Historic flooding hits Iowa

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

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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

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930. Floodman
9:33 AM CDT on June 16, 2008
Mail call catastropheadjuster!
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
929. catastropheadjuster
2:29 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
Sorry guys one more question ok? Has the BH set up for the summer and where is it? What i mean is it close to where most of them will be fishies or go into the GOM,Eastern US,or thru the Caribbean?
Sorry can't spell it this morning.
Sheri
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928. weathersp
10:30 AM EDT on June 16, 2008
923. 456

See post 908. My mistake.
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927. HIEXPRESS
10:18 AM EDT on June 16, 2008
Plenty of time to check your roof. Reseal any loose edges where the wind can get a purchase - losing your roof starts with a single shingle, especially on the edges.

Lay up some roof repair supplies. Three times I lost some roof but was able to put up a patch after the wind subsided but before the heavy rain hit & I had no significant interior damage. If you stay (minor hurricane, not in evac zone), you can stop the loss (insurance companies like that :).
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926. IKE
9:30 AM CDT on June 16, 2008
924. catastropheadjuster 9:29 AM CDT on June 16, 2008
Ike- yes Mr Tim was young, but i missed the NBC broadcast.
Like you said back to weather, and in my eyes you are one of the smart ones on here.
Sheri


Thank you...
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
925. IKE
9:29 AM CDT on June 16, 2008
921. catastropheadjuster 9:26 AM CDT on June 16, 2008
So that map means the shear has went down in quit a few places compared what we was seeing a week or 2 ago. Right?
Sheri


Out in the area the wave is in it has....favorable shear area............
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
924. catastropheadjuster
2:26 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
Ike- yes Mr Tim was young, but i missed the NBC broadcast.
Like you said back to weather, and in my eyes you are one of the smart ones on here.
Sheri
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923. Weather456
10:28 AM AST on June 16, 2008
902. weathersp 10:10 AM AST on June 16, 2008

One wave
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
922. Weather456
10:25 AM AST on June 16, 2008
902. weathersp 10:10 AM AST on June 16, 2008

One wave
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
921. catastropheadjuster
2:23 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
So that map means the shear has went down in quit a few places compared what we was seeing a week or 2 ago. Right?
Sheri
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920. IKE
9:23 AM CDT on June 16, 2008
915. catastropheadjuster 9:23 AM CDT on June 16, 2008
Ike- That's ok, I know when you guys get on here you all are busy. But i really appreciate you taking the time to answer me, I am not as smart as you all, but it doesn't hurt to learn.
Thank you agian,
Sheri


I'm not that smart on this either...

I was on the phone talking to my mom about Tim Russert and his son...what a shame...what class shown by his son on NBC this morning.......

Now...back to the tropics!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
919. Weather456
10:16 AM AST on June 16, 2008
882. sporteguy03 9:44 AM AST on June 16, 2008
Weather456,
Convection goes poof not waves right? The axis is still there


Correct. Remember Hurricane Felix, Tropical Storm Alma, Tropical Storm Alberto, Arlene and Barry. All of these storms genesis resulted from a wave that was rather convectively inhibited as they cross the TRP Atlantic only to "reappear" in the Caribbean. Tropical Storm Earl and Hurricanes Charley and Claudette were also examples.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
918. weathersp
10:23 AM EDT on June 16, 2008
Yeah.. Its June 16th

16 days since the start of Hurricane Season, 3 Months till the peak of Hurricane Season and we have a CV wave with a Visible COC?!

What is this world coming to?
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917. extreme236
2:22 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
The wave doesn't look sickly, but its looked better before...the NHC probably mentioning it because of its low latitude.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
916. cchsweatherman
10:21 AM EDT on June 16, 2008


Over the past few weeks, I have been observing favorable shear values continuing to rise northward into the Western Caribbean and Central Atlantic. Overall, shear has been decreasing noticably over the past few weeks across the Atlantic Basin. I will continue watching this trend as this could be an ominous sign for the upcoming season.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
915. catastropheadjuster
2:17 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
Ike- That's ok, I know when you guys get on here you all are busy. But i really appreciate you taking the time to answer me, I am not as smart as you all, but it doesn't hurt to learn.
Thank you agian,
Sheri
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
914. IKE
9:21 AM CDT on June 16, 2008
913. jphurricane2006 9:20 AM CDT on June 16, 2008
Ldog

I wouldnt say the wave is sickly lol, it looks pretty impressive for June


Yup...agree.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
912. Ldog74
2:14 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
the lines are shear tendencies, the shades are current shear numbers, in KTS of course.
The sickly little thing we are looking at right now I would think would need favorable conditions for longer than just to the islands to amount to anything near a storm.
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911. IKE
9:16 AM CDT on June 16, 2008
I'm surprised there's no invest on the eastern ATL wave....I just checked.....
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
910. cchsweatherman
10:14 AM EDT on June 16, 2008
I'll have a full tropical update later today with analysis on the tropical wave that has caught so much attention.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
908. weathersp
10:13 AM EDT on June 16, 2008
904.
LOL I know but there is 2 sections (I Should have said sections) of it.. One is just Upper Level clouds (Western Section) and the Eastern Section which has the COC.
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907. cchsweatherman
10:12 AM EDT on June 16, 2008

Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
906. IKE
9:12 AM CDT on June 16, 2008
901. catastropheadjuster 9:10 AM CDT on June 16, 2008
Ike- I looked at your link you put up. I don't mean to sound dumb but all the yellow lines that says 5 and 10 and so on is that the shear your all are talking about?


Yes...sorry it took a few minutes to answer back.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
905. weathersp
10:10 AM EDT on June 16, 2008
Yeah what shear... LOL

There isn't anything till the Islands. Plenty of time.

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902. weathersp
10:06 AM EDT on June 16, 2008
The Wave farther west does not have a COC. The other wave has a COC which is evident by the "mist" looking green color circling the eastern wave. It has also been producing sporadic Convection.
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901. catastropheadjuster
2:05 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
Ike- I looked at your link you put up. I don't mean to sound dumb but all the yellow lines that says 5 and 10 and so on is that the shear your all are talking about? I don't know how to read them or know what i am looking at. but when ever someone puts a link up i always go look but sometimes it looks like foreign language to me.if ya know what i mean just trying to learn and figure things out before season. There's alot to learn.
Thank you,
Sheri
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900. all4hurricanes
2:02 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
884
I looked at the link are there two circulations it looks like the wave divided
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899. catastropheadjuster
2:02 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
Sporteguy03- Thanks for answering my question. Have a great day.
Sheri
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898. IKE
9:02 AM CDT on June 16, 2008
What shear ahead of it(eastern Atlantic wave)?

It's in 5-10 knots of shear all the way to the islands....

Link
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
896. sporteguy03
1:59 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
JP,
A met last night said the Canary Current is effecting it? Isn't that more near the Cape Verde Islands?
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895. sporteguy03
1:57 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
Sheri,
It would appear unlikely but weather is not something that is certain.
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893. sporteguy03
1:56 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
Jp,
It looks like a new burst of convection is starting.
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892. catastropheadjuster
1:52 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
Hey JP, Good Morning. So no one thinks that little wave off of Africa want amount to much.
Sheri
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891. catastropheadjuster
1:38 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
Good Morning all, I see your talking about boards for the windows and stuff. What we did was buy plain cheap plywood and then hubby cut them to fit the windows then we fiberglassed them and we have had the same boards for 22yrs. We went thru Georges,Ivan,katrina. And they are still holding up. I mean it's not all that expensive, you gotta know what your doing but It's well worth it. I promise if the truth was told he cut them and i fiberglassed them then i put resin around the edges and then put silicone on the edges. Just thought i would tell you all. At least in 22yrs we haven't had to buy no plywood. We made them for some friends of ours that own beach houses to, and they still have them to.
Sheri
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890. Cazatormentas
1:48 PM GMT on Junio 16, 2008
Good evening from Spain,

92B system looks like very impressive! Let me show you the last HIRE image from TERRA satellite and MODIS sensor. I have modified some values of the image to enhance the tops of the convective complexes attached to the low.



I think the LLCC is located overland, close to the Indian coast.

Lastest DVORAK data are quite interesting:

DATE/TIME LAT LON CLASSIFICATION STORM
16/0830 UTC 21.1N 89.8E T2.0/2.0 92B
16/0230 UTC 20.8N 89.3E T2.0/2.0 92B
15/2030 UTC 20.6N 89.6E T2.0/2.0 92B
15/1430 UTC 20.2N 89.5E T1.5/1.5 92B
15/0830 UTC 20.3N 90.3E T1.0/1.5 92B
15/0230 UTC 19.2N 90.6E T1.5/1.5 92B
14/2030 UTC 19.0N 90.8E T1.0/1.0 92B

Only 0.5 more and it should be a tropical depression, if not yet, looking at its impressive stormy structure.

The squall-line overland is massive.
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889. weathersp
9:48 AM EDT on June 16, 2008
91L Pt.2
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888. Tazmanian
6:46 AM PDT on June 16, 2008
late in tell july
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885. IKE
8:43 AM CDT on June 16, 2008
The eastern Atlantic wave still has rotation and to me, appears to be moving slightly north of west. The 6Z GFS puts it in the central Caribbean...south of DR/Haiti and approaching Jamaica by Saturday.......

Link
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
884. weathersp
9:42 AM EDT on June 16, 2008
Wave...
CLICK FOR LOOP AND LINK
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882. sporteguy03
1:31 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
Weather456,
Convection goes poof not waves right? The axis is still there
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881. all4hurricanes
1:30 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
so even if these waves don't form we should still watch them to see how much dry air it gets rid of

the ITCZ is so low the waves don't reach dry air so waves coming off in july and august could still deal with dry air unless the itcz moves northward
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880. weathermanwannabe
9:26 AM EDT on June 16, 2008
Well; I'm out for now to get some work done but would urge all in harms way this season to take advantage of the next two weeks to get your evacuation plans in order; get hurricane supplies if you have not done so; and, perhaps buy some extra quantities of gasoline (you might save few bucks later by hoarding up now before a potential storm threatens the Gulf and sends prices through the ceiling come August and September).....BBL
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9402

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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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