Tracking flood producing storms in the Baltimore metropolitan region

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015
127ABC (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Brianne K. Smith, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ; and J. Smith and M. L. Baeck

Moores Run is one of the flashiest watersheds in the contiguous United States. The flooding is driven by short term rainfall (on the order of 5 to 60 minutes) from organized thunderstorm systems, making the structure of the rainfall important for flood response. The watershed is located within Baltimore City, at the climatological downwind edge of the city, placing it in the rainfall maximum for small urban basin flood-producing storm events. We seek to understand characteristics of storms which cause flooding in Moores Run by using the Thunderstrom Identification, Tracking, Analysis, and Nowcasting (TITAN) algorithms to track flood-producing storm events in metropolitan Baltimore. We attempt to find patterns in storm motion and development over Moores Run. Do storms slow down or collapse over Moores Run? We also investigate how the DC Baltimore urban area may affect storm evolution. Do storms split and merge around the city? We focus on the 30 largest peak discharge flood events in Moores Run during the 2000 2014 period. Preliminary results indicate that storms may increase in size and speed as they pass Moores Run.