America's Achilles' heel: the Mississippi River's Old River Control Structure

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:20 PM GMT on May 13, 2011

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America has an Achilles' heel. It lies on a quiet, unpopulated stretch of the Mississippi River in Louisiana, a few miles east of the tiny town of Simmesport. Rising up from the flat, wooded west flood plain of the Mississippi River tower four massive concrete and steel structures that would make a Pharaoh envious--the Army Corps' of Engineers greatest work, the billion-dollar Old River Control Structure. This marvel of modern civil engineering has, for fifty years, done what many thought impossible--impose man's will on the Mississippi River. Mark Twain, who captained a Mississippi river boat for many years, wrote in his book Life on the Mississippi, "ten thousand river commissions, with the mines of the world at their back, cannot tame that lawless stream, cannot curb it or define it, cannot say to it "Go here," or Go there, and make it obey; cannot save a shore which it has sentenced; cannot bar its path with an obstruction which it will not tear down, dance over, and laugh at." The great river wants to carve a new path to the Gulf of Mexico; only the Old River Control Structure keeps it at bay. Failure of the Old River Control Structure would be a severe blow to America's economy, interrupting a huge portion of our imports and exports that ship along the Mississippi River. Closure of the Mississippi to shipping would cost $295 million per day, said Gary LaGrange, executive director of the Port of New Orleans, during a news conference Thursday. The structure will receive its most severe test in its history in the coming two weeks, as the Mississippi River's greatest flood on record crests at a level never before seen.


Figure 1. Two views of the Mississippi River. Left: the meander paths of the Mississippi over time, as published in "Geological Investigation of the Alluvial Valley of the Lower Mississippi River" (Fisk, 1944). Right: The Army Corps of Engineers' view of Mississippi River peak flow rates during a maximum 1-in-500 year "Project Flood" (U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, 1958.) The places outlined in red are where the Corps has built flood control structures capable of diverting a portion of the Mississippi's flow.

A better path to the Gulf
The mighty Mississippi River keeps on rollin' along its final 300 miles to the Gulf of Mexico south of New Orleans--but unwillingly. There is a better way to the Gulf--150 miles shorter, and more than twice as steep. This path lies down the Atchafalaya River, which connects to the Mississippi at a point 45 miles north-northwest of Baton Rouge, 300 river miles from the Gulf of Mexico Delta. Each year, the path down the Atchafalaya grows more inviting. As the massive amounts of sediments the Mississippi carries--scoured from fully 41% of the U.S. land area--reach the Gulf of Mexico, the river's path grows longer. This forces it to dump large amounts of sediment hundreds of miles upstream, in order to build its bed higher and maintain the flow rates needed to flush such huge amounts of sediment to the sea. Thus the difference in elevation between the bed of the Mississippi and the Atchafalaya--currently 17 - 19 feet at typical flow rates of the rivers--grows ever steeper, and the path to the Gulf down the Atchafalaya more inviting. Floods like this year's great flood further increase the slope, as flood waters scour out the bed of the Atchafalaya. Without the Old River Control Structure, the Mississippi River would have carved a new path to the Gulf in the 1970s, leaving Baton Rouge and New Orleans stranded on a salt water estuary, with no fresh water to supply their people and industry.

History of the Old River Control Structure
The Mississippi River has been carving a path to the ocean since the time of the dinosaurs, always seeking the shortest and steepest route possible. Approximately once every 1000 years, the river jumps out of its banks and carves a new path. In John McPhee's fantastic essay, The Control of Nature, we learn:

The Mississippi's main channel of three thousand years ago is now the quiet water of Bayou Teche, which mimics the shape of the Mississippi. Along Bayou Teche, on the high ground of ancient natural levees, are Jeanerette, Breaux Bridge, Broussard, Olivier--arcuate strings of Cajun towns. Eight hundred years before the birth of Christ, the channel was captured from the east. It shifted abruptly and flowed in that direction for about a thousand years. In the second century a.d., it was captured again, and taken south, by the now unprepossessing Bayou Lafourche, which, by the year 1000, was losing its hegemony to the river's present course, through the region that would be known as Plaquemines. By the nineteen-fifties, the Mississippi River had advanced so far past New Orleans and out into the Gulf that it was about to shift again, and its offspring Atchafalaya was ready to receive it.

For the Mississippi to make such a change was completely natural, but in the interval since the last shift Europeans had settled beside the river, a nation had developed, and the nation could not afford nature. The consequences of the Atchafalaya's conquest of the Mississippi would include but not be limited to the demise of Baton Rouge and the virtual destruction of New Orleans. With its fresh water gone, its harbor a silt bar, its economy disconnected from inland commerce, New Orleans would turn into New Gomorrah. Moreover, there were so many big industries between the two cities that at night they made the river glow like a worm. As a result of settlement patterns, this reach of the Mississippi had long been known as "the German coast," and now, with B. F. Goodrich, E. I. du Pont, Union Carbide, Reynolds Metals, Shell, Mobil, Texaco, Exxon, Monsanto, Uniroyal, Georgia-Pacific, Hydrocarbon Industries, Vulcan Materials, Nalco Chemical, Freeport Chemical, Dow Chemical, Allied Chemical, Stauffer Chemical, Hooker Chemicals, Rubicon Chemicals, American Petrofina--with an infrastructural concentration equaled in few other places--it was often called "the American Ruhr." The industries were there because of the river. They had come for its navigational convenience and its fresh water. They would not, and could not, linger beside a tidal creek. For nature to take its course was simply unthinkable. The Sixth World War would do less damage to southern Louisiana. Nature, in this place, had become an enemy of the state.


The Atchafalaya steadily took more and more of the Mississippi's water to the Gulf of Mexico during the 20th Century, until by 1950, it had captured 30% of the great river's flow, becoming the 4th largest river in the U.S. by volume discharge. The Army Corps of Engineers stepped in, and in the late 1950s began construction of a massive structure that resembled a dam with gates to control the amount of water escaping from the Mississippi to the Atchafalaya. This "Low Sill Structure", completed in 1963, consisted of a dam with 11 gates, each 44 feet wide, that could be raised or lowered. The entire structure was 566 feet long. A companion "Overbank Structure" was built on dry land next to the Low Sill Structure, in order to control extreme water flows during major floods. The Overbank Structure had 73 bays, each 44 feet wide, and was 3,356 feet long. The total cost of the two structures: about $300 million.


Figure 2. Aerial view of the Mississippi River's Old River Control Structure, looking downstream (south.) Image credit: U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.

The flood of 1973: Old River Control Structure almost fails
For the first ten years after completion of the Old River Control Structure, no major floods tested it, leading the Army Corps to declare, "We harnessed it, straightened it, regularized it, shackled it." But in 1973, a series of heavy snowstorms in the Upper Midwest was followed by exceptionally heavy spring rains in the South. The Mighty Mississippi rose inexorably until the flow rate at the Old River Control Structure reached 2 million cubic feet per second--twenty times the flow of Niagara Falls--and stayed there for more almost three months. Turbulence from the unprecedented flows through the Low Sill Structure scoured the foundation and destroyed a 67-foot-high wing wall that guided water into the structure. Scour holes as big as a football field developed upstream, downstream, and underneath the structure, exposing 50 feet of the 90-foot long steel pilings supporting the structure. The structure began vibrating dangerously, so much so that it would slam open car doors of vehicles parking on top of Highway 15 that crosses over the top. Emergency repairs saved the structure, but it came every close to complete failure.

The flood of 1973 permanently damaged the Low Sill Structure, forcing the Corps to build additional structures to control future great floods. The first of these structures was the Auxilliary Control Structure. This 442-foot long structure, completed in 1986, consisted of six gates, each 62 feet wide, and cost $206 million to build. Joining the mix in the late 1980s was a 192-megawatt hydroelectric power plant, build at a cost of $520 million.


Figure 3. The flow of water in the Mississippi River as of Friday, May 13 (red line) has exceeded 2 million cubic feet per second, and was approaching the all-time record (dashed blue line.) Image credit: USACE.

The Old River Control Structure's greatest test: the flood of 2011
Flow rates of the Mississippi at the latitude of the Old River Control Structure are expected to exceed the all-time record on Saturday, giving the Old River Control Structure its greatest test since the flood of 1973. Since there are now four structures to control the flooding instead of just the two that existed in 1973, the Old River Control Structure should be able to handle a much greater flow of water. The flood of 2011 is not as large as the maximum 1-in-500 year "Project Flood" that the Old River Control Structure was designed to handle, and the Army Corps of Engineers has expressed confidence that the structure can handle the current flood. However, the system has never been tested in these conditions before. This is a dangerous flood, and very high water levels are expected for many weeks. Unexpected flaws in the design of the Old River Control Structure may give it a few percent chance of failure under these sorts of unprecedented conditions. While I expect that the Old River Control Structure will indeed hold back the great flood of 2011, we also need to be concerned about the levees on either side of the structure. The levees near Old River Control Structure range from 71 - 74 feet high, and the flood is expected to crest at 65.5 feet on May 22. This is, in theory, plenty of levee to handle such a flood, but levees subjected to long periods of pressure can and do fail sometimes, and the Corps has to be super-careful to keep all the levees under constant surveillance and quickly move to repair sand boils or piping problems that might develop. Any failure of a levee on the west bank of the Mississippi could allow the river to jump its banks permanently and carve a new path to the Gulf of Mexico. I'll say more about the potential costs of such an event in a future post.

According to the latest information from the Army Corps the Old River Control Structure is currently passing 624,000 cubic feet per second of water, which is 1% beyond what is intended in a maximum "Project Flood." The flow rate of the Mississippi at New Orleans is at 100% of the maximum Project Flood. These are dangerous flow rates, and makes it likely that the Army Corps will open the Morganza Spillway in the next few days to take pressure off of the Old River Control Structure and New Orleans levees. Neither can be allowed to fail. In theory, the Old River Control Structure can be operated at 140% of a Project Flood, since there are now four control structures instead of just the two that existed in 1973 (flows rates of 300,000 cfs, 350,000 cfs, 320,000 cfs, and 170,000 cfs can go through the Low Sill, Auxiliary, Overbank, and Hydroelectric structures, respectively.) Apparently, the Corps is considering this, as evidenced by their Scenario #3 images they posted yesterday. This is a risky proposition, as the Old River Control Structure would be pushed to its absolute limit in this scenario. It would seem a lower risk proposition to open the Morganza spillway to divert up to 600,000 cfs, unless there are concerns the Corps has they aren't telling us about.


Figure 4. Kayaking, anyone? The stilling basin downstream of the Low Sill Structure of the Old River Control Structure, as seen during major flood stage of the Mississippi River on May 10, 2011. The flow rate is 2 - 3 times that of Niagara Falls here. Video by Lee Alessi.

Recommended reading
John McPhee's fantastic essay, The Control of Nature

Jeff Masters

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558. IKE
57.4 was my morning low.

TWC calling for near record lows here tomorrow night w/a low 48 w/NW winds @ 10-20 mph.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
My heater in my house just kicked on..

WOW. I'm in a tshirt, shorts and barefoot, outside.

Hi gamma! ain't it nice to know exactly what fell on YOUR home, and not at some airport x miles away?

Ya'll with the CoCoRAHS gauges from RainmanWeather- really wish you'd sign up for CoCoRAHS online. That data is used by NOAA, as well as local, state and federal authorities.

Anyway gamma, glad ya'll got some good water.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25732
Quoting PcolaDan:


I am NOT putting the top and doors back on the Jeep!
NO!!!
NOT gonna do it!
:(

C'mon you have to have a heater in that jeep! 70.2 here (NICE)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aquak9:
0.87"

(struts around like proud peacock)


I got you beat.. after almost 5 months with out rainfall...

we got 2 1/2" in my guage last night!!!!
WhoooHoooo!

technically since I have the "rainman" precise weather guage it was 2.65" of rain!

My giant guage that just gets "round about" measurements got 2 1/2"

I cannot believe my neighborhood got that much rain in a few hours...Hope most of SE Fla got it also because we were about to go up in flames!

and more rain moving in this morning from the west!

Loved reading back from conversations last night...
Aqua, I don't eat any fish from our canals either! That is urban drain water in there and the fish have 3 eyes!
and yes, Rainman just wants to buy a boat! LOL

Good morning my friends!
Got to find out what is going on in Louisiana.
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 297 Comments: 40881
554. IKE

Quoting aquak9:
c'mon, Ike. You know as well as I do, ain't gonna be no named pre-Season™ storm. Heck, might be into mid-July a'fore we see a name.

Didja get your yard mowed yesterday before the rain?
I mowed the front after the rains moved through. Fixing to do the back and burn for a couple of hours. Weather is too nice to stay inside:)

You could be right about a mid-July start with this constant pattern. Need a pattern change.

Quoting PcolaDan:


I am NOT putting the top and doors back on the Jeep!
NO!!!
NOT gonna do it!
:(
My heater in my house just kicked on...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:
Cool few days ahead....

Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 52. Northwest wind between 5 and 10 mph.

Monday: A 20 percent chance of showers after 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 75. Northwest wind between 5 and 10 mph.

Monday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 45. North northwest wind around 10 mph.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 75. North northwest wind between 5 and 15 mph.



I am NOT putting the top and doors back on the Jeep!
NO!!!
NOT gonna do it!
:(
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
c'mon, Ike. You know as well as I do, ain't gonna be no named pre-Season™ storm. Heck, might be into mid-July a'fore we see a name.

Didja get your yard mowed yesterday before the rain?
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25732
Good morning. It looks like zero tropical development on both, the EPAC and Atlantic for the rest of May,as the models are not bullish at this time.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14007


Still, if the Mississippi rises two more feet, to 18.5 feet, the Coast Guard could suspend all boat traffic on the river, in an unusual move that could cost the country nearly $300million a day in lost revenue, and even more than that per day after the first four, reports CBS News.

The Mississippi is one of the country's most important waterways, and the port of New Orleans is one of the busiest, with 12,000 ships carrying 500-million tons of cargo annually and 700,000 cruise passengers.


Link
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25732
Quoting flsky:
My last post was supposed to be in response to severstorm's posting. Just wanted to know where he/she lives. ( I wish this sight worked better for me, sheesh)

flsky, I live in Zephyrhills fl about 40 miles northeast of Tampa, And yes what a storm last night. No warning on that storm just a good old fashion storm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
548. IKE

Quoting aquak9:
Problem is...you may get none the next 10+ days.

There's the Ike I know and love...
LOL....it's true.

I also think the odds of a pre-season ATL named system are around 5%...maybe less.

I think we start on June 1st at 0-0-0. Arlene where are you?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:
It's been raining here in Naples--mostly heavily--for the past hour-and-a-half. Given that we've received less than 1/5 of an inch to-date this month, and less than 1/5 for the entire month of April before, we've easily seen more rain this morning than in the past 50 days. In fact, March only saw a bit over an inch, so we may have beaten that as well.

Nice to see on a Sunday morning...


Just read that my home stsate, WV had their rainiest April ever. We had over 6 inches of rain, and the state average was 7.4. Sorry NOLA, I live on the Atlantic side but the rest went down the Ohio :(

If I were part of the Japanese government, I could claim some of the credit and say I was attempting to send the water to Texas through a major engineering progect, but it got diverted somehow... don't know the details...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Problem is...you may get none the next 10+ days.

There's the Ike I know and love...
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25732
545. flsky
Just back from AL - bad stuff there. On call for LA. Any up-to-date info? Pat?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
544. flsky
Quoting RTLSNK:
In my 64 years on this planet, I have managed to gather a small amount of knowledge. Albeit I must admit, some of this information was acquired not by education, but rather by experience known as "the hard way".

The latest TEPCO information reminded me of one of those salient facts. In this age of instant communications we would do well to remember that the "first" information we receive may not be, what it appears to be.




A true sage....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:
I thought I might use this brief lull for a quick update on our favorite ongoing but often-forgotten nuclear catastrophe:

--TEPCO announced today that it's abandoning plans to flood and cool No. 1 reactor's containment building, since it's been verified that fuel has melted down and through the pressure veesel, creating holes through which any injected water, now highly radioactive, simply escapes. But there's no talk of an alternate plan, and with radiation levels so high that workers can only spend two or three minutes in the building each year, it's not at all certain what options are left beyond entombment. (Link)

--It's been determined that meltdown occurred at the No. 1 reactor 16 hours after the earthquake. (You know, back when TEPCO and the Japanese government were telling us repeatedly that there was little danger of meltdown, that the situation was under control, that the worst had passed, that the explosion was simply a spectacular but harmless release of pent-up gases.)

--The Japanese government has been silently widening the no-go zone around the plant, adding towns and villages to the list. Today residents of Kawamata and Iitate were told to leave. (Link)

--Data suggests that it wasn't the tsunami after all that caused a loss of power that damaged the cooling systems, but rather the earthquake itself. (Link) (IOW, a rare super-tsunami isn't required to initiate a meltdown; just a quake of sufficient size, depth, and proximity.)

It'll be, er, interesting to see what's found once workers can get into reactors 2 and 3. There are strong hints that those two may be as bad off, if not worse, than unit 1.


Sadly, this shouldn't surprise anyone. They want us to forget, so that they can back to the business of clesning up the mess with no outside interference.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
542. flsky
My last post was supposed to be in response to severstorm's posting. Just wanted to know where he/she lives. ( I wish this sight worked better for me, sheesh)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
541. IKE

Quoting aquak9:
0.87"

(struts around like proud peacock)
I was watching the golf tournament yesterday thinking of the rain you were getting.

Problem is...you may get none the next 10+ days.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
good sunday morning all

nea- we had some really deep loud thunder here, rattled the windows, booming and fading slowly. SO COOL. Man I miss that.

Ok..christmas wish list so far: a plasma cutter, and I think I'll add a dosimeter to that list, too. Maybe I won't be planting spinach again. Gonna miss the bananas...
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25732
Ike, You are so right about needing the rain.Even after a wet jan,feb and still here 10inches above the yearly avg. we were still under a drought.Only to be in the 80's next few days. Thats great. Have a great day.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
000
ABPZ20 KNHC 151132
TWOEP

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
500 AM PDT SUN MAY 15 2011

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

TODAY MARKS THE FIRST DAY OF THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC HURRICANE
SEASON...WHICH WILL RUN UNTIL NOVEMBER 30. LONG-TERM AVERAGES FOR
THE NUMBER OF NAMED STORMS...HURRICANES...AND MAJOR HURRICANES ARE
15...8...AND 4...RESPECTIVELY.

THE LIST OF NAMES FOR 2011 IS AS FOLLOWS:

NAME PRONUNCIATION NAME PRONUNCIATION
------------------------------------------------- --------------
ADRIAN AY- DREE UHN MAX MAKS
BEATRIZ BEE- A TRIZ NORMA NOOR- MUH
CALVIN KAL- VIN OTIS OH- TIS
DORA DOR- RUH PILAR PEE LAHR-
EUGENE YOU- JEEN RAMON RAH MOHN-
FERNANDA FER NAN- DAH SELMA SELL- MAH
GREG GREG TODD TAHD
HILARY HIH- LUH REE VERONICA VUR RAHN- IH KUH
IRWIN UR- WIN WILEY WY- LEE
JOVA HO- VAH XINA ZEE- NAH
KENNETH KEH- NETH YORK YORK
LIDIA LIH- DYAH ZELDA ZEL- DAH

THIS PRODUCT...THE TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK...DESCRIBES SIGNIFICANT
AREAS OF DISTURBED WEATHER AND THEIR POTENTIAL FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE
FORMATION DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. THE ISSUANCE TIMES OF THIS
PRODUCT ARE 5 AM...11 AM...5 PM...AND 11 PM PDT. AFTER THE CHANGE
TO STANDARD TIME IN NOVEMBER...THE ISSUANCE TIMES ARE 4 AM...10
AM...4 PM...AND 10 PM PST.

A SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK WILL BE ISSUED TO PROVIDE UPDATES
...AS NECESSARY...IN BETWEEN THE REGULARLY SCHEDULED ISSUANCES OF
THE TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK. SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOKS
WILL BE ISSUED UNDER THE SAME WMO AND AWIPS HEADERS AS THE REGULAR
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOKS.

A STANDARD PACKAGE OF PRODUCTS...CONSISTING OF THE TROPICAL CYCLONE
PUBLIC ADVISORY...THE FORECAST/ADVISORY...THE CYCLONE DISCUSSION...
AND A WIND SPEED PROBABILITY PRODUCT...IS ISSUED EVERY SIX HOURS
FOR ALL ONGOING TROPICAL CYCLONES. IN ADDITION...A SPECIAL ADVISORY
PACKAGE MAY BE ISSUED AT ANY TIME TO ADVISE OF SIGNIFICANT
UNEXPECTED CHANGES OR TO MODIFY WATCHES OR WARNINGS.

THE TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATE IS A BRIEF STATEMENT TO INFORM OF
SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN A TROPICAL CYCLONE OR TO POST OR CANCEL
WATCHES OR WARNINGS. THIS PRODUCT IS USED IN LIEU OF OR TO PRECEDE
THE ISSUANCE OF A SPECIAL ADVISORY PACKAGE. TROPICAL CYCLONE
UPDATES...WHICH CAN BE ISSUED AT ANY TIME...CAN BE FOUND UNDER WMO
HEADER WTPZ61-65 KNHC...AND UNDER AWIPS HEADER MIATCUEP1-5.

ALL NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER PRODUCTS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE WEB AT
WWW.HURRICANES.GOV

$$
FORECASTER CANGIALOSI/BROWN
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
537. flsky
Wow - where do you live?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It's been raining here in Naples--mostly heavily--for the past hour-and-a-half. Given that we've received less than 1/5 of an inch to-date this month, and less than 1/5 for the entire month of April before, we've easily seen more rain this morning than in the past 50 days. In fact, March only saw a bit over an inch, so we may have beaten that as well.

Nice to see on a Sunday morning...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13457
0.87"

(struts around like proud peacock)
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25732
534. IKE

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
533. IKE
000
ABPZ20 KNHC 151132
TWOEP

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
500 AM PDT SUN MAY 15 2011

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

TODAY MARKS THE FIRST DAY OF THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC HURRICANE
SEASON...WHICH WILL RUN UNTIL NOVEMBER 30. LONG-TERM AVERAGES FOR
THE NUMBER OF NAMED STORMS...HURRICANES...AND MAJOR HURRICANES ARE
15...8...AND 4...RESPECTIVELY.

THE LIST OF NAMES FOR 2011 IS AS FOLLOWS:

NAME PRONUNCIATION NAME PRONUNCIATION
------------------------------------------------- --------------
ADRIAN AY- DREE UHN MAX MAKS
BEATRIZ BEE- A TRIZ NORMA NOOR- MUH
CALVIN KAL- VIN OTIS OH- TIS
DORA DOR- RUH PILAR PEE LAHR-
EUGENE YOU- JEEN RAMON RAH MOHN-
FERNANDA FER NAN- DAH SELMA SELL- MAH
GREG GREG TODD TAHD
HILARY HIH- LUH REE VERONICA VUR RAHN- IH KUH
IRWIN UR- WIN WILEY WY- LEE
JOVA HO- VAH XINA ZEE- NAH
KENNETH KEH- NETH YORK YORK
LIDIA LIH- DYAH ZELDA ZEL- DAH

THIS PRODUCT...THE TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK...DESCRIBES SIGNIFICANT
AREAS OF DISTURBED WEATHER AND THEIR POTENTIAL FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE
FORMATION DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. THE ISSUANCE TIMES OF THIS
PRODUCT ARE 5 AM...11 AM...5 PM...AND 11 PM PDT. AFTER THE CHANGE
TO STANDARD TIME IN NOVEMBER...THE ISSUANCE TIMES ARE 4 AM...10
AM...4 PM...AND 10 PM PST.

A SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK WILL BE ISSUED TO PROVIDE UPDATES
...AS NECESSARY...IN BETWEEN THE REGULARLY SCHEDULED ISSUANCES OF
THE TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK. SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOKS
WILL BE ISSUED UNDER THE SAME WMO AND AWIPS HEADERS AS THE REGULAR
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOKS.

A STANDARD PACKAGE OF PRODUCTS...CONSISTING OF THE TROPICAL CYCLONE
PUBLIC ADVISORY...THE FORECAST/ADVISORY...THE CYCLONE DISCUSSION...
AND A WIND SPEED PROBABILITY PRODUCT...IS ISSUED EVERY SIX HOURS
FOR ALL ONGOING TROPICAL CYCLONES. IN ADDITION...A SPECIAL ADVISORY
PACKAGE MAY BE ISSUED AT ANY TIME TO ADVISE OF SIGNIFICANT
UNEXPECTED CHANGES OR TO MODIFY WATCHES OR WARNINGS.

THE TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATE IS A BRIEF STATEMENT TO INFORM OF
SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN A TROPICAL CYCLONE OR TO POST OR CANCEL
WATCHES OR WARNINGS. THIS PRODUCT IS USED IN LIEU OF OR TO PRECEDE
THE ISSUANCE OF A SPECIAL ADVISORY PACKAGE. TROPICAL CYCLONE
UPDATES...WHICH CAN BE ISSUED AT ANY TIME...CAN BE FOUND UNDER WMO
HEADER WTPZ61-65 KNHC...AND UNDER AWIPS HEADER MIATCUEP1-5.

ALL NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER PRODUCTS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE WEB AT
WWW.HURRICANES.GOV

$$
FORECASTER CANGIALOSI/BROWN
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
532. IKE
Quoting severstorm:

Good Morning Ike, We had one hell of a storm here last night at 4 am. Constant lightning and thunder boomming and lots of wind. I had a rain rate of 9in per hour if it rained that hard that long. got 1.08 in the gauge from that storm. Great Storm, havent seen one like that in years.
Good morning. At least you got some beneficial rains.

................................................. .................................................. ..............

5 day QPF....


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:
Cool few days ahead....

Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 52. Northwest wind between 5 and 10 mph.

Monday: A 20 percent chance of showers after 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 75. Northwest wind between 5 and 10 mph.

Monday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 45. North northwest wind around 10 mph.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 75. North northwest wind between 5 and 15 mph.


Good Morning Ike, We had one hell of a storm here last night at 4 am. Constant lightning and thunder boomming and lots of wind. I had a rain rate of 9in per hour if it rained that hard that long. got 1.08 in the gauge from that storm. Great Storm, havent seen one like that in years.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
530. IKE
Cool few days ahead....

Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 52. Northwest wind between 5 and 10 mph.

Monday: A 20 percent chance of showers after 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 75. Northwest wind between 5 and 10 mph.

Monday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 45. North northwest wind around 10 mph.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 75. North northwest wind between 5 and 15 mph.

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In my 64 years on this planet, I have managed to gather a small amount of knowledge. Albeit I must admit, some of this information was acquired not by education, but rather by experience known as "the hard way".

The latest TEPCO information reminded me of one of those salient facts. In this age of instant communications we would do well to remember that the "first" information we receive may not be, what it appears to be.



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528. DDR
Tropical wave @ 40w and possibly 2 over Africa,nice!
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I thought I might use this brief lull for a quick update on our favorite ongoing but often-forgotten nuclear catastrophe:

--TEPCO announced today that it's abandoning plans to flood and cool No. 1 reactor's containment building, since it's been verified that fuel has melted down and through the pressure veesel, creating holes through which any injected water, now highly radioactive, simply escapes. But there's no talk of an alternate plan, and with radiation levels so high that workers can only spend two or three minutes in the building each year, it's not at all certain what options are left beyond entombment. (Link)

--It's been determined that meltdown occurred at the No. 1 reactor 16 hours after the earthquake. (You know, back when TEPCO and the Japanese government were telling us repeatedly that there was little danger of meltdown, that the situation was under control, that the worst had passed, that the explosion was simply a spectacular but harmless release of pent-up gases.)

--The Japanese government has been silently widening the no-go zone around the plant, adding towns and villages to the list. Today residents of Kawamata and Iitate were told to leave. (Link)

--Data suggests that it wasn't the tsunami after all that caused a loss of power that damaged the cooling systems, but rather the earthquake itself. (Link) (IOW, a rare super-tsunami isn't required to initiate a meltdown; just a quake of sufficient size, depth, and proximity.)

It'll be, er, interesting to see what's found once workers can get into reactors 2 and 3. There are strong hints that those two may be as bad off, if not worse, than unit 1.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13457
Quoting Levi32:
A decent disturbance in the African Easterly Jet is currently along ~4W, but likely not well-enough defined to be analyzed as a tropical wave by the NHC.

Levi

Do you have a LINK to this loop??
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If interested, check out my blog--I just made a brand new post about this upcoming hurricane season. Be free to check it out and comment if you'd like.
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Quoting stillwaiting:
soooo does the epac season get started officially at midnight EST or PST???

I would say PST
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
hahaha, hi beell

we saw history today.

go in peace ya'll- g'nite
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25732
520. beell
Quoting aquak9:
guess I'll just stick to frozen pizza. :(


could be worse.

Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 141 Comments: 16213
guess I'll just stick to frozen pizza. :(
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25732
soooo does the epac season get started officially at midnight EST or PST???
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Quoting spathy:


I got news for ya.
If you have ever eaten a Micky Ds fillet of fish sandwich you have eaten CARP.


no no no!!! go ask JoeAlaska. Mickie d's uses good alaskan fish.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filet-O-Fish
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25732
516. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting aquak9:
sigh...ok, maybe I'd best start craving crawfish instead. Or are they gonna get wiped out from the flood?


Gary Grows of nearby Fordoche recalled as a teenager ferrying hay to several deer trapped on a ridge surrounded by floodwaters in 1973.

But he said not all animals were harmed by the flooding, noting that there was a bumper crop of crawfish that year.

“You could go out there with a bucket and pick up crawfish like pecans off the ground,” he said.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Seems the plan to open a few gates at a time at Morganza makes a lot of sense. It means the flooding happens slower, which to my mind suggests that the impact of the water flow as it moves over the flood plain is likely to be less damaging. Also the slower flood rate gives people / animals more time to get away, I'd think.

It may sound a bit callous, but it's a good thing there IS an alternative in the first place. However, I'm sure that doesn't assauge the feelings of those who get flooded.....

Also watching the increased activity across the SE US and CAR with interest. It seems so quiet in the tropical ATL so far.... I keep wondering if it's the "calm before the storm".... lol


Apparently, that one gate is in the most "scour resistant" area of the Morganza floodgates. That was a big problem in 1973 at the Old River Control Structure (since upgraded as Dr. Masters points out in the blog post), so they are also watching things carefully now at the structure itself. If there is going to be a scouring "issue" best that it start out small.
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aqua- thanks for the tipoff on the carp pics! - amazing..makes me wonder how many gators got bottled up being sucked towards the spillway?..lol

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512. beell
Quoting aquak9:
sigh...ok, maybe I'd best start craving crawfish instead. Or are they gonna get wiped out from the flood?


Crawfish do worse in drought years. They like water. Commercially farmed or caught wild.

About 90% of Louisiana's crawfish harvest is pond-raised. Plenty for everybody!
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 141 Comments: 16213
Quoting aquak9:
sigh...ok, maybe I'd best start craving crawfish instead. Or are they gonna get wiped out from the flood?


Don't know about crawfish, as they are freshwater but with all the turbitity and turbulance, not to mention silt, they coud very well have problems. I have heard that all the fresh water into the oyster beds of the GOM will kill off a lot of them, right on the heels of last year's oil spill. This is not a good year (or two) for the fishermen, unless they start fishing for all those carp.
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2011 Pacific hurricane season about to begin.


Forecasts call for a more active season than last year's
The first named storm will be Adrian
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Quoting aquak9:
sigh...ok, maybe I'd best start craving crawfish instead. Or are they gonna get wiped out from the flood?


Oh yeah, they will thrive, I'd think....along with the carp,gar and lowly mud-cat....you can just take your choice...lol...and if ya put crawfish boil seasoning in a pot with anything, it will taste like crawfish, too....
Member Since: September 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1492
sigh...ok, maybe I'd best start craving crawfish instead. Or are they gonna get wiped out from the flood?
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25732

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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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