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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Quoting P451:


Or perhaps business as usual on mother earth.

;)


How ya doing, pot?


Doing pretty good.
A few showers this afternoon, and looks like some more later.
It's been a green dryseason.
Waiting to see what the wetseason has in store for us.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24307
<
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53827
Quoting DOOM4MIAMI:


You gonna report me Taz? ^_____^




hello yup you going too be repoted and lock back up
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115085
Quoting DOOM4MIAMI:


You gonna report me Taz? ^_____^


please tell me is it really you JFV under name of DOOM4MIAMI or just DOOM4MIAMI
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Jesus must have seen His shadow...
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Wow, man.
A flooded river in NOLA
A volcano in Iceland,
An earthquake near New Zealand,
A Songda in the pacific....

must be The End.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24307
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Songda:


That system is getting a nice CDO going.
Member Since: May 4, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 429
Quoting Tazmanian:
its JFV season

It's troll season!
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Thanks for the link, Cotillion. Bookmarked.
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Different view of the volcano: satellite picture of the volcanic eruption in Iceland (start around 2200):

Link

--

The last eruption in 2004 was a VEI3 - as this ash cloud is now approaching around 20km upwards and is apparently bigger than the last one, it could be a VEI4. The last newsworthy Icelandic eruption was of the same magnitude (the disruption was due to 'different' ash particles than what this volcano emits, supposedly).

Therefore, this may have been its strongest eruption for around a 100 years or so.
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Songda:
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Quoting TexasGulf:
"Police was driven away from Lómagnúpur to Kirkjubæjarklaustur because of the ashfall."

I'd have a hard time living in Iceland. Even when sober, it's hard to spell Eyjafjallajökull, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Lómagnúpur, Herðubreið, Vinstrihreyfingin – grænt framboð, Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn and Vadlaheida­rvegavinnu­verkfaeras­kur.

Imagine saying any of those words with a head cold. It would be a dripping snot-fest. Not for me, thanks.


Ah c'mon, where's your sense of adventure? Just copy and paste them into Google Translate (make sure you pick Icelandic, "detect language" might pick Swedish or Norwegian, then listen to the pronunciation. After about 1000 times of listening... well you get the picture. Piece of cake.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting Tazmanian:



are you JFV?


You gonna report me Taz? ^_____^
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
"Police was driven away from Lómagnúpur to Kirkjubæjarklaustur because of the ashfall."

I'd have a hard time living in Iceland. Even when sober, it's hard to spell Eyjafjallajökull, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Lómagnúpur, Herðubreið, Vinstrihreyfingin – grænt framboð, Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn and Vadlaheida­rvegavinnu­verkfaeras­kur.

Imagine saying any of those words with a head cold. It would be a dripping snot-fest. Not for me, thanks.
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Shear decreases a lot in the Caribbean by 48 hours maybe development may happen there around mid week next week like I stated a while back maybe about WED or THUR this week

12

24

36

48
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Got 20 gal Shell gas for 84 cents a gal,Winn Dixie Fuel Perks Discount.

I dont feel raptured atall either.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128273
I thought that the end WAS happening... that the dead had awaken and hell had frozen over. Then I realized it was just my mother-in-law at the door.

I still poked her, just to make sure, before letting her in.
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Heavy ashfall around Kirkjubæjarklaustur.

Fine, brownish ash is falling and the ash cloud drifts west. Campers at the Skaftafell campsite have been moved into a nearby school and community house. Police was driven away from Lómagnúpur to Kirkjubæjarklaustur because of the ashfall.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting TampaTom:


Remember, it's a CASE of Dom Perignon... Floor it.


Don't think driving back will be an option for a couple of days. :~|
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
hey guys does any of you have any problem with acess the NHC site
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Do ya'll think either june or july will be busy as far as tropical systems for the atlantic?
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680. Skyepony (Mod)
Situation Update No. 1
On 21.05.2011 at 16:45 GMT+2

More than 40 people were today killed and several others injured in different parts of Uttar Pradesh as dust storm, accompanied by high velocity wind and rains, hit several districts of Uttar Pradesh, officials said in Lucknow. Eleven people, including four children, were killed in Lakhimpur district in incidents of house collapse and uprooting of trees during dust storm this morning, Additional District Magistrate Tulsi Ram said. He said while four persons each were killed in Lakhimpur and Gola tehsil, two deaths were reported from Mohammadi and one from Dharaura. In Gola, a couple was killed when their hut collapsed during the storm, the ADM said. In Shahjahanpur district, 16 people were killed in dust storm related incidents, ADM Rama Shanker Maurya said. He said 11 people were killed in Tilhar teshil, three in Puwayan and two in Sadar tehsil. The ADM said financial assistance of Rs one lakh each would be given to the next of kin of those killed. A stationary coach of a passenger train got derailed at Shahjahanpur railway station after being dragged on the track for several metres by high velocity wind, sources said. Police said eight persons were killed due to uprooting of trees and house collapse in Badaun district. In Simbhawali area in Ghaziabad district three members of a family were killed when a high tension wire fell on them during the duststorm, they said. On May 18, 22 people, including eight members of a marriage party, were killed in dust storm and thunderstorm.
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(grabs plastic champagne glass, heads for door)
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 165 Comments: 25925
Quoting PcolaDan:


YEOW, gotta hurry, almost 5 hour drive for me. Although the car knows the route in autopilot (go to Lake City and turn right, destination Disney World).


Remember, it's a CASE of Dom Perignon... Floor it.
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Still showing development S of RD
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Quoting TampaTom:


Drive fast... we're gonna start soon!


YEOW, gotta hurry, almost 5 hour drive for me. Although the car knows the route in autopilot (go to Lake City and turn right, destination Disney World).
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting TampaTom:


Wabbit season!



duck season any one LOL
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115085
Quoting Tazmanian:
its JFV season


Wabbit season!
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Quoting aquak9:


is the Pope Catholic?


lol lol
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115085
Good evening folks.

Looks like there is some severe weather out there. I'm currently watching Steven Locke on severestudios. Impressing rotating cloud, a funnel starts appearing. Roger Hill is also on something. I hope nothing serious comes out of these clouds.
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its JFV season
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115085
Quoting Cotillion:
At least the Icelandic volcano is unlikely to ground flights, at least so they say. Of all the Icelandic volcanoes they were worried about going (Katla, Loki) off, this was one of the least.



This one erupts every few years from what I've read. One thing though, evidently it has already reached, in 2 hours, the heights it reached in 2 days last time.

Quoting Cotillion:
On a side note, the BBC scheduled the 1993 film 'Judgment Night' for tonight's television. Wonder if a tongue was planted in cheek on that one...



Knowing the Brits, no tongue in cheek there. Blatantly making fun of it. LMAO
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Well, time for the rapture has passed, and still here.

However, I did lose my internet connection for a few minutes, and some of my favorite internet sites are gone...
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be vary vary quit am hunting JFV
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115085
Quoting Tazmanian:



are you JFV?


is the Pope Catholic?
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 165 Comments: 25925
666. beell
Sympathy for the Devil
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Quoting DOOM4MIAMI:
Good evening. What do you all think of the neutral ENSO for the season?



are you JFV?
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115085
Quoting sunlinepr:
In New York's Times Square, Robert Fitzpatrick, of Staten Island, said he was surprised when 6 p.m. came and went. He had spent his own money to put up advertising about the end of the world.

"I can't tell you what I feel right now," he said, surrounded by tourists. "I don't understand it. I don't know. I don't understand what happened.

"Obviously, I haven't understood it correctly because we're still here
," he said.


They call him by his new name - Captain Obvious!

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662. JLPR2
Quoting sunlinepr:
In New York's Times Square, Robert Fitzpatrick, of Staten Island, said he was surprised when 6 p.m. came and went. He had spent his own money to put up advertising about the end of the world.

"I can't tell you what I feel right now," he said, surrounded by tourists. "I don't understand it. I don't know. I don't understand what happened.

"Obviously, I haven't understood it correctly because we're still here
," he said.


Ignorant guy, in the same book they used to calculate the supposed date, the Bible, it says that only God knows the time when the world will come to an end. :\

He got ripped-off. XD
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Quoting aquak9:
DomPerignon?

TampaTom and P'colaDan?

I can meet yall in Lake City, give me a coupla hours


Drive fast... we're gonna start soon!
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At least the Icelandic volcano is unlikely to ground flights, at least so they say. Of all the Icelandic volcanoes they were worried about going (Katla, Loki) off, this was one of the least.

On a side note, the BBC scheduled the 1993 film 'Judgment Night' for tonight's television. Wonder if a tongue was planted in cheek on that one...
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20-kilometer high gosmökkur can be gleaned from the Reykjanes


Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
In New York's Times Square, Robert Fitzpatrick, of Staten Island, said he was surprised when 6 p.m. came and went. He had spent his own money to put up advertising about the end of the world.

"I can't tell you what I feel right now," he said, surrounded by tourists. "I don't understand it. I don't know. I don't understand what happened.

"Obviously, I haven't understood it correctly because we're still here
," he said.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
DomPerignon?

TampaTom and P'colaDan?

I can meet yall in Lake City, give me a coupla hours
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 165 Comments: 25925

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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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