Missouri River flood hits unprecedented flow rates

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:18 PM GMT on June 17, 2011

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The most expensive tornado/severe weather disaster in American history is the great May 21 - 26, 2011 storm that spawned the Joplin, Missouri EF-5 tornado. According to catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide, insured damages from that storm will amount to $4 - $7 billion, the greatest damages ever for a spring severe weather outbreak. However, the damages from the huge, slow-moving low pressure system that spawned the Joplin tornado have not yet been fully realized. The powerful storm pumped huge quantities of warm, moisture-laden air from the Gulf of Mexico northwestwards into Montana, where the moisture condensed into record-breaking heavy rain and snow. In portions of eastern Montana, the storm brought a year's worth of precipitation in a week, swelling the tributaries of the Missouri River to unprecedented heights. Billings, Montana recorded 9.54" of precipitation in May, its single wettest month on record, and not far from its annual average precipitation of 14.5". A great 100-year flood has arrived along the Missouri River and its tributaries from Montana to Nebraska. Record spring rains, combined with snow melt from record or near-record winter and spring snows, brought the Missouri River at Williston, North Dakota to 30' today (June 17), two feet above the record crest set in 1912. Tributaries to the Missouri, such as the North Platte River in Nebraska, are also flooding at all-time record heights. With warm summer temperatures and 2 - 5" of rainfall expected over much of the area during the coming week, snow melt and rain runoff will swell area rivers even further, creating an even more dangerous flood.

Flooding along the Missouri River has already broken two levees and closed two portions of I-29, a key trucking route that extends from Kansas City through Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota to the Canadian border. A 20-mile stretch between Council Bluffs and the Missouri Valley area is closed, as well as a 22-mile section in southwest Iowa and northwest Missouri, causing significant disruptions to the trucking industry.


Figure 1. Satellite image taken at 5:45pm CDT May 22, 2011, when the Joplin, Missouri tornado was occurring. The counter-clockwise flow of air around the spiraling low pressure system that caused the Joplin tornado drew large quantities of Gulf of Mexico air into Montana, creating record-breaking rains. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.



Figure 2. Levee breach along the Missouri River levee L-575 near Hamburg, Iowa, on June 14, 2011. The town of Hamburg is being protected by a new temporary levee. So far, only farmland has flooded. Image credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Army Corps cranks up water releases on Missouri River dams to double the previous record
Six flood control dams lie on the Missouri River between eastern Montana and Sioux City, Iowa; these dams were built between 1940 and 1964. As water from this spring's record precipitation have flowed into the Missouri River basin, the reservoirs behind these dams have risen to record levels. On May 31, the Army Corps of Engineers was forced to open the the spillway gates on the massive Garrison Dam, 50 miles northwest of Bismark, North Dakota. It was the first time since the dam was built in 1955 that the spillway gates were opened. (Remarkably, during 2007 and early 2008, Lake Sakakawea water levels behind Garrison Dam were the lowest since the dam was built--46 feet below the current level--thanks to a decade-long drought.) On June 3, as the record flood progressed downstream, the spillway gates on the Big Bend Dam opened for the first time since that dam was completed in 1964. This week, the Army Corps of Engineers increased water flowing through all six dams to more than double the previous highs set during the floods of 1975 and 1997. The flow rates are now a massive 150,000 cubic feet per second, 1.5 times greater than the typical flow of Niagara Falls. These extreme flow rates will need to be maintained into at least mid-August, and are expected to severely strain levees on the Missouri River as it flows through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas. According to a press conference put on by NWS and the Army Corps last week, the Missouri River flood control system is based on an 1881 estimate of the maximum amount of water an extreme flood season could generate--40 million acre-feet of water during the spring and summer flood season. However, this year's flood is expected to pump 42 - 43 million acre feet of water into the system, stressing it beyond its designed limits. In May alone, the Missouri River basin just upstream from Sioux City, Iowa, received 10.2 million acre feet of water, more than 25% above the previous May record of 7.2 million acre feet set in 1995. Additional levee failures along the Missouri are likely this summer, particularly if widespread heavy summer rains occur.


Figure 3. The Oahe Reservoir Stilling Basin north of Pierre, S.D., on June 5, 2011. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers increased the water releases from the Oahe Dam into the stilling basin to a record 147,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water release on June 8. The previous record was 59,000 cfs in 1997. Image credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/ Carlos J. Lazo

Four-day period of critical fire conditions expected in the Southwest
Powerful southwest winds of 20 - 30 mph, gusting to 40 mph will continue through Saturday in Eastern Arizona and western New Mexico, making progress containing the region's severe fires difficult. Even worse conditions are begin predicted for Sunday, when NOAA's Storm Prediction Center forecasts forecasts that wind gusts up to 50 mph will occur. With hot conditions and humidity values below 10%, these are likely to be among the worst fire conditions the region has seen this year.

While the exceptional drought gripping Arizona is largely to blame for terrible fire conditions this year, unusually windy and dry weather has also been a significant factor. These windy and dry conditions have been caused, in part, by a stronger-than-average jet stream over the region. According to the National Weather Service in Phoenix, the period April-May 2011 was the 11th windiest and had the 6th lowest average relative humidity value on record in Phoenix. Combined, it was the 3rd windiest-driest April-May on record.

Our weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, has an interesting post on The Worst Wild Fires in World History. Arizona's Wallow Fire, at 750 square miles, has a long way to go before matching the largest fire in U.S. history, the great Peshtigo Fire of 1871. That fire burned 5,938 square miles of Wisconsin and Michigan.

Tallahassee hits 105°, their hottest day on record
On Wednesday June 15 at 307 PM EDT, the Tallahassee Regional Airport in Florida recorded a high temperature of 105 degrees. This temperature breaks the previous all time high temperature record for Tallahassee of 104 degrees, set most recently on June 20th 1933. The period of record for Tallahassee dates back to 1892.

The Atlantic is quiet
The Atlantic is quiet, with no tropical cyclones predicted over the next seven days by the reliable computer models. However, the GFS model predicts that moisture will begin increasing early next week in the western Gulf of Mexico, and a tropical disturbance could form next week in the Gulf, bringing much-needed rains to the coast of Texas. Droughts of the magnitude of the current Texas drought are hard to break, though, so I'd like to see more support from the models before believing in this forecast.

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

Jeff Masters

ABANDONED For Wetland Project in Flood (BEME)
Another old farmstead,within the wetlands 'project'..near Highway 2 [to Nebraska City,Nebraska]..Water's getting higher. [photo taken Wednesday afternoon]
ABANDONED For Wetland Project in Flood
Won't be Open Much Longer (Nikongranny)
Highway 2 east of Nebraska City will be closing very soon.
Won't be Open Much Longer
Trying to Keep Ahead (Nikongranny)
of the approaching water. Crews working frantically building this earth berm to keep the advancing Missouri River out of Hamburg.
Trying to Keep Ahead

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1547. CosmicEvents
4:31 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Has anyone seen Beatriz?
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5606
1545. TropicalAnalystwx13
2:29 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Hottest day of the year expected here in southeastern North Carolina...around 102 °F with high humidity. Heat indices are expected to be around or above 105 °F for several hours today. I am surprised they have not put out a Heat advisory.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32256
1544. PcolaDan
2:29 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
NEW BLOG!!!!!!
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
1543. TropicalAnalystwx13
2:27 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
On the Severe Weather side, the Storm Prediction Center has issued a moderate risk for Severe Weather for portions of eastern Nebraska, western Iowa, southeast South Dakota, northeast Kansas, and northwest Missouri. There is a 10% tornado, a 45% hatched hail, and a 45% hatched wind.




Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32256
1542. tkeith
2:26 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting RitaEvac:
Pressures fairly low in the Western gulf, 1008mb to 1005mb up to Corpus Christi
We've got some nice chances for rain, middle of the week RE. I hope yall get some too.
Member Since: November 1, 2004 Posts: 25 Comments: 8936
1541. RitaEvac
2:23 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Pressures fairly low in the Western gulf, 1008mb to 1005mb up to Corpus Christi
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630
1540. txjac
2:22 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting jeffs713:

The Breckenridge fire (in Spring) was about 1 mile from my mother-in-law's house, and led to a bit of panic on her part.

The Tomball fire was about 2 miles from my house (I was well upwind of it, though), but the smoke plume was impressive. I took one pic of the smoke plume while driving down FM 2920, and will be posting it to my WU pics soon.


My son is a volunteer fireman is working the fire in Huntsville. Havent heard anything from him since he left to help
Member Since: April 24, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 2538
1539. Neapolitan
2:22 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting hurricanejunky:


You mind posting that on my Green site?

Will do.

On a related note, here's another "humorous" Fukushima news tidbit:

Tepco Leaves Group Founded By Fukushima Probe Chief to Cut Costs

Yeah, those TEPCO folks are a regular laugh factory...

:-\
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13549
1538. TropicalAnalystwx13
2:22 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Good Morning All.

We should get an eye to develop and appear over the next few hours, by nightfall. I think Beatriz is around 65/70 mph at the present time.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32256
1537. hurricanejunky
2:17 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting Skyepony:



See the article about the 35% increase in infant mortality in the NW United States~ eight cities in the northwest U.S. (Boise ID, Seattle WA, Portland OR, plus the northern California cities of Santa Cruz, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, and Berkeley)in the 10 weeks following the Fukushima accident? 2.3% increase for the country..


You mind posting that on my Green site?
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2899
1536. Neapolitan
2:17 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting hurricanejunky:


Amazing...let's see how many nuke plants can be threatened by natural disasters in one year. And we're supposed to believe our nuclear power plants are "safe"? When we start seeing whole regions of the country uninhabitable due to very preventable (see Fukushima) nuclear disasters then MAYBE we'll get to revisit nuclear power, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

To understand how truly well-prepared nuclear plants are for disasters, click on the link below. This could be a script to a modern remake of an old Keystone Kops movie; it would almost be humorous if it weren't so potentially deadly (and note: I'm taking nothing away from the many brave and valiant workers who continue to put themselves at tremendous risk to fix a corporate fiasco):

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/na tional_world&id=8200656
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13549
1535. islander101010
2:16 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting Thundercloud01221991:
recon has taken off heading for the pacific storm
first vis she seems to be hurting. close to land and windshear might be taking there too. also notice lines of low level clouds developing in the western gulf first clouds ive seen there in a while
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 4723
1534. hurricanejunky
2:15 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting Skyepony:



See the article about the 35% increase in infant mortality in the NW United States~ eight cities in the northwest U.S. (Boise ID, Seattle WA, Portland OR, plus the northern California cities of Santa Cruz, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, and Berkeley)in the 10 weeks following the Fukushima accident? 2.3% increase for the country..


Why confuse people with all those silly facts? They just get in the way of profits! Hopefully next year we'll be able to cut the tax rate to 0% for all nuclear power plant companies so they'll create more jobs. Is my nuclear sarcasm sufficiently delusional?
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2899
1533. Tygor
2:14 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting RitaEvac:


Yea, but the thing is, the NW areas have received rain at least a couple of times. Even though it's still bad up there and in exceptional drought, the coastal areas haven't received ANYTHING, so it's time for us folks to at least get that half inch or 3/4 inch. At least areas up there have received that much.


Yeah the models seem to be backing off for the rain to reach anything off the coast really. San Antonio 'just' got 3/4" a few months ago, so time for someone else to get theirs.
Member Since: May 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 169
1532. PcolaDan
2:13 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
I don't know, but I'm thinking - FLOOR IT!!!!!!!!

Link
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
1531. jeffs713
2:10 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting RitaEvac:


Yea, but the thing is, the NW areas have received rain at least a couple of times. Even though it's still bad up there and in exceptional drought, the coastal areas haven't received ANYTHING, so it's time for us folks to at least get that half inch or 3/4 inch. At least areas up there have received that much.
Oh, trust me, I know. I want the whole area to get the rain, as we ALL need it. I didn't want the rain to leave the coast out again, but rather get good coverage over the entire area.

As for the drought, its bad all over - the coast has a mitigating factor of higher normal humidity and (slightly) cooler temps - but no rain. The NW areas have a mitigating factor of more rain in the last 4 months (a lil over half an inch, verus a slight trace for the coast), but we have lower normal RH levels and higher temps than the coast.

Give the ENTIRE SE TX area a solid inch or two, and while it wouldn't break the drought, it would certainly help!
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5883
1530. jeffs713
2:06 PM GMT on June 20, 2011

And as promised... I posted the pic of the Tomball fire on my blog.

Also the photo is linked directly here:
image
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5883
1529. Neapolitan
2:06 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
The Wallow Fire is up to 811 square miles (519,319 acres). Containment is at an encouraging 51%, and conditions for the firefighters will be somewhat more favorable for the next several days, so things are looking good. The Monument Fire is still going strong, growing 25% in size since yesterday, but it, too, will be easier to fight, at least for the next couple of days. (Of course, now the worry is that the coming summer monsoon season will be even more of a mixed blessing than usual: the rains will dampen the fire danger, but the thousands of square miles of burnt and barren hillsides will lead to severe flash flooding and mudslides.)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13549
1528. Thundercloud01221991
2:05 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
recon has taken off heading for the pacific storm
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
1527. RitaEvac
2:04 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting jeffs713:

No kidding. I fear we will need more than 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch, but anything would be appreciated at this point. One of my concerns with this event is that it will be focused too far to the SE to help the fire situations that are causing some of the greatest problems (over the NW side of the metro area, and also the far north).


Yea, but the thing is, the NW areas have received rain at least a couple of times. Even though it's still bad up there and in exceptional drought, the coastal areas haven't received ANYTHING, so it's time for us folks to at least get that half inch or 3/4 inch. At least areas up there have received that much.
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630
1526. PcolaDan
2:03 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting weatherh98:
could the earthquakes be a precurser to an eruption????


Again, could being the key word. Iceland is extremely active all the time. Whether an earthquake or series of earthquakes is a precursor to an eruption is difficult to ascertain even by the best of scientists there. More often then not, when there is a swarm, they pay closer attention if it is under or near one of the major volcanoes. But quite often nothing happens. It can be quite difficult to know whether an earthquake is tectonic or volcanic.



Earthquake table
Date Time Latitude Longitude Depth Magnitude Quality Location
Monday
20.06.2011 12:24:23 63.643 -19.367 0.1 km 0.9 99.0 5.8 km W of Goabunga
Monday
20.06.2011 12:24:12 63.646 -19.363 0.1 km 0.1 99.0 5.6 km W of Goabunga
Monday
20.06.2011 12:07:17 64.582 -20.606 3.4 km 1.2 99.0 18.1 km SE of Hsafell
Monday
20.06.2011 07:26:05 66.283 -16.706 4.0 km 0.7 99.0 11.6 km W of Kpasker
Monday
20.06.2011 07:07:52 63.917 -21.165 7.1 km 0.1 99.0 8.2 km WSW of Selfoss
Monday
20.06.2011 07:07:11 65.705 -16.776 1.6 km 0.8 99.0 1.3 km SW of Krfluvirkjun
Monday
20.06.2011 06:22:41 65.710 -16.763 1.2 km 1.3 99.0 0.4 km SW of Krfluvirkjun
Monday
20.06.2011 04:21:50 63.993 -21.157 7.0 km -0.2 99.0 1.7 km ESE of Hverageri
Monday
20.06.2011 01:33:12 63.997 -21.056 5.0 km 0.0 99.0 6.4 km E of Hverageri
Monday
20.06.2011 00:50:43 63.957 -21.150 5.6 km 0.8 99.0 5.2 km SSE of Hverageri
Sunday
19.06.2011 23:05:28 63.665 -19.367 0.1 km 0.1 99.0 5.8 km ESE of Bsar
Sunday
19.06.2011 22:34:59 63.921 -19.107 8.1 km 0.3 99.0 8.0 km SSW of Landmannalaugar
Sunday
19.06.2011 22:10:21 63.636 -19.220 1.3 km -0.0 99.0 1.5 km ESE of Goabunga
Sunday
19.06.2011 21:05:00 63.613 -19.064 6.6 km 0.4 99.0 4.0 km NNE of Hbunga
Sunday
19.06.2011 20:59:04 65.205 -16.406 15.3 km 0.3 99.0 4.4 km NW of Herubrei
Sunday
19.06.2011 20:06:26 64.555 -20.610 0.8 km 1.4 99.0 17.9 km NNE of Skjaldbrei
Sunday
19.06.2011 18:30:13 63.898 -22.026 4.2 km 1.0 99.0 2.3 km ENE of Krsuvk
Sunday
19.06.2011 18:28:42 63.902 -22.037 4.4 km 0.1 99.0 2.1 km NE of Krsuvk
Sunday
19.06.2011 18:20:29 63.916 -22.016 6.0 km 0.4 99.0 3.9 km NE of Krsuvk
Sunday
19.06.2011 17:57:27 63.898 -22.058 5.8 km 0.6 99.0 1.2 km NNE of Krsuvk
Sunday
19.06.2011 17:40:53 63.633 -19.201 0.4 km -0.1 99.0 2.5 km ESE of Goabunga
Sunday
19.06.2011 17:37:31 63.634 -19.197 2.6 km 0.7 99.0 2.7 km ESE of Goabunga
Sunday
19.06.2011 16:40:37 63.905 -22.022 6.8 km 0.4 99.0 2.9 km NE of Krsuvk
Sunday
19.06.2011 16:38:04 66.270 -16.603 8.8 km 0.2 99.0 7.6 km WSW of Kpasker
Sunday
19.06.2011 16:38:04 63.972 -21.688 13.7 km 0.6 45.31 2.4 km WSW of Blfjallaskli
Sunday
19.06.2011 16:38:02 63.900 -22.022 4.0 km 1.1 99.0 2.5 km ENE of Krsuvk
Sunday
19.06.2011 16:37:08 63.899 -22.033 4.3 km 1.1 99.0 2.0 km NE of Krsuvk
Sunday
19.06.2011 16:36:36 65.143 -16.447 6.7 km 0.2 99.0 5.7 km SW of Herubrei
Sunday
19.06.2011 16:25:11 63.940 -22.038 5.6 km 0.2 99.0 6.0 km NNE of Krsuvk
Sunday
19.06.2011 16:17:49 63.649 -19.323 0.1 km 0.1 99.0 3.7 km WNW of Goabunga
Sunday
19.06.2011 16:17:48 63.690 -19.277 1.2 km 0.1 31.77 5.7 km NNW of Goabunga
Sunday
19.06.2011 14:55:29 63.918 -21.178 4.1 km -0.1 99.0 8.8 km WSW of Selfoss
Sunday
19.06.2011 14:18:52 63.626 -19.203 0.6 km 0.4 99.0 2.8 km ESE of Goabunga
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
1525. jeffs713
2:02 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting PcolaDan:


Could is the key word. It does not mean an eruption is imminent. It could be deep lateral movement of magma between chambers where it has busted through.
With a dike, lateral movement is unlikely (lateral movement is usually via a sill). That said, I couldn't find any info on the depth of the quakes, which is important. Also, there is no evidence of a harmonic tremor, which indicates large quantities of magma is on the move.

So at this point, the swarm is not an indication of an immediate eruption, but it is an indication that Katla isn't sound asleep.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5883
1524. AussieStorm
1:59 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting Skyepony:
After days of torrential rains in the southern Philippines island of Mindanao, the death toll from flashfloods is now at 10. In addition, the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Mnagement Council said Saturday that more than 650,000 people (129,000 families) were affected or displaced in the provinces of Davao del Norte, Bukidnon, Compostela Valley, Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato. In addition, things are not expected to get any better with the arrival of tropical depression %u2018Egay%u2019, which is to make landfall in Cagayan provinceSunday night bringing more rains. As of 4 p.m. Saturday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) located the eye of the storm at 130 kilometers (km) northeast of Virac, Catanduanes.

Pst, it's old news,,, TD Egay is now gone. PAGASA issued there last warning earlier today. Even though it is bad news.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15937
1523. jeffs713
1:58 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting RitaEvac:


Lets see if this rain pans out now...

No kidding. I fear we will need more than 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch, but anything would be appreciated at this point. One of my concerns with this event is that it will be focused too far to the SE to help the fire situations that are causing some of the greatest problems (over the NW side of the metro area, and also the far north).
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5883
1522. PcolaDan
1:57 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting AussieStorm:

Couldn't a dike intrusion prelude an eruption?


Could is the key word. It does not mean an eruption is imminent. It could be deep lateral movement of magma between chambers where it has busted through.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
1521. AussieStorm
1:53 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting weatherh98:
could the earthquakes be a precurser to an eruption????


Well, they could be. Have to wait and see.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15937
1520. largeeyes
1:53 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Got a nice line of storms last night, lots of lightning and RAIN!
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1455
1519. Skyepony (Mod)
1:52 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
After days of torrential rains in the southern Philippines island of Mindanao, the death toll from flashfloods is now at 10. In addition, the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Mnagement Council said Saturday that more than 650,000 people (129,000 families) were affected or displaced in the provinces of Davao del Norte, Bukidnon, Compostela Valley, Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato. In addition, things are not expected to get any better with the arrival of tropical depression ‘Egay’, which is to make landfall in Cagayan provinceSunday night bringing more rains. As of 4 p.m. Saturday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) located the eye of the storm at 130 kilometers (km) northeast of Virac, Catanduanes.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 173 Comments: 38135
1518. AussieStorm
1:48 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting hurricanejunky:


No Aussie, do tell...

Link
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15937
1517. RitaEvac
1:45 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting jeffs713:

The Breckenridge fire (in Spring) was about 1 mile from my mother-in-law's house, and led to a bit of panic on her part.

The Tomball fire was about 2 miles from my house (I was well upwind of it, though), but the smoke plume was impressive. I took one pic of the smoke plume while driving down FM 2920, and will be posting it to my WU pics soon.


Lets see if this rain pans out now...
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630
1516. Skyepony (Mod)
1:44 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting hurricanejunky:


Amazing...let's see how many nuke plants can be threatened by natural disasters in one year. And we're supposed to believe our nuclear power plants are "safe"? When we start seeing whole regions of the country uninhabitable due to very preventable (see Fukushima) nuclear disasters then MAYBE we'll get to revisit nuclear power, but I wouldn't hold my breath.



See the article about the 35% increase in infant mortality in the NW United States~ eight cities in the northwest U.S. (Boise ID, Seattle WA, Portland OR, plus the northern California cities of Santa Cruz, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, and Berkeley)in the 10 weeks following the Fukushima accident? 2.3% increase for the country..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 173 Comments: 38135
1515. weatherh98
1:42 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
could the earthquakes be a precurser to an eruption????
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
1513. jeffs713
1:38 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting RitaEvac:
Jeff, how did the fires affect you this weekend??

The Breckenridge fire (in Spring) was about 1 mile from my mother-in-law's house, and led to a bit of panic on her part.

The Tomball fire was about 2 miles from my house (I was well upwind of it, though), but the smoke plume was impressive. I took one pic of the smoke plume while driving down FM 2920, and will be posting it to my WU pics soon.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5883
1512. RitaEvac
1:27 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
We desperately need rain and after months of nearly no rainfall…this looks to be the week it finally changes.



Wildfire threat remains the main concern for the next 24 hours followed by increasing rain chances



Discussion:

GOES sounder shows a well defined plume of tropical moisture over the central Gulf of Mexico advancing toward the TX coast this morning. PWS values of 1.8-2.0 inches are about 100-200 miles off the coast and should arrive by this afternoon. Radar this morning has shown a few showers moving inland from Galveston Bay to Lake Charles, but die quickly after crossing the coast, but offshore area show numerous showers developing. As moisture increases today expect to see isolated showers move inland off the Gulf. Seabreeze will not form given strong south winds of 25-30mph this afternoon.



Tonight will see tropical moisture surge inland with low level speed convergence developing near the coast develop numerous showers and thunderstorms over the water after 300am. Activity will advance toward the coast by daybreak Tuesday and then surge inland on a well developed seabreeze front as surface winds finally weaken. PWS vales increase to near 2.0 inches SE of a line from Cleveland to Katy to Wharton on Tuesday and this is where the best rain chances and most widespread coverage will be. At the same time a weak cool front will sag southward over N TX on Tuesday and be an additional trigger for thunderstorms that may move southward into our northern counties Tuesday night.



Wednesday will feature the best shot at rainfall with tropical moisture (PWS of 2.0-2.2 inches) spreading over most of the region. Once again expect early morning development offshore and along the coast spreading inland during the morning and early afternoon hours. Will likely see the most widespread coverage on this day along with the threat for heavy rainfall as storm motions fall to less than 10kts. Hopefully the rainfall will be widespread.



Thursday will feature another active day across the area as moisture remains in place and daytime heating will set things off. Expect the seabreeze to be active with scattered to numerous thunderstorms.



Friday-next week:

Upper ridge builds back across the region with cap increasing and moisture being pushed southward into the Gulf. Rain chances will rapidly fall across the region as the heat builds back. Hopefully the area will by then experienced several days of wetting rains.



Rainfall Amounts:

It is important to note that the rainfall this week will not end the ongoing drought, hopefully it will at least curb the extreme fire threat in place by wetting dry fuels and greening grasses. Average amounts from today-Friday morning will be .5-1 inch with isolated totals of 2-3 inches. A few locations near the coast may see upwards of 4-5 inches. This rainfall will easily be handled with virtually no run-off being generated over rural areas.



Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630
1511. snotly
1:27 PM GMT on June 20, 2011

The location of this earthquake swarm strongly suggests that what is going on in Katla volcano is an dike intrusion in the Katla caldera. If that is powerful enough to start an eruption is an question remained unanswered at current time.

Link


Quoting AussieStorm:
Anyone read about the earthquake swarm at Katla volcano in Iceland?
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 686
1510. hurricanejunky
1:25 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting Chicklit:
Flood warning issued for second Nebraska nuclear power plant (Cooper).

Link

Floodwaters from the Missouri river overtop a levy in Brownville, Neb., Sunday, June, 19, 2011. When the Missouri River reached 42.5 feet, or 899 feet above sea level Sunday morning, the Nebraska Public Power District issued a flooding alert for its nuclear power plant, Cooper Nuclear Station. Cooper, located near Brownville, is at 903 feet elevation, and NPPD officials said the river would have to climb to 902 feet at Brownville before officials would shut down the plant.



Amazing...let's see how many nuke plants can be threatened by natural disasters in one year. And we're supposed to believe our nuclear power plants are "safe"? When we start seeing whole regions of the country uninhabitable due to very preventable (see Fukushima) nuclear disasters then MAYBE we'll get to revisit nuclear power, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2899
1509. RitaEvac
1:25 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
A horrible weekend of wildfires across the region which started Friday afternoon and became severe Sunday afternoon with several homes being lost.


Several large fires continue to burn out of control this morning across SE TX



Red Flag Warning has been issued for today for the northern 1/3rd of SE TX until 600pm.



Fires (not contained):



Bearing Fire (Polk/Trinity Counties): 15,000 acres are burning in the Davey Crockett National Forest. Fire started Friday afternoon and rapidly exploded Saturday afternoon as the fire burned through the dense pine crowns. TX Forest Service (TFS) has 6 helicopters working this fire with water drop capabilities along with numerous ground personnel cutting fire lines in thick brush and forest. The fire is 40% contained. 6 structures were lost over the weekend. Evacuations ordered around the fire on Saturday evening were lifted Sunday evening. Additional Blackhawk helicopters from the National Guard are being brought in for water air support today.



Grimes County Fire: Fire started Sunday afternoon and rapidly spread to 3600 acres in less than 3 hours. 30 homes have been lost with 250 homes still threatened. Mandatory evacuations are in place in the region bounded by HWY 105, FM 1774, and FM 362 in Grimes and Montgomery Counties. TFS is responding with both helicopter and heavy air tanker support along with at least 15 local fire departments. Strong winds overran the northern fire lines late yesterday afternoon and since that point the fire is only 5% contained. Smoke plume generated from this intense fire reached Waco and Dallas overnight and showed as a 45dbz dot in the Houston radar yesterday afternoon. This fire has shown extreme fire behavior and at times has been nearly creating its own local wind weather patterns.



Midway Fire (Walker/Madison Counties): Fire started Sunday afternoon north of the town of Huntsville and south of Midway. The fire has burned nearly 4000 acres and closed I-45 in both directions Sunday evening as the fire jumped the interstate. TFS is attempting to cut fire lines and numerous local fire departments are responding. The fire is roughly 10% contained. The town of Midway is under a mandatory evacuation order.



Fires (Contained):



Breckenridge Fire (Harris County): Fire developed Friday around noon and spread to nearly 60 acres near the Breckenridge subdivision near Aldine Westfield and Cypresswood. 1200 homes were threatened with 200 homes evacuated. Fire crews held fire lines at the back of wooden fences on the subdivision. 12 fire departments, 2 TFS heavy air tankers dropped 2,000 gallons of slurry, and 2 helicopters dropping water contained the fire Friday evening. Fire is 100% contained.



Waller Fire (FM 2920 @ Kickapoo Rd): Fire developed rapidly Friday evening and grew to over 50 acres. 12 homes/ranches were threatened and FM 29290 was closed in both directions. Local fire departments contained the fire Friday evening. No homes were lost. Fire is 100% contained



Tomball Fire (FM 2920 @ Stuebner-Airline): Fire developed Saturday from a tress touching a power line and spread to 46 aces threatening about 50 homes. Local fire departments were able to cut fires lines and protect the nearby subdivisions. Fire is 100% contained.

Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630
1508. HurricaneDevo
1:23 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting clwstmchasr:
All is quiet in the Atlantic Region. Another week without development.

Member Since: April 19, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 175
1507. RitaEvac
1:21 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Jeff, how did the fires affect you this weekend??
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630
1505. AussieStorm
1:19 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting jeffs713:
Looks like a dike intrusion, no indication of an impending eruption.

http://www.jonfr.com/volcano/?p=1062

Couldn't a dike intrusion prelude an eruption?
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15937
1504. hurricanejunky
1:16 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting kwgirl:
Good morning all. I hope everyone had a Great Father's day. We had a very hot and sunny day in Key West on Saturday. Then the clouds moved in. Made it a cooler but gray day on Sunday. I thought at first we would get some rain, but no go. Unless you consider two drops per minute a rain. Though it did fall from the sky and eventually the sidewalk in front of East Martello where I work was actually wet.
Sunday morning the wind was out of the Southeast then went totally calm. Not a breath of wind to be found. I watched the weather last night and the prediction for severe weather including tornadoes is high today for some areas. Everyone stay alert and safe.


Now I'm jealous...you work at East Martello? COOL! Say hey to Robert for me! Is he still causing trouble? How long have you worked there?

We had quite a bit of rain all around last night and it looked like we would surely get torrential downpours but as usual it somehow managed to only dump a whopping .06" of rain. ARGH!!
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2899
1503. hurricanejunky
1:14 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting AussieStorm:
Anyone read about the earthquake swarm at Katla volcano in Iceland?


No Aussie, do tell...
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2899
1502. kwgirl
1:13 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Good morning all. I hope everyone had a Great Father's day. We had a very hot and sunny day in Key West on Saturday. Then the clouds moved in. Made it a cooler but gray day on Sunday. I thought at first we would get some rain, but no go. Unless you consider two drops per minute a rain. Though it did fall from the sky and eventually the sidewalk in front of East Martello where I work was actually wet.
Sunday morning the wind was out of the Southeast then went totally calm. Not a breath of wind to be found. I watched the weather last night and the prediction for severe weather including tornadoes is high today for some areas. Everyone stay alert and safe.
Member Since: March 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1532
1500. hurricanejunky
1:11 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting centex:
Thanks to all you guys praying for Texas rain. Most Texas droughts end in a flood comes with the territory. Here is burn ban counties since most have seen size of exceptional drought.




Hey no problem. Maybe Rick Perry can hold another state prayer day for rain since the first one he held in April worked so well. Look at the drought map in April then look at the current one.

April


June 14th
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2899
1499. Levi32
1:11 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Good morning.

Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Monday, June 20th, with Video
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26652
1498. jeffs713
1:09 PM GMT on June 20, 2011
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


That would be at the "official" site, Miami International Airport. Large increase in the last two weeks:




Just for comparison (and to help others visualize just how dry it is here in Houston)...

Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5883

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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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