3.4.A Assessing the Value of DSS: Using Experimental Short Term Ensemble River Forecasts for Evacuation Decisions in Wichita Falls, Texas

Tuesday, 12 January 2016: 2:15 PM
Room 338/339 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Richard Smith, NOAA/NWSFO, Norman, OK; and T. Lindley, S. Kruckenberg, S. Curl, J. Kurtz, J. H. Paul, R. Harjo, L. Myers, and V. Brown

There's a saying in the Southern Plains: “droughts usually end in floods”, and May 2015 was a prime example! Parts of Oklahoma and Texas experienced repeated bouts of heavy rain, which resulted in record rainfall amounts, flash flooding and river flooding. Beginning in late May 2015, officials in Wichita Falls, Texas, dealt with the potential for record flooding in their community which impacted thousands of homes and businesses, and which had the potential to exceed the catastrophic flooding they experienced in 2007.

For the first time, forecasters at WFO Norman used experimental short-term ensemble model guidance from the Arkansas-Red Basin River Forecast Center (ABRFC) to brief city officials in Wichita Falls. This included developing specialized hydrographs for clear and concise dissemination of river forecast information for decision makers.

This presentation will examine how WFO forecasters presented the experimental data to city officials, and will also show how city officials interpreted the data and what they did with it.

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