Duluth’s 1-foot storm surge, a near blizzard, and a 155 mph hurricane

October 10, 2018, will go down in the weather books as one of the most intense weather days I can remember. The lakeshore flood event in Duluth is significant. And the final storm impacts from Hurricane Michael are still unfolding in Florida and Georgia.

Here’s a preliminary wrap on what we know so far about an active day in the atmosphere over the U.S.

Duluth lakeshore flood

Sustained northeast winds with gust as high as 86 mph drove pounding waves ashore in Duluth.

  • 3 SE Castle Danger [Lsz143 Co, MN] SHIP reports NON-TSTM WND GST of M86 MPH at 12:30 AM CDT — THE FREIGHTER ALGOWOOD REPORTED WIND GUSTS TO AS HIGH AS 75 KNOTS (86 MPH) A LITTLE AFTER MIDNIGHT.

The resulting storm surge pushed water into unusual places. MPR News reporters Andrew Krueger and Dan Kraker reported on the unfolding damage from close range. Sometimes from too close range.

Water poured into the streets of Duluth near the lakefront.

Numerous flood reports rolled into the Duluth NWS office.

  • 1 E Duluth [St. Louis Co, MN] NWS EMPLOYEE reports LAKESHORE FLOOD at 6:30 AM CDT — DULUTH SHIPPING CHANNEL LIGHTHOUSE AND PIER FLOODING AND MORSE STREET IN CANAL PARK FLOODING.
  • 1 E Duluth [St. Louis Co, MN] PUBLIC reports LAKESHORE FLOOD at 10:06 AM CDT — WATER COVERING THE ROADWAY ON HARBOR DRIVE NEAR THE DECC.
  • 2 SSW Gary NEW Duluth [St. Louis Co, MN] PUBLIC reports LAKESHORE FLOOD at 8:00 AM CDT — FLOODING ALONG THE ST. LOUIS RIVER NEAR BOY SCOUT LANDING, PORTIONS OF RIVER PLACE CAMPGROUND UNDER WATER.

1-foot storm surge 

A check of NOAA’sDuluth harbor buoy shows a 1-foot rise in the water level of Lake Superior today compared to yesterday. That’s essentially a wind-driven, 1-foot storm surge.

Heavy snow up north

Yes, it’s been oppressively dismal, gray, and wet in the Twin Cities. But it could be worse. More than a foot of snow has fallen in parts of eastern North Dakota.

Snow in Oriska, ND via NDOT.
  • 3 S Valley City [Barnes Co, ND] PUBLIC reports HEAVY SNOW of 13.00 INCH at 2:00 PM CDT — REPORT RECEIVED VIA BROADCAST MEDIA.
  • 8 W Hope [Steele Co, ND] COCORAHS reports SNOW of 14.20 INCH at 6:11 PM CDT — UPDATE FROM EARLIER REPORT WITH 1.24 LIQUID

Near-blizzard conditions are reported in the Red River Valley. Winds have gusted to 40 mph with blowing snow and visibility at or under 1/4 mile. A winter storm warning is up until 1 am.

Including the cities of Lakota, Mcville, Aneta, Tolna,
Grand Forks, Cooperstown, Finley, Hope, Mayville, Hillsboro,
Hatton, Portland, Valley City, and Fargo
318 PM CDT Wed Oct 10 2018

…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 AM CDT
THURSDAY…

* WHAT…Heavy snow. Additional snow accumulations of 2 to 4
inches are expected. Storm total snowfall will range from
6 to 12 inches.

* WHERE…Portions of northeast and southeast North Dakota.

* WHEN…Until 1 AM CDT Thursday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on difficult travel conditions,
including during the evening commute. Expect significant
reductions in visibility at times.

Northern Minnesota snow

Snow continues overnight in northern Minnesota. Several inches will pile up into a plowable mess.

Freeze Ahead

Much colder air pours south into the Twin Cities overnight into Thursday. I still think the Twin Cities may hit 32-degrees in the next few mornings. There are still rays of hope that we may recover into the 60s late next week.

NOAA via Weather Bell.

Hurricane Michael: 3rd strongest ever to hit the U.S.

The scenes as Hurricane Michael ripped through the Florida coast at landfall measured up as advertised.

Michael roared ashore with a minimum central pressure of just 919 millibars. That’s the 3rd lowest pressure for any landfalling U.S. hurricane on record.

Michael is the 4th Category 4 storm to hit the U.S. in just the past 15 months.

And yes, warmer than average water temperature in the Gulf of Mexico played a role in Michaels rapid intensification process.

 

 

  • 7cubed

    Mr. Huttner
    The link to Michael Mann at the end of this blog, coupled with your IPCC echo the other day, is very informative and reveals much that I previously had only suspected was true.

    • Oscar Harrison

      The reality belies that the storms are getting more intense as the amount of available atmospheric energy increases. It is simple physics, if you put more energy in a system it can do more damage.

      • 7cubed

        That’s really special and very scientific sounding too

        • Oscar Harrison

          Considering I have the scientific education and degree, it should.

          • Nort’erner

            lol