Midwest flood price tag $8 billion; Extreme Weather magazine review

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:54 PM GMT on June 27, 2008

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The American Farm Bureau, a lobbying group that represents American farmers, estimated yesterday that crop damage from the Midwest's Flood of 2008 has amounted to $7 billion. More than half of this total--$4 billion--was in Iowa. Other states taking a hit from excessive wetness and flooding were: Illinois, $1.3 billion; Missouri, $900 million; Indiana, $500 million; Nebraska $500 million; and an additional $1 billion in remaining wet states. When added to the at least $1 billion in property damage the floods wrought (including $762 million in Cedar Rapids, Iowa), the $8 billion price tag of the Midwest Flood of 2008 ranks as the second most expensive U.S. non-hurricane flooding disaster on record. America's worst flood, the Midwest Flood of 1993, caused $26.7 billion in damage (adjusted to 2007 dollars).

The damage will continue to rise in coming days, as major flooding continues along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. A levee broke along the Mississippi just north of St. Louis this morning, sending flood waters towards the small town of Winfield. Heavy rains in excess of five inches have hit much of northern Missouri this week (Figure 1), and NOAA's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center is forecasting a high probability of heavy rain in the region today through Saturday morning. The culprit is a slow-moving low pressure system over Minnesota, which will drag a cold front through Missouri tonight. An additional 2-4 inches of rain will fall in some areas along the front. The additional rain should keep the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers in Missouri above flood stage for an extra day or two. Currently, these rivers are expected to reach their highest crests sometime between Monday June 30 and Wednesday July 2. The forecast looks somewhat drier for the Midwest next week, thankfully. The jet stream has regularly been taking a major dip southward into the Central U.S. the past two months, putting the favored track for rainy low pressure systems over the Midwest. The jet often gets "stuck" in a high-amplitude trough-ridge pattern which causes drought in one part of the country (California in this case) and floods in another. This "stuckness" often lasts for 3 months. The current 2-week forecast from the GFS and ECMWF models predicts a continuation of the "stuck" jet stream pattern, but decreasing in amplitude and sliding more to the east. This should result in the favored storm track moving more towards the East Coast, relieving flooding in the Midwest.


Figure 1. Precipitation for the 7 days ending on Friday, June 27, at 8am EDT. Image credit:NOAA.

Review of the new magazine, Extreme Weather
A beautiful new weather magazine called Extreme Weather has hit the bookstores this month. Published by Astronomy magazine, the new magazine features some truly spectacular weather photos, including a 12-page "Weathergallery" with awesome shots of tornadoes, lightning, floods, supercells, hail, hurricane winds, and waterspouts. The first article of the magazine features the equally fantastic photos of storm chaser Warren Faidley, who also happens to be the best writer among professional storm chasers, in my opinion. Additional articles in Extreme Weather include a balanced and interesting look at the hurricanes/global warming connection, plus some quality articles on dust storms, super cell thunderstorms, lightning, and the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900.

Extreme Weather is not yet a regular publication; the editors are gauging interest to see if they wish to make it so. I whole-heartedly encourage them to do so--this magazine rocks! You can order a copy at their website, it's $7.95.

Tropics
It's quiet in the tropical Atlantic. There are no threat areas to discuss, and none of the models are forecasting tropical storm formation in the next seven days.

Jeff Masters

500 Year Flood 2008 (UlaratheBard)
Iowa Flooding - Palo Iowa - The entire town of Palo Iowa was evacuated and was told to abandon due to flooding during the recent flooding of the the Cedar River and local water ways. During it's abandonment it was under military control. A week later the towns folk were allowed to re-enter their town to assess damage and begin clean-up. The town was devasted as you can see. Due to the fact the entire town was under water, their have been no coordinated efforts for donations, volunteer work, etc... plus, they've just been allowed back into their town and only during daytime hours. I'm sure they could use all the help they could get.
500 Year Flood 2008
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1162. aquak9
10:31 AM EDT on June 29, 2008
1155, 1160

yeah been watching those currents for a coupla weeks...figured a loop eddy was gonna pinch off here pretty soon, and there it is.

Yeah, ouch.
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1161. pearlandaggie
2:31 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
Tampa, i concur. this year, the loop current spun off an eddy just in time for the hurricane season!
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
1160. TampaSpin
10:29 AM EDT on June 29, 2008
1155. pearlandaggie 10:25 AM EDT on June 29, 2008

Pearl that double loop edy in the GOM looks very dangerous in that location for Texas to the Panhandle....very dangerous.
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1159. morningmisty
2:23 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
Good Morning to nrtiwinvragn & everyone,

Thanks so much for the two links on current African Dust. I really appreciate the info, I thanked you earlier, but didn't see it post.

Got to do laundry, before pm thunderstorms

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1158. pearlandaggie
2:27 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
1156. what's your observation on the activity level in the GoM when activity is high in the EPac? same as the CAtl?
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
1157. TampaSpin
10:27 AM EDT on June 29, 2008
1156. weathermanwannabe 10:27 AM EDT on June 29, 2008

I agree with you 100% that too is my findings also.....not tracked it but, just what i have observed over the many seasons.
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1156. weathermanwannabe
10:24 AM EDT on June 29, 2008
1154. TampaSpin 10:24 AM EDT on June 29, 2008 That has been my "non-scientific" observation for the past three seasons; when things are "hot" in the Epac, things tend to be quiet in the Atlantic basin and vice versa; and things are "hot" right now in the Epac....
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1155. pearlandaggie
2:24 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
if shear relaxes in the GoM and a system gets in there, there's lots of warm water running around......not good....

Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
1154. TampaSpin
10:20 AM EDT on June 29, 2008
1150. weathermanwannabe 10:20 AM EDT on June 29, 2008

great observation that is generally true. I have always thought the same as you just said. Anytime the E. Paci is busy the Atlan. has a hard time.
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1153. pearlandaggie
2:20 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
1150. i hope you're right!
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1152. IcemanMC
2:16 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
Thanks Terra, confirming I was still on the same page. The blog appears to be gaining some excitement.
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1150. weathermanwannabe
10:08 AM EDT on June 29, 2008
For whatever this is worth (and there is a sheer/enso related correlation [just got up and not thinking sharp yet] somewhere in there), a higher number of storms in the Epac during the Atl season tends to keep the sheer a bit higher in parts of the Atlantic Basin, and, vice versa (when Epac slows down, then sheer relaxes a bit more in the Atl and that basin becomes more "alive" so to speak; my point is that the Epac is very active right now and we may not see any significant development closer to the Caribbean/Conus until we get a stretch of "quiet" in the Epac, and, that may take a few weeks to come to pass.....
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1149. TampaSpin
10:16 AM EDT on June 29, 2008
1144. ShenValleyFlyFish 10:10 AM EDT on June 29, 2008
))))Bolg Blob((((( SAY: Get coffee. Must get Coffee! GO Get COFFEE


Pearland we have another heavy drinker....we do need help..please......lol
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1148. pearlandaggie
2:17 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
there's that darn mud-wrestling model again! (ECMWF) LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
1147. TerraNova
2:13 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
1145. IcemanMC 2:12 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
A few of the models are agreeing on a wave developing. Is this the same wave that the GFS was developing a week ago?


Yes. The models that are showing development in the Eastern Atlantic this week (GFS, CMC, UKM, ECMWF) all develop the same wave. The suspect wave is still over land in Africa.
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1146. pearlandaggie
2:12 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
Terra, i think one important take-home message from that graph is that just because the shear is below climatological average in March doesn't necessarily mean it will stay that way. it seems like a lot of people see those low numbers in March and want to extrapolate that into the hurricane season. thanks for providing that!
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
1145. IcemanMC
2:05 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
A few of the models are agreeing on a wave developing. Is this the same wave that the GFS was developing a week ago?
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1144. ShenValleyFlyFish
10:01 AM EDT on June 29, 2008
1126. TampaSpin

))))Bolg Blob((((( SAY: Get coffee. Must get Coffee! GO Get COFFEE

BRB
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1143. TerraNova
2:07 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
1142. TampaSpin 2:05 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
Terra looking at the shear map you just posted i would say it is running below average.


In general, yes, it's been running below average. But currently (at this moment) it's average. If you look closely at the image, you can see a little sliver of a line rising up and intersecting with climatology at present.
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1142. TampaSpin
9:58 AM EDT on June 29, 2008
Terra looking at the shear map you just posted i would say it is running below average.
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1141. pearlandaggie
2:00 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
thanks Terra and Tampa!
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1140. pearlandaggie
1:57 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
the latest plot shows the shear tendency in the GoM increasing...

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1139. TampaSpin
9:57 AM EDT on June 29, 2008
1136. pearlandaggie 9:54 AM EDT on June 29, 2008

I have it saved somewhere if i can find it.....wow i think i have 10000 sites saved..lol
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1138. TerraNova
1:51 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
Shear in the Tropical Atlantic (the main development region (MDR) is just about average for this time of year.

The reason shear has been high especially in the Eastern Atlantic is because of the presence of a double-barrel high pressure system just across the equator in the southern hemisphere, whose outflow has worked to increase shear near Africa. However, according to the CIMSS wind shear chart for the Eastern Atlantic, a Sub Equatorial high pressure ridge is forming on top of Cape Verde, lowering shear there to about 5 knots.

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1137. TampaSpin
9:52 AM EDT on June 29, 2008
Although Shear is still in high in the Southern part of the GOM it does appear it is not as high as it was.
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1136. pearlandaggie
1:53 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
anyone have the plot of current wind shear levels versus climatology?
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1135. nrtiwlnvragn
9:53 AM EDT on June 29, 2008
1131. morningmisty

Saharan Air Layer (SAL)


EUMETSAT - Dust
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1134. pearlandaggie
1:42 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
OH NOES!!! coffee police!!! lol
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1133. Tazmanian
6:40 AM PDT on June 29, 2008
i dont no what too think about wind shear any more but the wind shear out there been vary high some in you may see with a El Niño now i am going to wait in tell late july and AUG and see if some if this wind shear lower some wish i think it well but if its hight like this in late july and AUG then we have El Niño
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1132. TampaSpin
9:39 AM EDT on June 29, 2008
1128. pearlandaggie 9:37 AM EDT on June 29, 2008

Please don't be the police dog of us heavy drinkers on the blog........lol
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1131. morningmisty
1:30 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
Hey TampaSpin & anyone interested,

I'm not a weather expert, just been studying them ever since Elena.
Here's that link I was talking about I had to go to the site & check out "terms of use"

http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/shared-bin/display_image.cgi?URL=/aerosol_web/globaer/ops_01/centam/curr ent.gif

Hopefully, this will post better than it looks here. It is a link to what current conditions are in atmos. according to the National Research Laboratory Monterey. It is a gov't site that measures aerosols in atmos., since there may be a connection between this and development of hurricanes this season I thought it might be useful. This link shows current condit., the light & darker greens are dust, blue is smoke (elsewhere) etc.

If anyone knows anyother links for African dust in atmos., would love to know.
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1130. pearlandaggie
1:40 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
big PILE of shear in the CAtl and the CGoM...

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1129. TampaSpin
9:37 AM EDT on June 29, 2008
1127. Tazmanian 9:36 AM EDT on June 29, 2008

Taz i thought shear in the Atlat. was running below normal currently...could be wrong.
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1128. pearlandaggie
1:35 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
1126. LOL! for a sec there i thought i messed up! see, if you didn't drink coffee, you wouldn't have this problem! ;)
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1127. Tazmanian
6:34 AM PDT on June 29, 2008
am starting to think that if we have El Niño now has you can see that we are up to 96E and may be are next name strom in the East Pacific why in the Atlantic olny had one name storm and olny one 91L so far all so if you have not noted wind shear is vary high all overe in the Atlantic and its been that way for some time now
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1126. TampaSpin
9:33 AM EDT on June 29, 2008
1123. pearlandaggie 9:30 AM EDT on June 29, 2008

Pealand are you trying to confuse with them there pictures......why you spinning our minds for without our 2em cup of coffee this morning.....ROFLMAO
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1125. NC0WX0Man
1:29 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
I agree Tampa Spin and I don't know FLweather the convection seems to be decreasing and it looks like the heavy convection has refired further south but we'll have to wait and see but JMHO I have a feeling about this wave (and not a good one as in developement). We'll see what convection does as the day goes on and as it moves onto and spends time over the water.
1124. TerraNova
8:29 AM EST on June 29, 2008
1119. NC0WX0Man 8:22 AM EST on June 29, 2008
I looked at that link Terra and is it just me or does it look like convection was decreasing with the large African wave that is almost off the coast now


That usually happens with convective systems over land...daytime heating builds up through the morning then allows new convective activity to develop in the afternoon, which then wanes as the sun sets and the source of thermal energy is cut off. It's currently midday in this portion of Africa, so we should soon see new convection within this wave.
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1123. pearlandaggie
1:26 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
look at the moisture moving off of the African coast in the last frames of the loop. there also appears to be a large area of dry air headed to the CAtl.



is there another, smaller African wave associated with the more northerly surge of moisture off the African coast?

Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
1122. stormlvr
1:21 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
1115. FLWeatherFreak91 1:13 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
Honestly guys, I know a lot f you have been wanting to say this but haven't in fear that someone would call you a wishcaster or a doomcaster or something like that....but, look at that high! IF IF IF this thing were to come about it would def. make it to the Caribbean. NOT a fish.

Still a wait and see on if, where and when a LLC develops. Small variations N and S make a big difference in environmental factors. As far as steering, most likely W until between 40-50W where a more WNW course is possible.
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1121. TampaSpin
9:24 AM EDT on June 29, 2008
1119. NC0WX0Man 9:22 AM EDT on June 29, 2008

It seems the heavy convection is further South also...
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1120. FLWeatherFreak91
9:23 AM EDT on June 29, 2008
I looked at that link Terra and is it just me or does it look like convection was decreasing with the large African wave that is almost off the coast now

Put the loop to 24 frames and watch how the convection is constantly dying off and then refiring. They always do this.
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3620
1119. NC0WX0Man
1:17 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
I looked at that link Terra and is it just me or does it look like convection was decreasing with the large African wave that is almost off the coast now
1118. TampaSpin
9:14 AM EDT on June 29, 2008
1115. FLWeatherFreak91 9:13 AM EDT on June 29, 2008

i dont think that is overacting but just stating an observation that appears a fair conclusion.
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1117. TerraNova
8:08 AM EST on June 29, 2008
Morning everyone!

The GFS has picked up on it's Cape Verde system again after having dropped it during yesterday's 18z run. The GFS has it's predicted system following the 700-850mb steering current around the southern bulge of the subtropical high. A large area of PV (315k PV) shows the region of thunderstorm activity that the GFS is predicting will slowly emerge off the coast on about Tuesday.

Satellite imagery shows convection pretty well.

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1116. SpaceThrilla1207
1:13 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
Nobody bothered to anwser my question in post 1112.
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1115. FLWeatherFreak91
9:10 AM EDT on June 29, 2008
Honestly guys, I know a lot f you have been wanting to say this but haven't in fear that someone would call you a wishcaster or a doomcaster or something like that....but, look at that high! IF IF IF this thing were to come about it would def. make it to the Caribbean. NOT a fish.
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3620
1114. morningmisty
12:58 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
Hey TampaSpin,

That's how it is in FL you might have rain there, when we don't here. I know Friday at work, I thought it was going to rain it was hazy all day and then I just happened to find out about the African dust. I think it would be useful to know a link to go to to monitor this, since there is some evidence that if it's present the SS temps would be cooler this season. Don't know if this is going to happen though.
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1113. stormlvr
12:57 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
1104. Weather456 12:39 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
Good Morning, what a difference 12 hrs make. Three global models now develop a system off the African coast. The ECMWF, GFS and CMC. That is some decent model consensus there.

Yes, much more support. You can add the UKMET to that list also. The 6z GFS actually decreases support for the initial wave favoring a system developing further south later in the week. Overall, prefer the model support for the initial wave which the ECMWF and UKMET are now supporting.
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1112. SpaceThrilla1207
1:04 PM GMT on June 29, 2008
So the GFS/ECMWF/CMC are saying that the potential tropical storm wave it is the african wave BEHIND the high amplitude wave at 10W, not the wave at 10W?
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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.