Major flooding in the Northeast and Midwest; Fiji reels from major cyclone Tomas

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:51 PM GMT on March 16, 2010

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The extremely wet and windy Nor'easter that plowed across the northern tier of states has left moderate to major flooding in its wake over both the Midwest and Northeast. In the Northeast, the storm dropped more than five inches of rain in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, and moderate to major flooding is occurring in these states. Flooding was particularly severe in Rhode Island on the Pawtuxet River in Cranston, where the river crested a record six feet over flood stage, forcing evacuations. Major flooding was also occurring in New Jersey, where the Passaic River at Little Falls is cresting at five feet over flood stage.

In the Midwest, snow melt and heavy rains have swollen the Red River in North Dakota and Minnesota to near flood stage, and the river is expected to crest two feet above major flood stage by Sunday morning, and one foot above one of the permanent dikes on the river. In Fargo, ND, the Red River is expected to crest Saturday at 38 feet, three feet below the record of 41 feet set last year. Many rivers in Iowa are in flood and expected to crest above major flood stage on Thursday or Friday this week, including the Des Moines River in northern Iowa. In Des Moines, flooding on the Des Moines River is expected to be moderate, but a levee that failed in the floods of 1993 and 2008 is leaking, and residents of the area are evacuating, according to media reports.


Figure 1. Estimated precipitation for the seven day period ending at 8am EDT Monday March 15, 2010. Image credit: NOAA.

Tropical Cyclone Tomas roars through Fiji Islands
Tropical Cyclone Tomas roared through the eastern portion of the Fiji Islands as a major Category 3 storm with 130 mph winds yesterday. Tomas sideswiped the two largest islands in the chain, destroying 50 buildings, causing extensive power outages, and claiming one life. The cyclone made a direct hit on several of the smaller islands to the east of the main islands, and the extent of damage on these islands is unknown, but undoubtedly very heavy.

Tropical Cyclone Ului weakens, may threaten Australia
The first Category 5 tropical cyclone of the year, Tropical Cyclone Uliu, has weakened from its impressive peak as a Category 5 storm with 160 mph winds to a low-end Category 4 storm with 132 mph winds. Ului is over the open waters of the South Pacific, east of Australia, and is projected to significantly decay as the week progresses, due to high wind shear. Ului may be a threat to the Queensland coast of Australia by the end of the week, but should be at tropical storm strength by then.


Figure 2. Tropical Cyclone Ului (left) and Tropical Cyclone Tomas (right). Over the Solomon Islands, Tropical Cyclone Ului had maximum sustained winds of 130 knots (240 kilometers per hour, 150 miles per hour) and gusts up to 160 knots (300 km/hr, 180 mph). Over Fiji, Tropical Cyclone Tomas had maximum sustained winds of 115 knots (215 km/hr, 132 mph) and gusts up to 140 knots (260 km/hr, 160 mph). The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites captured both storms in multiple passes over the South Pacific on March 15, 2010, local time. The majority of the image is from the morning of March 15 (late March 14, UTC time) as seen by MODIS on the Terra satellite, with the right portion of the image having been acquired earliest. The wedge-shaped area right of center is from Aqua MODIS, and it was taken in the early afternoon of March 15 (local time). Image credit: NASA.

Portlight looks to build permanent shelters in Haiti
On February 26th, torrential rains brought more than five feet (1.5 m) of flood water into the streets in the coastal city of Les Cayes, Haiti, an area unscathed by the massive January 2010 earthquake. Eleven people were killed during this storm, with the rainy season still two months away. This deadly flood serves as a reminder that the people of Haiti are highly vulnerable to disastrous flooding during this year's rainy season. A vast number of the survivors are living in "tent" cities where most of the "tents" are really nothing more than bed sheets draped over ropes and sticks; the potential for a second humanitarian disaster is significant. With this in mind, Portlight.org has been exploring fast, inexpensive methods of providing solid, permanent, safe shelter for survivors of the earthquake. They have found a number of groups looking at using shipping containers for this purpose. Shipping containers are steel-reinforced boxes used for shipping goods overseas. Portlight's on-site coordinator in Haiti, Richard Lumarque, has identified an engineer that has come up with a number of designs for converting these containers into dormitories, offices, medical facilities and individual homes; his plan for a dormitory container is below. Portlight is looking to help with this effort; please visit the Portlight.org web site to learn more and to donate to this worthy cause.


Figure 3. A proposed design for a simple dormitory that can accommodate twelve people, built from a shipping container.

I'll have a new post on Wednesday or Thursday.

Jeff Masters

Flood (DeeGirl)
2010 NorEaster Flood in Manville, NJ
Flood
Flooded bridge (Exogyra)
Small bridge in Haddonfield flooded at Cooper River along Kings Highway on 3/13/10
Flooded bridge
Rockaway River Flooding (blueyes113)
Lower Berkshire Valley Rd.
Rockaway River Flooding

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1055. Sergej7
1:53 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
Winter 2009-2010 in Russia, the anomalies and the values of surface temperature (Celsius, 2 maps) Link

Russia covers an area of more than 17 million square kilometers - 10% of the land on Earth.
Unfortunately, meteorological Russia does not publish data on the ranking last winter on record, however, for example, the report noted that in the Urals region, the winter was coldest for the last 120 years.
Member Since: March 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 35
1054. Skyepony (Mod)
1:30 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
new blog..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36065
1053. biff4ugo
12:53 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
Good morning.

I hope someone can use all the green dye in the rivers yesterday as a tracer for mixing, flow direction, and tidal influences.

You can tell when there is a climate change thread on here by the rapid number of comment increases.
#1037 I am surprised that NASA put out one of those globe turning RED animations without indicating what the shades of red and blue mean. As a map maker and time series animator, that is kind of trashy. It conveys the concept without any of the data support. That is the kind of stuff deniers do. Even regular skeptics back up their suppositions with data sources and measurable scales when conveying ideas. The video is obviously aimed at a pop science audience and it is leveraging the NASA and Goddard name to give it legitimacy. I have seen info and data supporting all of the pretty graphics and ideas BUT data needs sources or you might as well be making it up. The ice loss numbers seem quite a bit low, unless it is a net loss combining Arctic and Antarctic but it said Arctic.
Member Since: December 28, 2006 Posts: 113 Comments: 1495
1051. DDR
12:49 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
Very interesting indeed,the caribbean needs rain badly!Severe drought conditions are present.
Member Since: April 27, 2007 Posts: 14 Comments: 1627
1050. DDR
12:46 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
Good moring all,today's going to be very hot here in tinidad,8;00am and it 29 °C .
After reading some of the post lastnight im glad to see drgod disappear.

Member Since: April 27, 2007 Posts: 14 Comments: 1627
1048. weathermanwannabe
12:17 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting Jeff9641:


I was just going to blog about this. Large thunderstorm complexes moved off the South America coast into the Caribbean last night. It is very early in the year to start seeing this occur. What this means is that an early Hurricane season maybe in the works and I wouldn't be surprised if we have a strong tropical storm of hurricane heading toward west Florida in May. The Caribbean is very warm for this time of year and if this keeps happening then late April and May may become very interesting.


As noted on a few posts a month ago, any early season storms will probably depend to a large degree on sheer levels in May & June as it is a given that the warm waters will be there....Just have to wait until then but some of the models are forecasting low sheer at the beginning of the season...Will also have to see how strong, or weak, the A-B high gets as well.
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8269
1046. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
12:07 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting TampaSpin:


Lets hope thats the case.
yes he has been replaced with empty space just like whats in his head
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52217
1044. Ossqss
11:41 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
"Snowball Earth" Confirmed: Ice Covered Equator - aka the Sturtian glaciation

Interesting read :)
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8183
1043. caribbeantracker01
11:38 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
woii looking at the image down in the caribbean i would say we were in june lol
Member Since: May 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 493
1042. weathermanwannabe
11:38 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Good Morning Folks..........Spring flooding issues aside, no major severe weathermakers on deck at the moment but the sub-tropical jet keeps pounding away accross the Southern CONUS. Anyone have a guess/information as to whether an active jet, in a waning El Nino pattern in the Spring enhances, or, supresses severeweather/tornadic activity? Just wondering because we may see an uptic in April but a little odd to have such a "clean" patch in mid to late March. Thanks...... :)
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8269
1039. drg0dOwnCountry
10:27 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Large majority of Americans continue to believe global warming is real and trust scientists

70%! I love the U S A, now just explain to those 30% (incl. some wu bloggers), thank you very much!
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
1038. drg0dOwnCountry
10:03 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting TampaSpin:
Big time flooding problems coming as if it was not already bad!

Yes TampaSpin it will be very bad!


Oh btw all this data you use here, is ONLY there because we have science.

Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
1037. drg0dOwnCountry
9:57 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting TampaSpin:


That video was a bunch of BS! It was not even produced by NASA it appeared.....HOW FUNNY to post such a fake!

A bunch of BS?
What is BS about this video?



This is an offical video from NASA Tamapspin.
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
1036. drg0dOwnCountry
9:48 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting TampaSpin:
Big time flooding problems coming as if it was not already bad!

Wow how colorful the image is. And how accurate, we see now live, what scientist tell us years - climate change means more flood/precipitation.
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
1035. TampaSpin
7:38 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Big time flooding problems coming as if it was not already bad!



Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
1034. TampaSpin
7:15 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
1026. lickitysplit 4:39 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:
hurricanes101 says You cant seem to stand that someone has a different opinion than yours and you have resorted to threats and violence. You deserve a ban for these threats and before you say it back, no I do not deserve a ban for not agreeing with your opinion


These are no threats, explain maybe? If you think an angry mob could be a threat to you then maybe rethink what you doing, when putting your opinion above facts.
This will happen one way or another, i said this earlyer. And this is no threat - this is facts backed up by historical data.

You and a few others who refuse to accept the facts - science of climate deserve a lifelong ban, in my humble opinion.



Take a breathe amigo. While I agree with your position 100% and also get frustrated by the nutjobs who cant read science, you'll attract more bees with honey. Stick to the facts, nothing else.

And I strenuously suggest you avoid using the term "nutjobs" to describe these...well..nutjobs.




Typical GW activist Stuff. Hopefully 2 bans will be coming.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
1033. TampaSpin
6:30 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting winter123:



Thank you so much for that video. I needed an objective view on global warming and there it was.


That video was a bunch of BS! It was not even produced by NASA it appeared.....HOW FUNNY to post such a fake!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
1032. TampaSpin
6:26 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
i got a feeling come first light you will be no more on this site


Lets hope thats the case.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
1031. Skyepony (Mod)
5:06 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
I don't see a ban coming for the angry mob thing either. Dr Masters has had blogs showing who the lairs are.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36065
1030. Skyepony (Mod)
5:03 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Black soot has been accounted for. There are programs in the works to reduce it even. Some of which NOAA are involved in.

Yes there is checks & balances but things are melting, growing zones are shifting & the sat temp readings are way too high, that El Nino is no 1998...so if not greenhouse gas, soot, dark roofs,crop fields & less forests.. why are we so much warmer?

Levi~ I wish I could send you to Chemistry Class for science majors. The carbon cycle is amazing. Without greenhouse gases earth would be about 60ºF colder. Chemists through lab & real world experiments know the exact global warming potential & atmospheric life expectancy of the many different greenhouse gases. We know the earth doesn't stay neatly checked between a tight balance & there are stores of Methane a much more effective greenhouse gas stored in & around all the melting permafrost, that recently started bubbling to the surface in a large way.

I agree with you on the water vapor thing. As the published..notable increase really isn't expected yet & should have some sort of neg feedback. El Nino is a seeder of clouds. I suspect this past winter has more to do with natural cycles + this excess heat. We are seeing the more extreme precipitation events & droughts as expected.

Bash Gore all you want. He's boring & seems to have some political motives. His light bulb campaign probably saved more emissions than you or I could hope to but beyond that you'd think big oil gave him that movie deal (& then told him great job). Still doesn't change Chemistry.

Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36065
1029. Tazmanian
4:48 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:
There will be a time when people who lied about climate change will be hunted from an angry mob



i do have too say he is funny at times


a hunt from an angry mob now that end part was funny
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114049
1028. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:41 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:

You seem to be confused.
about what
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52217
1027. drg0dOwnCountry
4:39 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Kazakhstan flood death toll rises to 37

The number of victims of last week's flood that destroyed a village near Kazakh financial hub Almaty has risen to 37, a deputy prime minister said Tuesday.

World

"According to the preliminary data of the Emergencies Ministry, 37 bodies have been recovered already," Aset Isekeshev told a government meeting. The previous toll was 34.

Eager to show decisive leadership at a time of economic hardship, President Nursultan Nazarbayev has ordered the government to investigate the rupture Friday of a dam, and bring to justice those responsible.

In a statement issued after Nazarbayev's order, the interior ministry said it had detained five officials including the mayor of Kyzyl-Agash, a village which was completely destroyed when the nearby dam burst, flooding hilly pastures north of Almaty.

Spring flooding is a frequent occurrence in Central Asia but a sudden rise in temperatures following weeks of heavy snow storms has exacerbated the problem this year. (Reporting by Raushan Nurshayeva; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov)
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62F0ZL20100316
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
1026. lickitysplit
4:39 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:
hurricanes101 says You cant seem to stand that someone has a different opinion than yours and you have resorted to threats and violence. You deserve a ban for these threats and before you say it back, no I do not deserve a ban for not agreeing with your opinion


These are no threats, explain maybe? If you think an angry mob could be a threat to you then maybe rethink what you doing, when putting your opinion above facts.
This will happen one way or another, i said this earlyer. And this is no threat - this is facts backed up by historical data.

You and a few others who refuse to accept the facts - science of climate deserve a lifelong ban, in my humble opinion.


Take a breathe amigo. While I agree with your position 100% and also get frustrated by the nutjobs who cant read science, you'll attract more bees with honey. Stick to the facts, nothing else.

And I strenuously suggest you avoid using the term "nutjobs" to describe these...well..nutjobs.
Member Since: May 17, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 631
1025. drg0dOwnCountry
4:36 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
i got a feeling come first light you will be no more on this site

You seem to be confused.
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
1024. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:30 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
i got a feeling come first light you will be no more on this site
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52217
1023. drg0dOwnCountry
4:28 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
hurricanes101 says You cant seem to stand that someone has a different opinion than yours and you have resorted to threats and violence. You deserve a ban for these threats and before you say it back, no I do not deserve a ban for not agreeing with your opinion


These are no threats, explain maybe? If you think an angry mob could be a threat to you then maybe rethink what you doing, when putting your opinion above facts.
This will happen one way or another, i said this earlyer. And this is no threat - this is facts backed up by historical data. But again, you dont belive in facts as i understand you .... sooo maybe it would be wise to look at the facts?

You and a few others who refuse to accept the facts - science of climate deserve a lifelong ban, in my humble opinion.
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
1022. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:25 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:

Oil business closed now! Paid skeptics leave the ship now.
:)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52217
1021. winter123
4:21 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting Patrap:
Rising Temperatures in the Midst of Heavy Snow?

The decade from 2000 to 2009 was the warmest in the modern record. "Piecing Together the Temperature Puzzle" illustrates how NASA satellites enable us to study possible causes of climate change. The video explains what role fluctuations in the solar cycle, changes in snow and cloud cover, and rising levels of heat-trapping gases may play in contributing to climate change.

For more info on NASA and Climate Change, visit:
http://climate.nasa.gov





Thank you so much for that video. I needed an objective view on global warming and there it was.
Member Since: July 29, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 1762
1015. Hurricanes101
4:06 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
well everyone else is leaving so I am out too


night everyone
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
1014. Levi32
4:06 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
I'm out too, goodnight all.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
1013. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:04 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
good night all iam out as well
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52217
1012. drg0dOwnCountry
4:04 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting Levi32:


Again, misleading when you compare the last 8 years to the last 100 years, where there were many ups and downs similar to that. Also then why didn't your precipitation start going up when the temps did? Why just since 1998 lol?
Lol because you are wrong again levi. Is it so hard to read your own image info? But i guess you like un sourced data, as long it doesnt shows the real trend.
Why dont you show us the original data ... or maybe there is no original global precipitation data from the australian bureau?
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
1011. taco2me61
4:04 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Yelp I'm out too

All have a great Nite and will read more tomorrow.....

Taco :0)
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3167
1010. tornadodude
4:04 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Think it's time to call it a night as well, later all
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8185
1009. Levi32
4:02 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:
RECORD BREAKING TEMPERATURE


Yeah well we'll see what the official UAH numbers are at the end of March. Those graphs from that site are only from NOAA-15, which has been degrading into a more diurnal orbit, increasing its warm bias in temperature readings. The official UAH record has new AQUA satellite data incorporated into it from 2002, which has thrusters to keep it in stable orbit. NOAA-15 is no longer considered a reliable satellite to use in the temperature data, and is no longer part of the data set. AQUA and others have taken over from now on.

"Update 19 Dec 2007 *****************************

As noted below, the diurnal drift of NOAA-15 is becoming more obvious. We
are still working on a correction scheme to remove this spurious warming
effect. Through comparison with other AMSUs, the warming drift by
Oct and Nov is on the order of 0.2 C (i.e. the values of v5.2 are too
warm for TLT by that amount.) This has been a long ordeal because we
want to create a correction that will stand the test of time."


Link
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
1008. MTWX
3:59 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting atmoaggie:
Polly wanna cracker?

G'Nite y'all

Goodnight Atmo... I too must hit the hay... night all!
Member Since: July 20, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1391
1007. Levi32
3:57 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting atmoaggie:
Polly wanna cracker?

G'Nite y'all


Lol, goodnight Atmo....can't wait till hurricane season comes to keep us busy...
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
1006. flsky
3:57 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting atmoaggie:
Polly wanna cracker?

G'Nite y'all

Right!
Member Since: October 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1720
1005. Levi32
3:56 AM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:

Again, if you talk about global precipitation and want to use the newest data, you need this chart


Again, misleading when you compare the last 8 years to the last 100 years, where there were many ups and downs similar to that. Also then why didn't your precipitation start going up when the temps did? Why just since 1998 lol? In fact, precipitation was going up between 1998 and 2009 while the temperature was flat-lining between 1998 and 2009, according to one of your favorite data sets, the hadley center:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.