Flood waters recede in Cedar Rapids

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:58 PM GMT on June 16, 2008

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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.

Tropics
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.

Jeff Masters

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333. plywoodstatenative
12:20 AM GMT on June 17, 2008
zoo, a few of the models put that wave as just a wave just south of Puerto Rico.
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332. plywoodstatenative
12:19 AM GMT on June 17, 2008
Zoo, I was in Andrew down in homestead at that time. Trust me I do not want those memories again, but I have a feeling this is going to be bad year for South Florida, one way or another.
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331. zoomiami
12:18 AM GMT on June 17, 2008
To back track on a subject: yesterday someone was talking about how the convection can die, but the wave itself continues.

On a wave like this that is so far down, is it conceivable that it could move into an area where it would develop?
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330. plywoodstatenative
12:18 AM GMT on June 17, 2008
All of that free of charge courtesy of Mother nature.
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329. plywoodstatenative
12:16 AM GMT on June 17, 2008
Lower wind shear in the carib. + SST's ready to pop + Possible invest if it holds together heading that way = A crazy crazy blog in the coming days or many gray hairs for us south floridians
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328. Tazmanian
5:16 PM PDT on June 16, 2008
we dont want the ITCZ go to far N or we could have one hey of a hurricane season out there
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114712
327. zoomiami
12:15 AM GMT on June 17, 2008
plywood: the end of the aisle at publix would be worse :)
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326. plywoodstatenative
12:15 AM GMT on June 17, 2008
Drak, so what does that mean then if the ITCZ is moving northward. What type of implications does that imply for the rest of the season. especially the bigger part of the season that all of dread in here.
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325. pearlandaggie
12:15 AM GMT on June 17, 2008
howdy, folkses! :) i see the animosity is still present! LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
324. Weather456
8:13 PM AST on June 16, 2008
315. plywoodstatenative 8:12 PM AST on June 16, 2008

Its around this time when we normally just pass the DMIN. DMAX is about 3am EDT or 7 hrs away.
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323. Tazmanian
5:15 PM PDT on June 16, 2008
ok . Drakoen


456 what dos this mean??? lower wind shear???
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114712
322. sarepa
12:14 AM GMT on June 17, 2008
311. sarepa 8:08 PM AST on June 16, 2008

Well I cannot ignore the increase in persistent convection, it has rather maintained it through the DMIN. At this stage, its the reccommendation is to watch the distbance of increase organization and signs of a LLCC. There is still the issue of the dry enviroment north of the area and whether the convection is ITCZ enhanced.


yeah i see that..alright thank you buddy
Member Since: January 17, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 26
321. plywoodstatenative
12:14 AM GMT on June 17, 2008
any comment on weather lake O is going to see any rain soon? I would like to have my 4th o July celebration but that seems unlikely now.
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320. plywoodstatenative
12:12 AM GMT on June 17, 2008
right before wilma hit there was that kinda talk about wishcasting, till a few of us south floridians threatened to tie an un named blogger to a cash register at a Lowes
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319. Drakoen
12:12 AM GMT on June 17, 2008
312. Tazmanian 12:09 AM GMT on June 17, 2008
this look on how far N the ITCZ has move this this is what the ITCZ look like has of 8:05pm

Link


The T-waves in the CATL are probably helping the ITCZ come northward with the poleward pull.
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318. Weather456
8:12 PM AST on June 16, 2008
Taz, yeah. I mentioned that earlier today. It has move a great deal north considering where it was a week or two ago.
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317. weatherguy03
8:10 PM EDT on June 16, 2008
290.

Ok, let me say it differently then. GW is a natural cycle, and its hysteria is media driven so that some bozos can get their grant money and screw up the atmosphere even more. Is that better??:)
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 590 Comments: 29698
316. Weather456
8:11 PM AST on June 16, 2008
313. plywoodstatenative 8:10 PM AST on June 16, 2008

lol lol lol
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315. plywoodstatenative
12:10 AM GMT on June 17, 2008
it is maintaining convection at night, and during the day it seems to get shredded.

Another one of those little engines that could type of storms.
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314. Weather456
8:08 PM AST on June 16, 2008
311. sarepa 8:08 PM AST on June 16, 2008

Well I cannot ignore the increase in persistent convection, it has rather maintained it through the DMIN. At this stage, its the reccommendation is to watch the distbance of increase organization and signs of a LLCC. There is still the issue of the dry enviroment north of the area and whether the convection is ITCZ enhanced.
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313. plywoodstatenative
12:07 AM GMT on June 17, 2008
weather, I will come out and find you. Tie you to a cash register in the heart of Miami during that storm. Okay with you, cause I am just north of Miami.

As far as that wave goes, whats the chance of it reaching the caribbean with the structure it has as of right now? The SST's I know are ready to pop with anything that heads out that way. What are the projected shear values in that area in about 96 hours or so?
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312. Tazmanian
5:06 PM PDT on June 16, 2008
this look on how far N the ITCZ has move this this is what the ITCZ look like has of 8:05pm

Link
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114712
311. sarepa
12:06 AM GMT on June 17, 2008
So weather456.. what did u meant with that last comment? that the wave is mantaining its convection?
Member Since: January 17, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 26
310. Weather456
8:06 PM AST on June 16, 2008
Or issuing forecasts to the public from a washing machine...call no name, get no blame. Right stormkat and STORMTOP?
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309. Weather456
8:04 PM AST on June 16, 2008
308. ShenValleyFlyFish 8:03 PM AST on June 16, 2008

Not necessarily...I think some of us could get arrested for wishcasting a cat 5 into Miami. lol
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308. ShenValleyFlyFish
7:57 PM EDT on June 16, 2008
Blogger arrests hit record high

More bloggers than ever face arrest for exposing human rights abuses or criticising governments, says a report.

Since 2003, 64 people have been arrested for publishing their views on a blog, says the University of Washington annual report.

In 2007 three times as many people were arrested for blogging about political issues than in 2006, it revealed

From BBC NEWS

Another reason to stick to weather on the blog. ;~)
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307. Weather456
7:53 PM AST on June 16, 2008
303. Drakoen 7:42 PM AST on June 16, 2008

I have notice that...convergence and divergence increased significantly. Look at the current map then -3 hrs. This evening's QuikSCAT pass showed an open wave (despite signs of surface penetration near 6N) with gale force rain contimated winds.
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306. aspectre
11:39 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
254. Baybuddy "http://www.kusi.com/weather/colemanscorner/19842304.html "
272. moonlightcowboy "...John Coleman is the founder of The Weather Channel."

And ya don't need a weatherman to tell ya which way the wind's blowin'.

If ya own lots of product that folks are gonna quit buyin', ya sell off as much as ya can as fast as ya can to the fools still thinkin' you're givin' 'em a bargain. Nobody is selling off known fossil fuel reserves. Nobody has been trying to off-load their natural gas, oil, and coal on the cheap.
In fact, the trend has been has been for countries to nationalize those reserves from the companies holding the drilling&mining leases and turning them over to state-owned corporations, or threatening such confiscation as leverage to gain MUCH higher shares of the profits.

Cuz folks have been increasing their use of fossil fuels. Contrary to the nonsense being bandied about, coal-burning has gone up, often way UP since 2000 in every country except the US, parts of the old SovietBloc, a few failed states, Iceland, maybe France, and possibly Denmark and Norway.
Every year has set a new record in the amount of oil&gas being delivered to end users. China has become the No.2 buyer of new automobiles, and has almost caught up to the US in oil use.

Ever more consumers with ever higher consumption rates means higher prices.
Somebody oughtta tell JohnColeman that.
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305. zoomiami
11:44 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
Pat: I know that I've said it before, but everyone needs to read your preparations for before, and especially for the after. For anyone who has not experienced a weather disaster, his information is the best around.
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304. zoomiami
11:42 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
With all of the damage and deaths from the tornados, and the losses to those in the floods, I think I will stick to the hurricanes. Makes them seem not so bad after all.

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303. Drakoen
11:37 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
Alot of convergence with the CATL wave nearly vertically stacked with a large-scale upper level high in the CATL helping to sustain some of the convection with the upper level divergence. Cimss 700mb vorticity product is showing broad mid level vorticity maximum west of 30W. This 700mb vorticity maximum matches up well with the GFS potential vorticity.
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302. Skyepony (Mod)
11:38 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
More NOAA


16 Jun 2008 14:15:04 GMT
The pattern of heavy rain moved from the region late last week, but major to record flooding continues. Record flooding is expected at 16 locations on the Mississippi, Iowa, Cedar and Wapsipinicon Rivers. 17 rivers in parts of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin have major to record flooding. . Levees failed over the weekend including on the Iowa River at Wapello and the Oakville Levee, leaving only one levee between these food waters and the city of Burlington IA. A levee along the Des Moines River failed Saturday resulting in a mandatory evacuation. These are in addition to levee failures last week on the Iowa and Wapsipinicon Rivers. . The Iowa River at Iowa City crested Sunday, flooding one million square feet of the University of Iowa. In downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa, pumps have been making sufficient progress on the flood waters to allow bar, restaurants and hotels to reopen for regular business. The Federal Court House in Cedar Rapids was flooded both in the basement and on the first floor. A railroad bridge in Cedar Rapids had railcars with rocks stationed on it in an attempt to prevent it being washed away, to no avail. Very preliminary estimation of damage in Cedar Rapids is 750 million dollars. . Over the weekend, heavy rain from thunderstorms caused urban, small stream and flash flooding across portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin as well as across the East from Georgian and North Carolina into New York and New England.
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301. Skyepony (Mod)
11:34 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
Gotta credit Noaa FOR THE FOLLOWING..

Similarities through June of 2008 and June 1993:

Current flooding comparable to onset of TGF93
Major flooding in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa
Area affected generally similar
Wet and cool antecedent conditions in April and May of 1993 and 2008.
Differences:

Current pattern somewhat east of 1993
Missouri River made greater contribution in 1993
Major flooding now in southern Indiana did not occur in 1993
Antecedent conditions
1993: spring snowmelt was significant factor in wet antecedent conditions
2008: 3 wet months resulted in some areas having antecedent conditions wetter than 1993
Duration of excessive precipitation not as long as 1993 (so far)
1993 ~ 4 weeks of continuing heavy convective rains
2008 – uncertain whether remainder of the summer will be as wet as 1993
Spatial coverage of precipitation
Longer period of rain in 1993 resulted in uniformly high totals
So far in 2008, less uniform precipitation totals
For example, about half of Iowa counties have been impacted in 2008, while all 99 Iowa counties were declared disaster areas in 1993
Major/record flooding
So far, new records appear to have been set at 21 NWS river forecast locations on tributaries to Mississippi and Missouri Rivers (i.e., higher than 1993)
Uniformly high precipitation in 1993, resulted in many tributaries contributing high flows causing major/record flooding over broad reaches on the main stem Mississippi and Missouri Rivers
Duration
Current flooding (2008) will be ongoing for weeks. The ultimate flood duration depends on rainfall over the next few months
In 1993, some locations on the Mississippi were in continuous flood for more than 6 months
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300. DocBen
11:34 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
"lower crest levels than previously thought because so many leeves broke."

Makes my point. If we didn't rely so much on levees but instead allowed floodplains to do their job crest levels would be even lower.

Back in the bid Mississippi floods some time back people were dynamiting the levees on the opposite side of the river to take pressure off their side.
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299. Patrap
6:33 PM CDT on June 16, 2008
Best of Luck to the folks up North in those stricken areas.

We share your sadness,dismay and sense of loss and worry about the future.

Take some comfort in Knowing that millions are with ya'll in thought,prayers and deeds.
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298. Skyepony (Mod)
11:21 PM GMT on June 16, 2008

Click to make big

I saw this morning where many areas south of the flooding are now expected to have lower crest levels than previously thought because so many leeves broke.
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297. Weather456
7:15 PM AST on June 16, 2008
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296. richteas
6:19 PM CDT on June 16, 2008
Patrap, as a Wisconsinite, and if I may speak for those in Iowa, Minnesota, Indiana, Illinios, and other flooded states, I'd like to Thank You for at least trying to keep the blog on subject. Rather than discussing issues that haven't and may not happen.
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295. DocBen
11:17 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
This all reminds me of an old joke. Scientists often ponder the question of God - we realize that we just don't know. Is there a God? Or not? As Steven Hawkins said, that is a question for the philosophers.

Engineers, on the other hand (at least Civil engineers) don't have that problem. They seem convinced that they ARE God. Thus they can go in and 're-engineer' nature and 'improve it.'

NOT!
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294. Patrap
6:15 PM CDT on June 16, 2008
LSU ESL site..Link

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293. moonlightcowboy
6:13 PM CDT on June 16, 2008
291. Amen, Pat!
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29594
292. Patrap
6:08 PM CDT on June 16, 2008
Recovering From and Coping With Flood Damaged Property

Returning Home After a Disaster Link

Cedar Rapids

various items being swept away & some cars in the flood June 12th 2008 approx 10:00 a.m.
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291. Patrap
6:04 PM CDT on June 16, 2008


Cedar Rapids, Iowa Flooded area.



The Game is afoot as we lean into July.

Take good advantage of the Early season and finalize ones preps for the Big One.

It's out there in the future.

Maybe its even Lurking here baiting us into Political jargon and regional oneupmanship.

Calamity knows no Borders.

Water finds the roofs even in Middle America..where levee's failed and 38,000 folks in one state alone sleep not in their Home's again tonight.

Our measures all fall short when nature flexes.

Prepare today as if a Major is Coming soon...to your Coastline.
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290. HurakanPR
6:53 PM AST on June 16, 2008
Weatherguyo3_ To say GM is not fake or is fake is going to far on the arguments, people should keep an open mind and don't take "extremist sides" on this issue or in any issue for that matters.
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288. moonlightcowboy
5:50 PM CDT on June 16, 2008
280. Skye, unfortunately, that only confirms what many have been saying for a number of years. I love NOLA, its culture and its people, but had Katrina made landfall a bit further west, we might not be talking about NOLA recovery even now, but rather still reeling from the death toll and the loss of a city. It will happen again. Hopefully, the powers that be will take the right, prudent steps to prevent such a disaster.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29594
287. moonlightcowboy
5:44 PM CDT on June 16, 2008
284. I guess so, Drak. If you keep throwing darts at the target, eventually one hits a bullseye. With the frequency and organization of these twaves so early, it's just a matter of time before one pops.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29594
285. Patrap
5:41 PM CDT on June 16, 2008
Thanks Skyepony.

The SSS scale is vary misleading.As far as impact goes.So take those AP stories with a grain of er,..rice.

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284. Drakoen
10:39 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
276. moonlightcowboy 10:38 PM GMT on June 16, 2008
270. That "sneeker" maybe, Drak, that we've had some concerns about with some possible early CV development?


Yea one of them will develop eventually. The track keeps it to the south with an expansive low to mid level ridge over the CATL. Its interesting but we'll have to see if the GFS can stay consistent. Its not a climatologically favored area with Ana (1979) being the only storm in June in the CATL around 45W.
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283. moonlightcowboy
5:41 PM CDT on June 16, 2008
280. Skye, I hate to read that. Ugh! We know already that the nGOM, especially in NOLA, Cameron, LA and the entire MS coast can not afford any substantial storm with major recovery efforts still very much in the process.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29594

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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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