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Epic flood threats through summer as more rain predicted

Posted by feww on July 7, 2011


2011 summer flooding season could rival Great Flood of 1993—the worst in U.S. history: Forecasters

With rivers still running above flood stage and soils fully saturated, even small amounts of rain could cause  widespread flooding this summer, forecasters said.

The “Great Flood of 1993” submerged vast swathes of at least 9 states  from April to August, causing tens of billions of dollars in damage.

“The sponge is fully saturated – there is nowhere for any additional water to go,” said the director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “While unusual for this time of year, all signs point to the flood threat continuing through summer.”

Some of the flooding is expected to occur in the areas that have already experienced major to record flooding, NWS said.

U.S. Precipitation Map. 8 – 14 day outlook precipitation probability for July 14 – 20, 2011. Click images to enlarge.

U.S. Precipitation Map. Three-months outlook precipitation probability for July, August and September 2011.

The highest summer flood risk areas include:

  • North Central U.S.: Souris River (North Dakota) and Red River of the North (border of North Dakota and Minnesota), Minnesota River (Minnesota), Upper Mississippi River (Minnesota and Iowa), and Des Moines River (Iowa)
  • Lower Missouri River : From Gavin’s Point (Nebraska and South Dakota border) downstream along the border of Nebraska and Iowa, continuing through the borders of Kansas and Missouri then through Missouri to the Mississippi River
  • Tributaries to the Lower Missouri: The James and Big Sioux Rivers in North Dakota
  • Lower Ohio River Valley: The White, Wabash and lower Ohio Rivers
  • East and West of Rockies: North Platte River in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska and Yellowstone River in Wyoming and Montana, Utah and Colorado

The worst-hit areas so far:

Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North and South Dakotas.

U.S. Drought

FIRE-EARTH models show that the drought in the southern U.S. would persist at least through the summer, intensifying in several areas.

U.S. Temperature Map. Three-month outlook temperature probability map for July, August and September 2011.

Map of potential hazards related to climate, weather and hydrological events in the U.S.  Click images to enlarge. [All images on this page were sourced from NOAA/CPC]

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