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Flash Flood Prediction Working Group

Q2 Workshop June 28-30, 2005

Mission of NWS Hydrologic Services Program


Provide

river and flood forecasts and warnings for the protection of lives and property. basic hydrologic forecast information for the nations environmental and economic well being.

Provide

Current Flash Flood Services


Primary WFO Products and Information

Flash Flood Watch


Flash Flood Warning
BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED FLOOD WATCH NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LOS ANGELES/OXNARD CA 930 AM PST WED FEB 18 2004 ...A FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES UNTIL 1100 PM FOR THE BURN AREAS OF VENTURA AND LOS ANGELES COUNTIES... A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT FLASH FLOODING IS POSSIBLE... BUT NOT IMMINENT...IN THE WATCH AREA. PEOPLE IN THESE AREAS SHOULD STAY ABREAST OF THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION IF A WARNING IS ISSUED OR FLOODING IS ENCOUNTERED.

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE INSTRUCTION 10-922 WEATHER FORECAST OFFICE HYDROLOGIC PRODUCTS SPECIFICATION

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/directives/010/010.htm

Current Flash Flood Services


Product Dissemination

Internet (http://weather.gov/) NOAA Weather Radio Emergency Managers Weather Information Network NOAA Weather Wire Service Family of Services NOAAPORT EAS

Verification

Flash Flood Warning verification statistics are based on product issuance information and confirmation of actual flash floods by the local WFOs.

Flash Flood Warning Lead Time Flash Flood Warning Accuracy


FY03 Actual FY04 Actual 47 89 FY05 Actual (Oct Mar) 64 89 FY05 Goal 48* 89 FY2012 Goal (FY08 PBA) 51 91

Lead Time (minutes) Accuracy (%)

41 89

Impact of Technology, Training, Expanding Outreach and Dissemination on Flash Flood Services

National Average Annual Flash Flood Warning Lead Time


60 50 40 30 20 10 0

Lead Time in Minutes

Where will the next improvement come from?

19 87 19 88 19 89 19 90 19 91 19 92 19 93 19 94 19 95 19 96 19 97 19 98 19 99 20 00 20 01 20 02 20 03

NEXRAD Implementation

FFMP Implementation

Data and Decision Assistance Tools

Forecasters integrate observed and forecast information to assess the threat of flash flooding Data sources include radar data and in-situ precipitation gages and FFG (e.g., ASOS and ALERT) Decision assistance tools facilitate analysis of large and diverse data sets to identify conditions conducive to flash flooding

Current Operational Practices for Predicting Flash Flood

FFMP

The Flash Flood Monitoring and Prediction (FFMP) Application is a new NWS radar-based Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) decision assistance application

Site Specific DamCREST Traditional Methods

FFMP
Available Data and Algorithms

Outstanding Science and Research to Operations Issues

Radar data availability is limited especially in the Western United States WFOs served by more than one radar must run an instance of FFMP for each radar Limitations of radar
Uses raw radar data precipitation estimates no bias adjusting Radar bins increase in size and altitude with distance from the radar Brightband contamination Hail contamination Inaccurate Z/R relationships

Limitations of FFG
FFG is developed from hydrologic models calibrated for river forecasting of larger basins. The calibrations are not necessarily scalable for the basins associated with flash floods. Discrepancies across RFC boundaries Not appropriate for regions where the dominant flash flood factors are rainfall intensity and terrain

Emerging Scientific Solutions for Predicting Flash Flood

Improved radar estimates of precipitation


Probabilistic QPE from Radar Dual polarization radar precipitation estimates Precipitation estimation from TDWR

Improved Multi-sensor Precipitation estimates Improved Short Range QPF FFMP improvements Flash Flood Potential Index Statistical Distributed Modeling Distributed Modeling

Emerging Scientific Solutions


FFMP Improvements

Current research to operation efforts


Generate regionally-mosaicked, multisensor precipitation estimates every volume scan displayed on a 1 km grid for the time scales used in FFMP (0.5 hour, 1 hour, 2 hour and 3 hour) Ingest gridded precipitation estimates (NMQ, MPE, Q2, QPF) into FFMP Toggle between multiple QPE inputs

Emerging Scientific Solutions


FFMP Improvements

Enhanced QPE/QPF Capabilities (NWS Operational Requirements Document - Flash Flood Monitoring and Prediction Fall 2003)

If scientific investigation shows that the increased spatial resolution is beneficial to precipitation estimates, then increase the spatial resolution of the multi-sensor precipitation estimates to 0.5 km by 0.5 km. Increase frequency of integration of satellite QPE into multi-sensor precipitation estimates from every 60 minutes to every 15 minutes Generate DHR-based rainfall products with a resolution of 0.5 by 0.25 km (ORDA FY08) Provide capability to display and monitor QPF Enhance the rain gauge network data flow from all sources and deliver to AWIPS for use in multi-sensor precipitation estimates and FFMP at 5 minute resolution.

Other requirements identified in the ORD include GIS improvements, improvements in FFMP Display methods, and improvements in FFG estimates

Emerging Scientific Solutions


Flash Flood Potential Index
Utilize GIS tools/methods to develop a single index that represents the a potential for flash flooding (on a relative scale) obtain raster (gridded) datasets representing the features of interest

Emerging Scientific Solutions


Flash Flood Potential Index
Gridded Relative Flash Flood Potential

Emerging Scientific Solutions


Flash Flood Potential Index
Summarize Grids to Geographic Layer (Basin)
FFMP Basins
STATSGO Dominant Soil Texture MLRC Land Use / Land Cover NOAA AVHRR Forest Density Grid USGS DEM (derived % slope Grid Terrain) Fire Burn Areas / Severity coverage
Relative Flash Flood Potential Low High

An indication of rapid hydrologic response

Emerging Scientific Solutions


Flash Flood Potential Index

Currently researching methods to add a soil moisture layer to FFPI to support national implementation.

Will need to integrate gridded 1-hour multisensor precipitation estimates to estimate soil moisture.

Emerging Scientific Solutions


Statistical Distributed Model
Methodology
Peak Flow Climatology for Flint Creek at Springtown, AR (10 peaks per year were extracted from WY 1997 - 2002) 100

10

(2)

1. Using observed data for a region, derive a probability distribution describing the chance of exceeding a flood threshold given a computed flow frequency Regional flood threshold estimate (3) Forecasted peak flow 2. Derive a simulated climatology for each model grid cell 3. Given a forecasted flow, derive the probability of exceeding simulated climatology for each model grid cell

Flow (cms)

1 0.01

Observed Simulated
0.1 Prob of exceeding bankfull 1

(1)
0.82 0.63

Shaded area is probability of exceeding bankfull flow.

Emerging Scientific Solutions


Statistical Distributed Model
Precipitation

Estimation requirements

Initial Proof of Concept with Hourly Stage III products on an HRAP grid. Model framework can be used to test precipitation estimates at higher spatial and temporal resolutions Plan to expand approach to ingest 1-hour forecast precipitation grids.

Emerging Scientific Solutions


Distributed Modeling
Distributed Model Intercomparison Project

Arkansas R.

Red R.

Blue R.

Emerging Scientific Solutions


Distributed Modeling
Flow (CMS)

Hydrologic Response at Different Points in the Blue River Basin


200 160 120 80 40

0 4/3/99 0:00

4/3/99 12:00

4/4/99 0:00

4/4/99 12:00

4/5/99 0:00

4/5/99 12:00

4/6/99 0:00

Hydrograph at Location A
200 160

Flow (CMS)

120

Distributed Lumped
4/3/99 12:00 4/4/99 0:00 4/4/99 12:00 4/5/99 0:00 4/5/99 12:00 4/6/99 0:00

80

40

B Flow (CMS)

0 4/3/99 0:00

Hydrograph at Location B
200 160

Observed

120

80

40

0 4/3/99 0:00

4/3/99 12:00

4/4/99 0:00

4/4/99 12:00

4/5/99 0:00

4/5/99 12:00

4/6/99 0:00

Hydrographs at Basin Outlet

Emerging Scientific Solutions


Distributed Modeling
Application of HL Distributed Model

Emerging Scientific Solutions


Distributed Modeling
Precipitation

Estimation requirements

Hourly Stage III products on an HRAP grid.

Precipitation Requirements for Flash Flood Prediction

Improved quality of precipitation estimates Accurate highresolution seamless multi-sensor gridded precipitation estimates Timely estimates every five minutes as close to real-time (minimize processing, latency, without degrading quality) Ingest short-term (0-1 hour) high quality seamless QPF Carry forward human quality control knowledge interaction to real-time QPE estimates Improve gauge quality and network Gap filling mechanisms

Satellite estimates

Hourly updates for soil moisture components

Other Priorities for Flash Flood Prediction

Improved FFG Societal Impacts and Public Perception Verification

Ground Truth Flash Flood Climatology

Training GIS Solutions - Fire scars Uncertainty Visualization