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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212. Stormchaser2007
10:26 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
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211. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
10:21 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
no lacks organization and convective areas all small but slowly increasing its a wait watch and see program
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209. Drakoen
10:21 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
The 700mb-surface steering will have the system in the CATL moving to the West.
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208. Stormchaser2007
10:22 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
207. Well we will see in the 8pm TWO
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207. stoormfury
10:19 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
is catl disturbance soon to be 92L ???
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206. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
10:15 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
there is a third area se of boris flareing up and showing organization with big sis out front showing cooling tops with increasing convection ramping up now we also have an area of interest in central atlantic as well with tops cooling and increasing
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205. Stormchaser2007
10:16 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
203 Yeah i can see that but there warming ever so slightly....well based on SSD water vapor loops
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204. extreme236
10:14 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
If you notice that real close to TD 3E is a large cloud deck, this indicates the system is approaching a stable air mass that should inhibit much strengthening. 35 knots from this system at best.

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203. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
10:07 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
boris wv image as of 557 est indicates a weakening in vapour levels and a warming of tops
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202. kmanislander
10:13 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
I doubt the QS pass has downloaded already. I just looked at the descending pass but do not believe that is for today.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15857
201. stoormfury
10:13 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
drak the CATL wave
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200. stoormfury
10:10 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
QS still shows an open wave with 20-25 knots wind
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199. Drakoen
10:10 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
192. stoormfury 10:01 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
Drak is IT possible that the system which appears to be weak and shallow will be under the influence of the low level easterly wind flow and continue to move north of weat and stay below the 15N deg LAT as the shear seems to be gradually moving further north


What system?
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30614
198. stoormfury
10:06 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
It is nice to see that the Blog has taken up a new dimension as compared to last evening.That was what it was intehded for and not the bickering of last eveening . Bravo guys
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197. Patrap
5:07 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
The images may contain data up to 22 hours previous from update time.
Details of orbit data files that go into the plots can be found here.

Ascending/Descending Passe's for QUIKscat Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129090
196. Stormchaser2007
10:05 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
Brother and Sister!!

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195. stoormfury
10:03 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
Anyone knows when is the next QuickScat pass to ascertain whether the system has a closed low or not
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194. Stormchaser2007
10:03 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
GFS at 72hours showing the low comming off of Africa.

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193. all4hurricanes
5:58 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
Boris is strengthening quickly they should update the forecast to hurricane soon or tomorrow. also Cristina in-the-making is getting better organized
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192. stoormfury
9:54 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
Drak is IT possible that the system which appears to be weak and shallow will be under the influence of the low level easterly wind flow and continue to move north of weat and stay below the 15N deg LAT as the shear seems to be gradually moving further north
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191. franck
9:52 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
As usual, shear is dominating factor in GoM and Caribbe.
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190. JRRP
9:41 PM GMT on Junio 27, 2008
The congratulations those that predicted an early beginning of the station CV because this seems that might be
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189. Patrap
4:52 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
Atlantic Ocean View (Updated ~3 hours)Link


GOES-12 Channel 4 (IR) GOES-12 Channel 3 (WV) GOES-12 Low Cloud Product
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129090
188. Stormchaser2007
9:49 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
RAMSDIS has a floater on the CATL wave....looks good!

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187. Drakoen
9:37 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
181. OSUWXGUY 9:29 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
173 - Drak

Subsidence ahead of the system will inhibit convection on the western portion of the wave axis and the GFS is forecasting for the lift in that region 6 days from now. Upper level winds will continue to be unfavorable for development east of the Lesser Antilles north of 13N with a persistent TUTT. The subequatorial ridge and the ITCZ is providing vent for the wave for the time being.


I've been analyzing the water vapor loop and I see the TUTT you refer to stretching from south of Jamaica all the way to south of Bermuda. I agree this with its associated high shear isn't lifting in the next 2-3 days...but the circulation with the wave is at about 8°N 32°W and moving west south of ridging to its north. It won't reach the Lesser Antilles for 4 day at the earliest

Now about the subsidence in its path, this will be its biggest problem agreed. Are you forecasting the venting (divergence) that is currently over the wave to decrease? And if yes, what is your basis for this?

SSTs are warm 27-28°C in the area and deep convection seems to be plentiful now.


4 days time will be enough for most of the wave axis to be under unfavorable wind shear from the TUTT. The upper level highs ahead and behind will remain for sometime however subsidence from the subtropical ridge and the TUTT will remain as seen from the low humidity values on the models.
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186. kmanislander
9:41 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
BBL
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185. kmanislander
9:38 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
The winds have been pulling around out there but I would like to see a Quikscat pass to see all of the surface winds at one time. That will tell us if there is a surface low or not.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15857
184. kmanislander
9:29 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
CCHS

I wouldn't go as far as to say a closed low because that would require winds from all quadrants and we have no obs that support that conclusion at this time IMO.

I just took a look at the feature using the shortwave IR loop and there is unquestionably a circulation of some sort there. The 850 mb vorticity is unimpressive but the surface winds are intriguing.

It also appears to be gaining some latitude which is good and bad. Good for coriolis effect, bad for shear if it gains too much poleward direction.

If it stays aroun 8N shear is low ahead of it and just East of the islands is a region we look to in early July for development. Just something to watch for the moment with the heat of the day subsiding out there. This could aid in additional convection with the diurnal max to come.
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183. OSUWXGUY
9:32 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
Thanks StormW!

I knew it did well with existing systems...but that's interesting about it being better in the Pacific.

TGIF...time to leave work and stop overanalyzing the tropics for a while. Have a good night everyone!
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182. Stormchaser2007
9:31 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
.
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181. OSUWXGUY
9:14 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
173 - Drak

Subsidence ahead of the system will inhibit convection on the western portion of the wave axis and the GFS is forecasting for the lift in that region 6 days from now. Upper level winds will continue to be unfavorable for development east of the Lesser Antilles north of 13N with a persistent TUTT. The subequatorial ridge and the ITCZ is providing vent for the wave for the time being.



I've been analyzing the water vapor loop and I see the TUTT you refer to stretching from south of Jamaica all the way to south of Bermuda. I agree this and its associated high shear isn't lifting in the next 2-3 days...but the circulation with the wave is at about 8N 32W and moving west south of ridging to its north. It won't reach the Lesser Antilles for 4 day at the earliest

Now about the subsidence in its path, this will be its biggest problem agreed. Are you forecasting the venting (divergence) that is currently over the wave to decrease? And if yes, what is your basis for this?

SSTs are warm 27-28C in the area and deep convection seems to be plentiful now.
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180. cchsweatherman
5:21 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
Kman - Just took a look at the surface observations from the buoy you have noted and those observations would indicate a closed surface circulation. Its just amazing how rapidly the winds shifted direction. This must mean that this is a somewhat vigorous and rather small surface circulation. I want to hear what the NHC says at their next discussion and to see if they may discuss this in the TWO.
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179. PensacolaWill
9:21 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
Thanks guys, I learned alot last year reading your discussion about the dust from Africa and how it effected the storm season......look forward to some new thoughts.....you guys are awesome, keep up the good work......

Will
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178. Drakoen
9:18 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
30 day mean A/B High:

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177. Patrap
4:17 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
European Centre for Medium-Range Weather ForecastsLink
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176. kmanislander
9:15 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
This buoy is near 4N 38W or just WSW of the CATL wave. Last reported winds were out of the NW or NNW which is kind of interesting.

Link
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174. FLWeatherFreak91
5:13 PM EDT on June 27, 2008
Two years of no hurricanes hitting the US has alot in the insurance industry very nervous...

*cough cough* You forgot about Hurricane Humberto. No biggie though.
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173. Drakoen
9:13 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
170. OSUWXGUY 9:06 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
That's a pretty confident statement, which sometime leads to crow eating...

Maybe I don't follow your logic. I agree shear is higher currently north of 12 latitude, but the wave is further south than this and moving west. Also, the strong westerlies north are forecast to lift north according to the GFS over the coming days.

The recent flare up of convection and broad envelope of moisture may help development over the next 24-36 hours.

I'd give this area 20-30% chance of development


Subsidence ahead of the system will inhibit convection on the western portion of the wave axis and the GFS is forecasting for the lift in that region 6 days from now. Upper level winds will continue to be unfavorable for development east of the Lesser Antilles north of 13N with a persistent TUTT. The subequatorial ridge and the ITCZ is providing venting for the wave for the time being.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30614
172. OSUWXGUY
9:06 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
PensacolaWill-

Welcome back. The first half of July appears somewhat active due to the wet phase of the Madden Julian Oscillation moving across the tropical Atlantic during this time, enhancing convection.

There are several models showing development mainly in the eastern Atlantic over the next week.

This time of year development this far east would have a difficult time reaching the US, since troughs are stronger now than later in the season (August/September) and can more easily grab and recurve systems.

The western Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico don't show any signs of development yet, but as the long string of waves coming off Africa move into this region in the coming weeks things could certainly develop.

167. PensacolaWill 8:56 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
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171. Patrap
4:12 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129090
170. OSUWXGUY
8:59 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
That's a pretty confident statement, which sometime leads to crow eating...

Maybe I don't follow your logic. I agree shear is higher currently north of 12° latitude, but the wave is further south than this and moving west. Also, the strong westerlies north are forecast to lift north according to the GFS over the coming days.

The recent flare up of convection and broad envelope of moisture may help development over the next 24-36 hours.

I'd give this area 20-30% chance of development.

163. Drakoen 8:23 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
Post 160,

The wave at 36W won't develop
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169. txalwaysprepared
8:56 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
surfmom you're going to have to fight me for the blob. Unfortunately, it looks like LA and FL are getting all the rain from it :(
Member Since: August 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1642
168. Stormchaser2007
8:55 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
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.


Thats odd...i guess the GFS and CMC arent models....
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167. PensacolaWill
8:52 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
Hello there gang....... Back for Hurricane season, all of us Wind Engineers and Hurricane adjusters are tuning in... So what is story, do we have a 30 day outlook or is too early to make any early assessment....Two years of no hurricanes hitting the US has alot in the insurance industry very nervous....

Thanks

Will from Pensacola
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166. PrettyLove23
3:36 PM CDT on June 27, 2008
That is one heck of a price tag. Unbeleivable!
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165. stoormfury
8:34 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
thanks Drak, point taken, i had not looked beyond the island chain.
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164. clamshell
8:29 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
Check out the precipitable water animation for the last 72 hrs.

Taint happenin'

GFS or no GFS

http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/real-time/tpw2/natl/anim/latest72hrs.gif
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163. Drakoen
8:22 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
Post 160,

The wave at 36W won't develop as it is moving into an increasingly susident environment and upper level winds will not be favorable beyond 13N. There is an upper level anticyclone of the Northeastern coast of South America but the TUTT has more dominance over the high in the Caribbean and past 12N and will not allow the system to develop.

Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30614
162. surfmom
8:15 PM GMT on June 27, 2008
just want that blob to be a rainmaker and a buoy mover so I can ride some waves - gulf so flat even the skim boarders were frustrated back in a bit
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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.