Rising Waters on the James River
acquired April 4, 2011 download large image (6 MB, JPEG, 3840x2880)
acquired April 4, 2011 download GeoTIFF file (28 MB, TIFF, 3840x2880)
Rising Waters on the James River
acquired March 5, 2011 download large image (3 MB, JPEG, 3840x2880)
acquired March 5, 2011 download GeoTIFF file (18 MB, TIFF, 3840x2880)
acquired March 5 - April 4, 2011 download Google Earth file (KMZ)

Midwestern snow continued melting, and Midwestern rivers continued rising in early April 2011. The Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service (AHPS) of the U.S. National Weather Service issued flood warnings for cities along the James River in South Dakota, including Huron, Forestburg, Mitchell, Scotland, and Yankton. The AHPS reported major flooding at all of those locations on April 5, as well as moderate flooding along the Big Sioux River to the east.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired these images on April 4, 2011 (top), and March 5, 2011 (bottom). Both images use a combination of infrared and visible light to increase the contrast between water and land. Snow is bright turquoise. Clouds are pale blue-green, and cast dark shadows. Water ranges in color from electric blue to navy. Vegetation is green, and bare ground is earth toned.

The most striking difference between March and April is the retreat of snow cover. Snow blankets most of the region on March 5, and very little snow remains a month later. The Missouri and James Rivers become much more conspicuous as spring progresses. In early March, the Missouri River appears mostly covered by ice while the James River is indistinguishable from the surrounding snow cover. A month later, both rivers are obvious, as are numerous small lakes. Partially obscured by clouds, standing water also appears in the northeast in early April (image upper right). While the Missouri River may give the appearance of being more swollen in the April 4 image, the AHPS flood warnings on April 5 pertained to the James River.

  1. References

  2. U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. National Weather Service. Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service. Accessed April 5, 2011.

NASA images courtesy MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Michon Scott.

Instrument(s): 
Aqua - MODIS

Rising Waters on the James River

Image Location
Image Location
More in this Event (view all)
Left
Early Spring Floods in Indiana High Waters along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers Rising Waters on the Mississippi River Rising Waters on the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers Rising Waters on the James River Retreating Snow and Advancing Water in the Upper Midwest Receding Snow Sets Stage for Floods near Fargo Spring Flooding in the Upper Midwest Rising Rivers in the U.S. Midwest Rising Waters along the Red River Spring Floods in Saskatchewan Spring Flooding in Manitoba Heavy Rain in Central United States Flooding along the Mississippi River Continued Flooding along the Mississippi Flooding along the James River, South Dakota Flooding in Wake of Levee Breach Spring Floods in the U.S. Midwest and Canada Flooding along the Wabash and Ohio Rivers Flooding at the Junction of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers Floods Spread South along the Mississippi River High Waters along the Mississippi River Floods Continue along the Mississippi River Flooding Continues along the Red River Flooding in Memphis Flooding in Arkansas Flooding reaches Vicksburg, Mississippi Morganza Floodway, 1973 Floodwaters near Natchez Rising Waters on the Lower Mississippi Morganza Spillway Opens in Louisiana Mississippi Floods in Arkansas and Tennessee Mississippi Floods in Missouri and Tennessee Flooding near New Madrid, Missouri Water in the Morganza Floodway Morganza Floodway after Five Days of Flow Mississippi Floods near Vicksburg Sediment Plume in Lake Pontchartrain Lingering Floods along the Mississippi River Lower Mississippi River Remains Swollen Waters Spread Across Floodway above Morgan City Lay of the Land Between Old River and the Mississippi Floodwaters Recede along Wabash and Ohio Rivers Floodwaters Retreat from Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway Lingering Floods in Louisiana Morganza Floodway Lingering Floodwaters near Vicksburg, Mississippi Sediment from the Mississippi Floods Sediment in the Gulf of Mexico Floods Recede around the Wabash-Ohio Confluence
Right