The challenge of predicting flash floods from thunderstorm rainfall

Hoshin Vijai Gupta, Soroosh Sorooshian, Xiaogang Gao, Bisher Imam, Kuo Lin Hsu, Luis Bastidas, Jailun Li, Shayesteh Mahani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A major characteristic of the hydrometeorology of semi-arid regions is the occurrence of intense thunderstorms that develop very rapidly and cause severe flooding. In summer, monsoon air mass is often of subtropical origin and is characterized by convective instability. The existing observational network has major deficiencies for those regions in providing information that is important to run-off generation. Further, because of the complex interactions between the land surface and the atmosphere, mesoscale atmospheric models are currently able to reproduce only general features of the initiation and development of convective systems. In our research, several interrelated components including the use of satellite data to monitor precipitation, data assimilation of a mesoscale regional atmospheric model, modification of the land component of the mesoscale model to better represent the semi-arid region surface processes that control run-off generation, and the use of ensemble forecasting techniques to improve forecasts of precipitation and run-off potential are investigated. This presentation discusses our ongoing research in this area; preliminary results including an investigation related to the unprecedented flash floods that occurred across the Las Vegas valley (Nevada, USA) in July of 1999 are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1363-1371
Number of pages9
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Volume360
Issue number1796
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2002

Fingerprint

Thunderstorms
thunderstorms
atmospheric models
Flash
Rainfall
forecasting
hydrometeorology
Rain
flash
Arid regions
monsoons
air masses
assimilation
Convective Instability
summer
valleys
Data Assimilation
Flooding
occurrences
Process Control

Keywords

  • Flash flood
  • Four-dimensional data assimilation
  • Land-surface model
  • Mesoscale atmospheric model
  • Monsoon season
  • Quantitative precipitation forecasting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

The challenge of predicting flash floods from thunderstorm rainfall. / Gupta, Hoshin Vijai; Sorooshian, Soroosh; Gao, Xiaogang; Imam, Bisher; Hsu, Kuo Lin; Bastidas, Luis; Li, Jailun; Mahani, Shayesteh.

In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Vol. 360, No. 1796, 15.07.2002, p. 1363-1371.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gupta, Hoshin Vijai ; Sorooshian, Soroosh ; Gao, Xiaogang ; Imam, Bisher ; Hsu, Kuo Lin ; Bastidas, Luis ; Li, Jailun ; Mahani, Shayesteh. / The challenge of predicting flash floods from thunderstorm rainfall. In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. 2002 ; Vol. 360, No. 1796. pp. 1363-1371.
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