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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1762. aroughleague172
2:26 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
1761. philliesrock


Strengthens...into what?
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1761. philliesrock
10:24 AM EDT on June 30, 2008
What do you say we will get out of our upcoming African wave? I say a tropical depression that fizzles out over open water in the central atlantic.

Weak tropical storm, then it strengthens near the islands.
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1760. aroughleague172
2:23 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
What do you say we will get out of our upcoming African wave? I say a tropical depression that fizzles out over open water in the central atlantic.
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1759. Patrap
9:23 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
How old iZ Drak anyway?
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
1758. Patrap
9:22 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
I think the ol season will be upon soon after the 10th.
Then we all will have plenty to track and do.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
1757. Drakoen
2:22 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
1756. jphurricane2006 2:21 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
I understand Pat, you do a great job with your blog making sure people are prepared, after all that is the most important thing

if we are not prepared, all this talk is worth nothing

that being said, those who like to discuss possibilities should be allowed to do so


Now this is the JP from last year that I know.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30489
1755. Patrap
9:21 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
Be Prepared
"Preventing the loss of life and minimizing the damage to property from hurricanes are responsibilities that are shared by all."

Throughout this Web site, information has been provided regarding actions that you can take based on specific hurricane hazards. The most important thing that you can do is to be informed and prepared. Disaster prevention includes both being prepared as well as reducing damages (mitigation). Link

* Developing a Family Plan
* Creating a Disaster Supply Kit
* Having a Place to Go
* Securing your Home
* Having a Pet Plan
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
1754. aroughleague172
2:19 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
Erin was last year...you should change it to Bertha Patrap.
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1753. Patrap
9:19 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
Im a realst,not a MOdel washer.

I focus on Impact and aftereffects.

I thought I'd at least get a italicized repost for that one ,..LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
1752. mississippiwx23
2:16 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
Well, I was trying to make a point...but didnt even think there there weren't 7 models! haha

It is interesting that both the CMC and GFS form something in the Gulf. If it was just the CMC I would discount it...but the GFS makes me wonder. Maybe it was a initial conditions problem that resulted in that system, or maybe its really something to watch. However, any system forming that close to land will have to develop quickly (like last year) to do any damage. It might actually be a good thing if it brings rainfall into GA, AL, TN, SC, and NC.
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1750. aroughleague172
2:15 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
Yeah, there's always a very small chance of that...if all the models forecast development it's still only a 99% chance of developing...if NONE of the models forecast development it's probably a 1% chance. Nothing is written in stone until it develops.
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1749. jholmestyle
2:17 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
1739. aroughleague172 2:12 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
Drak...GFDL and HWRF.


Aren't those storm specific?
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1748. Patrap
9:17 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
No models ,tropically speaking are better than the other. They ALL have a role.But since ya'll are focused on a Ghost.
I suggest ya get some crayons and draw US all what you think the er,system will look Like in 120 hours.
Now theres a challenge for the tropically deprived.
LOL

Mines done

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
1747. philliesrock
10:14 AM EDT on June 30, 2008
Drak...GFDL and HWRF.

Those models only focus on certain invests and storms, and all of them are in the EPAC right now.
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1746. mississippiwx23
2:09 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
1736:

No, it means that 5/7 of the models are forecasting a system to develop. However, all 7 models could be forecasting a system and none could ever form.
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1745. Stormchaser2007
2:14 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
GFDL and HWRF.

Those only come out when a storm is currently happening.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15889
1744. philliesrock
10:14 AM EDT on June 30, 2008
What are the other two models lol?\

The JMA and DGEX? Or perhaps the COAMPS?
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1743. Drakoen
2:14 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
1739. aroughleague172 2:12 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
Drak...GFDL and HWRF.


Those aren't run until after a system has become an invest.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30489
1742. ShenValleyFlyFish
10:04 AM EDT on June 30, 2008
Wow I step away for a minute and the blog blows up. What happened someone move it over warmer water?

1700. presslord

It is not befitting for a Southern Gentleman of your age and station in life to be constantly denigrating yourself. There are standards to be upheld. The Common Touch is admirable but false modesty is unbecoming in anyone.
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1741. aroughleague172
2:13 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
Also the very unreliable NAM.
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1740. Stormchaser2007
2:10 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15889
1739. aroughleague172
2:12 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
Drak...GFDL and HWRF.
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1738. Drakoen
2:10 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
1736. aroughleague172 2:09 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
So the GFS, CMC, UKMET, ECMWF, and NOGAPS all predict a tropical cyclone to form out of future 92L...that's 5/7 models. Which means a 5/7 chance of development amirite?


What are the other two models lol?
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30489
1736. aroughleague172
2:08 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
So the GFS, CMC, UKMET, ECMWF, and NOGAPS all predict a tropical cyclone to form out of future 92L...that's 5/7 models. Which means a 5/7 chance of development amirite?


Stormchaser2007...the wind shear is not very strong at all ahead of 92L on that track. Conditions appear actually favorable for African developemnt in EARLY JULY...when's the last time THAT crazy **** has happened?
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1735. Stormchaser2007
2:07 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
Wind Shear

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15889
1734. aroughleague172
2:06 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
I like the UKMET track for future 92L...makes it a low rider instead of potential US problem.


What the heck @ the CMC? The CMC develops future 92L, the wave behind it AND a new disturbance in the gulf. Crazy.
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1733. Drakoen
2:06 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
The ECMWF has gotten more aggressive with the development of the system coming of Africa than the previous runs.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30489
1732. franck
1:59 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
In present conditions is there any real probability something is going to emerge off the coast of Africa/Cape Verde and threaten US?
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1731. Stormchaser2007
2:03 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
CMC has 3 storms in the Atlantic with one making landfall in Texas in 144 hours.

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15889
1730. Drakoen
2:03 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
Photobucket
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30489
1729. ShenValleyFlyFish
10:00 AM EDT on June 30, 2008
1695. melwerle

You can probably do just as well or better by clicking on your WU map link under your radar site on your Local Conditions page, unchecking weather station, checking storm tracks and sliding loop to the extreme right.

You then end up with the radar running over a Google hybrid map. Gives you a grand perspective especially if you live in an area where there are numerous micro-climates like we have here in the Blue Ridge that are driven by terrain features. The sweetest part is it enables you to seamlessly zoom in and out and pan with the Google map control in the upper left corner and the radar comes right along. Took me some time to figure this much out but I know there are lots more features I haven't. Turned me from the “Weather Weirdo” into the Go-to Weather Guy at work. Lol

How I have my control panel set up:

**************************************************************
Map Controls
NEXRAD Radar (top) Checked
Weather Stations Unchecked
Severe Storms
Webcams
Satellite
USGS River
Model Data
Hurricane

Save this view and settings as default:

Save WunderMap Prefs


70% Opacity
15 Animate (num frames)
Frame Delay
Storm Tracks Unchecked
***************************************************************
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1728. Patrap
8:57 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
Must be some slow to watch the waves on Africa...
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
1727. Weather456
9:43 AM AST on June 30, 2008
1724. NC0WX0Man 9:42 AM AST on June 30, 2008
the current shot of the wave over Africa seems as if it's lost some convection so is this normal or a sign of some weakening?


Not weakening, but fluctuating. Its normal for waves to be affected by diurnal variations. And its not a good sign, diurnal variations mean the wave is not embedded within the ITCZ which makes TC development more likely when it exits.

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1726. aroughleague172
1:43 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
It's normal...it always weakens around this time of day over land there...as long as the strong circulation holds intact before it comes off Africa, it's in good shape. The convection will re-fire later on.
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1725. FLWeatherFreak91
9:43 AM EDT on June 30, 2008
re 1724

The convection pulses
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1724. NC0WX0Man
1:40 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
the current shot of the wave over Africa seems as if it's lost some convection so is this normal or a sign of some weakening?
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1723. sporteguy03
1:37 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
I have a better question are you prepared for a tropical system to effect you?

Then it does not matter so much what the models or the weather does as you will be ready.
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1722. captainhunter
1:32 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
Good Morning everyone. We actually managed a half an inch of rain over the weekend here in Panama City Beach. Glad to hear you got some too 69Viking.

Ike, it looked like you got several gully washers over the weekend. You are definitely in the sweet spot for precip.
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1721. Weather456
9:02 AM AST on June 30, 2008
Good Morning,

We still cannot put 100 per cent confidence in the global models; since there is always the chance of a forecast “bust” but I’m inclined to believe them based on the data at hand.

Strong Tropical Wave over Africa Poses to Become the Season's Second Depression

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1720. aroughleague172
1:31 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
But still...5 different models agreeing on some kind of tropical storm formation off africa within 3-5 days? That seems like more than evidence enough for African development.


So guys, what % will you give the GOM and the African wave to develop in the next five days?

I give the GOM about 10%...doesn't look like anything, but who knows, the shear could die down by then.

I give the African wave about 50%...sticking with my percentage from before. Also it's a safe bet since five models agree on TC development.
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1719. TerraNova
8:35 AM EST on June 30, 2008
Tropical Update - June 30, 2008
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1718. FLWeatherFreak91
9:35 AM EDT on June 30, 2008
Thanks for the answer aroughleague
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1717. 69Viking
8:27 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
Good morning! Had a great weekend, it actually rained at my house a couple of times! Finally! Looks like things might heat up in a few days. I'm not liking any suggestion of anything in the GOM, I'll be out of town next week on business travel.
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1716. aroughleague172
1:25 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
Even TUTTs die out. The TUTT won't be there once our African TS makes it all the way to the caribbean (assuming it gets there and doesn't go out to sea). TUTTs normally don't last it one area for longer than 7-10 days...at least none of the TUTTs from the past few years have. And it's already been there for the last 5 days...it's likely lived out over half its lifespan in its current position in the Caribbean.
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1715. Buhdog
1:14 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
Seems Troughy out there off of florida..stalled frontage....is this what is supposed to break off in the gulf?
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1714. IKE
8:24 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
aroughleague172...I agree with you on 3 or 4 days..beyond that I'm not sure....
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1713. FLWeatherFreak91
9:22 AM EDT on June 30, 2008
I've got an important question for you guys.

The GFS is showing a weakened system approaching the northern waters of Puerto Rico... I imagine the weakened state would be caused by the TUTT... but, if the Storm makes it past that area, would it have another chance to redevelop? Or does the shear stay high throughout the rest of the Caribe?
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1712. aquak9
9:23 AM EDT on June 30, 2008
Sorry to hear that, Press. If I was in the area, I'd love to go at it w/my trusty Husqvarna.

Ya oughtta at least try to get one cross slice of the trunk to save. Count the rings, y'know?
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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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