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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712. Levi32
8:08 AM AKDT on June 28, 2008
703. Drakoen 7:53 AM AKDT on June 28, 2008

Yeah I'm no longer sure which one of those waves is the one to watch.....I'm a little confused why the GFS has been wanting to keep the low nearly stationary just off the coast for up to 48 hours straight without moving.
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711. TampaSpin
12:13 PM EDT on June 28, 2008
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709. weathermanwannabe
11:59 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
Don't think that NHC will "update" this wave as it is not there yet, and, has a long way to go to the Lesser Antilles but it appears to me (visual ob on the loops) that it is headed due west below the higher shear to the North right now.....We will need more detailed surface pressure information, to verify a closed low, before we jump the gun to TD, but, it "looks" good right now but for the lack of significant convection at the moment....Persistent convection is one key and I have not seen it yet from this wave.........
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708. Weather456
12:03 PM AST on June 28, 2008
ASCAT showed no LLCC with the wave.

http://manati.orbit.nesdis.noaa.gov/ascat_images/cur_50km/zooms/WMBds26.png
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707. SpaceThrilla1207
4:03 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
JP...you agree with me that this wave has a zero percent chance of development and TampaSpin/Kman will have to eat their 10 crows?


Then again...Jeff Masters is wrong very often...remember in 2005 he made a blog in mid-late August titled "TD 10 is dead, and will rise no more!" or something like that.
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706. Weather456
12:01 PM AST on June 28, 2008
CATL Wave
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704. pearlandaggie
3:53 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
"All models are wrong, some are useful."

-George Box
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703. Drakoen
3:42 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
The GFS based Precipitable water and 925hpa vorticity indicates that the current wave now moving of the coast of Africa will be responsible for decrease the SAL as the low level maxima increases the precipitable water values indicating moisture vertically within the atmosphere. The combined efforts of this wave and the wave near the prime meridian will moisten mid and upper troposphere to set the stage for AEW near 15E.
Link

It is still uncertain which area will be that area to watch but it will either be the area near the meridian or near 15E over Africa.
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702. kmanislander
3:51 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
Good observation KY

The weather plays it's own tune
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701. KYhomeboy
3:48 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
North....as we seasoned watches understand....the fact that the models aren't forecasting anythng doesn't mean nothing will form. Models are used as guides...and thats pretty much as far as that goes. We have seen it time and time again....we look at the loops and forecasts in the morning and there is nothing but an open wave....and 24 hours later....we have an invest or depression. Unpredictable
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700. kmanislander
3:49 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
I'm off to run some errands but will BB in a few hrs. Keep an "eye" on things for me ok ??

LOL
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699. JRRP
3:42 PM GMT on Junio 28, 2008
the lesser antilles must monitor this wave
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698. TampaSpin
11:44 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
693. JRRP 11:42 AM EDT on June 28, 2008

You did not use the "E" word......omg....lol
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697. kmanislander
3:43 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
When does the TWO come out ?. Was it due at 11 or is it every 6 hrs ( next one being 2 )?

TIA
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696. NorthxCakalaky
3:42 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
The wave in the Atlantic will not develope because this is said every day-

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

695. TampaSpin
11:41 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
688. kmanislander 11:40 AM EDT on June 28, 2008

You can now begin to some Banding features nearly in North and South....I agree as those tops start cooling i think the explosion will begin as long as it does not climb north into the shear.
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694. FLWeatherFreak91
11:42 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
FSU

And my weather site has links to a lot more helpful info.
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693. JRRP
3:37 PM GMT on Junio 28, 2008
the wave looks like has an eye
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692. Rick54
3:40 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
Would someone mind posting some links to the various models especially the FSU site? I had to replace my laptop and when it died I lost all my links
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691. TampaSpin
11:41 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
SpaceThriller you ready...lol
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690. pearlandaggie
3:35 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
that's an awfully large area of the GoM with large surface velocities. and i see the Loop Current has already shed one warm water eddy. not good news!
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689. KYhomeboy
3:35 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
I have to disagree....that wave does show signs of organization. There is a clear circulation of some sort...whether it be closed or not is another thing. Cirrus clouds are fanning out to the north and east of the wave which suggests an environmnet lacking signififcant shear at the moment (little enough to encourage development). The distinct comma shape is a clue as well. Convection will pulsate as always....but for the past half a day it has shown more vigorous and better maintained convection. Simple satellite observation can tell a lot!

If the wave stays generally more southerly it will not encounter such strong shear like we are seeing in the northern carib area. In terms of the dry/stable air....again if it remains more southerly....this will not have as significant an effect as a more northerly track.
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688. kmanislander
3:36 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
Tampa

If you run the Ramsdis floater loop that is on this wave you can clearly see cloud elements moving from the West and SW and wrapping inwards .

What's lacking now is some deep convection. This is the hottest time of day at 37W which would account for the warming cloud tops . The structure still looks good and I would expect to see some more convection fire within the next 6 hrs as the sun goes down in the CATL
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687. FLWeatherFreak91
11:36 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
I wouldn't think a TD yet at all Taz... we got awhile to go. It's not even an invest
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686. TampaSpin
11:35 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
Taz i agree
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685. ajcamsmom2
3:31 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
Okay...rain, rain go away, come again another day...I was counting on a beautiful day today...I planned my son's birthday at a farm...go figure...Fish out for a fry, potato salad made...green salad washed and ready...beans still in the can with fixing in a go bag...cake is ready to be picked up and balloons are just waiting to be filled...so, rain, rain go away, come again another day

Did I forget to mention...of course it is pouring down raining...
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684. Tazmanian
8:29 AM PDT on June 28, 2008
this wave all most look like a TD it looks like its showing some baning and it could be warping a round

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683. TampaSpin
11:33 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
Has to be an invest soon very soon.
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682. TampaSpin
11:25 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
Coming soon at a location near SpaceThriller..
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681. Tazmanian
8:27 AM PDT on June 28, 2008
your welcome
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680. pearlandaggie
3:25 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
that's it, Taz. thanks!
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679. Tazmanian
8:17 AM PDT on June 28, 2008
some one on here was asking for the loop eddy well here is a update map on them

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678. TampaSpin
11:11 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
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677. weathermanwannabe
11:03 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
649. kmanislander 10:45 AM EDT on June 28, 2008 good day again everyone

Shear is below 20 knots South of 12N all the way to the Eastern Caribbean and I therefore think this wave has a chance to develop further if it does not gain any additional latitude.


I think that is spot on and it mentioned last night when the wave was looking better than it does this am; shear (if it gains latitude) and the dry air will probably prevent any significant development.....

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676. kmanislander
3:10 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
SpaceThrilla

I have the oven on warm LOL
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675. NorthxCakalaky
3:08 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
Which one running for president do you think will sead hurricanes before they impact the U.S? Cain or Obama?
674. SpaceThrilla1207
3:06 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
tropical twins in the Epace lolskates


Guess I won't be eating 200 Crows afterall...Tampa and Kman will be eating 10.
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673. SpaceThrilla1207
3:05 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
http://hadar.cira.colostate.edu/ramsdis/online/trop_gw_vis_float_0.html
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672. weathersp
11:01 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
669.

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671. TampaSpin
11:02 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
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670. SpaceThrilla1207
3:00 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
look at that nice looking pink blob in the vorticity map at around 112W in the Epace...looks cool
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669. all4hurricanes
11:00 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
Does someone have a picture of boris and cristina in the same picture
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668. TampaSpin
10:56 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
SpaceThriller you may need 911 on standby......lol
850mb
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667. hurricane23
10:56 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
With that TUTT near the eastern caribbean you can pretty much forget about development atleast in the near term for that wave moving through the central altlantic.

Floater Loop

Pretty normal for this time of the year if your wondering.
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666. SpaceThrilla1207
2:55 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
Anyways be ready to eat those 10 raw, ugly-footed birds.

Yeah, pearlandaggie is a good poster, nothing wrong with him...
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665. 0741
2:55 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
look at this way if this any chance nhc will talk about it their think is that too far south yet
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664. pearlandaggie
2:55 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
662. i know that! i was just firing a shot back! LOL

/you're gonna have to work a LOT harder than that to offend me! LOL...i've been called a LOT worse just on this message board :)
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663. kmanislander
2:54 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
I think I could handle 10 crows but might need some Pepto Bismal !. 200 crows ??- better have 911 on standby LOL
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662. MasterForecaster
2:52 PM GMT on June 28, 2008
aggie i was just messin with ya! your a very enthusiatic poster and i admire your enthusiasm =]

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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.