June 22, 1947: World Record Rainfall Occurred near Holt, MO

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June 22, 1947: World Record Rainfall Occurred near Holt, MO

Postby Ptarmigan » Mon May 13, 2013 10:19 pm

June 22, 1947: World Record Rainfall Occurred near Holt, MO

Texas has heavy rain, but it not just Texas. Holt, Missouri saw it in 1947. 12 inches fell in 42 minutes! It talks about the setup for the event.

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A very moist airmass was in place across Missouri during the afternoon and evening of 22 June 1947, as evident by dewpoint temperatures in the middle 70s across Missouri during the afternoon hours (Figures 1 and 2).  A line of strong thunderstorms developed across eastern Kansas, producing severe weather and rainfall between 0.5 and 2.50 inches as the storms moved into western Missouri.  These thunderstorms developed along a frontal boundary, drawn as a cold front during the initial analysis of the event (Lott, 1954).  The airmass in advance of the storms was very unstable, as depicted by an atmospheric temperature profile or sounding taken at Oklahoma City at 9 am LST on 22 June 1947 (Figure 3; U.S. upper air sounding sites were sparse prior to 1948), with the atmospheric temperature and moisture profile indicating a deep layer of atmospheric moisture from the surface up to 5000-6000 feet (~800 mb) in the atmosphere.  The dashed line to the left of the thick, black line labeled "T" outlines the area of potential energy a thunderstorm could tap, if the storm was build above the warm "cap" of air at around 8000 feet AGL (~750 mb) and disrupt the elevated mixed layer at around 12000 feet AGL (~550 mb).  An atmospheric profile such as the one observed at 9 am on 22 June 1947,  commonly is seen prior to severe storms and heavy rainfall episodes that impact the central and southern plains of the United States.  The origins of the airstreams that produce such a profile is shown in Figure 4.
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