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 all4hurricanes:

Polo?

First TS (soon) of the northern hemesphere
Good night everyone


LMAO Have a Good Evening Too....

:0)
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Quoting taco2me61:
Wow Patrap I did not mean to run everyone off....

Marco


Polo?

First TS (soon) of the northern hemesphere
Good night everyone
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Heads up for NC and SC over the next few hrs, possible Isolated Severe Weather Threat:

MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0203
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0829 PM CDT SUN MAR 21 2010

AREAS AFFECTED...PORTIONS ERN GA...MUCH OF SC...EXTREME S-CENTRAL
NC.

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH UNLIKELY

VALID 220129Z - 220400Z

BAND OF CONVECTION EXPECTED TO INCREASE IN COVERAGE/ORGANIZATION
THROUGH ABOUT 04Z...WHILE MOVING NEWD FROM SAV RIVER REGION ACROSS
SC. POTENTIALLY DAMAGING GUSTS NEAR SVR LEVELS MAY OCCUR WITH
STRONGEST SEGMENTS/SMALL BOWS. MRGL TORNADO POTENTIAL ALSO EXISTS.
ATTM...SVR THREAT APPEARS TOO MRGL/CONDITIONAL FOR WW.

ENVIRONMENTAL SHEAR IS AND WILL REMAIN VERY FAVORABLE ACROSS THIS
REGION AHEAD OF FRONT DESCRIBED BELOW...70 KT THROUGH 0-6 KM AGL
WITH 0-1 KM SRH 200-400 J/KG. HOWEVER...LIMITING FACTORS WILL BE
THERMODYNAMIC. NEARLY NEUTRAL LAPSE RATES ALOFT WILL KEEP BUOYANCY
WEAK -- MUCAPE GENERALLY BELOW 300 J/KG MOST AREAS -- WITH SMALL
CAPE DENSITY. BUOYANT PROFILES WHOSE DEPTH CHANGES GREATLY WITH
JUST 1-2 DEG C OF THETAE CHANGE ALSO WILL LEAD TO WIDELY VARYING
EFFECTIVE SHEAR VALUES...AND FOR PREDOMINANTLY SHALLOW
PROFILES...LIMITING LIGHTNING PRODUCTION.

SFC MESOANALYSIS SHOWS LEADING/PRIMARY FRONTAL SEGMENT AS OF 01Z
BETWEEN ATL-AHN...SEWD TOWARD AYS AND WRN FRINGES JAX AREA...THEN
SWD ALONG FL PENINSULA. LOW LEVEL ASCENT/MOISTURE WILL BE
CONCENTRATED JUST AHEAD OF THIS BOUNDARY AS IT MOVES NEWD ACROSS
DISCUSSION AREA NEXT FEW HOURS. LOOSELY ORGANIZED BAND OF CONVECTION
-- WITH WIDELY SCATTERED EMBEDDED TSTMS -- HAS FORMED IN ZONE OF
MAXIMIZED CONVERGENCE/THETAE...AND WAS EVIDENT AT 00Z NEAR A VDI-AHN
LINE...EXPANDING IN WIDTH WITH NWWD EXTENT. MODIFIED RAOBS AND FCST
SOUNDINGS SUGGEST THETAE PLUME WILL SHIFT NEWD NEARLY IN STEP WITH
PRIMARY CONVECTIVE BAND. THEREFORE...ALTHOUGH NEAR-SFC AIR MASS
BECOMES MUCH MORE STABLE WITHIN SHORT DISTANCE NEWD FROM CURRENT
POSITION OF BAND...CONVECTION MAY BE MAINTAINED...AND PERHAPS EVEN
INCREASE IN MOVING ZONE OF WAA ACCOMPANYING BROAD/40-50 KT LLJ.
PORTIONS OF THIS ACTIVITY WILL BE REINFORCED BY LOW-LEVEL THETAE
ADVECTION...OFFSETTING STABILIZING EFFECTS OF SFC DIABATIC COOLING
JUST ENOUGH TO MAINTAIN EFFECTIVE INFLOW PARCELS ROOTED AT OR VERY
NEAR SFC. AS SUCH...DAMAGING GUST OR TORNADO CANNOT BE RULED OUT.

..EDWARDS.. 03/22/2010
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Wow Patrap I did not mean to run everyone off....

Marco

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Quoting taco2me61:


"Yes I Have" more than my fair share thats for sure.... Aswell as you living where you are too....

taco :0)


I had the opportunity Living in Okinawa from Sept 82-83 to see some West PAC Action as well
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Quoting Patrap:


Good stuff taco,..one has to be mindful of the past to be ready for the future,Im sure you have seen a lot as well.


"Yes I Have" more than my fair share thats for sure.... Aswell as you living where you are too....

taco :0)
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I'll add "linkpostcasters". Senior Chief, you are recognized as a forecaster, wasn't refering to you...actually never seen you cut and paste or post a link without adding your opinion of what you paste or post, which I appreciate.
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Is the warm water in the EATL the reason the ITCZ is surging? It's almost to 10N!

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Quoting taco2me61:
I here Ya Patrap....

I have about the same time with just about the same storms....

Taco:0)


Good stuff taco,..one has to be mindful of the past to be ready for the future,Im sure you have seen a lot as well.
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Reynolds SST Analysis

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Quoting Patrap:
For Historical data or reference years I use this site.

NCDC > Satellite Data > HURSAT: Hurricane Satellite Data


A Eyewall I went thru in 1985 in Miss,Long Beach,ELENA,Quicktime Movie

one of 32 Hours I now have in Eyewalls
I here Ya Patrap....

I have about the same time with just about the same storms....

Taco:0)
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Invest in indian ocean looking impressive. Couldnt figure out how to get image from this site so... loop:


Oh forget it. Link doesn't even work.
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For Historical data or reference years I use this site.

NCDC > Satellite Data > HURSAT: Hurricane Satellite Data


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Quoting Patrap:
ALL Floater Imagery


WP022010 - Tropical Depression TWO,Dvorak Image


Looks impressive but really bad easterly shear. Weird, you'd think march would be westerlies. Not in the wpac, i guess.
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All or about 90 percent of the imagery I use is on the Tropical Page here,..or this site.

www.canefever.com

and the CIMSS site too
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943. xcool
Patrap nice image.
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15603
Quoting winter123:


copypastacasters! Thanks, I forgot that one.
You're welcome. I'm actually slightly proud of that term...cut&pastecasters...please give me a footnote when you use it
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Quoting bappit:
923

Very bad idea. Don't even imitate the format with a disclaimer.


Last year people didn't have a problem with me doing this. My blog has the advisories I put on last year and a blogger even thanked me for making such advisories for the western pacific.
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Quoting NttyGrtty:
Tolerance, people, tolerance. Nobody's opinion is any more or any less valuable on here. Personally, I appreciate those that actually have an opinion over the cut&pastecasters who only spead someone else's opinion...


copypastacasters! Thanks, I forgot that one.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


There is a huge difference between cutting and pasting someone else's opinion and cutting and pasting official advisories.

At least for me, I appreciate it when people post the advisories so I dont have to go look for it myself.

Also Magicchaos needs to be careful, that advisory is too close to the real thing that it could be taken as such, why not just copy and paste the actual advisory instead of creating one yourself
Point taken but it's your point, not his/hers. Both are as valid as the other. Tolerance...
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Storm Relative 16km Geostationary Water Vapor Imagery
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Quoting NttyGrtty:
Tolerance, people, tolerance. Nobody's opinion is any more or any less valuable on here. Personally, I appreciate those that actually have an opinion over the cut&pastecasters who only spead someone else's opinion...


There is a huge difference between cutting and pasting someone else's opinion and cutting and pasting official advisories.

At least for me, I appreciate it when people post the advisories so I dont have to go look for it myself.

Also Magicchaos needs to be careful, that advisory is too close to the real thing that it could be taken as such, why not just copy and paste the actual advisory instead of creating one yourself
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Tolerance, people, tolerance. Nobody's opinion is any more or any less valuable on here. Personally, I appreciate those that actually have an opinion over the cut&pastecasters who only spead someone else's opinion...
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thank you StormW
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Quoting xcool:








Holy cow, that's like a Nino-Nina duplex predicted for March-April-May!
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ALL Floater Imagery


WP022010 - Tropical Depression TWO,Dvorak Image
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Quoting bappit:
Come to think of it, one could say that about some of the amateurs posting other information on here with an exaggerated self assurance. It's a fantasy world out there.


In case you missed it, I'm an eyeball-caster this year. Look at a satellite of the region and say where it's going to go. Hey, i was actually right for 98W, why not.

Everyone has their place here on wunderground. We have wishcasters, fishcasters, doomcasters, modelcasters... and I am eyeballcaster. I think I missed some but those are the main ones. Bastardi-casters?
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RAAMB Currently Active Tropical Cyclones

WP022010 - Tropical Depression TWO

Time of Latest Image: 201003212313







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what could a neutral ENSO with a cold bias mean for the atlantic hurricane season?
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Come to think of it, one could say that about some of the amateurs posting other information while expressing themselves with an exaggerated self assurance. It's a fantasy world out there.
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Two many people post the real thing on here. It is just too easy to get confused.
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923

Very bad idea. Don't even imitate the format with a disclaimer.
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924. JRRP
Quoting winter123:
98W is a monster storm for march. Looks like its having problems organizing still. What do models say for this storm? Just eyeballing it looks like a recurve near the phillipenes... probably not over TS strength.

if i am not wrong... the majority of the large systems have trouble to rapid intensified
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AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

Humor in Comments
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WOCN11 CWTO 211955
Special weather statement
Issued by Environment Canada Ontario region.
Sunday 21 March 2010.

Special weather statement issued for..
City of Toronto
Windsor - Essex - Chatham-Kent
Sarnia - Lambton
Elgin
London - Middlesex
Simcoe - Delhi - Norfolk
Dunnville - Caledonia - Haldimand
Oxford - Brant
Niagara
City of Hamilton
Halton - Peel
York - Durham
Huron - Perth
Waterloo - Wellington
Dufferin - Innisfil
Grey - Bruce
Barrie - Orillia - Midland
Belleville - Quinte - Northumberland
Kingston - Prince Edward
Peterborough - Kawartha Lakes
Stirling - Tweed - South Frontenac
Bancroft - Bon Echo Park
Brockville - Leeds and Grenville
City of Ottawa
Gatineau
Prescott and Russell
Cornwall - Morrisburg
Smiths Falls - Lanark - Sharbot Lake
Parry Sound - Muskoka
Haliburton
Renfrew - Pembroke - Barry's Bay
Algonquin
Burk's Falls - Bayfield Inlet.

Risk of patchy light freezing rain near Lake Erie early Monday.
Likelihood of significant freezing rain over northern and eastern
sections of Southern Ontario Monday night.

Monday morning....A weak disturbance will bring some rain to areas
near Lake Erie Monday. Patchy freezing rain could be mixed in a few
places during the morning.

Monday night.....A much stronger disturbance will spread significant
precipitation to most regions Monday evening or Monday night.
Southwestern and southern sections including Toronto can expect rain.
However freezing rain is likely from near lake Simcoe to Eastern
Ontario. Areas near Northern Georgian Bay could escape most of the
precipitation.

Listen for further statements and consult the latest public forecast
for further details.

END/..
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52262


nice strong spinner
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52262
918. Skyepony (Mod)
The surface trough in the Atl ITCZ lacked persistance..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36087
917. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting StormW:


Hi...I can respect that Skye! It's great to debate with you. The atmosphere though, did drive this...if memory serves me right, overall global activity was down as a whole.


Not saying atmosphere didn't drive this..atmosphere like the wind shift before El Nino begins creates Kelvin waves (like Levi said) There were Kelvin waves that forbode the event, creating, strengthening with the recent Kelvin waves being even more impressive.


ref
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36087
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


Crazy storm! I can't beleive it's flurrying in Louisiana in late March, when it's 60 and sunny here in upstate new york!
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TPPN11 PGTW 212110 COR

A. TROPICAL DEPRESSION 02W (TWO)

B. 21/2030Z

C. 6.9N

D. 142.7E

E. SIX/MTSAT

F. N/A

G. IR/EIR

H. REMARKS: 71A/PBO XTRP/ANMTN. COR LINES C, D AND H.

I. ADDITIONAL POSITIONS:
21/1546Z 6.3N 143.8E AMSR
21/1618Z 6.4N 143.7E MMHS


GATES
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52262


WTPN31 PGTW 212100
MSGID/GENADMIN/NAVMARFCSTCEN PEARL HARBOR HI/JTWC//
SUBJ/TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNING//
RMKS/
1. TROPICAL DEPRESSION 02W (TWO) WARNING NR 001
01 ACTIVE TROPICAL CYCLONE IN NORTHWESTPAC
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS BASED ON ONE-MINUTE AVERAGE
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
---
WARNING POSITION:
211800Z --- NEAR 6.6N 143.4E
MOVEMENT PAST SIX HOURS - 315 DEGREES AT 16 KTS
POSITION ACCURATE TO WITHIN 060 NM
POSITION BASED ON CENTER LOCATED BY SATELLITE
PRESENT WIND DISTRIBUTION:
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 025 KT, GUSTS 035 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
REPEAT POSIT: 6.6N 143.4E
---
FORECASTS:
12 HRS, VALID AT:
220600Z --- 7.9N 141.2E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 030 KT, GUSTS 040 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
VECTOR TO 24 HR POSIT: 295 DEG/ 11 KTS
---
24 HRS, VALID AT:
221800Z --- 8.8N 139.1E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 035 KT, GUSTS 045 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
VECTOR TO 36 HR POSIT: 295 DEG/ 10 KTS
---
36 HRS, VALID AT:
230600Z --- 9.7N 137.2E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 035 KT, GUSTS 045 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
VECTOR TO 48 HR POSIT: 295 DEG/ 11 KTS
---
EXTENDED OUTLOOK:
48 HRS, VALID AT:
231800Z --- 10.6N 135.1E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 040 KT, GUSTS 050 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS - 035 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
030 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
030 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
035 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
VECTOR TO 72 HR POSIT: 300 DEG/ 08 KTS
---
72 HRS, VALID AT:
241800Z --- 12.1N 132.2E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 045 KT, GUSTS 055 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS - 050 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
045 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
045 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
050 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
VECTOR TO 96 HR POSIT: 310 DEG/ 06 KTS
---
LONG RANGE OUTLOOK:
NOTE...ERRORS FOR TRACK HAVE AVERAGED NEAR 250 NM
ON DAY 4 AND 350 NM ON DAY 5... AND FOR INTENSITY
NEAR 20 KT EACH DAY.
---
96 HRS, VALID AT:
251800Z --- 13.7N 130.3E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 050 KT, GUSTS 065 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
VECTOR TO 120 HR POSIT: 330 DEG/ 07 KTS
---
120 HRS, VALID AT:
261800Z --- 16.1N 128.8E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 050 KT, GUSTS 065 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
---
REMARKS:
212100Z POSITION NEAR 6.9N 142.9E.
TROPICAL DEPRESSION (TD) 02W, LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 355 NM EAST-
SOUTHEAST OF YAP, HAS TRACKED NORTHWEST AT 16 KNOTS OVER THE PAST 06
HOURS. ANIMATED ENHANCED INFRARED SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOWS DEEP CON-
VECTION CONTINUES TO BUILD OVER A WELL DEFINED LOW LEVEL CIRCULATION
CENTER (LLCC). A 211217Z ASCAT PASS REVEALED A SYMMETRIC LLCC WITH
WINDS BETWEEN 25 AND 30 KNOTS. UPPER LEVEL ANALYSIS INDICATES AN
ANTICYCLONE TO THE EAST OF THE LLCC IS CREATING AN AREA OF UPPER
LEVEL DIVERGENCE OVER THE LLCC, WHICH IS PROVIDING GOOD POLEWARD OUT-
FLOW ALOFT. IT IS ALSO CREATING MODERATE TO HIGH VERTICAL WIND SHEAR
(VWS), WHICH IS HAMPERING THE DEVELOPMENT OF TD 02W. THE SURFACE
ENVIRONMENT WILL REMAIN FAVORABLE THROUGHOUT THE FORECAST PERIOD. TD
02W IS TRACKING ALONG THE SOUTHERN PERIPHERY OF A MID-LEVEL SUBTROP-
ICAL RIDGE (STR). TD 02W WILL CONTINUE TO TRACK TO THE NORTHWEST
THROUGH TAU 72, WHEN A TRANSITORY MID-LATITUDE TROUGH WILL BREAK DOWN
THE STR AND ALLOW FOR TD 02W TO BEGIN MOVING MORE NORTHWARD. THE
TROUGH WILL ALSO CAUSE A SLOW DOWN IN TRACK SPEED AS THE STR WEAKENS.
INTENSITY IS EXPECTED TO INCREASE SLOWLY AS VWS DECREASES, ALLOWING
FOR TD 02W TO ORGANIZE VERTICALLY IN LATER TAUS. THIS FORECAST IS
BASED ON THE CONSENSUS OF AVAILABLE MODEL GUIDANCE. THIS WARNING
SUPERSEDES AND CANCELS REF A, NAVMARFCSTCEN 202251Z MAR 10 TROPICAL
CYCLONE FORMATION ALERT (WTPN21 PGTW 202300) MAXIMUM SIGNIFICANT WAVE
HEIGHT AT 211800Z IS 10 FEET. NEXT WARNINGS AT 220300Z, 220900Z,
221500Z AND 222100Z.//
NNNN

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52262
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52262
Greetings! Despite the TERPS NCAA heartbreaker (they should have played their hearts out sooner), we had another beautiful day; business was good at a local flea market. Looking like some rains might start soon.

Any whacky-crazy Saturday night trolls last night?

I just got in a little while ago, so if someone else posted this semi-good news... oh well, sorry.

Red River hits crest, begins to recede in Fargo

(click on link for video story)

By DAVE KOLPACK, Associated Press Writer Dave Kolpack, Associated Press Writer 1 hr 24 mins ago

FARGO, N.D. %u2013 The crest of the Red River was met Sunday with more shrugs than white knuckles, as flood fears receded and Fargo residents walked their dogs and went to church instead of sandbagging and fleeing to higher ground.

City officials said they were relieved the bloated river running along the border of North Dakota and Minnesota didn't cause major damage leading up to its crest.

Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker noted that while most floods have at least "one day of chaos" that didn't happen this year. But he cautioned against celebrating too soon.

"We need at least another week here before we get it to the level we wanted it to be. There's still a lot of water down south," Walaker told The Associated Press.

The National Weather Service said the Red River crested Sunday afternoon just under 37 feet, or 19 feet over flood stage, and was now on its way down. The region has been hoping for mostly dry weather to speed the river's fall by week's end. The forecast was cooperating, with only a small chance of rain in sight over the next few days.

"We're bobbling downward," weather service spokesman Greg Gust said. He said the river appeared to be starting a "very slow decline through the remainder of the day."

That was good news to residents of North Dakota's largest city, who worried that the Red could stay at its crest for several days, straining temporary levees and sandbag dikes.

(for remainder of story, click on link)
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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.