56 Leveraging Novel Data Analytics for Clear Communication in South Carolina’s Extreme Precipitation and Flood Alert System

Monday, 13 January 2020
Hall B (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Katie L. Ward, MetStat, Inc., Fort Collins, CO; and T. W. Parzybok, B. Allen, V. Bahls, H. Mizzell, and M. Griffin

An Extreme Precipitation and Flood Alert System is being developed for South Carolina utilizing the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds from FEMA. The system is being designed to provide critical weather insights to increase individual and community resilience to extreme precipitation events. The system provides both traditional National Weather Service (NWS) and novel hydrometeorological data and information. To meet the needs of dam owners, emergency managers, flood plain managers, departments of transportation, and others, surveys and webinars solicited ideas, addressed concerns, and fostered valuable community input.

The data and information will be available through the interactive online tool, known as MetPortal, which includes a hydrometeorological information dashboard, including quantitative precipitation forecasts, quantitative precipitation estimates, rain gauge reports, stream gauge data, and numerous analytics for characterizing precipitation by depth, area, and annual exceedance probabilities. A novel addition to the list of variables is areal averaged precipitation and annual exceedance probability, which provides decision makers with key spatial information traditional point data does not offer. Additionally, user-defined alerts can be configured to notify users via text and/or email of precipitation amounts or forecast precipitation exceeding different thresholds. Alerts can be established for both point locations and watersheds. Historical gauge information as well as NWS watches, warnings, and advisories are included in the alerts to provide complete information and context regarding extreme rainfall events.

This presentation will provide an overview of the project, the MetPortal dashboard system, the underlying precipitation data, and some case studies.

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