Kudo’s to a Dedicated CoCoRaHS Rainfall Observer
This multi-day rainfall event has resulted in several interesting hydrometeorological observations. You might remember that last Friday I mentioned the possibility of an extreme rain event. That event did occur in a very small area — within and near Pensacola, Florida. A CoCoRaHS rainfall observer reported 21.70 inches of rain which seems to be confirmed by the SERFC’s radar-estimated rainfall report. This was not too far away from the all-time Florida record of 23.28” in Key West in 1980.
A very dedicated CoCoRaHS volunteer observer was able capture this event, which hlped the SERFC corfirm the radar estimates. Here is a report from the observer…
Thank you so much for getting back with me. I am certainly in a state of wonder of what I have witnessed these past 24 hours. Yes, I am safe. Our particular location is one of the highest in our subdivision. Our elevation is 28′ above sea level (according to Google Earth). Plus, we are on a ridge that runs West to East in our subdivision. Unfortunately 2 and 3 roads over from me (in the low lying areas) did not fare well. I am getting together some still shots as well as some video before and after the event. My sister lives next to a retention pond at Gulf Beach Highway and Cambia Lane. (2 roads form me) It overflowed and crossed Gulf Beach Highway. She sent me video of the pond overflowing and a video, which I will try to get to you. During a walk-about today (Sunday), I took several photos (retention pond way down now) as well as some video of problematic areas in the neighborhood. I hope to get them to you in the next day or so.
Let me go through the event with you.
Yesterday (Saturday) morning at 0702, I emptied the catch, which held 3.05″. It was drizzling at the time but the sky was dark and according to radar I knew we were in for more. At 0720 (and I looked at the clock!) a TORRENTIAL downpour started and did not let up. At about 0930, I told my husband we were going to have to check the catch really soon – I was looking out my front door with binoculars (lightning in the area) and it looked like the catch was full. So brave man that he is, he went out at 0948 with a big bowl with a cover. I told him to empty the inner tube and the large tube into the bowl, and come back as fast as he could (lighting). I stood in the kitchen and dipped out the catch into the inner tube, which he had brought with him and counted 11.65″. I know you said that it holds less than that but that is what it registered and he was very careful to make sure that nothing fell into the bowl on the way to the house as the bowl had a lid.
An hour later I had him go back out and empty the catch again into the bowl and it registered 4.98″ (of course we used the inner marked tube to register the inches. When it slacked up enough we were able to replace the inner tube and not have to use the bowl to pour the contents into. I took hourly readings up until 1640 at which time the rain had, except for sporadic sprinkles, stopped. The last major rain event for the 24-hour period was about 0612 this morning and that’s where, I think, the rain from 1640(9th) to 0700 (10th) occurred. The readings are accurate. I knew yesterday morning we were in for a doosie!
Today my sister and I went to Elberta, Alabama around 1000. We ran into a wall of water streaming in from the Gulf. It was white knuckle driving but we made it to our destination – and then had to drive back through it. Lucky she had a 4 wheel drive.
I have not seen this kind of flooding along Perdido since around the late 70′s when my boyfriend rescued me in his tow truck from Perdido Bay Country Club (the entrance road parallels a bayou). That same golf course – according to 2nd hand reports registered 20″ of rain yesterday. It is about 1.5 miles to my WNW. I have not checked my catch today but I’m sure it holds at least 2 3 more inches since 0700 this morning. I will get you pictures and videos as soon as I can.
I wore my COCORAHS T-Shirt while out and about today – I’m proud to be a member!
Another interesting aspect is the impact that the rain will have on the drought. I have overplayed rainfall with the area of most significant drought (outlined by black line). Keep an eye on the areas shaded in yellow or red. These areas received at least 2 inches of rain. It looks like this rain event will drastically improve drought impacts over the far western Florida Panhandle and far southern Alabama. Elsewhere, over southeast Alabama and southern Georgia, while the rain will definably be welcome, drought impacts most likely will linger.
Looking at the bigger picture since May, we have seen an increase in rainfall frequency and rainfall intensity which has steadily chipped away at the areal extent of the drought.