Weather Data for the Extreme Rainfall Event at Islip [KISP], 8-13-2014

Wednesday morning brought record rainfall amounts to much of the northeastern U.S. The one major commercial airport most at the center of the event was at Islip, NY, at the Long Island MacArthur Airport [KISP].

20140813.. Rain event flooding Sunrise Highway near Rte-111 [KISP]

People look on as a car remains flooded on Sunrise Highway at Route 111 following heavy rains and flash flooding Aug. 13, 2014 in Islip, N.Y. (Andrew Theodorakis/Getty Images)

The weather records are copied below, from the NWS website. Red text has been added to highlight weather likely to significantly delay (or even fully stop) commercial aviation operations. This includes strong gusting winds (e.g., 21G31 means a 21 knot windspeed with gusts to 31 knots), low visibilities (below a mile), heavy rain (+RA), fog (FG), mist (BR), and of course heavy rainfall rates.

The rainfall amounts are nothing short of astounding. The table shows that weather observations were recorded typically four times per hour, and there are many records showing rain falling at rates of more than three inches per hour, and a peak rate of 5.34 inches per hour!

time EDT temp dew wind-dir knots VSBY weather clouds altimeter hr rain
12:56 am 71 64 SE 21G31 7.00 -RA FEW095 BKN110 29.90 0.03
1:56 am 68 62 SE 13 5.00 RA FEW029 BKN100 OVC120 29.88 0.13
2:51 am 66 63 E 7 2.50 VCTS +RA BR SCT034 BKN075 OVC100 29.85 0.23
2:56 am 66 63 E 9 2.00 VCTS +RA BR BKN034 BKN055 OVC090 29.84 0.35
3:11 am 66 63 ENE 13 2.50 +RA BR FEW019 BKN035 OVC048 29.80 0.19
3:20 am 66 64 ENE 13G20 4.00 +RA BR FEW021 OVC037 29.80 0.25
3:34 am 66 64 ENE 15G21 3.00 +RA BR BKN016 BKN026 OVC039 29.77 0.32
3:38 am 68 64 ENE 15 2.50 +RA BR FEW006 BKN016 OVC036 29.77 0.36
3:54 am 70 66 NE 16G25 3.00 +RA BR FEW008 BKN014 OVC031 29.74 0.52
3:56 am 69 67 NE 20G25 3.00 +RA BR SCT008 BKN014 OVC031 29.74 0.54
4:19 am 70 66 VRBL 5 4.00 +RA BR BKN006 OVC017 29.74 0.10
4:38 am 70 66 NNE 21G25 2.50 +RA BR OVC006 29.72 0.35
4:53 am 68 66 N 17G26 1.50 +RA BR OVC010 29.73 0.70
4:56 am 68 66 N 15G25 1.25 +RA BR OVC010 29.73 0.84
5:08 am 68 66 NE 9G21 0.75 +RA BR SCT005 OVC010 29.76 0.67
5:16 am 66 66 N 20G30 0.50 +RA FG BKN005 OVC010 29.74 1.44
5:26 am 68 66 N 24G33 0.50 +RA FG VV006 29.71 2.31
5:39 am 70 68 E 10G44 0.50 +RA FG VV005 29.75 3.53
5:56 am 68 67 NNE 17 0.50 +RA FG VV006 29.73 5.34
6:13 am 68 66 NNW 13G23 0.50 +RA FG VV007 29.75 1.33
6:35 am 68 66 NNE 13 0.75 +RA BR VV009 29.73 3.12
6:47 am 68 68 E 9 0.50 +RA FG VV011 29.72 3.84
6:56 am 69 68 E 6 0.50 +RA FG VV012 29.72 4.37
7:31 am 70 68 NNE 8 0.75 +RA BR FEW004 BKN009 OVC021 29.70 1.21
7:43 am 70 68 NE 12G28 2.50 -RA BR OVC007 29.69 1.47
7:56 am 71 69 ESE 16G30 9.00   OVC007 29.69 1.48
8:04 am 72 70 SE 18G36 8.00   SCT007 BKN012 OVC023 29.68  
8:56 am 72 69 SSE 23G35 4.00 -RA BR BKN010 OVC023 29.68 0.01
9:12 am 72 70 SSE 12G43 0.50 +RA FG BKN010 OVC023 29.68 0.05
9:19 am 73 70 SSE 17G28 0.50 -RA BR BKN008 BKN012 OVC023 29.67 0.15
9:56 am 73 70 SSE 28G36 5.00 -RA BR BKN008 BKN012 OVC023 29.68 0.15

If severe weather events like this are becoming more frequent, and if this trend continues, how might his impact aviation? Do we need to take serious action, to change our high-consumption lifestyles and economies? If we continue to do nothing, what will our grandchildren face?