Historic flooding hits Iowa

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:07 PM GMT on June 13, 2008

Share this Blog
1
+

Truly extraordinary flooding has hit the Cedar River in the town of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Rainfall amounts in excess of 12 inches have fallen in the past ten days over the Cedar River watershed, which extends to the northwest of Cedar Rapids into southern Minnesota. The rains that fell during the weekend of June 7-8 were fueled in part by moisture from Tropical Storm Alma/Arthur, which affected Central America May 29 - June 2. The Cedar River is expected to crest today at 31.8 feet, which is an amazing 19.8 feet above the flood stage of 12 feet. During the historic 1993 flood, the worst in recent history, the river hit only 19.27 feet, 7 feet above flood stage. Nine rivers in Iowa are at all-time record flood levels, and Iowa Governor Chet Culver has declared 83 of the state's 99 counties state disaster areas. Additional heavy rainfall is not expected over the Cedar River watershed over the next two days, so today should mark the peak of this year's historic flooding.


Figure 1. Total rainfall for the period June 2 - June 12, 2008, as estimated by NASA's TRMM satellite. An additional three inches fell over portions of eastern Iowa in the 24 hours since this image was created.

New way to track river flooding on wunderground
Wunderground has added a way to track local river forecast levels and assess flood risk at www.wunderground.com/wundermap/rivers. Using data from the USGS (the U.S. Geological Survey), the product plots river data and forecasts on top of our interactive "WunderMap". Users can scroll across the country and zoom in and out to view in-depth observations from all major rivers in the U.S. Alternatively, one can click an option to view only the rivers with current flood alerts. Each river observation is color coordinated to reflect its dry/wet percentile and users can click on each observation point to view data and graphs that display Flow Rate, Percentile, Current Stage, Forecast Stage and Flood Stage. Flood Alert symbols will appear on every river icon whenever a river is in danger of flooding.

The WunderMap™ also allows one to choose from a variety of layers including current conditions, animated radar, severe weather and tornado warnings, live webcam images and animated infrared or visible satellite imagery showing cloud coverage. WunderMap™ is available as a link on every U.S. forecast page, just under the small radar image.

Tornado outbreak update
The tornado that stuck the Little Sioux Scout Ranch Boy Scout camp in western Iowa Wednesday night, killing 4 and injuring 48, was rated an EF-3 on the Enhanced Fujita scale. The tornado that hit Manhattan, Kansas the same day, causing major damage at Kansas State University, has been rated an EF-4. This is the tenth violent (EF-4 or EF-5) tornado this year, the most number of violent tornadoes since 13 were observed in 1999.

The Storm Prediction Center is calling for a "Slight" risk of severe weather across the Midwest today, from Michigan to Oklahoma. We can expect a few more tornadoes today in the affected region, although the primary severe weather threat will be damaging thunderstorm winds and large hail. The "Slight" risk of severe weather continues Saturday and Sunday across a large portion of the Midwest.

Tropics
It's quiet in the tropics. There is some disorganized thunderstorm activity in the southern Gulf of Mexico associated with a surface trough of low pressure, but this activity is not likely to develop. None of the models are forecasting tropical storm formation in the next seven days.

Jeff Masters

Sandbagging (Bubbly)
Great volunteer work on sandbagging in Coralville
Sandbagging
Flooding in Coralville (Bubbly)
Roads closed and houses evacuated; today multiplied both of these with floodwaters still rising and more rain coming.
Flooding in Coralville
Mammatus Clouds at Sunset (RCPlains)
Mammatus Clouds at Sunset

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 480 - 430

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20Blog Index

479. Weather456
10:50 AM AST on June 15, 2008
ASCAT partially caught the system

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
478. CrazyC83
2:52 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
The last PDS Severe Thunderstorm Watch was on July 21, 2006.

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/watch/2006/ww0631.html
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
477. cchsweatherman
10:50 AM EDT on June 15, 2008
You know what this tropical wave reminds me of? It looks very similar to Alma when it first began developing. Anybody agree with me?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
476. atmoaggie
2:47 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
That IS odd, STL. A PDS for t-strom watch. Whacky.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
475. extreme236
2:47 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
472.
I agree...some things to hinder development but all and all it is very interesting to see such an impressive wave this early in the season. Probably will become an invest soon.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
474. tropicfreak
10:47 AM EDT on June 15, 2008
indeed it is impressive.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
473. atmoaggie
2:45 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
STRONG LINE OF TS DEVELOPING ALONG A WEAK DENSITY GRADIENT CREATED
BY DEW POINT DISCONTINUITIES.


I get it. This means, in a relative sense, that we have our own, weak, dry line in the N Gulf. Hmmm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
472. hurricane23
10:43 AM EDT on June 15, 2008
Good morning!

Another very impressive wave off the african coast has rolled of into the atlantic but there still a few factors that i see will hinder tropical cyclone development.First it looks to be moving pretty fast at 20-25mph and also looks to be embedded within the ITCZ which is normal for this time of the year.Conditions look pretty favorable as far as upper level winds are concerned but well see what happens as it tracks to the west.Could be a crazy cape-verde season come mid-july.

Here is a close-up shot from EUMETSAT.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
470. atmoaggie
2:40 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
No rain for a month in NOLA? LOL It has flooded in Lakeview two weeks ago.......it rains all the time here.

Oh yeah. Forgot about that. You guys have had a lot more rain than the northshore. I have healthy trees killin off branches it is been so dry.

You guys were dry for a good 2 weeks, though, right?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
468. atmoaggie
2:35 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
STRONG LINE OF TS DEVELOPING ALONG A WEAK DENSITY GRADIENT CREATED
BY DEW POINT DISCONTINUITIES.


Wow, that is a very pecise, and oddball, cause for t-storms.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
467. nola70119
2:40 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
No rain for a month in NOLA? LOL It has flooded in Lakeview two weeks ago.......it rains all the time here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
466. tropicfreak
10:37 AM EDT on June 15, 2008


Earlier there was a huge blow up of convection. Still very impressive.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
465. atmoaggie
2:28 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Looks like it's feast of famine for NOLA. No rain for a month and now...back building t-storms. Hardest rain in Metarie/Kenner.

Last 2 hours of radar: Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
463. TampaSpin
10:26 AM EDT on June 15, 2008
462. jphurricane2006 10:26 AM EDT on June 15, 2008
I find it funny guygee that you chastized me for what I said and yet PR, the person whose question I answered thanked me for what I said

Really funny, I guess people can call it whatever they want, but to be honest we all know that this is "Climate Change"



We just don't know when to let something rest do we..........wow...
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
461. cchsweatherman
10:22 AM EDT on June 15, 2008
Thanks for all the comments! They are greatly appreciated.

When I visited the Aviation desk at the NHC, they had informed me that they will only fly into anything starting at 55W. They would not fly a plane into this, if it does become an invest.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
460. surfmom
2:22 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
cchs - enjoyed your pictures....bet there is a desk there with your name on it in the future!! left you a note
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
459. extreme236
2:22 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
I think the NHC tags invests around when they initiate the models, so at around 2pm Eastern time is when they would tag it if they were to do so, otherwise then we have to wait another 6 hours for the the next initiation.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
458. IKE
9:15 AM CDT on June 15, 2008
436. leftovers 8:34 AM CDT on June 15, 2008
NE Gulf is our most likely candidate this upcoming wk. The CV will tease us but watch the tail end of this front. Have a good one


You may be right about the eastern GOM.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
457. TampaSpin
10:14 AM EDT on June 15, 2008
The system in the Atlantic will be qualified as an Invest soon.....LOL that does not mean a plane has to investagate it tho...just means it is being monitored more closely....i don't see a depression yet until another day or two...just my opinion.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
456. TampaSpin
10:11 AM EDT on June 15, 2008
454. surfmom 10:08 AM EDT on June 15, 2008

Thanks Surfmom
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
455. presslord
10:07 AM EDT on June 15, 2008
cchs....pretty cool pics...ya look like ya might have been just a little thrilled to be there...congrats....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
454. surfmom
2:06 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Loved all your picture posts Tampa Spin, Especially #403
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
453. HurakanPR
2:00 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Thanks Jp, for your help.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
451. weathersp
10:02 AM EDT on June 15, 2008
This SHOULD be an invest by the end of the day... Looks really good!

Low shear and high SST's... Favorible for Devlopment. Good Convection and not dying in D-MIN.
Member Since: January 14, 2007 Posts: 17 Comments: 4140
450. surfmom
1:53 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Greetings from the glassy flat lake oops Gulf of Mexico. Water temp is 85 degrees. Surfers will continue to gaze at the horizon line waiting for waves to appear.Surf websites were looking at the trough hoping it would be strong enough to create surf, looks NADA --not enough gradient w/this trough, so windswell will be nill, probably just enough for skimmers on Wednesday morning.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
448. HurakanPR
1:52 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Interesting atmoaggie,thank you. Just like the different feed backs that i get on the subject of (gw); don't have a particular possition on the issue.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
446. ShenValleyFlyFish
9:30 AM EDT on June 15, 2008
415. IpswichWeatherCenter

I wonder if you may be confused as to the meaning of Invest. It is not a classification of intensity but of level of interest to NHC. Literally a call to investigate. It can happen for any number of reasons beside the likelihood of becoming a tropical storm. It is even possible for NHC to think it has a possibility to develop without calling for investigation. It's a long way to fly an airplane to the wave folks are watching and they may be saving gas like everyone else. LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
445. atmoaggie
1:42 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
No, they have shown that "Climate Change" has nothing to do with the # of hurricanes that form and where they form

Well, actually, studies of sediments show that PR got more and more intense hurricanes during the second half of the little ice age. Why would PR get more storms during an ice age and why they would more intense storms? I don't think anyone has answered those Qs yet.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
444. extreme236
1:43 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
442. Yes those are very impressive SST anomalies.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
443. viman
1:43 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Thanks guys,
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
442. Cazatormentas
1:32 PM GMT on Junio 15, 2008
Hi all from Spain !

Have you seen the SST anomaly for the N-Atlantic Basin?

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
441. cchsweatherman
9:38 AM EDT on June 15, 2008
439. viman 9:36 AM EDT on June 15, 2008
Does anyone know what AEJ stands for?


Africa Easterly Jet - Basically, its just the flow these impulses/tropical waves travel across Africa.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
440. Weather456
9:35 AM AST on June 15, 2008
429. viman 9:29 AM AST on June 15, 2008
Weather456 -- Don't want to seem stupid but what is AEJ?


African Easterly Jet...an easterly jet found at 600 mb (mid-low levels) over Africa and the adjacent Eastern Atlantic Ocean. Helps in the genesis and maintenance of tropical waves.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
439. viman
1:36 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Does anyone know what AEJ stands for?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
438. cchsweatherman
9:21 AM EDT on June 15, 2008
Just finished my blog describing my FIRST EVER NHC VISIT on Friday. Please feel free to comment. There are some pictures from the NHC that I took while there on Friday.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
435. HurakanPR
1:31 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Thanks Jphurricane, yes, i meant "climate change: do to the so call gloval warming".
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
434. aquak9
9:32 AM EDT on June 15, 2008
If we all stare at it long enough, maybe it'll start to turn CLOCKWISE.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
433. sporteguy03
1:31 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
JP,
Do you see any dry dusty air with the wave?
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5417
431. AWeatherLover
1:25 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Uh oh... Someone said the gw phrase...
so about that wave, it's holding together pretty well considering dmin.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
430. sporteguy03
1:29 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
As JP Says,
Be patient not everything will develop right JP?
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5417

Viewing: 480 - 430

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Overcast
31 °F
Overcast

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Lake Effort Snow Shower Over Windsor, Ontario
Sunset on Dunham Lake
Pictured Rocks Sunset
Sunset on Lake Huron