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Flooding along the Missouri River

Flooding along the Missouri River
Flooding along the Missouri River

Varying degrees of flooding occurred along the Missouri River in early June 2011. On June 7, the Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service (AHPS) of the U.S. National Weather Service reported minor flooding near Omaha, and moderate flooding at Plattsmouth, Brownville, and Rulo.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured these images on June 6, 2011 (top), and June 16, 2010 (bottom). Both images use a combination of visible and infrared light to increase contrast between water and land. Water ranges from electric blue to navy. Land varies in color from brown to green, depending on vegetation. Clouds vary from off-white to blue-green.

Compared to the previous year, the Missouri River is clearly swollen in 2011, from north of Omaha to south of Rulo. Despite higher water levels, the surrounding land appears less green than in 2010. The area may have received less precipitation in 2011, or spring blooming may not have occurred yet.

On June 7, 2011, the AHPS reported that the Missouri River near Omaha reached 30.06 feet (9.16 meters) at 7:45 a.m. local time, just nudging the river into flood stage. The river reached 31.04 feet (9.46 meters) at 7:00 a.m. in Plattsmouth, 39.34 feet (11.99 meters) at 7:45 a.m. in Brownville, and 23.14 feet (7.05 meters) at 7:30 a.m. in Rulo. The AHPS projected that water levels would rise at all four locations over the next few days.

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

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