National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Wintry Start to April from the Northern Rockies to the Northern Plains; Intense Storm Off the East Coast

Heavy snow and below normal temperatures will continue to shift across the Northern Rockies and Northern Plains behind a cold front through Friday. Ahead of the front, a wintry mix including some freezing rain is forecast to develop across the eastern Dakotas into the Upper Midwest by Thursday. A strong storm off the Mid-Atlantic coast is producing hurricane-force winds and dangerous seas today. Read More >

Hurricane Rita banner

Hurricane Rita: A Comparison of Winds and Storm Surge


S-C Louisiana Tide & Wind data graphic for Rita
Click image for larger version
S-C Louisiana reference map for Rita data
Click image for larger version

Zoomed in image of Lafayette
Click image for larger version

The South-Central Louisiana graphic shows the chronology of the storm surge and surface winds as depicted by surface observations and river readings. Northeast winds prevailed before landfall with widespread tropical storm force winds (39-73 mph) along the immediate coast before noon on Friday, September 23rd.  At this time, strong northeast winds helped to keep the river levels steady with no appreciable storm surge. By 5 PM, near hurricane force winds (74 mph or greater) could be found over Marsh Island. Tropical Storm force winds continued to pound the coast through the night. Storm surge waters reached several of the river gages just about the time when the wind direction shifted to the southeast.  Storm surge waters 10-15 feet MSL impacted south central Louisiana coastal parishes. Actual flood levels can be obtained by subtracting property elevations above sea level.