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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830. presslord
10:38 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
...that's why I said 'waning'....
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
829. Weather456
10:34 PM AST on June 15, 2008
Persistence is key, but the wave did not show that today. We will have to see what it looks like 2mr morn. If the lack of convection continues through DMAX, then development is unlikely to occur. There is a partial LLC as indicated by ASCAT and a well-define mid-level circulation indicated by numerical models and products at the CIMSS. But recent sat pictures showed a rather broad feature with isolated convection within the ITCZ. Not to mention, lack of model support. Enviromental conditions still seem conducive for development, if the wave decides to do anything.

Now something we need to clear up. Waves dont go poof, the convection does. The wave axis remains and tracks westward.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
828. JLPR
10:36 PM AST on June 15, 2008
Well I am not going to say anything more about the wave =P at morning we should have a clear idea of whats going to happen =)
I give it a 50/50 chance of building some nice convection so I guess its just wait and watch =D
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
826. sporteguy03
2:34 AM GMT on June 16, 2008
Then again JFV, who knows it might become an invest and the blog will wax again if not it might wane again into some other type of weather debate.
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825. sporteguy03
2:34 AM GMT on June 16, 2008
JFV,
The wave is still there and spinning still has some convection with it.
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824. presslord
10:33 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
I think the wave is waning....
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
822. presslord
10:27 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
we only got a spit of rain...lots lights and noise but nuttin wet to speak of....
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
820. zoomiami
2:23 AM GMT on June 16, 2008
yep -that's why babies are so cute - so those memories get you past the teens.

Actually - I love the teens, they are a lot of fun - but it would be nice if you could understand them when they talk occasionally.

I was looking forward to rain today - but we didn't get any.
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819. presslord
10:22 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
zoo...people tell me that if I don't kill them...I'll start to like them again in a few years.....
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
818. zoomiami
2:17 AM GMT on June 16, 2008
Press - loved your description of the ATM machine - I know the feeling exactly. I often look at mine and ask what happened to that sweet little kid?

(ha - they are hiding behind the teen demons!)
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817. moonlightcowboy
9:18 PM CDT on June 15, 2008
812. Most likely. But, the wave will still trek westwards and could eventually find more suitable conditions. We wait, we watch, we see.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
816. pottery
10:04 PM AST on June 15, 2008
.......and, its already 1;15 am where that wave is.
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815. pottery
9:55 PM AST on June 15, 2008
Waiting and watching is good. But really, For that wave to go from where it was, to where it is, in terms of its organisation, I would say has to do with much more than just Dmin/Dmax.
We shall see.
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814. extreme236
1:55 AM GMT on June 16, 2008
Well All4 the was actually quite a bit of SAL in 2005, you can tell by the fact that only a few storms formed out in that area.
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813. presslord
9:52 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
...so....Is our wave gonna become a Cat5 and obliterate NOLA? Or not?
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
812. extreme236
1:54 AM GMT on June 16, 2008
Well if it doesn't build convection by morning than its probably "poofed"

Good night all!
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811. JLPR
9:29 PM AST on June 15, 2008

not so much SAL, there is some moderate SAL to the north but it doesn't seem to be affecting too much the wave. The wave probably went poof because of the D-Min now we have to wait and watch if the wave makes a comeback or not in the d-Max =)
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
810. all4hurricanes
1:26 AM GMT on June 16, 2008
Blob go poof

unless a flare of convection can save it, it won't live and yes sal is not mentioned much even though it was the greatest reason 2006 wasn't a 2005
G,night all
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809. pottery
9:16 PM AST on June 15, 2008
Greetings all.
Our wave has not been able to build on its previous promise?
I think that there is still too much dry air, and now there is dust (worse again!), for any organisation, far less development.
I think that some folks are not giving the SAL its deserved recognition, or are not understanding the full influence that the sal has on these weather systems.
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808. severstorm
9:15 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
Hi all got some much needed rain in z-hills FL. today had 2.38 in rain gauge.
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807. nrtiwlnvragn
9:13 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
ASCAT pass of CATL wave




Link
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806. GeoffreyWPB
9:08 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
delete
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805. GeoffreyWPB
9:04 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
No invest...Sorry for the quad post...
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804. GeoffreyWPB
9:03 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
Sorry for the triple post....
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803. rainraingoaway
6:56 PM CST on June 15, 2008
Evening again. Thanks slap for reading my post & responding. I will look at that.

GN all. Will check in for the latest in the am. Maybe an invest then?

nite.
Member Since: August 19, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 273
802. GeoffreyWPB
9:02 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
And the flooding victims also
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801. GeoffreyWPB
9:00 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
Tiger Wood's ia amazing....Watching the Tim Russert tributes today, my thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends...and that wave will not develope.
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800. GeoffreyWPB
8:51 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
I don't usually follow golf...but this game is amazing!
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799. nrtiwlnvragn
8:50 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
798. BahaHurican

This page allows you to select different parameters and time frames.
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798. BahaHurican
8:43 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
797. nrtiwlnvragn 8:41 PM EDT on June 15, 2008

Interesting. It allows u to zoon like that?
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22728
797. nrtiwlnvragn
8:41 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
Water temperature at 38W. Data from Tropical Atmosphere Ocean Project.





Link
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796. stormdude77
8:37 PM AST on June 15, 2008
Tropical update
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795. GeoffreyWPB
8:33 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
By this time tomorrow...it's either going to be there and a possible...or not....I say not. I have my crow ready.
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794. BahaHurican
8:21 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
By the way, please reframe from calling me "buddy", i dont know you from adam. Thanks

Relax, eye. We're all friends here, aren't we??? LOL

But seriously . . ..

I think SSTs across most of the basin can sustain development, but if the other factors aren't also in place, the potential goes down. There is some validity to your argument about the depth of the water as well, though given another couple weeks of extended clear skies and high pressure across the area it won't be as cogent.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22728
792. JLPR
8:22 PM AST on Junio 15, 2008
June14:


2 weeks ago:


it has warmed but no like whoaa =P although I would say that the wave may become an invest , it can even become a weak TS with the current TCHP but hurricane, no, TCHP too low =)
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
791. thelmores
11:57 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
IMHO, it is not the SST's that is the inhibitor here, although the upwelling of the cooler water is a factor. This this is moving of at a good clip west. maybe even hare south of west. Due to it forward speed, it will never have time to develop and pull itself out of the ITCZ. The most likely fate is running into SA.....

Interesting to watch though, but I just don't see anything becoming of this wave. Very little convection near the center as there was earlier today.

Who knows, this could emerge in the Caribbean, and cause trouble down there.

my .02$ for what its worth........

Now this same wave emerges in a couple or three weeks, I would be more hesitant in sticking my neck out! LOL
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789. weatherfromFlorida
12:16 AM GMT on June 16, 2008
786. eye 12:13 AM GMT on June 16, 2008 Hide this comment.
Cane, Dr M gave un update for the area, two weeks ago (not that long ago) vast areas were slightly below normal to normal in the MDR...and the MDR is NOT the area where this dying wave is located....SSTS might say 81, but not a a depth that would support systems developing...just like the Gulf, some areas the warm SSTs are very shallow so it doesnt take much to mix the colder SSTs from below to the top. It will be another month or so before the SSTs in the mid atlantic support tropical development...80 is the min, and when it is shallow and lower than normal (has been for weeks that the mid atlantic ssts are slightly lower than normal, not something that just occured). You can show me all the pretty images you want that "appear" to show warm ssts, but i believe the doc when he gave an update and it still showed the MDR was either normal or slightly below normal and of course some areas above normal. Even then, the depth was nonexistant except around the islands. Again, that is why the area to look at is the Gulf and the western Carribean. There is a reason why the Pros at the NHC are brushing off this dying wave.

By the way, please reframe from calling me "buddy", i dont know you from adam. Thanks


Yep, he did say that, he said 'Slightly to normal' and that was 2 weeks ago, they SST's have guess what, warmed. The thing your stating is that the SSTs are way below average. Now, if you have a link to a site that says so, I'd gladly agree with you. (You need evidence to support your opinions on your storm, otherwise people just call you 'stupid, whishcaster, downcaster.' Ect.
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788. moonlightcowboy
7:14 PM CDT on June 15, 2008
785. Exactly. Happy Father's Day, Baha. Um, July 15th sounds fairly accurate imo; but, there could be a sneeker. That's why we watch, right! ;P
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
787. moonlightcowboy
7:09 PM CDT on June 15, 2008
While things may appear improbable, it doesn't mean possibilities can find fruition. It's just weather. Conditions and variables change, and sometimes suddenly.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
786. eye
12:02 AM GMT on June 16, 2008
Cane, Dr M gave un update for the area, two weeks ago (not that long ago) vast areas were slightly below normal to normal in the MDR...and the MDR is NOT the area where this dying wave is located....SSTS might say 81, but not a a depth that would support systems developing...just like the Gulf, some areas the warm SSTs are very shallow so it doesnt take much to mix the colder SSTs from below to the top. It will be another month or so before the SSTs in the mid atlantic support tropical development...80 is the min, and when it is shallow and lower than normal (has been for weeks that the mid atlantic ssts are slightly lower than normal, not something that just occured). You can show me all the pretty images you want that "appear" to show warm ssts, but i believe the doc when he gave an update and it still showed the MDR was either normal or slightly below normal and of course some areas above normal. Even then, the depth was nonexistant except around the islands. Again, that is why the area to look at is the Gulf and the western Carribean. There is a reason why the Pros at the NHC are brushing off this dying wave.

By the way, please reframe from calling me "buddy", i dont know you from adam. Thanks
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785. BahaHurican
7:58 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
Evening all.

I see we have another impressive wave in the EATL. I have to agree with those who don't expect any serious development of this wave in the long term, based on climatology and the dry phase of the MJO. I do think, however, that it will stick around and be impressive watching for a few more days. Unless things improve radically in the CAR, though, I don't think we'll see much beyond that.

Frankly, I doubt we'll see any serious formation in our basin before July. In fact, I'm not realistically expecting anything to form before 15 July. I'm noting the location of dust and shear which is keeping Twaves from making a strong play in the areas where water is warmest. A lot of that has to do with the location of the AB high, which is keeping lots of these vigorous waves quite low as they cross the ATL.

After 15 July, though, all bets are off. . . LOL.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22728
784. Baybuddy
12:06 AM GMT on June 16, 2008
Well, My family is taking off Tuesday for Clearlake California for two weeks. Really looking forward to the trip. Just found out the average water temps are about 70 degrees. YIKES!
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783. cchsweatherman
8:06 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 24W/25W S OF 11N MOVING W NEAR 15-20 KT.
BROAD MID LEVEL CYCLONIC CIRCULATION ALONG THE WAVE NEAR 6N.
ALTHOUGH THE WAVE IS EMBEDDED WITHIN SOME DEEP LAYERED MOISTURE
AS INDICATED BY MIMIC-TPW IMAGERY THE CLUSTERS OF SCATTERED
MODERATE/ISOLATED STRONG CONVECTION ARE E OF THE WAVE AXIS FROM
6N-10N BETWEEN 21W-25W.
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782. txalwaysprepared
12:02 AM GMT on June 16, 2008
have company over... can only check for a few seconds... what is the latest on that wave from this morning? Any good pics?
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781. CaneAddict
11:57 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
744. eye 11:16 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
it is looking ragged because the SST are marginal at best for development....all this season they come off, look great right off Africa where the ssts are 2-3 degrees higher than normal, then they get toward the mid atlantic where they are slightly lower than normal, factor that in plus dry air and shear and you have a poof


Buddy, SSTS are NO problem anywhere in the Atlantic within the MDR (Main Development Region).
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780. GeoffreyWPB
7:59 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
Geez Cane...I said I joined..not followed the tropics that long ago...I always read your posts and respect them.
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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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