Mississippi River flood of 2011 sets all-time flow record, but has crested

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:43 PM GMT on May 20, 2011

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The great Mississippi River flood of 2011 crested yesterday and today, and the volume of water being pushed toward the Gulf of Mexico is the largest ever recorded on the Mississippi, said Bob Anderson, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers for the Mississippi Valley Division. "It's never been this high; it's never had this much water," he said. "There's just a tremendous amount of strain on these levees." The Mississippi crested yesterday at Vicksburg, Mississippi, reaching 57.06'. This exceeded the previous all-time record of 56.2', set during the great flood of 1927. The river crested at Natchez, Mississippi early this morning, and is now falling. The flood height at Natchez was also the greatest on record--61.91', nearly three feet higher than the previous record height of 58', set in 1937. The opening of the Morganza Spillway on Saturday helped to reduce the flood heights from Vicksburg to New Orleans by 1 - 3 feet, greatly reducing the pressure on the levees and on the critical Old River Control Structure (which, as I discussed last Friday, is America's Achilles' heel, and must be protected.) According the National Weather Service, the Mississippi River is no longer rising anywhere along its length, and the great flood of 2011 has likely seen its peak. Rainfall over the next five days will not be enough to raise the Mississippi River water levels above the crests recorded yesterday and today. While it is great news that the flood has peaked, and the Old River Control Structure and all of the mainline levees on the Mississippi River have held, the fight is not over yet. Water levels will stay high for many weeks, and these structures will take a sustained pounding that could still cause failures. If another incredible heavy rain event like we experienced in mid-April occurs in June, the levee system and Old River Control Structure will threatened. Let's hope we don't have an early season Gulf of Mexico tropical storm that makes landfall over Louisiana. The latest 2-week forecast from the GFS model is not hinting at anything like this, fortunately. It's a good thing (for the sake of the levees) that Louisiana experienced severe drought over the winter and spring--had the water levels been high throughout winter and spring, like occurred in the run-up to the great 1927 flood, the levees would have been soggy and much more vulnerable to failure once the big flood crest hit.


Figure 1. The flow of the Mississippi River past the Old River Control Structure near Simmesport, Louisiana reached its all-time highest volume on record Thursday, when the flow rate hit 2.3 million cubic feet per second (cfs). The flow of Niagara Falls at normal water levels is 100,000 cfs, so the Mississippi's flow was 23 times that of Niagara Falls. Image credit: Army Corps of Engineers.

Recommended reading
My post on the Old River Control Structure, America's Achilles' heel: the Mississippi River Old River Control Structure, is well worth reading, if you haven't done so. I plan on making a follow-up post next week discussing the economic cost of the failure of this critical flood-control structure.

Our weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, has made a very interesting post on the greatest floods to affect each continent.


Figure 2. Track forecast for Tropical Storm Four.

First typhoon of 2011 coming?
In the Northwest Pacific, Tropical Storm Four has formed, and appears poised to become the first typhoon of 2011 by early next week. The storm is expected to head west-northwest or northwest towards the Philippines. While the GFS model predicts Tropical Storm Four will miss the Philippines and recurve northwards towards Japan late next week, it is too early to be confident of this forecast.

Have a great weekend everyone, and I'll be back Monday with a new post.

Jeff Masters

In Bound (minou)
Chances of over-topping Baton Rouge or Port Allen levees are slim to none. Problems with this volume continuing for 2 weeks or longer is the question of whether the levees will stand the test of pressure. Thank goodness we've been in a drought or else the levees would be mushy inside and out! The Hwy. 190 Bridge in the distance was closed the day before this photo due to a run-away barge that struck the base.
In Bound
High Water at Baton Rouge (cmrbg06)
High Water at Baton Rouge
High Water at Baton Rouge

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I couldn't find anything, Taz. I'm sure someone here would have mentioned it.

Glad I could make you smile.

Go in peace, ya'll.
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806. beell
Reading, KS Tornado/msnbc.com
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Anyone here think the Philippines will not be impacted by Tropical Storm Songda or maybe just have a slight graze?
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:




This is all I can find on it:

Link


Sorry, wrong date.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
have any one been geting any damg reports from downtown redding KS some one was saying that downtown Redding is gone has it was hit by a powerfull nado tonight have you guys here any thing?




This is all I can find on it:

Link
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Quoting aquak9:
sunlinepr- maybe you're right, maybe they were just testing the market a year early, to see what money could be made where.

Doomsdays for profit...hmmmm...

Almost the same as pushing climate change mitigation for profit when the concepts currently being pushed don't actually mitigate it (for example silicon solar cells only last for 10-20 years and actually produce heat from visible frequencies due to electron/hole recombination -> lack of efficiency and product life-time).
Member Since: July 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1347
have any one been geting any damg reports from downtown redding KS some one was saying that downtown Redding is gone has it was hit by a powerfull nado tonight have you guys here any thing?
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Quoting aquak9:
hello good sir bud Taz- does this look to be south florida threater?

^_^



LOL
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Quoting melwerle:
Why no statement from camping?
He took the money and ran.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
798. beell
Rapture:
1) an expression or manifestation of ecstasy or passion

Hmmm....That was last week.
Just until I needed glasses.
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1. For meteorologists.
2. 12 hour summary and analysis.
A. Tropical Storm (TS) 04w (Songda), located approximately 80 nm
west-northwest of Yap, has tracked west-northwestward at 05 knots
over the past six hours. Animated multispectral satellite imagery
continues to depict a more symmetric, consolidating low-level
circulation center (LLCC) with deep convection building over the
center. A 212057z ssmis 37h image shows curved convective banding
wrapping from the south into the north quadrant with a defined LLCC.
The UW-CIMSS shear product indicates weak vertical wind shear of 10-
15 knots, which is about 5 knots lower than 24 hours ago.
Consequently, the poleward outflow has improved with the exception
of the north quadrant, which is being suppressed by a weak upper-
level low that has formed and moved closer to the system. There is
good confidence in the current position based on the defined LLCC
evident in the 212057z ssmis 37h image and the 220023z trmm 37h
image. The current intensity of 45 knots is based on Dvorak
estimates of 45 knots from knes and pgtw.
3. Forecast reasoning.
A. No change in forecast philosophy.
B. Ts 04w has tracked slowly west-northwestward along the
southwestern periphery of the low- to mid-level subtropical steering
ridge and is forecast to continue tracking west-northwestward
through tau 72. Model guidance is in good agreement with the JGSM
and GFS aids indicating a slightly more poleward track, although
both models are trending closer to the jtwc forecast over the past
24 hours (better agreement). The GFDN is indicating a slightly more
westward track and has trended away from the jtwc forecast. The jtwc
forecast remains in close agreement with the model consensus. Ts 04w
is forecast to intensify under favorable conditions.
C. In the extended Taus, the system is forecast to track
northwestward as it rounds the southwest periphery of the
subtropical ridge (str). The western extent of the str is expected
to erode due to an approaching midlatitude shortwave trough and the
str should become poleward oriented allowing the system to re-curve
after the forecast period. With the exception of GFDN and GFS, the
bulk of the models are in tight agreement with the extended
forecast. GFS shows a sharper poleward turn and depicts a weaker
ridge while GFDN indicates a more westward track associated with a
stronger ridge. The official forecast is positioned close to the
consensus, ECMWF, ukmo and NOGAPS aids. Ts 04w is expected to
intensify to a peak intensity of 115 knots by tau 120.//
Member Since: April 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2278
sunlinepr- maybe you're right, maybe they were just testing the market a year early, to see what money could be made where.

Doomsdays for profit...hmmmm...
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hello good sir bud Taz- does this look to be south florida threater?

^_^
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Quoting aquak9:
I bet the billboard businesses were happy.


Well, Hollywood is happy with 2012 doomsday Movie profits...
That's the next big profit prophecy that will make rich another few...
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this is from the 18z and yes the mode runs at this time in time are in there little fun land


but look whats heading tooo FL it looks like

this is from the 18z GFS




hmmm it looks like it weakin pass 300hrs and heads out tooo sea
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I bet the billboard businesses were happy.
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Quoting melwerle:
Why no statement from camping?


They have achieved their goal:

As Saturday drew nearer, followers reported that donations grew, allowing Family Radio to spend millions on more than 5,000 billboards and 20 RVs plastered with the doomsday message.

In 2009, the nonprofit reported in IRS filings that it received $18.3 million in donations, and had assets of more than $104 million, including $34 million in stocks or other publicly traded securities.
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Quoting aquak9:


We're Jemimah's Witnesses - you'll be greeted at the door with a plate of pancakes.


Do they have a steak topping? Oh well, I knew this would not be an easy sell. Still, I must try. OK, pancakes it is.
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:
Well, everyone, I am back from the rapture. I got my traveling orders and just I suspected, I was sent back to "save" as many as I can before October. I'm going to need everyone's address. Sorry, but this is a door to door event for me. I ask that each of you greet me with a steak, rib-eye or T-bone would be nice, mashed potatoes and green beans and a nice wine. Special considerations for Patrap - stuffed flounder, crab and oysters on the half shell. After I have been well fed we can get down to the business of "saving". Oh yeah, I might need some gas money and a new car as well. Pottery, do you have a boat I can borrow to get to the islanders? It doesn't have to anything fancy. This one will do:

Link

OK, I will be seeing you as soon as I get your address! I may as well leave Texas anyway. Even the cacti are starting to get stressed here!

Like!!
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 1837
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:
Well, everyone, I am back from the rapture. I got my traveling orders and just I suspected, I was sent back to "save" as many as I can before October. I'm going to need everyone's address. Sorry, but this is a door to door event for me. I ask that each of you greet me with a steak, rib-eye or T-bone would be nice, mashed potatoes and green beans and a nice wine. Special considerations for Patrap - stuffed flounder, crab and oysters on the half shell. After I have been well fed we can get down to the business of "saving". Oh yeah, I might need some gas money and a new car as well. Pottery, do you have a boat I can borrow to get to the islanders? It doesn't have to anything fancy. This one will do:

Link

OK, I will be seeing you as soon as I get your address! I may as well leave Texas anyway. Even the cacti are starting to get stressed here!


We're Jemimah's Witnesses - you'll be greeted at the door with a plate of pancakes.
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darpa- it doesn't matter, we're all a buncha heathens, we're all stuck here, at least till the WU servers give out.
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Well, everyone, I am back from the rapture. I got my traveling orders and just I suspected, I was sent back to "save" as many as I can before October. I'm going to need everyone's address. Sorry, but this is a door to door event for me. I ask that each of you greet me with a steak, rib-eye or T-bone would be nice, mashed potatoes and green beans and a nice wine. Special considerations for Patrap - stuffed flounder, crab and oysters on the half shell. After I have been well fed we can get down to the business of "saving". Oh yeah, I might need some gas money and a new car as well. Pottery, do you have a boat I can borrow to get to the islanders? It doesn't have to anything fancy. This one will do:

Link

OK, I will be seeing you as soon as I get your address! I may as well leave Texas anyway. Even the cacti are starting to get stressed here!
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MODIS caught a very nice pass of Songda:

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What you all don't understand is that it will not be a rolling 'lypse hour by hour, skynet doesn't become self aware until midnight in the westernmost timezone nearest to the international date line which is 1 a.m Hawaiian time zone.
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Why no statement from camping?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 1837
Quoting KoritheMan:

Obviously, I'm not Levi, but I feel I can chime in nonetheless. It's really difficult to say, as the upward MJO phase is forecast to make its way into our basin around the June 4 - 6 time frame, a little later than this potential system is forecast to develop.





My advice would be to simply keep an eye on it, but only as a possible area of development. So far, I haven't seen any of the other global models latch onto this system. We need more consistency.


I appreciate your response KTM... thanks...
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Quoting alfabob:
That rapture ended up taking out my computer today, finally got things back up and running though. Still not much going on except for the storms rolling off of the coast and the few AOI.
I slept right thru it! Best sleep ive ever had. Crown Weather has an interesting read on the 2011 season.
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Quoting sunlinepr:
Levi, GFS keeps developing a system around RD and PR.... many hours from now (10 days).... trustable in your opinion?

Obviously, I'm not Levi, but I feel I can chime in nonetheless. It's really difficult to say, as the upward MJO phase is forecast to make its way into our basin around the June 4 - 6 time frame, a little later than this potential system is forecast to develop.





My advice would be to simply keep an eye on it, but only as a possible area of development. So far, I haven't seen any of the other global models latch onto this system. We need more consistency.
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That rapture ended up taking out my computer today, finally got things back up and running though. Still not much going on except for the storms rolling off of the coast and the few AOI.
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777. beell
No tornado watches for NE KS today. Currently under a severe thunderstorm watch.

click for storm reports


There was a Mesoscale Discussion issued at 7:18 PM CDT.

click for discussion


First tornado warning at 7:34PM

TORNADO WARNING FOR...SOUTHEASTERN ATCHISON COUNTY IN NORTHEAST KANSAS...NORTHERN LEAVENWORTH COUNTY IN NORTHEAST KANSAS...
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Good evening Everyone, Last season lived up to its named storms prediction and was devasating to everyone in thier path..... except the USA! What ended up being the reason for that, and can we expect the same or close to it for this season?
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Quoting Levi32:
And the ASCAT pretty much missed...


again.....
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24645
And the ASCAT pretty much missed...

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*Apocalypse Alert* official local on the 8's theme music
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Levi, GFS keeps developing a system around RD and PR.... many hours from now (10 days).... trustable in your opinion?


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It could be just me, but I'm still having a hard time believing the current position of TS Songda. The ESE wind fetch northwest of the system is stronger than it should be, with very little northeasterly and northerly return flow around the west side of the circulation. This is often a sign of unfavorably fast trade winds and vertical wind shear that tries to rip the surface vortex out from underneath the convection. There may indeed be a secondary low trying to form beneath the persistent CDO and the potent mid-level circulation, which is where the JTWC has the current position, but based on visible imagery and wind vectors it still seems like the main circulation is on the western edge of the convection. We should hopefully have a good ASCAT pass shortly to see if this is the case.



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Quoting TampaSpin:


That is the area to watch......The South American Low is consistent there as the Shear is also due to drop in that area as well.

Like you said, it has been consistent now for quite a time...
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Quoting sunlinepr:


That is the area to watch......The South American Low is consistent there as the Shear is also due to drop in that area as well.
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Yeah, HMMMM

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Quoting pottery:

Hmmm!


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Quoting TampaSpin:










First Invest of the season could be coming soon in the Caribbean. Shear is really forecast to drop considerably.




Hmmm!
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24645
Theoretical P-Wave Travel Times
Magnitude 5.0 NORTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 16:30:30 UTC




Just seen this WOW!
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Anyway for those of us who were at the beach (it was beautiful day) and missed the breaking news from this morning, here's a repeat:

Breaking News: Judgement day had been postponed due the rising cost of fuel to burn the sinners and the high cost of food to feed people in heaven.

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this postponement may have caused.

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Quoting kimoskee:


Actually we had one of Camping followers on TVJ scarcing the crap out of alot of stupid people. One pastor reported that he had people requesting "EMERGENCY BAPTISMS". (rolling my eyes)


Oh, well!
It came to pass that nothing came to pass.
Here endeth the millionth lesson.
With multitudes more lessons to come....
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24645
Quoting pottery:
Post 518.
I do not know the story of that image of the kids saying their prayers.
But here in the Caribbean all children in all schools say prayers at assembly in the morning, every morning.
Those kids dont look traumatised or crippled by fear to me.
Some look a little bored, yes. Understandable.

Also, the kids in Jamaica probably have no idea about the Rap., and couldnt give a Hoot.
They are generally much too sensible for that kind of foolishness.


Actually we had one of Camping followers on TVJ scarcing the crap out of alot of stupid people. One pastor reported that he had people requesting "EMERGENCY BAPTISMS". (rolling my eyes)

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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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