Red River rising: 18th consecutive year of flooding--why?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:08 PM GMT on March 19, 2010

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The Red River at Fargo, North Dakota continues to rise, with a peak expected Sunday at the 4th highest flood level observed in the past century. "Major" flood level is 30 feet, which the river surpassed on Wednesday, and the river is expected to crest near 38 feet on Sunday, just 2.8 feet below the record set last year. Flood stage is eighteen feet, and the Red River has now reached flood stage at Fargo for eighteen consecutive years, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Prior to this remarkable stretch of flooding (which began in 1993), the river flooded in just 29 of 90 years. This year's flood is rated as somewhere between a 50-year and 100-year flood. Last year's record flood was a 100-year flood. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lists the 10-year flood level for the Red River at Fargo to be 10,300 cubic feet per second. A 10-year flood, historically, has a 10% chance of occurring in a given year. In the last twenty years, the Red River has had eight 10-year floods--one every 2.5 years, on average. This year is the fourth year out of the past five with a 10-year flood. Clearly, flooding has increased significantly along the Red River over the past twenty years.


Figure 1. Current and forecast flood stage for the Red River of the North at Fargo, ND. You can access images like these using our wundermap for Fargo with the "USGS River" layer turned on. Click on the icon for USGS station 05054000, then hit the "click for graph" link.

Reasons for flooding: landform factors
According the U.S. Geological Survey, the unique landform characteristics of the Red River Valley make it highly susceptible to flooding. These factors include:

1) A relatively shallow and meandering river channel--a shallow channel holds less water and the meandering can cause flow to slow down as the channel makes its turns, causing over-bank flooding.

2) A gentle slope (averaging 0.5 to 1.5 feet per mile) that inhibits channel flow and encourages overland flooding or water "ponding" (especially on even, saturated ground) in the basin.

3) The northerly direction of flow--flow in the Red River travels from south (upstream) to north (downstream). The direction of flow becomes a critical factor in the spring when the southern (upstream) part of the Red River has thawed and the northern (downstream) part of the channel is still frozen. As water moves north toward the still frozen river channel, ice jams and substantial backwater flow and flooding can occur.


Figure 2. Peak flow of the Red River at Fargo, North Dakota through time. The two largest flow rates occurred last year (2009), and in 1997. The projected crest for Sunday (red circle) would be fourth greatest flood since reliable records began in 1901. Image credit: U.S. Geological Survey.

Reasons for this year's flood: highly unfavorable weather conditions
The USGS also cites five weather factors that can act to enhance flooding along the Red River. All five of these factors occurred to a significant degree this year:

1) Above-normal amounts of precipitation in the fall of the year that produce high levels of soil moisture, particularly in flat surface areas, in the basin. North Dakota had its 22nd wettest fall in the 115-year record in 2009.

2) Freezing of saturated ground in late fall or early winter, before significant snowfall occurs, that produces a hard, deep frost that limits infiltration of runoff during snowmelt. Fargo had a November that was much warmer than average, followed by a sudden plunge to below-zero temperatures by the second week of December. This froze the saturated ground to a great depth.

3) Above-normal winter snowfall in the basin. North Dakota had a top 15% winter for precipitation, with the period December 2009 - February 2010 ranking 15th wettest in the past 115 years.

4) Above-normal precipitation during snowmelt. Precipitation for March 1 - 18 has been 1.41", compared to the average of 0.61".

5) Above-normal temperatures during snowmelt. High temperatures in Fargo have averaged 6°F warmer than normal for March 1 - 18.

Urbanization increases flooding
Urbanization has had a major impact on increasing flooding not only along the Red River, but in every river basin in the U.S. Many cities and developed areas are located in flood plains next to major rivers and their tributaries. Highways, streets, parking lots, sidewalks, and buildings now cover large areas of the ground that used to absorb excess rain water and slow the rate at which run-off from precipitation and melting snow reached rivers. By developing large portions of our flood plains, run-off now reaches rivers more quickly, generating higher floods.

Building levees and flood defenses increases flood peaks
Defending ourselves against floods has made floods worse. Every time a new levee is built, or an old floodwall raised in height to prevent overtopping, more and more water is forced into the river bed, which raises the height of the flood. Flood waters that used to be able to spread out over their natural flood plains are now forbidden from spilling out over newly developed land in flood plains. For example, proposed improvements to the flood defense system in Fargo could cause a 4 - 10 inch rise in floods immediately downstream from the city, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.

Precipitation is increasing
As the climate warms, evaporation of moisture from the oceans increases, resulting in more water vapor in the air. According to the 2007 IPCC report, water vapor in the global atmosphere has increased by about 5% over the 20th century, and 4% since 1970. Satellite measurements (Trenberth et al., 2005) have shown a 1.3% per decade increase in water vapor over the global oceans since 1988. Santer et al. (2007) used a climate model to study the relative contribution of natural and human-caused effects on increasing water vapor, and concluded that this increase was "primarily due to human-caused increases in greenhouse gases". This was also the conclusion of Willet et al. (2007). This increase in water vapor has very likely led to an increase in global precipitation. For instance, over the U.S., where we have very good precipitation records, annual average precipitation has increased 7% over the past century (Groisman et al., 2004). Precipitation over the Red River drainage basin increased by about 10 - 20% during the 20th Century (Figure 3.) The same study also found a 14% increase in heavy (top 5%) and 20% increase in very heavy (top 1%) precipitation events over the U.S. in the past century. These are the type of events most likely to cause flooding. Kunkel et al. (2003) also found an increase in heavy precipitation events over the U.S. in recent decades, but noted that heavy precipitation events were nearly as frequent at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, though the data is not as reliable back then.


Figure 3. Change in precipitation over the U.S. between 1900 - 2000, from the U.S. Cooperative network. Precipitation in the Red River drainage area increased by 10 - 20% over the 20th century. Image credit: Contemporary Changes of the Hydrological Cycle over the Contiguous United States: Trends (Groisman et al., 2002).

The future of flooding
As the population continues to expand, development in flood plains and construction of new levees and flood protection systems will continue to push floods to higher heights. With global warming expected to continue and drive ever higher precipitation amounts--falling preferentially in heavy precipitation events--it is highly probable that flooding in the Red River Valley--and over most of the northern 2/3 of the U.S. where precipitation increases are likely--will see higher and more frequent floods. With these higher and more frequent floods comes the increased risk of multi-billion dollar disasters, when a record flood event overwhelms flood defenses and inundates huge areas of developed flood plains. Obviously, we need to make smart decisions to limit development in flood plains to reduce the cost and suffering of these future flooding disasters.

References
Kunkel, K. E., D. R. Easterling, K. Redmond, and K. Hubbard, 2003, "Temporal variations of extreme precipitation events in the United States: 1895.2000", Geophys. Res. Lett., 30(17), 1900, doi:10.1029/2003GL018052.

Groisman, P.Y., R.W. Knight, T.R. Karl, D.R. Easterling, B. Sun, and J.H. Lawrimore, 2004, "Contemporary Changes of the Hydrological Cycle over the Contiguous United States: Trends Derived from In Situ Observations," J. Hydrometeor., 5, 64.85.

Milly, P.C.D., R.T. Wetherald, K.A. Dunne, and T.L.Delworth, Increasing risk of great floods in a changing climate", Nature 415, 514-517 (31 January 2002) | doi:10.1038/415514a.

Santer, B.D., C. Mears, F. J. Wentz, K. E. Taylor, P. J. Gleckler, T. M. L. Wigley, T. P. Barnett, J. S. Boyle, W. Brüggemann, N. P. Gillett, S. A. Klein, G. A. Meehl, T. Nozawa, D. W. Pierce, P. A. Stott, W. M. Washington, and M. F. Wehner, 2007, "Identification of human-induced changes in atmospheric moisture content", PNAS 2007 104: 15248-15253.

Trenberth, K.E., J. Fasullo, and L. Smith, 2005: "Trends and variability in column-integrated atmospheric water vapor", Climate Dynamics 24, 741-758.

Willett, K.M., N.P. Gillett, P.D. Jones, and P.W. Thorne, 2007, "Attribution of observed surface humidity changes to human influence", Nature 449, 710-712 (11 October 2007) | doi:10.1038/nature06207.

Links
A good way to track the flooding event is to use our wundermap for the Red River with the USGS River layer turned on.

The Fargo Flood webpage of North Dakota State University, Fargo, has some excellent links.

I'll have a new post on Monday or Tuesday.

Jeff Masters

Red River Flood 2006 (mw25)
The water level of the Red River when I took this photo was 47.2 feet, 19.2 feet above flood stage and the 6th highest level in Grand Forks' history. The river is expected to crest at 47.4 feet on Wednesday morning. Luckily, no homes have been lost in the Grand Forks area as of yet due to the flooding.
Red River Flood 2006
Fargo Flood 2009 - Elm & 15th Ave. N. (tliebenow)
Picture says it all. Clay dike built to contain the Red River in North Fargo.
Fargo Flood 2009 - Elm & 15th Ave. N.

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I couldn't live in a place more than 50 miles away from an ocean. I need my Ocean!!!
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Winter do you live in Kansas?
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Quoting Orcasystems:


???
You don't think it might be for the Jobs...


Better jobs, but way more tax, I don't understand why that's a good reason but maybe I'm just ignorant after all.

Anyway, I've never seen an INVEST even look half this good in the atlantic. It amazes me what storms can do with just a bunch more water.
Member Since: July 29, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 1797
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Maybe im just paranoid, but this is kinda peculiar.


2005 and 2010 have the same exact number of tornados so far.



2008 had plenty of tornadoes and had plenty of tropical cyclones I see nothing to worry about from that.
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Quoting winter123:


Not everyone... just the coastal cities have the fastest growing population of anywhere. Most people move there just for the fun of it... just to party every night in Miami, to live the new york lifestyle, etc..


???
You don't think it might be for the Jobs...
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Quoting PcolaDan:


Here we go again with idiotic statements. Saw this argument last year.
Can't live here, hurricanes, not there tornado alley, oops earthquakes, well golly look at the flooding going on here...
Doesn't matter that cities on the coast have historically been the backbone of trade in this country. Once the ports aren't viable, the whole population should move. blah blah blah


Not everyone... just the coastal cities have the fastest growing population of anywhere. Most people move there just for the fun of it... just to party every night in Miami, to live the new york lifestyle, etc..
Member Since: July 29, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 1797
805. xcool
:)



Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?
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G'nite all. Hoping for at least the first part of the new day to be "nice"....
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Maybe im just paranoid, but this is kinda peculiar.


2005 and 2010 have the same exact number of tornados so far.

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I'm really annoyed that it looks like this weather trailing across the GOM may actually impact us before the weekend is out....

Winter type wx is basically lost its mystique for me at this point...
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A VOLCANO in the area of the Eyjafallajoekull glacier in southern Iceland erupted today, forcing more 500 people in its vicinity to evacuate their homes, authorities said.

"We estimate that no one is in danger in the area but we have started an evacuation plan and between 500 and 600 people are being evacuated" Sigurgeir Gudmundsson of the Icelandic civil protections department said.

Public broadcaster RUV reported that the eruption had started shortly after midnight and that the area's main road had been closed.

A volcano in the area of the Eyjafjallajokull glacier last erupted in 1821 and 1823
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Quoting winter123:
Thanks for those pics. It always amazes me that people willingly live on cyclone-prone coastlines. There's always a considerable hit on every land mass every year, it's just a matter of time before its yours, and it's always worse the closer to the coast you are. And those people can look at other people that live right on the coast and see the destruction it brings to their lives. So it seems foolish to choose to live on the coast in cyclone-prone basins.


Here we go again with idiotic statements. Saw this argument last year.
Can't live here, hurricanes, not there tornado alley, oops earthquakes, well golly look at the flooding going on here...
Doesn't matter that cities on the coast have historically been the backbone of trade in this country. Once the ports aren't viable, the whole population should move. blah blah blah
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798. JRRP
Climatological

Real-Time
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Hey Patrap at least it is almost out of here then the Temps drop like a bad happit....

Taco :0)
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128645
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128645
794. xcool



Look at ITCZ .mmm
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Dawn in Australia brings the woe the Cyclone always leaves behind.

Lessons will be learned,info will be logged,..those in the impact Zone have only hours before nightfall arrives.



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Quoting winter123:
Thanks for those pics. It always amazes me that people willingly live on cyclone-prone coastlines.

There's always something. I prefer a south TX hurricane possibility (that I can escape from by leaving well ahead) to living as I did previously in the midwest and driving/walking on ice and snow or heading for the basement to escape a possible tornado.
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791. JRRP
Quoting SouthALWX:
Is there an Analog season where we had El Nino weakening but not gone and SSTs in the atlantaic MDR well above average? I asked before but Im not sure, would this serve to negate any of the westerly shear typically associated with El Nino?

1969 ????
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Quoting AstroHurricane001:
NASA: "It is nearly certain that a new record 12-month global temperature will be set in 2010"

While everybody was arguing about the house, we forgot to put out the fire...again.

You can thank El Nino for that more than C02, I'd wager :)
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Living near the coast is in many cases (especially Australia) a choice made by default. Everywhere is at danger for some sort of natural disaster, it's more of a pick your poison type scenario even if you do have a choice in the matter.
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NASA: "It is nearly certain that a new record 12-month global temperature will be set in 2010"

While everybody was arguing about the house, we forgot to put out the fire...again.
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Quoting winter123:
Thanks for those pics. It always amazes me that people willingly live on cyclone-prone coastlines. There's always a considerable hit on every land mass every year, it's just a matter of time before its yours, and it's always worse the closer to the coast you are. And those people can look at other people that live right on the coast and see the destruction it brings to their lives. So it seems foolish to choose to live on the coast in cyclone-prone basins.


I have lived in southeast Florida all my life and have gone through many Hurricanes. The worst Hurricane I went through was Wilma, which came in through the West Coast. So I really don't get your point.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11269
Quoting winter123:
Thanks for those pics. It always amazes me that people willingly live on cyclone-prone coastlines. There's always a considerable hit on every land mass every year, it's just a matter of time before its yours, and it's always worse the closer to the coast you are. And those people can look at other people that live right on the coast and see the destruction it brings to their lives. So it seems foolish to choose to live on the coast in cyclone-prone basins.

90% of Australian live on the coast. It's probably the same the world over. Sometimes people get lucky, and sometimes not.
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Thanks for those pics. It always amazes me that people willingly live on cyclone-prone coastlines. There's always a considerable hit on every land mass every year, it's just a matter of time before its yours, and it's always worse the closer to the coast you are. And those people can look at other people that live right on the coast and see the destruction it brings to their lives. So it seems foolish to choose to live on the coast in cyclone-prone basins.
Member Since: July 29, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 1797
Is there an Analog season where we had El Nino weakening but not gone and SSTs in the atlantaic MDR well above average? I asked before but Im not sure, would this serve to negate any of the westerly shear typically associated with El Nino?
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Quoting Drakoen:


Take picture to share with us


My camera is not cooperating! I took a few pics, they did not come out very well, plus when I tried to download them, the entire SD card, with 1500 pics, wanted to re-post on my computer!!

Here is a list of the recent reports out of the Greater DFW, TX reporting stations:

Location Time
(cdt) Sky/Weather Temp.
(ºF) Dewpt.
(ºF) Humidity
(%) Wind
(mph) Pressure
(in)
Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport 20:53 Light Snow Fog/Mist and Breezy 33 30 89 NW 23 G 30 30.11
Dallas Love Field 20:53 Light Snow and Breezy 34 29 82 NW 21 G 33 30.12
Dallas Executive Airport 20:53 Light Snow Fog/Mist 32 29 88 NW 18 G 31 30.11
Dallas / Addison Airport 19:50 Overcast 34 28 81 NW 20 G 29 30.11
Grand Prairie Municipal Airport 20:50 Snow 34 30 87 NW 17 G 29 30.14
Collin County Regional Airport 20:53 Light Snow Fog/Mist 33 29 85 NW 16 G 26 30.09
Arlington Municipal Airport 20:53 Light Snow Fog/Mist 33 29 85 NW 18 G 25 30.14
Denton Municipal Airport 20:53 Light Snow Fog/Mist 31 29 92 NW 18 G 29 30.13
Fort Worth Alliance Airport 20:53 Light Snow Fog/Mist 34 29 82 NW 16 30.13
Fort Worth, Meacham International Airport 20:53 Light Snow Fog/Mist 32 29 88 NW 18 G 28 30.14
Fort Worth, Naval Air Station 20:52 Light Snow and Breezy 34 29 82 NW 22 G 30 30.20
Mineral Wells Airport 20:53 Light Snow Fog/Mist 33 29 85 NW 16 G 23 30.17
Terrell Municipal Airport 20:53 Overcast 37 27 67 NW 20 G 31 30.09
Gainesville Municipal Airport 20:46 Light Snow 34 28 81 NW 20 G 26 30.12
Waco Regional Airport 20:51 Overcast and Breezy 37 26 65 NW 21 G 32 30.17
Click on location name for the weather during the past two days at that site.
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Quoting pottery:
Thanks for the pics.......

I'll keep posting as more come in.
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Thanks for the pics.......
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Quoting pottery:
Hi Aussie, glad that there are no reports of injury or worse yet. Sounds like a bad blow, but a lost roof can be replaced...


Proserpine








Hamilton Island





NORTH Queensland residents cleaning up damage from Cyclone Ului now face the prospect of flooding with heavy rain reported in the area.

Authorities have described damage from the Cyclone as moderate - with homes damaged, boats washed ashore, trees down and 60,000 homes without power.

But the Bureau of Meteorology this morning delivered more bad news for the region - with warnings of moderate to major flooding in the Pioneer River around Mirani.

The bureau said some areas in the Proserpineand Pioneer River catchments had received more than 100mm overnight, and said moderate to heavy rainfall associated with the cyclone was forecast for coastal areas between Townsville and Yeppoon today.
It warned that flash flooding and fast river rises were likely with heavier falls during the day.

A Courier-Mail team in the area reported "unbelievably heavy" rain at around 10.30am between Mackay and Midge Point, but that had eased slightly by just before 11am.

The road to Midge Point was cut by floodwaters and fallen trees.
'Significant, not catastrophic'

Premier Anna Bligh told the Seven Network earlier today:``We are characterising it as a significant event with severe damage in some pockets, but not a catastrophic event".

She said the damage assessment had only just begun and it was clear some residents had been hit hard.
`We know already that there are reports of a number of houses completely unroofed,'' she said, adding that with winds still high, help would be some time away for those families.

Ms Bligh said the focus now was on the flood risk from heavy rain associated with the weather system.

``There is still a lot of rain in this system and we are watching very carefully to see if that now turns into a flooding event. We're certainly not out of the woods yet.''

Ului crossed the coast as a category three system with winds of 200km/h near Airlie Beach early this morning.

It has since been downgraded to a category one and is weakening as it heads inland.

Forecasters expect it to deteriorate into a rain depression by this afternoon.

Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts says there's been some structural damage to homes, such as broken windows, leaks and damaged roofs.

``The early reports we're getting in is minor to moderate damage in a number of homes, power outages across the region,'' he told the ABC.

``The SES had about 600 calls so far but we are expecting that to escalate significantly'' as the day progresses, he said.

Mr Roberts said communities had been well prepared for Ului and that had helped limit the damage.

The storm's winds brought down trees and powerlines across a wide area, with blackouts homes between Mackay, Proserpine and Collinsville.
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Cyclone Ului - my mum and dad’s harrowing night in Mackay


Felicity Moore
Sunday, March 21, 2010 at 10:11am


The brute force of category 3 Cyclone Ului crashed into Queensland’s coastline yesterday, lashing Mackay and Airlie Beach with galeforce winds and torrential rains. My parents live in Mackay and last night they spent a terrifying night listening to the howling winds and pounding rains rattling the windows and shaking the foundations of their house.

“The winds were just incredible, certainly the worst that I’ve ever lived through,” said my father, Richard Shea, an unflappable former pilot and trawler fisherman who now operates his own driving school. “By around 2am the winds were up around 110km/hr. It was terrifying,” he said. “I could feel the house shaking at times, and I just thought if one piece (of the roof) peels off, we’re gone here, the whole roof will go.”

As their home of 25 years shuddered and shook around them last night my parents spent sleepless hours waiting in the dark, wondering if the walls would withstand Ului’s onslaught. This morning’s reports reveal wind speeds reached up to 200km/hr as Ului crossed the coast at Airlie Beach, just 200km north of Mackay.

My parents’ four-bedroom highset house survived the recent Mackay flooding that saw many residents lose their homes. It has survived cyclones Charlie (which closed my school down for the day and gave us all the day off back in 1988) and Justin (in 1997) which unroofed houses around us. But Dad said this experience exceeded those for ferocity and intensity.

“The (end flap of the canvas) roof over the patio was flapping in the wind; it sounded like a whip cracking; like firecrackers going off. Steve (the neighbour over the road) rang at 2am and asked if we were OK. He wanted to know if he could come over and help me with anything. It was unbelievably loud, the whole neighbourhood would have heard it. Dennis (the neighbour behind Mum and Dad’s house) rang this morning to see if we’re okay. I’m surprised we didn’t get more calls, actually,” Dad said. The canvas roof has been shredded and all but blown off. But that’s pretty much the extent of the damage done to the house.

“We’re one of the very lucky few,” Dad said. “We woke up this morning still with power. It was getting pretty hairy around two to three in the morning when the wind really picked up. The power flickered a few times but it stayed on. Once you get over 100km that’s really whistling. The rain’s just horizontal and the wind sounds like a roar,” he said.

“The airport is closed although I heard on the radio this morning flights are expected to resume later this morning. And I just heard on the radio that Bushman’s Bakery, which is over on Evans Avenue (North Mackay), is giving away all its product because it doesn’t have electricity to keep things cool. So if you want a pie or sausage roll just drive up and you can have whatever you want.”

“It was the worst cyclone I’ve lived through. The next worst one was probably Cyclone Justin and it only brought winds up to about 80km/hr,” he said. “It was frightening. Because there’s nothing you can do. And it’s dark. I thought if the roof goes what will we do? I didn’t have an answer, I didn’t know.”

To hear my dad talk of being frightened is an incredible thing. This is a man who has lived through a plane crash (when he was a pilot, crop dusting) and being lost at sea (when he was a trawler fisherman and the boat sank). He’s an element of nature all on his own, an immovable, solid force. He never gets worked up about anything. Never shows nerves, never seems to fear anything. When you’ve stared death in the face, close enough to count the pores, well, not much else could stack up as a scarey experience. And this cyclone had him shaking in his boots.

Dad owns and operates A-Plus Driving School and expects that he’ll get a closer look at any damage the town sustained in the coming days as he’s back to teaching teenagers how to drive.

There’s no television being broadcast in Mackay today. My friend Carrie Cox, mother to three children, lives in Glenella and seems to be without power today. I’ve been unable to get through to her, but did receive this text about an hour ago: “No Facebook, no coffee. Just fighting kids. This is the devastation they don’t tell you about.” She’s a funny bugger.

When I was a kid growing up in Mackay we would be threatened by cyclones on a regular basis. The most memorable for me was Charlie in 1988, which as I mentioned closed schools for the day. It turned into a rain depression before it made landfall near Ayr, and we barely got any wind from it. In 1990 Cyclone Joy caused a little damage, including the unusual event of a tornado, which damaged buildings and houses in the area.

Cyclones were a bit exciting back then. Dad would run around picking loose items up from the yard, taping windows and Mum would stock up on water, batteries and tinned goods. We would imagine days of living in the dark, eating baked beans and sandbagging to keep the water at bay.

Of course, it never worked out that way. Every cyclone to threaten Mackay in the years I spent living there, turned into a rain event before making landfall. We would get some rain, which always pleased the cane cockies, but no destructive winds. We were very lucky. Last year it felt like Mackay’s luck had run out with the devastating floods. But maybe its luck is back in again, emerging from this cyclone with just a few scrapes.
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Hi Aussie, glad that there are no reports of injury or worse yet. Sounds like a bad blow, but a lost roof can be replaced...
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Air-conditioners sucked from walls in cyclone Ului

* From: AAP
* March 21, 2010 12:06PM

AIR-CONDITIONERS were sucked out of walls as Cyclone Ului hit islands off the Queensland coast.

Ului was a category three cyclone packing winds of 200km/h when it crossed the coast near Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays early this morning.

Premier Anna Bligh said some residents had a pretty hairy time, especially those on the islands.

"Some of the islands have seen airconditioners sucked out of the walls," she said, before heading off on a tour of cyclone-affected communities.

"That's the force of the wind that came through, so I think they've had a pretty scary night."

She said some homes had also lost their roofs.

"We have a handful of roofs off houses that we know about, but as assessment crew go through, that may increase."

The premier said the cyclone, which has since been downgraded to a rain depression, had caused severe damage in pockets but it was not a catastrophic event.

She said assessment teams would spend the day flying over the region and would have a better idea of the scale of the damage by Sunday evening.

Ms Bligh will fly to Proserpine, close to where the cyclone made landfall, with Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts.

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Join the "working too much' club!
But in a mad sort of way, I envy you your freezing.
We are broiling here. Smoke, ash, no water, etc.
There must be a middle ground somewhere, LOL.
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Quoting Bordonaro:
Well, as everyone is getting ready for the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season, the El Nino Winter continues!!

In SE Arlington, TX, we're getting moderate snow, 34F, with a stiff NW wind at 20MPH, G to 30MPH!!


Take picture to share with us
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Pottery, saw your posts where it's been miserably hot there.
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770. Skyepony (Mod)
The subsurface of the central Pacific cooled slightly over the past few weeks because it lent it's heat to the extreme hot spot in the subsurface east end of the Pacific. That looks posed to surface in region 1,2 & move west, strengthening El Niño, totally different then what the dynamic models predict.


That last Kelvin wave really widened the spread..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 173 Comments: 38152
Well, as everyone is getting ready for the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season, the El Nino Winter continues!!

In SE Arlington, TX, we're getting moderate snow, 34F, with a stiff NW wind at 20MPH, G to 30MPH!!

And it is in the 60's in New York City, NY!!
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Freezing my behind off. I had looked forward to a nice weekend like last and Bordonaro yanked my chain on that a couple days ago. Working too much.

I edited that statement for delicate sensibilities.

If the work needs to be done, then it needs to be done.

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I don't think he mentioned Bastardi. He just said "bloggers" and I presume he is referring to WUBA-ites.
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765. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Tropical Cyclone Warning Center Brisbane
Tropical Cyclone Warning
Tropical Low, Former Ului
11:00 AM EST March 21 2010
=====================================

At 0:00 AM UTC, Tropical Low, Former Ului (1001 hPa) located at 20.6S 147.3E or 40 kms west southwest of Bowen and 60 kms west of Collinsville has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots with gusts of 45 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west southwest at 13 knots.

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ului is located west of Collinsville, and continuing to move further inland. The cyclone has weakened rapidly, and is now below cyclone strength.

DAMAGING winds are no longer expected.

HEAVY RAINFALL and flooding are likely to continue about coastal and adjacent inland areas between Bowen and St Lawrence. A separate Severe Weather Warning is current for these conditions.

DANGEROUS SURF conditions are expected to continue about exposed beaches south of the cyclone until later today. A separate Severe Weather Warning is current for these conditions.

Cyclone Watches
===============
The Cyclone WARNING from Ayr to Bowen, including adjacent inland areas has been cancelled.
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Post 761, Babbit.
Shucks. And here I am, driving nails into my walls and shutters already.
LOL.

How you going, Babbit?
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Was just looking back at the 3 southern hemisphere seasons because I didn't follow them... this storm is BEAUTIFUL!

Link
Member Since: July 29, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 1797
760

I like your post. No need to get carried away in March.
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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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