Ida’s death toll exceeds 60 from Louisiana to New England »Yale Climate Connections


At least 48 people have died in the central Atlantic and northeast as a result of flooding and tornadoes associated with post-tropical Cyclone Ida, and the toll continues to rise. Between its Category 4 landing in Louisiana, which left at least 13 dead, and its rampage in the eastern United States, Ida killed more than 60, and it looks destined to become one of America’s most hurricanes. deadliest and most destructive of the 21st century so far. It’s far too early to have a full toll of Ida’s damage, but a multi-billion dollar double-digit financial toll seems likely.

Residents of the central Atlantic and Northeast began assessing flood damage on Thursday under clear blue skies following Ida’s passage. As we discussed in our Thursday post, torrential rains pushed a number of rivers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to record or near record peaks, and intense precipitation of up to 3 inches per hour produced heavy rains. catastrophic flash floods throughout the New York City area.

At least 11 deaths have occurred in basement apartments where tens of thousands of New Yorkers live, sometimes without legally required safety measures such as a second outing.

There was welcome news in Louisiana on Friday, as officials at electricity supplier Entergy said electricity is expected to be restored to most of the New Orleans area by Wednesday, September 8, as the ‘reported The Associated Press. The utility is scrambling to repair more than 150 destroyed transmission structures. It was not known when power will be restored in parishes beyond New Orleans, where many poles and power lines have been destroyed and many homes have been damaged or destroyed.

Fuel, water and food shortages on Friday forced people in southeast Louisiana to queue and endure sweltering heat in un-air-conditioned homes, with an uncertain recovery timeline.

Figure 1. Three tugs attempt to free the stranded bulk carrier Nord Pollux at the port of southern Louisiana on the Mississippi River on September 1, 2021. (Image credit: Aerial photographs by NOAA)

South Louisiana port sustains damage to key Ida grain elevator

Hurricane Ida hit the world’s largest bulk cargo port, the Port of South Louisiana, for more than an hour Sunday night, in a Category 3 storm with winds 115 to 120 mph. The port, which moved around 65% of the country’s soybean exports and 55% of corn exports in 2020, was still closed and without power on Friday. The September 2 port condition report said it would take “some time” before the port was fully operational. A 65-mile stretch of the Mississippi River from New Orleans upstream was closed to all navigation, but the river was open from New Orleans to the Gulf of Mexico, with restrictions.

According to Bloomberg, the Cargill terminal, a grain elevator in the Port of South Louisiana (located on the reserve) was damaged by Ida. This terminal was responsible for nearly 9% of US bulk corn, soybean and wheat exports by sea so far in 2021; navigation data showed that a vessel had a “stranded” status at the terminal after the hurricane. At least three other bulk carriers were beached by Ida; NOAA aerial photographs earlier this week showed tugs attempting to free one of the ships, the Nord Pollux. According to Reuters, numerous barges and boats were sunk in the lower Mississippi River by Ida, and other debris blocked the shipping channel.

New Jersey tornado confirmed as EF3

The NWS Storm Prediction Center recorded eight tornadoes associated with Ida from Wednesday to Thursday morning, including six in Maryland, one in New Jersey and one in Cape Cod, Massachusetts at 1:30 a.m. Thursday. The most intense was a confirmed EF3 tornado, that of New Jersey first for over 30 years – which hit just south of Philadelphia. With estimated peak winds of up to 150 mph, the tornado destroyed a house in Mullica Hill and severely damaged others nearby. A dramatic video on Facebook shows the experience of a Mullica Hill owner who rushed into his basement when the tornado struck. A confirmed EF2 tornado hit Montgomery County, Pa., With peak winds of up to 130 mph, destroying a number of homes in upper Dublin and hitting Temple University’s Ambler campus.

Twelve more tornadoes struck Monday and Tuesday in association with Ida, primarily in southern Alabama well south of central Ida. Four people were injured in tornadoes in Mobile County on Monday.

This was the second series of notable tornadoes of the year in the Philadelphia area, following a historic outbreak on July 29 that included an EF3 tornado that struck Somerton and Bensalem, Pa. In fact, the office of the National Weather Service in Philadelphia has issued many more tornado warnings this year than any office in Oklahoma.

Although Ida’s tornadoes were highly visible and destructive, the outbreak is pale compared to the record for tornadoes associated with hurricanes. Hurricane Ivan spawned 120 tornadoes along its arcuate path from Alabama to the mid-Atlantic from September 15-18, 2004. Ivan’s tornadoes killed seven people and caused nearly 100 million damage dollars, in 2004 dollars.

Figure 2. Visible GeoColor satellite image of Hurricane Larry streaking between the coasts of South America (bottom left) and Africa (top right) at 1650Z (12:50 p.m. EDT) on Friday, September 3, 2021 . (Image credit: RAMMB / CIRA / CSU)

Larry on the verge of becoming a major hurricane

The awe-inspiring Hurricane Larry looks set to become a major and powerful hurricane as it sails through the central Atlantic, far from any land area. At 11 a.m. EDT Friday, Larry was heading west-northwest at 16 mph and had sustained winds of 90 mph. Satellite imagery showed Larry to be a large hurricane with impressive spiral bands at low altitude and improved outflow at altitude.

Larry will be in a favorable environment to strengthen over the next three days, and the National Hurricane Center and most higher intensity models predict Larry will become a major hurricane by Saturday. Early next week, Larry could experience more windshear and some dry air, putting the brakes on further intensification.

Larry will be headed west-northwest by the Azores-Bermuda high through Saturday, but is expected to head further northwest by Sunday, when the hurricane feels the pull of a depression trough passing to the north. For now, the long-range Euro and GFS sets are adamant about an overall bend north and northeast away from North America as a strong elevation dip is likely to set in on the coast. is from the United States next week. However, it is possible that Larry tilts northwest enough to affect Bermuda on Thursday September 9 and / or Newfoundland, Canada on Friday September 10.

Larry will spin for days in the form of a powerful hurricane in the open Atlantic, generating large swells that will bring high waves and the risk of reverse currents to the east coast of the United States, the Canadian Maritime provinces and the northern coasts of the Caribbean islands next week. Dangerous surf conditions from large swells from Larry will begin to affect the Lesser Antilles on Sunday.

Figure 3. Infrared satellite image of disturbance 91L at 1650Z (12:50 p.m. EDT) on Friday, September 3, 2021. (Image credit: RAMMB / CIRA / CSU)

Disturbance 91L a potential threat to the US Gulf Coast next week

In the southwestern Caribbean, an area of ​​disturbed weather designated 91L was over northwestern Honduras and adjacent waters on Friday afternoon, as shown in satellite images. 91L was moving west-northwest at around 5-10 mph, and proximity to land will hamper development over the next few days. The disturbance is expected to cross the Yucatan Peninsula and enter the southwestern Gulf of Mexico by Sunday. Although the waters are warm there, 91L is expected to experience strong windshear from a low pressure trough aloft, which will make development difficult on Sunday and Monday.

As of Monday, the currents associated with this trough will slowly head 91L northwest or north at around 5-10 mph, and the disturbance may result in heavy rain in Texas or Louisiana as early as Tuesday. How dry air and wind shear could affect 91L at this time is unknown, so residents of the U.S. Gulf Coast will want to monitor this system in case any development occurs. In its tropical weather forecast for Friday at 8 a.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center gave the system a 2 and 5 day development chance of 0% and 30%, respectively. The next name on the Atlantic storm list is Mindy.

Disturbances off African coasts are unlikely to develop

On Friday morning, an area of ​​low pressure located about 150 miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands was moving west at 15 mph. Satellite imagery indicated that the disturbance was no longer showing signs of organization and had lost most of its severe thunderstorms. The high wind shear caused by upper flow from Hurricane Larry was likely responsible for weakening the disturbance. This system has poor model support for development, and in a Friday tropical weather forecast at 8 a.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center gave a 2 and 5 day development chance of 0%.

How to help recovery efforts after a hurricane

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies (formerly, co-founded by members of the Weather Underground community, responds to the Hurricane Ida disaster. In addition, The Weather Channel has compiled a list of many excellent charities that will be active in the recovery from Hurricane Ida.

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