Oklahoma City Flash Flooding - 31 May 2013

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Tuesday, 4 February 2014: 2:15 PM
Georgia Ballroom 1 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Race Clark III, CIMMS/NSSL, Norman, OK; and J. J. Gourley and M. Kelsch

A severe weather outbreak on May 31, 2013 brought heavy rains, large hail, tornadoes, and flash flooding to central Oklahoma. Twenty-two people were killed as a result of the weather events of that day. Despite the national and local attention paid to the violent tornado of that day, almost two-thirds of the deaths in the severe weather outbreak were a result of flash flooding. A meteorological and hydrological synopsis of the conditions leading to flash flooding is provided.

This presentation will explore the nature and locations of the impacts of the flash flooding events of that day. Reports from local media, social media, and official sources are used to create detailed analyses of where, when, and how fatalities and injuries occurred as a result of swift moving waters. Additionally, we present outputs from the National Severe Storms Laboratory's FLASH (Flooded Locations and Simulated Hydrographs) model to demonstrate the utility of distributed hydrological modeling in predicting and monitoring high-impact flash flooding events. Results indicate that FLASH more accurately identified the areas experiencing the most severe flash flooding impacts when compared to operational flash flood guidance.