Images From Space Reveal the Dramatic Extent of Flooding in the Mississippi Valley

Even though we’re only at the beginning of March, springlike flooding has been plaguing communities in the Deep South for weeks now.

The distress has resulted from major rains that just won’t allow up.

It all proceeds these days (Wednesday, March 4), with far more rain, serious thunderstorms, and flash flooding forecast across much of the Deep South — from Texas to Florda, and which include the especially tough-hit southern Mississippi Valley. It’s part of the exact sample that in the overnight hours of Tuesday spawned Tennessee’s devastating tornadoes. At minimum 25 people today have died.

The continued rain is possible to worsen the flooding arising from January’s and February’s deluges. That flooding is radically apparent in wrong-coloration satellite pictures combining visible and infrared sights, this kind of as the 1 higher than.

Spots wherever rivers have overflowed their banks and spread out together their floodplains are rendered in deep blue. The thickest ribbon of blue in the picture is the Mississippi, stretching from higher than Vicksburg, Mississippi, in the north, all the way down to New Orleans in the south.

Before and After Satellite Views of Mississippi Flooding

A comparison of pictures captured at different instances by the Suomi NPP satellite exhibits the scope of current flooding together the Mississippi River. (Credit rating: Illustrations or photos: NASA Worldview. Animation: Tom Yulsman)

To get an even superior sense of the extent of the flooding, I developed this before-and-following animation of Suomi NPP satellite pictures. A person exhibits the scene on Feb. 25, 2017, with rather typical circumstances. The other picture, acquired on Feb. 27 of this calendar year, reveals major flooding, as apparent in the enlargement of darkish blue together the Mississippi and other drinking water bodies across the Deep South.

In the wrong-coloration plan used in the imagery, infrared mild from the sunshine that’s reflected from the ground and been given by the satellite sensor is rendered in inexperienced. This part of the spectrum is reflected incredibly strongly by vegetation, earning the inexperienced especially vivid. Between other things, this can help floodwaters stand out simply because of the stark contrast with their darkish blue coloring.

Precipitation Anomalies

January 2020 saw much wetter circumstances than typical together much of the Mississippi River. (Credit rating: NOAA)

The major, persistent rains dependable for all the flooding brought on the Pearl River to crest at 36.8 feet around Jackson, Mississippi. This was the third-highest level on document for the city, and the highest considering the fact that 1983. All those records go back again to the 1800s.

The river flows by way of the heart of southern Mississippi, and for part of its course sorts the border with Louisiana. In the satellite imagery, it is the distinguished watercourse east of the Mississippi.

Mississippi River Flooding Comparison

The Sentinel 2 satellite captured the pictures earning up this before-and-following animation. (Illustrations or photos consist of modified Copernicus Sentinel facts processed with EO Browser. Animation: Tom Yulsman)

I developed the animation higher than to offer a closer check out of the flooding together the Mississippi alone. It is made up of wrong-coloration pictures captured by the Sentinel 2 satellite. A person was acquired on Jan. 31, 2017, the other on March one of this calendar year, with major flooding underway.

The pictures exhibit the extend of the river in between Vicksburg in the north and Natchez in the south. From leading to base, the picture addresses about 75 miles.

Mississippi River Flooding Forecast

Locations within just the Mississippi Valley with a 50 per cent or higher risk of flooding during March, April and Could 2020. (Credit rating: Nationwide Weather Service)

Given saturated soils and the outlook for continued rain, the entire Mississippi is at heightened risk of flooding in the coming weeks, as the map higher than exhibits. The flooding risk is higher all together the river, but especially in the Higher Midwest location.