High Waters along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers
acquired March 12, 2011 download large image (9 MB, JPEG, 7280x7736)
acquired March 12, 2011 download GeoTIFF file (89 MB, TIFF, 7280x7736)
High Waters along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers
acquired February 12, 2011 download large image (12 MB, JPEG, 7280x7736)
acquired February 12, 2011 download GeoTIFF file (96 MB, TIFF, 7280x7736)
acquired February 12 - March 12, 2011 download Google Earth file (KMZ)

Snow receded and water rose along the Ohio River in March 2011. The Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service of the U.S. National Weather Service reported major flooding in Grand Chain, Illinois, and moderate flooding in Cairo, Illinois, and Paducah, Kentucky. High waters along the Ohio River were part of a larger pattern of spring flooding in the eastern half of the continental United States.

Changes in snow cover and river levels are apparent in these images acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. MODIS acquired the top image on March 12, 2011, and the bottom image on February 12, 2011.

These images use a combination of infrared and visible light to increase the contrast between water and land. Water ranges in color from electric blue to navy. Vegetation is green. Clouds range in color from white to bright blue-green. Snow cover (visible in the February image) is blue-green, and has more distinct margins than clouds.

Snow cover is widespread in the image from February, but largely if not completely absent in the image from March. The March image also shows considerably higher levels on the Ohio River and the Mississippi River south of the Ohio-Mississippi confluence. As of March 14, 2011, multiple flood warnings remained in effect in and around Grand Chain, Cairo, and Paducah. Moderate and minor flood conditions were also reported along much of the Ohio River and lower Mississippi River.

  1. References

  2. U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. National Weather Service. Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service. Accessed March 14, 2011.

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

Aqua - MODIS

High Waters along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers

Image Location
Image Location
More in this Event (view all)
Early Spring Floods in Indiana 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