Floods overwhelm North Dakota levees; floods kill 175 in China

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:33 PM GMT on June 23, 2011

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Flood waters from North Dakota's Souris River are pouring over the levees protecting Minot, North Dakota today, and flood heights are expected to rise to the highest levels in recorded history tonight. The Lake Darling flood control reservoir located about 15 miles upstream from Minot is full to overflowing, and record releases of water are occurring to prevent the lake's dam from over-topping. By this weekend, the Army Corps of Engineers will open the dam's flood gates to a maximum flow rate of 20,000 cubic feet per second, which is roughly double the flow rate that the levees in Minot can handle. Water began flowing over the levees yesterday, forcing the mandatory evacuation of 12,000 residents. By Sunday, water levels on the Souris River are expected to peak at four feet above the previous all-time flood height, set in 1881. Torrential 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 two feet above the previous all-time highest mark, and that pulse of water is now arriving in Minot. The unprecedented flood is expected to keep much of Minot underwater for at least two weeks. Fortunately, no new heavy rains are expected over the next five days, though up to 1/2" of rain could fall over portions of the Souris River watershed.


Figure 1. Still frame from a Youtube video of the Souris River in Minot, North Dakota flowing over the levees in that town. The video was shot on Wednesday June 22, 2011, from a North Dakota National Guard helicopter.


Figure 2. Observed (blue line) and forecast (green line) stage of the Souris River in Minot, North Dakota. The river is currently at its 3rd highest level on record, and is expected to rise above the record flood stage of 1558' tonight. The record was set back in 1881. Image credit: NOAA AHPS.

Record rains in China kill 175, do $5 billion in damage
Torrential rains triggered severe flooding in eastern China this week, with the death toll for June floods now standing at 175, with 86 people missing. Ironically, the same region experienced severe drought at the beginning of June. The estimated $5 billion in damage from the floods would make 2011 the third most expensive year for floods in China in the past decade. This year is the second consecutive year floods have caused exceptional damage in China. Last year, Western China saw summer precipitation more than 200% above average, and torrential monsoon rains triggered catastrophic landslides that killed 2137 people and did $759 million in damage. Monsoon floods in China killed an additional 1911 people, affected 134 million, and did $18 billion in damage in 2010, according to the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED). This was the 2nd most expensive flooding disaster in Chinese history, behind the $30 billion price tag of the 1998 floods that killed 3656 people. China had floods in 1915, 1931, and 1959 that killed 3 million, 3.7 million, and 2 million people, respectively, but no damage estimates are available for these floods. During the period 2000 - 2009, China averaged $3.7 billion in damage and 674 deaths per year due to floods and landslides, according to the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters. This does not include the toll from typhoons. Speaking of typhoons, Tropical Storm Meari, currently located a few hundred miles east of the Philippines' Luzon Island, is expected to track north-northwestwards towards China today and Friday. By Saturday, Meari is expected to be a Category 1 typhoon, and will spread heavy rains over eastern China, worsening the flooding situation there--though the heaviest rains will likely remain offshore.



Figure 3. Rainfall amounts in excess of 18 inches (450 mm) fell in Eastern China southeast of Shanghai in a 1-week period, June 13 -19, 2011. A China Daily report from June 18 described the rains in parts of Zhejiang Province as unprecedented. High waters broke 100-meter (300-foot) holes in levees, inundating nearby villages. Some homes were buried in 3 meters (10 feet) of water. This image is based on data from the Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis produced at Goddard Space Flight Center, which estimates rainfall by combining measurements from many satellites and calibrating them using rainfall measurements from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite. Image credit: NASA.



Figure 4. Visitors watch as water gushes out from the Xiaolangdi Reservoir on the Yellow River in Central China's Henan province, June 22, 2011. Image credit: Xinhua.

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 in the southern Gulf of Mexico in the Bay of Campeche Tuesday or Wednesday. There will be a strong ridge of high pressure over the Gulf next week, which would tend to keep any storm that might form far to the south, with impacts limited to Mexico and perhaps South Texas.

Jeff Masters

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Full-screen
Station 42360
Petrobras
Location: 26.700N 90.46W
Conditions as of:
Thu, 23 Jun 2011 17:00:00 UTC
Winds: SE (140°) at 13.6 kt gusting to 17.5 kt
Significant Wave Height: 3.6 ft
Dominant Wave Period: 6 sec
Atmospheric Pressure: 29.92 in and falling
Air Temperature: 83.5 F
Water Temperature: 85.6 F
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Member Since: September 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1492
Latest news from Minot ND is the COE
notice of higher release rates upstream leading to the predicted crest
being about THREE FEET higher than previously thought

from peak of 1562.5 predicted to now possible 1566

not good
via

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/kxmcweathercenter
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Clouds are darkening in Houston - very juicy atmosphere (finally!)
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Anybody want to help update this article?

2011 Souris River flood
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12z NOGAPS continues to show a strong tropical storm.

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13992
Quoting DEKRE:


Is he a doctor?
For God's sake Jim! You can't expect miracles. I'm a doctor, not a weatherman!
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Hey there swla! Long time no visit.
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Quoting Patrap:


All the major models have a role,,one looks for agreement among them or "consensus".

The 2 groups,,statistical and Dynamic have their respective takes as well.
Thank you Pat.
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Quoting goavs4:
New drought map out for us here in Texas, pretty remarkable to have 91% of the state in the extreme to exceptional, and a full 70% squarely in the exceptional category. The rains the past two days should help a tiny, tiny bit but we really need a long term wet pattern to establish itself or a couple of weak tropical systems to park over the state soon!


New Mexico is at 100% with 90% extreme. We too need a break. No moisture this year except snow 10" snows in February.
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Quoting DestinJeff:
We may get some love this afternoon!



You might in Destin but it looks like us in FWB are going to be in the dry area between storms that are going through Pensacola to Crestview and Storms in the Gulf lined up to hit Destin! We've had some bad luck lately with rains.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Something is starting to happen in the tropical atlantic/caribbean, I can feel it :)
inverted trough moving through the central carib. we will be following it
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 4313
Quoting stormpetrol:
Something is starting to happen in the tropical atlantic/caribbean, I can feel it :)
My son just said the same thing. East End has gotten pretty choppy over the past few hours. It was smooth this morning when I came to work.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8266
Quoting swlaaggie:


Stopped in Lake Charles as well. That wasn't a drought buster but it made a significant dent. Perfect long drawn out steady rains, intermixed with strong downpours, for about a day and half, especially yesterday. Even woke up to a good slow rain this morning. Truly wonderful. Even the lizards and birds have smiles.
:)
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Something is starting to happen in the tropical atlantic/caribbean, I can feel it :)
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At around the 1:47 mark in the video Dr. Masters posted today you can see clear evidence of some sort of chemical leak into the floodwaters... probably heating oil or something like that. This is far too common a problem during floods. We need some engineering solutions for cheap, secure, water-tight storage of fuel and other chemicals when homes and businesses are located in floodplains. We shouldn't be using the same storage technology in floodplains as we use in the high desert.

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Computer Models Used to Forecast Hurricanes
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Pretty good chance we'll have our first storm before months end.
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Climatology is on your side Destin Jeff


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Quoting Matt74:
Which one of the models is the most reliable as far as the track for a tropical system?


All the major models have a role,,one looks for agreement among them or "consensus".

The 2 groups,,statistical and Dynamic have their respective takes as well.
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Quoting weatherxtreme:
We sure do need rain here in NE florida for sure! They say we will have scattered showers here almost everyday then nothing comes. Today even supposed to have showers by noon and so far nothing. We really need some relief as it was showing 104.5 on my back porch yesterday. Need a nice TS to come a knocking on our door. Hope this year isn't a bust but seems really slow so far.


I do believe we will get our rain. Our chances are 40-60% the next 3-5 days.

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In Minot, the Souris River is at 1,555.7 feet above sea level as of 9 a.m. today, about a foot and a half lower than what the National Weather Service predicted it would to be at this point. Low-lying areas of Minot are at about 1,548 feet to 1,551 feet. The river is still projected to reach 1,562.5 feet by early Monday, however.
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Which one of the models is the most reliable as far as the track for a tropical system?
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Thanks. I thought maybe I had someone on ignore that I had forgotten about. Happens at my age...
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blog going down for a few min.
thanks DR M
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Quoting JeffMasters:
Blogs are going to be unavailable in a few minutes, from 1:30pm EDT - 1:40pm EDT, for a software change.

Jeff Masters


man I sure hope a hurricane doesn't form in those 10 minutes!
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Quoting JeffMasters:
Blogs are going to be unavailable in a few minutes, from 1:30pm EDT - 1:40pm EDT, for a software change.

Jeff Masters

thanks boss
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85. JeffMasters (Admin)
Blogs are going to be unavailable in a few minutes, from 1:30pm EDT - 1:40pm EDT, for a software change.

Jeff Masters
Quoting DestinJeff:
We may get some love this afternoon!



That might be a little TMI for us, DJ.

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Quoting DestinJeff:
I took 28 Jun as my pick for the first named storm in the Atlantic for our intra-office pool.

Price Is Right rules, so closest without going over wins. I still have a chance!

You sure do. Good luck. What do you win? A laminated copy of "The Chart"?
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more purple
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Quoting DestinJeff:
We may get some love this afternoon!


radar potential....in swfl it seems 80% of the "radar" rain dries up before hitting the ground lately. I hope yall get it. Is there a potential trough that would verify GFS? curious why it has a ne component
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'Exceptional' drought areas expand to cover nearly 25% of Florida
-Source: PalmBeachPost
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June 20th Anomalies:



June 23rd Anomalies:

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Purple spreading in the southern Caribbean.
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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.