Big Kansas Flood and Not So Big Bertha


The big storm chances eroded late Saturday night for the area. Rain will be in the area until midday on Sunday with the southern and southeastern parts of the viewing area still in the rain chances for Sunday afternoon.

On This Date In History: Just when you thought that the flooding in the Midwest was a result of Global Warming comes a this date in to make those wish to do so to think.  On This Date in 1951, rivers in Eastern Kansas crested at what was their highest levels to that time.  From June through this date in July, 25 inches of rain fell across the region with some 6 inches between July 9 and July 13.  Two million acres of farmland was flooded as rivers crested between 4 and 9 feet above flood stage.  Manhattan, Topeka and Lawrence were greatly affected.  The photo above is from Topeka.  On the Kansas river refinery storage tanks caught fire and exploded and travelers on trains were stuck on board for as many as four days.  The flooding resulted in the development of reservoirs and levees which were credited with lessening the affects of the next record flood in 1993. 

Flooding in the Midwest is not new.  In fact, I would submit that development along the rivers have more to do with any increased flooding than climate change.  All across the nation, less rain in more time have been known to cause greater flooding than previous events due to development that simply wasn’t there during previous events.

Here is a photo gallery from the 1951 flood in Kansas City, Topeka, Manhattan and Lawrence.

Bertha Update:  Bertha has slowed to a crawl and will probably be in the picture for the next several days as it runs into a building ridge to the north.  I’ve still seen models that want to take it farther northwest after passing Bermuda to the east than the NHC, but the NHC is still going with the coriolis force overcoming the ridge faster than the one model and having it meander to the northeast and then east.  One that I saw actually had it going farther northwest and then strengthen over the Gulfstream before fading again as it moved east and northeast. Either way, its still of maritime interests and will never reach major status again and probably wont ever become a hurricane again as it slowly loses tropical characteristics.  Surf will be up in Bermuda though for the next few days and maybe even some decent waves in New England.  Here is a satellite photo, which is still kinda impressive looking, the official track and some tracks from two models.

3 Responses

  1. Mr. Bob Symon,
    Just a quick note, letting you know that I very much enjoy reading your blog. Thank’s for sharing!

  2. Thanx Rick.

  3. Weather Forecast Air Supply Cloud…

    I didn’t agree with you first, but last paragraph makes sense for me…

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