• Bosart, L. F., , and Sanders F. , 1981: The Johnstown flood of July 1977: A long-lived convective system. J. Atmos. Sci., 38 , 16161642.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Colman, B. R., 1990a: Thunderstorms above frontal surfaces in environments without positive CAPE. Part I: A climatology. Mon. Wea. Rev., 118 , 11031122.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Colman, B. R., 1990b: Thunderstorms above frontal surfaces in environments without positive CAPE. Part II: Organization and instability mechanisms. Mon. Wea. Rev., 118 , 11231144.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Corfidi, S. F., , Meritt J. H. , , and Fritsch J. M. , 1996: Predicting the movement of mesoscale convective complexes. Wea. Forecasting, 11 , 4146.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cotton, W. R., 1990: Storms. Vol. 1. Geophysical Science Series, Aster Press, 158 pp.

  • Davis, R. S., 2001: Flash flood forecast and detection methods. Severe Convective Storms, Meteor. Monogr., No. 50, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 481–525.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DeGaetano, A. T., , Hirsch M. E. , , and Colucci S. J. , 2002: Statistical prediction of seasonal East Coast winter storm frequency. J. Climate, 15 , 11011117.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • De Michele, C., , and Salvadori G. , 2002: On the derived flood frequency distribution: Analytical formulation and the influence of antecedent soil moisture condition. J. Hydrol., 262 , 245248.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Doswell C. A. III, , , Brooks H. E. , , and Maddox R. A. , 1996: Flash flood forecasting: An ingredients-based methodology. Wea. Forecasting, 11 , 560581.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Droegemeier, K. K., and Coauthors, 2000: Hydrological aspects of weather prediction and flood warnings: Report of the Ninth Prospectus Development Team of the U.S. Weather Research Program. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 81 , 26652680.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Emanuel, K. A., 1982: Inertial instability and mesoscale convective systems. Part II: Symmetric CISK in a baroclinic flow. J. Atmos. Sci., 39 , 10801097.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fan, Y., , Van den Dool H. M. , , Lohmann D. , , and Mitchell K. , 2006: 1948–98 U.S. hydrological reanalysis by the Noah land data assimilation system. J. Climate, 19 , 12141237.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fritsch, J. M., , and Carbone R. E. , 2004: Improving quantitative precipitation forecasts in the warm season: A USWRP research and development strategy. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 85 , 955965.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Funk, T. W., 1991: Forecasting techniques utilized by the Forecast Branch of the National Meteorological Center during a major convective rainfall event. Wea. Forecasting, 6 , 548564.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Harnack, R., , Apffel K. , , Georgescu M. , , and Baines S. , 2001: The determination of observed atmospheric differences between significant and light precipitation events in New Jersey, USA. Int. J. Climatol., 21 , 15291560.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LaPenta, K. D., and Coauthors, 1995: The challenge of forecasting significant rain and flooding throughout the Eastern Region of the National Weather Service. Part I: Characteristics and events. Wea. Forecasting, 10 , 7890.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Maddox, R. A., , Chappell C. F. , , and Hoxit L. R. , 1979: Synoptic and mesoscale aspects of flash flood events. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 60 , 115123.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mesinger, F., and Coauthors, 2006: North American Regional Reanalysis. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 87 , 343360.

  • Mo, K. C., , and Chelliah M. , 2006: The modified Palmer drought severity index based on the NCEP North American Regional Reanalysis. J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol., 45 , 13621375.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mo, K. C., , Chelliah M. , , Carrera M. L. , , Higgins R. W. , , and Ebisuzaki W. , 2005: Atmospheric moisture transport over the United States and Mexico as evaluated in the NCEP regional reanalysis. J. Hydrometeor., 6 , 710728.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • NCDC, cited. 2004: NCDC NEXRAD data inventory search. [Available online at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/nexradinv.].

  • NCDC, cited. 2005: Precipitation data, hourly—U.S. and some non-U.S. (DS3240). [Available online at http://cdo.ncdc.noaa.gov/CDO/cdo.].

  • NOAA, 1986–2003: Storm Data. Vols. 28–45.

  • Ntelekos, A. A., , Geogakakos K. P. , , and Krajewski W. F. , 2006: On the uncertainties of flash flood guidance: Toward probabilistic forecasting of flash floods. J. Hydrometeor., 7 , 896915.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • NWS, 2006: Definitions and general terminology. National Weather Service Manual 10-950, 4 pp. [Available online at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/directives/sym/pd01009050curr.pdf.].

  • Ogden, F. L., , Sharif H. O. , , Senarath S. U. S. , , Smith J. A. , , Baeck M. L. , , and Richardson J. R. , 2000: Hydrologic analysis of the Fort Collins, Colorado, flash flood of 1997. J. Hydrol., 228 , 82100.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Opitz, H. H., and Coauthors, 1995: The challenge of forecasting significant rain and flooding throughout the Eastern Region of the National Weather Service. Part II: Forecast techniques and applications. Wea. Forecasting, 10 , 91104.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ropelewski, C. F., , and Yarosh E. S. , 1998: The observed mean annual cycle of moisture budgets over the central United States (1973–92). J. Climate, 11 , 21802190.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sanders, F., 1971: Analytic solutions of the nonlinear omega and vorticity equations for a structurally simple model of disturbances in the baroclinic westerlies. Mon. Wea. Rev., 99 , 393407.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sivapalan, M., , Bloschl G. , , Merz R. , , and Gutknecht D. , 2005: Linking flood frequency to long-term water balance: Incorporating effects of seasonality. Water Resour. Res., 41 .W06012, doi:10.1029/2004WR003439.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, J. A., , Baeck M. L. , , Morrison J. E. , , and Sturdevant-Rees P. , 2000: Catastrophic rainfall and flooding in Texas. J. Hydrometeor., 1 , 525.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, J. A., , Baeck M. L. , , Morrison J. E. , , Sturdevant-Rees P. , , Turner-Gillespie D. F. , , and Bates P. D. , 2002: The regional hydrology of extreme floods in an urbanizing drainage basin. J. Hydrometeor., 3 , 267282.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wilks, D. S., 1995: Statistical Methods in the Atmospheric Sciences. Academic Press, 465 pp.

  • Zhang, D., , and Fritsch J. M. , 1986: Numerical simulation of the meso-β scale structure and evolution of the 1977 Johnstown flood. Part I: Model description and verification. J. Atmos. Sci., 43 , 19131944.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zhang, D., , and Fritsch J. M. , 1987: numerical simulation of the meso-β scale structure and evolution of the 1977 Johnstown flood. Part II: Inertially stable warm-core vortex and the mesoscale convective complex. J. Atmos. Sci., 44 , 25932612.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zhang, Y., , and Smith J. A. , 2003: Space–time variability of rainfall and extreme flood response in the Menomonee River Basin, Wisconsin. J. Hydrometeor., 4 , 506517.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 47 47 7
PDF Downloads 30 30 5

A Statistical Comparison of the Properties of Flash Flooding and Nonflooding Precipitation Events in Portions of New York and Pennsylvania

View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
© Get Permissions
Restricted access

Abstract

Flash floods reported for the forecast area of the National Weather Service Forecast Office at Binghamton, New York (BGM), are compared with similar significant precipitation and flash flood watch events not corresponding to flash flood reports. These event types are characterized by measures of surface hydrological conditions, surface and upper-air variables, thermodynamic properties, and proxies for synoptic-scale features. Flash flood and nonflood events are compared quantitatively via discriminant analysis and cross validation, and qualitatively via scatterplots and composite soundings. Results are presented in the context of a flash flood checklist used at BGM prior to this study. Flash floods and nonfloods are found to differ most significantly in antecedent soil moisture. The wind direction at 850 hPa shows differences between flood and nonflood events, with flooding more common for an easterly to southeasterly direction and nonflooding more common for a northwesterly direction. Southwesterly wind direction is characteristic of both types. In general, nonflooding significant precipitation events are more commonly associated with a better-defined ridge axis of relatively high 850-hPa equivalent potential temperature and larger convective available potential energy as compared to the flash flood events. Several parameters included on the BGM flash flood checklist, though effective at distinguishing significant precipitation events and flash floods from random events, were found to be unable to separate flash floods from nonflooding significant rain events.

Corresponding author address: Stephen Jessup, Cornell University, 1126 Bradfield Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853. Email: smj14@cornell.edu

Abstract

Flash floods reported for the forecast area of the National Weather Service Forecast Office at Binghamton, New York (BGM), are compared with similar significant precipitation and flash flood watch events not corresponding to flash flood reports. These event types are characterized by measures of surface hydrological conditions, surface and upper-air variables, thermodynamic properties, and proxies for synoptic-scale features. Flash flood and nonflood events are compared quantitatively via discriminant analysis and cross validation, and qualitatively via scatterplots and composite soundings. Results are presented in the context of a flash flood checklist used at BGM prior to this study. Flash floods and nonfloods are found to differ most significantly in antecedent soil moisture. The wind direction at 850 hPa shows differences between flood and nonflood events, with flooding more common for an easterly to southeasterly direction and nonflooding more common for a northwesterly direction. Southwesterly wind direction is characteristic of both types. In general, nonflooding significant precipitation events are more commonly associated with a better-defined ridge axis of relatively high 850-hPa equivalent potential temperature and larger convective available potential energy as compared to the flash flood events. Several parameters included on the BGM flash flood checklist, though effective at distinguishing significant precipitation events and flash floods from random events, were found to be unable to separate flash floods from nonflooding significant rain events.

Corresponding author address: Stephen Jessup, Cornell University, 1126 Bradfield Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853. Email: smj14@cornell.edu

Save