Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:58 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
The rampaging Cedar River is falling today, after cresting at an amazing 31.1 feet Friday in the town of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The National Weather Service said the flow on the Cedar River through Cedar Rapids peaked at 149,500 cubic feet per second Friday, more than double the previous record of 73,000 in 1961. During the historic 1993 flood, the river hit only 19.27 feet, and the record flood of 1929 hit only 20.5 feet. The 2008 flood has hit levels expected only once every 500 years. The river was at 23 feet this morning, which is down 8 feet, but still 11 feet above flood stage, and 2.5 feet above the record high observed in 1929.
Figure 1. Total rainfall for the period May 16 - June 16, 2008. About 2/3 of the state has seen rainfall amounts in excess of 10 inches in the past month. Image credit: NOAA.
Eighth warmest May on record
May 2008 was the 8th warmest May for the the globe on record, according to statistics released by the National Climatic Data Center. The spring season--March, April, and May--ranked as the seventh warmest spring for the globe. La Niña continued to weaken in May, and near neutral conditions now prevail in the tropical Eastern Pacific.
For the contiguous U.S., May was the 34th coolest May since 1895, and spring season was the 36th coolest spring on record. For the spring, Missouri had its fourth wettest, Arkansas its sixth wettest, Indiana and Iowa their eighth wettest and Illinois its 10th wettest. California had its driest spring on record, while Nevada and Utah had their 10th and 11th driest on record.
Sea ice extent
May 2008 Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent was the tenth lowest on record for the month of May, 6% below its extent in 1979 when satellite measurements began, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. May was the sixth straight month that a new monthly minimum arctic sea ice record was not set, following a string of five months in a row where monthly records were set.
It's quiet in the tropics. There are no threat areas to discuss, and none of the models are forecasting tropical storm formation in the next seven days.
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