the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

NOAA- Here comes the flood.

Posted by Jeff Id on March 16, 2010

This post is copied from the NOAA site linked here. Apparently the above average snowfall is going to create the expected springtime results.


NOAA: Imminent Flood Threat in Midwest, South and East Also at Risk

March 16, 2010

Major flooding has begun and is forecast to continue through spring in parts of the Midwest according to NOAA’s National Weather Service. The South and East are also more susceptible to flooding as an El Niño influenced winter left the area soggier than usual.

Spring 2010 Flood Risk MapSpring 2010 Flood Risk map.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Overall, more than a third of the contiguous United States has an above average flood risk –– with the highest threat in the Dakotas, Minnesota and Iowa, including along the Red River Valley where crests could approach the record levels set just last year.

Supporting the forecast of imminent Midwest flooding is a snowpack more extensive than in 2009 and containing in excess of 10 inches of liquid water in some locations. Until early March, consistently cold temperatures limited snow melt and runoff. These conditions exist on top of: above normal streamflows; December precipitation that was up to four times above average; and the ground which is frozen to a depth as much as three feet below the surface.

“It’s a terrible case of déjà vu, but this time the flooding will likely be more widespread. As the spring thaw melts the snowpack, saturated and frozen ground in the Midwest will exacerbate the flooding of the flat terrain and feed rising rivers and streams,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “We will continue to refine forecasts to account for additional precipitation and rising temperatures, which affect the rate and severity of flooding.”

“In the South and East, where an El Niño-driven winter was very wet and white, spring flooding is more of a possibility than a certainty and will largely be dependent upon the severity and duration of additional precipitation and how fast existing snow cover melts,” said Jack Hayes, Ph.D., director of the National Weather Service. “Though El Niño is forecast to continue at least through spring, its influence on day-to-day weather should lessen considerably.”

Without a strong El Niño influence, climate forecasting for spring (April through June) is more challenging, but NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says odds currently favor wetter-than-average conditions in coastal sections of the Southeast; warmer-than-average temperatures across the western third of the nation and Alaska; and below-average temperatures in the extreme north-central and south-central U.S.

Rockewell Aero CommanderThe Rockwell Aero Commander (AC-500S) is one of the aircrafts used by NOAA’s National Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center to collect snow data to develop accurate flood forecasts.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Meteorologists and hydrologists with the National Weather Service issue timely and accurate flood forecasts and warnings from local weather forecast offices and regional river forecast centers across the nation. They constantly monitor precipitation, temperature, snowpack and waterway levels using a network of gauges, some of which are operated by vital partners such as the U.S. Geological Survey, and using NOAA aerial surveys of snowpack and its water content.

14 Responses to “NOAA- Here comes the flood.”

  1. PhilJourdan said

    Being on the east coast, we do not get the type of flooding seen in the Midwest. However, this winter has already caused the local major river to flood about half a dozen times (none major – it does not take long to run to the sea).

  2. mrpkw said

    Do AGW induced floods cancel AGW induced droughts?

    Call it a wash?

  3. mrpkw said

    # 1
    It’s called a “flood plain” for a reason !!!
    Not very surprising when it happens almost ever year and yet people keep rebuilding on the same site.

  4. PhilJourdan said

    #3 – and that is why here, the only thing that can be done in the flood plain is farming. And parks. It looks neat to see, but basically no damage. Still they call it a flood.

    The last time we had a major flood from the river was Camille in 72 (or 71 – I was out of town). Since then, it is just a statistic.

  5. […] evidence the claimed warming is a fabrication, What the public really thinks of global warming, Our hot dry future is being flooded out, Claim after claim, alarmist prediction after alarmist prediction has failed to come […]

  6. Andrew said

    2-At least in the US there is no sign that it is causing either. I discussed this in a recent post, lots of links:

    Two on floods for those who want to go right to that:

    Lins and Slack 2005

    Downton et al 2005

  7. M. Simon said

    My town, Rockford, Illinois, is in the flood danger area. We have already had some flooding this season in Roscoe. I expect a flood of the Rock River this spring. Roscoe again for sure. Possibly Rockford as well.

  8. Geoff Sherrington said

    From NOAA above “The South and East are also more susceptible to flooding as an El Niño influenced winter left the area soggier than usual.”

    Really, it becomes tiresome to see El Niño blamed for everything the least bit abnormal. How about a paper on what CAUSES El Niño, rather than describing what it is and what it does. Treat it not as a panacea, but as an observation in need of an explanation in terms related to alleged global warming.

    It’s almost reached the trivial stage of sentences like “It was wetter this year because there was more rain”.

  9. mrpkw said

    # 6
    I knew that, it was a joke sine AGW is said to be the cause of floods and droughts !!

  10. Andrew said

    8-In the words Larry Kalkstein of U Del, it’s the “Vitamin E” of climate!

  11. Geoff Sherrington said

    10. Andrew, as a Chemist, I am sadly familiar with the billions of $ made by purveyors of useless overdoses of vitamin pills and potions, let alone the analogies to climate science. Q: Does an El Nino cause a change in global SST or not?

  12. timetochooseagain said

    11-It appears to do so, although I would caution that the statistical association doesn’t mean that El Nino “causes” the temperature changes, only that the temperature changes appear to be connected to either ENSO or ENSO related processes.

    An important question is, is it really the thing which causes El Nino which separately influences remote sea surface temperatures, or does ENSO itself somehow cause temperatures remotely to change?

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