A deluge of summer rain brought on widespread flooding throughout New Mexico, Texas, and northern Mexico between July 27 and August 7, 2006. The Dartmouth Flood Observatory reported that as much as 15 inches of rain fell over the region during the week-and-a-half period, forcing 1,000 evacuations in Texas and 4,000 in Mexico. After the clouds cleared, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this view of the water-logged region on August 9, 2006. Standing water is pale blue against the tan-pink desert landscape. Plant-covered land is bright green, while clouds are light turquoise. The cities of El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, are grey, their tone just a shade darker than the tan land they are built on. Though no flooding is apparent around the cities in this image, the two cities suffered damage due to flooding. The flood damage in El Paso was estimated at 100 million dollars, reported the Dartmouth Flood Observatory.
In this image, however, the most obvious flooding is in Mexico, where water has filled Laguna de Patos, a shallow salt pan lake that only occasionally contains water. Brushes of blue run north and west of the lake where water fills depressions and hollows that were dry on July 26 before the rain started. The rainfall also had an impact on vegetation. On July 26, only irrigated land along the Rio Grande and the mountains west of Laguna de Patos were green. By August 9, a light green tint covered much of the desert.
The large images provided above have a resolution of 250 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response Team provides daily images of the region in a variety of resolutions.
NASA images courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC.
- Terra - MODIS