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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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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628. presslord
2:54 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
I think it has an eye....
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627. moonlightcowboy
1:50 PM CDT on June 15, 2008
Ship's pressure readings

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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?
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625. Weather456
2:43 PM AST on June 15, 2008
This map is centered on 8N/25W, out ahead of the wave, showing winds, SSTs and SLP. GOES 12 images are not available at useable resolutions east of 30W.

2:15pm EDT

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
624. Drakoen
6:48 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
make avatar
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30833
623. Tazmanian
6:46 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
CAPPING INVERSION HAS ESSENTIALLY BEEN REMOVED OVER ALL BUT THE EXTREME SOUTHWESTERN PORTION OF THE WATCH

un oh
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115456
622. KrazyKaneLove
6:41 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
619. thanks, well I guess we'll just have to wait and see...I hate the waiting but something tells me this is all the lull before the "storm"..pardon the pun
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621. presslord
2:41 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
jholme....I'm on my boat at Buzzard's Roost Marina...( I refuse to call it St. Johns Yacht Harbor)...love the rain...the lightening...well...not so much...
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620. jholmestyle
6:36 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Press, I would be just fine if that line sat over Johns Island for the next two hours, my yard looks like crap.
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619. Weather456
2:36 PM AST on June 15, 2008
617. KrazyKaneLove 2:35 PM AST on June 15, 2008
how is wind shear in that area?


5-10 knots due to an upper anticyclone overhead.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
618. Baybuddy
6:36 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
601. JFV 5:45 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, but anyways, that's clearly besides the point here. So CaneAddict, is this latest well-defined tropical low yet another indicator of a potentially super hyper and dangerous Cape Verde Season to come my friend?


Congrats!
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617. KrazyKaneLove
6:33 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
how is wind shear in that area?
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616. Weather456
2:30 PM AST on June 15, 2008
...TROPICAL WAVES...

A NEW TROPICAL WAVE HAS MOVED OFF THE AFRICAN COAST AND IS
ANALYZED ALONG 18W S OF 12N. THE WAVE IS MOVING WEST AT AN
ESTIMATED SPEED OF 10-15 KT. VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOWS A
BROAD AREA OF AFRICAN DUST N OF 10N EAST OF 35W PREVENTING
AMPLIFICATION OF THIS WAVE.
THE PROXIMITY OF THE ITCZ IS MASKING
ANY DISTINCT SATELLITE SIGNATURE. HOWEVER MIMIC-TPW IMAGERY
INDICATES A MOISTURE SURGE E OF 20W. POSITION IS BASED ON THIS
MOISTURE SURGE AND NEARBY SHIP OBSERVATIONS.


Translation: signs of wave like patterns is being prevented by dust.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
615. ATS3
6:30 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
if there lotsa dust it's a bust
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614. moonlightcowboy
1:13 PM CDT on June 15, 2008
Photobucket

Hey, I just don't see a big dust problem at all. We've seen development in considerably worse. Of course, I'm not saying this twave has a chance, particularly, but the dust here is not that big of a problem imo.
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613. presslord
2:20 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
Special Weather Statement
Statement as of 2:09 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
... Strong thunderstorms will impact Berkeley County... Dorchester
County... Colleton County... Charleston County and Beaufort County
through 330 PM EDT...

At 206 PM EDT... National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a
line of strong thunderstorms capable of producing pea size hail... and
gusty winds of 30 to 40 mph. These storms were located along a line
extending from charity to Wiggins... or along a line extending from 15
miles east of Goose Creek to 15 miles east of Yemassee... moving east
at 11 mph.

Areas in and around Adams Run... Charleston... Daniel Island... Edisto
Island... Hanahan... Hollywood... James and Johns islands... Mount
Pleasant... North Charleston... Ravenel... Sullivans Island... Wadmalaw
Island... west Ashley... Yonges Island and Isle of Palms will be
impacted through 330 PM EDT.

Frequent lightning is occurring with these thunderstorms. If
outdoors... stay away from isolated high objects. If indoors... stay
away from windows and doors. Avoid using telephones unless it is an
emergency.
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612. Drakoen
6:09 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
608. Weather456 6:05 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
604. Drakoen 1:53 PM AST on June 15, 2008
The NHC's position of the wave axis is much further east than I had originally thought...

the 2pm TWD is based on 12Z Surface analysis which was 6 hrs ago.


I know that but still I would expect that axis to be a tad further to the west.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30833
611. Tazmanian
11:07 AM PDT on June 15, 2008
here is what the nhc has to say at 2:05pm


TROPICAL WAVES...

A NEW TROPICAL WAVE HAS MOVED OFF THE AFRICAN COAST AND IS
ANALYZED ALONG 18W S OF 12N. THE WAVE IS MOVING WEST AT AN
ESTIMATED SPEED OF 10-15 KT. VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOWS A
BROAD AREA OF AFRICAN DUST N OF 10N EAST OF 35W PREVENTING
AMPLIFICATION OF THIS WAVE. THE PROXIMITY OF THE ITCZ IS MASKING
ANY DISTINCT SATELLITE SIGNATURE. HOWEVER MIMIC-TPW IMAGERY
INDICATES A MOISTURE SURGE E OF 20W. POSITION IS BASED ON THIS
MOISTURE SURGE AND NEARBY SHIP OBSERVATIONS.

A TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 36W S OF 17N MOVING W NEAR 20 KT. A
CLASSIC INVERTED-V CLOUD PATTERN IS OBSERVED ON VISIBLE
SATELLITE IMAGERY. A BROAD AREA OF AFRICAN DUST IS NOTED EAST OF
THE WAVE AXIS. THE WAVE IS MOVING UNDER DRY AIR ALOFT...THUS
DEEP CONVECTION IS INHIBITED.

A TROPICAL WAVE IS IN THE CARIBBEAN ALONG 75W FROM SE CUBA TO
COLOMBIA MOVING W AT 15-20 KT. A CENTRAL CARIBBEAN BUOY
OBSERVATION DISPLAYS THE EXPECTED E TO SE WIND SHIFT BEHIND THE
AXIS. BROAD CYCLONIC TURNING CONTINUES ALONG THE COLOMBIAN
COAST. A CLUSTER OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS IS AHEAD OF THE
AXIS TO 78W BETWEEN JAMAICA AND CUBA
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115456
609. moonlightcowboy
1:06 PM CDT on June 15, 2008
608. Haha. So, what you guys, you and Drak, are giving us is actually more current. There you have it folks! Good job, fellas!
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608. Weather456
2:02 PM AST on June 15, 2008
604. Drakoen 1:53 PM AST on June 15, 2008
The NHC's position of the wave axis is much further east than I had originally thought...


the 2pm TWD is based on 12Z Surface analysis which was 6 hrs ago.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
607. Stormchaser2007
6:00 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
2pm TWO

ABNT20 KNHC 151722
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT SUN JUN 15 2008

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER FRANKLIN
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606. KrazyKaneLove
5:53 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
I'm trying to decide if i want to stay in west palm for 10 days in august or go to summer house in Mass. with husband...can't really afford to go but I would sure hate to try boarding up the house by myself if we got a CV storm...who knows though, a storm could even crawl up the eastern seaboard this year too..hmmm
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605. CaneAddict
5:47 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
601. JFV 5:45 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, but anyways, that's clearly besides the point here. So CaneAddict, is this latest well-defined tropical low yet another indicator of a potentially super hyper and dangerous Cape Verde Season to come my friend?



I mentioned earlier i am truly horrified at how impressive these waves are looking, It's mid June and we have waves looking like Late July and August waves, This wave is demonstrating very impressive cyclonic turning in the mid-lower levels and convection has managed to persist for more than 24 hours despite the Diurnal phases. I do not even want to go into thinking of what the Cape Verde season will be like but i can say one thing, It will not be pretty and possibly a record breaking cape verde season. The way the A/B high is setting up, it would appear that we would have several long-track cape verde systems. So to answer your question, I believe we are in for a very active and possibly horrifying cape-verde season.

(I would be more descriptive and all but my wrist is starting to ache again and i'm not even supposed to be typing for long-periods of time, I going on my third surgery) Anyway i hope this helped :-)!
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604. Drakoen
5:51 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
The NHC's position of the wave axis is much further east than I had originally thought...
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30833
603. KrazyKaneLove
5:46 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
hey sammy, my mom just flew into west palm on wed. and same thing, she got sick and everyone was scared to death from turbulence...
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602. stormdude77
1:49 PM AST on June 15, 2008
From the 2:00pm discussion...

...TROPICAL WAVES...

A NEW TROPICAL WAVE HAS MOVED OFF THE AFRICAN COAST AND IS
ANALYZED ALONG 18W S OF 12N. THE WAVE IS MOVING WEST AT AN
ESTIMATED SPEED OF 10-15 KT. VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOWS A
BROAD AREA OF AFRICAN DUST N OF 10N EAST OF 35W PREVENTING
AMPLIFICATION OF THIS WAVE.
THE PROXIMITY OF THE ITCZ IS MASKING
ANY DISTINCT SATELLITE SIGNATURE. HOWEVER MIMIC-TPW IMAGERY
INDICATES A MOISTURE SURGE E OF 20W. POSITION IS BASED ON THIS
MOISTURE SURGE AND NEARBY SHIP OBSERVATIONS.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
600. CaneAddict
5:39 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
582. JFV 5:17 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
Hey Taz, Happy Father's day to you sir!
Action: | Ignore User


Taz is'nt a fatherrr.
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599. presslord
1:41 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
mlc...Happy father's Day back at ya...and to all...someone at mass mentioned the word "rain'...Im not familiar with this word...but we'll see....
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598. moonlightcowboy
12:35 PM CDT on June 15, 2008
Afternoon, Press! Happy Father's day! ....uuuuummm, red bloblettes, erra, can be serious! ;P
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597. HurricaneSammy
5:32 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
I Flew From New York Yesterday to West Palm Beach ( Fla) ... West palm beach is my home area

My Flight was Schedualled to take off at 2:45 Pm and it finally took off at 6:40pm Because of Cargo Issues and The Weather ....Landed at 9:)0 Pm

When we took off .... it was really turblent ....

We were climbing fast in the thunder storm , Turblent weather .....

and everyone was scared on bored

.............

Either Way i arived at home at 10:00 Pm ....

And i Woke up today AT 12:00 Pm .... So i must have been really tired


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594. presslord
1:28 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
ah....there are a number of highly unusual red bloblettes showing on radar to be moving toward Charleston...I'm not sure what they are...they seem vaguely familiar....but I just don't recall exactly what they portend....
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593. moonlightcowboy
12:28 PM CDT on June 15, 2008


Now, that's a lil better! ;P Dang, swCarib may become a player?

JP, try this width=540 height=480 before alt in your string and your pics won't stretch.
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592. Tazmanian
10:26 AM PDT on June 15, 2008
thanks JFV
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115456
591. HurricaneSammy
5:26 PM GMT on June 15, 2008
OPPPS .....

I didn't get my father anything ....

i forgot lol
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590. ClearH2OFla
1:23 PM EDT on June 15, 2008
Happy Fathers Day everyone. My girls brought me donuts and juice. LOL
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589. moonlightcowboy
12:22 PM CDT on June 15, 2008
586. Thanks, I didn't bother to look at times. Rarely do with vorticity, but thanks for pointing that out! :)
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588. Weather456
1:20 PM AST on June 15, 2008
580...1200 UTC
583...1500 UTC
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
587. moonlightcowboy
12:19 PM CDT on June 15, 2008
581. No time to panic, but preparedness is the key. Still time to do that, but plans need to be getting to fruition. Mid-July, I'm thinking this thing is gonna bust open!
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585. Weather456
1:15 PM AST on June 15, 2008
580. moonlightcowboy 1:14 PM AST on June 15, 2008

Thats no suprise...I have notice much of the spin is the lower-mid levels on sat images.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
584. moonlightcowboy
12:18 PM CDT on June 15, 2008
JP, it says June 15th?
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580. moonlightcowboy
12:12 PM CDT on June 15, 2008
...weak vorticity in the present. Better vorticity presence out in front of the twave.



TROPIC-wide 850mb VORTICITY
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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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