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August 23, 2011

Hurricanes made August 1955 Baltimore's wettest

Hurricane Connie BaltimoreFROM TODAY'S PRINT EDITIONS:

Linda Tanton, of Baltimore, asks: “I see we had 18 inches-plus of rain in [August] 1955. Was that [Hurricane] Connie or Hazel?”  Hazel struck the previous October. August 1955 was Baltimore's wettest month by far, with 18.35 inches of rain - nearly half the city's annual average. Blame Connie, a minimal hurricane that dropped almost 10 inches here in 72 hours. Three days later, the remnants of Diane unloaded 2.3 inches more. By Aug. 31, other storms had added almost 5 more inches.

(SUN PHOTO: Light Street looking north during Connie-related flooding. Albert Cochran, Aug. 13, 1955)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 12:01 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: From the Sun's print edition


If I remember correctly, the last couple of hurricanes that have impacted us actually were reduced in power due to a "dry feed" (not remembering what the exact term is) that wrapped into the storm as it came over us. In other words, a band of dry air fed into the core of the storm as it came through, reducing the amount of rain that fell.

Am I remembering correctly? If so, is that just a lucky break for us, or does that normally happen as these tropical storms move over land?

The latest forecasts are now officially talking about Irene moving over the Chesapeake Bay at hurricane strength. Which means a significant storm surge up the bay, right?

FR REPLIES: The term is "dry slot." It refers to a flow of dry air from the west or southwest into the storm's center. It can sharply reduce the amount of rainfall, or, in winter, snowfall. And yes, it's a lucky break and not all that uncommon. As for Irene, a path directly up the bay or to the west of the bay is one most likely to create a dangerous storm surge in the Chesapeake. A path to the east of the bay would drive water south, out of the bay, and it would likely reduce the wind and rainfall on the Western Shore. For Ocean City, you want a track that keeps the storm's center off the coast.

Seem to recall that July '55 was dry until the last day of the mo., when we were hammered with a terrific T-storm. Then of course came August.

Hazel occurred during the school term which was unusual. Recall the nuns ushering us out for early dismissal.

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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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