Hurricane Norbert is a weird duck. It was a powerful hurricane. Then kryptonite. Cool water! Norbert deflated like a balloon.
THIS IS THE LAST FORECAST/ADVISORY ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER ON NORBERT.
Except, of course, nothing ceases to exist. It just shape shifts a little, takes on another form.
Norbert is now a flooding rainstorm. I was scared this was going to happen.
On Saturday I wrote:
This could result in heavy rains and life-threatening flash flooding in these areas during the next few days.
I underestimated the scope. Phoenix broke it’s record for single day rainfall. There was more flooding farther north.
Meanwhile, as a forecaster (even if I do it just for fun right now) it’s sad to see tragedy unfold in slow motion. I didn’t know exactly where the flooding would be, but what we’ve seen the past few days was expected.
Deserts flood often. Their sparse rain comes in a very few intense storms. Water rises very quickly especially where there are steep mountains–as there are in the Southwest.
By the point my colleagues and I knew what was about to happen it was too late. Beside that our forecasts weren’t specific enough. Weather forecasting isn’t yet at the point where we can zero on a specific flood basin more than a few hours in advance.