447 Using Precipitable Water and Showalter Index Sounding Climatologies to Better Predict Heavy Rainfall Events in American Samoa and Developing a Flash Flood Thresholds Based on Observed Gauge and Sounding Data.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Taylor Pechacek, Mississippi State Univ., Mississippi State, MS; and I. Gumbs Jr.

Scientific flash flooding research hasn’t been performed on the island of American Samoa since the mid-1960s. The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) and the University of Wyoming’s Meteorological Department provides historical observational sounding data for the entire world. These databases are used in research and to support operational forecasting. A climatology of precipitable water (PWAT) and Showalter index (SI) was completed for the Weather Service Office in Pago Pago, American Samoa, which was important for this research project as a sounding climatology had not been available to the forecasters in Pago Pago. Additionally, rain gauge data was compared to the NWS storm events database to assess where the current thresholds were.

A discussion of the methods and programming used and the forecasting applications will be presented. In addition, a potential rainfall index will be developed from previous literature and findings from this research to assist in operational forecasting and issuance of flood products to better protect life and property. Additional uses and data will be discussed further with examples of applications to operational forecasting and verification of the research.

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