Flooding in Michigan
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite observed flooded conditions on April 21, 2013 (top image). For comparison, the bottom image shows relatively normal conditions, on April 5, 2013. 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 bright green. Bare ground appears in shades of red-brown. Clouds vary in color from white to pale blue-green, and some clouds cast shadows.
On April 21, the Grand River was swollen both east and west of Grand Rapids, but some of the most obvious flooding occurred around Saginaw. On April 23, MLive reported, “The rain finally stopped, the sun started to shine and the water actually started to recede but it may take several days for the water to make its way through Saginaw County so roads can reopen, basements can dry and farmers can plant their fields.” The Saginaw River was expected to remain above flood stage until April 28.
Compared to the image acquired earlier in the month, the image from April 21 shows a greater degree of greenness. This may result from recent rains enlivening vegetation, but may also result from the advance of spring across the state.
- MLive (2013, April 23) Flooding in Saginaw County surrounds homes and businesses, aerial view slide show. Accessed April 23, 2013.
- U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service. Accessed April 23, 2013.
- Terra - MODIS
Flood Waters along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers
Flooding swelled the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers near their confluence north of St. Louis. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured the top image on April 20, 2013. MODIS on the Terra satellite captured the bottom image on April 5. The bottom image shows relatively normal water levels for comparison.
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 bright green; bare ground appears in shades of red-brown. Clouds range from white to pale blue-green, and some cast shadows. The color of the April 20 image (compared to April 5) reflects the normal progression of spring vegetation growth, though it is possible there is some extra greening from recent rains.
In early April, some stretches of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers were confined to braided river channels. But by April 20, the water rose high enough to merge some channels and spill onto floodplains in multiple locations. Water generally appears lighter in color in the April 20 image, likely because of heavier loads of mud and sediment.
On April 22, 2013, the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service reported flooding at many locations along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, including major flooding just north of St. Louis.
- Associated Press (2013, April 21) Midwest sees record floods, road closures, runaway barges, and evacuations. Christian Science Monitor. Accessed April 22, 2013.
- U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service. Accessed April 22, 2013.
- Aqua - MODIS