A U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) station in Cape Charles, VA, located 4.7 miles east of a campground in that area was impacted by a severe thunderstorm and EF-1 tornado on the morning of July 24, 2014. The USCRN station observed sustained surface winds of 30 mph with a 50 mph 10-second wind gust along with record setting precipitation rates. Over a 10-minute period, the USCRN station observed 5- and 10-minute rainfall totals of 0.95 in. (24.17 mm) and of 1.63 in. (41.40 mm) respectively. Both of these totals are new all-time USCRN records, shattering the previous 5- and 10-minute precipitation records of 0.88 in. and 1.50 in. respectively that were set last year at the Sundance, WY USCRN station. According to NOAA's Precipitation Frequency Atlas14 (see http://www.nws.noaa.gov/oh/hdsc/currentpf.htm), such precipitation rates for this location qualify as 1000-year events! The Cape Charles station performed well under these conditions but did not escape unscathed as a hailstone is believed to have broken one of the secondary sensors used to detect atmospheric wetness. For more information see the full article.
The U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) consists of 114 stations in the conterminous U.S.; an eventual total of 29 stations in Alaska (with 16 as of the end of the summer of 2014); and 2 in Hawaii, that are developed, deployed, managed, and maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the continental United States for the express purpose of detecting the national signal of climate change. The vision of the USCRN program is to maintain a sustainable high-quality climate observation network that 50 years from now can with the highest degree of confidence answer the question: How has the climate of the nation changed over the past 50 years? These stations were designed with climate science in mind. (more...)
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