Jul 4, 2012

Mississippi downgraded to "creek?"

I don't even have to feel the soil ...

To know the American Midwest is in a serious drought.

The above hydrograph shows discharge for the Mississippi River as measured at Tarbert Landing (near its mouth).   The river was running low all winter, but can you see how in the past month river discharge has dropped down to below the 10th percentile (as calculated relative to the 25-year record)?  Scant winter snow, low spring rainfall and high summer temperatures are to blame.  BTW: The bar chart along the bottom shows annual discharge in millions of acre feet (with our current year (2012) shown through June).

This hydrograph of the Mississippi River says it all.

Until further notice, river forecasters have downgraded it to a creek.

1 comment:

walk2write said...

I get to hear about the heat and extended drought every time I call my mom in MO. She's lived there a long time and doesn't recall anything quite like it.

One thing we used to do when the rivers or creeks were low was look for arrowheads or other artifacts. It's a good time to look for otherwise buried treasure. I'll bet the people with metal detectors are really busy right now along the river.