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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962. IKE
5:15 PM CDT on June 28, 2008
959/960...I usually look at the other chart....
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961. JRRP
10:11 PM GMT on Junio 28, 2008

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960. Stormchaser2007
10:13 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
10m-Wnd 06hr Pcpn Drops it after 100hours
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959. Drakoen
10:12 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
The GFS does appear weaker with the system which has been the trend throughout the day. We'll see what happens.
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958. IKE
5:10 PM CDT on June 28, 2008
955. Drakoen 5:10 PM CDT on June 28, 2008
953. IKE 10:08 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
Latest 18Z GFS seems to have dropped the African wave/storm..at least at 90 hours it has...it's not there.

Are you sure you are looking at it correctly? I still see it.


I'm looking at the 850mb Temp, MSLP, 6hr Pcpn...
90 Hour
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957. Stormchaser2007
10:10 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
Well I think this is it

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956. Stormchaser2007
10:09 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
953.What run are you looking at?

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955. Drakoen
10:09 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
953. IKE 10:08 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
Latest 18Z GFS seems to have dropped the African wave/storm..at least at 90 hours it has...it's not there.


Are you sure you are looking at it correctly? I still see it.
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954. IKE
5:08 PM CDT on June 28, 2008
The moisture is still there.......
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953. IKE
5:07 PM CDT on June 28, 2008
Latest 18Z GFS seems to have dropped the African wave/storm..at least at 90 hours it has...it's not there.
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952. TerraNova
4:53 PM EST on June 28, 2008
The lowest pressure I can find out of the surface observations around the area near Ghana (the precursor of the GFS system) is 1012 millibars, just to the east of most of the convection. Pressures have been dropping in a few of these stations. Accra is reporting a pressure of 1013mb with a 1mb drop in the past hour.

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951. stormchasher
9:57 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
Hello all!!
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950. Patrap
4:48 PM CDT on June 28, 2008
Switching to Mode 1 Bravo for Radar Houston Link
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949. aquak9
5:47 PM EDT on June 28, 2008
Ike I've had that problem now for over an hour- won't zoom in- glad to hear it's not just me
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948. IKE
4:45 PM CDT on June 28, 2008
They won't zoom-in, for some reason.
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946. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
9:28 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
National Hurricane Center
Tropical Cyclone Warning Number SEVEN
21:00 PM UTC June 28 2008

============================================
At 18:00 PM UTC, Tropical Storm Boris (1000 hPa) located near 14.8N 113.9W or 540 NM south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California Peninsula has sustained winds of 45 knots with gusts up to 55 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west-northwest at 10 knots.

Gale-Force Winds
===============
90 NM from the center

Forecast Position and Intensity
=================================
24 HRS: 15.0N 116.8W - 40 knots (Cyclone)
48 HRS: 15.3N 120.3W - 35 knots (Cyclone)
72 HRS: 15.5N 123.5W - 30 knots (Depression)

-----------------------------------------------
National Hurricane Center
Tropical Cyclone Warning Number FIVE
21:00 PM UTC June 28 2008

========================================
At 18:00 PM UTC, Tropical Storm Cristina (1004 hPa) located near 14.6N 125.4W or 1012 NM west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California has sustained winds of 40 knots with gusts up to 50 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west at 7 knots.

Gale-Force Winds
================
70 NM from the center

Forecast Position and Intensity
=================================
24 HRS: 14.9N 128.4W - 40 knots (Cyclone)
48 HRS: 15.0N 132.4W - 30 knots (Depression)
72 HRS: 15.0N 137.0W - 25 knots (Low Pressure Area)
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945. Chicklit
4:25 PM EST on June 28, 2008
Even though we're under a "severe thunderstorm warning" my 82-year-old mother wants me over to her house on the beachside for "a drink" and dinner. I don't have the heart to stand her up! Oh boy. (I'm skeered!)
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944. CybrTeddy
9:23 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
That wave over Africa must be what the GFS is predicting.
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943. Chicklit
4:20 PM EST on June 28, 2008
Nice steady rain in East Central Florida right now...been going on for about an hour. We needed this.
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942. beell
9:17 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
ok...two in a row.
I'm done!
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941. presslord
5:16 PM EDT on June 28, 2008
I've got bloblettes to my west....bloblettes to my north...alas, I'm blobletteless....
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940. beell
9:13 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.
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939. beell
9:04 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
936.
lol IKE.
It could be a long week
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938. Drakoen
8:55 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
936. IKE 8:55 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
That poor wave fixing to emerge off of Africa will be in for...believers vs. non-believers, soon. Three-thousand miles from the Caribbean islands.


lol yes. We'll know soon enough. The wave east of the CV islands is really whats going to help the wave over Africa with the moisture.
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937. surfmom
8:53 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
bbl domestics are calling
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936. IKE
3:53 PM CDT on June 28, 2008
That poor wave fixing to emerge off of Africa will be in for...believers vs. non-believers, soon. Three-thousand miles from the Caribbean islands.
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935. surfmom
8:50 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
Flweatherfreak - I know the east coast has some nice waves now, in fact the wind that holds the gulf flat and glassy here, is helping them along.
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934. IKE
3:52 PM CDT on June 28, 2008
931. NC0WX0Man 3:51 PM CDT on June 28, 2008
just got in from work but what happened to the wave that was already out in the ATL that had a cyclonic turning to it yesterday? I need a quick update please.


It's choking....needs an oxygen machine......
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933. IKE
3:50 PM CDT on June 28, 2008
I hear ya surfmom........
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932. Stormchaser2007
8:51 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
Last One:
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931. NC0WX0Man
8:48 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
just got in from work but what happened to the wave that was already out in the ATL that had a cyclonic turning to it yesterday? I need a quick update please.
930. surfmom
8:42 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
didn't surf when we lived in Hawaii - but I am not fond of the pacific (puerto vallarta & costa rica) water is sooo dark there, cold and the water is heavy --don't get me wrong had a great time, but it was scary. Learned to surf late in life, my youngest son got me started and then I turned into a weather/surf freak. Been at this since I was 48 - 50 now --so I tend to be cautious--nothing more then chest high--Surfing IMHO is a sport where the guys really do have an advantage --paddling into the big stuff takes lots of strength, it's why I have to always paddle, even when it's flat, just to stay fit. I like the gulf because it is a kinda, gentler ocean --this past winter we had lots of wind swell - not pretty but workable --this time of year ....it's a waiting game. when gas was cheap the drive over wasn't a big deal.....now I have to save my fuel for work
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929. FLWeatherFreak91
4:49 PM EDT on June 28, 2008
Surfmom...you need to load up the family and move to Hawaii or SD,CA. for wave action!!!!!!

Even the other side of the state is better lol
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928. Stormchaser2007
8:47 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
More Pics on the wave over Africa. (courtesy SSD)


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927. Drakoen
8:43 PM GMT on June 28, 2008

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926. IKE
3:36 PM CDT on June 28, 2008
Surfmom...you need to load up the family and move to Hawaii or SD,CA. for wave action!!!!!!
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925. kmanislander
8:34 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
West wind at the buoy South of the CATL wave. Waiting to see if the convection fires after sundown

Link
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924. aquak9
4:35 PM EDT on June 28, 2008
ahhh, thanks beeel- just who I was hoping for. Go to your blog- this ain't tropical, don't wanna clog this blog up w/chitter-chatter
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923. KoritheMan
8:33 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
Thanks pearl, and Drak too. I'll definitely use this.

All right, well I'm out for now you guys. Later. Nice discussion with you guys.
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922. beell
8:32 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
Aqua,
Oooh, I know, Iknow, wait...what is the question(s)
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921. aquak9
4:32 PM EDT on June 28, 2008
Hi Surfmom. I don't post very often in here- I ain't smart enough to hang with the Big Dogs, hahaha....just had a coupla questions but no problem. I'll bug someone else later.

Later ya'll!
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920. surfmom
8:30 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
Hey Aqua 9 Good to see you - !!!
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919. Drakoen
8:31 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
913. surfmom 8:25 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
nice post 896 - picture w/words...I get it


Thanks.
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918. surfmom
8:25 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
Hi Baha -- did you have some waves yesterday? maybe 2 ft? the gulf is as flat as the lower half of the state. Lucily I talked my son into paddling with me, we had fun talking about all the hurricane waves we surfed, and how each storm created waves/conditions unique to the storm.

He loved Wilma the best...me I still think Dean may be my fav.
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917. Drakoen
8:26 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
914. KoritheMan 8:25 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
Yes. Will continue to monitor the area of convection currently just west of the prime meridian over Africa for the potential for tropical cyclone development. The current wave is giving a big moisture surge. If it pans out it could take care of the SAL as far north as 20N in the TRPL ATL.

Speaking of SAL and the tropical wave currently over Africa, can you link me to the site that shows the animated precipitable water? I really wanna know where to find it, and I always see it posted on here. It's on the last page, if you don't know what I'm talking about. Just scroll up.


Link

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916. pearlandaggie
8:26 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
914. here ya go:
Link
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
915. aquak9
4:24 PM EDT on June 28, 2008
good afternoon kind bloggers. Would anyone be willing to take a moment to help w/some questions I have about the thermodynamics as listed on the SPC page?

Thank you if there are any takers.
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914. KoritheMan
8:23 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
Yes. Will continue to monitor the area of convection currently just west of the prime meridian over Africa for the potential for tropical cyclone development. The current wave is giving a big moisture surge. If it pans out it could take care of the SAL as far north as 20N in the TRPL ATL.

Speaking of SAL and the tropical wave currently over Africa, can you link me to the site that shows the animated precipitable water? I really wanna know where to find it, and I always see it posted on here. It's on the last page, if you don't know what I'm talking about. Just scroll up.
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913. surfmom
8:18 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
nice post 896 - picture w/words...I get it
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912. atmoaggie
8:21 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
So yeah, it's been a bad year for storms, at least in Prairieville. And don't forget the tennis ball size hail in Baton Rouge a couple months back. Rough stuff.

Yeah...friend of mine getting a new roof out of that hailstorm.
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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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