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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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
7.2 might not be to bad of a tsunami
hope it isn't
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
how many hours out was that?
159
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june 30, my eyes is old
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Quoting JRRP:
how many hours out was that?
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471. JRRP
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To: U.S. West Coast, Alaska, and British Columbia coastal regions
From: NOAA/NWS/West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center
Subject: Tsunami Warning Cancellation #3 issued 06/23/2011 at 8:19PM AKDT

The Tsunami Warning is canceled for the coastal areas from Unimak Pass, Alaska (80 miles NE of Dutch Harbor) to Amchitka Pass, Alaska (125 miles W of Adak).

NO destructive tsunami has been recorded, and NO tsunami danger exists along the coasts of the U.S. west coast states, Alaska, and British Columbia. Local authorities can assume all clear upon receipt of this message.

At 7:10 PM Alaskan Daylight Time on June 23, an earthquake with preliminary magnitude 7.3 occurred 20 miles/32 Km southeast of Amukta Pass, Alaska . (Refer to the United States Geological Survey for official earthquake parameters.)

Pacific coastal regions outside California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska should refer to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center messages for information on the event.

This will be the last West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center message issued for this event. To repeat, NO tsunami warning, watch or advisory is in effect for the U.S. West coast states, Alaska, and British Columbia. See the WCATWC web site for basic tsunami information, safety rules, and a tsunami travel time map and table. (NOTE: Travel time maps and tables indicate forecasted times only, not that a wave was generated.)
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7.2 might not be to bad of a tsunami
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Large monsoonal circulation over the southwestern Atlantic.
tropical wave is in that mix too




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Quoting jasonweatherman2010:
Large monsoonal circulation over the southwestern Atlantic.
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461. JRRP

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Quoting sunlinepr:
Read that post before bed.... USGS site... Don't know how serious this alert is, although it is posted at the USGS Tsunami site



A Tsunami Warning is now in effect which includes the coastal areas of Alaska from Unimak Pass, Alaska (80 miles NE of Dutch Harbor) to Amchitka Pass, Alaska (125 miles W of Adak).

This message is for Information Only for coastal areas of California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska from the California-Mexico border to Unimak Pass, Alaska (80 miles NE of Dutch Harbor).

This message is for Information Only for coastal areas of Alaska from Amchitka Pass, Alaska (125 miles W of Adak) to Attu, Alaska.

A Tsunami Warning means that all coastal residents in the warning area who are near the beach or in low-lying regions should move immediately inland to higher ground and away from all harbors and inlets including those sheltered directly from the sea. Those feeling the earth shake, seeing unusual wave action, or the water level rising or receding may have only a few minutes before the tsunami arrival and should move immediately. Homes and small buildings are not designed to withstand tsunami impacts. Do not stay in these structures.

All residents within the warned area should be alert for instructions broadcast from their local civil authorities. Earthquakes of this magnitude are known to generate tsunamis.

Link


Seems like the warnings are no longer in affect. Cant find them anywere.
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458. beell
Quoting msphar:
Looks like the wave in the Central Caribbean is being disrupted by shearing winds as it lifts towards the Greater Antilles. I wonder if much of its energy will reach the Yucatan area ?


I don't think it will matter. The modeled monsoon circulation looks to be almost massive.
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457. beell
Quoting Rmadillo:
Red Queen would beg to differ, Beell.

Looks like it's 7.2 at the final.


You must be a child of the 60's-70's, lol!

Quoting EYEStoSEA:


Well,ok then....saw ya got your rain :) we had a 2 day total of 2.25....the watermelons are smiling


About 2" of rain here. I think I can cut the grass and not have to turn on the sprinklers afterwards to keep it from burning up now! At least for a few days!
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Looks like the wave in the Central Caribbean is being disrupted by shearing winds as it lifts towards the Greater Antilles. I wonder if much of its energy will reach the Yucatan area ?
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Quoting beell:
Better a bald head then...
no head at all.


Well,ok then....saw ya got your rain :) we had a 2 day total of 2.25....the watermelons are smiling
Member Since: September 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1492
Red Queen would beg to differ, Beell.

Looks like it's 7.2 at the final.
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453. beell
Better a bald head then...
no head at all.
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maybe a tinfoil hat, heh heh heh
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Quoting beell:


Ah...The Gulf of Guinea

000.00 Latitude
000.00 Longitude


Beell, ya need something on that bald head...maybe a sombrero like Cosmic...UV rays are high :/
Member Since: September 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1492
450. beell
Quoting CosmicEvents:
We'll see how things go as the season progresses, but if we're talking about the Gulf of Guinea....you know it's mighty slow in the Atlantic.


Ah...The Gulf of Guinea

000.00 Latitude
000.00 Longitude
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Read that post before bed.... USGS site... Don't know how serious this alert is, although it is posted at the USGS Tsunami site



A Tsunami Warning is now in effect which includes the coastal areas of Alaska from Unimak Pass, Alaska (80 miles NE of Dutch Harbor) to Amchitka Pass, Alaska (125 miles W of Adak).

This message is for Information Only for coastal areas of California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska from the California-Mexico border to Unimak Pass, Alaska (80 miles NE of Dutch Harbor).

This message is for Information Only for coastal areas of Alaska from Amchitka Pass, Alaska (125 miles W of Adak) to Attu, Alaska.

A Tsunami Warning means that all coastal residents in the warning area who are near the beach or in low-lying regions should move immediately inland to higher ground and away from all harbors and inlets including those sheltered directly from the sea. Those feeling the earth shake, seeing unusual wave action, or the water level rising or receding may have only a few minutes before the tsunami arrival and should move immediately. Homes and small buildings are not designed to withstand tsunami impacts. Do not stay in these structures.

All residents within the warned area should be alert for instructions broadcast from their local civil authorities. Earthquakes of this magnitude are known to generate tsunamis.

Link

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We'll see how things go as the season progresses, but if we're talking about the Gulf of Guinea....you know it's mighty slow in the Atlantic.
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Not bad!
I was about to post the earthquake notice:

MAP 7.3 2011/06/24 03:10:00 52.100 -171.700 40.0 FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA
MAP 7.4 2011/06/24 03:09:40 52.042 -171.842 46.8 FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA
MAP 5.0 2011/06/24 02:06:53 0.666 -25.436 13.6 CENTRAL MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
When it appeared here.
23 minutes after the event.
Go Wunderground!
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446. MTWX
Quoting Rmadillo:
only one, we're still dealing with prelim data

Saw that thanks, they just remove the 7.3 off of the list.
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only one, we're still dealing with prelim data
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444. MTWX
Quoting Rmadillo:
2011/06/24 03:09:40 (UTC)
Preliminary Magnitude: 7.3
Latitude: 52.119 Longitude: -171.701
Location: 20 miles/32 Km SE of Amukta Pass, Alaska

There were two back to back!! One at 7.3 and one 7.4!Link
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AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

ORIGIN TIME - 0310Z 24 JUN 2011
COORDINATES - 52.1 NORTH 171.7 WEST
DEPTH - 40 KM
LOCATION - FOX ISLANDS ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
MAGNITUDE - 7.3

EVALUATION

NO DESTRUCTIVE WIDESPREAD TSUNAMI THREAT EXISTS BASED ON
HISTORICAL EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI DATA.


HOWEVER - EARTHQUAKES OF THIS SIZE SOMETIMES GENERATE LOCAL
TSUNAMIS THAT CAN BE DESTRUCTIVE ALONG COASTS LOCATED WITHIN
A HUNDRED KILOMETERS OF THE EARTHQUAKE EPICENTER. AUTHORITIES
IN THE REGION OF THE EPICENTER SHOULD BE AWARE OF THIS
POSSIBILITY AND TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION.
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Quoting AussieStorm:
Afternoon all. Just cracked the 60F mark here in Sydney. Anyone care to send me some warm weather?
. Aussie..can you send us some of that Sydney cool temp here to Cayman? have had a few days of heat index of 105 F.
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A Tsunami Warning is now in effect which includes the coastal areas of Alaska from Unimak Pass, Alaska (80 miles NE of Dutch Harbor) to Amchitka Pass, Alaska (125 miles W of Adak).

This message is for Information Only for coastal areas of California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska from the California-Mexico border to Unimak Pass, Alaska (80 miles NE of Dutch Harbor).

This message is for Information Only for coastal areas of Alaska from Amchitka Pass, Alaska (125 miles W of Adak) to Attu, Alaska.

A Tsunami Warning means that all coastal residents in the warning area who are near the beach or in low-lying regions should move immediately inland to higher ground and away from all harbors and inlets including those sheltered directly from the sea. Those feeling the earth shake, seeing unusual wave action, or the water level rising or receding may have only a few minutes before the tsunami arrival and should move immediately. Homes and small buildings are not designed to withstand tsunami impacts. Do not stay in these structures.
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2011/06/24 03:09:40 (UTC)
Preliminary Magnitude: 7.3
Latitude: 52.119 Longitude: -171.701
Location: 20 miles/32 Km SE of Amukta Pass, Alaska
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Lots of lighting here around Tampa Bay at this late hour, the wet season is heading in :)
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Good night all...
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436. MTWX
Aurora veiwing tonight looks to be best towards your area Aussie
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Quoting bappit:

The westward expansion of the equatorial cool water does stand out amongst all the isotherm jiggling in Grothar's link. The northward expansion of the 25 isotherm is also apparent.

Very well explained by Levi and other bloggers, how that temp. gradient would activate the CV season waves... new knowledge for me...
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Quoting sunlinepr:
the Sea of Guinea temp. gradient effect, looks like an active CV season.

The westward expansion of the equatorial cool water does stand out amongst all the isotherm jiggling in Grothar's link. The northward expansion of the 25 isotherm is also apparent.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
by the way we could be looking at firefox 8 and 9 in OCT or firefox 9 beta in NOV and may be be in DEC will see firefox 10


Although I use and prefer Firefox, seems like it's getting too heavy in memory usage... Do you have experience with Chrome, Safari or Opera browsers?
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If I disappear in a couple minutes, it's because my power just went out....
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Quoting JLPR2:


Considering how our (censored word) governor has been wasting the electric company's money on advertising instead of maintenance if we do get hit by a hurricane we should be ready to use logs and fire.


There will be a huge exodus to mainland... You can be sure..
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by the way we could be looking at firefox 8 and 9 in OCT or firefox 9 beta in NOV and may be be in DEC will see firefox 10
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


It'd be interesting to see that, but it would come at the cost of getting hit by a hurricane.


I'm not wishing at any moment that we are hit by a hurricane...
We really don't need and can't afford that... It will send us 20 years back or more, due to the actual Puertorrican economic situation... and there will be many deaths... I would Never wish that, many loved ones in the island...

Anyhow, if it happens, it would be a observable fact that someone would do so ...
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Cantore tweets

@JimCantore
Jim Cantore
AT 921PMCDT...A LEVEE ON THE MISSOURI RIVER FAILED 3 MILES NORTH OF BROWNVILLE, NEBRASKA...CAUSING FLASH FLOODING (cont..)

@JimCantore
Jim Cantore
...(cont) PERSONS WEST OF INTERSTATE 29 IN ATCHISON COUNTY MISSOURI NEED TO EVACUATE TO HIGHER GROUND AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010

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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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