Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Flooding in the west

  1. Dec 30, 2005 #1

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    We have been getting hammered out here. California is about to float away!

    A pretty good measure of the recent rainfall in the hills around us is our creek, which I just clocked at over 200 ft3/sec...actually, 220. :surprised and once again I am hoping that we don't lose the footbridge... It's only been that high twice in fifteen years: Once during the 500 year flood of 96, and briefly one night I think last year, after many days of heavy rain. Normally the highest flows on a good year are around 80 -100 ft3/sec
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 30, 2005 #2
    engineers, you just gotta love em
     
  4. Dec 30, 2005 #3
    I'am currently in northern California(almost towards organ)It's been raining all day.Is this because of gobal warming or somthing because frist it's the worst hurricane season(or year) and now it's raining in califrornia.
     
  5. Dec 30, 2005 #4
    I have to drive to California on sunday and work outside sunday and monday. Any idea what the weather's supposed to be like in the Palmdale area? and don't link me to a weather site. I want someone to poke their head out a window and look up and tell me.
     
  6. Dec 30, 2005 #5
    Southern California is just slightly overcast.
     
  7. Dec 30, 2005 #6

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The I-5 South between Oregon and California is closed due to a landslide.
     
  8. Dec 30, 2005 #7
    I swear to god I love you guys.
     
  9. Dec 30, 2005 #8

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    .... it always rains in california.

    How the hell did you measure 200 cubic feet/sec ivan? :P
     
  10. Dec 30, 2005 #9

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Well, if California and its 55 electoral votes float away....

    Yeah, I can live with that. :biggrin:
     
  11. Dec 31, 2005 #10

    loseyourname

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    It had been raining for three days straight up in Sonoma, and had begun to flood, when Shannon and I escaped down here to Long Beach. It hasn't rained for more than a few hours here.
     
  12. Dec 31, 2005 #11
    Do you mean how would WE measure it? Ivan just knows things.
     
  13. Dec 31, 2005 #12

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Well, first of all, we have nice channel where the foot bridge is located. The stream channel is almost perfectly square [I should say rectangular], flat, and the bridge gives an absolute meaure of the stream depth. So this gives me a nice cross section to work with. Next, a floating object that is submerged to a depth of about six inches can be used to estimate the stream velocity. As turns out, given a rectangular channel [depth is less than the width], if you measure the speed of the marker and multiply by 0.6 you will get a reasonable approximation of the average stream velocity over the entire cross section. And of course I have landmarks at a known distances that are used to estimate the distance traveled over time. But after 15 years I can pretty much tell just by looking.

    I found this method in an old engineering handbook and have used it to estimate known flows. The results were pretty good; say withing 10%. In fact, I had a little fun and blew away my fluids professor when, while on a field trip to Bonneville dam, I used this method to estimate the flow at Multnoma Falls http://trips.stateoforegon.com/multnomah_falls/ to withing a few cubic feet per second; and just by looking at it! No doubt I got lucky but it got quite a reaction. :biggrin:
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2005
  14. Dec 31, 2005 #13

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Ya know what I just realized...

    I thought you were talken about water depth... and now i just noticed that thast impossible unless length is no longer measured in feet and that your city was flooded in .2 seconds...

    man im stupid.

    But not that stupid.
     
  15. Dec 31, 2005 #14

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Oh well, its a nice little trick to estimate stream flows...

    ...but the jokes on you! in fact the creek really is about 200 feet deep, we just can't see the lower 196 feet of it.
     
  16. Dec 31, 2005 #15

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    haha... got me there!
     
  17. Dec 31, 2005 #16
    No rain in Southern California.
     
  18. Dec 31, 2005 #17

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Northern California got drenched last night. My dad measured 2.5 inches of rain in just over twelve hours, and some areas are flooding, but so far I haven't heard of any disasters.
     
  19. Dec 31, 2005 #18
    Today it sprinkled a bit, then stopped. Then it started again, and this turned to rain. It's raining now.
     
  20. Dec 31, 2005 #19
    My boss called me today and said it would be better if I drove out there today so I could get to work in the morning. You ever have a boss who just assumes you have nothing better to do than go to work? I don't want to leave today, but in order to get to work in the morning I'm probably going to have to leave at 2 or 3 AM
     
  21. Dec 31, 2005 #20
    This is our first rain of the season so the roads are going to be their very slickest. Also, all the California drivers you encounter aren't going to have their "sea-legs" yet. It takes a week or so of accidents and fender benders before everyone gets the idea they have to drive slower.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Flooding in the west
  1. New England Flooding (Replies: 9)

  2. Capital City Flooded (Replies: 7)

Loading...