During the week of July 20-24, six forecasters from NWS offices nationwide joined NSSL and CIMMS researchers for the final week of the Hydrometeorological Testbed. This project was supported by JJ Gourley, Steve Martinaitis, Race Clark and Zac Flamig.
During the week, the forecasters issued experimental watches and warnings for hydrologic extremes in real-time, with the objective of improving flash flood guidance. This project leveraged opportunities for collaboration with two other NSSL research programs, the Severe Hazards Analysis and Verification Experiment (SHAVE) and the Meteorological Phenomenon Identification Near the Ground (mPING).
The purpose of the HMT was to evaluate the skills of the NSSL-designed FLASH suite of products in flash flood forecasting and, ultimately, to enhance understanding of short-term flash flood forecasting challenges. The meteorologists shared their findings in a “Tales from the Testbed” teleconference held at the end of the week, highlighting the difficulties and successes they encountered when applying FLASH products in various weather scenarios. Notably, they found that it is beneficial to have soil moisture products available when considering flash flood watch and warning issuance. Overall, they determined the new FLASH products to be an improvement in operational capabilities that will lead to more accurate and timely decision-making.