

Baltimore Sun photo by Patrick Smith

We may be tempted to write Tropical Storm Hanna off as a "fizzle." But for many Marylanders, yesterday's tropical storm delivered a formidible punch in the form of heavy rain and high winds.

Portions of Montgomery and Frederick counties reported well over 5 inches of rain. Fifteen stations reported rains over 4 inches. Areas of Harford, Howard, Carroll and Cecil recorded more than 3 inches before the day was over. That was easily a month's rain in one day for many locations, and well within the forecasts we were seeing on Friday.

And while the sustained winds rarely topped tropical storm force (39 mph), the gusts often did, even in Baltimore City and its surrounding suburbs. Ocean City saw winds gusting to more than 60 mph during the storm.

Here are some of the MOST IMPRESSIVE RAINFALL READINGS, provided by WeatherBug.

The Bullis School, Potomac:  6.11 nches

Montgomery County Schools Transp. Dept.: Rockville: 5.95 inches

Diamond Elementary School, Gaithersburg:  5.18 inches

North East High School, (Cecil): 4.5 inches

Earth and Space Lab, Frederick: 4.3  inches

Mt. Airy Middle School, (Carroll): 4.13 inches

Nanjemoy Creek Env. Ctr (Charles): 3.71 inches

Manchester Elem. School (Carroll): 3.09 inches 

Darlington Elem. School, Sykesville (Carroll): 3.01 inches

Folly Quarter Middle School (Howard): 2.99 inches

Shady Side Elem. School (Arundel): 2.77 inches

Wilde Lake HS, Columbia:  2.57 inches

Here are some MORE READINGS FROM CoCoRaHS, a network of volunteer weather observers.

WIND GUST DATA FROM WEATHERBUG this morning includes the following highlights:

Ocean City:  63.1 mph

Crisfield Fire Dept.: 55.9 mph

UMES, Princess Anne:  50.6 mph

MEMA Emergency Operations Center, Reisterstown:  44.5 mph

Oriole Park Camden Yards, Baltimore: 44.5 mph

Thurgood Marshall HS, Baltimore: 44.1 mph

Hamstead Hill Academy, Baltimore: 43.8 mph

Here is a compilation of wind and rain data from the National Weather Service. You can also view lists of storm damage reported to the National Weather Service by clicking HERE. Be sure to click through the many "Version" numbers at the top of the NWS page for more a comprehensive look at the reports.

Ike is next. While not headed for the East Coast, this dangerous storm (top winds at 135 mph, 18-foot storm surge possible) will be a worry for many in the Bahamas, South Florida, all of Cuba (including the U.S. base at Guantanamo), and the northern Gulf Coast, including Louisiana and Texas. Here's the discussion from the National Hurricane Center.

Here is the latest advisory on Ike. Here is the forecast storm track. Here is the view from orbit.



Posted by Frank Roylance at 6:47 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Hurricanes


I traveled to Assateague from metro NY yesterday. Arriving at 9:30am, I was able to experience the first squalls of the day. (wind est. @ 40mph) After a brief break for lunch, I returned to the dunes at the National Seashore for the passage of Hanna. From 3:50pm - 4:10pm winds from the south were very impressive. Most people had abandoned the beach as the rains approached while I remained. WOW! Sustained 60mph/gust 75-80mph. No anemometer, but I was very impressed with the experience. As a regular storm chaser/watcher, the storm was a winner and merited the 623mi round trip drive. A New Englander, most "watches" involve extra tropicals and Nor-Easters. Just thought you might like to hear of my experience.

FR: Amazing. But hey - if you thought Hanna was impressive, you should come down to Bawlmer for a three-inch slush storm at rush hour in January. Now THAT'S excitement !

I am looking for online real time precipitation data for metro DC - Maryland reporting stations.
Weatherbug has data, however is it possible to pull a web page of top reporting stations for a rain event?
FR: Try CoCoRaHS. You can click on the top of the Precip column and it will put all the reports in order:

Calling Mr. FR! your expertise is needed on rainbows and 'caine eyes. Please report to EL's blog at your earliest convenience.

Thanks for the guest lecture - very cool. And I must say, I found your bit on rainbows to be quite romantic:

(Take late afternoon sunshine, beaming from a low angle from your west toward rain showers to your east, and you will very often get a rainbow as the droplets refract the light and spread it out into its constituent colors.)


FR: I'm blushing...

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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