Cindy made landfall around 4:00 a.m. CDT this morning near the Texas and Louisiana border as a weak tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. I have been scouring social media and NOAA local storm reports and have not seen any significant damage. The biggest impact has been flooding, as previously forecasted, but it appears at this time that a repeat of the August 2016 Louisiana flood is unlikely. The highest rainfall amount that I have seen so far is 8.5 inches in Wiggins, Mississippi. The Gulfport-Biloxi Airport in Mississippi picked up 8.43 inches, and in Florida, the 8.25 inches in Navarre is the top total that I have seen. It should again be noted that these locations are over 300 miles from where Cindy made landfall. The BMS iVision Verisk Climate total rainfall layer suggests that some isolated coastal areas have seen upwards of 6 – 9” of rain over since Monday.
A surprising fact for some may be the level of storm surge that has occurred along parts of the central Gulf Coast. The largest storm surge level that I have been able to find was reported in Shell Beach, AL with an observed storm surge of 6 feet above the Mean Higher High Water (MHHW). This location is roughly 250 miles from the center, suggesting that Cindy had a large circulation which allowed a lot of water to pile up along parts of the central Gulf Coast over the last several days.
As mentioned, the winds from Cindy have been in the 45 – 55 mph range, which is well below the international residential design minimum of 90 mph. With only a handful of damage reports in to the NOAA, all of which are reports of trees or power lines being knocked down, the wind damage should be fairly minimal.
At this time PCS has not issued a catastrophe bulletin, suggesting that the insurance industry loss could remain under $25 million.
Looking ahead over the longer term, the tropics should remain quiet for the next two weeks as the active phase of the Madden Julian Oscillation moves away from the Atlantic basin and other climate forcers such as the SAL layer and high wind shear hinder tropical development.