Session 13B.3 14 September 2008 Ohio Valley high wind event associated with the remnants of Hurricane Ike

Thursday, 4 June 2009: 9:30 AM
Grand Ballroom West (DoubleTree Hotel & EMC - Downtown, Omaha)
Elizabeth M. Stoppkotte, NOAA/NWSFO, Louisville, KY; and A. Lese, S. Pavlow, and R. Baker

Presentation PDF (528.1 kB)

During the early morning hours of 13 September 2008, Hurricane Ike slammed into the Texas Gulf Coast with wind speeds around 50 m/s. Widespread damage due to storm surge and wind was reported, as the storm tracked northward across eastern Texas. Shortly thereafter, a mid-latitude trough and associated surface frontal system began to interact with the remnants of Ike. The interaction between the mid-latitude cyclone and Tropical Depression Ike caused an increase in forward speed toward the northeast through the Lower Mississippi Valley and into the Ohio Valley. Operational models on 13 September 2008 showed the remnants of Ike interacting with a strong surface low and moving across the Ohio Valley, bringing gusty winds to the area and prompting the issuance of Wind Advisories by the National Weather Service. However, the models did not accurately predict the rapid 1 mb/hr deepening of the surface low as it moved from southeast Missouri and western Kentucky through Indiana, Ohio, and into Pennsylvania. This resulted in hurricane force wind gusts of 34 m/s in Louisville, Kentucky; 36 m/s in Scottsburg, Indiana; 38 m/s in Cincinnati, Ohio; and 34 m/s in Columbus, Ohio. These gusts, which prompted Wind Advisories to be upgraded to High Wind Warnings, resulted in major damage across Kentucky, southern Indiana, and southern Ohio. Initial damage estimates were in the tens of millions of dollars across the region and several fatalities were attributed to the event.

The authors will give an overview of the forecast process leading up to the event including a look at various model data available. Observational data will be analyzed in conjunction with model data in an attempt to explain the rarity of the event and what lessons might be taken away to improve forecasts and warnings in the future. Societal impacts will also be reviewed.

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