FLASH system transitioned to the National Weather Service, revolutionizes tools used for flash flood forecasting

The FY2013 Disaster Assistance Supplemental provided support for the project titled “Develop Improved Predictions of Inland Flooding”, which was led by the the late Prof. Peter Lamb, CIMMS Director, and myself. FLASH, being a component of the broader MRMS project, was transitioned to NCEP with MRMS v11 in November 2016 for experimental use. To date , over half of local NWS offices throughout the U.S. are receiving FLASH products into their operational AWIPS2 systems. During the week of July 2, FLASH products will be disseminated to all NWS offices in the lower 48 states via the Satellite Broadcast Network. This completes a major milestone for the team!

 The success of FLASH was largely attributed to the number of graduate students, post-docs, and research scientists who contributed and the NWS forecasters who participated and provided valuable feedbacks during the HMT-Hydro testbed experiments from 2014-2016. Throughout the project, the team published 12 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 4 of which were in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. The FLASH project resulted in 7 graduate students earning Ph.D.s, 1 earning an M.S., and supported numerous visiting student interns. 

While we have reached this major milestone, we continue to develop. FLASH is being reframed into a fully probabilistic framework, called Pro-FLASH. This consideration of uncertainty in the modeling process accommodates forcings from ensemble precipitation forecasts. This can increase the lead time with the distributed hydrologic forecasts, but must consider the associated uncertainties with the forcings. We are also developing FLASH products for our outer-CONUS domains including Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the Caribbean. Lastly, we are forging relationships in the private sector so that FLASH can assist in operations related to transportation and beyond.


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