The 1993 record-breaking summer flood in the Upper Mississippi River Basin resulted from an unprecedentedly persistent heavy rain pattern. Rainfall totals for the Upper Mississippi River Basin were, by a large margin, the largest of this century for the 2-, 3-, 4-, and 12- month periods encompassing the 1993 summer. The totals for these periods are estimated to have a probability of occurrence of less than 0.005 yr1 In addition, the number of reporting stations receiving weekly totals in excess of 100 mm (events identified in a previous study as being closely correlated with floods) was the largest in at least the last 45 yr. Other conditions contributing to the flood include above-normal soil moisture levels at the beginning of June 1993; large-sized areas of moderate to heavy rains; occurrence of rain areas oriented along the main stems of major rivers; a large number of localized extreme daily rainfall totals (greater than 150 mm); and below-normal evaporation. The large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns during the summer of 1993 were similar to the patterns associated with past heavy rain events, although much more persistent than past events.
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: May 16, 1994
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