89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 13 January 2009: 9:30 AM
Phoenix Urban Flash Flood Study (PUFFS)
Room 124A (Phoenix Convention Center)
Kenneth Howard, NOAA/NSSL, Norman, OK; and S. V. Vasiloff, C. Langston, J. Zhang, D. P. Jorgensen, and C. Dempsey
The economic and social impact of heavy precipitation resulting in flash floods is increasing amongst US major metropolitan areas. The complex nature of the cityscapes and its hydrologic characteristics (streets, bridges, diversion canals, impenetrable surfaces, etc.) are problematic to flash flood identification and prediction. Flash flood monitoring over large cities requires improved meteorological surveillance on very small time and space scales as well as coupling with surface observations and high resolution GIS representations of the urban landscape. The National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), in collaboration with the Salt River Project and the National Weather Service, conducted a field observing campaign in Phoenix, AZ during the 2008 North American Monsoon. The Phoenix Urban Flash Flood Study (PUFFS) focused on the creation and validation of very high-resolution quantitative precipitation estimates within a urban environment using a combination of operational research radar systems. The PUFFS integrated a Terminal Doppler Weather Radar, 3 WSR-88Ds and a Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching Radar into NSSL's advanced precipitation estimation application (Q2) to produce data at 250 m resolution over the Phoenix metropolitan area. The Q2 data were then fed into the AWIPS FFMP system for hydrological interpretation. This paper will provide a overview of the field study as well as present storm lifecycle analyses from two record breaking rainfall events with an emphasis on the potential impacts of higher resolution on operations.

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