Record flooding in North Dakota forces evacuation of 11,000

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:10 PM GMT on June 22, 2011

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A 1-in-100 to 1-in-200 year flood is in progress in North Dakota along the Souris River, where flood heights never seen in recorded history are putting unprecedented pressure on the river's levees. The Lake Darling flood control reservoir located about 15 miles upstream from Minot, North Dakota, the state's 4th largest city, is full to overflowing. Record releases of water are occurring to prevent the lake's dam from overtopping. A mandatory evacuation of 11,000 residents from Minot is underway, and must be completed before Thursday morning, when water levels on the Souris River are expected to rise several feet above the previous all-time flood height, set in 1881. Massive rainfall in Canada on Sunday and Monday, combined with very heavy rainfall and snow melt over North Dakota over the past month, are responsible for the record flood. The Souris River Basin near the Rafferty Dam in Saskatchewan received four to seven inches of rain Sunday into Monday. Flood heights along the Souris River near the Canadian border upstream from Minot are already almost a foot above the previous all-time highest mark, and all that water will arrive in Minot beginning on Thursday, likely overwhelming the city's levees and flooding large portions of the city for two or more weeks.


Figure 1. Observed (blue line) and forecast (green line) stage of the Souris River in Minot, North Dakota. The river is currently at its 4th highest level on record, and is expected to rise above the record flood stage of 1558' Thursday night. The record was set back in 1881. Image credit: NOAA AHPS.


Figure 2. The Souris River (in pink) is part of the Red River drainage basin. Image credit: Wikipedia.

Heavy rains this week over the neighboring Missouri River watershed forced the Army Corps of Engineers today to increase the flow rate at the key Gavins Point Dam to a record 160,000 cubic feet per second. The dam was already releasing water at more than double the previous record flow rate, and the increased flow is expected to raise flood heights by 0.3 - 0.7 feet along the Missouri River from Omaha to Kansas City. There have already been two levee failures and two places where levees have been overtopped along the Missouri River this month, resulting in large-scale flooding of low-lying farmlands. "This continues to be a very dynamic situation and dangerous at the same time," said Brig. Gen. John McMahon, commander of the Northwestern Division of the Army Corps of Engineers.

The Atlantic is quiet
The Atlantic is quiet, but several models, including the NOGAPS and GFS, are predicting that a tropical disturbance capable of becoming a tropical depression could form near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula about seven days from now. In the Eastern Pacific, Hurricane Beatriz is gone, after being torn apart by Mexico's high mountains during landfall. Beatriz is responsible for at least three deaths in Mexico.

Jeff Masters

Touchdown near York, Nebraska (StormTrain)
Tornado touching down less than a 1/2 mile from our location west of York, NE. The storm did miss the farm in this photo, but a few farms were hit and a train was derailed as it moved to the northeast.
Touchdown near York, Nebraska
Bellevue, Nebraska flooding 6/20/11 1 (Greyelf)
Taken 6/20/11 at Haworth Park, which is right along the Missouri River. Note the gazebo on the left 1/3 of the shot that I've made reference to in prior shots (5/28/11 when flooding first started and later shot on 6/13/11). The gazebo now has water in it almost up to it's roof. Of note, when I drove by again this morning on 6/21/11, the water had raised again after last night's rain. I'm never getting back into that gazebo at this rate.
Bellevue, Nebraska flooding 6/20/11 1

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1052. Gearsts
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It looks like the models are picking up on possible Arlene being of monsoonal origins. I think that explains the large "core" like feature. The models don't seem to be picking up on much shear, though. It looks like a very symmetrical system.
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Quoting sunlinepr:

This track has changed. TS Falcon was headed straight towards Taiwan, but now the track has shifted more easterly. If TS Falcon does stay on this track N Korea could be in for a bit of rain and a possible humanitarian disaster.

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1048. Skyepony (Mod)
CAPITOLA, Calif. -- Federal officials have rejected California's request for a disaster declaration that would have helped recovery from a series of March storms.

State officials asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help in dealing with $44.5 million in damage across 17 counties caused by storms from March 15 to 27. The damage included $17 million from Santa Cruz County, which was hit by rockslides and flash floods.

FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate explained in a Tuesday letter to Gov. Jerry Brown that his agency determined the storms were three separate events that affected different parts of the state at different times. Fugate also determined that handling the storm damage was "not beyond the combined capabilities" of state and local governments.

State emergency officials say Brown will decide whether to file an appeal, due within 30 days.

Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/06/22/3720488/fema-reje cts-calif-disaster-declaration.html#ixzz1Q4ObuHsC
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 276 Comments: 40652
1047. emcf30
Quoting AussieStorm:
This is video from a train's "black box camera" on the locomotive that drove through a tornado in Boone and McHenry counties in Illinois.



Amazing video
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1046. Gearsts
Yea DOOM O__O
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Just so yall know, that's the 18z.


Yeah, I just noticed that...
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Quoting Gearsts:
No way that's happening.I say a 60mph tropical storm the most.I mean well...if upper level conditions preveil,and sst are above average.
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1043. Levi32
Quoting Skyepony:
GFS is celebrating the new bill being introduced..

That storm it puts in the gulf. Never seen anything like that. I'd have to question if the blob could even spin up that fast being that big & if the gfs could even foresee a monster eye presentation. No surprise the 850vort was so weak.


It's among the stranger things I've seen on that model.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26736
1042. Skyepony (Mod)
That was the craziest train vs tornado I've seen yet.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 276 Comments: 40652
Quoting Gearsts:


Just so yall know, that's the 18z.
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00z GFS is slightly weaker and further south FWIW.
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Quoting Gearsts:
holy crap
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1038. Skyepony (Mod)
GFS is celebrating the new bill being introduced..

That storm it puts in the gulf. Never seen anything like that. I'd have to question if the blob could even spin up that fast being that big & if the gfs could even foresee a monster eye presentation. No surprise the 850vort was so weak.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 276 Comments: 40652
Quoting Gearsts:


Well, you just put Storm and me to shame. LOL. Interesting to see how that ridge seems to break down significantly at that time and a trof is sweeping down from the Plains.
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1036. whadat

Windy night in Cayman Saturday afternoon thru Sunday!http://www.windguru.cz/int/index.php?sc=74098 
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Jinx! Lol.
Lol!
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1034. Gearsts
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
00z GFS

Arlene at 90 hours?



Jinx! Lol.
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GFS at 90 hours:

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00z GFS

Arlene at 90 hours?

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I won't be so "hyped" about this system developing until I see an actual area of interest develope.
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This is video from a train's "black box camera" on the locomotive that drove through a tornado in Boone and McHenry counties in Illinois.

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In years like this(neutreal)we usually see active July's so not surprised there CybrTeddy.And also the system that the models continue to develope remind me of Alex last year and Dolly of 2008.
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1026. Levi32
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Well Levi looks like you better not be tired out yet 'cause it looks like we're about to see some real activity with that upward MJO coming through. After ''Arlene'' forms according to the models we could see 3 storms next month.


Oh I'm always tired these days lol. But yes, the season will soon begin in earnest.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26736
1025. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Well Levi looks like you better not be tired out yet 'cause it looks like we're about to see some real activity with that upward MJO coming through. After ''Arlene'' forms according to the models we could see 3 storms next month.
things will be picking up by the time them three if they come to pass it will be start of cv season after that
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1024. Skyepony (Mod)
I had started to post this & got distracted, I see ya'll have been discussing it since.


Quoting alfabob:
Started from this small area of convection to the NE of Beatriz (before dissipation), most likely from monsoon flow adjacent to Beatriz. 2011-06-21 03:15 UTC


That small area of convection popped up as Beatriz made landfall..like it was beginning to try & relocate toward the gulf. Fed moisture to an unstable spot, up goes a storm & a new swirl forms. Not uncommon. We've seen cleaner jumps, much of the lower vorticity went back out to sea. That's why I said it is Beatriz remains including a swirl.

If it reformed in the gulf, I don't think much consideration would be given to keep it Beatriz since it's caught up at the end of the frontal boundary.

Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 276 Comments: 40652
Well Levi looks like you better not be tired out yet 'cause it looks like we're about to see some real activity with that upward MJO coming through. After ''Arlene'' forms according to the models we could see 3 storms next month.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24782
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1021. Levi32
Quoting emcf30:
Levi, Do you agree with a upper level low developing over the SEUS and moving towards Mexico, causing upper level ridging over the Yucatan thus enhancing the low moving into the GOM or BOC as depicted by the GFS?


I think you're referring to a trough-split, which could definitely happen with the Texas ridge building eastward, forcing the eastern US trough to lift out. The resulting cut-off lows from such trough-splits can act to ventilate regions where tropical disturbances are trying to develop, as long gas they aren't too close to negatively affect the system. Whether the GFS is correct in forecasting that trough-split is hard to say, as cut-off upper lows in the tropics are one of the things computer models struggle with the most.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26736
1020. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
XX/AOI/XX
MARK
24.80N/97.55W
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good nite everyone.....i'm beat!
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1016. emcf30
Levi, Do you agree with a upper level low developing over the SEUS and moving towards Mexico, causing upper level ridging over the Yucatan thus enhancing the low moving into the GOM or BOC as depicted by the GFS?
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1015. Levi32
Quoting TomTaylor:
yes, it was. So what's the final conclusion?

Beatriz was way offshore when the MCS popped up. So was it just day time heating? Although Beatriz's moisture field definitely assisted in the size of this blob


Beatriz was near enough to provide convergence and vorticity to aid in its development. Also a factor was likely the strong monsoon low over mainland Mexico. I remember pulling up a surface map showing a 997mb low over Mexico at the time.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26736
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
XX/AOI/XX
MARK
24.85N/97.65W
you can clearly see the left over MCV from the MCS at the start of the first loop as it travels up the Mexican coastline
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1013. Levi32
Quoting centex:
So the shear will just retard convection until it reaches western carib? Asking because not all waves the same, some strong and some weak.


Wind shear is often beneficial to tropical waves, especially when it's easterly shear. However, if you ever noticed, tropical waves love to flare up and look impressive when approaching a TUTT, which imposes strong southwesterly shear on them, yet they flourish. Tropical waves aren't natively warm-core, but cold-core.

A wave's amplitude may decrease, thus "weakening," if a dry atmosphere prevents convection. A wave's signature may also disintegrate if it moves into a broad area of lower pressure. This is the same process by which waves are "absorbed" into tropical disturbances.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26736
1012. emcf30
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Quoting Levi32:


Nah. It's Karen. Can't you tell?
Na, it's Puff-n-Toot from back in the 50's. I can't recall exact year, Grother would know.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting Levi32:


Nah. It's Karen. Can't you tell?
....Rats! I'm never going to figure this stuff out. :(
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1009. centex
Quoting Levi32:


Tropical waves aren't killed by shear. An upper anticyclone is forecasted to develop over the western Caribbean when the wave arrives, which will make the environment more conducive for development.
So the shear will just retard convection until it reaches western carib? Asking because not all waves the same, some strong and some weak.
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Quoting Levi32:


Except that it was there long before that loop. An interesting feature, for sure.
yes, it was. So what's the final conclusion?

Beatriz was way offshore when the MCS popped up. So was it just day time heating? Although Beatriz's moisture field definitely assisted in the size of this blob


Quoting Levi32:


Sorry. Yes indeed, it keeps getting colder. I believe I showed the latest map in my blog yesterday. It will be interesting to see if it continues.
it would make sense that it would continue. If you consider the fact that the increased temperature difference creates increased winds, further upwelling and evaporative cooling would occur over the gulf region, creating a positive feedback loop.

clearly the winds aren't the only thing responsible for the SST temps, but they are a factor.
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1007. Levi32
Quoting PrivateIdaho:


Let me be the first to suggest that the circulation in question is actually the remanants of 2010's Tropical storm Gaston.


Nah. It's Karen. Can't you tell?
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26736
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
Thats what it's all about the winners get to write history.


Let me be the first to suggest that the circulation in question is actually the remanants of 2010's Tropical storm Gaston.
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Quoting Levi32:


I'm as clueless as Shen lol.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
1004. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
/>
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1003. centex
Nice classic country size coma but has exclamation point.
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1002. emcf30


Meteostar GFS showing low crossing Yucatan emerging in the BOC on Monday. Will be interesting to watch.
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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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