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Midwest flood price tag $8 billion; Extreme Weather magazine review

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 4:54 PM GMT on June 27, 2008

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
500 Year Flood 2008
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.

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

Responding to everyone's comments regarding my complete dismissal of the Bay of Campeche activity, I just don't see anything developing down there.
Fireworks may not the be only thing residents will want to keep an eye out for this week.

Conditions in the Atlantic Ocean are conducive for a tropical storm to form as early as this weekend in the middle to eastern section of the Atlantic, said Tony Carper of the Indian River County Emergency Operations Center. It would be a rare occurrence for early July, he said. Just 11 storms have ever formed in that area of the Atlantic between July 1 and July 15 in the last 150 years, Carper said.

Regardless of the possible tropical activity, the National Weather Service is calling for the possibility of rain every day this week, typical for the summer months.

The highest chance of rain comes in the beginning of the week, with a 50 percent chance of precipitation Monday through Wednesday. Most showers and thunderstorms should sweep across the Treasure Coast in the afternoon.

The rain possibility slightly decreases on Thursday and Friday, Independence Day, to 30 percent.

The temperature should remain steady in the upper 80s during the day and low 70s at night.

TCPALM staff report
Originally published 06:19 a.m., June 30, 2008
Updated 11:55 a.m., June 30, 2008

1997.

that is ts/hurricane??? 02e
2004. Drakoen
1987. Weather456 4:53 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
If memory serves me right, someone or someones said Arthur wasnt suppose to develop until July. Now why should we listen this time around? I dont even think Arthur had this much model support, stand to be corrected.


Arthur didn't have this much model at least intially.
The challenge is to beat "climo". Climo is easy and makes for lazy forecasters IMO
Just wanted to add my reasoning as to why I have no concern for the activity in the Bay of Campeche. Wind shear does not support tropical development there and its close proximity to land does not help much. We have seen so many spins develop with convective bursts then just fall apart there.
2004. Drak....thats what I thought. Thanks for the shed of light.
2008. 786
GOM blob: 30%
CATL: 75%
2001. cchsweatherman 4:57 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
Responding to everyone's comments regarding my complete dismissal of the Bay of Campeche activity, I just don't see anything developing down there.


Thanks CCHS.
If this wave comes off and does not develop there will be a depression on this blog. That is my forecast

LOL
2011. Drakoen
What's interesting is the steering currents of the long range GFS. The scenario is almost like with August-September of 2004 with the storm getting pulled to the north then getting sent back to the west.
1985. jphurricane2006

LMAO!
2013. Drakoen
2010. kmanislander 5:02 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
If this wave comes off and does not develop there will be a depression on this blog. That is my forecast

LOL


LOL. The models will be depressed too since they all unanimously decided to develop this African monsoon gyre.
2014. 786
Kmanislander. LOL that is a great prediction
2015. IKE
2010. kmanislander 12:02 PM CDT on June 30, 2008
If this wave comes off and does not develop there will be a depression on this blog. That is my forecast

LOL


That's true....lol..

OR...watch it develop and never come within 300 miles of any land mass.......
Drak

That steering is the strong ridge all the way to Fla that we have seen to persist since April of this year. Eerily similar to 2004
This is whats left of Tropical Storm Christina Aguilera, bears an odd resemblence to a skeleton.

2020. 786
I don't think it can be a fish storm the way the highs are forecast to be set up
2021. Drakoen
2016. kmanislander 5:04 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
Drak

That steering is the strong ridge all the way to Fla that we have seen to persist since April of this year. Eerily similar to 2004


Yep. This year might just be a handful...
I agree JP-- always keep an open mind. It tends to reduce the amount of crow that one consumes over the length of the season !!
2023. IKE
As consistent as the GFS has been on the African queen...I'll be surprised if it doesn't develop and put the GFS in the trash-can with the CMC if it doesn't.
2011.Drak

Looks like we will get another Ivan soon
Just 11 storms have ever formed in that area of the Atlantic between July 1 and July 15 in the last 150 years, Carper said.

How long have we had satellites? How can they reliably say anything about the central Atlantic that many years back?
2027. Drakoen
2023. IKE 5:06 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
As consistent as the GFS has been on the African queen...I'll be surprised if it doesn't develop and put the GFS in the trash-can with the CMC if it doesn't.


LOL. Way to put the pressure on the GFS to keep it's credibility.
2010. kmanislander 1:02 PM AST on June 30, 2008

It would be a good thing cuz I dont like the track. The Leewards have developed and populated alot due the lack of 10 years of hurricane activity. It would be blow to our tourism and agriculture industry if this occurs.
2029. IKE
2017. jphurricane2006 12:05 PM CDT on June 30, 2008
good predictions kman lol

could happen, notice that no one on here said it would form, we just dont like the close-mindedness of some


Like eye? He's still working and won't be able to post until his shift at KFC ends.
2007 also had the strong high. That's what kept Dean and Felix on a due West course all the way.
2024. jphurricane2006 1:06 PM AST on June 30, 2008
hey now dont be hatin on Christina lol, its Britney you would have to worry about, probably would be doing loop de loops by now lol


lol...a hurricane name britney would rocket the air ways.
2034. Drakoen
If this storm develops it would be a true Cape Verde system and would also be the earliest eastern storm to form. Here's the climatology:

2035. OUSHAWN
I just looked at a closeup of the latest visible of the blob in the BOC and there does appear to be a circulation over the water. There is definite shear out there but I swear I see a spin.
Like eye? He's still working and won't be able to post until his shift at KFC ends.

lol lol
Well answered one of my own questions.

First Weather Satellite - Link
2040. Drakoen
2029. IKE 5:08 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
2017. jphurricane2006 12:05 PM CDT on June 30, 2008
good predictions kman lol

could happen, notice that no one on here said it would form, we just dont like the close-mindedness of some

Like eye? He's still working and won't be able to post until his shift at KFC ends.


LOL.
2041. Drakoen
2038. DestinJeff 5:11 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
that would be great if hurricane brittany got 'sheared', or had an exposed center


No clothes...
2011. Drakoen 5:02 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
What's interesting is the steering currents of the long range GFS. The scenario is almost like with August-September of 2004 with the storm getting pulled to the north then getting sent back to the west.

Hey Drakoen, It does look some what similar doesn't it. Not sure I'm buying the poleward shift the GFS initiates at about 40W. Fits in with an error I see with it to often. The UKMET forecast points look better. Appears to be a narrow sliver of predominately favorable conditions but would have to remain further south closer to the UKMET positions. All we need is a LLC over water now:)
2037. jphurricane2006 5:11 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
lol 456, but with a storm named Britney it would be appropriate to use the term "winding down" lol

or well spiraling down lol



hahahhahahahaha LOL
2044. Drakoen
2042. stormlvr 5:14 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
2011. Drakoen 5:02 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
What's interesting is the steering currents of the long range GFS. The scenario is almost like with August-September of 2004 with the storm getting pulled to the north then getting sent back to the west.

Hey Drakoen, It does look some what similar doesn't it. Not sure I'm buying the poleward shift the GFS initiates at about 40W. Fits in with an error I see with it to often. The UKMET forecast points look better. Appears to be a narrow sliver of predominately favorable conditions but would have to remain further south closer to the UKMET positions. All we need is a LLC over water now:)



200mb anticyclone vertically stacked with the surface center over warm waters. It won't matter where it goes although it might have to deal with a little TUTT action if it took that northerly fix. The ECMWF 12z run has a similar track to this GFS 12z run with the ECMWF being a bit further to the north. It will be depend on the strength of the system which both ECMWF and GFS show at least a good tropical storm. It is still a ways out lol. We don't even have the GFDL or HWRF models on this.
2034. Drakoen

Without Satellites back in the day how can one be sure?
456

The Leewards and Windwards have been very fortunate for many years. Sadly, that will not last. Contrast the position for the Caymans. For years we watched the Eastern Caribbean being hammered by storm after storm and we hardly had even a close call.

Prior to Ivan, our last big strike was in 1932. Since 2004 we have had very close calls every year. Dean could have easily have been a repeat of Ivan for us last year.

My point ? : There has been a shift from the Eastern Caribbean to the Central and Western Caribbean being at greatest risk over the past decade. Eventually the pattern will switch again , we just don't know when.

The biggest determining factor is the steering.You guys got hit when storms came up to the WNW and NW around the western periphery of a ridge that terminated just N of PR or the DR. It remains to be seen what the set up will be this year.
I just looked the visible animation of the wave over Africa, now I fully believe is this wave nearest the coast. It has an excellent low-level spin, maybe even at surface based on a west-wind observation to the south of the wave.

And why are some ppl sayin the wave will exit below 10N. The spin along the wave looks to be at 10N.
Out for now
2049. Drakoen
2045. 69Viking 5:19 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
2034. Drakoen

Without Satellites back in the day how can one be sure?


Just using the record lol. Don't ask me ask the climatology.
2050. Drakoen
2047. Weather456 5:21 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
I just looked the visible animation of the wave over Africa, now I fully believe is this wave nearest the coast. It has an excellent low-level spin, maybe even at surface based on a west-wind observation to the south of the wave.

And where are some ppl sayin the wave will exit below 10N. The spin along the wave looks to be at 10N.


I agree. The circulation was note from yesterday. I like the large Java animations from that site. I think it's somewhat better than RAMSDIS.
2051. NEwxguy
2024. jphurricane2006 5:06 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
hey now dont be hatin on Christina lol, its Britney you would have to worry about, probably would be doing loop de loops by now lol

It would probably become a naked swirl
Public Information Statement
Statement as of 12:40 PM EDT on June 30, 2008

I s'pose this explains what happened to my grand oak.....

... National Weather Service confirms an EF-0 tornado on Johns
Island Sunday afternoon...

The National Weather Service has completed a damage survey in the
Johns Island area of Charleston County and has determined that an
EF-0 tornado occurred around 335 PM EDT Sunday afternoon. The
tornado initially touched down just west of Chisolm Road very near
angle Oak Elementary School. The tornado moved quickly east and
crossed Chisolm Road and portions of Point Park Road before
lifting just behind Saint Johns High School near Church Point
Lane. Track length was approximately one half mile and the Max
width was around two tenths of a mile.

The tornado damaged trees as well as some small structures in the
area. Portions of the fence surrounding the Saint Johns High
School stadium were also destroyed.

Strength... ... EF-0
peak winds... . 60-70 mph
Max width... .. 0.2 mile
track length.. 0.5 mile
2050. Drakoen 1:24 PM AST on June 30, 2008

It is much much better. But still isnt as popular as it should be. Its the best out there right now.

RAMSDIS - RESTRICTED
EMUSAT - Updates every 3 hrs
NOAA - updates every 6 hrs and has poor resolution
CIMSS - updates every 6 hrs and has poor resolution
2054. IKE
12Z CMC.....

Islands Threatened???
2054. IKE 5:29 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
12Z CMC.....

Islands Threatened???


That might be the case.
2056. Drakoen
2053. Weather456 5:29 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
2050. Drakoen 1:24 PM AST on June 30, 2008

It is much much better. But still isnt as popular as it should be. Its the best out there right now.

RAMSDIS - RESTRICTED
EMUSAT - Updates every 3 hrs
NOAA - updates every 6 hrs and has poor resolution
CIMSS - updates every 6 hrs and has poor resolution


Yea it updates fairly well and the detail is great. Especially on the VIS and IR imagery.
2055.

it also shows 96E hitting California as a strong ts/weak hurricane
2058. Drakoen
The 12z NOGAPS model is showing development with the wave as well.
2059. IKE
NEW BLOG!
I will be depresed is this wave does not develop. I love action in the tropics, and to follow and to read all the different opinions of the bloggers here. Nature will follow its course, and storms will form, for good or for bad,I've have lived through them, lost lives of love ones, property, etc. But still get passionate and overwhelmed before the magesty and power of nature !!!!!!
I see Jeff has noticed the models, he thinks there
might be a Tropical Cyclone even.