NASA analyzes US midwest heavy rainfall, severe storms

July 14, 2017, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
This NASA IMERG rainfall calculation from July 7 to 14, 2017, shows the highest rainfall totals occurred in parts of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio with more than 6 inches (152.4 mm) of rain being seen in many areas. Credit: NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce

Heavy rain resulted in significant flooding in the U.S. Midwest over the week of July 7 to 14, 2017. Using satellite data, NASA estimated the amount of rain that fell over those areas and used satellite data to create 3-D imagery of severe storms.

NASA's Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) data were used to show estimates of rainfall accumulation in the Midwest during the period from July 7 to 14, 2017. The analysis was conducted at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and indicates that parts of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio had the highest rainfall totals during the period with more than 6 inches (152.4 mm) of rain being seen in many areas.

On July 9, 10 and 11, severe thunderstorms spawned tornadoes in the Midwest. The Global Precipitation Measurement mission, or GPM, core observatory satellite flew above the area when tornadoes were being sighted in northeastern Indiana and northwestern Ohio storms on July 10 at 9:01 p.m. EDT (July 11 at 0101 UTC). One of those tornadoes was spotted in Huntington County, Indiana, at almost the same time that the satellite was scanning that area. GPM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

At NASA Goddard a 3-D view of the rainfall structure in the July 10 storm was constructed using data collected when GPM's Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) instrument scanned the storm. Those GPM radar data showed that a few powerful thunderstorms had tops that were reaching altitudes above 9.1 miles (14.7 km). Rain was measured by GPM's Radar (DPR Ku Band) falling at a rate of more than 2.5 inches (64 mm) per hour.

At NASA Goddard a GPM satellite 3-D view of the rainfall structure in July 10 storm showed that a few powerful thunderstorms had tops that were reaching altitudes above 9.1 miles (14.7 km) and rain falling at a rate of more than 2.5 inches (64 mm) per hour. Credit: NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce

Water from the storms over those seven days flowing into the Fox River in northeastern Illinois caused serious flooding in that area. Central Indiana and central Ohio have also had remarkable flooding.

On Friday July 14 NOAA's National Weather Service in Milwaukee issued a flood statement for the Fox River at Burlington and near New Munster in addition to the Root River Canal at Raymond.

NOAA's National Weather Service in Chicago continued river flood warnings for the Des Plaines River and the Fox River. The warning included the Des Plaines River: near Russell, near Gurnee and at Lincolnshire, all affecting Lake County. Additional warnings affecting Cook County included the Des Plaines River near Des Plaines, at River Forest and at Riverside. The Flood Warning continues for the Fox River at Algonquin Tailwater affecting Kane and McHenry Counties and the Fox River at Montgomery affecting Kane and Kendall Counties.

Explore further: NASA measures Tropical Cyclone Nanmadol's Japan rainfall rates

Related Stories

Tornado spawning Eastern US storms examined by GPM satellite

May 26, 2017

On Wednesday May 24, 2017 severe weather affected a large area of the eastern United States. That's when the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite passed over the area and found extremely heavy rainfall ...

NASA's GPM examines exceptionally heavy Louisiana rainstorms

August 12, 2016

The low pressure center that has been gyrating over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico for days has now dropped very heavy precipitation over southeastern Louisiana. The Global Precipitation Measurement mission, or GPM, core ...

Recommended for you

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.