Flooding in the Red River valley of North Dakota/Minnesota

March 29th, 2009 |
MODIS true color and false color RGB  images

MODIS true color and false color RGB images

MODIS “true color” and “false color” Red/Green/Blue (RGB) images from the SSEC MODIS Today site (above) showed extensive areas of flooding along the Red River of the North on 29 March 2009. Widespread areas of inundated cities and surrounding rural croplands could be seen as the darker features on the true color image (and darker blue features on the false color image) across parts of eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota that were adjacent to the Red River.

A  view of the MODIS true color imagery using Google Earth (below) shows that the Red River appeared to be well-confined in the Fargo, North Dakota area (due to levy construction and extensive sandbagging efforts), but the fields to the north and to the south of the city were inundated with water.

MODIS true color image (displayed using Google Earth)

MODIS true color image (displayed using Google Earth)

According to snow depth data from the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensiing Center (below) indicated that there was still 6-7 inches of snow cover over much of the Red River valley region — so in the absence of flooding, those areas would have appeared brighter white  on the MODIS true color imagery due to the deep snow cover.

NOHRSC snow depth

NOHRSC snow depth