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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Purple spreading in the southern Caribbean.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
Quoting RipplinH2O:
Been out for a while. Anybody know what happened to posts #2 and #3? Just curious...


Somebody posted "first" and then posted some other blather when they realized they weren't actually first.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Been out for a while. Anybody know what happened to posts #2 and #3? Just curious...
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the new GFS run got the same storm again crossing florida and riding up the east coast..998 mb pressure when it crosses florida..



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hey guys I am at work now and finally out the house
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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.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Easy boy...... have patients


Is he a doctor?
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Quoting Waltanater:
Yeah! Do it! Maybe this season will "dwarf" 2005!


How 'bout not!
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Quoting mikeylikesyouall:
do the cmc and nogaps still predict a tropical systems developing in the gom in the next 130 hours or so?


144hr CMC


144hr NoGaps


144hr GFS


144hr ECMWF
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do the cmc and nogaps still predict a tropical systems developing in the gom in the next 130 hours or so?
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Quoting swlaaggie:


and patience!

:-)
I have neither! LOL
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Man am I happy for this rain. Hope more is on the way. We planted a bunch of Croton and Hibiscus that were positively roasting.
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58. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting alfabob:
Multiple areas of vorticity due to stronger trade winds.



This feature is horribly stacked.
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Jason, I preferred the lime popsicle...

:)
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Quoting NRAamy:
Aussie....get some sleep!

:)

Sleep, what's that, I rest with my eyes closed. I don't sleep.
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Aussie....get some sleep!

:)
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Quoting Torgen:


Evolution in action? (shakes head)

Much the same as those people who go to the beach to watch the "tsunami" come in.


fify

:-)
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Yeah that, sorry my brain stopped working at 2am.


No apology needed. I blame mine on "senior moments".
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China needs US help like a fish needs a cigar.
$5billion is the interest on the interest of China's US&EU financial holdings.
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Quoting NRAamy:
Yo Funky Monkey!


Hello, Kitty!
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Quoting swlaaggie:


and patience!

:-)

Yeah that, sorry my brain stopped working at 2am.
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Quoting MrMixon:


There's a precedent for such insanity (nobody dies in this video, amazingly):



Evolution in action? (shakes head)

Much the same as those people who go to the beach to watch the hurricane come in.
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Quoting DestinJeff:
Strong high pressure over gulf very similar to 2006, when very hot and dry conditions persisted. Same thing so far this year, with no break in sight.

We keep chisseling away the days and eventually climo will take over going the other direction.


Jeff we need rain bad in our area. It was good to see parts of Texas get the rain but I wish it would move this way and give us some relief. Scattered storms again today so we'll see....
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Quoting swlaaggie:


and patience!

:-)


Don't forget the patents!
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Quoting blsealevel:
These folks are insaine
I dont think i would be that close to that!



I got the same feeling looking at that shot. If something goes wrong... you are in a very bad place.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Easy boy...... have patients


and patience!

:-)
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As far as weather related disasters,don't remember a spring quite like this one as far as the number and size of the events.Makes you wonder what the tropical season holds for us.
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Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1918
35. JRRP
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Quoting Waltanater:
Where are the Hurricanes!? 3 more days and we will be on pace with the start of the 2010 season.

This has been a little slow to start. Fires, volcanoes and floods...OH MY!

We've see everything EXCEPT ATL HURRICANES!!!!!

**INVOKING ASSEMBLY LINE WRATH NOW**

Easy boy...... have patients
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Dr M. The track of TS Falcon/Meari takes it over China and is forecast to become a Typhoon a few 100 miles SE of Shanghai. Could this add more water to the already flooded areas?

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Quoting ajcamsmom2:
Rain has stopped for a bit here in Lafayette, I hope it starts back soon...Slow and steady for a few days would be nice...


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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Quoting blsealevel:
These folks are insaine
I dont think i would be that close to that!



There's a precedent for such insanity (nobody dies in this video, amazingly):

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While more is needed, it sure is nice to see this.
(7 day rainfall, ending at 7 am CDT today...almost all of the rain actually in the last 3 days)

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Quoting Waltanater:
Where are the Hurricanes!? 3 more days and we will be on pace with the start of the 2010 season.

This has been a little slow to start. Fires, volcanoes and floods...OH MY!

We've see everything EXCEPT ATL HURRICANES!!!!!

**INVOKING ASSEMBLY LINE WRATH NOW**
if you like i can do a little chanting and summon up the 4 winds from the four corners of the earth if thats what you want
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55972
27. Skyepony (Mod)
As far as STX the radar isn't the best for tracking what's happening at the surface & it's showing circulation not off of TX but overland. Now that the sun is up RGB shows the lower weak circulation overland (in yellow). 85o vort map confirms.
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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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