Red River rising: 18th consecutive year of flooding--why?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:08 PM GMT on March 19, 2010

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The Red River at Fargo, North Dakota continues to rise, with a peak expected Sunday at the 4th highest flood level observed in the past century. "Major" flood level is 30 feet, which the river surpassed on Wednesday, and the river is expected to crest near 38 feet on Sunday, just 2.8 feet below the record set last year. Flood stage is eighteen feet, and the Red River has now reached flood stage at Fargo for eighteen consecutive years, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Prior to this remarkable stretch of flooding (which began in 1993), the river flooded in just 29 of 90 years. This year's flood is rated as somewhere between a 50-year and 100-year flood. Last year's record flood was a 100-year flood. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lists the 10-year flood level for the Red River at Fargo to be 10,300 cubic feet per second. A 10-year flood, historically, has a 10% chance of occurring in a given year. In the last twenty years, the Red River has had eight 10-year floods--one every 2.5 years, on average. This year is the fourth year out of the past five with a 10-year flood. Clearly, flooding has increased significantly along the Red River over the past twenty years.


Figure 1. Current and forecast flood stage for the Red River of the North at Fargo, ND. You can access images like these using our wundermap for Fargo with the "USGS River" layer turned on. Click on the icon for USGS station 05054000, then hit the "click for graph" link.

Reasons for flooding: landform factors
According the U.S. Geological Survey, the unique landform characteristics of the Red River Valley make it highly susceptible to flooding. These factors include:

1) A relatively shallow and meandering river channel--a shallow channel holds less water and the meandering can cause flow to slow down as the channel makes its turns, causing over-bank flooding.

2) A gentle slope (averaging 0.5 to 1.5 feet per mile) that inhibits channel flow and encourages overland flooding or water "ponding" (especially on even, saturated ground) in the basin.

3) The northerly direction of flow--flow in the Red River travels from south (upstream) to north (downstream). The direction of flow becomes a critical factor in the spring when the southern (upstream) part of the Red River has thawed and the northern (downstream) part of the channel is still frozen. As water moves north toward the still frozen river channel, ice jams and substantial backwater flow and flooding can occur.


Figure 2. Peak flow of the Red River at Fargo, North Dakota through time. The two largest flow rates occurred last year (2009), and in 1997. The projected crest for Sunday (red circle) would be fourth greatest flood since reliable records began in 1901. Image credit: U.S. Geological Survey.

Reasons for this year's flood: highly unfavorable weather conditions
The USGS also cites five weather factors that can act to enhance flooding along the Red River. All five of these factors occurred to a significant degree this year:

1) Above-normal amounts of precipitation in the fall of the year that produce high levels of soil moisture, particularly in flat surface areas, in the basin. North Dakota had its 22nd wettest fall in the 115-year record in 2009.

2) Freezing of saturated ground in late fall or early winter, before significant snowfall occurs, that produces a hard, deep frost that limits infiltration of runoff during snowmelt. Fargo had a November that was much warmer than average, followed by a sudden plunge to below-zero temperatures by the second week of December. This froze the saturated ground to a great depth.

3) Above-normal winter snowfall in the basin. North Dakota had a top 15% winter for precipitation, with the period December 2009 - February 2010 ranking 15th wettest in the past 115 years.

4) Above-normal precipitation during snowmelt. Precipitation for March 1 - 18 has been 1.41", compared to the average of 0.61".

5) Above-normal temperatures during snowmelt. High temperatures in Fargo have averaged 6°F warmer than normal for March 1 - 18.

Urbanization increases flooding
Urbanization has had a major impact on increasing flooding not only along the Red River, but in every river basin in the U.S. Many cities and developed areas are located in flood plains next to major rivers and their tributaries. Highways, streets, parking lots, sidewalks, and buildings now cover large areas of the ground that used to absorb excess rain water and slow the rate at which run-off from precipitation and melting snow reached rivers. By developing large portions of our flood plains, run-off now reaches rivers more quickly, generating higher floods.

Building levees and flood defenses increases flood peaks
Defending ourselves against floods has made floods worse. Every time a new levee is built, or an old floodwall raised in height to prevent overtopping, more and more water is forced into the river bed, which raises the height of the flood. Flood waters that used to be able to spread out over their natural flood plains are now forbidden from spilling out over newly developed land in flood plains. For example, proposed improvements to the flood defense system in Fargo could cause a 4 - 10 inch rise in floods immediately downstream from the city, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.

Precipitation is increasing
As the climate warms, evaporation of moisture from the oceans increases, resulting in more water vapor in the air. According to the 2007 IPCC report, water vapor in the global atmosphere has increased by about 5% over the 20th century, and 4% since 1970. Satellite measurements (Trenberth et al., 2005) have shown a 1.3% per decade increase in water vapor over the global oceans since 1988. Santer et al. (2007) used a climate model to study the relative contribution of natural and human-caused effects on increasing water vapor, and concluded that this increase was "primarily due to human-caused increases in greenhouse gases". This was also the conclusion of Willet et al. (2007). This increase in water vapor has very likely led to an increase in global precipitation. For instance, over the U.S., where we have very good precipitation records, annual average precipitation has increased 7% over the past century (Groisman et al., 2004). Precipitation over the Red River drainage basin increased by about 10 - 20% during the 20th Century (Figure 3.) The same study also found a 14% increase in heavy (top 5%) and 20% increase in very heavy (top 1%) precipitation events over the U.S. in the past century. These are the type of events most likely to cause flooding. Kunkel et al. (2003) also found an increase in heavy precipitation events over the U.S. in recent decades, but noted that heavy precipitation events were nearly as frequent at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, though the data is not as reliable back then.


Figure 3. Change in precipitation over the U.S. between 1900 - 2000, from the U.S. Cooperative network. Precipitation in the Red River drainage area increased by 10 - 20% over the 20th century. Image credit: Contemporary Changes of the Hydrological Cycle over the Contiguous United States: Trends (Groisman et al., 2002).

The future of flooding
As the population continues to expand, development in flood plains and construction of new levees and flood protection systems will continue to push floods to higher heights. With global warming expected to continue and drive ever higher precipitation amounts--falling preferentially in heavy precipitation events--it is highly probable that flooding in the Red River Valley--and over most of the northern 2/3 of the U.S. where precipitation increases are likely--will see higher and more frequent floods. With these higher and more frequent floods comes the increased risk of multi-billion dollar disasters, when a record flood event overwhelms flood defenses and inundates huge areas of developed flood plains. Obviously, we need to make smart decisions to limit development in flood plains to reduce the cost and suffering of these future flooding disasters.

References
Kunkel, K. E., D. R. Easterling, K. Redmond, and K. Hubbard, 2003, "Temporal variations of extreme precipitation events in the United States: 1895.2000", Geophys. Res. Lett., 30(17), 1900, doi:10.1029/2003GL018052.

Groisman, P.Y., R.W. Knight, T.R. Karl, D.R. Easterling, B. Sun, and J.H. Lawrimore, 2004, "Contemporary Changes of the Hydrological Cycle over the Contiguous United States: Trends Derived from In Situ Observations," J. Hydrometeor., 5, 64.85.

Milly, P.C.D., R.T. Wetherald, K.A. Dunne, and T.L.Delworth, Increasing risk of great floods in a changing climate", Nature 415, 514-517 (31 January 2002) | doi:10.1038/415514a.

Santer, B.D., C. Mears, F. J. Wentz, K. E. Taylor, P. J. Gleckler, T. M. L. Wigley, T. P. Barnett, J. S. Boyle, W. Brüggemann, N. P. Gillett, S. A. Klein, G. A. Meehl, T. Nozawa, D. W. Pierce, P. A. Stott, W. M. Washington, and M. F. Wehner, 2007, "Identification of human-induced changes in atmospheric moisture content", PNAS 2007 104: 15248-15253.

Trenberth, K.E., J. Fasullo, and L. Smith, 2005: "Trends and variability in column-integrated atmospheric water vapor", Climate Dynamics 24, 741-758.

Willett, K.M., N.P. Gillett, P.D. Jones, and P.W. Thorne, 2007, "Attribution of observed surface humidity changes to human influence", Nature 449, 710-712 (11 October 2007) | doi:10.1038/nature06207.

Links
A good way to track the flooding event is to use our wundermap for the Red River with the USGS River layer turned on.

The Fargo Flood webpage of North Dakota State University, Fargo, has some excellent links.

I'll have a new post on Monday or Tuesday.

Jeff Masters

Red River Flood 2006 (mw25)
The water level of the Red River when I took this photo was 47.2 feet, 19.2 feet above flood stage and the 6th highest level in Grand Forks' history. The river is expected to crest at 47.4 feet on Wednesday morning. Luckily, no homes have been lost in the Grand Forks area as of yet due to the flooding.
Red River Flood 2006
Fargo Flood 2009 - Elm & 15th Ave. N. (tliebenow)
Picture says it all. Clay dike built to contain the Red River in North Fargo.
Fargo Flood 2009 - Elm & 15th Ave. N.

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Quoting AussieStorm:

Automatic observations have stopped coming in from the Island.


They have the backside to come next..so they most likely lost all Power on the Island as that front side came through.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
Quoting AussieStorm:

Automatic observations have stopped coming in from the Island.


Good that you are safe but, i will be praying for those that are not. It is one powerful storm!
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Quoting Patrap:

Hamilton Island is in the Eye of the Cyclone

Automatic observations have stopped coming in from the Island.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15979
Quoting TampaSpin:
Sorry for being off Track some Aussie.....IS THE HURRICANE Approaching YOU!

I am over 900 miles from Ului. I am in Sydney.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15979

Hamilton Island is in the Eye of the Cyclone
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
Sorry for being off Track some Aussie.....IS THE HURRICANE Approaching YOU!
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JSL Image,Cyclone Ului

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:
NASA: “It is nearly certain that a new record 12-month global temperature will be set in 2010″
Must-read draft paper: "We conclude that global temperature continued to rise rapidly in the past decade" and "that there has been no reduction in the global warming trend of 0.15-0.20°C/decade that began in the late 1970s."



OMG.....we are doomed either way. Hopefully we can explode from heat before the Health Care Bill is shoved into Law. We got about 36hrs left to live.........LOL
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Winds are picking up at Proserpine
winds 41kts gusts 51kts


The Eyewall approaches Aussie.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
Quoting AussieStorm:
Winds are slowly easing on Hamilton Island now down to 71kts Gusts 89kts

Winds are picking up at Proserpine
winds 41kts gusts 51kts



Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15979
128 km Mackay Radar Loop


128 km Bowen Radar Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
Winds are slowly easing on Hamilton Island now down to 71kts Gusts 89kts
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15979
Cyclone Ului re-intensifies to category 3; set to hit before 3am Sunday

AT midnight Cyclone Ului was less than 100km east of Bowen and was likely to hit the coast between Bowen and Proserpine within several hours. As Ului re-intensified to a category 3 cyclone, very destructive winds of up to 200km/h were expected at the centre, with destructive winds of up to 170km/h likely to extend from Townsville in the north to Mackay in the south.

On Saturday night Mackay Regional Council mayor Col Meng said the city's disaster management group had bunkered down in the centre of town, prepared for the worst.

"Once the winds reach 100km/h we are saying no more people or staff are able to leave here until the cyclone crosses the coast,'' he said. "It's going to be a long night and we just have to sit it out and go from there.

"I think people have taken heed and we have been asking them to prepare for this for four or five days now.''

As strong gusts intensified around Mackay, dozens of people gathered at Slade Point to view the roaring ocean crashing into the coast.
Mr Meng said he was also concerned about flooding hitting the region. "We think we will get 170km/h winds down here and one of things I see happening is the intensifying of rain,'' he said. "I believe in Mackay and in the hinterland they will receive between 300 and 350mm of rain.

"We've had over one metre of rain already this year and everything is saturated, so anything we get now is going to run off.''

He expected significant flooding would also occur in the Pioneer River region.

Earlier on Saturday afternoon Premier Anna Bligh declared a disaster zone across the state's central and northern coast in anticipation of Tropical Cyclone Ului. The declaration gave authorities the right to conduct mandatory evacuations in eight local government areas.

Ms Bligh said the disaster declarations were for the Townsville, Burdekin, Whitsunday, Charters Towers, Mackay, Isaac, Rockhampton and Central Highlands local government areas and was in anticipation that some properties could need to be evacuated.

After making landfall the cyclone was then expected to weaken inland later on Sunday.

Forecasters from the Bureau of Meteorology's Cyclone Warning Centre said there was a high seas warning current for Cardwell to Bowen with 45 to 65 knot winds forecast. The centre was expecting seas between three to four metres onshore, and in the open seas, a swell of 4.5m possibly reaching five to eight metres."

A spokeswoman for the State Emergency Services said volunteers were ready to respond and crews from around the state are ready to deploy to the affected region if required.

Tourists have been evacuated from a number of island resorts in the Whitsundays group, and boat operators have been told to stay in port.

Coal ports along the central Queensland coast have been closed. Mackay and Proserpine airports also closed. Earlier, Jetstar suspended flights to Hamilton Island over the weekend.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15979
A band of snow showers is brushing through S. Ontario behind the cold front of the Midwest storm.
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Dvorak continues to improve



When one see green in the leading Eyewall in the Funktop Image.
BAD Mojo coming in for sure.




Ului taking advantage of good venting aloft,Warm Shelf SST's as well.




The situ will only deteriorate inland along the Impact Track,..

God Speed and a Safe Passage for our Australian Friends is warranted.

If ya a praying Soul..now would a good time to send one up.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
So, too not vote is casting a vote that one did not want it. I DON'T THINK SO!
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BREAKING NEWS

Blackouts, damage reported as Cycolne Ului bears down on Queensland coast

* From: AAP
* March 21, 2010 1:58AM

RESIDENTS of north Queensland are reporting gale force winds and widespread blackouts as Cyclone Ului bears down on the coast.

The blackouts appear to be covering areas such as Mackay and Sarina and as far south as Gladstone, as well as up to Airlie Beach and Proserpine.

Damage to buildings has also been reported.

The Bureau of Meteorology reported at midnight (AEST) that Ului was 93km east of Bowen and 127km north of Mackay.

Photo's of Damage coming in.


Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15979
Quoting hydrus:
109 KTS can do some serious damage. I hope the people are in there bunkers. She is coming in a little stronger than the forecast I read.

The eastern side of the eye is now crossing the coast. there has been no Obs update from Mackay for almost 1 hour on the BOM website, normally its every 30mins. last obs were.
Mackay OBS


Hamilton Island OBS

Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15979
ya Bordonaro good morning 38 here this morning in 2 and a half hrs spring begins overcast more normal temps today not much precip light scattered showers or flurries thats about it
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
Magnitude 6.2 - NEW IRELAND REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
Quoting severstorm:

Morning, you all still looking for snow or did your forcast change?


Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
Quoting AussieStorm:
The resort island of Hamilton Island it in the NW side of the eye wall. current obs are
21/12:30am
Wind direction SE
Speed 145km/h
Gusts 202km/h
or
Wind 78kts
Gusts 109kts
Rainfall 40.0mm

Latest Weather Observations for Hamilton Island
109 KTS can do some serious damage. I hope the people are in there bunkers. She is coming in a little stronger than the forecast I read.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
The resort island of Hamilton Island it in the NW side of the eye wall. current obs are
21/12:30am
Wind direction SE
Speed 145km/h
Gusts 202km/h
or
Wind 78kts
Gusts 109kts
Rainfall 40.0mm

Latest Weather Observations for Hamilton Island
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15979


TROPICAL CYCLONE ADVICE NUMBER 19
Issued by the Bureau of Meteorology, Brisbane
Issued at 11:58pm EST on Saturday the 20th of March 2010

A Cyclone WARNING continues for coastal areas from Cardwell to Yeppoon and
inland to Hughenden, including Charters Towers and Clermont.

At 11:00 pm EST Severe Tropical Cyclone Ului, Category 3 was estimated to be
135 kilometres north of Mackay and
280 kilometres east southeast of Townsville and
moving west at 31 kilometres per hour.

At 12:00 am EST Sunday the cyclone is estimated to be
93 kilometres east of Bowen and
127 kilometres north of Mackay.

The cyclone is expected to cross the coast as a severe tropical cyclone between
Ayr and Mackay, most likely between Bowen and Proserpine within the next few
hours. The cyclone is then expected to weaken inland later today.

VERY DESTRUCTIVE wind gusts to 200 km/hr near the cyclone centre may affect
coastal and island communities between Ayr and Seaforth over the next few hours.

DAMAGING winds are expected to continue in areas between Cardwell and Yeppoon,
then extend to adjacent inland parts during today.

TIDES between Bowen and St Lawrence are expected to rise above the highest tide
of the year overnight with very rough seas and dangerous conditions along the
foreshore.

HEAVY RAINFALL and flooding are likely to continue about coastal and adjacent
inland areas between Bowen and St Lawrence.

DANGEROUS SURF conditions are expected to continue about exposed beaches south
of the cyclone until later today. A separate Severe Weather Warning is
current for these conditions.

People in the path of the dangerous cyclone should stay calm and remain in a
secure shelter while the very destructive winds develop over the next few hours.
Do not venture outside if you find yourself in the eye of the cyclone as winds
may remain light for up to an hour - very destructive winds from a different
direction could resume at any time. Heed the advice and follow the instructions
of Police or State Emergency Service personnel.

People from Cardwell to Yeppoon and inland to Hughenden, including Charters
Towers and Clermont should have completed preparations and remain in secure
shelter.
.Boats and outside property should now be secured.
.For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit Queensland's Disaster
Management Services
website [www.disaster.qld.gov.au].
.For emergency assistance call the Queensland State Emergency Service [SES] on
132 500 [for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on
buildings or roof damage]

Details of Severe Tropical Cyclone Ului at 11:00 pm EST:
.Centre located near...... 20.0 degrees South 149.4 degrees East
.Location accuracy........ within 35 kilometres
.Recent movement.......... towards the west at 31 kilometres per hour
.Wind gusts near centre... 205 kilometres per hour
.Severity category........ 3
.Central pressure......... 965 hectoPascals

The next advice will be issued by 1:00 am EST Sunday 21 March.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15979
By looking at those very warm subsurface readings in the Pacific,it seems that El Nino is still hanging firm.I have some questions about ENSO that the experts here may have the answers.

1-Is there another kevin wave causing the waters to keep warm?

2-Is it known when those kevin waves stop?

3-What is a reactionary El Nino? (Levi has mentioned this but without detailed explanation)

4-Are the ENSO models too fast fading El Nino?

5-Is it possible that this El Nino extends to a two year event?

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14906
Quoting Bordonaro:
Station Details ID: 033106 Name: HAMILTON ISLAND AIRPORT Lat: -20.37 Lon: 148.95 Height: 58.66 m
On the Queenland coast N or Mackay
Dir Speed Gust Speed Gust
�C �C �C % �C km/h knots hPa hPa mm
21/12:00am 24.9 2.9 23.5 92 1.0 SSE 145 178 78 96 985.3 984.9 31.2

Winds are 78KT gusting to 96KT or 90MPH gusts to 110MPH

Morning, you all still looking for snow or did your forcast change?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Station Details ID: 033106 Name: HAMILTON ISLAND AIRPORT Lat: -20.37 Lon: 148.95 Height: 58.66 m
On the Queenland coast N or Mackay
Dir Speed Gust Speed Gust
C C C % C km/h knots hPa hPa mm
21/12:00am 24.9 2.9 23.5 92 1.0 SSE 145 178 78 96 985.3 984.9 31.2

Winds are 78KT gusting to 96KT or 90MPH gusts to 110MPH
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
480. Skyepony (Mod)


By ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published: Mar 20, 2010 10:47 Updated: Mar 20, 2010 10:47

BEIJING: China's capital woke up to orange-tinted skies Saturday as the strongest sandstorm so far this year hit the country's north, delaying some flights at Beijing's airport and prompting a dust warning for Seoul.

The sky glowed and a thin dusting of sand covered Beijing, causing workers to muffle their faces in vast Tiananmen Square. The city's weather bureau gave air quality a rare hazardous ranking.

Air quality is “very bad for the health,” China's national weather bureau warned. It said people should cover their mouths when outside and keep doors and windows closed.

China's expanding deserts now cover one-third of the country because of overgrazing, deforestation, urban sprawl and drought. The shifting sands have led to a sharp increase in sandstorms - the grit from which can travel as far as the western United States.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences has estimated that the number of sandstorms has jumped six-fold in the past 50 years to two dozen a year. more here
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479. Skyepony (Mod)
Southwest China in drought emergency
16:04, March 19, 2010

Severe drought continues to ravage southwest China, threatening supplies of drinking water and irrigation in the provinces and municipality of Yunnan, Guangxi, Chongqing, Sichuan and Guizhou. According to the latest statistics, 6.5 million hectares of crops face an irrigation crisis and at least 20 million residents suffer from drinking water shortages.
The biggest drought in a century, so far, has devastated the work and life of people in the disaster-stricken region.
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478. Skyepony (Mod)
unforchanchantly Ului is tightning up a bit do to land friction at landfall..


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Cyclone Ului may re-intensify to category 3; set to hit at 5am Sunday

* Sophie Elsworth and Robyn Ironside
* From: The Courier-Mail

AT 10pm strong winds of up to 80km/h were already sweeping across the coast at Mackay from the approaching Cyclone Ului, and they were expected to reach up to 200km/h throughout the night.

At 9pm the Bureau of Meteorology estimated Cyclone Ului to be 154km northeast of Mackay and 183km east of Bowen.

Mackay Regional Council mayor Col Meng said the city's disaster management group had bunkered down in the centre of town, prepared for the worst.

"Once the winds reach 100km/h we are saying no more people or staff are able to leave here until the cyclone crosses the coast,'' he said. "It's going to be a long night and we just have to sit it out and go from there.

"I think people have taken heed and we have been asking them to prepare for this for four or five days now.''

Strong gusts were intensifying around Mackay, particularly at Slade Point were dozens of people gathered to view the roaring ocean crashing into the coast.

The cyclone was expected to reach Mackay early Sunday morning.

Mr Meng said he was also concerned about flooding hitting the region. "We think we will get 170km/h winds down here and one of things I see happening is the intensifying of rain,'' he said. "I believe in Mackay and in the hinterland they will receive between 300 and 350mm of rain.

"We've had over one metre of rain already this year and everything is saturated, so anything we get now is going to run off.''

He expected significant flooding would also occur in the Pioneer River region.

Earlier this afternoon Premier Anna Bligh declared a disaster zone across the state's central and northern coast in anticipation of Tropical Cyclone Ului. The declaration gave authorities the right to conduct mandatory evacuations in eight local government areas.

Ms Bligh said the disaster declarations were for the Townsville, Burdekin, Whitsunday, Charters Towers, Mackay, Isaac, Rockhampton and Central Highlands local government areas and was in anticipation that some properties could need to be evacuated.

The cyclone was expected to cross the coast between Ayr and Mackay early Sunday, possibly re-intensifying to a Category 3 system before landfall. The cyclone was then expected to weaken inland later on Sunday.

Forecasters from the Bureau of Meteorology's Cyclone Warning Centre said there's a high seas warning current for Cardwell to Bowen with 45 to 65 knot winds forecast. The centre is expecting seas between three to four metres onshore, and in the open seas, a swell of 4.5m possibly reaching five to eight metres."

A spokeswoman for the State Emergency Services said volunteers were ready to respond and crews from around the state are ready to deploy to the affected region if required.

Tourists have been evacuated from a number of island resorts in the Whitsundays group, and boat operators have been told to stay in port.

Coal ports along the central Queensland coast have been closed. Mackay and Proserpine airports have also closed. Earlier, Jetstar suspended flights to Hamilton Island over the weekend.

Authorities were urging people in affected areas to follow advice on cyclone preparedness. For information visit www.disaster.qld.gov.au.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15979
Ului looks like a cat 1 now
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2377
Candidates for this week's "Worst People in the World" --

Mar 19, 2010 7:34 pm US/Eastern
Quincy Police Look For Fake FEMA Workers
Reporting, Bill Shields, QUINCY (WBZ) ―

"That's about as low as it gets," said one Quincy resident Friday, when told there were people going through flooded neighborhoods, posing as FEMA agents.

"We've suffered so much," she said, "and to hear someone is trying to rip us off is ridiculous!"

Quincy police are now warning residents to be on the lookout for a man and woman posing as government workers who try to get into the homes of people who've been hit by the floods.

"We want people to call the police, if they're not sure the agents are in fact FEMA," said Chief Paul Keenan.

Many residents have lost records and family heirlooms, and are facing huge repair bills.

Now someone is trying to steal what they have left.

One resident of Alrick Road said, "Just let me in my flooded basement with them for five minutes, and I'll run them out of here!"

(© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
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Brace yourself Queensland, here comes Cyclone Ului

* From: AAP
* March 20, 2010 11:46PM



A DISASTER zone has been declared for large stretches of Queensland's coast, with authorities warning Cyclone Ului will bring destructive wind gusts of more than 200km/h.

The tropical cyclone, which could intensify into a category three(and has), is expected to cross the coast near Airlie Beach after midnight (AEST) bringing dangerous winds and heavy rain to the central and northern coast.

More than 150 State Emergency Service volunteers have been put on alert while Queensland Fire and Rescue response teams are in place in threatened areas.

Police have imposed a 9pm (local time) curfew on businesses in Airlie Beach while hotel guests in the tourism hub are being asked to sign waivers ahead of Ului's arrival.

At 9pm, Ului was located 183km east of Mackay and was moving south west at nearly 30km/h.

It is expected to weaken to a category two cyclone as it moves inland but forecasters have predicted rainfall of up to 300mm in some areas.

Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.

End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh today issued disaster declarations for the Townsville, Burdekin, Whitsunday, Charters Towers, Mackay, Isaac, Rockhampton and Central Highlands local government areas.

"The declaration gives Emergency Services agencies the power of mandatory evacuations if required," she said.

The Bureau of Meteorology warned residents not to venture outside during the eye of the cyclone, which is expected to last for up to an hour in some areas.

A severe weather warning has also been issued for dangerous surf conditions for the Capricornia, Wide Bay and South East Queensland coasts.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15979
Wow! I wouldn't think Ului would strengthen back to a category 3 (Australian Scale).
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5085
Below are the numbers about rainfall in San Juan,Puerto Rico so far this year and they are above the average because of the cold fronts that had reached Puerto Rico.Hopefully the dry spell ends sooner than in June there pottery.

PRECIPITATION (IN)

OBSERVED TIME RECORD YEAR NORMAL DEPARTURE LAST
VALUE (LST) VALUE VALUE FROM YEAR
NORMAL


MONTH TO DATE 3.07 1.23 1.84 2.07
SINCE MAR 1 3.07 1.23 1.84 2.07
SINCE JAN 1 15.22 6.55 8.67 7.89

Link
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14906
A night time landfalling Cyclone Ului...Australian Radar

128 km Mackay Radar Loop



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
.........but this is better than what is going on in Mackay, Australia.
Yoiks!!
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Good Morning!!
Interesting to read some rainfall amounts from different people.
Here are mine, from Trinidad-

Month actual 10 yr average

Dec..... 1.2"..... 7.2"
Jan ..... 1.5"..... 4.0"
Feb ..... 1/4"..... 1.0"
Mar(to date).. 0.1".. 1.0"

It continues to be dread dry here.
The mid-level water vapour image says it all. No moisture to talk about, and the dry looks to continue. Our rainy season starts in June, so climatologically, we have some bad weeks/months ahead.
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Mackay RADAR
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15979



TROPICAL CYCLONE ADVICE NUMBER 17
Issued by the Bureau of Meteorology, Brisbane
Issued at 9:49pm EST on Saturday the 20th of March 2010

A Cyclone WARNING continues for coastal areas from Cardwell to Yeppoon and
inland to Hughenden, including Charters Towers and Clermont.

At 9:00 pm EST Severe Tropical Cyclone Ului, Category 3 was estimated to be
145 kilometres north northeast of Mackay and
340 kilometres east southeast of Townsville and
moving west at 31 kilometres per hour.

At 10:00 pm EST the cyclone is estimated to be
137 kilometres north northeast of Mackay and
146 kilometres east of Bowen.

The cyclone is expected to cross the coast between Ayr and Mackay, most likely
between Bowen and Proserpine as a severe tropical cyclone early Sunday. The
cyclone is then expected to weaken inland later on Sunday.

VERY DESTRUCTIVE wind gusts to 200 km/hr near the cyclone centre may affect
coastal and island communities in the threatened area late tonight and early
Sunday.

DAMAGING winds are expected to develop between Cardwell and Yeppoon this
evening, then extend to adjacent inland parts during Sunday.

TIDES between Bowen and St Lawrence may rise to just above the highest tide of
the year overnight with very rough seas and dangerous conditions along the
foreshore.

HEAVY RAINFALL and flooding are likely to develop about coastal and adjacent
inland areas between Bowen and St Lawrence tonight and early Sunday.

DANGEROUS SURF conditions are expected to continue about exposed beaches south
of the cyclone until later on Sunday. A separate Severe Weather Warning is
current for these conditions.

People in the path of the dangerous cyclone should stay calm and remain in a
secure shelter while the very destructive winds develop late tonight and early
Sunday. Do not venture outside if you find yourself in the eye of the cyclone as
winds may remain light for up to an hour - very destructive winds from a
different direction could resume at any time. Heed the advice and follow the
instructions of Police or State Emergency Service personnel.

People from Cardwell to Yeppoon and inland to Hughenden, including Charters
Towers and Clermont should complete preparations quickly and be prepared to
shelter in a safe place.
- Boats and outside property should now be secured.
- For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit Queensland's Disaster
Management Services
website [www.disaster.qld.gov.au].
- For emergency assistance call the Queensland State Emergency Service [SES] on
132 500 [for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on
buildings or roof damage]

Details of Severe Tropical Cyclone Ului at 9:00 pm EST:
.Centre located near...... 20.0 degrees South 150.0 degrees East
.Location accuracy........ within 35 kilometres
.Recent movement.......... towards the west at 31 kilometres per hour
.Wind gusts near centre... 205 kilometres per hour
.Severity category........ 3
.Central pressure......... 964 hectoPascals

The next advice will be issued by 11:00 pm EST Saturday 20 March.

She looks beautiful on RADAR

Latest Weather Observations for Mackay
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15979
Jeff, I have 5.77 this month and 13.35 for this year 2010. Keep it coming. Been so dry around here we had no ponding of water with all the rain.
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Quoting Jeff9641:


TKS for my e-mail that was nice!! Made my day!

Hey no problem, You are for the most part spot on with your forcasts and i respect that.Great Job!!!!!
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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