HyDROS students Jill Hardy and Race Clark recently taught a three-day CREST training workshop in Windhoek, Namibia. Participants were mainly drawn from members of Namibia’s Department of Hydrology, though others from the Polytechnic of Namibia, the Regional Center for Mapping and Resources for Development (Nairobi, Kenya), the South African National Space Agency (Pretoria, South Africa), NAMWater, and NASA also participated in the workshop. The workshop is part of a larger, ongoing effort to build capacity for flood and drought monitoring in the African nation. The NSF (via the Open Science Data Cloud PIRE program) funded Ms. Hardy and Mr. Clark’s travel, along with a grant to the University of Oklahoma from the NASA SERVIR program. Several workshop participants also got the chance to take part in field visits to three separate stream gauge stations on the Kuiseb River basin. CREST (Coupled Routing and Excess STorage) is a distributed hydrologic model used at varying scales across the globe and was jointly developed by OU and NASA. For more information, visit hydro.ou.edu/research/crest.
Race Clark (CIMMS at NSSL) was awarded first place in the graduate student poster competition at the 38th Annual National Weather Association (NWA) meeting in Charleston, SC. Clark is a Ph.D. student in the OU School of Meteorology and works with advisors J.J. Gourley (NSSL) and Yang Hong (OU Civil and Environmental Engineering).
The award is selected by the NWA Weather Analysis and Forecasting Committee. The poster, A CONUS-wide analysis of flash flooding: simulations, warnings, and observations, identifies regional trends in the frequency of flash flood observations in NWS Storm Data, flash flood warnings, and flash flood guidance. His co-authors are J.J. Gourley (NOAA/OAR/NSSL), Yang Hong (OU), Zac Flamig (OU), and Ed Clark (NOAA/NWS). The recognition includes $125 and complimentary membership in the NWA for 2014.
Prof. Céline Lutoff from the Universite de Grenoble, France has completed her 6-month visit with the FLASH team at the National Weather Center. While in Norman, she and her family experienced two EF5 tornadoes that were very near (Moore and El Reno), as well as the deadly Oklahoma City flash flood. Céline assisted in many flash flood-related studies with the team. In particular, she helped launch the “social component” of the Flood Observations – Citizens As Scientists using Technology (FLOCAST) project (http://flash.ou.edu/flocast/). Her expertise was invaluable in developing the interview questions that will be used to understand societal perceptions, responses, and behavior of victims impacted by flash floods. Céline helped in the development of a photography guideline, which is presently being used to collect unique and informative photographs of flash flooding. Lastly, she co-supervised a study that is aimed at understanding the characteristics of deadly and injurious flash flooding events vs. those that have little impact on lives. Although she will be missed, we anticipate many more fruitful collaborations with her and her team in France in the future! Céline was hosted at the University of Oklahoma by the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies.
NSSL’s Zachary Flamig has been awarded the prestigious 2013 Chateaubriand Fellowship. The merit-based grant is offered by the Embassy of France in the United States and aims to encourage collaborations, partnerships or joint projects between France and the U.S. Flamig is a Ph.D. student in the School of Meteorology at The University of Oklahoma and works at NSSL with advisor J.J. Gourley.
Flamig will conduct his fellowship at the University Joseph Fourier in Grenoble, France and will work with the Hydrometeorology, Climate and Impacts (HCMI) team at the Laboratoire d’etude des Transferts en hydrologie et Environnement (LTHE). His mission will be to explore a variety of hydrologic models with various physics representations, including the French Cevennes (CVN) distributed hydrologic model, to determine the surface runoff generation and routing mechanisms that are needed to yield accurate simulations of flash floods. Results from his research topic will be incorporated in the U.S. Flooded Locations and Simulated Hydrographs (FLASH) project at NSSL, which capitalizes on the high-resolution (1km/5min) radar-based inputs from the NMQ/Q2 system. The four-month fellowship begins in January, 2014.
NSSL collaborated with the French team during HyMeX (Fall 2012) and used the NOAA X-Pol mobile radar to complement the research radar network. NSSL/CIMMS previously hosted an LTHE graduate intern, Martin Calianno, and is presently hosting Prof. Celine Lutoff, a social scientist. Flamig’s fellowship will strengthen collaboration between the teams to advance the state-of-the-science of flash flood prediction and societal impacts.
A team from NSSL will partner with the NOAA Hydrometeorological Testbed at the Weather Prediction Center to host the 1st annual Flash Flood and Intense Rainfall Experiment (FFaIR). FFaIR will explore using high-resolution atmospheric and hydrologic models to improve short-term forecasts of both precipitation amounts and flash flooding. The project runs from July 8-26, 2013.
NSSL’s Flooded Locations And Simulated Hydrographs (FLASH) system will be one of several modeling systems evaluated during FFaIR. The FLASH system uses radar-estimated rainfall from NSSL’s National Mosaic and QPE System (NMQ/Q2) as input into the CREST (Coupled Routing and Excess STorage) hydrologic model. FLASH then creates real-time 6-hour forecasts on a 1km grid that is updated every 15 minutes.
The 2013 FFaIR experiment will provide, for the first time, a pseudo-real time environment where participants from across the weather enterprise can explore the interface of meteorology and hydrology. Working together through the forecast process will foster collaboration between National Centers for Environmental Prediction, National Weather Service Forecast Offices, NOAA labs, and the academic community.
NOAA, NASA and the University of Connecticut are representing the United States in the Hydrological Cycle in the Mediterranean Experiment (HyMeX), the largest weather field research project in European history.
HyMex is a 10-year international effort to better understand, quantify and model the hydrologic cycle in support of improved forecasts and warnings of flash floods in the Mediterranean region.
After the first successful tests over the Arkansas-Red river basins the FLASH system was scaled up to run over the CONUS at 1 km² spatial resolution. Work continues to correct the frequency estimates for the finer resolution NMQ/Q2 products.
Precipitation estimates from NMQ/Q2 are now flowing to FLASH in real time, and the very first flash flooding simulations over the Arkansas-Red river basins are being produced. The results will become more meaningful after the model has had time to spin up.
Hardware was purchased and installed at the National Weather Center to host the real-time FLASH system and web-based product dissemination system. A single server with 24 processing cores and 64 GB of RAM will be used for the initial demonstration system. The initial system demonstration will focus on Arkansas-Red Basin River Forecast Center (ABRFC) and Colorado Basin River Forecast Center (CBRFC) with a goal of having a single deterministic run forced by the NMQ Q2 radar only product every 5 minutes online within the next few months. Once that point is reached the system will quickly be expanded to CONUS coverage with ensemble forecasts.