In-Fa passing #Okinawa, #Taiwan in the crosshairs for two #typhoons?

Two storms are stalking the West Pacific, and both may hit Taiwan. Typhoon In-Fa is a category 1 (Saffir Simpson Scale) storm passing south of Okinawa over the next 24 hours. The track is further south than forecast a few days ago (about 100 miles vs 30 or so at one point), and the island should be at or below tropical storm force. The far southern Ryuku Islands of Miyako-jima won’t be so lucky if this forecast holds, as the current JTWC forecast shows a category two storm sweeping through in 36 to 48 hours. On that track the storm will pass right over the heavily populated northern tip of Taiwan, and the capital city of Taipei as a strong (but weakening) category one storm. Here’s the swath – in this case a “two-fer” as Typhoon Cempaka, making landfall south of Macau today as a weak category one storm, is expected to do a loop and return to the South China Sea before regaining strength and heading towards … Taiwan:

West Pacific Typhoons; weird rings around Cempaka are a rendering artifact due to small oscillations in intensity. Click to embiggen.

While the island is more resilient to storms than the US, it will still prove disruptive. Rains in the mountainous areas can cause flash flooding and landslides, and there are always power outages and light damage in even a minimal typhoon (hurricane – different names for the same phenomena, formally known as a “tropical cyclone”).

The South China Sea is a major potential conflict zone, with Mainland China (the People’s Republic of China or PRC) aggressively pushing claims across the region, building bases on disputed coral reefs and conducting almost daily military operations. The island nation (from the perspective of the Republic of China, the island itself) or administrative area (from the perspective of the PRC) is the subject of a major push for reunification by the mainland. The PRC’s President Xi has made it a key objective of his administration, and the propaganda has become increasingly belligerent over the last few years. The July/August issue of “Foreign Affairs” was devoted to the issue (not linked since it’s paywalled) but a summary from the BBC is at this link. Taiwan is a complex flashpoint, and having a natural disaster in the area is potentially destabilizing many levels besides the political, not the least of which are current shortages of semiconductors. Taiwan is the major global supplier of these critical components, which has been of concern for many years by those who study the increasingly vulnerable global supply chain. Globalization has economic advantages, but overspecialization of key sectors within such a small area is a bad idea because of natural hazards, much less if one of it’s neighbors is threatening to use nuclear weapons to grab it …

West Pacific Update: #Okinawa, #Taiwan, #China

While the Atlantic remains quiet, and the East Pacific has two decaying storms (Felicia is rapidly falling apart as it enters the Central Pacific, Guillermo on a similar track), the West Pacific has two storms threatening land: Tropical Storm In-Fa should pass south of Okinawa over the next two days before threatening Taiwan then the Chinese coast, and Tropical Storm Cempaka may briefly become a hurricane before making landfall well south of Hong Kong. Here’s the respective damage swaths:

Storms in the WP, Monday 19 July. Click to see larger.

In-Fa is forecast to be a large storm, and should bring tropical storm conditions to Okinawa on Wednesday as it passes 90 miles south of the southern tip of the main island before passing directly over Miyako-jima if it follows the present track. This, and the nearby Ishigaki islands, are an interesting group of islands, and of strategic importance given the tense situation over Taiwan. Japan is increasingly concerned about the security of the Miyako strait (the gap between Okinawa an Miyako), and has been building additional military facilities. There are potentially oil reserves in the area, and ownership of some of the islands in the group is disputed between the People’s Republic of China (Mainland), Republic of China (Taiwan), and Japan. If the PRC decides to invade or blockade Taiwan, as has been discussed more frequently in Chinese military publications of late, an early battle will certainly be fought here.

From a meteorology standpoint, of more concern is what happens next. By the end of the week In-Fa will be somewhere near the northern tip of Taiwan. Small wobbles or changes in intensity will matter a lot with respect to humanitarian and economic impacts. As noted yesterday, this could potentially impact already tight semiconductor (computer chip) supplies as something over 60% of them come from Taiwan. Right now it looks like In-Fa will be weakening by that time back to a category 1 storm (from a peak of Category 2 over Miyako-jima). Will be watching this as the week unfolds …

West Pacific Storms: #Okinawa, #China, #Taiwan

After a few days with no storms anywhere in the world, we now have three cyclones and by the end of today (Sunday) probably four. None in the Atlantic, but two “fish storms” in the East Pacific off of Mexico (Felicia, a Cat 4!, and Guillermo, a tropic storm gathering intensity). Both headed away from land. But Tropical Storm In-Fa has the potential to be somewhat of a problem, expected to become a Typhoon in the next two days as it passes 60 miles south of the southern tip of Okinawa. If that forecast holds up, winds over that densely populated area there will be around 60mph. Here’s the swath in “plain language”:

Two WP Storms: click to embiggen.

While impacts to Okinawa aren’t expected to be too bad (although preparations for a typhoon are smart in case the forecast is blown), more worrying is the potential for a direct hit on Taipei, Taiwan, as a Category 2 storm. That would make quite a mess. However, that is five days away, the track and intensity forecast is pretty uncertain that far out, so something to watch but not get too worried about just yet. But consider the risks, especially if In-Fa turns out stronger than forecast.

If you are smugly sitting on the US East coast wondering why you should care (humanitarian aspects aside, of course!), consider how stressed out the world computer chip supply is right now and how vital Taiwan is, with one company, TSMC, accounting for an astounding 54% of chip sales according to this CNBC article. As the COVID-19 pandemic showed, global supply chains are very sensitive to events a world away. The virus didn’t break things; hurricanes and earthquakes do, making it harder to recover when things go badly.

Also of note is a system off the Mainland China coast, Invest WP99. JTWC has it tagged as a high formation potential in the next 12-24 hours, and it could reach hurricane force before it makes landfall near Yangjiang, southwest of Hong Kong/Macau.

Update on WP09 (#Okinawa), Floods in Germany

Tropical Depression 09W slowly organizes as it moves in the general direction of Okinawa. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast today is for a weaker storm tracking further south than yesterday. Here’s the “plain language” impact estimate based on their 5am ET forecast:

click to embiggen.

The objective guidance has it barely at hurricane strength at that time at worst. So it may not be more than some strong winds and rain on Okinawa. After that, the storm is likely to head for Mainland China, but it’s too early to estimate impacts there.

Elsewhere, a big weather story are the floods in Europe, particularly Germany (this link goes to Deutsche World live updates). The Netherlands and Belgium have also been hit hard.

A lot of the bad flooding is around Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany. The Ahr river flows through the town. . In looking at the period where we have really solid modeling for comparison with the climate models (1980-present), the peak total rain that ended up in the Ahr River fell on July 14th, and was 31% higher than the second highest value on record (which was in 2014). Worse, the Fifth highest daily value was on the 13th – and it was only about 5% lower than 2014. So two of the five highest total rainfall amounts in the last 40 years fell on back to back days.

The totals this last week were epic – 40% higher than the 2014 floods which came in at number two. Statistically it’s a well over 100 year event, maybe pushing a 200 year event. The rains on the 13th and earlier meant the soils were totally saturated (in fact soil moisture levels were at record highs on the 13th). So all of the water that fell on the 14th just ran off into the rivers and over the landscape. Also note that long ago (say 100 years) the flooding wouldn’t have been this bad with the same amount of rain due to development, impervious surfaces, etc.

This really was an epic amount of water. Fortunately it looks like there will be several days of clear weather, hopefully things dry out some before the next rains fall in 5-6 days. You’re probably hearing a lot about this being due to climate change. We’re in a difficult place right now data-wise. We are starting to see evidence of climatic changes that we would expect given anthropogenic changes to the atmosphere. Is this particular flood caused or made worse by human caused climate change? I think that’s impossible to say based on the data we have. But these kinds of disasters (floods, heat waves such as out west) are expected to become more frequent – and by the time it happens, it’s really too late to do anything except get out of the way. More on that in an upcoming post.

Tropical Depression develops in West Pacific; #Okinawa in swath

The system meandering about a thousand miles off of the Philippines has formed into tropical depression this morning. TD09W is forecast to rapidly intensify as turns towards the Ryuku Islands, and on the JTWC track the eyewall is forecast to sweep across Okinawa as a middle grade Category Two storm in about four days. Here’s the damage swath:

Swath based on JTWC Forecast. Click to embiggen.

Note that a small wobble can change this a lot. The storm is still spinning up, and the model spread is still wide, although biased a bit towards a more northerly track …

Available track models Friday morning (US East Coast Time)

Should have a better handle on this tomorrow. Note that the storm should clear Japan and be into the Chinese coast before the Olympics starts, and as far as I know there aren’t any events in the potential damage swath unless the storm takes a hard right turn.

Doomwatch, 15 July 2021

There’s lots of doom stalking the earth, but mostly of the “humans are their own worst enemy” variety. There is only one active tropical cyclone – Hurricane Felicia, off the west coast of Mexico and headed out into open water. The invest area in the Atlantic is nothing to worry about, probably just a bored forecaster. There is a more serious threat potentially developing in the West Pacific that some of the models forecast to be a major storm impacting Okinawa in four or five days before heading towards Mainland China. There has been bad flooding in Germany, and in the western US heat and wild fires continue to be a problem. And the usual scattering of earthquakes, including a swarm on the California/Nevada border, and a half dozen or so volcanoes spewing ash, but none causing significant damage. Here’s a map of natural doom:

Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, other severe weather zones (blue/yellow) this morning (15 July)

In the “doing it to ourselves” category the SARS-COV-2 pandemic continues to do a slow burn through the population lacking natural or artificial (vaccinated) antibodies. It’s hard to get a solid handle on just how dangerous some of the new variants are. The majority of infections are now the notorious “Delta” variant (B.1.617.2 – here’s more about variants then you want to know). It does seem to have a much higher transmission rate – the variants making the rounds last year and this spring had an R of around 2, “Delta” is probably well over 3. What that means is that for the original virus, one person would infect on average two other people. “Delta” seems that one infected person can infect between 3 and 4 people. Of course that doesn’t tell you anything about the consequences of being infected – as we know, a lot of people are asymptomatic, others crash. The statistics don’t seem to indicate that conclusively, but the virus seems to be spreading within younger populations. Of course, that can be an artifact of testing bias, and that a lot of older people have had more of an opportunity to be vaccinated (or survived the virus). The research papers I’ve seen are mixed; some indicate that existing antibodies/vaccines aren’t as effective, some say it’s no big deal. The truth is probably both 😛 – there is some reduction, but it’s not increasing mortality.

The media is of course excited about Delta. For Chatham County, Georgia (Savannah Area) a reporter was breathlessly saying the community transmission index “doubled since the end of June!” Technically true, it has gone from 50 to 98 between June 30 and July 14, but let’s put that in perspective: In January it was over 600 … so while the trend isn’t great as “delta” moves into the area with both cases and CTI, this isn’t something to freak out over. If you have natural or artificial antibodies, you’re in good shape. If you don’t and are an adult, you should get vaccinated unless you have a solid health reason that makes it risky. It’s as safe as any other vaccines out there (which are pretty safe all things considered).

There are a lot of unsettling geopolitical developments that do not bode well for the upcoming weeks. The situation in South Africa is out of control. This has huge implications across southern Africa, as some of the logistics and food distribution facilities looted the last few days are essential not just in South Africa but across the region. There is unrest in Cuba – how much is natural, and how much astro-turf from Miami, and where it is going is debatable. Haiti continues to be in turmoil, and the web of involvement in President Moise continues to expand. NATO continues the risky game of “poke the bear”, conducting provocative exercises across the Black Sea at the risk of goading the somewhat unstable Ukrainian regime in to taking another action in Eastern Ukraine that will result in Russia being forced to respond.

But at least Brittany now has her own lawyer now, so that’s nice.

#Elsa continues march towards Canada; rain/wind report for GA/SC

Tropical storm Elsa continues to be a tropical storm as it continues to bring rain and gusty winds to the Yanks in New England and transition to becoming extratropical. Here’s the latest impact swath using the TAOS/TC model “plain language” impact scale:

Elsa heads north to see if reindeer are really better than people. Click to embiggen.

The official word from Environment Canada is at this link. The short version is that major impacts are not expected – some gusty winds potentially up to 60/70kph tonight and tomorrow. The biggest problem may be more rain on top of what has already fallen from another system, up to 100mm of additional rain. Waves up to 4 meters offshore and rough surf along the exposed coastal areas.

Yesterday’s damage surveys across the south revealed typical minimal tropical storm kinds of impacts. Some details for the coastal GA/SC area are below. As a reminder, Elsa caused more significant impacts across the Caribbean, albeit nothing catastrophic compared to storms of recent years. While perhaps not directly related, the political turmoil in Haiti is in part a result of the interaction of natural disasters such as the horrific 2010 earthquake and human failures of governance both local and from the international community and NGO’s. It’s a complex situation with a lot of history. For a depressing but informative read on Haiti’s post-earthquake recovery “Charlie Foxtrot“, I highly recommend “The Big Truck that Went By” by Jonathan Katz.

For those in the Savannah/SC Low Country, the local Weather Service Office in Charleston has compiled a list of rain totals and wind reports for the storm if you’re curious. Below is the preliminary local storm report summary.

NWUS52 KCHS 081343
LSRCHS

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHARLESTON SC
943 AM EDT THU JUL 08 2021

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
            ..REMARKS..

1015 PM     TROPICAL STORM   1 W WILMINGTON ISLAND   32.01N  81.00W
07/07/2021                   CHATHAM            GA   PUBLIC          

            WIND GUST OF 43 KNOTS. 

1027 PM     TROPICAL STORM   SAVANNAH AIRPORT        32.13N  81.20W
07/07/2021                   CHATHAM            GA   ASOS            

            WIND GUSTED TO 38 KNOTS. 

1032 PM     TROPICAL STORM   1 SSW TYBEE ISLAND      31.99N  80.85W
07/07/2021                   CHATHAM            GA   MESONET         

            THE WEATHERFLOW SITE ON THE SOUTH END OF TYBEE ISLAND 
            MEASURED A 36 KNOTS. 

1034 PM     TROPICAL STORM   1 N TYBEE ISLAND        32.02N  80.84W
07/07/2021                   CHATHAM            GA   MESONET         

            WIND GUSTED TO 34 KNOTS. 

1040 PM     TROPICAL STORM   4 WNW SPRINGFIELD       32.40N  81.43W
07/07/2021                   EFFINGHAM          GA   EMERGENCY MNGR  

            MULTIPLE TREES DOWN, HIGHWAY 17 AND PORTER ROAD. TIME 
            ESTIMATED. 

1044 PM     TROPICAL STORM   2 WNW STILLWELL         32.39N  81.29W
07/07/2021                   EFFINGHAM          GA   EMERGENCY MNGR  

            AN EMERGENCY MANAGER REPORTED SIDING DAMAGE TO A HOUSE, 
            ALONG WITH SEPARATE SHED DAMAGE ON THE 200 BLOCK OF WOOD 
            DUCK WAY. TIME WAS ESTIMATED VIA RADAR DATA. 

1047 PM     TROPICAL STORM   1 SSW TYBEE ISLAND      31.99N  80.85W
07/07/2021                   CHATHAM            GA   MESONET         

            WIND GUST TO 45 KNOTS. 

1048 PM     TROPICAL STORM   6 WSW FOREST BEACH      32.11N  80.84W
07/07/2021                   AMZ352             SC   MESONET         

            WIND GUST TO 34 KNOTS. 

1049 PM     TSTM WND DMG     2 WNW STILLWELL         32.39N  81.29W
07/07/2021                   EFFINGHAM          GA   EMERGENCY MNGR  

            *** 1 INJ *** SIDING RIPPED FROM A HOUSE AND SHED 
            DAMAGE IN EAGLETON PLANTATION. TREE DAMAGE ALONG ROUTE 
            119. A VEHICLE RAN INTO A DOWNED TREE ON ROUTE 119 WHERE 
            THE DRIVER SUSTAINED MINOR INJURIES. TIME ESTIMATED FROM 
            RADAR. POSSIBLE TORNADO. 

1050 PM     TROPICAL STORM   22 ESE RACCCON BLUFF    31.40N  80.87W
07/07/2021                   AMZ354             GA   BUOY            

            WIND GUST TO 40 KNOTS. 

1100 PM     HEAVY RAIN       GLENNVILLE              31.94N  81.93W
07/07/2021  M3.50 INCH       TATTNALL           GA   AMATEUR RADIO   

            STORM TOTAL OF 3.5 INCHES OF RAIN. 

1102 PM     TROPICAL STORM   1 SSW TYBEE ISLAND      31.99N  80.85W
07/07/2021                   CHATHAM            GA   MESONET         

            WIND GUST TO 65 KNOTS. 

1102 PM     TROPICAL STORM   1 WSW RIVERSIDE         32.04N  81.02W
07/07/2021                   CHATHAM            GA   BROADCAST MEDIA 

            MEDIA RELAYED REPORT OF LARGE TREE DOWN ON JOHNNY 
            MERCER BOULEVARD NEAR LONG POINT NEIGHBORHOOD. 

1108 PM     TROPICAL STORM   1 N TYBEE ISLAND        32.02N  80.84W
07/07/2021                   CHATHAM            GA   MESONET         

            WIND GUST TO 45 KNOTS. 

1113 PM     TROPICAL STORM   6 WSW FOREST BEACH      32.11N  80.84W
07/07/2021                   AMZ352             SC   MESONET         

            WIND GUST TO 70 KNOTS. 

1151 PM     TSTM WND DMG     PORT ROYAL              32.38N  80.69W
07/07/2021                   BEAUFORT           SC   EMERGENCY MNGR  

            MULTIPLE TREES DOWN, TREES ON HOUSES, POWER LINES DOWN, 
            AND POWER OUTAGES. DAMAGE EXTENDED ACROSS THE RIVER INTO 
            BURTON. POSSIBLE TORNADO. 

1155 PM     TROPICAL STORM   HILTON HEAD AIRPORT     32.23N  80.69W
07/07/2021                   BEAUFORT           SC   AWOS            

            WIND GUST TO 38 KNOTS. 

1215 AM     TROPICAL STORM   2 SW FRIPP ISLAND       32.31N  80.49W
07/08/2021                   BEAUFORT           SC   MESONET         

            MEASURED WIND GUST OF 46 KNOTS OR 53 MPH. 

1216 AM     TROPICAL STORM   MARINE CORPS AIR STATIO 32.49N  80.70W
07/08/2021                   BEAUFORT           SC   ASOS            

            WIND GUST TO 35 KNOTS. 

1220 AM     TROPICAL STORM   6 E PARRIS ISLAND       32.34N  80.59W
07/08/2021                   BEAUFORT           SC   MESONET         

            WIND GUST TO 35 KNOTS. 

1245 AM     HEAVY RAIN       8 NNE FORT STEWART      31.97N  81.46W
07/08/2021  M3.75 INCH       BRYAN              GA   OTHER FEDERAL   

            ELSA STORM TOTAL FROM THE USGS GAUGE LOCATED ON THE 
            CANOOCHEE RIVER AT FORT STEWART. 

1250 AM     TROPICAL STORM   1 E RAVENEL             32.77N  80.23W
07/08/2021                   CHARLESTON         SC   BROADCAST MEDIA 

            TV MEDIA REPORTED TREE DOWN ON A FENCE AND HOUSE ON 
            MARTIN ST IN RAVENEL. 

1250 AM     TROPICAL STORM   6 W FOREST BEACH        32.14N  80.84W
07/08/2021                   BEAUFORT           SC   SOCIAL MEDIA    

            NUMEROUS TREES DOWN AT HAIG POINT ON DAUFUSKIE ISLAND. 

1253 AM     TROPICAL STORM   5 ESE FRIPP ISLAND      32.28N  80.41W
07/08/2021                   AMZ352             SC   BUOY            

            WIND GUST TO 40 KNOTS. 

1255 AM     TROPICAL STORM   3 NW ADAMS RUN          32.75N  80.38W
07/08/2021                   CHARLESTON         SC   BROADCAST MEDIA 

            VIEWER REPORTED A TREE DOWN ON MITCHELL ROAD. 

0100 AM     HEAVY RAIN       4 2 MELDRIM             32.08N  81.38W
07/08/2021  M3.05 INCH       CHATHAM            GA   OTHER FEDERAL   

            ELSA STORM TOTAL FROM THE USGS GAUGE LOCATED ON THE 
            OGEECHEE RIVER NEAR ELLABELL. 

0102 AM     TSTM WND DMG     2 NW EDISTO ISLAND      32.58N  80.30W
07/08/2021                   CHARLESTON         SC   STORM CHASER    

            LARGE TREES DOWN BLOCKING HIGHWAY 174 AT STEAMBOAT 
            LANDING ROAD. LIKELY A TORNADO DUE TO RADAR DEBRIS 
            SIGNATURE. TIME ESTIMATED BY RADAR. 

0104 AM     HEAVY RAIN       2 SSW MIDWAY            31.78N  81.44W
07/08/2021  M3.24 INCH       LIBERTY            GA   MESONET         

            ELSA STORM TOTAL FROM THE RAWS SITE NEAR MIDWAY. 

0130 AM     HEAVY RAIN       1 ESE BLICHTON          32.19N  81.42W
07/08/2021  M3.39 INCH       EFFINGHAM          GA   OTHER FEDERAL   

            ELSA STORM TOTAL FROM THE USGS GAUGE LOCATED ON THE 
            OGEECHEE RIVER NEAR EDEN. 

0203 AM     TROPICAL STORM   CHARLESTON AIRPORT      32.90N  80.04W
07/08/2021                   CHARLESTON         SC   ASOS            

            WIND GUST TO 41 KNOTS. 

0211 AM     TROPICAL STORM   4 ESE CHARLESTON        32.75N  79.87W
07/08/2021                   AMZ330             SC   MESONET         

            WIND GUST TO 34 KNOTS. 

0213 AM     TROPICAL STORM   3 SSE WEST ASHLEY       32.76N  80.00W
07/08/2021                   CHARLESTON         SC   BROADCAST MEDIA 

            MEDIA REPORTED LARGE TREE BRANCHES DOWN AND BLOCKING 
            WAPPOO DR AT HINSON AVE ON JAMES ISLAND. TIME ESTIMATED 
            VIA RADAR DATA. 

0215 AM     HEAVY RAIN       4 N RIVERSIDE           32.10N  81.01W
07/08/2021  M5.67 INCH       JASPER             SC   OTHER FEDERAL   

            ELSA STORM TOTAL FROM THE USGS GAUGE LOCATED ON THE 
            SAVANNAH RIVER NEAR ELBA ISLAND. 

0215 AM     HEAVY RAIN       2 N SAVANNAH            32.08N  81.08W
07/08/2021  M3.76 INCH       CHATHAM            GA   OTHER FEDERAL   

            ELSA STORM TOTAL FROM THE USGS GAUGE LOCATED ON THE 
            SAVANNAH RIVER NEAR HUTCHINSON ISLAND. 

0220 AM     TROPICAL STORM   2 NE KIAWAH ISLAND      32.62N  80.06W
07/08/2021                   CHARLESTON         SC   MESONET         

            WIND GUST TO 37 KNOTS. 

0220 AM     TROPICAL STORM   2 NNW CHARLESTON        32.81N  79.96W
07/08/2021                   CHARLESTON         SC   SOCIAL MEDIA    

            LARGE TREE LIMB SNAPPED OFF IN FRONT OF A HOME IN 
            WAGENER TERRACE. 

0223 AM     HEAVY RAIN       3 N SAVANNAH            32.10N  81.08W
07/08/2021  M3.10 INCH       CHATHAM            GA   MESONET         

            ELSA STORM TOTAL FROM THE SAVANNAH NWR RAWS SITE. 

0230 AM     HEAVY RAIN       4 ENE PORT WENTWORTH    32.17N  81.12W
07/08/2021  M3.14 INCH       JASPER             SC   OTHER FEDERAL   

            ELSA STORM TOTAL FROM THE USGS GAUGE ON THE SAVANNAH 
            RIVER NEAR LIMEHOUSE. 

0230 AM     HEAVY RAIN       4 E MONTEITH            32.19N  81.12W
07/08/2021  M3.18 INCH       CHATHAM            GA   OTHER FEDERAL   

            ELSA STORM TOTAL FROM THE USGS GAUGE LOCATED ON THE 
            SAVANNAH RIVER NEAR LIMEHOUSE. 

0230 AM     HEAVY RAIN       1 ENE MERIDIAN          31.45N  81.36W
07/08/2021  M3.74 INCH       MCINTOSH           GA   OTHER FEDERAL   

            ELSA STORM TOTAL FROM THE USGS GAUGE LOCATED AT HUDSON 
            CREEK NEAR MERIDIAN. 

0245 AM     HEAVY RAIN       5 SE VALONA             31.42N  81.29W
07/08/2021  M5.08 INCH       MCINTOSH           GA   OFFICIAL NWS OBS

            ELSA STORM TOTAL FROM THE NERRS GAUGE LOCATED AT THE 
            SOUTH END OF SAPELO ISLAND. 

0256 AM     TROPICAL STORM   4 ESE CHARLESTON        32.75N  79.87W
07/08/2021                   AMZ330             SC   MESONET         

            WIND GUST OF 42 KNOTS. 

0300 AM     TROPICAL STORM   2 ENE SEABROOK ISLAND   32.60N  80.07W
07/08/2021                   CHARLESTON         SC   MESONET         

            WIND GUST TO 43 KNOTS. 

0300 AM     TROPICAL STORM   2 NE CHARLESTON         32.80N  79.91W
07/08/2021                   AMZ330             SC   MESONET         

            WIND GUST TO 40 KNOTS. 

0300 AM     TROPICAL STORM   2 NE FOLLY BEACH        32.68N  79.89W
07/08/2021                   CHARLESTON         SC   MESONET         

            WIND GUST TO 34 KNOTS. 

0300 AM     HEAVY RAIN       4 NW TYBEE ISLAND       32.03N  80.91W
07/08/2021  M4.47 INCH       CHATHAM            GA   OTHER FEDERAL   

            ELSA STORM TOTAL FROM THE USGS GAUGE AT FORT PULASKI. 

0308 AM     TROPICAL STORM   5 ESE FRIPP ISLAND      32.28N  80.41W
07/08/2021                   AMZ352             SC   BUOY            

            WIND GUST TO 42 KNOTS. 

0338 AM     TROPICAL STORM   5 ESE DEWEES ISLAND     32.81N  79.63W
07/08/2021                   AMZ350             SC   BUOY            

            WIND GUST TO 40 KNOTS. 

0356 AM     HEAVY RAIN       MARINE CORPS AIR STATIO 32.49N  80.70W
07/08/2021  M4.20 INCH       BEAUFORT           SC   ASOS            

            ELSA STORM TOTAL FROM THE ASOS SITE AT BEAUFORT MCAS. 

0400 AM     HEAVY RAIN       5 SW ADAMS RUN          32.66N  80.40W
07/08/2021  M4.62 INCH       CHARLESTON         SC   MESONET         

            ELSA STORM TOTAL FROM THE RAWS SITE IN THE ACE BASIN. 

0455 AM     HEAVY RAIN       1 S SHADOWMOSS          32.83N  80.07W
07/08/2021  M4.05 INCH       CHARLESTON         SC   MESONET         

            ELSA STORM TOTAL FROM THE RIVER/RAIN GAUGE LOCATED ON 
            CHURCH CREEK IN WEST ASHLEY. 

0518 AM     HEAVY RAIN       CHARLESTON AIRPORT      32.90N  80.04W
07/08/2021  M4.12 INCH       CHARLESTON         SC   ASOS            

            ELSA STORM TOTAL FROM THE ASOS SITE AT THE CHARLESTON 
            INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. 

0520 AM     HEAVY RAIN       2 WNW MOUNT PLEASANT    32.80N  79.90W
07/08/2021  M3.43 INCH       CHARLESTON         SC   MESONET         

            ELSA STORM TOTAL FROM A RAIN GAUGE LOCATED NEAR MOUNT 
            PLEASANT WATERFRONT PARK. 

0525 AM     HEAVY RAIN       2 SE DANIEL ISLAND      32.86N  79.88W
07/08/2021  M3.45 INCH       CHARLESTON         SC   MESONET         

            ELSA STORM TOTAL FROM THE RIVER/RAIN GAUGE LOCATED ON 
            RATHALL CREEK. 


&&

#Elsa Thursday morning 8 July Update

Elsa blew through Georgia last night and is currently (just before 6am ET) in South Carolina, on track along the east coast to Canada. Here’s the latest NHC forecast track and TAOS/TC model impact swath:

Forecast impact swath – click to embiggen.

Here is the composite radar. Almost all of the major impacts of the storm are to the north and east of the center of the comma shaped system, although even behind there are scattered thunderstorms and it will take a while for things to calm down today.

MRMS Radar composite at 5:10am

As is typical for a tropical storm, damage across Florida and Georgia so far seems spotty, although there are reports of one killed in Jacksonville from a falling tree, and ten injured at the Kings Bay Navy Base from a possible weak tornado. There were a lot of radar indicated tornado warnings across FL/GA/SC last night, not clear as of yet how many were actual funnel clouds. There was also some flooding and scattered power outages. Although the radar derived rain totals were about three inches across most of Savannah, for example, there was a band of totals over six inches across the east side and up towards the Beaufort SC where a trail of thunderstorms set up and brought heavy rain:

Radar rain accumulations across Savannah/Beaufort area

At our gauge near Daffin Park (near the first “a” in “Savannah” on the above map) we received 4.62 inches. As the sun comes up and reports are compiled we’ll have a better picture, but so far seems about as expected.

Elsa will continue this pattern across northern SC and North Carolina today as it transitions from being a tropical to an extratropical system. The Marine Provinces of Canada can expect Nor’easter like conditions Friday/Saturday as Elsa finally lets us go and heads into the unknown 😛

As a reminder, Elsa caused more significant impacts across the Caribbean. While perhaps not directly related, the political turmoil in Haiti is in part a result of the interaction of natural disasters such as the horrific 2010 earthquake and human failures of governance both local and from the international community and NGO’s. It’s a complex situation with a lot of history. And given that history while it’s unlikely, we can hope and pray that the political leaders (both in Haiti and here in the US who are considering various actions) at least don’t do what they usually do: make things worse.

#Elsa evening update

NHC is still tracking Elsa as a tropical storm, but there have been no tropical storm force sustained winds in the last few hours. The center is over southwest Georgia now, and rain bands are being pushed up in to Georgia and soon SC … here is the regional radar composite:

MRMS Radar composite; click to embiggen

And here is the GOES East satellite view:

Satellite view; Infrared is on the left, Visual on the right as darkness falls …

Nothing has changed with respect to the potential hazards this evening – if anything, the wind damage risk is probably lower from the middle GA coast northward to Charleston. Still some chance for heavy rains, but I suspect totals will be under 3″ in most places. That can still cause some flooding (especially with saturated soils) so be careful if you have to go out in the storm path (and don’t if you can avoid it).

There are scattered reports of damage across North Florida, including a couple of tornado reports. In Georgia there was a radar indicated tornado in Bulloch County Georgia (Statesboro) and a funnel cloud seen from the same thunderstorm cell near Portal (Candler County). The low level velocity tracks are showing rotation, so there is definitely the potential for additional tornadic activity, and there is a watch in effect, so keep your weather radios armed. Otherwise, the earlier advice and forecasts are holding up well … see you in the morning!

#Elsa impacts moving in to coastal #GA, #SC

Radar from Hampton, SC – reflectivity on left, rotation/velocity on right, red box is warning area at 4:04pm

There is a tornado warning (in this case radar indicated rotation) in Bulloch County, near Statesboro. The entire area is under a tornado watch. While the overall risk is small, please keep your weather radio on this evening. Conditions aren’t expected to be too severe – winds, rain, etc. but these do spin up sometimes …