The quantities of precipitated water over the Midwest don't seem to have let up much, despite change(s) of season :: an interesting opportunity to deduce some large-scale analysis on weather patterns.
Using the highest-quality #inference engine available w/ mathematical models of proper context of historical datasets (yah, we're "off the chart" good at technicals), it appears to be bad:
Any earlier-than-expected snowmelt (elevation-sensitive) will more likely than not have compounding devastating effects anywhere it can be expected to drain. Since much of the Midwest is geologically a floodplain for arctic melts (hence its traditionally-rich alluvial soils), this would normally not be a problem.
However, scientists report:
"The Mississippi River reached near-record levels at several points, including the second-highest ever at St. Louis. Both the Mississippi and Missouri rivers dipped below flood stage by early fall, “then they turned around and went right back up in October with more rain in both basins,” Fuchs said. “For both rivers, there really hasn’t been much chance to recover.”
Fuchs said soil moisture levels in many places to the north are at the 99th percentile for late fall.
“If you have rain, it’s supposed to go into the ground,” Fuchs said. “Well, there’s just not room in the soil to accept rainfall or snowmelt.”
Adding to the worry is the weather service’s Dec-Feb forecast shows a significant chance of above-normal precipitation in the upper Midwestern states that feed water into the Missouri and Mississippi rivers."
P.S. Dakotas under blizzard warning today
#Geophysics: G-Rated levels of record-keeping capacity.
Muds and silts preserve fossils especially well when they have a little ash to work with. Both volcanic ash and ash from forest fires can make surfaces slick, and especially prone to landslides, mudslides, and avalanches around intense storm activities. Many slide-based geologic events created fossils we have in our fossil record today, preserving the factual records of prehistoric life.
For much of the PNW, landslides and mudslides are a real threat. Much of our geology underlies active ("recently active" by geologic time as in Mt. Saint Helens, for example) volcanoes, which created layers of ash that make especially hazardous conditions.
Have you heard of Oso, the US town in WA that was literally buried alive in 2014?
Topographic maps need updated frequently in areas where rapid sediment deposits happen, such as storm-changed coastlines, or recent slide and subsidence-affected areas.
Ash is not a requirement for slide activity to happen; sometimes a simple saturated ground is essentially the effect of a solid surface.
Erosion is one way tall mountains become smaller. The Appalachians, for example: "These mountain ranges likely once reached elevations similar to those of the Alps and the Rocky Mountains before they were eroded". Add many existing and human-amplified problems (like coal mining) at the tops of these mountains, and the problems compound.
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