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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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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461. BahaHurican
11:41 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
Well, just as my laptop was about to conk out, the power came back on! I sure hope it stays on all night. It's been cool here, but I'd hate to have to do without my A/C . . .
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460. TampaSpin
11:48 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
Pottery is Shear suppose to ralax in the GOM soon.
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459. stormdude77
11:42 PM AST on June 27, 2008
It's getting late here to, see I'll see y'all in the A.M...
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458. TampaSpin
11:45 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
The tip of the Yucatan is starting to really fire now.
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457. TampaSpin
11:43 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
454. BahaHurican 11:40 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
I don't know how much longer I'll be here, since my laptop battery is down to about 1/2 hour . . .


I also have a window's base cell phone....works great....lol
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456. pottery
11:41 PM AST on June 27, 2008
Time to stock up on batteries, Baha ??!!
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455. TampaSpin
11:34 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
With all the mositure in the GOM, things usually don't stay that unstable this long without something developing......
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454. BahaHurican
11:38 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
I don't know how much longer I'll be here, since my laptop battery is down to about 1/2 hour . . .
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453. stormdude77
11:37 PM AST on June 27, 2008
Good night Julie!
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452. pottery
11:36 PM AST on June 27, 2008
Baha @ 448. Good point there......
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450. DDR
3:32 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
Pottery
I'm expecting heavy showers around 4:30
LoL
Ok so we're a little below average but i think we maybe be on track soon

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449. barbadosjulie
3:34 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
Good night everyone, cant keep my eyes open. I be back later to check our wave.
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448. BahaHurican
11:31 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
Something I've noticed about the bulk of this season's Twaves so far is that they seem much more capable of hanging on their "moisture envelopes" than those in the last two years. Even though they aren't developing, they are staying wet and bringing moisture to the ECar, unlike last year where even the most promising systems were ripped to shreds by the dreaded ULLs . . .
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447. Weather456
11:23 PM AST on June 27, 2008
The 12Z model runs showed the some model consensus with African development. I am not goin to put all my eggs in one basket just yet. The UKLMET has intialize an area in the vicinity of the central atlantic wave. 2night's infrared and shortwave (night visible) showed some intense lop-sided convection on the eastern side of the a lower level spin near 8.5N/36W. Enviromental conditions seem favorable for some possible near-term organization.

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446. pottery
11:30 PM AST on June 27, 2008
1 June to June 26, 2007, 181 mm at my location.
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445. stormdude77
11:25 PM AST on June 27, 2008
I feel the CATL Twave is creating enough moisture that dry air (subsidence), won't be a major problem for it. Also, it looks like it is gaining latitude, which is good and bad...it will have to stay below 14N to survive strong shear, though...

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444. BahaHurican
11:20 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
I spent part of the last two evenings reading NOAA weather reviews of the "anniversary" years (the 8s) going back to 1878. It's interesting to see how one generation's "discovery" about hurricanes became accepted fact within 20/30 years. Some things we think of as "givens" regarding hurricanes were not known or understood even 50 years ago. OTOH, I saw references to teleconnections (I think StormW mentioned it a few times in previous seasons) as far back as the 1890s, when the US Navy began to be more involved in travel in the WPac.

Sometimes I find the archives interesting reading just for the stories they tell, but I also appreciate the insights into the art and science of tropical weather forecasting which I glean.
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443. pottery
11:25 PM AST on June 27, 2008
DDR, 139.5mm includes today, in my guage.
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442. barbadosjulie
3:25 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
Today has been great!!!
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441. pottery
11:22 PM AST on June 27, 2008
You are correct, Weatherfan. The wave is looking better all the time. Will be interesting to see if it can hold up through some dry air ahead of it.
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440. DDR
3:19 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
Cummulative rainfall at piarco airport for the month is a 190mm,not counting today of course.
Pottery,how much rainfall have you recorded at your location?
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439. pottery
11:18 PM AST on June 27, 2008
Hi 456.
Hi Julie
Hi everybody.
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438. stormdude77
11:18 PM AST on June 27, 2008
Hi W456!
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437. BahaHurican
11:18 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
'Night, 456.
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436. pottery
11:15 PM AST on June 27, 2008
Good to see you DDR.
I am enjoying the wet, but my visitor from England is getting a bit antsy............
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435. stormdude77
11:15 PM AST on June 27, 2008
Hi DDR!
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434. WeatherfanPR
3:16 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
hmmmmm, none of the models develops that CATL wave and it looks more organized by the hour.
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433. Weather456
11:14 PM AST on June 27, 2008
Good night all
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432. BahaHurican
11:11 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
The 1998 weather review has an interesting analysis of tropical waves and depressions, beginning on page 3117.

It says in part "In fact, an average
of 10% of the tropical waves develop into named
TCs each year (Table 10). Normally, the strongest hurricanes
originate from tropical waves. Moreover, tropical
waves are one of the principal modulators of rainfall
in the Caribbean basin (Riehl 1954)."

The data presented is from 1998, but I'm sure much of what we take for granted in our thinking these days is based directly or indirectly on some of the findings from similar studies.
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431. stormdude77
11:14 PM AST on June 27, 2008
Hi Julie!
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430. DDR
3:10 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
Hey pottery,stormdude
Hope you all are enjoying the rain,past few days have been very ,very wet.
It looks like we'll get more later tonight.
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429. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
3:06 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
ba ha no ice no reflection of solar radiation
greather absortion faster effect after pole melts green land will be next
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428. cajunkid
3:12 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
anyone heard from lefty420?
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427. pottery
11:09 PM AST on June 27, 2008
Nice one 77. The wife had me out in the garden, shovelling and toting all day. It was a good one. "scattered showers" all day. Real nice.
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426. JLPR
3:11 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
413. stormdude77 3:03 AM GMT on June 28, 2008

thank you =)
yep lets see what happens in D-max =P
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425. barbadosjulie
3:12 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
hey stormdude77
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424. BahaHurican
11:06 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
418. conchygirl 11:05 PM EDT on June 27, 2008

We have a lot of sailing folks on here . . . glad to hear you've sailed our waters. The weather's been pretty good for sailing the last few weeks - fairly consistent high to the east meaning regular easterlies and few squalls. I don't know how long that will last, though. With these waves as well formed as they are so far, the only thing saving us from rainy weather every 4-7 days is that very same high. If that shifts north or east, we could be in for some weather.
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423. stormdude77
11:03 PM AST on June 27, 2008
Hi Pottery...it rained here all day, was a nice day to stay in bed...
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422. TampaSpin
11:07 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
419. BahaHurican 11:06 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
I keep thinking that no ice caps means no need for heat to be transferred to the poles . . .


Baha that is an interesting thought....hum makes alot of sense...
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421. pottery
11:05 PM AST on June 27, 2008
Lambie here, and in in the islands of Grenada, st.vincent, Grenadines, and Tobago keys. I dont know why. French Patois ?
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420. Drakoen
3:06 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
412. BahaHurican 3:03 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
23, what's with the bald head? Is Cantore inspiring a change in WXman hair styles???

LOL


Avila is starting a new trend.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29864
419. BahaHurican
11:04 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
I keep thinking that no ice caps means no need for heat to be transferred to the poles . . .
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418. conchygirl
11:05 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
Baha and Pottery:

Yep, you all surely had Konk before us. We are all in agreement though!

I spend a lot time in the Bahamas diving and sailing and love your area of the world!
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417. hurricane23
11:03 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
412. BahaHurican 11:03 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
23, what's with the bald head? Is Cantore inspiring a change in WXman hair styles???

LOL

Too hot down here in south florida.To be honest i dont know that just me ive always liked being clean-cut.
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416. Drakoen
3:01 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
411. hurricane23 3:01 AM GMT on June 28, 2008 Hide this comment.
Drak thats avila to the left of my pic.

July could be interesting with those impressive waves rolling of the african coast.


Yea we will see what happens. The GFS and CMC want early development of the African coast so we will have to wait and see.
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415. BahaHurican
11:03 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
409. pottery

lambie??? never heard it called that in the N islands . . .
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414. HopquickSteve
3:04 AM GMT on June 28, 2008
Think there is any chance of there being no northern ice cap by september? I've noticed it on a lot of the news sites. Without the ice caps, will that change our hurricane season outlook?

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2008/06/no_ice_at_the_north_pole.html
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23933477-2703,00.html
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413. stormdude77
10:59 PM AST on June 27, 2008
Evening all

Nice summary JLPR...I think if convection persists into tomorrow, we could have 92L...JMO...
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412. BahaHurican
11:01 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
23, what's with the bald head? Is Cantore inspiring a change in WXman hair styles???

LOL
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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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