Flash floods can sweep automobiles off the bottom, wash out bridges and roadways, and trigger devastating mudslides.
“Flash floods are lethal. They are usually extra lethal than tornadoes,” says Jonathan Gourley of the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Nationwide Extreme Storms Laboratory.
He says flash floods have gotten extra widespread.
“Because the local weather modifications and we heat, we see far more intense rainfall charges, and with that, we will have extra frequent and excessive flash flooding occasions,” he says.
Gourley’s staff developed a brand new system for monitoring and predicting flash floods. It combines hyperlocal radar measurements of rainfall with detailed knowledge about elevation, hydrology, soil moisture, vegetation, and different data.
“Is it concrete and flat there, or do we’ve a forested space?” Gourley says.
The system fashions what is going to occur to rain as soon as it hits the bottom in a specific place — for instance, how a lot of it is going to be in a position to soak into the earth and in what route it can circulate if it can’t be absorbed.
So the system helps forecasters nationwide problem extra correct, exact, and well timed alerts to assist preserve individuals protected from harmful flash floods.
Reporting credit score: Sarah Kennedy / ChavoBart Digital Media