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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680. extreme236
7:33 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Still very interesting looking. Probably makes this look more impressive than this really is though. Link
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679. cchsweatherman
3:28 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
Referring back to the image posted by weathersp, here are some quick observations we could all most likely agree to.
1) There is a well-defined circulation center.
2) Shear will remain favorable throughout its journey across the Atlantic.
3) There is some impressive outflow occuring with the tropical wave.
4) We will need to wait for Diurnal Maximum to see whether or not this will become an organized tropical system.
5) It has become far less impressive in terms of convection than this morning, but the structure has become better defined.
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677. extreme236
7:27 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
By tomorrow the wave will be viewable on the SSD CATL imagery.
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676. eye
7:26 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
I agree with Drak, compared to yesterday, this wave has lost its impressiveness (as every wave that has exited Africa so far has). We also had impressive waves last year and the year before come off in June and they did they same thing, it isnt unusual (at least in recent years) and doesnt mean there is going to be a bad Cape Verde season.
Member Since: August 21, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 147
675. weathersp
3:25 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
You've got a really nice spin now.. lacking convection.

CLICK FOR LINK AND LOOP:
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674. Tazmanian
12:26 PM PDT on June 15, 2008
by the way we now have a new all time RECORD of the most PDS severe t-storm watch in one day and that # is 2
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115256
673. presslord
3:24 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
JFV...if you're expecting, my advice is: SLEEP!!!!!!! 'cause soon enough, that'll just be a distant memory...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
672. extreme236
7:25 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
BBL
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671. Weather456
3:23 PM AST on June 15, 2008
667. extreme236 3:23 PM AST on June 15, 2008

I agree...its less impressive but not too linear.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
670. presslord
3:22 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
I've got wind...I've got lightening...I've got thunder...but I can't seem to buy a drop of rain...also have a manatee trying to crawl aboard at the stern....but he's on his own I'm afraid...really bad breath....
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
669. weathersp
3:18 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
659. Plywood State..

Thats from over 12 hours ago..

Here. This is the actual site.. It updates every hour.

EUMETSAT 0 degrees Lat.
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668. blueranch1
7:22 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Thanks 0741
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667. extreme236
7:21 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
I don't think it looks too linear IMO, but it does look less impressive than this morning. We will have to see what Dmax brings.
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666. plywoodstatenative
7:20 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
okay, the wood replacement here is going to go get dinner. be back on here later.
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665. 0741
7:19 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
658. blueranch1 7:16 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Just got back inside. Looks like NHC
it not time for this type system their not sorry other thing it little far south
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664. extreme236
7:18 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Plywood, I think that is an old image.
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663. Drakoen
7:20 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
660. JFV 7:18 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Thanks Atm! Your absolutely right; therefore, let me take full advantage of the free time that I currently have for the time being, wouldn't you agree? I'll see you all of you guys pictures of the baby when it's born! By teh way, what are your trains of thoughts on the absolutely exceptionally potent tropical wave/low in the Eastern Atlantic this afternoon?


You don't know the baby's sex?
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
662. plywoodstatenative
7:19 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
nhc's water vapor loop is down. however the avn shows a nice darkened area in the "center" of the storm. not calling it the center so to speak, but geometerically it is.
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661. Drakoen
7:18 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
This wave is looking less impressive to me as the day goes by and looking more linear like the ITCZ. We'll see what happens in diurnal maximum.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
659. plywoodstatenative
7:15 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
extreme, have a look at this link

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/eumet/eatl/loop-rb.html

huge blow up of convection in past few hours
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658. blueranch1
7:14 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Just got back inside. Looks like NHC not real concerned about the BIG wave???
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657. Weather456
3:15 PM AST on June 15, 2008
653. presslord 3:13 PM AST on June 15, 2008
my understanding is that 'invest' indicates level of interest...and is not connected necessarily to level of development....


Yes that is true.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
656. extreme236
7:13 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Right now wind shear is favorable in the systems path all the way to the Eastern Caribbean assuming it doesn't go too far north.
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655. 0741
7:10 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
other thing to look at those need move more nw their little too far south their run into south america key will be to move more nw
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654. Drakoen
7:10 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Recent reports show that water temperatures are above 80F around 84F where most of the convection is occurring. Lowest pressure recording is 1008mb...
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
653. presslord
3:12 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
my understanding is that 'invest' indicates level of interest...and is not connected necessarily to level of development....
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
652. extreme236
7:09 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Looks like some convection may be reforming with the wave. Were also going to lose visible as it's sunset now over there.
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651. Weather456
3:08 PM AST on June 15, 2008
Drak...Isn't tagging an invest pretty subjective?

Its both subjective and objective. An invest like a TC has a criterion. But an invest criterion is much broader, thats why some of the worst systems out there are tagged Invests.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
650. atmoaggie
7:07 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Good Sunday afternoon and Happy Father's Day to all of the fathers in here, including myself who just recently found out is going to be a father himself

Congrats. FYI: your blog time is about to be exponentially reduced!!! ;-)
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649. Tazmanian
12:08 PM PDT on June 15, 2008
2nd PDS of the day



URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH NUMBER 542
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
155 PM CDT SUN JUN 15 2008

THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF

SMALL PART OF SOUTHEAST KANSAS
MUCH OF SOUTHERN MISSOURI

EFFECTIVE THIS SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM 155 PM UNTIL 900
PM CDT.

...THIS IS A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION...

EXTREMELY DAMAGING THUNDERSTORM WIND GUSTS TO 80 MPH...LARGE HAIL
TO 2.5 INCHES IN DIAMETER...AND DANGEROUS LIGHTNING ARE POSSIBLE
IN THESE AREAS.

THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 65
STATUTE MILES NORTH AND SOUTH OF A LINE FROM 35 MILES WEST
NORTHWEST OF JOPLIN MISSOURI TO 60 MILES EAST SOUTHEAST OF FORT
LEONARD WOOD MISSOURI. FOR A COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE
THE ASSOCIATED WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU2).

REMEMBER...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE
FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH
AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS
AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAN AND OCCASIONALLY
DO PRODUCE TORNADOES.

OTHER WATCH INFORMATION...CONTINUE...WW 537...WW 539...WW
540...WW 541...

DISCUSSION...SEVERE MCS CONTINUES TO DEVELOP S/SEWD ACROSS ERN
KS/WRN MO. WITH A VERY UNSTABLE AIR MASS AND STEEP LAPSE RATES IN
WARM SECTOR...SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS EXPECTED TO INTENSIFY FURTHER
WITH POTENTIALLY SIGNIFICANT DAMAGING WINDS THE PRIMARY THREAT.

AVIATION...A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH HAIL SURFACE AND ALOFT
TO 2.5 INCHES. EXTREME TURBULENCE AND SURFACE WIND GUSTS TO 70
KNOTS. A FEW CUMULONIMBI WITH MAXIMUM TOPS TO 550. MEAN STORM
MOTION VECTOR 32030.




URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH NUMBER 539
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
910 AM CDT SUN JUN 15 2008

THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF

MUCH OF CENTRAL AND EASTERN KANSAS
MUCH OF NORTHERN MISSOURI

EFFECTIVE THIS SUNDAY MORNING AND AFTERNOON FROM 910 AM UNTIL 500
PM CDT.

...THIS IS A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION...

EXTREMELY DAMAGING THUNDERSTORM WIND GUSTS TO 90 MPH...LARGE HAIL
TO 3 INCHES IN DIAMETER...AND DANGEROUS LIGHTNING ARE POSSIBLE IN
THESE AREAS.

THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 70
STATUTE MILES NORTH AND SOUTH OF A LINE FROM 60 MILES WEST OF
SALINA KANSAS TO 40 MILES SOUTH SOUTHEAST OF KIRKSVILLE MISSOURI.
FOR A COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE ASSOCIATED WATCH
OUTLINE UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU9).

REMEMBER...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE
FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH
AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS
AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAN AND OCCASIONALLY
DO PRODUCE TORNADOES.

OTHER WATCH INFORMATION...CONTINUE...WW 536...WW 537...WW 538...

DISCUSSION...RAPIDLY INCREASING SEVERE TSTMS SERN NEB WILL EVOLVE
INTO A FORWARD PROPAGATING MCS ACCOMPANIED BY DAMAGING WIND AND
LARGE HAIL AS IT MOVES SEWD INTO THE WATCH. WITH VERY STEEP LAPSE
RATES AND DRY MID LEVELS COUPLED WITH MUCAPE RISING TO AOA 3000
J/KG...POTENTIAL EXISTS FOR VERY DAMAGING WIND GUSTS BY EARLY THIS
AFTERNOON.

AVIATION...A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH HAIL SURFACE AND ALOFT
TO 3 INCHES. EXTREME TURBULENCE AND SURFACE WIND GUSTS TO 80
KNOTS. A FEW CUMULONIMBI WITH MAXIMUM TOPS TO 550. MEAN STORM
MOTION VECTOR 31035.
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115256
648. Drakoen
7:07 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
644. presslord 7:06 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
jholme....they look expensive...

Drak...Isn't tagging an invest pretty subjective?


Yea...
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
647. plywoodstatenative
7:08 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Ya know saying Happy Fathers day in tune with this system forming. Its Happy Father's day for mother nature, as her baby is forming so to speak. But for us, not so happy.
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646. WeatherfanPR
7:05 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Happy Father's Day

Wow Drak, that wave looks impressive on the loop.
Member Since: August 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1590
645. plywoodstatenative
7:04 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
cchs, I agree with you. they were talking, at least the NHC was, about an early season hurricane for the South Florida area. This bears watching because of the forecast ahead of it. They also had some models forecasting this storm into the caribbean in 126 hrs just south of Puerto Rico. Look at the SSt's in the carib and the way that the wave will be traveling.
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644. presslord
3:04 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
jholme....they look expensive...

Drak...Isn't tagging an invest pretty subjective?
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
643. Tazmanian
12:04 PM PDT on June 15, 2008
WOW there is a new PDS severe t-storm watch this is the 1st time i have evere seen 2 PDS severe t-storm watch on the same day


Link
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115256
642. cchsweatherman
3:02 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
This worries me right now. This tropical wave will be under 5 to 10 knot shear the entire way crossing the Atlantic until it reaches the Eastern Caribbean, where shear continues to decrease. This tropical wave bares very close monitoring.
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641. plywoodstatenative
7:02 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
anyone got an avn of the area. or at least something to say what type of moisture enviroment its entering?
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640. jholmestyle
7:00 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Press, I haven't been down to buzzards roost since they started rebuilding the docks. How do they look?
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639. Drakoen
7:01 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
It takes a lot for the NHC to tag an invest out in the EATL especially if it is not a climatologically favored area.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
638. cchsweatherman
2:59 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
Latest Tropical Wave Visible (Source: Penn State 2008)
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637. presslord
3:00 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
Louisiana Thanks for asking that....and thanks to Drak for answering.....
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
636. Tazmanian
11:59 AM PDT on June 15, 2008
i think we may have 92L by some time late monday if this wave where to keep going like this
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115256
635. 0741
6:51 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
hi all happy father day that wave in mid of atlantic look very heathy for mild june wave i hope this not saying when Cape Verde Season start we getting train of strom from afica it look like spin with those wave
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634. plywoodstatenative
6:58 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
why the sudden blowup? as well as the shift eastward in location.
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632. Tazmanian
11:56 AM PDT on June 15, 2008
where is that INVEST PAGE where it shows you all the pass INVEST and new INVEST wish could be comeing soon
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115256
631. Drakoen
6:53 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
626. louisianaboy444 6:51 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
i hear alot about caps over the atmosphere...what excatly is it and what causes them is it like pockets of high pressure in the upper levels?


A cap prevents lifting within the atmosphere. Typically the mid to upper levels of the atmosphere. SAL can be described as a cap since it is stable air aloft the prevents convective currents from forming. You low level convergence where air comes together at the surface but with a cap there is no mid to upper level divergence due to the stability. Dry air advection, subsidence, atmospheric cooling overland can cause a cap.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
630. plywoodstatenative
6:55 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
batten down the hatches, get the troll removal tools ready. Its about ta get interesting in here
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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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