Satellite imagery confirms Ida's low is finally moving away from the east coast

November 13, 2009

Satellite imagery and weather ground station readings today along the Mid-Atlantic indicate "Ida the coastal low pressure area" is finally moving away from the U.S. east coast.

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-12 captured a visible image of "Ida the Coastal Low" this morning, Friday, November 13 at 10:31 a.m. ET. The image revealed the low pressure system as large area of clouds stretching from the Canadian Maritimes down to South Carolina. GOES is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and NASA's GOES Project, located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. creates some of the GOES satellite images.

NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image that more clearly showed the higher clouds and heavier rains moving away. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument that flies on the Aqua satellite captured the coastal low's western edge of high clouds over the easternmost part of the U.S. east coast at 2:17 a.m. ET today.

At 10 a.m. ET, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center in Camp Springs, Md. reported that the center of Ida's remnants were now 90 miles south-southeast of Hatteras, North Carolina and 110 miles east-southeast of Morehead City, North Carolina. That puts the center near 34.0 North latitude and 74.7 west longitude.

The coastal low has moved in a southeasterly direction from its location yesterday, November 12, and will continue to track southeastward, away from the Carolina coast. The low's circulation has continued to gain strength at sea and now has maximum sustained winds near 65 mph. The low's minimum central pressure is 995 millibars.

Although the low is pulling away, and its rains are easing along the Mid-Atlantic U.S. coast today, it is leaving behind a great deal of flooding, particularly in eastern Virginia and northeast North Carolina. Flood warnings and advisories remain in effect for portions of the central Gulf coast, the southeastern U.S. and the Mid-Atlantic States. High wind, gale and storm warnings are also in effect along coastal regions of the Mid-Atlantic States.

Eastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina reported extreme rainfall amounts as of 7 a.m. ET today, November 13. The following are towns in North Carolina and their rainfall in inches: Swansboro - 9.51; Sneads Ferry - 8.76; Newport - 8.45; James City; 7.77; Surf City - 7.55.

In coastal Virginia, the rainfall totals were the highest. Here are some towns and their rainfall in inches: Chesapeake - 11.92; Hampton - 11.86; Suffolk - 10.58; Langley Air Force Base - 10.58; Oceana - 10.29; Newport News - 9.76; Portsmouth - 8.66; Norfolk - 8.47

Rainfall was much less the farther inland. The Nation's Capital reported 1.54 inches of rainfall at Reagan International Airport.

Additional rainfall amounts of an inch or less are expected across the coast of the northern Mid-Atlantic States and southern New England.

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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