On June 22, 2011, the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) forecast record flooding for multiple locations along the Souris River in North Dakota, including Sherwood, Minot, Towner, Bantry, and Westhope. On June 23, 2011, the Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service reported major flooding in or near all of these locations.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite captured these images on June 23, 2011 (top), and June 24, 2010 (bottom). Both images use a combination of visible and infrared light to increase contrast between water and land. Water varies in color from electric blue to navy. Vegetation is green. Bare ground and fallow fields are earth-toned. Clouds are pale blue-green.
Parts of the Souris River disappear from view in 2010, but the river is clearly visible throughout its path a year later. In this satellite view, the river appears especially swollen near Bantry and Towner, but the Souris actually overtopped levees in Minot, according to the NWS. A sharp rise in the water level occurred near Sherwood overnight June 21 and 22, and the AHPS forecast a significant rise in river level near Minot around June 24.
Originating in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, the Souris River loops southward through North Dakota before flowing into Manitoba.
NASA images courtesy MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Michon Scott.