The combination of natural ingredients and some man-made ingredients caused the weakened but still wet residue of Hurricane Ida to destroy the northeast more than 1,600 miles (1,000 miles) from its landing site.
Such remote and deadly floods caused by hurricanes have occurred before, and meteorologists have warned that Ada may cause such floods. But the head of the National Meteorological Administration said that the impact of the storm’s rain was so great and it came so fast that the area’s ability to cope with downpours was overwhelmed.
Although Ida lost most of its 150 mph (240 km/h) wind, the storm still maintained its strong rainy core. According to meteorologists and atmospheric scientists, it then merged with the humid and strengthening non-tropical storm front.
Kerry Emanuel, a professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said that when this happens, “very unusual rainfall may occur.”
“It’s not uncommon,” Emanuel added. “For example, it happened to Hurricane Camille in 1969, and it took a similar path.” Camille made landfall in Mississippi with a Category 5 hurricane, and flooding in Virginia killed more than 100 people.
Last weekend, the director of the National Weather Service, Luis Ucellini, and other meteorologists began to discover the striking similarities with Camille and sounded the alarm for them.
“We are collectively aware of this possibility. These discussions started even before the storm made landfall in Louisiana,” Ucellini told the Associated Press in an interview with the Associated Press on Thursday.
Bob Hanson, a meteorologist at Yale University’s Climate Links, said that Hurricane Ivan in 2004 also experienced a similar trajectory and triggered record rainfall in Pittsburgh. He said that in Ada’s case, “the conditions for making rain are ripe, and all this has been achieved along the I-95 corridor.”
On Wednesday night, the storm brought more than 3 inches of rain to New York’s Central Park in one hour, breaking the record set by Tropical Storm Henry less than two weeks ago. In parts of New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania, more than 9 inches of rain fell.
The death toll and the amount of damage are increasing.
“Some of them are just bad luck. Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami, said that if Ida only tracked 100 miles east, the highest rainfall would occur over the ocean and no one would care.
McNaughty said in an email: “The threat of severe weather and flash floods in these areas is well predicted a few days in advance, but this does not reduce the damage they cause,” attached Monday and Tuesday. The National Weather Service warned.
Ken Kunkel, a meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who specializes in extreme rainfall and high temperatures, said his research a few years ago found that one-third of extreme rainfall events in the Northeast were caused by hurricanes and tropical storms. Remnants.
Government officials in New York have been planning for heavy rains, but Ucellini said that the rainfall — more than 3 to 8 inches predicted on Tuesday — just overwhelmed the infrastructure in the northeast.
“People are ready, but is the infrastructure ready to deal with the scale of these storms?” Ucellini said. “It doesn’t seem to be the case.”
“I think as the weather gets worse… this is something we must consider now and in the future,” he said.
Experts say that global warming caused by man-made burning of fossil fuels may also make Ada’s far-reaching effects worse.
Jeff Masters, a former hurricane hunter meteorologist also from the Yale University Climate Contact, said that warmer air contains more moisture that can be dumped. He said that the moisture in the air above the ocean is about 10% higher than in 1970 and will drop during storms.
The extra moisture condenses in the storm and releases extra heat, which leads to updrafts and makes the storm stronger and longer. “This can lead to a 30% increase in rainfall, as recorded in several major flooding cases. That way,” he said.
Marshall Sheppard, a professor of meteorology at the University of Georgia, said that heavy rain fell on urban areas, and sidewalks such as roads and parking lots worsened water runoff and caused flooding. “Human impact is part of the flood disaster and is often overlooked.”
Columbia University climate scientist Adam Sobel said that although plans and efforts have been made since Superstorm Sandy in 2012 to increase resilience to extreme weather, there is still more work to be done. “Obviously, our infrastructure cannot cope with such incidents.”