The 2019 Mississippi and Missouri River Flooding and Its Impact on Atmospheric Boundary Layer Dynamics

Sandip Pal, Temple R. Lee, Nicholas E Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In spring 2019, a catastrophic flood occurred along the Missouri and Mississippi River basins in the United States, which was characterized as the longest lasting flood since the Great Flood of 1927. The 2019 flooding resulted in extremely wet soils for 3–4 months over the Great Plains. Using rawinsonde-derived atmospheric boundary layer depths (BLDs) and in situ soil moisture (SM) data sets at 10 sites located meridionally across the two river-valleys, we investigated the SM controls on regional-scale BLDs during spring 2019. The impact of spring flooding on atmospheric boundary layer dynamics is reported via regression analyses between daily SM and BLDs yielding statistically significant negative r (p < 0.0012) with substantial spatial variability (r: −0.25 to −0.70). Results suggest (1) the strengthening of the negative SM-BLD relationship in the wake of extreme flooding and (2) positive SM anomalies of 0.05–0.12 m3 m−3 resulted in negative BLD anomalies (−100 to −400 m) compared to 8-year means, confirming the impact of perturbed land atmosphere feedback processes (LAFP). These results offer a test bed for developing better numerical models with advanced representations of LAFP.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2019GL086933
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 28 2020


  • atmospheric boundary layer
  • boundary layer features
  • flooding
  • land-atmosphere feedback processes
  • rawinsonde
  • soil moisture


Dive into the research topics of 'The 2019 Mississippi and Missouri River Flooding and Its Impact on Atmospheric Boundary Layer Dynamics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this