Blog Archive

Friday, August 3, 2012

Lest It Be Forgot: The Epic Nashville Flood of May 2010

May 1 & 2, 2010, Epic Flood Event for Western and Middle Tennessee

NOAA: Information Updated 05/18/2010

What is a 100-year flood?  A 100-year flood is an event that statistically has a 1% chance of occurring in any given year. A 500-year flood has a 0.2% chance of occurring, and a 1,000-year flood has a 0.1% chance of occurring. 

The map below relates to amount of rainfall that fell to the chances of that amount of rain actually occurring.
Average Recurrence Intervals 1000 Year Flood Map

May 1 and 2, 2010 Tennessee Rainfall Totals

Record or Near Record River Flood Levels Across Middle Tennessee
LocationRecordOld RecordDate of Old RecordFlood Stage
Cumberland at Clarksville62.58'57.1'March 14, 197546'
Cumberland at Nashville51.86'47.6'March 15, 197540'
Red River near Port Royal49.48'48.3'March 13, 197330'
Duck River at Centerville47.5'37.6'February 14, 194822'
Harpeth River near Kingston Springs38'33.2'January 7, 194620'
Duck River near Hurricane Mills33'30.7'February 14, 194824'
Harpeth River at Bellevue33'24.3'February 13, 194820'
Buffalo River near Lobelville25.7'25.2'May 28, 199114'
Harpeth River at Franklin35.1*35.2February 13, 1968 30'
12 Highest Rainfall Totals - COOP and CoCoRaHS Observers
LocationTotal Two Day Rainfall
Camden 4.5 NE19.41"
Fairview 3.8 SW18.04"
Fairview 2.9 SW17.71"
Belle Meade 1.4 NNE17.67"
Mt Moriah Birdsong Marina17.51"
Brownsville 1.0 SE17.5"
Jackson 4.9 NW17.36"
Brentwood 2.5 NE17.15"
Bon Aqua 3.0 ESE17.09"
Brentwood 2.8 NE17.07"
Belle Meade 1.2 ESE17.02"

Flooding Facts:
  • Fifteen (15) observation sites had rainfall measurements exceeding the maximum observed rainfall associated with Hurricane Katrina landfall.
  • The two day rainfall of 13.57 inches at Nashville International Airport shattered the monthly rainfall record for May which was 11.04 inches.
  • The rainiest month in Nashville is 13.92 inches in January 1950.
  • Nashville International Airport experienced its 1st and 3rd rainiest days on back to back days.
  • The heaviest rainfall occurred in a swath across Davidson, Williamson, Dickson, Hickman, Benton, Perry, and Humphreys Counties.  An average of 14-15 inches of rain fell, equivalent to 420 billion gallons of water, in just two days.

Comparison to Hurricane Katrina Total Rainfall Amounts

Hurricane Katrina Rainfall Totals

Here are additional links to information pertaining to May 2010 Epic Flood Event.

No comments: