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posted by martyb on Monday August 23 2021, @10:14AM   Printer-friendly
from the anyone-want-some-of-our-water dept.

At least 22 dead after 17 inches of rain in Tennessee:

Up to 17 inches [(43 cm)] of rain fell in Humphreys County in less than 24 hours Saturday, appearing to shatter the Tennessee record for one-day rainfall by more than 3 inches, the National Weather Service said.

[...] At the beginning of a news conference on Tropical Storm Henri’s impact on New England, President Joe Biden offered condolences to the people of Tennessee and directed federal disaster officials to talk with the governor and offer assistance.

[...] A flash flood watch was issued for the area before the rain started, with forecasters saying 4 to 6 inches of rain was possible. The worst storm recorded in this area of Middle Tennessee only dropped 9 inches of rain, said Krissy Hurley, a weather service meteorologist in Nashville.

“Forecasting almost a record is something we don’t do very often,” Hurley said. “Double the amount we’ve ever seen was almost unfathomable.”

Recent scientific research has determined that extreme rain events will become more frequent because of man-made climate change. Hurley said it is impossible to know its exact role in Saturday’s flood, but noted in the past year her office dealt with floods that used to be expected maybe once every 100 years in September south of Nashville and in March closer to the city.


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by janrinok on Monday August 23 2021, @10:31AM (16 children)

    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 23 2021, @10:31AM (#1169815) Journal
    TMB - if you are out there, stay safe.
    --
    I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday August 23 2021, @10:53AM (9 children)

      by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Monday August 23 2021, @10:53AM (#1169819) Homepage
      Yeah, I know he's in the west and this was nominally in the "Middle", but looking at the towns mentioned, they're pretty westwards in the state, so he can't be far from the whole thing.

      Hopefully, there'll be some good fishing after this.
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
      • (Score: 5, Informative) by martyb on Monday August 23 2021, @12:57PM (8 children)

        by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 23 2021, @12:57PM (#1169837) Journal

        I exchanged some TXTs with TMB. He seemed not-at-all concerned about the storm. Gave the impression that nothing major was happening in his neck of the woods.

        Also, the French drain he put in along his basement seems to have working great, too!

        --
        Wit is intellect, dancing.
        • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Monday August 23 2021, @02:38PM (7 children)

          by captain normal (2205) on Monday August 23 2021, @02:38PM (#1169878)

          That is good to see, after not seeing him around S/N for awhile, I was concerned. He put a lot into maintaining this site. I miss sparring with him. After all anyone who loves to fish, can't possibly be all bad.

          --
          "If men were angels, government would not be necessary." James Madison
          • (Score: 2) by Oakenshield on Monday August 23 2021, @04:45PM (1 child)

            by Oakenshield (4900) on Monday August 23 2021, @04:45PM (#1169907)

            Did TMB retire from Soylent? I must have missed something.

            • (Score: 4, Informative) by martyb on Monday August 23 2021, @06:57PM

              by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 23 2021, @06:57PM (#1169970) Journal
              Yes, TMB decided to move on. He had a bit on it in his journal. (Something about "I don't do disco", IIRC?) Then several days later the site crashed hard and needed to be restored from ~month-old backups. Those backups (as luck would have it) did not contain his journal entry.
              --
              Wit is intellect, dancing.
          • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Monday August 23 2021, @05:17PM (4 children)

            by krishnoid (1156) on Monday August 23 2021, @05:17PM (#1169919)

            You kidding me? He's an absolute monster.

                -- Chickamauga and Melton Hill Reservoir residents' association [tnwf.org]

            • (Score: 2) by Tork on Monday August 23 2021, @10:51PM (3 children)

              by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 23 2021, @10:51PM (#1170044)
              I've had a few frustrating interactions with him but 'monster' isn't anywhere near a term I'd use with him.
              --
              🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
              • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Tuesday August 24 2021, @12:24AM (1 child)

                by krishnoid (1156) on Tuesday August 24 2021, @12:24AM (#1170077)

                Trying to make a fish joke, but I guess that was one that got away.

                • (Score: 2) by Tork on Tuesday August 24 2021, @09:15PM

                  by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 24 2021, @09:15PM (#1170514)
                  oh damn. Woosh on my part. Sorry!
                  --
                  🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @08:10AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @08:10AM (#1170209)

                Your post looks like a leadin to a Big Johnson joke - but I'm gonna pass . . .

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @11:28AM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @11:28AM (#1169827)

      I'm sure he's fine. You just have to duct tape a confederate flag to your truck, outlaw homosexuality and abortion, and that will keep all librul hoaxes like AGW away.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @02:55PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @02:55PM (#1169883)

        Yeah, every time bad weather strikes, conservatives deserve to die.
        You do know this will happen for the rest of eternity, right?

        • (Score: 1) by Acabatag on Monday August 23 2021, @09:46PM (3 children)

          by Acabatag (2885) on Monday August 23 2021, @09:46PM (#1170018)

          Also, young people will grow older and become more conservative (lower case) for the rest of eternity.

          It's a process of growing older and discovering how little you can really know.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @03:35AM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @03:35AM (#1170142)

            Conservatives live in fear, only makes sense that the older and more frail humans get the more conservative they become.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @08:12AM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @08:12AM (#1170211)

              Conservatives live in fear

              The covid vax uptake puts the lie to that nonsense. It's left/lib/socialist/progressives who live in fear.

  • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Monday August 23 2021, @10:47AM (38 children)

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Monday August 23 2021, @10:47AM (#1169818) Journal

    A flash flood watch was issued for the area before the rain started, with forecasters saying 4 to 6 inches of rain was possible. The worst storm recorded in this area of Middle Tennessee only dropped 9 inches of rain, said Krissy Hurley, a weather service meteorologist in Nashville.

    “Forecasting almost a record is something we don’t do very often,” Hurley said. “Double the amount we’ve ever seen was almost unfathomable.”

    Does that mean their data said that it would be that much, but they didn't report it because it was “unfathomable”? I would hope not. But the quoted part sounds that way to me.

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Monday August 23 2021, @12:41PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday August 23 2021, @12:41PM (#1169833)

      17 inches is some serious stuff in the bottomlands where rain can concentrate 100:1 and more.

      Worst thing is old timers and their local wisdom that: "the creek ain't never rise more than this mark here on this here tree..."

      Floods dislodge debris which gets re-lodged downstream creating local dams, some really unpredictable results come from that - like downtown Houston losing all their medical research mice.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by khallow on Monday August 23 2021, @01:34PM (33 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 23 2021, @01:34PM (#1169851) Journal
      I think it more interesting that the meteorologist (and the journalist) spun this into a climate change story. One of the things missed here is that such heavy rainfall in one place requires slow moving storms which are fairly rare. If the same storm had instead dumped that water over the length of the entire state, it would have been a minor story. There still would have been some degree of flash floods and storm damage, but it would have been spread over a much larger area and not be so extreme an example of weather. But slow moving weather isn't a symptom of climate change.
      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @01:49PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @01:49PM (#1169854)

        But frequency and strength of storms is a direct consequence. However, you can't point at any particular storm and say "this is due to climate change and that one isn't," so I don't know how helpful it is in this particular story other than to note that these kind of events will happen more often than before. However, there's no reasonable preparation you can do for 17 inches of rain in a day.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday August 23 2021, @02:30PM (1 child)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 23 2021, @02:30PM (#1169876) Journal

          However, there's no reasonable preparation you can do for 17 inches of rain in a day.

          Sure there is and I wager Tennessee has done much of it. If you have emergency services and a moderate level of flood control, then you can recover from such a disaster with modest effort. You can't keep the water from coming, you can't keep some people from dying, but even a little preparation can greatly reduce the harm, both short and long term from such things.

          • (Score: 2) by ElizabethGreene on Monday August 23 2021, @07:34PM

            by ElizabethGreene (6748) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 23 2021, @07:34PM (#1169984) Journal

            Nashville had a massive rain event in 2010 that dropped 14 inches over a span of two days. Some people died and there was a tremendous amount of property damage. We learned a lot from that. Now we keep the lake and river levels much lower and do a lot more planning around stormwater control.

            The lake, lock, and dam work is all done through the Tennessee Valley Authority and Army Core of Engineers. Their lessons were carried statewide. I don't know about the lower-level stuff. The two cities I heard got the brunt of it were Dickson and Waverly. Both are pretty small; Waverly is a map dot. I don't know how much they have in terms of resources they would have had to throw at a problem like this.

        • (Score: 2) by weilawei on Monday August 23 2021, @06:35PM

          by weilawei (109) on Monday August 23 2021, @06:35PM (#1169957)
          Sure you can. Ask the Dutch for help if you need some.
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Monday August 23 2021, @03:32PM (14 children)

        by Thexalon (636) on Monday August 23 2021, @03:32PM (#1169888)

        An increased frequency of slow-moving storms dropping unusually heavy levels of rains in the area that got hit was one of the predictions of climatologists as an effect of higher global average temperatures, so I see the climate-change angle as being entirely relevant.

        --
        The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Monday August 23 2021, @06:09PM (3 children)

          by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Monday August 23 2021, @06:09PM (#1169934) Journal

          Butbutbutbut CAPITALISM! How can Hallow be a Rugged Individualist Who Don't Need No Gubbamint (TM) if physical reality gets in the way?! WHY DO YOU HATE FREEDOM?!

          --
          I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
          • (Score: 0, Troll) by Acabatag on Monday August 23 2021, @09:52PM (2 children)

            by Acabatag (2885) on Monday August 23 2021, @09:52PM (#1170020)

            Rather it's: 'How can we radically transform society by setting loose a bunch of chicken littles to spread hysteria?'

            Let's go with the presumption that massive climate change is inevitable. Then let's agree not to hamstring ourselves with the half-baked 'solutions' that the political left are always eager to propose.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @11:17PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @11:17PM (#1170053)

              AKA - you're a partisan idiot

              • (Score: 1) by Acabatag on Thursday August 26 2021, @02:00AM

                by Acabatag (2885) on Thursday August 26 2021, @02:00AM (#1171057)

                Talking to yourself in the mirror makes you look ridiculous.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday August 23 2021, @06:53PM (9 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 23 2021, @06:53PM (#1169968) Journal
          Here's my point. Yes, human-caused global warming would increase somewhat the frequency of this stuff. But the key parts that make this big news are stuff like slow moving storms, emergency preparedness, and flood control. The frequency of storms is mildly dependent on climate change. The harm they do is strongly dependent on non-climate factors instead. Why make the story about climate change rather than about the much more relevant factors that local society incidentally often has a great deal of control over?
          • (Score: 2) by Tork on Monday August 23 2021, @07:15PM (8 children)

            by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 23 2021, @07:15PM (#1169977)

            Why make the story about climate change rather than about the much more relevant factors that local society incidentally often has a great deal of control over?

            Why should we make a smaller correction now than a larger correction later as things get more frequent and more intense? Oh I dunno... maybe because we don't actually care about anybody's Q4 earnings report?

            --
            🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday August 23 2021, @07:43PM (7 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 23 2021, @07:43PM (#1169988) Journal

              Why should we make a smaller correction now than a larger correction later as things get more frequent and more intense?

              Because developed world societies have two or so orders of magnitude better ability to correct such things. Property that gets built in the way still suffers, but we in the developed world have developed a great system for avoiding loss of life during extreme weather events.

              • (Score: 2) by Tork on Monday August 23 2021, @09:34PM (6 children)

                by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 23 2021, @09:34PM (#1170014)

                Why are these in exclusion to each other? Why not both?

                --
                🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @11:20PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @11:20PM (#1170054)

                  Lets him continue a whatabout narrative without actually admitting climate change is a problem we need to address. Khollow is slow boiling us like frogs in his cauldron.

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday August 24 2021, @04:09AM (4 children)

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 24 2021, @04:09AM (#1170149) Journal

                  Why are these in exclusion to each other?

                  Two reasons. Climate change mitigation is notorious for its economic backwardness - not just the consistent, myopic exaggerations of the harm of climate change, but also outright ignoring the cost of mitigation. Sea level rising a few meters is a humongous cost somehow, but restructuring the entirety of the world's economy to no longer generate greenhouse gases is considered a trivial cost. There is an obsession with one side of the balance sheet with no reasoned cost/benefit going on, or an understanding of the harm that mitigation measures can and do cause.

                  Second, closely related to that is the absolute, dogmatic treatment. It's not enough to greatly curb greenhouse gases emissions - obsessing over cutting everything as completely as possible. Every other problem of humanity is subordinated to this one.

                  For me, this has all the hallmarks of mass hysteria, little different than worrying about Islamists or Trump supporters. It wouldn't be such a big deal, if we weren't speaking of the worlds energy, transportation, and construction infrastructure, all which would be great diminished by this obsession over climate change. How many people will die? How much of our environment will be sacrificed for the environment?

                  It will never make sense except as collective mental illness.

                  • (Score: 2) by Tork on Tuesday August 24 2021, @09:30PM (1 child)

                    by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 24 2021, @09:30PM (#1170517)

                    Sea level rising a few meters is a humongous cost somehow, but restructuring the entirety of the world's economy to no longer generate greenhouse gases is considered a trivial cost.

                    What's the expense in going green that you've found is worse than a zillion dollars of property being destroyed? Are you factoring in things like fewer health issues with less pollution etc?

                    --
                    🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday August 25 2021, @12:00PM

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 25 2021, @12:00PM (#1170775) Journal

                      What's the expense in going green that you've found is worse than a zillion dollars of property being destroyed?

                      A zillion dollars of property is going to be destroyed anyway. Real estate buildings are depreciating assets and most of it isn't going to last till it gets threatened by climate change. Meanwhile we're dropping trillions of dollars of infrastructure real soon now because they have climate change cooties.

                      Are you factoring in things like fewer health issues with less pollution etc?

                      Only developed world is delivering that. When it comes to pollution and health issues, developed world is the only game in town.

                  • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Wednesday August 25 2021, @04:05AM (1 child)

                    by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday August 25 2021, @04:05AM (#1170660)

                    What it sure reads to me like you're saying is: "I don't believe climate change is real, because if it were I might be forced to do something about it, and that something would involve giving up stuff that I like."

                    Which would be two layers of argument from consequence, which is fallacious.

                    --
                    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday August 25 2021, @12:01PM

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 25 2021, @12:01PM (#1170776) Journal

                      and that something would involve giving up stuff that I like

                      Like developed world civilization.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @06:27PM (11 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @06:27PM (#1169949)

        Yes, because "khallow" thinks he understands the atmosphere better than trained professionals with degrees in meteorology.

        Actual meteorologists look at quantities like precipitable water when they're forecasting heavy rainfall events and flooding. Precipitable water (PWAT) is the depth of water (often measured in inches) if all of the water vapor above a location, from the surface to the top of the atmosphere, was condensed out. PWATs were up in the range of 2.2 to 2.5 inches during this event, which is a really high number. When forecasting extreme events, meteorologists will look at how many standard deviations the PWAT is above normal.

        It's not just about the speed of storms. If you have excessive PWATs and storms keep redeveloping and training over the same area, you're going to get a huge amount of rainfall. Due to climate change, temperatures will not only warm, but there will generally be more moisture in the atmosphere. One of the reasons these extreme rainfall events are becoming more common is that excessive amounts of atmospheric moisture are becoming more common.

        As for storm speeds, those are driven by upper level winds. The upper level winds are driven by pressure differences in the upper atmosphere that arise from temperature gradients at lower levels. If you have a stronger temperature gradient at low levels, you would expect a stronger pressure gradient and stronger winds in the upper levels. On a large scale, you have a poleward temperature gradient, with warm temperatures in the tropics and cold temperatures near the poles. Temperatures are increasing faster in the Arctic than in the tropics, largely due to changes in albedo in the Arctic. The result is less of a temperature gradient, meaning that the upper level winds should be weaker.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday August 23 2021, @07:37PM (9 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 23 2021, @07:37PM (#1169986) Journal

          Actual meteorologists look at quantities like precipitable water when they're forecasting heavy rainfall events and flooding. Precipitable water (PWAT) is the depth of water (often measured in inches) if all of the water vapor above a location, from the surface to the top of the atmosphere, was condensed out. PWATs were up in the range of 2.2 to 2.5 inches during this event, which is a really high number. When forecasting extreme events, meteorologists will look at how many standard deviations the PWAT is above normal.

          When the "really high numbers" are in terms of standard deviations for undefined distributions that aren't normal, that's a rule of thumb. Rules of thumb usually can be decent predictors (though apparently not in this story!), but it's deceptive to call it understanding. Reading around, strong rain has typical PWAT over 1.75. So the "really high" number is less than 50% above the floor for heavy rain. What's going on that a modest increase in PWAT can have that kind of effect - rather unpredictably I might add.

          If you have excessive PWATs and storms keep redeveloping and training over the same area, you're going to get a huge amount of rainfall.

          Or it's a single, slow moving storm that keeps "redeveloping" over the same area. I don't recall assuming, for a somewhat strawish aspect, that the PWAT would be 17 inches. So naturally, I would expect almost all of the moisture that eventually fell to be fed in from elsewhere over a period of time. And from the point of view of a particle embedded in that atmosphere flow, it would appear to be a storm developing as the particle enters the storm's region and joins the dump on Tennessee. The zone of redevelopment can move around. When it doesn't, that place gets a lot of rain.

          As for storm speeds, those are driven by upper level winds. The upper level winds are driven by pressure differences in the upper atmosphere that arise from temperature gradients at lower levels. If you have a stronger temperature gradient at low levels, you would expect a stronger pressure gradient and stronger winds in the upper levels. On a large scale, you have a poleward temperature gradient, with warm temperatures in the tropics and cold temperatures near the poles. Temperatures are increasing faster in the Arctic than in the tropics, largely due to changes in albedo in the Arctic. The result is less of a temperature gradient, meaning that the upper level winds should be weaker.

          So we're going to talk about poleward temperature gradients as if they were the only gradients? On a very small scale, greenhouse global warming predicts that the temperature gradient between the bottom and top of the troposphere layer will increase. That's a "stronger temperature gradient at low levels".

          There also appears to be substantial polar vortexes predicted as well, indicating that there's considerable poleward temperature gradients coming from somewhere and it's increasing.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @01:03AM (8 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @01:03AM (#1170091)

            When the "really high numbers" are in terms of standard deviations for undefined distributions that aren't normal, that's a rule of thumb. Rules of thumb usually can be decent predictors (though apparently not in this story!), but it's deceptive to call it understanding. Reading around, strong rain has typical PWAT over 1.75. So the "really high" number is less than 50% above the floor for heavy rain. What's going on that a modest increase in PWAT can have that kind of effect - rather unpredictably I might add.

            For extreme events, the relationship between PWAT and rainfall doesn't really follow a linear relationship. See https://ncics.org/cics-news/quantifying-the-relationship-between-extreme-precipitation-and-atmospheric-water-vapor/ [ncics.org] for more details. The actual microphysics inside the clouds probably aren't as well understood, but there are probably a number of factors like the ability to grow cloud droplets through warm rain processes and the less entrainment of dry air into clouds. Regardless, for high PWATs, the relationship is definitely nonlinear.

            Or it's a single, slow moving storm that keeps "redeveloping" over the same area. I don't recall assuming, for a somewhat strawish aspect, that the PWAT would be 17 inches. So naturally, I would expect almost all of the moisture that eventually fell to be fed in from elsewhere over a period of time. And from the point of view of a particle embedded in that atmosphere flow, it would appear to be a storm developing as the particle enters the storm's region and joins the dump on Tennessee. The zone of redevelopment can move around. When it doesn't, that place gets a lot of rain.

            I fail to understand your point with respect to a Lagrangian or an Eulerian frame of reference. Obviously, if you only have 2.5 inches of water in the column, the other 15 or so inches have to arrive via inflow. It means you have a deep layer of very high moisture content being advected into your storms. What's your point? Extreme rainfall is almost certainly going to be associated with training thunderstorms. This isn't the first time central Tennessee has experienced training thunderstorms. But it is the first time that 17 inches of rain has been reported. Why did this event produce 17 inches instead of nine? It's quite possibly related to the very high moisture content in the air mass. Climate change projections are that the atmosphere will generally become moister.

            So we're going to talk about poleward temperature gradients as if they were the only gradients? On a very small scale, greenhouse global warming predicts that the temperature gradient between the bottom and top of the troposphere layer will increase. That's a "stronger temperature gradient at low levels".

            There's a term for vertical temperature gradients: static stability. But there's not a clear process for static stability to influence upper level winds and storm motion.

            A colder column of air will be shallower, which you can mathematically express via the hypsometric equation. This is why the tropopause is lower at high latitudes. Assuming you have roughly the same amount of air above any point, meaning the sea level pressure is approximately equal everywhere, this means the pressure in the upper atmosphere is lower in colder locations. That pressure gradient in the upper atmosphere arises from temperature gradients in the lower atmosphere. If the temperature gradient is stronger, it will result in stronger upper level winds.

            Static stability is irrelevant to this process. I have no idea why you mentioned it.

            There also appears to be substantial polar vortexes predicted as well, indicating that there's considerable poleward temperature gradients coming from somewhere and it's increasing.

            If anything, global warming is projected to result in a weaker polar vortex, not a stronger one. This idea [rutgers.edu] was proposed by climatologists like Jennifer Francis and has gained traction as the hypothesis has been tested. Once again, this is irrelevant, and you don't know what you're talking about.

            Leave this to the meteorologists, khallow.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday August 24 2021, @03:38AM (7 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 24 2021, @03:38AM (#1170143) Journal

              There's a term for vertical temperature gradients: static stability.

              No, that isn't a term for vertical temperature gradients.

              Static stability is irrelevant to this process. I have no idea why you mentioned it.

              I didn't.

              If anything, global warming is projected to result in a weaker polar vortex, not a stronger one.

              Unless, of course, it doesn't. This recent article [climate.gov] claims both that a weaker polar vertex results in increased exchange of heat between mid and upper latitudes.

              In the weeks following the stratospheric upheaval, the polar jet stream will often develop a wavy shape, with deep troughs and steep ridges that can become nearly stationary for days. The exact nature of the interaction—how the polar jet “feels” the disruption in the polar vortex and why it reacts the way it does—isn’t fully understood. Under the high-pressure ridges, warm air floods north into parts of the Arctic, often driving extreme melt, while polar air fills the low-pressure troughs, bringing wintry conditions farther south than average. The Arctic Oscillation often slips into its negative phase.

              And second, that the climate change processes that strengthen polar vertexes are similar in strength to the extent that researchers don't know which way they will go with continued climate change.

              The sensitivity to the timing and location of sea ice loss is only part of the complexity, however. There also appears to be a tug-of-war between climate change processes that could strengthen the Arctic polar vortex and processes that could weaken it. Touching on this topic in a recent post for Climate.gov’s ENSO blog, Butler wrote:

              For example, the tropical upper troposphere is predicted to become warmer, which will likely enhance the equator-to-pole temperature gradient across the tropopause (the atmospheric layer that separates the troposphere from the stratosphere), which would speed up the polar vortex in both hemispheres. However, enhanced warming of the Arctic surface relative to the middle latitudes reduces the surface temperature gradient and may act on the Northern Hemisphere polar vortex in the opposite direction.

              All I can say is that I'm used to this level of bluster when it comes to climate change. If you or those researchers really understood climate change to the degree that has been claimed, we wouldn't have the various large uncertainties in basic stuff like climate sensitivity or where greenhouse gases go. Fancy, conflicting narratives on meteorological processes don't help.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @05:18AM (6 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @05:18AM (#1170160)

                No, that isn't a term for vertical temperature gradients.

                Actually, yes it is effectively a measure of vertical temperature gradients. You can think of static stability as effectively being d(theta)/dz, where theta is the potential temperature. You may want to educate yourself on how lapse rates work. Here's a link: https://weather.cod.edu/sirvatka/static.html [cod.edu].

                Once again, you don't have a clue about meteorology.

                Unless, of course, it doesn't. This recent article [climate.gov] claims both that a weaker polar vertex results in increased exchange of heat between mid and upper latitudes.

                A stronger polar vortex would have primarily zonal flow, with the cold air trapped near the pole. A weaker polar vortex means that the flow is more meridional and brings cool air equatorward while warmer air is brought poleward. Ultimately, this helps to reduce the temperature gradient by transporting warmer air poleward. It seems like a positive feedback in response to an already warming Arctic, that the temperature gradient is further reduced.

                Again, what's your point?

                And second, that the climate change processes that strengthen polar vertexes are similar in strength to the extent that researchers don't know which way they will go with continued climate change.

                All I can say is that I'm used to this level of bluster when it comes to climate change. If you or those researchers really understood climate change to the degree that has been claimed, we wouldn't have the various large uncertainties in basic stuff like climate sensitivity or where greenhouse gases go. Fancy, conflicting narratives on meteorological processes don't help.

                According to you, because this is an active area of research and climatologists don't know all the answers just yet, it's an excuse to discredit the science on climate change. You clearly don't understand meteorology, nor do you understand how the scientific method works. It's also typical of right wingers like you to try to pretend that there's more uncertainty about climate change than really exists.

                But you're right about COVID-19, so I suppose you're the stopped clock that's correct twice a day.

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday August 24 2021, @06:35AM (2 children)

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 24 2021, @06:35AM (#1170175) Journal

                  yes it is effectively a measure of vertical temperature gradients.

                  Let's go to a real source here.

                  A fluid, such as air, tending to become or remain turbulent is said to be statically unstable; one tending to become or remain laminar is statically stable; and one on the borderline between the two (which might remain laminar or turbulent depending on its history) is statically neutral. The concept of static stability can also be applied to air not at rest by considering only the buoyant effects and neglecting all other shear and inertial effects of motion. However, if any of these other dynamic stability effects would indicate that the flow is dynamically unstable, then the flow will become turbulent regardless of the static stability. That is, turbulence has physical priority, when considering all possible measures of flow stability (e.g., the air is turbulent if any one or more of static, dynamic, inertial, barotropic, etc., effects indicates instability). Turbulence that forms in statically unstable air will act to reduce or eliminate the instability that caused it by moving less dense fluid up and more dense fluid down, and by creating a neutrally buoyant mixture. Thus, turbulence will tend to decay with time as static instabilities are eliminated, unless some outside forcing (such as heating of the bottom of a layer of air by contact with the warm ground during a sunny day) continually acts to destabilize the air. This latter mechanism is one of the reasons why the atmospheric boundary layer can be turbulent all day.

                  so when you write

                  You can think of static stability as effectively being d(theta)/dz, where theta is the potential temperature.

                  That would be incorrect. Static stability is merely a non-turbulent fluid flow. So even if we ignore that atmosphere is often very turbulent and thus, not in a regime where static stability makes sense, it remains that you're conflating a state of a fluid with a gradient of temperature. It's a non sequitur.

                  A stronger polar vortex would have primarily zonal flow, with the cold air trapped near the pole. A weaker polar vortex means that the flow is more meridional and brings cool air equatorward while warmer air is brought poleward. Ultimately, this helps to reduce the temperature gradient by transporting warmer air poleward. It seems like a positive feedback in response to an already warming Arctic, that the temperature gradient is further reduced.

                  Notice the key phrase "reduce the temperature gradient by transporting warmer air". You just stated that the temperature gradient is lower because the transport of heat poleward is more efficient. The absolute difference of the gradient is not the only measure of the transport of heat. So is the efficiency with which it is transported. On our level, one can die from hypothermia by immersion in water that wouldn't be a problem with air of the same temperature. Water is a much better conductor and store of heat than air is.

                  Remember you were claiming that "The result is less of a temperature gradient, meaning that the upper level winds should be weaker." Well, now you're claiming that somehow a greater amount of heat is being transported by those weaker upper level winds. Something's wrong with the narrative.

                  According to you, because this is an active area of research and climatologists don't know all the answers just yet, it's an excuse to discredit the science on climate change. You clearly don't understand meteorology, nor do you understand how the scientific method works. It's also typical of right wingers like you to try to pretend that there's more uncertainty about climate change than really exists.

                  And now the rhetorical retreat. Sorry, if this were about science rather than peddling very specific sets of policy spending, we would have had a sincere discussion of those error bars decades ago. And I think most current climate change mitigation policies and spending would just not happen as a result.

                  Instead, we're asked to accept a pig in a poke - that there will long term warming at least double the short term warming we've observed. But that's the problem. We haven't observed this long term warming. I grant there is global warming caused by humans. But I also grant that this warming is slow and moderate enough (including effects like moderate increases in extreme weather) that we have time to deal with our other big problems first, particularly poverty. I'm not interested in your hedge wizard understanding of meteorology. I'm interested in evidence that supports the assertion that climate change is one of the biggest problems to face us in the next few decades - important enough to compromise our impressive efforts to better the lives of 8 billion people on Earth.

                  Instead once again, I get the same signs of irrationality such as appeals to authority, tales of science denialism, all coupled with terrible scientific arguments. Keep in mind also that this story is a classic cherry picking. Sure, global warming should result in more moisture in air and more heavy rainfall, but it's telling that we're deluged with cherry picked examples rather than firm statistics. No matter what happens, this sort of exceptional rain fall would happen somewhere, sometime. It tells us nothing about how much worse this problem may be getting.

                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday August 24 2021, @06:36AM (1 child)

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 24 2021, @06:36AM (#1170176) Journal
                    Missing the link [ametsoc.org] to the discussion of static stability.
                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @11:59PM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @11:59PM (#1170581)

                      sad

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday August 24 2021, @06:48AM (2 children)

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 24 2021, @06:48AM (#1170184) Journal

                  But you're right about COVID-19, so I suppose you're the stopped clock that's correct twice a day.

                  It's the same person. The same stuff we're working with now with covid is the same stuff that people worked through a century ago with the 1918 flu pandemic, a near identical disease - such as the importance of social distancing and isolation for controlling the spread of covid. And just like now, places that implemented good procedures for controlling the spread of disease fared far better than those that didn't.

                  There's also very rapid feedback. You can see the consequences of policy choices in weeks.

                  There is no similar history to work off of for climate change. There's no similar rapid feedback. Most of the predictions will conveniently occur after the researchers are dead and their funding is no longer threatened. We have no way to determine whether they are right or not except by running the clock out a few decades. The fact that they've framed climate change in a way that requires us to act now without a chance to evaluate the threat indicates to me the fundamental dishonesty of the movement. This is a classic con game move - rush the mark so that they don't have a chance to think about it.

                  Well, I have a far greater tolerance for global warming than 1.5 C. We'll see just how dangerous this threat really is.

                  • (Score: 2) by quietus on Tuesday August 24 2021, @06:36PM (1 child)

                    by quietus (6328) on Tuesday August 24 2021, @06:36PM (#1170459) Journal

                    Rush the mark? Go and talk (and walk) with a botanist who's familiar with your region over a stretch of decades. He (or she) will tell you that plant societies were shouting that things were changing -- since the 80s.

                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday August 25 2021, @12:20PM

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 25 2021, @12:20PM (#1170787) Journal
                      So what? Just because something changes, which I've never denied would happen, doesn't mean that we should try to oppose that change and keep it from happening.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @08:17PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @08:17PM (#1169999)

          Since you're so smart, why didn't YOU forecast this xtreme event? You could have called the local meteorologist, and warned him. I still have problems figuring out how you predict weather by studying meteors.

      • (Score: 2) by istartedi on Monday August 23 2021, @06:36PM

        by istartedi (123) on Monday August 23 2021, @06:36PM (#1169959) Journal

        Climate change angle aside, slow-moving storms are a fascinating thing. This one was actually more predictable than some of them. One time in Virginia I watched a typical Summer thunderstorm from a distance. The lightning was beautiful. The air was unusually clear. I watched it on my lunch break (I worked 2nd shift so my lunch was at night and there must have been moonlight too because I remember seeing the cloud even when there was no lightning). Anyway, I went back in after lunch and forgot about the show.

        Later after work I found out that this pop-up thunderstorm had not moved for several hours, and dropped six inches of rain that night. It caused some local flooding, but because it was highly localized it didn't last long. I was flabbergasted by that rain total though. Just out of the blue, that much rain. It must have been crazy for the people that were under it.

        --
        Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
      • (Score: 2) by MIRV888 on Monday August 23 2021, @06:47PM

        by MIRV888 (11376) on Monday August 23 2021, @06:47PM (#1169964)

        We've had damn near dead air conditions in KY and TN for weeks. We had a storm here in Louisville last week that dumped 3"+ in my neighborhood over an hour. 2 miles away downtown it didn't rain.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by owl on Monday August 23 2021, @02:01PM

      by owl (15206) on Monday August 23 2021, @02:01PM (#1169859)

      Does that mean their data said that it would be that much, but they didn't report it because it was “unfathomable”?

      I read it as: Given that 9 inches was the record for the area, they never ever expected to see 17 inches fall in any scenario they could imagine.

      So unless their forecast models told them "15-18 inches possible" and they ignored the model (note, this outcome is not discernible from the quote) I would say it was more of a "we never ever thought it possible to double the old record, so we picked a 'good ole' heavy rain' amount as our prediction". And of course this time, their "safe pick" turned out to be a huge underestimate.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @05:00PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @05:00PM (#1169911)

      Does that mean their data said that it would be that much, but they didn't report it because it was “unfathomable”? I would hope not. But the quoted part sounds that way to me.

      That's a very irresponsible thing for you to imply. It also shows an ignorance about how weather forecasting works.

      There definitely was reason for forecasters to think that heavy rain could be an issue leading up to the event, which is why they issued a flash flood watch for the area. But the models really weren't forecasting an extreme event like that. This involves not only the extreme amount of moisture in the atmosphere (hence the flash flood watch), but localized behavior of thunderstorms training over the same area. The latter is considerably more difficult for forecast models to predict.

      Looking at the observations [weather.gov], there's a report of 17.26 inches 9.5 miles north of Centerville, while only 9.72 inches was reported in Centerville. That's a difference of about 7.5 inches of rain over a distance of 9.5 miles. Now, 9.72 inches is a still a very large amount of rainfall, but this also shows that there was a large gradient in rainfall totals.

      If you look at a map of the rainfall totals [wpln.org], you'll see that the heaviest rain is highly localized in a band that's perhaps 20 miles wide. Something like that would be extremely difficult for forecast models to reliably predict with much lead time. The models are good at predicting larger scale phenomena like the track of a low pressure system, but it's much harder to accurately forecast smaller features like thunderstorms.

      Wouldn't it be great if we could reliably forecast hours in advance where thunderstorms would develop, and where they would have strong low-level rotation? Forecast models just don't have the ability to accurately make such predictions. It might be feasible for forecasters to issue tornado warnings an hour in advance on the basis of model forecasts, and plenty of meteorologists are working on this. But the lead times and accuracy are limited because these are small scale phenomena.

      I personally know meteorologists who work in the Nashville area and I am quite certain they weren't covering up the data and not warning the public. But don't let the science get in the way of making a snarky attack on meteorologists.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 26 2021, @02:11AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 26 2021, @02:11AM (#1171059)

        I personally know meteorologists who work in the Nashville area and I am quite certain they weren't covering up the data and not warning the public. But don't let the science get in the way of making a snarky attack on meteorologists.

        Very few meteorologists are actual climate scientists. At least, not the kind who have any valid input to insert into the level of discussion being stressed here. There is just so much over the top bullshit that the wavers of the bloody shirt 'science' hysterics engage in.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @06:07PM (9 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @06:07PM (#1169932)

    And corruption... We should be pumping that water out west. We can deliver anything anytime anywhere. We're Americans dammit!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @06:23PM (8 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @06:23PM (#1169948)

      What are you, a socialist? If westerners want the water, they can create their own global warming extreme storm events!!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @08:14PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @08:14PM (#1169998)

        Then we should get our tax dollars back from all the welfare states!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @08:19PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @08:19PM (#1170000)

          Come and take them! - Leonidas

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @11:22PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @11:22PM (#1170055)

            Ok edge lord, guess you prefer getting kicked into the pit of despair. No chainsaw to help either.

            Really hope that wasn't a serious attempt to appear badass. . . .

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @09:45PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @09:45PM (#1170017)

        California could have all the water it wants.
        The problem is the enviro-wackos will not allow new dams or desalination to be built. All this water infrastructure was built nearly a hundred years ago when the population was far smaller, and nothing permanent has been built since. Yet California keeps on raking in the tax money. FOR WHAT???

        Old school socialists from the FDR era would be pouring concrete and have the problem solved. California is Can't-ifornia.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @11:25PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23 2021, @11:25PM (#1170056)

          That is really uninformed, just more LiBrUhL tEaRs rhetoric. Sad.

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday August 24 2021, @08:24AM (2 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 24 2021, @08:24AM (#1170217) Journal

          Old school socialists from the FDR era would be pouring concrete

          *cough cough*

          You can pour concrete for the rest of eternity, but if it doesn't rain upstream from your dam, you'll need to find some other way to fill the reservoir. You should have stopped typing with the word "desalination".

          But, yeah, I've been plugging for desalination all along. It's either that, or try to relearn some old Indian rain dances, and make human sacrifices atop a pyramid.

          --
          We've finally beat Medicare! - Houseplant in Chief
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @05:29PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24 2021, @05:29PM (#1170416)

            Pouring concrete means building something. As you noted, I included desalination. Point is, California has the means to solve the problem.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 26 2021, @08:01PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 26 2021, @08:01PM (#1171244)

              California has the means to solve the problem.

              Humans have the means to solve all their problems. The only thing standing in the way is their own corruption. If allowed by each other, we can all live like kings

  • (Score: 2) by MIRV888 on Monday August 23 2021, @06:50PM (1 child)

    by MIRV888 (11376) on Monday August 23 2021, @06:50PM (#1169966)

    17" is an almost inconceivable amout of rain to get in 24 hours. At least it didn't happen over a city. There's not a sewer system in the country that could handle that much rain.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 26 2021, @02:13AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 26 2021, @02:13AM (#1171060)

      And there isn't a city that couldn't use a good vigorous 17" flushing out.

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