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 Tazmanian:
at last look oh i found warhing a dress a prsslode



What a hot girl!!!
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Quoting KoritheMan:


I've been keeping an eye on them for sure. I see no reason why we will not see our first named storm, and possibly even first hurricane.


Like Levi mentioned, the setup is very similar to Hurricane Alex. I found that interesting, normally you have systems drawn northward by troughs in June into the US instead of being forced into Mexico for the 2nd year in a row.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23505
Quoting louisianaboy444:


Well i'm happy with the way its going...United States has avoided landfalls the past couple years with this season starting pretty much like the last with the first storm buring itself in Mexico...if it was anything like the first 5 years of last decade i wouldnt get no studying done loli would be glued to this blog...i like the seasons "boring" for now


Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying it isn't a good thing that the US has managed to stay safe throughout the last several years. I'm just saying that eventually, it will change. And it will. There is zero question about that. Luck only persists for so long.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Evening Korithe! Did you check out the latest model runs? They are being quite persistent with developing this system still in the W Caribbean and into the Gulf of Mexico by the latter half of the weekend.


I've been keeping an eye on them for sure. I see no reason why we will not see our first named storm, and possibly even first hurricane.
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Quoting TomTaylor:

Quite warm SSTs east of the Leward Islannds.... Add to that a possible active CV season... and... We'll see...

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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
who is humping what now


kori and I were just discussing 'ridge dynamics'
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Quoting presslord:


yes...if the ridge is humped enough...it will break...simple meteorological physics...
who is humping what now
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53286
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Has really warmed up in the past three weeks or so, and is expected to continue to get even warmer.
yea, too lazy to do an analysis of it all, but just look at the MDR. Caribbean has anomolously warmed some what as well
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Quoting TomTaylor:


Has really warmed up in the past three weeks or so, and is expected to continue to get even warmer.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31343
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i no i put on my drss and see wish mode runs likees me the best
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oh ok
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Quoting Tazmanian:




we saw the same thing with 94L and oops


No, they dropped it several days earlier, IIRC.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31343
Quoting Tazmanian:




we saw the same thing with 94L and oops


No actually, we didn't this close. By now they were dropping it left and right and they didn't have the consistency they've been showing now, they've been onboard for a few days.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23505
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Evening Korithe! Did you check out the latest model runs? They are being quite persistent with developing this system still in the W Caribbean and into the Gulf of Mexico by the latter half of the weekend.


trough of low pressure in the gulf headed for Florida will probably just suck the moisture from that potential system and add even more rain to Florida, well at least in my dreams anyway :)

We don't need that though, a solid wet season pattern is finally beginning to take shape, Florida will improve from here on out.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Evening Korithe! Did you check out the latest model runs? They are being quite persistent with developing this system still in the W Caribbean and into the Gulf of Mexico by the latter half of the weekend.




we saw the same thing with 94L and oops
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Evening Korthie! Did you check out the latest model runs? They are being quite persistent with developing this system still in the W Caribbean and into the Gulf of Mexico by the latter half of the weekend.


Yeah, and most are consistent on a strong TS/maybe a weak hurricane.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31343
Quoting KoritheMan:
Looking back a couple pages, I see some discussion was had regarding the mean position of the westward extension of the Bermuda High this year. Yes, for the most part, a persistent deep-layer ridge has been firmly entrenched over the deep south and Gulf Coast. However, as previously said, this is expected in a La Nina year. In fact, if you recall, the mean steering pattern was very much the same in 2007 (when we also saw a strong La Nina) as it was in 2010 (with the exception of Gabrielle and Humberto, which did manage to find US soil -- but Gabrielle just narrowly avoided hitting a trough before moving ashore, and Humberto, well... it's kind of hard for a Gulf storm to avoid land, regardless of the year). The United States is still very much within the grips of a La Nina-like synoptic scale weather regime, with the northern tier of the nation being anomalously cool and wet, and the south, well, baking.

Remember, it has only been about a month since the oceanic signal went neutral. Typically, there is at least a 3 month lag time before the atmosphere responds to the observed changes within oceanic temperatures. Ergo, it is not unreasonable to assume that by the peak of the season, the crucial part, we will see a breaking down of the ridge, effectively putting the United States at greater risk for landfalls than last year.

One thing I know for sure is that eventually, the dam WILL break. We literally cannot continue avoiding hurricanes, and especially major hurricanes, just because of some flukes over the last few years. I just hope people are ready for when that happens, be it this year or some other time.


Well i'm happy with the way its going...United States has avoided landfalls the past couple years with this season starting pretty much like the last with the first storm buring itself in Mexico...if it was anything like the first 5 years of last decade i wouldnt get no studying done loli would be glued to this blog...i like the seasons "boring" for now
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Evening Korithe! Did you check out the latest model runs? They are being quite persistent with developing this system still in the W Caribbean and into the Gulf of Mexico by the latter half of the weekend.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23505
Quoting KoritheMan:
Looking back a couple pages, I see some discussion was had regarding the mean position of the westward extension of the Bermuda High this year. Yes, for the most part, a persistent deep-layer ridge has been firmly entrenched over the deep south and Gulf Coast. However, as previously said, this is expected in a La Nina year. In fact, if you recall, the mean steering pattern was very much the same in 2007 (when we also saw a strong La Nina) as it was in 2010 (with the exception of Gabrielle and Humberto, which did manage to find US soil -- but Gabrielle just narrowly avoided hitting a trough before moving ashore, and Humberto, well... it's kind of hard for a Gulf storm to avoid land, regardless of the year). The United States is still very much within the grips of a La Nina-like synoptic scale weather regime, with the northern tier of the nation being anomalously cool and wet, and the south, well, baking.

Remember, it has only been about a month since the oceanic signal went neutral. Typically, there is at least a 3 month lag time before the atmosphere responds to the observed changes within oceanic temperatures. Ergo, it is not unreasonable to assume that by the peak of the season, the crucial part, we will see a breaking down of the ridge, effectively putting the United States at greater risk for landfalls than last year.

One thing I know for sure is that eventually, the dam WILL break. We literally cannot continue avoiding hurricanes, and especially major hurricanes, just because of some flukes over the last few years. I just hope people are ready for when that happens, be it this year or some other time.


yes...if the ridge is humped enough...it will break...simple meteorological physics...
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


You seem confident in that..I guess we'll see how that pans out huh? You may end up right, but I seem confident in the fact we will see a system before July 20th.

Out on a limb I'll admit with the 20th. Was sorely tempted to move closer to the 10th, but just the conviction wasn't truly there. Will sweat out the next 4 wks.
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Quoting j2008:

I will remember that. How many storms do you think will form? Im gonna say about 15 or so.


I think 15 is spot on.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looking back a couple pages, I see some discussion was had regarding the mean position of the westward extension of the Bermuda High this year. Yes, for the most part, a persistent deep-layer ridge has been firmly entrenched over the deep south and Gulf Coast. However, as previously said, this is expected in a La Nina year. In fact, if you recall, the mean steering pattern was very much the same in 2007 (when we also saw a strong La Nina) as it was in 2010 (with the exception of Gabrielle and Humberto, which did manage to find US soil -- but Gabrielle just narrowly avoided hitting a trough before moving ashore, and Humberto, well... it's kind of hard for a Gulf storm to avoid land, regardless of the year). The United States is still very much within the grips of a La Nina-like synoptic scale weather regime, with the northern tier of the nation being anomalously cool and wet, and the south, well, baking.

Remember, it has only been about a month since the oceanic signal went neutral. Typically, there is at least a 3 month lag time before the atmosphere responds to the observed changes within oceanic temperatures. Ergo, it is not unreasonable to assume that by the peak of the season, the crucial part, we will see a breaking down of the ridge, effectively putting the United States at greater risk for landfalls than last year.

One thing I know for sure is that eventually, the dam WILL break. We literally cannot continue avoiding hurricanes, and especially major hurricanes, just because of some flukes over the last few years. I just hope people are ready for when that happens, be it this year or some other time.
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Anticyclone developing.
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Hey is that a monsoonal split down their?
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1918








Link
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1918
347. JRRP
Link
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Quoting sunlinepr:





what in the word is that
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
How can you tell they are interacting ? Please don't blast me, I am just trying to learn .


Convection is starting to mesh up to me at least. I could be totally wrong, but its starting to look it.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23505
Quoting CybrTeddy:
It begins.. TW interacting with the monsoonal low in the SW Caribbean. Could see a mention on the TWO in 24-36 hrs.
How can you tell they are interacting ? Please don't blast me, I am just trying to learn .
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It begins.. TW interacting with the monsoonal low in the SW Caribbean. Could see a mention on the TWO in 24-36 hrs.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23505
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Quoting rod2635:
First named system in the Atlantic not until July 20th. Then a very busy August into first 10 days of September. Lull, then another burst from 9/24 thru 10/17. Two outliers in November. That's the way it feels right now. No computers to back it up so no doubt this will be met with scorn, but it is a blog after all. Just remember it come 12/1.


I agree with you with the exception of July, I think the first named storm will form next week + 3 more in July. But like you said, it fact on Dec. 1st and even then, there could be a post-season storm.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23505
Quoting rod2635:
First named system in the Atlantic not until July 20th. Then a very busy August into first 10 days of September. Lull, then another burst from 9/24 thru 10/17. Two outliers in November. That's the way it feels right now. No computers to back it up so no doubt this will be met with scorn, but it is a blog after all. Just remember it come 12/1.


You seem confident in that..I guess we'll see how that pans out huh? You may end up right, but I seem confident in the fact we will see a system before July 20th.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31343
336. j2008
Quoting rod2635:
First named system in the Atlantic not until July 20th. Then a very busy August into first 10 days of September. Lull, then another burst from 9/24 thru 10/17. Two outliers in November. That's the way it feels right now. No computers to back it up so no doubt this will be met with scorn, but it is a blog after all. Just remember it come 12/1.

I will remember that. How many storms do you think will form? Im gonna say about 15 or so.
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335. j2008
Quoting jasonweatherman2010:
what happern!!

The NHC has been saying that for a long time now so nothing has happened yet,you should keep your eyes opened though; the modles are pointing to a TS in the gulf next week.
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First named system in the Atlantic not until July 20th. Then a very busy August into first 10 days of September. Lull, then another burst from 9/24 thru 10/17. Two outliers in November. That's the way it feels right now. No computers to back it up so no doubt this will be met with scorn, but it is a blog after all. Just remember it come 12/1.
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Link to the Barometer Bob show going on right now.

Link
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Wow! Today must be my lucky day! Another downpour. But...I wish it would go to Texas and Florida, they need it worse than we here do.



There will be plenty of rain everyday in Florida from here on out. So, don't worry, we are good to go.
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Tampa missed out on the storms this afternoon thanks to the horribly positioned ridge.
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Quoting PcolaDan:


Had about 1.75" since yesterday here, until about 1/2 hour ago. Now have had over 3" total. Haven't seen rain that hard in a loooooong time.


Glad for you guys Dan....looked like a big one coming through your area couple hours ago!!
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Thanks everyone who answered . I hope it doesn't get too strong but brings some rain my way. Had a little from 94L but only about 6.5" for the year so far.
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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.