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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1862. Michfan
10:30 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
Good morning everyone.
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1861. txalwaysprepared
3:31 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
TS stop trying to freak me out ;)
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1860. TampaSpin
11:27 AM EDT on June 30, 2008
This might be the most local subject of interest in the next day or 2...just an observation.....
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1859. kmanislander
3:20 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
JP

Mid July is the 15th to me. And yes, a week can make a lot of difference. For instance a week can provide the time for a TUTT to lift out and be replaced by high. Generally speaking, shear tends to be higher across the ATL in June and early July than later in the season. Come October, high shear values return to the ATL and shut down the CV season.

If you recall 2004 we went for weeks with hardly any activity at all and then virtually overnight we went from inactive to hyper active in the tropics. At some point the atmosphere reaches a " tipping point " where conditions start to produce systems and that tipping point can be within the time frame of a week.

That said, I am not ruling out the chance of the wave developing just because this is not mid July or later. However, in previous years we have seen waves this strong come off in late June/ early July and collapse.

We will know soon enough whether this one is a player or not.

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15865
1858. txalwaysprepared
3:26 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
1853. I am talking about doing damage. A lot of rain (40 in.) = flooding = damage. All I was saying is it doesn't have to develop into a hurricane to do billions in damage.
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1857. TheWeatherMan504
3:19 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
jp Humberto was a full fleged Hurricane in 14 hours. Audrey had two days to become a Catogory 4.
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1856. TerraNova
10:19 AM EST on June 30, 2008
The lowest latitude favorable for development is 5N...further south than that, tropical disturbances cannot utilize the Coriolis force to establish a rotation. But wind shear is higher south of 10N.
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1855. nrtiwlnvragn
11:19 AM EDT on June 30, 2008
Manati QuickScat website is back up to current data.
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1853. TheWeatherMan504
3:15 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
1847.

Allison did dump alot of rain, however it wasnt strong.Humberto was the one that developed quick and turned into a Catogory 1.
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1851. Drakoen
3:16 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
Most important, the Intertropical convergence zone is from 9N-10N for the most part with it's climatological lift:

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1850. txalwaysprepared
3:15 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
TS you are my GOM/BOC blob alert ;)
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1849. IKE
10:14 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
1844. aroughleague172 10:13 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
A gut feeling just entered me.

Does anyone else think that we will see NO tropical storm activity out of all this hubbub?


I think we will see some development.
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1848. kmanislander
3:08 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
The waves coming off Africa are still below the 10 degree North line and this will continue to inhibit development in the early part of the season.

In August and September waves have been known to become TD's below 10N, for example Ivan which was classified a TD at 8N .

The wave the models have been latching onto looks like it will come off soon near 10 degrees and may be a precursor to us seeing more coming off at higher latitudes than heretofore. This would signal the start of the CV season but typically it does not get going in earnest until after mid July.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15865
1847. txalwaysprepared
3:14 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
1752. However, any system forming that close to land will have to develop quickly (like last year) to do any damage.

May I remind you of TS Allison.
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1846. Patrap
10:14 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
Its a software interface problem.

Its not anything amiss on the Spacecraft.

Thanks for the heads up there.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
1845. nrtiwlnvragn
11:12 AM EDT on June 30, 2008
1826. Stormchaser2007 11:04 AM AST on June 30, 2008
1819. When was the last time we had no had QuickScat available?


The problem with QuickScat appears to be with the manati website. QuickScat data is available at the Ocean and Sea Ice SAF website. The data is presented in the ASCAT format, i.e. meters per second instead of knots.
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1844. aroughleague172
3:11 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
A gut feeling just entered me.

Does anyone else think that we will see NO tropical storm activity out of all this hubbub?
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1843. TheWeatherMan504
3:08 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
I know twc says bad info when you need it but dont blame me i dont type there script i just make the graphics. the only real meteorologist on the screen is Cantore, Dr. Steve, Dr. greg. The rest are anouncers who put on too much make-up.
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1842. Patrap
10:09 AM CDT on June 30, 2008

The spacecraft is a great one,and has gone years beyond the design Life .
Its a tribute to the designers,builders.and those who kept it doing so well thru the years.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
1841. txalwaysprepared
2:41 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
1731. stormchaser - not sure if you are still around. I'm back reading. But that makes my stomach turn. But then again it's also reassuring. When models predict a landfall here, this far out, it NEVER happens. So I should be happy :)
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1840. tropicfreak
11:09 AM EDT on June 30, 2008
oh!
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1839. IKE
10:07 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
1833. 69Viking 10:06 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
1797. IKE

That line of storms developed quick this morning. It's been unusual storms lately with lots of wind. Even down at the coast yesterday we had somewhere in the range of 40-50 mph winds.


I went from DFS to Freeport this morning...heavy thunderstorms in Freeport....it's mostly south of me......
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1838. Drakoen
3:09 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
The TWC isn't saying anything. I just took their drama quotes from last year.
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1837. tropicfreak
11:08 AM EDT on June 30, 2008
The tropics are waking up. Cancel that cruise.
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1836. Drakoen
3:06 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
With the Quicksat down its going to be even harder for that wave to be called. It will probably be deemed with "cyclonic turning" until it reaches the eastern CATL.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30615
1835. aroughleague172
3:08 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
What is TWC saying
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1834. tropicfreak
11:06 AM EDT on June 30, 2008
Now TWC is saying something! LOL
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1833. 69Viking
9:57 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
1797. IKE

That line of storms developed quick this morning. It's been unusual storms lately with lots of wind. Even down at the coast yesterday we had somewhere in the range of 40-50 mph winds.
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1832. Weather456
11:04 AM AST on June 30, 2008
1826. Stormchaser2007 11:04 AM AST on June 30, 2008
1819. When was the last time we had no had QuickScat available?


The last was this month self. Many times this year.
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1831. aroughleague172
3:05 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
R.I.P.

RIP
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1830. tropicfreak
11:03 AM EDT on June 30, 2008


Parade of waves are still coming off Africa.
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1829. TampaSpin
11:06 AM EDT on June 30, 2008
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1828. Drakoen
3:04 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
1820. IKE 3:02 PM GMT on June 30, 2008

1816. tropicfreak 10:00 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
Morning. How are the tropics looking?

LOL...about to wake up in the Atlantic basin....



TWC: "The tropics are waking up" Cancel that cruise.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30615
1826. Stormchaser2007
3:02 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
1819. When was the last time we had no had QuickScat available?
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15946
1825. philliesrock
11:02 AM EDT on June 30, 2008
eye, the Troll

Actually, he's just a downcaster and never thinks anything will develop.
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1824. Weather456
11:03 AM AST on June 30, 2008
Yea I kno, I was pointing it out to those who posted the passess.
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1823. Drakoen
3:03 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
African Monsoon Gyre:
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30615
1822. kmanislander
3:00 PM GMT on June 30, 2008
Good morning all

Legitimately Worried Resident eh ??

Well, I've been called worse at times so that sounds fine by me LMAO
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1821. tropicfreak
11:02 AM EDT on June 30, 2008
ok
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1820. IKE
10:01 AM CDT on June 30, 2008

1816. tropicfreak 10:00 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
Morning. How are the tropics looking?


LOL...about to wake up in the Atlantic basin....
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1818. Patrap
10:01 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
Quiet as a Church Mouse.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
1816. tropicfreak
10:59 AM EDT on June 30, 2008
Morning. How are the tropics looking?
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1815. Patrap
10:00 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
QS is old and way past its design Life on Orbit.
We lucky even to have data when we do get it.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
1814. IKE
9:59 AM CDT on June 30, 2008
eye, the Troll

I'm not sure what he is...he'll be around later today to downcast the GFS.....
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1812. Weather456
10:55 AM AST on June 30, 2008
U guys realize, those QS passess havnt updated since Friday.
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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.