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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276. srada
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


I live here in southern Pender, we had winds at least up to 50 mph. But we got rain ;)


Yeah, you are more inland than I am which the storms are always stronger..I am in Castle Hayne so keep safe!
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Quoting srada:
FINALLY getting some rain in Wilmington, I just hope they dont come with a price..under a severe thunderstorm warning in Eastern NC





I live here in southern Pender, we had winds at least up to 50 mph. But we got rain ;)
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32807
I can't help it, beel.... for some reason, yours is one the most intriging avatars on here....

the problem is, I think of all the outfits you could put on it....

hey, maybe you could get Cyclone's hurricane suit...

;)

Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
First day here in 27 we didnt break 90 F.

Lub dat S and Sw flo fo sho.

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271. srada
FINALLY getting some rain in Wilmington, I just hope they dont come with a price..under a severe thunderstorm warning in Eastern NC



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RAIN!!!! RAIN!!!! RAIN!!!!
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32807
269. beell
Quoting Jedkins01:


You explained better what I was trying to say :)



Cool. We'll see how it goes.

No particular allegiance to any model. The GFS is good for sketching! Maybe looking something like this.

Valid next Monday.

Photobucket

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Quoting beell:


There are two ridges, Jed. One building east from Mexico, and the regular old subtropical ridge building west from the ATL. A weakness in between left over from the low pressure system over the NE. Florida will be in that weakness for a few days. Through the first part of next week as a guess.


You explained better what I was trying to say :)

Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8014
Quoting NRAamy:
beel.... the eyes on your avatar are quite hypnotizing....


Keeps are better :)
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That roof ripping off the house right before the video ended was downright scary.
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265. beell
Quoting NRAamy:
beel.... the eyes on your avatar are quite hypnotizing....




Stop it, Amy. You're distracting me from the very important bizness of the weather.

Millions of naked avatars could be in danger...
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55984
beel.... the eyes on your avatar are quite hypnotizing....


Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
XX/AOI/XX
MARK
15.75n/71.35w

nice also we may have another AOI that will merge with the TW/AOI at 10N 79W
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12716
261. beell
Quoting Jedkins01:


Well, I'm not sure about what this talk of a huge ridge protecting the gulf coast from any tropical development. Maybe in the western half of the gulf. But all forecasters agree there will finally be an absence of high pressure over Florida into the long term, the wet season pattern is finally taking shape here.

I'm not saying Florida needs to start worrying about tropical cyclones, I'm just saying, there won't be any ihgh pressure around here to protect us anytime soon. High pressure dominated for a disturbingly long time, and now its finally going away.
The pattern is changing, the drought in Florida, although bad, will likely improve over the next several weeks.


There are two ridges, Jed. One building east from Mexico, and the regular old subtropical ridge building west from the ATL. A weakness in between left over from the low pressure system over the NE. Florida will be in that weakness for a few days. Through the first part of next week as a guess.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
But the high is building back.


Well, maybe in some areas, but not in Florida.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8014
Quoting Jedkins01:


Well, I'm not sure about what this talk of a huge ridge protecting the gulf coast from any tropical development. Maybe in the western half of the gulf. But all forecasters agree there will finally be an absence of high pressure over Florida into the long term, the wet season pattern is finally taking shape here.

I'm not saying Florida needs to start worrying about tropical cyclones, I'm just saying, there won't be any ihgh pressure around here to protect us anytime soon. High pressure dominated for a disturbingly long time, and now its finally going away.
The pattern is changing, the drought in Florida, although bad, will likely improve over the next several weeks.
But the high is building back.
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XX/AOI/XX
MARK
15.75n/71.35w
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55984
Quoting beell:
18Z GFS farther N with the "modeled" storm and ridge.

Regardless of what people think about the accuracy of models and dicussing storms that do not exist-it's time to plan and prep for sure.


Well, I'm not sure about what this talk of a huge ridge protecting the gulf coast from any tropical development. Maybe in the western half of the gulf. But all forecasters agree there will finally be an absence of high pressure over Florida into the long term, the wet season pattern is finally taking shape here.

I'm not saying Florida needs to start worrying about tropical cyclones, I'm just saying, there won't be any ihgh pressure around here to protect us anytime soon. High pressure dominated for a disturbingly long time, and now its finally going away.
The pattern is changing, the drought in Florida, although bad, will likely improve over the next several weeks.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8014
Quoting Chicklit:

No worries, it's just drizzling here this morning.
They were set to leave before the storm even foremed.They were over there for two years now becuase they are in the army.But history has proven that even weak storms can cuase trouble.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Luckily my relitives are now flying out of Korea before the storm.

No worries, it's just drizzling here this morning.
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251. beell
18Z GFS farther N with the "modeled" storm and ridge.
Scratch the above...looking at the wrong run.


Regardless of what people think about the accuracy of models and dicussing storms that do not exist-it's time to plan and prep for sure.

Especially if you live along the western or northwestern Gulf of Mexico.
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XX/AOI/XX
MARK
24.75N/94.35W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55984
Quoting Chicklit:
Meari will brush past Seoul this weekend as a tropical storm. Otherwise, looks like it's going to stay over water as a CAT 1.



This is primarily a rainmaker.
Luckily my relitives are now flying out of Korea before the storm.
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Meari will brush past Seoul this weekend as a tropical storm. Otherwise, looks like it's going to stay over water as a CAT 1 at the most.



This is primarily a rainmaker.
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Quoting Hurrykane:


Well, let's look at it...last season we were under a strong La Nina. What folks don't remember about the pattern is, we not only had a predominate negative NAO, which a typical set up allows for more U.S. strikes. It started out to be that way, as if you remember, the first 3 systems I believe went westward. After that, when we got into the Cape Verde season, I truly believe the NAO was too negative, which allowed for the slight space in between the western and eastern ridges, which still should have allowed for at least an east coast hit. However, if you remember, beginning the third week of August, we saw some anomalous troughing, almost typical of late Oct. I mean, when do you see a deep layer trof come down to almost 20N latitude in Aug? This eroded the portion of the western ridge, allowing for storms to get by. The NAO was weak enough, that if you also remember, when storms went through the break in the ridge, they were not quick movers...this basically kept a weakness in the ridge for the remainder of the Cape Verde season, as we had deep layer trofs coming every 3-5 days reinforcing the weakness created by the storms.

We are now in neutral conditions, and with the change in the Equatorial Pacific, and the atmosphere reacting to and in a neutral phase there, which will eventually catch up here, I don't see anyway the steering pattern can be as last season...these changes have to have an effect on the steering. History has also shown a greater chance of U.S. landfalls during neutral years.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Not only that, but its wrong too. Its all about timing, and the US last year could have been hit by multiple Cape Verde systems if it wasn't for timing. That ridge only saved us from Alex (barely) and Karl, the troughs took care of the big ones, particularly Earl. This year, I doubt our luck will hold, as that same ridge could force big systems into the US coast. Again, its all about timing and what the setup is. We could get lucky again with an unprecedented 7 year streak of no majors hitting the US, but then again we could get totally screwed over and over again this year.


The ridge over the Southeast last year and this year can be attributed to La Nina. It's a classic La Nina feature. However, with the neutral conditions we have now, the ridge will be more prone to breaking down this year as we head deeper into the hurricane season. I doubt we see one sort of pattern dominate the whole season. It is more likely to fluctuate between trofiness and a bridging ridge with timing of trofs being the ultimate factor.
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1. WESTERN NORTH PACIFIC AREA (180 TO MALAY PENINSULA):
A. TROPICAL CYCLONE SUMMARY:
(1) AT 230000Z, TROPICAL STORM 07W (MEARI) WAS LOCATED NEAR
15.4N 128.1E, APPROXIMATELY 410 NM EAST OF MANILA, PHILIPPINES, AND
HAD TRACKED NORTH-NORTHWESTWARD AT 07 KNOTS OVER THE PAST SIX HOURS.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED SURFACE WINDS WERE ESTIMATED AT 40 KNOTS GUSTING
TO 50 KNOTS. SEE REF A (WTPN32 PGTW 230300) FOR FURTHER DETAILS.
(2) AT 230000Z, TROPICAL STORM 06W (HAIMA) WAS LOCATED NEAR
21.3N 112.2E, APPROXIMATELY 125 NM WEST-SOUTHWWEST OF HONG KONG, AND
HAD TRACKED WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT 04 KNOTS OVER THE PAST SIX HOURS.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED SURFACE WINDS WERE ESTIMATED AT 35 KNOTS GUSTING
TO 45 KNOTS. SEE REF B (WTPN31 PGTW 230300) FOR FURTHER DETAILS.
(3) NO OTHER TROPICAL CYCLONES.
B. TROPICAL DISTURBANCE SUMMARY: NONE.
2. SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (WEST COAST OF SOUTH AMERICA TO 135 EAST):
A. TROPICAL CYCLONE SUMMARY: NONE.
B. TROPICAL DISTURBANCE SUMMARY: NONE.//
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1918
And I'm still not to fond for tropical development next week.Yeah sure theirs model support but they can drop it as fast as they developed it.I'll see when we have an actual area of of interest or invest which ever one.
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Pacific view
Link
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1918
Quoting CycloneUK:
I do give a care about it, have been just watching the models, Those are so freaking high cloud tops
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Link
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1918
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Not only that, but its wrong too. Its all about timing, and the US last year could have been hit by multiple Cape Verde systems if it wasn't for timing. That ridge only saved us from Alex (barely) and Karl, the troughs took care of the big ones, particularly Earl. This year, I doubt our luck will hold, as that same ridge could force big systems into the US coast. Again, its all about timing and what the setup is. We could get lucky again with an unprecedented 7 year streak of no majors hitting the US, but then again we could get totally screwed over and over again this year.
But we wern't last year.And I for one was glad for that.And I hope we can be spared this year!
Quoting CycloneUK:


Why does no one care about Meari? seriously...

Oh it's not going to hit the US... dont give a damn.
I hate to see tropical cyclones destroy anyone's life.I would track it but I don't have much tools for the tropical weather over there in the east.
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236. beell
Quoting NRAamy:
beel,

your avatar is naked....


The end of the innocence.
: - ]

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Why does no one care about Meari? seriously...

Oh it's not going to hit the US... dont give a damn.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


That was an immature statement. There is no possible way you can say that when we aren't even a month into the season.
I mean come on.Last year the ridge was in place just like this year.And the south was spared from any tropical rath.Now could that ridge break? yeah maybe and leave the south vonerable.But the longer outlook suggest that the high will not breakdown anytime soon.And when that happens most storms stay south and go in to mexico.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


That was an immature statement. There is no possible way you can say that when we aren't even a month into the season.


Not only that, but its wrong too. Its all about timing, and the US last year could have been hit by multiple Cape Verde systems if it wasn't for timing. That ridge only saved us from Alex (barely) and Karl, the troughs took care of the big ones, particularly Earl. This year, I doubt our luck will hold, as that same ridge could force big systems into the US coast. Again, its all about timing and what the setup is. We could get lucky again with an unprecedented 7 year streak of no majors hitting the US, but then again we could get totally screwed over and over again this year.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24574
beel,

your avatar is naked....
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
THE GULF OF MEXICO...
UPPER LEVEL ANTICYCLONIC WIND FLOW COVERS THE AREA TO THE WEST
OF 90W. A COMPARATIVELY WEAK MIDDLE LEVEL TO UPPER LEVEL
CYCLONIC CIRCULATION CENTER IS NEAR 25N88W. BROADER AND MORE
LARGE SCALE UPPER LEVEL CYCLONIC FLOW COVERS THE REST OF THE
GULF OF MEXICO THAT IS TO THE EAST OF THE 25N88W CYCLONIC
CENTER. THIS CYCLONIC FLOW IS CONNECTED TO THE LARGER-SCALE
CYCLONIC FLOW THAT IS IN THE ATLANTIC OCEAN TO THE NORTH OF
20N TO THE WEST OF 65W. A SURFACE TROUGH IS ALONG 29N92W
23N96W 19N97W...FROM THE COASTAL WATERS OF LOUISIANA INTO
SOUTHERN MEXICO. NUMEROUS STRONG RAINSHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS
ARE WITHIN 60 NM ON EITHER SIDE OF 27N93W 24N95W 22N97W.

Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1918
Quoting washingtonian115:
Mmm If the ridge stays in place this year like last year than we will see a similar pattern to 2010.Where most storms went into mexico or out to sea.The U.S once again looks safe this year..


That was an immature statement. There is no possible way you can say that when we aren't even a month into the season.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32807
Quoting kwgirl:
What I did and it really helped in Georges was freeze 2 liter bottles with water. We had a large chest freezer devoted to that. In Georges my family were without power for 2 weeks. The bottles came out of the freezer, into the frig until defrosted then used as drinking or washing water. Even some of the bottles were handed out to neighbors. Works well.


Yep, been saving my milk jugs and such :)
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1918

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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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