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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62. Patrap
12:29 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
Atlantic Ocean View (Updated ~3 hours)Link

GOES-12 Atmospheric Imagery

These images are primarily for use in tropical storm monitoring. There are several areas to choose from providing a large-scale view of the Atlantic, down to the Gulf of Mexico. During hurricane season, the hurricanes page provides a variety of GOES atmospheric products to help monitor the active storms.

Follow the image links below for alternate channel views of the same area. Link
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61. txalwaysprepared
5:27 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
Once again, Lightning, thunder, dark clouds, nice breeze and not a drop of rain at my house :( This is getting old.

What's up with the GOM blob?
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60. hondaguy
5:21 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
36. TheWeatherMan504 5:15 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
33. lawntonlookers 5:13 PM GMT on June 27, 2008


Agreed with both that this needs to be watched. Regardless of the ULL and other conditions if the convection holds together it will fight through. Besides conditions can change fairly rapidly to support development.

The ULL is moving out of the picture to the NW so we should watch this.
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59. IKE
12:27 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
The latest GFS run has the African blob/pre-wave/pre-storm...moving further west and south than on it's previous run.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
58. WeatherfanPR
5:13 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
hey guys, there is a vigorous tropical wave in the CATL and I'm noticing some circulation with it, so I think it's an area to watch. About the GFS model prediction, I don't understand why the GFS moves northwest this future system if we have such a strong High over the Atlantic that has been pushing all this waves in a westerly and southwesterly track. Anyone knows if the High it's in a weakening trend and because of that, we could see most of the systems coming off Africa this season moving north?
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57. Drakoen
5:26 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
54. Buhdog 5:25 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
Boy we sure have some staunch conservatives out there huh?


Yea. I don't even think Lixion Avila is that conservative lol.
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56. Patrap
12:26 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
Atlantic Ocean View (Updated ~3 hours)Link

3 Channels Large Images,

GOES-12 Channel 4 (IR) GOES-12 Channel 3 (WV) GOES-12 Low Cloud Product
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55. WeatherfanPR
5:13 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
hey guys, there is a vigorous tropical wave in the CATL and I'm noticing some circulation with it, so I think it's an area to watch. About the GFS model prediction, I don't understand why the GFS moves northwest this future system if we have such a strong High over the Atlantic that has been pushing all this waves in a westerly and southwesterly track. Anyone knows if the High it's in a weakening trend and because of that, we could see most of the systems coming off Africa this season moving north?
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54. Buhdog
5:02 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
Boy we sure have some staunch conservatives out there huh?
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53. IKE
12:23 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
I understand shunning the NAM...but the GFS has been consistent for the last 2-3 days..on every run.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
52. TerraNova
12:20 PM EST on June 27, 2008
41. Drakoen 12:17 PM EST on June 27, 2008
Poor GFS is getting shunned...


I'm also surprised he didn't mention it. You have to at least give the GFS some credit for forecasting the same thing consistently for over ten runs straight.

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51. Patrap
12:20 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
Lightening Strikes Past Hour Link

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50. 69Viking
12:17 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
32. Beachfoxx

Thanks, I already plan having him take that course before I'll let him go out alone in a boat once he reaches that age. I like the idea of his friends taking the course too.
Member Since: August 25, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 3060
49. surfmom
5:18 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
Teen males looking for food and in need to get their energy tapped out of the house. Mom's on call - feed 'em and get 'em outside BBL
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48. Patrap
12:19 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!
Lightning Safety Week: June 22-28, 2008





Check this site for handouts, indoor safety and outdoor risk reduction tips, medical facts, history, survivor stories, photos, teacher tools and more. NOAA Link
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47. OSUWXGUY
5:06 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
Well put StormW about the Gulf...I don't see development in that area either.

Including the GFS wave that is forecast to come off early next week, there are two other areas to keep an eye on.

Central Atlantic Wave Devlopment - 7°N 37°W

+ Strong divergence (outflow) in all quadrants
+ Favorable Shear
+ SSTs 27-28°C

- Only moderate vorticity in vicinity (although the Quikscat of half the wave showed a stronger circulation)
- SAL to the north - could be entrained
- Needs consistent deep convection

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46. IKE
12:18 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
37. Beachfoxx 12:16 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
Ike,
Me too... but at 21? Not sure, I bet all they were thinking was let's get home and get home quickly


Yeah...I know...at 21...I probably would have done the same.....their funeral is at 3...at First Baptist Church in DFS.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
45. TerraNova
12:08 PM EST on June 27, 2008
The area in the CATL has gathered enough positive vorticity to be classified as a wave with the wave axis moving past 36W, and there is evidence of a trough. Any LLC that might be present isn't very strong. According to surface analyses there isn't much of a pressure gradient between the center and the surrounding ITCZ.
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44. Patrap
12:17 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
Visible Loop of the GOM Link
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43. surfmom
5:15 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
sent both my boys to the coast guard boating clases. they learned a great deal and are far safer for the information.

Simple thing, like getting a lantern for the kayak when in the intracoastal, etc
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42. Beachfoxx
12:17 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
Enjoy your day folks...

BBL
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41. Drakoen
5:16 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
Poor GFS is getting shunned...
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40. SpaceThrilla1207
5:16 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
Let's hope the GFS is correct...I'm tired of this boring ****.
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39. pottery
1:15 PM AST on June 27, 2008
LOL, GFS !
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38. sonofagunn
5:14 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
What is the historical accuracy of the GFS seven days out?
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37. Beachfoxx
12:15 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
Ike,
Me too... but at 21? Not sure, I bet all they were thinking was let's get home and get home quickly.
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36. TheWeatherMan504
5:14 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
33. lawntonlookers 5:13 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
Still looks interesting in the GOM. Just to the west of the cloud mass is what appears to be a cyclonic circulation at all levels and it looks as if the clouds are moving toward it. See what happens over the next few hours.


I agree
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34. IKE
12:13 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
Beachfoxx....

I would have gone to the other side..somewhere..in a hurry and docked it and gotten under shelter...then again, I probably would have left at the first sound of thunder.

It's thundering here in DFS now.....

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
33. lawntonlookers
1:09 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
Still looks interesting in the GOM. Just to the west of the cloud mass is what appears to be a cyclonic circulation at all levels and it looks as if the clouds are moving toward it. See what happens over the next few hours.
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32. Beachfoxx
12:09 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
69Viking,

I highly recommend the Boating Courses offered by the Coast Guard. We had my son and any of his friend who wanted to fish from our/his boat attend and provide proof of attending. I drove many young man to classes... and I know it made them safer on the water.

Ike,
Agreed, if they had been more aware of the weather.... plus having crossed the bay in such a small boat they did not have the chance to make it "home" in that storm. Heard winds were up to 60mph gusts.
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31. IKE
12:10 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
29. TheWeatherMan504 12:08 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
I think he is getting lazy on the tropics.


Probably isn't descriptive enough...like StormW and weather456 are......and others...Drak...03...etc......
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
30. intunewindchime
5:07 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
Thanks Storm W.... My other question is about lightning. I have seen flashes of lightning come out of the ground, not make a sound. It makes me very nervous to go out. I am in Pensacola, we have t storms in the region but the sky is blue on one side of the house and gray on the other. Can anyone tell me is there aterm for this type of lightning? My friends are making fun of me for not going out in the garden while holding onto sticks with metal implements attached( shovel).....
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29. TheWeatherMan504
5:07 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
I think he is getting lazy on the tropics.
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28. pottery
1:02 PM AST on June 27, 2008
Thank you Dr.M.

My last post fell into the previous blog.

Trinidad weather now ( 11n 61w)
Showers, sunshine, cooling breezes, green sparkling vegetation, birdsong, good visibility,
temp 90f
humid. 66%
press. 1013 falling

Its Friday, and I dont work on Friday anymore.
Its all good, and all's quiet on the Eastern front.
Kind of blissful actually.......
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27. IKE
12:04 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
0. Beachfoxx 12:03 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
Yes, I heard that too... They were in a Jon Boat? That storm moved in pretty fast too. Not much they could do.

13. IKE 12:01 PM CDT on June 27, 2008


Hindsight is 20/20...Sunday afternoon was not the ideal weather(likely chance of thundertsorms), to be out in the bay in a boat. This afternoon wouldn't either...too many thunderstorms around.
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26. 69Viking
12:06 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
1194. Beachfoxx

I read about it, so sad. I have a 10 year old already shopping for his first boat. By the time he gets one I'll make sure he has a good understanding of the weather and how quickly it can change for the worse. Until then he can just remain the co-captain on my boat where I'll keep us both out of storms like the one that did those boys in.
Member Since: August 25, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 3060
25. OSUWXGUY
5:02 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
Good afternoon all! The tornado in the cover photo for the Extreme Weather magazine was the first tornado I ever saw in person...though I wasn't in the same location as the photo was taken from...where the lighting made it look nearly white.
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22. IKE
12:03 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
16. Drakoen 12:02 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
I have a lot of respect for the computer forecast models. I don't thing the GFS forecast is just something to dismiss especially when it has been so consistent and developing the system around that same area of the African coast.


I don't either..


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
????????????


Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
21. intunewindchime
5:02 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
Could someone tell me why I should not worry about the big blob in the GOM?
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20. Beachfoxx
12:02 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
Yes, I heard that too... They were in a Jon Boat? That storm moved in pretty fast too. Not much they could do.

13. IKE 12:01 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
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17. lawntonlookers
12:56 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
Looks like an interesting development in the Gulf Of Mexico. I just saw it on the Gulf visible loop, and was checking the blog to see if anyone commented on it, but it's a new blog.

NASA TV is running an article on Hurricanes.
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16. Drakoen
5:01 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
I have a lot of respect for the computer forecast models. I don't thing the GFS forecast is just something to dismiss especially when it has been so consistent and developing the system around that same area of the African coast.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30578
15. prophetofdoom
5:00 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
LOL!!!!!! JPHURRICANE2006
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14. hurricane23
1:01 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
All in all its still early to be looking for anything developing that far out in the atlantic.Development is rare for a reason.

We'll worry about the african waves in late july early august were the real season starts.
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13. IKE
12:00 PM CDT on June 27, 2008

1209. Beachfoxx 11:56 AM CDT on June 27, 2008
Ike,

Broke my heart for the family....

New blog up.


Yeah...heard they were struck by lightning...from a reliable source.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858

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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.