Saturday, September 14, 2013

"Year Of The Flood" Continues. This Time, Colorado Suffers

I keep calling this the Year Of The Flood and that reputation keeps growing with all that news of the epic floods in Colorado this week.
Floodwaters rush through Estes Park, Colorado.  

The odd and worst things about the types of weather disasters that have happened this year is they are the result of "stuck" weather patterns.

Instead of weather patterns staying in place for a day or two and causing a moderate amount of trouble, they stay for sometimes weeks, creating havoc.

And you get what you got in Colorado. Moisture continually streamed north from the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico. The moisture rose as it moved up in elevation against the east slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

The rising moisture, encountering cooler air as it went up in elevation, condensed into torrential downpours that lasted for days. Up to 14 inches of rain fell in two or three days. It's no wonder there's been such destruction from the floods.

The confirmed death toll is four. One report Saturday morning said 172 people are unaccounted for, but  we can hope that that number exists because the 172 are alive, but just inaccessible due to washed out roads and failed power and Internet connections.

The amount of rain they've had in some spots about equals what they normally get in an entire year. And flooding was worse than in the epic Big Thompson Canyon flood of 1976, which killed 143 people.

Forecasts call for a lot more rain in Colorado and New Mexico for the next week. And it's possible that moisture from newly formed Tropical Storm Ingrid in the Gulf of Mexico could make things worse by feeding moisture inland over the southern and central Rockies next week.

A lot of media attention has been put on the fact the United States hasn't had nearly as many tornadoes as usual this year and the Atlantic hurricane season has been slow. But the relative lack of those type of disasters has been more than made up by amazing floods this year, both at home and abroad.
A man is rescued from an overturned car
that plunged into a flooding creek.  

There's been a lot of really extreme flood disasters this year, including the deadly floods earlier this summer in India,  the huge floods around Calgary and Toronto, Canada in June, the spring flooding in the Midwest this year, and central European floods in late May and June. 

Here in Vermont, we, of course, got into our own "stuck" weather pattern in May, June and part of July with repeated downpours and seemingly daily floods that left parts of the state a federally declared disaster area.

Back to Colorado:

I think pretty much everyone has seen the dramatic video of the guy being rescued from the overturned car in the flooding river amid the Colorado flooding.

There's another equally dramatic video taken by a guy who rescued a woman and her daughter from a sinking car during a tremendous hail storm this week around Denver during the storms. The rain and hail overwhelmed drainage and there was so much hail it looked like a blizzard.

Here's the vid:

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