Friday, June 5, 2015

Central Plains Flooding to Spread

I hate to have to give you this news but it looks like the flooding in progress in the Lower Missouri Valley and Upper Platte Valley may spread to more areas of the Central Plains.

As of this evening, the turquoise lines denote areas where many or most rivers and streams are at or above flood stage. The red line is my educated guess where five inch or greater rainfalls will be widespread (not everyone will receive that much, however) over the next two weeks. Some scattered areas will receive more than eight inches.

Given that many areas (see below) have received 2" or more of rain in just the last four days, additional heavy rains will cause a multitude of problems.

If you are interested in details, please allow me to break it down step-by-step.

Soils Are Saturated

The area in yellow (4-day rainfall) is already experiencing flooding. That includes "moderate" flooding on the Missouri.

The two week rainfalls are even more impressive. Some spots have received more than ten inches.
Additional heavy rains fell this evening over northwest Kansas and far eastern Colorado. A few areas received in excess of three inches (not shown on the above maps).

"Normal" Storms Plus a Hurricane

We have a front quasi-stationary across the region which will trigger periodic thunderstorms the next five days or so, especially at night.

Then, the remains of Hurricane Blanca threatens to move into the Central Plains bringing even more heavy rain. Again, a qualifier, since we are talking at least five days, the exact path is not certain.

If I am correct, this event began June 1 and will continue another two weeks or so.

Some Good News

There happens to be a major weather research program in progress in the Central Plains called PECAN (everything in meteorology has to have an acronym!). So, if this event does occur, the data being collected will help meteorologists make better, and more certain, forecasts of these types of events in the future.

Of course, I'll be updating on this from time to time.

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