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Floods overwhelm North Dakota levees; floods kill 175 in China

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 3:33 PM GMT on June 23, 2011

Flood waters from North Dakota's Souris River are pouring over the levees protecting Minot, North Dakota today, and flood heights are expected to rise to the highest levels in recorded history tonight. The Lake Darling flood control reservoir located about 15 miles upstream from Minot is full to overflowing, and record releases of water are occurring to prevent the lake's dam from over-topping. By this weekend, the Army Corps of Engineers will open the dam's flood gates to a maximum flow rate of 20,000 cubic feet per second, which is roughly double the flow rate that the levees in Minot can handle. Water began flowing over the levees yesterday, forcing the mandatory evacuation of 12,000 residents. By Sunday, water levels on the Souris River are expected to peak at four feet above the previous all-time flood height, set in 1881. Torrential rainfall in Canada on Sunday and Monday, combined with very heavy rainfall and snow melt over North Dakota over the past month, are responsible for the record flood. The Souris River Basin near the Rafferty Dam in Saskatchewan received four to seven inches of rain Sunday into Monday. Flood heights along the Souris River near the Canadian border upstream from Minot are already two feet above the previous all-time highest mark, and that pulse of water is now arriving in Minot. The unprecedented flood is expected to keep much of Minot underwater for at least two weeks. Fortunately, no new heavy rains are expected over the next five days, though up to 1/2" of rain could fall over portions of the Souris River watershed.


Figure 1. Still frame from a Youtube video of the Souris River in Minot, North Dakota flowing over the levees in that town. The video was shot on Wednesday June 22, 2011, from a North Dakota National Guard helicopter.


Figure 2. Observed (blue line) and forecast (green line) stage of the Souris River in Minot, North Dakota. The river is currently at its 3rd highest level on record, and is expected to rise above the record flood stage of 1558' tonight. The record was set back in 1881. Image credit: NOAA AHPS.

Record rains in China kill 175, do $5 billion in damage
Torrential rains triggered severe flooding in eastern China this week, with the death toll for June floods now standing at 175, with 86 people missing. Ironically, the same region experienced severe drought at the beginning of June. The estimated $5 billion in damage from the floods would make 2011 the third most expensive year for floods in China in the past decade. This year is the second consecutive year floods have caused exceptional damage in China. Last year, Western China saw summer precipitation more than 200% above average, and torrential monsoon rains triggered catastrophic landslides that killed 2137 people and did $759 million in damage. Monsoon floods in China killed an additional 1911 people, affected 134 million, and did $18 billion in damage in 2010, according to the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED). This was the 2nd most expensive flooding disaster in Chinese history, behind the $30 billion price tag of the 1998 floods that killed 3656 people. China had floods in 1915, 1931, and 1959 that killed 3 million, 3.7 million, and 2 million people, respectively, but no damage estimates are available for these floods. During the period 2000 - 2009, China averaged $3.7 billion in damage and 674 deaths per year due to floods and landslides, according to the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters. This does not include the toll from typhoons. Speaking of typhoons, Tropical Storm Meari, currently located a few hundred miles east of the Philippines' Luzon Island, is expected to track north-northwestwards towards China today and Friday. By Saturday, Meari is expected to be a Category 1 typhoon, and will spread heavy rains over eastern China, worsening the flooding situation there--though the heaviest rains will likely remain offshore.



Figure 3. Rainfall amounts in excess of 18 inches (450 mm) fell in Eastern China southeast of Shanghai in a 1-week period, June 13 -19, 2011. A China Daily report from June 18 described the rains in parts of Zhejiang Province as unprecedented. High waters broke 100-meter (300-foot) holes in levees, inundating nearby villages. Some homes were buried in 3 meters (10 feet) of water. This image is based on data from the Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis produced at Goddard Space Flight Center, which estimates rainfall by combining measurements from many satellites and calibrating them using rainfall measurements from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite. Image credit: NASA.



Figure 4. Visitors watch as water gushes out from the Xiaolangdi Reservoir on the Yellow River in Central China's Henan province, June 22, 2011. Image credit: Xinhua.

The Atlantic is quiet
The Atlantic is quiet, but several models, including the NOGAPS and GFS, are predicting that a tropical disturbance capable of becoming a tropical depression could form in the southern Gulf of Mexico in the Bay of Campeche Tuesday or Wednesday. There will be a strong ridge of high pressure over the Gulf next week, which would tend to keep any storm that might form far to the south, with impacts limited to Mexico and perhaps South Texas.

Jeff Masters

Flood

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Quoting redfish23:
So what are the chances that the showers in the gulf move up to the Freeport Tx area?


well to be almost exact i think it depends on the movement of the front,however if this blob detaches it self then steering currents cud take it close but i don't really see this however anyone remember Humberto the fastest strengthening i think?
Quoting caribbeantracker01:
i noticed the area off texas on radar at the moment conditions are not primed however this could change and if the national hurricane center should do anything they might mention this as well.the southwest caribbean is producing an abundance of cold cloud tops indicative that the tropical wave has now interacted with the monsoon low however has not merged but notice the verocity
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Good morning Hurrykane. It has just started raining here.


Please send some this way!
Quoting Hurrykane:


Please send some this way!




you have too pay him for the shiping and handing part LOL
Quoting Hurrykane:


Please send some this way!
I will do my best. What chances do you give for development in the Caribbean in the next few days ?
Quoting Tazmanian:




you have too pay him for the shiping and handing part LOL
Taz, Remember I told you him is a her LOL
Miami NWS Discussion

LONG TERM (SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY)...THERE IS STILL A LOT
OF UNCERTAINTY IN THE EXTENDED FORECAST. THE GFS AND ECMWF HAVE
BEEN PERSISTENT IN THEIR SOLUTIONS THE LAST FEW RUNS WITH THE GFS
INDICATING A BROAD SURFACE LOW DEVELOPING NEAR THE YUCATAN AND
MOVING INTO THE WESTERN BAY OF CAMPECHE AND WESTERN GULF OF
MEXICO. THIS BRINGS CONTINUED MOISTURE TO THE REGION WITH HIGHER
RAIN CHANCES. THE ECMWF HAS A STRONGER RIDGE AND THUS PUSHES THE
WAVE FURTHER TO THE SOUTH AND ALSO BRINGS IN DRIER AIR OVER THE
REGION AS THE RIDGE BUILDS IN. SO KEPT CLOSE TO CLIMO FOR POPS FOR
THE EXTENDED AND WILL WAIT FOR THE MODELS TO COME TO MORE OF A
CONSENSUS.

Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Taz, Remember I told you him is a her LOL



oh oops
morning bloggers current warfighter model trends are now keeping our future system in the extreme southern boc mex area moving westward into mex instead of out into the open boc looks like it even stays onshore half in boc half over mex lets see what the next set of runs show
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Good morning Hurrykane. It has just started raining here.

Bright, sunny and dry as chip here in South Sound, but I see rain clouds to the east.

morning


Good Morning.....Climatology related to sheer at this time of the year is tough to beat with that persistent band of high sheer near TX/MX where the "blob" has been really trying to develop...In the right place at the wrong time sheer-wise but if this same disturbance was further West in the Central Gulf where sheer is only around 10 knots at the moment per CIMSS, we might have had a tropical depression by now.....The SW Caribbean looking interesting per some of the models going into the next several days if the sheer relaxes down there. The Gulf and Caribbean seems really primed to go with the exception of sheer levels at the moment.
Quoting stormpetrol:
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Good morning Hurrykane. It has just started raining here.

Bright, sunny and dry as chip here in South Sound, but I see rain clouds to the east.
Looks like North Side is getting it pretty good. It has stopped here now but it was a good downpour.
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
morning bloggers current warfighter model trends are now keeping our future system in the extreme southern boc mex area moving westward into mex instead of out into the open boc looks like it even stays onshore half in boc half over mex lets see what the next set of runs show


the models all seem to be in agreement in developing at least a depression however they are not too hot with the track of it.notice initially how all the models was showing a northward to west progression of the system now it has changed even before it developed so i would not put the faith in tracks but i would say that development is being supported by some meteorologist as well as the models not so much the track but if we were to use an interactive tropical cyclone map it would show the movement of the storm
516. IKE

Quoting Hurrykane:


Please send some this way!
I received .98 inches of rain yesterday. Florida panhandle. Are you in Florida? I know other parts of the state have gotten rain lately.
Quoting sunlinepr:

Very well explained by Levi and other bloggers, how that temp. gradient would activate the CV season waves... new knowledge for me...

It would be nice if we knew the sources. Who are the guys who figured this out? Where did they publish?
just a quick reference

http://assets.weather-forecast.com/maps/static/t_ Ghana.sst.jpg
gulf of guinea 1


http://assets.weather-forecast.com/maps/static/t_ Ghana.sstanomaly.jpg
gulf of guinea 2
Quoting IKE:

I received .98 inches of rain yesterday. Florida panhandle. Are you in Florida? I know other parts of the state have gotten rain lately.
so i guess you have wet dead grass today
1990,s Hurricane Diana..
523. IKE

Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
so i guess you have wet dead grass today
LOL...yes.
i do believe that the eastern pacific may also benefit of this type of pattern notice the anicyclone over the area it is retreating alot into that basin





TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
805 AM EDT FRI JUN 24 2011

CARIBBEAN SEA...
A NARROWING UPPER TROUGH IN THE W ATLC EXTENDS ACROSS CUBA NEAR
SANTA CLARA TO THE YUCATAN PENINSULA NEAR N BELIZE GENERATING
CLUSTERS OF SCATTERED SHOWERS/ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS FROM
18N-20N BETWEEN 79W-84W. AN UPPER RIDGE EXTENDS E/W FROM THE
TROPICAL ATLC ACROSS THE S CARIBBEAN ACROSS CENTRAL AMERICA. THE
MONSOON TROUGH EXTENDS ACROSS THE SW CARIBBEAN FROM E OF THE
TROPICAL WAVE NEAR 11N79W INTO THE E PACIFIC REGION OVER COSTA
RICA NEAR 10N84W GENERATING CLUSTERS OF SCATTERED SHOWERS/
THUNDERSTORMS S OF 14N W OF 78W TO INLAND OVER PANAMA TO N
NICARAGUA. SCATTERED SHOWERS/ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS DOT THE AREA
FROM 14N-17N E OF THE TROPICAL WAVE TO INLAND OVER CENTRAL
AMERICA AND THE YUCATAN PENINSULA. THE TROPICAL WAVE WILL MOVE
INTO THE W CARIBBEAN TODAY THEN ACROSS THE NW CARIBBEAN THIS
WEEKEND AND INTO GULF OF MEXICO EARLY NEXT WEEK. A SECOND
TROPICAL WAVE IS MOVING TOWARD THE W TROPICAL ATLC AND WILL BE
IN E CARIBBEAN BY TUE. THE INTERACTION BETWEEN THE TROPICAL
WAVES MOVING THROUGH THE CARIBBEAN AND SURFACE RIDGE OVER THE W
ATLC WILL MAINTAIN FRESH TO STRONG E TO SE FLOW ACROSS THE
CARIBBEAN INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK.
Quoting Tazmanian:




you have too pay him for the shiping and handing part LOL


lol!
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
so i guess you have wet dead grass today
Good mornin Keep..We too have wet dead grass, but there are babies growing out of it...
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I will do my best. What chances do you give for development in the Caribbean in the next few days ?


If all comes together with what the models have been showing, at least with wind shear...about 30% right now.

Haven't had the chance to look at things this a.m. yet.
Quoting hydrus:
Good mornin Keep..We too have wet dead grass, but there are babies growing out of it...


Hydrus, I don't think you understand how babies are made.

Quoting hydrus:
Good mornin Keep..We too have wet dead grass, but there are babies growing out of it...
morning ya iam sure there is all kinds of little shoots just poppin up same for ike give it a couple of days you will see
Quoting BobinTampa:


Hydrus, I don't think you understand how babies are made.

Not true...I learned about the storks at the ripe old age of five.
Quoting Hurrykane:


If all comes together with what the models have been showing, at least with wind shear...about 30% right now.

Haven't had the chance to look at things this a.m. yet.
Thanks. It is firing off some good cold cloud tops now and each frame looks better and better.
by the way ike more rain will fall for you today get that lawn mower tuned up you will be cutting grass again before the end of june
Quoting caribbeantracker01:


well to be almost exact i think it depends on the movement of the front,however if this blob detaches it self then steering currents cud take it close but i don't really see this however anyone remember Humberto the fastest strengthening i think?


Yep! Lol. The loudest,craziest wake up call I ever got. I think it did hold some kind of rapid development record. With a little more time it could've gone real bad. What the NHC says is their worst nightmare. This was another somewhat surprising storm for the area. Thank goodness for time & technology. :) Link

-sea surface temperatures were a full 2-3 degrees Fahrenheit above average in the Gulf of Mexico, with a large upper level anticyclone bringing near-zero wind shear over Audrey. This perfect recipe for rapid intensification meant that Audrey was not going to be a mere Category 2 hurricane at landfall. An additional ingredient unfavorable for intensification--the approach of a trough of low pressure with increased wind shear--would not occur in time to weaken the storm. However, the approaching trough did bring an increase in steering current winds at mid- and high levels of the atmosphere, which doubled the forward speed of Audrey overnight.
535. IKE

Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
by the way ike more rain will fall for you today get that lawn momer tuned up you will be cutting grass again before the end of june
It's ready!
Quoting Hurrykane:


Good morning, Grothar.


Good morning. We finally had rain this morning.
expect cloud tops to cool a bit at least in the frames since after all this blow ups they go down and energy is released and of course i believe it will improve in structure by tonight but thunder storm will be limited and it may not start get goin until sunday night monday morning since wind shear will inhibit it for the moment
Imminent rainage in Florida today... woop woop.

Probably just enough rain to make it humid, and just enough lightning to spark massive fires... but hey, we have to think on the bright side.

Badgers badgers badgers badgers badgers badgers badgers...
Quoting Grothar:


Good morning. We finally had rain this morning.


That's a good thing
Badgers badgers badgers badgers badgers badgers badgers...

mushroom mushroom
542. jpsb
Quoting islander101010:
all this bad crap going on we all know it has to do with some kind of global warming. what can we do? nothing. maybe get use to it. wait to cv season.


Skiing in July for the first time ever
High pressure building into TX, dryer air moving in from the north. Tons of moisture offshore, rain/storms moving on shore, convection firing in western gulf...nothing to see here folks, move along...
Good Morning,

Thanks for the SST animation, Below SL.

Looks like that last northern eddy of hot water is spreading out and setting up the Atlantic for warm TS development.
Where do I look to check on Dust levels?
Quoting RitaEvac:
High pressure building into TX, dryer air moving in from the north. Tons of moisture offshore, rain/storms moving on shore, convection firing in western gulf...nothing to see here folks, move along...


Yep. Not holding my breath for any of these to actually rain on my area. Looks hot and dry from now on. Again.

I don't think this feature was considered when the early models were predicting development in the Bay of Campeche. I didn't when I made my posts on this on the 16th and 17th :) Wonder what effect it will have on the system.


Say what they may, but a weakness has been left behind in the gulf, if there wasn't there wouldn't be all this convection and rain out there. Be interesting to see if this clears out quickly or not, could play a role for the imcoming system from the Carribbean? moving system farther north towards TX? there is a weakness in the gulf left behind, remains to be seen what happens....
Good call phonetic armadillo... 10 points.
Grother, we are thinking the same thing...
The latest GFS model now shows a slightly weaker system in the Gulf and much further South than the earlier models. If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask.

Quoting RitaEvac:
Grother, we are thinking the same thing...


Too bad it can't move back over you and give Texas a little rain.
GFS takes it a little further south now

First off, you don't care what models are saying when a system doesn't exist yet, a low level center has to form first and where that starts is the key to where it goes
Facts from Wiki:

Fastest Intensification from a Tropical Storm to a Category 5 Hurricane: 16 hours - 70 mph to 155 mph - Hurricane Wilma 2005
Maximum pressure drop in 12 hours: 90+mb - Wilma 2005
Maximum pressure drop in 24 hours: 98mb - Wilma 2005 - 1200 UTC October 18 to October 19
Fastest Intensification from a Tropical Depression to a Hurricane: 12 hours - Lorenzo 2007
Fastest Intensification from a Depression to a Category Five Hurricane: 51 Hours - Felix 2007
Quoting FLdewey:
Imminent rainage in Florida today... woop woop.

Probably just enough rain to make it humid, and just enough lightning to spark massive fires... but hey, we have to think on the bright side.

Badgers badgers badgers badgers badgers badgers badgers...


carribean is looking sexy!!
Any system should be watched at this time of year. Miami was hit by a system that wasn't even a depression and dropped about 15 inches of rain which caused massive flooding in Dade and Broward Counties. The NWS put out advisories early in the day and most people were sent home. Still thousands of people were stranded in their vehicles (including old Grothar)



Quoting Levi32:
Good morning.

Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Friday, June 24th, with Video


Thanks Levi!

How are things in the great AK?
Could end up being a Pacific System possibly!
Quoting Grothar:
Facts from Wiki:

Fastest Intensification from a Tropical Storm to a Category 5 Hurricane: 16 hours - 70 mph to 155 mph - Hurricane Wilma 2005
Maximum pressure drop in 12 hours: 90+mb - Wilma 2005
Maximum pressure drop in 24 hours: 98mb - Wilma 2005 - 1200 UTC October 18 to October 19
Fastest Intensification from a Tropical Depression to a Hurricane: 12 hours - Lorenzo 2007
Fastest Intensification from a Depression to a Category Five Hurricane: 51 Hours - Felix 2007


Let us hope that Wilma retains her records for a considerable time into the future.

Good morning, Grothar and fellow blogites.
TampaSpin, if those models pan out, this event wont even be an event, wont even be worth watching, mind as well say...NEXT
Quoting Grothar:
Any system should be watched at this time of year. Miami was hit by a system that wasn't even a depression and dropped about 15 inches of rain which caused massive flooding in Dade and Broward Counties. The NWS put out advisories early in the day and most people were sent home. Still thousands of people were stranded in there vehicles (including old Grothar)





That is so sad when a chariot drowns out.
why ya'll still in this old entry?
Quoting Patrap:
why ya'll still in this old entry?


Pat, I never knew you had any issues with "old".
Quoting RitaEvac:
TampaSpin, if those models pan out, this event wont even be an event, wont even be worth watching, mind as well say...NEXT


Yep it sure appears that way. As bad as Texas needs moisture, sure would have been nice to have had a small Depression move into central Texas to have covered the State!
Quoting Patrap:
why ya'll still in this old entry?
Ha! We are the left overs...New Blog...
Good Morning Levi did you feel the earth quake
571. jpsb
Quoting TampaSpin:


Yep it sure appears that way. As bad as Texas needs moisture, sure would have been nice to have had a small Depression move into central Texas to have covered the State!
I am not giving up hope yet, that blob in the GoM right off the Texas coast might either move inland into Texas or help pull the TW into Texas. Ok, not likely but one can always hope.
We are seeing the same pattern as last year...The ridge is in the right place at the right time forcing all the systems westward. Last year it was all Mexico and no systems could move north into the Gulf. Rain is needed from these systems.
Quoting Levi32:
Good morning.

Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Friday, June 24th, with Video


Thanks Levi32 nice job.

Quoting TampaSpin:
Could end up being a Pacific System possibly!


Good point
NEW BLOG!!!!
My parents were living in Dakota Dunes, SD- a few blocks from the flooding Missouri. They were evacuated a few weeks ago. My mother reported that the Dam in Yankton, SD- just up river- now has 33% more water flowing through it than the Niagara Falls.

I cannot confirm this information.

David