North Carolina Sea Grant and NOAA’s multi-agency CI-FLOW (Coastal and Inland Flooding Observation and Warning) project prepared for a test of their monitoring and prediction system as Tropical Storm Hanna approached North Carolina on Friday. North Carolina Governor Mike Easley declared a State of Emergency to prepare for the storm.
CI-FLOW is a project to improve forecasts of inland and coastal floods and flash floods in the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse River basins, where flooding is expected over the weekend. CI-FLOW was initiated in response to the devastating economic and human losses from Hurricanes Floyd and Dennis in North Carolina in 1999.
CI-FLOW used precipitation estimates from Q2, a joint initiative between NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory, National Weather Service and the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS). Q2 produces precipitation estimates for the U.S. every five minutes using radar, satellite, lightning, and atmospheric data sets (http://nmq.ou.edu).
CI-FLOW also linked inland river models and coastal ocean/estuary models, each using input from high-resolution weather forecast models and multi-sensor precipitation estimates. This capability will increase the accuracy of water level forecasts in the tidal plain by ensuring storm surge impacts and inland streamflow conditions are taken into account.
CI-FLOW brings together state, federal, and academic scientists to construct an end-to-end monitoring and prediction system to reduce the number of fatalities due to flooding, the leading cause of storm related deaths.
This research consortium includes the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory, North Carolina Sea Grant, National Sea Grant, College Program, the University of Oklahoma, CIMMS, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the NWS Hydrology Laboratory, NWS Weather Forecast Offices of North and South Carolina, and the NWS Southeast River Forecast Center.
More information: http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/ciflow