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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511. weatherblog
5:31 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
506. JLPR 5:29 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
I bet this could be a invest no doubt about it =)
not a TD, not yet, it needs a better circulation but if it really explodes in D-max and mantains the convection during the day the circulation should then slowly start to get better


Agree 100%...that's why I said it would be suprising if it becomes a TD by morning. It's not quite there yet...though I have seen worse looking tropical storms.
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509. CaneAddict
5:29 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
I'm in and out.

In my opinion the disturbance in the Central Atlantic is not at all near depression status quite yet, more organization is neccessary before this area could be designated a Tropical Depressipn.

- More convection needed
- More consolidation of the convection
- Evidence of a definite closed surface circulation
- More intense convection

In my opinion there still is quite a bit of organization that must occur before Tropical Depression 2 is declared.

Night all!
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508. JLPR
5:31 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
507. weatherblog 5:30 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
lol =D
He probably wrote the blog without noticing our little wave =P
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507. weatherblog
5:29 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
503. Stormchaser2007 5:26 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
502. Well the Dmax's Max is at 4am so by that time it should look impressive...they might call this thing an invest or even a depression once the sun comes up.IMo


That would be suprising. Imagine what Dr. Masters would think...lol

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.
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506. JLPR
5:27 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
I bet this could be a invest no doubt about it =)
not a TD, not yet, it needs a better circulation but if it really explodes in D-max and mantains the convection during the day the circulation should then slowly start to get better
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505. weatherblog
5:20 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
CATL wave is building lots of convection and organizing...hmmm...I don't want to sound "wishcasting" as some of you guys put it, but it seems possible to have a short-lived TS. Well, regardless of development, it would get destroyed by wind shear once it were to enter the caribbean. But, once the positive MJO comes into play, wind shear will likely decrease across the atlantic basin, and we will more than likely see some TWAVES take advantage of that...especially once they enter the caribbean.

Right now I'm thinking a Dennis/Emily scenario is possible during July; but, I'm definately not expecting a category 4/5 hurricane. Not at all...lol
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504. Stormchaser2007
5:27 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
501. well sure....its a tropics blog.
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503. Stormchaser2007
5:24 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
502. Well the Dmax's Max is at 4am so by that time it should look impressive...they might call this thing an invest or even a depression once the sun comes up.IMo
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502. JLPR
5:21 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
looks like that new area of convection is expanding quickly =O
Im wondering how that area will look at 7am? =P
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501. ejstrick
5:21 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
Anyone want to talk tropics?
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500. Stormchaser2007
5:16 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
Looks good fer now...2am TWO comes out in 45 minutes.

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499. moonlightcowboy
12:13 AM CDT on June 28, 2008
Have a good sleep, TS! ...uuuuummm, still waiting on my grouper, and btw, I'm gettin' powerfully hungry! ;P
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498. ejstrick
5:07 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
I got that TS.. Thought you were off for the night. Look, I'm not a trouble maker, I just call it like I see it.
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497. moonlightcowboy
12:00 AM CDT on June 28, 2008
466 and 467. Not exactly or necessarily rather. The twaves as I understand them, are effected more by steering at the 500mb level. 700-850mb steering comes more into play when a surface low develops. So, twave steering would like more like this:



Not a great deal of difference, right now. But, there is some difference. Of course, the more a storm develops and the higher tops build, higher levels of steering come into play.
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496. rareaire
5:09 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
nite tampa
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495. TampaSpin
1:08 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
I'm going for the evening....good nite everyone.
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494. TampaSpin
1:05 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
The CAtl wave certainly likes DMAX....lol
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493. TampaSpin
1:03 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
492. ejstrick 1:02 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
where are you TS?


Tampa.....lol
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492. ejstrick
5:01 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
where are you TS?
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491. GetReal
4:58 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
Here is a recent observation from a drifting buoy very near that CATL wave axis:



Drifting buoy 31986

Last reported at 2008-Jun-28 03:30 UTC. Time now 2008-Jun-28 04:53 UTC.
Position N 06°38', W 035°55'.



Barometer 1011.4 mb
Water temperature 28.3 ° C
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490. ejstrick
4:48 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
Hardly am I uptight.... I do find it amusing that every cloud in the basin gets broken down at every angle. It makes for good conversation I guess. BTW, I am not a newbie on here. Been blogging since 04.
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489. TampaSpin
12:46 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
488. ejstrick 12:45 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
C'mon folks....The GFS shows development off of the African coast for early July..Do you honestly believe it will impact the US??? CV season is reserved for Aug- Oct.


RELAX who has said a US impact...i haven't heard a single person suggest such.....wow
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488. ejstrick
4:40 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
C'mon folks....The GFS shows development off of the African coast for early July..Do you honestly believe it will impact the US??? CV season is reserved for Aug- Oct.
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487. rareaire
4:40 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
night pottery, baha, Tampa and Drak. i think im gonna head to bed myself. maybe next week we can have a storm to track so i can learn some more.
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486. TampaSpin
12:40 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
485. pottery 12:39 AM EDT on June 28, 2008

Dam i hate those hunny du list........don't work to hard...nite.
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485. pottery
12:36 AM AST on June 28, 2008
Anyway, I have got to sleep. Had a physical day pushing wheelbarrows and stuff. I think the wife has a similiar plan for me in the morning !

Stay safe everyone.
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484. palms3
4:37 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
Thanks. Always looking to learn from you all.
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483. TampaSpin
12:31 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
477. palms3 12:27 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
You can find it at this link CIMSS
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482. pottery
12:29 AM AST on June 28, 2008
478 Baha. I was commenting on that earlier as well. Plenty for the next wave to feed on, And some persistant GFS modelling regarding that as well.
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481. TampaSpin
12:28 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
478. BahaHurican 12:28 AM EDT on June 28, 2008

Actually if you look at that 2nd pic you can see the Southern Hempshire High getting stronger and pushing the ITZ north also....
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480. Drakoen
4:29 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
479. pottery 4:29 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
The GFS is being very persistant Drakoen, isnt it ?


Yea, this is around the 15th consecutive run.
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479. pottery
12:27 AM AST on June 28, 2008
The GFS is being very persistant Drakoen, isnt it ?
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478. BahaHurican
12:21 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
TS, interesting to note in 469 that ITCZ and related moisture seems to be hanging at the 10N mark now across the ATL. That CATL wave is leaving a very moist trail behind it, one that the next Twave or two will likely benefit from.
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477. palms3
4:27 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
Wow, TampaSpin, where'd you find those cool graphics you posted just a little while ago?
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476. TampaSpin
12:25 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
473. pottery 12:23 AM EDT on June 28, 2008

I think the GOM next week will produce our first storm.....things can't just stay as they are without something finally taking off.
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475. ejstrick
4:21 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
Hello all....2.25" tonight at my house in Jax. Definite summer pattern for NE Florida. Looking forward to more tomorrow. SW winds aloft will usher in more moisture for our region. this equals afternoon T-Storms.
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474. Drakoen
4:25 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
GFS 00z run still showing development of Africa.
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473. pottery
12:18 AM AST on June 28, 2008
This is a hobby of mine as well, Tampa. Been observing the weather a long time. I have no formal training.
But I agree. Above average is what I think. Conditions at the moment would suggest this. But as we know, conditions can change to un-favourable in a short time as well.
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472. TampaSpin
12:10 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
471. pottery 12:09 AM EDT on June 28, 2008

Pottery, weather has been a novice hobby of my mine for some time......and still have alot to learn.....but i have to say that from what knowledge i do have i don't see anyway not to expect above average storms with the conditions as we see them currently.
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471. pottery
12:04 AM AST on June 28, 2008
Yes indeed Tampa. Conditions are certainly looking positive for something to form over the next week or two, all things taken into account. In the Atlantic.
The ONLY thing out of whack is climatology. But did anyone remember to tell the weather that ? LOL
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470. TampaSpin
12:05 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
Look at all the moisture in the West Pacific...wow
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469. TampaSpin
12:02 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
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468. pottery
12:02 AM AST on June 28, 2008
Thanks Tampa.
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467. TampaSpin
12:00 AM EDT on June 28, 2008
Pottery you are correct.
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466. pottery
11:56 PM AST on June 27, 2008
The CIMSS steering product is showing that the wave in the Atl will likely move a little southwest then due west and stay below 12n or 14 n as it crosses the south carib islands.
Am I reading this right ??
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465. TampaSpin
11:54 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
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464. BahaHurican
11:52 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
I have DSL / dialup, so as long as phone lines are up I'm ok. The browser tends to eat up energy, though. Maybe I should invest in a backup battery for my laptop. Never thought of that as hurricane supplies, but . . . lol
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463. pottery
11:51 PM AST on June 27, 2008
Tampa, I have been looking east mostly. I'm not sure what the conditions are forecast to be in the GOM.
Can anyone else help here ?
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462. pottery
11:46 PM AST on June 27, 2008
The wave at 35w has left a lot of moisture in its wake. The one coming off the coast tomorrow will have this to feed on. It certainly looks to be an interesting week or 2 ahead.
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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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