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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1962. philliesrock
12:35 PM EDT on June 30, 2008
The latest GFS holds the storm together pretty well, unlike previous runs. Today's model runs should be very interesting.

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1960. FLWeatherFreak91
12:38 PM EDT on June 30, 2008
we need a wunderblogger in Sierra Leone or Liberia or something to let us know first hand what the conditions are like under one of these waves... it would be interesting to see. I imagine it would be something like what happened in the South DR yesterday as that wave moved through. Windy thunderstorms
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1959. Stormchaser2007
4:36 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
Excellent point JP! Think of the hundreds of year, heck even thousands of years that man wasn't able to track storms. There was definitely CV storms around in some point of early July.
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1958. Buhdog
4:17 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
I am sure CCHS will mention it now tampa.....
Member Since: July 30, 2005 Posts: 1 Comments: 960
1957. CajunSubbie
4:31 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
hey aroughleague172

Thank ya Thank ya. Yah its my wife.
yah lucky me.. married over my head. :)
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1956. Patrap
11:38 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
All this stuff is moot,the storms have no ears, and the NHC is the ONLY Outfit we all rely on for the info..

All else is fool's gold.

When we do have a invest in the Atlantic..we will certainly see the Bloggers forecasting the Invest to their local counties,and the doom and Gloom casters will arrive en'masse.
Then the serious poster's will go back to their respective blogs and laugh till November.
The one-upmanships,the deluge of TWO's...POD's and TWD's will cause server lag and the place will turn into a Zoo.

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1955. 69Viking
11:34 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
1933. IKE

Thanks IKE!
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1953. TheCaneWhisperer
4:34 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
The GFS does make sense. It shows the cyclone waning across the MDR where TCHP is lowest and shear is highest. At least the 6Z run did, I haven't looked at the 12Z yet.
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1952. txalwaysprepared
4:34 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
504 oh you don't have to tell me that! LOL
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1951. Stormchaser2007
4:34 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
I guess these are nothing then...lol

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1947. Michfan
11:31 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
Typical downcaster JP. No sense in even acknowledging it.
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1946. TheWeatherMan504
4:30 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
1943. txalwaysprepared 4:29 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
504 or, as I like to call them, "overpaid prompter readers"


some of the "overpaid prompter readers" are as dumb as a bucket of mud.
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1945. TheCaneWhisperer
4:29 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
In reference to the declining TCHP: Stronger High Pressure is keeping the trades up, increasing evaporation.
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1943. txalwaysprepared
4:27 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
504 or, as I like to call them, "overpaid prompter readers"
Member Since: August 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1642
1942. philliesrock
12:25 PM EDT on June 30, 2008
12z GFS has a 1009 mb low along just west of 40W, and just south of 15N.

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1941. Michfan
11:28 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
The falling TCHP has me puzzled as well.
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1940. aroughleague172
4:28 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
Hey CajunSubbie, your wife is pretty...or is that your girlfriend...either way, she is pretty. Congrats.
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1939. CajunSubbie
4:26 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
why are TCHP levels falling in the atlantic?
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1938. aroughleague172
4:26 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
I agree with Lefty's 1918 post.
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1937. Drakoen
4:26 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
UKMET:

NEW TROPICAL STORM FORECAST TO DEVELOP AFTER 36 HOURS

FORECAST POSITION AT T+ 36 : 11.5N 17.4W



VERIFYING TIME POSITION STRENGTH TENDENCY

-------------- -------- -------- --------

12UTC 01.07.2008 11.5N 17.4W WEAK

00UTC 02.07.2008 12.6N 19.5W WEAK INTENSIFYING SLIGHTLY

12UTC 02.07.2008 13.4N 21.9W WEAK WEAKENING SLIGHTLY

00UTC 03.07.2008 13.3N 25.4W WEAK LITTLE CHANGE

12UTC 03.07.2008 13.3N 28.4W WEAK LITTLE CHANGE

00UTC 04.07.2008 13.1N 31.6W WEAK LITTLE CHANGE

12UTC 04.07.2008 13.0N 34.7W WEAK LITTLE CHANGE

00UTC 05.07.2008 12.8N 37.4W WEAK LITTLE CHANGE

12UTC 05.07.2008 13.3N 40.2W WEAK LITTLE CHANGE

00UTC 06.07.2008 13.0N 43.5W WEAK LITTLE CHANGE
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30491
1936. TheWeatherMan504
4:21 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
1932.

TWC icon at the bottom right corner. The forecast/ conditions bar, temperaures, precipitation and lots of other stuff.Its not just me we have a team that does all of that.you can sometimes see us runing in the backround when the "anouncers" sit at there desk.
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1935. TheCaneWhisperer
4:19 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
Afternoon All.

A lot of activity forecast in the models in the next couple weeks. Hard to think that SEFL would have to watch the tropics from the east in early July. Climatology has been working we'll this year, I'll believe it when I see it. New Orleans ready for a possible storm? I know PaTrap is up to date on the progress, what do you think?
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1934. Patrap
11:21 AM CDT on June 30, 2008

NDBC BUOYs Link

Station 42001 Station 42002 Station 42007 Station 42019 Station 42020 Station 42035 Station 42038 Station 42040 Station 42041 Station 42055 Station 42039 Station 42036 Station 42003 Station 42408 Station 41008 Station 41012 Station 41010 Station 41009
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1933. IKE
11:21 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
1930. txalwaysprepared 11:19 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
viking how often do the buoys update? constant? 10 minutes?


Usually every hour at 10 minutes til the hour.
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1932. txalwaysprepared
4:19 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
504 you do graphics for TWC? What type of graphics? (I used to be a producer for NBC)
I don't have a lot of faith in our local mets... which is why I come here.
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1930. txalwaysprepared
4:18 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
viking how often do the buoys update? constant? 10 minutes?
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1929. TheWeatherMan504
4:16 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
leftovers, i dont know when the last time you looked but there is an impressive wave over Africa so u might want to check that out.
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1928. Patrap
11:17 AM CDT on June 30, 2008


The GOM dont relate to those on Fla east coast well...in some cases.

Thats why we use the NHC and NOAA.
They cover the whole Basin.

Not just personal interests.
AKA "wishcasting"
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1926. TampaSpin
12:14 PM EDT on June 30, 2008
CCHS you mentioned nothing about the GOM in you update is this not of any concern that you see coming??
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1924. 69Viking
11:12 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
1918. leftovers

Nope, conditions overall everywhere continue to improve and the African Wave Train shows no signs of slowing down.
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1923. txalwaysprepared
4:10 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
Viking.. ok.. thanks. I was just making sure I was looking at the right thing.

Ok.. I have finally changed my pic. No longer is it my youngest son's 3D ultrasound lol. It is now the cause of my neurotic storm state. Two points if anyone knows what storm it is lol.
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1922. TampaSpin
12:11 PM EDT on June 30, 2008
1918. leftovers 12:10 PM EDT on June 30, 2008
Does anyone else think that we will see NO tropical storm activity out of all this hubbub. Hope not for you model pushers.


Don't know but, more often than not when you see this many models suggesting development it usually happens...just my personal thoughts tho.
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1921. IpswichWeatherCenter
4:11 PM GMT on June 30, 2008


slightly weird....

a hurricane next advisory?

they must know something
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1920. Drakoen
4:11 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
1918. leftovers 4:10 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
Does anyone else think that we will see NO tropical storm activity out of all this hubbub. Hope not for you model pushers.


Get Adrian lol.
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1919. 786
4:08 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
Thanks cchs you answered my questions, great update
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1917. Patrap
11:09 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
Corps of Engineers,Task Force Guardian Link

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1916. 69Viking
11:04 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
1905. txalwaysprepared

Correct but overall the pressure rise has stayed pretty constant.
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1915. txalwaysprepared
4:06 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
I can't imagine dealing with FEMA.. and still, three years later. My husband's family was fortunate.

Are you in Louisiana?
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1914. Patrap
11:08 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
LSU ESL Hurricane Page Link

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1913. cchsweatherman
12:01 PM EDT on June 30, 2008
Good afternoon all! Here is my Tropical Update that I just posted on my site.

Tropical Atlantic Discussion

For now, the Tropical Atlantic remains very quiet, but there are signs the tropics may become much more active in the coming week.

Right now, we only have a few tropical waves with little convection associated with them. The tropical wave I had been watching the past few days has fallen apart as the convection has been eroded away by extreme dry air surrounding the wave.

Reverting back to the opening, ALL computer models now show tropical cyclone development off Africa in association with a very impressive and well-organized tropical wave moving over Africa in a few days. Based upon my observations, there may already be a surface circulation, which is needed for tropical development. Conditions are quite favorable for tropical cyclone development in the Eastern Atlantic as wind shear is forecasted to decrease, which allows for thunderstorms to continue rising and for tropical systems to organize and strengthen. I will continue to monitor this tropical wave and will have further updates on possible tropical cyclone development off Africa. At this point, based upon the remarkable model consensus and favorable conditions in the region, I feel quite confident in forecast a tropical cyclone in the Eastern Atlantic in the upcoming week.


Eastern Pacific Discussion

Unlike the Atlantic, the Pacific remains very active with two tropical storms (Boris and Cristina) and a developing tropical system in Invest 96E.

Both Tropical Storm Boris and Tropical Storm Cristina will continue moving towards the west and weaken as they encounter much more stable air in the marine layer that covers the Central Pacific. In fact, Tropical Storm Cristina has collapsed and the convection has just completely fallen apart. Tropical Storm Boris may reach hurricane status sometime during the next 24 to 48 hours before weakening into a tropical depression within the next five days.

I will have further comment on Invest 96E tomorrow.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
1912. Patrap
11:02 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
I see now...yup,most never heard of a Levee till o5,...LOL

But they sure have the last 3 weeks upriver.
I've gotten numerous wu-mails from folks saying you were right Pat,calamity knows no Borders,and anything constructed by Man,be it bridge ,or Levee's,can be taken out by Nature,.In a day or less.

ANd those who are dealing with FEMA and Insurance companies,have my sympathies big time.
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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.