Monday, March 23, 2009

ND/SD/MN flooding and 3/23/09 Severe weather

First thing is the massive flooding expected in ND/SD/MN over the next couple of weeks. Many areas of these states saw high amounts of snow during the winter and with the warm temps and heavy rainfall currently ongoing the flooding threat is only going to get worse. It looks like the hardest hit area may be Fargo, ND. The NWS-Grand Forks is calling for major flooding in the Fargo-Moorehead area. But another area that is going to be affected by major flooding is the Wahpeton, ND area. Current river stage is just under 20 ft with flood stage being 10.0 ft. This is part of the flood warning from NWS-Aderdeen for Richland county, ND:

THE FLOOD WARNING CONTINUES FOR THE WILD RICE RIVER (ND) AT ABERCROMBIE.* UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE...OR UNTIL THE WARNING IS CANCELLED.* AT 11:15 AM MONDAY THE STAGE WAS 19.8 FEET.* MAJOR FLOODING IS OCCURRING AND NEAR RECORD FLOODING IS FORECAST.* FLOOD STAGE IS 10.0 FEET.* FORECAST...THE RIVER WILL CONTINUE RISING TO NEAR 27 TO 29 FEET BY THURSDAY MORNING THEN BEGIN FALLING.

The river is expected to crest at nearly 3 times its flood stage level!! This is historic flooding that is ALREADY happening and going to get even worse. I highly doubt I will ever see a warning explicitly say they are expecting record flooding. There are so many more areas in the Dakotas and Minnesota that are expected to see moderate to major flooding that it would take me hours to list them and their forecasts. I will say this, this is a MAJOR (AND PROBABLY HISTORIC) FLOOD EVENT. Many people expect this event to be much worse than the flood of '97. I have a sister who lives in Fargo but luckily lives in an apartment which is not her liability should something happen to the complex. The only thing I have left to say about this event is that everyone affected is in my prayers and let God be with them.

So, on to the second item. Severe weather looks likely from South Dakota to Oklahoma. Funny thing right now is that some counties in SD and NE that are under a blizzard warning for later tonight are also currently under a tornado watch for this afternoon. Gotta love these dynamic spring storms! Anyways, as of 1:30 pm a tornado watch is in effect for southcentral SD and a good part of the eastern half of Nebraska. 10% tornado risk all the way to the NE/SD/IA border. Looks like a cold core event if anything with a thick cloud deck present over pretty much the entire northern risk area. But even still a few storms have popped already, although the warnings that were issued have been allowed to expire. The main action should hold off until later this afternoon and my thinking is that it will be mostly northeast Nerbaska and maybe southeast South Dakota. Call me crazy but I think the front will push through central Nebraska before the atmosphere destabilizes enough. But anything that does go up should rotate without a problem, only real concern in this area right now is the moisture, with the highest dewpoints around 55. But with temps holding in the low to mid 60's I think supercells will be likely by 3:00 or 4:00. The southern target is where the SPC has the highest threat, but it also looks to have a better chance of busting, atleast IMO. Temps have warmed to the low 70's but dewpoints have lagged and are only in the mid 50's for the most part. Soundings out Dodge City, KS look real good, but the ones out of OKC dont. I have a feeling Oklahoma is going to bust. Strong cap is evident in the sounding out of Oklahoma City, and not a whole lot of instability, atleast per the 20z sounding. We've still got an entire afternoon to go so we will see what happens. But right now I would rather be in Nebraska than in Kansas or Oklahoma. My target would be O'Neil, NE if I were chasing.

2 comments:

Timothy said...

Yes this ice storm is very localized considering how large Minnesota is. That high over Eastern Canada is helping to funnel enuf cold/dry on east winds into NE MN... End result is for any rain that falls to turn to ice. Here in Duluth (at least below the hill) most roads and sidewalks are now wet, but the rain is still freezing on trees and power lines. Closing in on 1.00" of precip so far at my place since 2 AM, ending at 2 PM Today. I don't think the ice will last much longer here in Duluth proper since winds are more from the E-SE, versus a colder E-NE direction here in the city...But, the North Shore could be a different story.

Timothy said...

Thanks. Well here in Duluth I think the worst of the icing is over with, but were still looking for additional waves of rain thru Tuesday Evening, so we may be looking at some localized flooding now. The wind has actually died down here in the city compared to last night, but once that LLJ gets going again Tonight, those winds could ramp up again. Looks like were heading into a dry period for a few hours after about 5 PM in Duluth, so hopefully the ice will start to melt off the trees and power lines. I'll keep ya posted if anything else changes up here. Silver Bay has had 0.50" of ice accumulations as of 2 PM with some 10" diameter trees breaking. Also, in Proctor...There's reports of 6" diameter trees down on Highway 2.