Tropical cyclone flooding hits Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan
Located hundreds of miles inland from the nearest ocean, the Midwest is unaffected by North Atlantic hurricanes.
Or is it?
With the Nov. 30 end of the 2014 hurricane season just weeks away, a University of Iowa researcher and his colleagues have found that North Atlantic tropical cyclones in fact have a significant effect on the Midwest. Their research appears in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.
Flood ratio map of the midwest from Hurrican Ike
The flood ratio map for Hurricane Ike (2008) shows areas in yellow and orange that approach or exceed 10-year flood peaks at their respective stream gauge stations.© 2014 American Meteorological Society.
Gabriele Villarini, UI assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, studied the discharge records collected at 3,090 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) stream gauge stations from 1981 to 2011 and found that the effects of North Atlantic tropical cyclones impact large areas of the United States away from Florida, the East Coast and the Gulf Coast.
“When you hear about hurricanes or tropical cyclones you think about storm surges and wind damage near the coast,” says Villarini, who also conducts research at the internationally renowned IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering. “But it’s much more than that. Flooding from a single tropical cyclone often impacts 10 to 15 states located hundreds of miles from the coast and covering a wide area.
“Our results indicate that flooding from tropical cyclones affects large areas of the United States and the Midwest, as far inland as Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan,” says Villarini.
"The USGS stream gauges, located east of the Rocky Mountains, showed that tropical cyclones can cause major flooding over the Midwest, including the southeastern corner of Iowa," he says.
Villarini and his colleagues conducted their study by relating maximum water discharges recorded by USGS stream gauges with the passage of the storms over the Midwest and eastern states. Accordingly, they were able to construct maps for each storm that show the relationship between inland flooding and tropical cyclones.
Despite these important impacts, inland tropical cyclone flooding has received little attention in the scientific literature, although the news media have begun to pay more attention following Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012, he says.
Villarini says that the amount of financial damage caused by the storms in the Midwest and the eastern United States will be the subject of a future study.
Villarini’s colleagues are Radoslaw Goska of the UI'sIIHR-Hydroscience& Engineering, James Smith of Princeton University, and Gabriel Vecchi of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey.
The paper, titled “North Atlantic Tropical Cyclones and U.S. Flooding,” can be found in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society at journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00060.1.
Funding for Villarini and Goska was provided by the Iowa Flood Center and IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering. Villarini also notes support from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Institute for Water Resources. James Smith received funding from the Willis Research Network and the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Climate Sciences.
Gabriele Villarini, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 319-384-0596
Gary Galluzzo, Strategic Communications, 319-384-0009
Gary Galluzzo | EurekAlert!
Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic
24.10.2016 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Receding glaciers in Bolivia leave communities at risk
20.10.2016 | European Geosciences Union
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences
24.10.2016 | Life Sciences
24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy