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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1012. pearlandaggie
1:19 AM GMT on June 29, 2008
1010. i heard that! i bet all islanders are NOT big fans of hurricanes!
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1011. presslord
9:17 PM EDT on June 28, 2008
Catalina 27 is the perfect coastal cruiser...I used to have one ...great weekends on the hook ..quick sails just offshore...really great boat....
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1010. conchygirl
9:18 PM EDT on June 28, 2008
I am proud to be a downcaster!
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1009. pearlandaggie
1:17 AM GMT on June 29, 2008
1008. amen! call me a downcaster if you must, but i'm not one for seeing storms form :)
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1008. conchygirl
9:15 PM EDT on June 28, 2008
TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.
------------------
This is excellent news for those of us not wishing for a storm!
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1007. pearlandaggie
1:13 AM GMT on June 29, 2008
press, i posted that for you and other sailors on this blog. i know there are several folks that sail or race sailboats that follow things like that.

you're more than welcome. i sold by Catalina 27 in April, so it's not as applicable to me as before. groundings in Clear Lake tend to consist of getting stuck in the mud, so things like this don't happen that often around here....especially in the open GoM.
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1006. presslord
9:11 PM EDT on June 28, 2008
pearland...thank you...I've been curious to see some follow up to that story....
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1005. Patrap
8:11 PM CDT on June 28, 2008
GOES WV Loop of Tropical Basin Link

More GOES Atmospheric Products Link



Atlantic Tropical Weather Outlook Link

000
ABNT20 KNHC 282348
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 PM EDT SAT JUN 28 2008

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

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

$$
FORECASTER LANDSEA/RHOME


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129904
1004. pearlandaggie
1:11 AM GMT on June 29, 2008
1003. yeah, i mentioned something very similar to that earlier without much fanfare! LOL
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1003. NC0WX0Man
1:07 AM GMT on June 29, 2008
The wave that most people were following yesterday and into last night is treading a fine line between the SAL and deadly shear ahead of it but I will give it credit on the fact that it is maintaining not only itself but what looks to me to be a center where the current blow up of convection is located. I still say it won't amount to anything at all but it's neat to notice and to impress me it'll have to maintain and improve within the next few hours or poof it goes absolutely completely.
1002. conchygirl
9:09 PM EDT on June 28, 2008
Lots of rain and nice lightening show here in Melbourne, Fl
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1001. pearlandaggie
1:08 AM GMT on June 29, 2008
1000. presslord
8:37 PM EDT on June 28, 2008
Another sandbag barrier fails at Winfield, Mo.

Jun 28 01:22 PM US/Eastern
By BETSY TAYLOR Associated Press

WINFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A makeshift sandbag levee holding back the Mississippi River failed early Saturday and authorities said part of the town was evacuated.
Water began flowing under the 4-foot-high barrier around 4:30 a.m. An alarm sounded and the few residents remaining in the flood plain were ordered to get out.

"It was a valiant effort," said Chris Azar of the Winfield-Foley Fire Department. "It's unfortunate that we couldn't do more but Mother Nature won. Now, just give it time for the water to recede."

On Friday, the Pin Oak levee that protected part of the town of 720 residents gave way, and within hours the National Guard began constructing the makeshift levee around a cluster of about 100 homes. That new levee had a steel frame with layers of dirt, plastic and sandbags. Hundreds of volunteers had filled sandbags for the effort.

The new barrier appeared to be holding well, until Saturday morning.


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999. pearlandaggie
12:32 AM GMT on June 29, 2008
998. cool, man, thanks! i was just looking at the IR image and noticed the wave looked like it's got the potential for further organization.

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998. LowerCal
5:29 PM PDT on June 28, 2008
is it possible that we will see another TC right behind Boris?

From the 22Z TWDEP:

...TROPICAL WAVE...

TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 96W N OF 8N WITH A LOW CENTER OF 1010 MB
NEAR 8N96W. THIS SYSTEM IS MOVING W 10-15 KT. LATEST SATELLITE
IMAGERY SHOWS THAT CYCLONIC TURNING OF THE LOW LEVEL CLOUD FIELD
IS NOT AS EVIDENT AS 18-24 HOURS AGO...AND THE SYSTEM IS
PRESENTLY POORLY ORGANIZED. SCATTERED MODERATE/ISOLATED STRONG
CONVECTION IS WITHIN 60 NM EITHER SIDE OF THE WAVE FROM 10N-14N.
OTHER ASSOCIATED CONVECTION IS TIED IN WITH THE ITCZ AS
DESCRIBED BELOW. GLOBAL MODELS STILL LATCH ON TO THIS WAVE AND
LOW...AND DEVELOP IT OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS AS THEY IT TRACK IT
IN A WNW DIRECTION.


"Possible" is a good word. :^)
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997. stoormfury
12:29 AM GMT on June 29, 2008
eye you have mail
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2722
996. beell
12:28 AM GMT on June 29, 2008
987.
This was also carried on yesterdays 8:05PM TWD
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16925
995. pearlandaggie
12:24 AM GMT on June 29, 2008
993. LOL....like I quoted George Box:

"All models are wrong, some are useful."

this tends to not be a popular opinion on this blog! :)
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994. pearlandaggie
12:19 AM GMT on June 29, 2008
992. i don't know if this is what you're looking for:

Current Lake Okechobee H2o height.
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993. sporteguy03
12:18 AM GMT on June 29, 2008
weather follows no models
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5417
992. SMU88
12:18 AM GMT on June 29, 2008
DOes anyone know of a site I can got to see how much rain Lake O has been getting lately and how low it still is?
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991. pearlandaggie
12:16 AM GMT on June 29, 2008
is it possible that we will see another TC right behind Boris?

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990. pearlandaggie
12:07 AM GMT on June 29, 2008
Total Solar Irradiance
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989. pearlandaggie
12:04 AM GMT on June 29, 2008
988. eye
11:51 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
Tropical Update From HurricaneCity
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987. kmanislander
11:49 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
From the 8:05 TWD

"A tropical wave is along 38w/39w S of 14n moving W near 15 kt. A
broad area of low-mid level circulation is evident on satellite
imagery from 7n-12n between 33w-40w."

First real mention of the cyclonic turning, and note the reference to low to mid levels, not mid to upper.
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986. LowerCal
4:41 PM PDT on June 28, 2008
Oh yeah ... hadn't thought of that, lol.
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985. kmanislander
11:41 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
From the 2:05 TWD

"Anticyclonic
flow covers the area from the ITCZ to 25n between 40w and 70w
in the Caribbean Sea.
"

Not too hostile IMO
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984. beell
11:40 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
Hey Keeper,
Congrats on your first week of wucast KPHL.
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983. beell
11:37 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
Oh! You're right. lol
Everybody is watchin Africa I guess
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982. LowerCal
4:35 PM PDT on June 28, 2008
Yes, SW of Mexico ... not northern Africa, lol.
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981. beell
11:33 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
That is kinda goofy LowerCal.
It is a TS, yes?
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16925
980. kmanislander
11:26 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
So the GFS has dropped the system that was supposed to come off next week eh ?. Surprise, surprise.

At least the CATL wave is still hanging in there. Shear is low all the way to 60W and there is a high to its West. Let's see if it can fire up tonight LOLLink
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979. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
11:24 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
things will ramp up soon enough
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978. beell
11:25 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
975.
YW!
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16925
977. LowerCal
4:01 PM PDT on June 28, 2008
Good thing TS Boris isn't producing any TS force winds here as they weren't expected and don't have any warnings up!

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976. beell
10:59 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
I certainly never predicted a gloom and doom thing. Only that the GFS modeled 2-3 strong waves and only waves coming off the coast a bit farther N than earlier waves and a slow creep to the N of the ITCZ. Specifically, the eastern end. This may still occur. The base of the TUTT slides on up to the NE next week per the GFS also. fwiw.

Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16925
975. atmoaggie
10:50 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
912.
atmo,
OF boundaries represent a density difference between the rain cooled air and the warmer and a bit drier air on each side of the boundary to the radar.

The difference in density reflects the beam differently. Abracadabra-a visible OF.


Ahha! I thought there had to be an explanation outside of hydrometeors...none there. Thanks.

A RH and density gradient makes sense.
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974. hurricane23
6:49 PM EDT on June 28, 2008
There was never nothing out there in the first place.The GFS model does this countless times during hurricane season.If have of what the GFS actually came to pass florida would sease to exist.Give it another 3-4 weeks before you look out in that region.Also the central atlantic wave is running into a wall of fast upper level winds due to a TUTT in the region.

In 2004 things were slow to start in june/july and once august came around all hell broke loose. Overall no worries.
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973. beell
10:46 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
971.
Good point Taz. By the time these 2-3 waves (some would say strong waves) lined up over Africa clear the coast it will be the middle of July maybe.
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16925
971. Tazmanian
3:34 PM PDT on June 28, 2008
next we is the start of july
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115456
970. Drakoen
10:32 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
966. JFV 10:29 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
Drak, If I recall correctly, didn't you say not to long ago in here that your expecting the basin to undergo a major pattern shift neek week to more favorable conditions?


Not necessarily major and not the whole basin, the computer models are showing an overall reduction in the magnitude of the vertical wind shear in tropical Atlantic. Apparently the GFS doesn't think there will be enough moisture to sustain the system. The 700mb height showed no 700mb omega which would be a sign of vertical rising within the atmosphere. The GFS still keeps the humidity levels high so we will see what happens. We saw the GFS drop dean on one or two runs before.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30838
969. IKE
5:31 PM CDT on June 28, 2008
I went back and looked at the last 12 years....nothing develop out there in June.....the GFS seems to be losing some cred this year.

For the most part(excluding 2005), the season really starts near August 1st(looking back to 1996).
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
967. Drakoen
10:28 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
965. JFV 10:27 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
So no more GFS storm then folks?


Maybe. I don't think anyone was buying it much anyways thought the consistency was nice to see. We'll see if it can pick it up on the other runs. We should still have something to watch regardless of what the GFS is saying.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30838
964. beell
10:24 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
CV waves are born at or around 600-700mb in response to the African Jet. 700mb is a good layer to track a wave in the EATL imo.

Still shows up at this level at 132 hrs but getting "fuzzy" Waiting for the run to finish also.

These wave things are hard to kill so I expect we'll have something to watch next week regardless.
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16925
963. Drakoen
10:18 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
962. IKE 10:17 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
959/960...I usually look at the other chart....


The GFS drops it on both regardless.
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962. IKE
5:15 PM CDT on June 28, 2008
959/960...I usually look at the other chart....
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860

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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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