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George BM

Most Painful Storm Potential BUSTS in your Memory

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Since it is not very active weather-wise right now I've decided to start this thread. 

You may also add the most significant/coolest storms to affect your home that you weren't there to experience.  

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In the span of two years, I managed to miss the January 2011 thundersnow/Commutaggedon event, Hurricane Irene, and the Derecho. And I don't travel that much.  Better luck since.

 

Most of the big busts that will inevitably be mentioned either predate my move to DC or weren't as painful.  I got 4" in the March 2013 bust and I had checked out early on for the Dec 2010 bust.  My main disappointment actually was the Feb 2006 event.  I thought I was in for my first good nor'easter snowstorm and ended up with 8 sloppy inches that began melting immediately.

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Not really a bust in the truest sense....but...I have lived in this general area my entire life.  The one year that I moved for work was the winter of 2009-2010 to Alabama.  Horrendous.

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Well, this is easy for me. The derecho  in 2012. Wife and I were actually on a vacation in Myrtle Beach after spending the first several days of it in Wilmington helping friends move into a new house they had just retired to. We were in MB ONE night, several calls during the evening about how bad it was, then at 5:30 am we got calls from both relief groups we volunteered for. Came immediately home to help the Red Cross set up two shelters and man them while we talked to the other group trying to organize where to send relief supplies and if they needed to send a team in to our area. Told them we were better than some other areas so they went elsewhere with personnel, but they did deliver a tractor trailer of water and Gatorade that we unloaded and passed out from the RC spots. We were lucky at our house, only went three days no power, several places in the area went close to a week. Boy that was a hot week too! Shelters stayed pretty much full with people just trying to stay cool.

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I missed the derecho in 2012 because I was in FL on vacation... missed the Blizzard of 96 because I was in FL again for the 50th anniversary of my grandparents wedding

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For me I had two most painful experiences. One "I missed the storm" experience and one "the storm missed me" experience.

One was on June 4, 2008: T'was the end of my final year in elementary school and we were getting ready to go home for the day. Strong thunderstorms had been in the forecast for that Wednesday. Still I wasn't too worried. During all my years in elementary school there were only two other times that I could remember a thunderstorm occurring while I was at school. Way back in Kindergarten (It wasn't even a legitimate thunderstorm more a thundershower) and 5th grade on November 16, 2006 (again not a legitimate thunderstorm more just 1 or 2 lightning flashes with heavy rain). Back to June 4, 2008, we had recess outside that day (12:30-1ishpm) after morning rain and there was a hazy sunshine filtered through very thin high clouds. Not too hot yet. By 2:35pm we had finished the movie we had been watching (the one with a big grey sea creature that loved the water so much and grew rapidly every time it got into the water. People were later shooting cannons into the water in order to.....) well you get the idea. Anyway at 2:35pm I looked outside and (although the classroom window faced to the east) I could tell that the sky to the west was probably getting very dark by the sharp contrast between the light of the thin high clouds to the east and the dark silhouettes of the other parts of the school building to the east. I got scared hoping that it wouldn't be too big of an event. I tried to convince myself that it was just moderate/heavy rain with little lightning moving in (as so often happened in the area). But at 2:44pm the Tornado alarm went off. It was at this point that I slowly started to put two and two together (Too late in the day for a planned drill + Getting dark outside = Bad!). I heard noises while I was in the hallway including thunder and other noise which may or may not have been the rain and wind outside. At 3:16pm we were allowed back into the classroom where I saw the darkest/greenest sky that I'd ever seen looking outside the classroom window. School bus drivers on their way to the school to drive us home had taken shelter from the storm so we had to wait a while for our bus driver to show up. Too make a long story short I got home at 4:06pm that afternoon. I got an ear-full of the whiteout conditions and wild winds I had missed while I was ducked down like a turkey being prepared for Thanksgiving in my school hallway. The evidence of the storm could clearly be seen as well (A basketball hoop down, a tree fallen up the road and several smaller branches and twigs down everywhere). 

 

The other experience was Hurricane Joaquin. Let me explain why Joaquin was so painful. The 2015 Hurricane Season was one that I always had very low expectations for due to the Super El-Nino forming that year. So struggling storms in the Atlantic did not faze me much at all unlike the previous two years. By late September I was getting into the spirit of looking forward to how crazy the weather pattern could be that winter due to the Super El-Nino. That's when the upper level low that had been in the Atlantic for a while became a mid and then low level low and started developing into a tropical depression. At first models were not too excited about the developing storm. But what most people never bring up is the fact that the 12z European model run from September 28th, 2015 was actually the first major weather model to show Joaquin making a sharp left hook into the mid-Atlantic coast. Right after that the 18z GFS showed the same thing. By the next day, although the European model had switched to a storm track towards Bermuda, just about every other weather model started to lock in on the Mid-Atlantic/Carolina coastline. By Wednesday, although models were starting to peg the location of landfall further south into the Carolinas, they (except for Euro of course) were locked in in good agreement of a US landfall that would still bring a fairly decent event up into the DMV region. Now don't get me wrong. I always knew that there was the chance that the European model could end up being right. It was a very reliable weather model and one couldn't simply completely ignore it because it showed a solution so vastly different from the other weather models. After all, at Joaquin's location at that time a simple wobble could make all the difference between a US landfall and Bermuda. The first real sign of trouble (for me) came when the 0z GFS run from October 1st, 2015 came out taking Joaquin towards Long Island, New York. During the day Thursday and into Friday all the weather models would slowly cave to their mighty king and savior and show a near Bermuda track. That whole period was the ultimate "Screw you George!" So to break it down why this was so painful for me, I'd kept my expectations extremely low all year just for one potential storm to finally manage to really get my interests...and then right as I’m getting into the groove, one pesky weather model manages to pull a Hail Mary and becomes a “hero” being the only major weather model to be “correct” with the Joaquin forecast track. But let’s not forget, it was the first major model to show Joaquin hooking into the coast. Models need to stop being sheep.

Anyway, that’s MORE than enough of my rambling and boohooing lol.

 

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On 5/10/2017 at 8:38 AM, MN Transplant said:

In the span of two years, I managed to miss the January 2011 thundersnow/Commutaggedon event, Hurricane Irene, and the Derecho. And I don't travel that much.  Better luck since.

 

Most of the big busts that will inevitably be mentioned either predate my move to DC or weren't as painful.  I got 4" in the March 2013 bust and I had checked out early on for the Dec 2010 bust.  My main disappointment actually was the Feb 2006 event.  I thought I was in for my first good nor'easter snowstorm and ended up with 8 sloppy inches that began melting immediately.

I know the feeling. I felt the same way with Superstorm Sandy waiting for the epic 60 to 70+ mph wind gusts to commence. IAD ended up with a 54 mph peak wind gust.....a large disappointment after all of that hype. 

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On 5/10/2017 at 8:39 AM, LP08 said:

Not really a bust in the truest sense....but...I have lived in this general area my entire life.  The one year that I moved for work was the winter of 2009-2010 to Alabama.  Horrendous.

Nooo! That had to hurt. :(

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On 5/10/2017 at 8:40 AM, wxdude64 said:

Well, this is easy for me. The derecho  in 2012. Wife and I were actually on a vacation in Myrtle Beach after spending the first several days of it in Wilmington helping friends move into a new house they had just retired to. We were in MB ONE night, several calls during the evening about how bad it was, then at 5:30 am we got calls from both relief groups we volunteered for. Came immediately home to help the Red Cross set up two shelters and man them while we talked to the other group trying to organize where to send relief supplies and if they needed to send a team in to our area. Told them we were better than some other areas so they went elsewhere with personnel, but they did deliver a tractor trailer of water and Gatorade that we unloaded and passed out from the RC spots. We were lucky at our house, only went three days no power, several places in the area went close to a week. Boy that was a hot week too! Shelters stayed pretty much full with people just trying to stay cool.

That's quite literally one of my worst weather nightmares. :( There will be more large events though. It's a matter of when...

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On 5/10/2017 at 10:33 AM, yoda said:

I missed the derecho in 2012 because I was in FL on vacation... missed the Blizzard of 96 because I was in FL again for the 50th anniversary of my grandparents wedding

That just blows. I know how into severe weather you are. One day though we'll all win lol. It's just........when...

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1 hour ago, George BM said:

That just blows. I know how into severe weather you are. One day though we'll all win lol. It's just........when...

The derecho actually was on the day we drove down to FL... as soon as we got to the house I turned on my computer to play AoE and checked the weather first and saw the derecho's path toward DC and I was like Fook me.  I have the 00z sounding from that evening at IAD somewhere... it was insane

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1 hour ago, yoda said:

The derecho actually was on the day we drove down to FL... as soon as we got to the house I turned on my computer to play AoE and checked the weather first and saw the derecho's path toward DC and I was like Fook me.  I have the 00z sounding from that evening at IAD somewhere... it was insane

CAPE was over 5,000 J/kg. Very impressive in these parts.

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I can't really think of any super painful misses. There's been many a snowstorm that has disappointed, but most of those were not supposed to be big snowstorms. The big snowstorms that we missed out on were not last second misses, but rather we had the rug pulled out from under us days in advance. Maybe the one that sticks out the most is the one that missed us right around Christmas time several years ago. I think it crushed NYC and Boston.

At the end of the day, I remember the big ones that hit us, not the ones that missed us.

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4 hours ago, osfan24 said:

I can't really think of any super painful misses. There's been many a snowstorm that has disappointed, but most of those were not supposed to be big snowstorms. The big snowstorms that we missed out on were not last second misses, but rather we had the rug pulled out from under us days in advance. Maybe the one that sticks out the most is the one that missed us right around Christmas time several years ago. I think it crushed NYC and Boston.

At the end of the day, I remember the big ones that hit us, not the ones that missed us.

Hmmm... That might be from 2010. 

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  August 9 2000.    A derecho was blasting through the Ohio Valley, and it was heading our way - on target to arrive during rush hour and potentially cause a disaster.   SPC went with the rare PDS severe box, calling for wind gusts exceeding 80 kt.    We didn't have CAMs back then, so it was all about environment, and it seemed like we had decent cape and shear in place.      But we've learned over the years that these wind-producing MCS events only survive crossing the mountains when the lapse rates are huge, and they weren't that day, and the thing got totally ripped up coming over the Appalachians.    It arrived as a line of showers with winds gusting to 25 kt or so.     Granted, had it  arrived at full strength during rush hour, you would have had fatalities and chaos, but it was a massive letdown.

 

URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH NUMBER 666
STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1219 PM EDT WED AUG 9 2000

THE STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF

   DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
   MARYLAND
   SOUTHERN PENNSYLVANIA
   NORTHERN VIRGINIA
   CENTRASL AND EASTERN WEST VIRGINIA

EFFECTIVE THIS WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM 100 PM UNTIL
700 PM EDT.

 ...THIS IS A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION...

DESTRUCTIVE WINDS. ALSO...HAIL TO 1 INCH IN DIAMETER...
THUNDERSTORM WIND GUSTS TO 95 MPH...AND DANGEROUS LIGHTNING ARE
POSSIBLE IN THESE AREAS.

THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH AREA IS ALONG AND 70 STATUTE MILES
NORTH AND SOUTH OF A LINE FROM 60 MILES WEST SOUTHWEST OF
MORGANTOWN WEST VIRGINIA TO 10 MILES EAST SOUTHEAST OF BALTIMORE
MARYLAND.

REMEMBER...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE
FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH AREA.
PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THREATENING
WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS AND POSSIBLE
WARNINGS.

OTHER WATCH INFORMATION...  CONTINUE...WW 665...

DISCUSSION...INTENSE BOW ECHO OVER SERN OHIO IS EXPECTED TO
CONTINUE EWD AT 55 KT ACROSS THE APPALACHIANS WITH WIDESPREAD
DAMAGING WINDS LIKELY. ACTIIVTY WILL REACH THE BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON
DC AREA AROUND 5 PM.
 

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4 hours ago, high risk said:

 

  August 9 2000.    A derecho was blasting through the Ohio Valley, and it was heading our way - on target to arrive during rush hour and potentially cause a disaster.   SPC went with the rare PDS severe box, calling for wind gusts exceeding 80 kt.    We didn't have CAMs back then, so it was all about environment, and it seemed like we had decent cape and shear in place.      But we've learned over the years that these wind-producing MCS events only survive crossing the mountains when the lapse rates are huge, and they weren't that day, and the thing got totally ripped up coming over the Appalachians.    It arrived as a line of showers with winds gusting to 25 kt or so.     Granted, had it  arrived at full strength during rush hour, you would have had fatalities and chaos, but it was a massive letdown.

 

URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH NUMBER 666
STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1219 PM EDT WED AUG 9 2000

THE STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF

   DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
   MARYLAND
   SOUTHERN PENNSYLVANIA
   NORTHERN VIRGINIA
   CENTRASL AND EASTERN WEST VIRGINIA

EFFECTIVE THIS WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM 100 PM UNTIL
700 PM EDT.

 ...THIS IS A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION...

DESTRUCTIVE WINDS. ALSO...HAIL TO 1 INCH IN DIAMETER...
THUNDERSTORM WIND GUSTS TO 95 MPH...AND DANGEROUS LIGHTNING ARE
POSSIBLE IN THESE AREAS.

THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH AREA IS ALONG AND 70 STATUTE MILES
NORTH AND SOUTH OF A LINE FROM 60 MILES WEST SOUTHWEST OF
MORGANTOWN WEST VIRGINIA TO 10 MILES EAST SOUTHEAST OF BALTIMORE
MARYLAND.

REMEMBER...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE
FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH AREA.
PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THREATENING
WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS AND POSSIBLE
WARNINGS.

OTHER WATCH INFORMATION...  CONTINUE...WW 665...

DISCUSSION...INTENSE BOW ECHO OVER SERN OHIO IS EXPECTED TO
CONTINUE EWD AT 55 KT ACROSS THE APPALACHIANS WITH WIDESPREAD
DAMAGING WINDS LIKELY. ACTIIVTY WILL REACH THE BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON
DC AREA AROUND 5 PM.
 

Welp...... You should have expected it with it being Severe Thunderstorm Watch 666. :lol:

But seriously I can imagine that that bust would've driven me off the walls if I were very into weather back then.

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5 hours ago, high risk said:

 

  August 9 2000.    A derecho was blasting through the Ohio Valley, and it was heading our way - on target to arrive during rush hour and potentially cause a disaster.   SPC went with the rare PDS severe box, calling for wind gusts exceeding 80 kt.    We didn't have CAMs back then, so it was all about environment, and it seemed like we had decent cape and shear in place.      But we've learned over the years that these wind-producing MCS events only survive crossing the mountains when the lapse rates are huge, and they weren't that day, and the thing got totally ripped up coming over the Appalachians.    It arrived as a line of showers with winds gusting to 25 kt or so.     Granted, had it  arrived at full strength during rush hour, you would have had fatalities and chaos, but it was a massive letdown.

 

URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH NUMBER 666
STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1219 PM EDT WED AUG 9 2000

THE STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF

   DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
   MARYLAND
   SOUTHERN PENNSYLVANIA
   NORTHERN VIRGINIA
   CENTRASL AND EASTERN WEST VIRGINIA

EFFECTIVE THIS WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM 100 PM UNTIL
700 PM EDT.

 ...THIS IS A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION...

DESTRUCTIVE WINDS. ALSO...HAIL TO 1 INCH IN DIAMETER...
THUNDERSTORM WIND GUSTS TO 95 MPH...AND DANGEROUS LIGHTNING ARE
POSSIBLE IN THESE AREAS.

THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH AREA IS ALONG AND 70 STATUTE MILES
NORTH AND SOUTH OF A LINE FROM 60 MILES WEST SOUTHWEST OF
MORGANTOWN WEST VIRGINIA TO 10 MILES EAST SOUTHEAST OF BALTIMORE
MARYLAND.

REMEMBER...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE
FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH AREA.
PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THREATENING
WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS AND POSSIBLE
WARNINGS.

OTHER WATCH INFORMATION...  CONTINUE...WW 665...

DISCUSSION...INTENSE BOW ECHO OVER SERN OHIO IS EXPECTED TO
CONTINUE EWD AT 55 KT ACROSS THE APPALACHIANS WITH WIDESPREAD
DAMAGING WINDS LIKELY. ACTIIVTY WILL REACH THE BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON
DC AREA AROUND 5 PM.
 

I'm also curious. Did the SPC ever place us under a high risk that day?

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