3A.5 FLASH use cases for the flash floods of 2016

Monday, 23 January 2017: 5:00 PM
604 (Washington State Convention Center )
Jonathan J. Gourley, NOAA/NSSL, Norman, OK; and S. M. Martinaitis and M. Kelsch

This presentation will highlight the major flash flooding events of 2016. Tools developed in the Flooded Locations and Simulated Hydrographs (FLASH) project have been running in real-time since 2013 and are available through web-based displays, apps on smartphones, and in AWIPS2. Throughout the latter half of June and early July, National Weather Service Forecasters from different forecast offices across the country traveled to Norman and issued experimental flash flood watches and warnings based largely on the FLASH products during the 3rd annual HMT-Hydro experiment. On June 23, West Virginia was struck by heavy rainfall and significant flash flooding that impacted many communities across the state. Results will be presented indicating the rarity of the rainfall and concomitant flash flood using FLASH forecast products. The same event has been chosen for the development of forecaster training materials, providing recommended practices on product use and interpretation.  

On July 30, downtown Ellicott City, MD received > 6 inches of rain which turned their Main St. into a river, floating cars with people clinging on for their lives. Two fatalities were reported. This presentation will show results from this event and will discuss the challenges of predictability using precipitation forcings from numerical weather prediction models. Lastly, future developments of the FLASH system will be presented including the transition to a probabilistic framework and impact-based forecasts using machine learning algorithms.

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