CI-FLOW total water level system prepared for test by Tropical Storm

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Researchers with the Coastal and Inland Flooding Observation and Warning (CI-FLOW; http://ciflow.nssl.noaa.gov/) project are preparing for Tropical Storm Hermine to test their total water level system in North Carolina this weekend. The CI-FLOW system captures the complex interaction between rainfall, river flows, waves, tides and storm surge, and how they impact water levels in the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse Rivers and the Pamlico Sound in North Carolina.

CI-FLOW collects data from a computing system that combines radar and rain gauge information to create estimates of rainfall. This information is passed on to water quantity models that simulate freshwater flows from the headwaters of the basins into the rivers; taking into account soil type, slope of the land and vegetation patterns. Finally, water flow data is passed from river models to a coastal circulation and storm surge model that provides simulations of waves, tides and storm surge.

National Weather Service forecasters will have access to CI-FLOW during Tropical Storm Hermine to help them evaluate the system for application in the flood and flash flood warning process.

The CI-FLOW project is motivated by NOAA’s critical forecast need for detailed water level predictions in coastal areas and has a vision to transition CI-FLOW research findings and technologies to other U.S. coastal watersheds.

The NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory, with support from the NOAA National Sea Grant Office, collaborates with the unique interdisciplinary team including the North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas Sea Grant Programs, University of Oklahoma, Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Seahorse Coastal Consulting, NWS Forecast Offices in Raleigh and Newport/Morehead City, NWS Southeast River Forecast Center, NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, NOAA in the Carolinas, NOAA Southeast and Caribbean Regional Team (SECART), NOAA-Integrated Ocean Observing System, Department of Homeland Security Coastal Resilience Center
of Excellence, Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence SouthEast, Coast Survey Development Laboratory and NWS Office of Hydrologic Development.

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Gab at the Lab: Kodi Nemunaitis-Monroe

Kodi Nemunaitis-Monroe, NOAA Sea Grant Weather & Climate Extension Specialist    (OU CIMMS)

kodi

Background:B.S. Meteorology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2001
M.S. Meteorology, University of Oklahoma
Ph.D., Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, 2014
What She Does: Kodi oversees NOAA’s Coastal and Inland Flooding Observation and Warning (CI-FLOW) project. This research is aimed at predicting total water levels (rainfall + river flows + waves + tides + storm surge) in watershed coastal regions. More than half of the nation’s population is affected by coastal flooding, and CI-FLOW aims to reduce impacts to life and property. As storms approach, National Weather Service forecasters provide feedback on how well the CI-FLOW system performs.
Favorite Things: Spending time with her daughter, watching “House of Cards” and “Sherlock”
Trivia:At the University of Nebraska, she was a cheerleader for the Cornhuskers!
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CI-FLOW total water level system prepared for test by Hurricane Sandy

Researchers with the Coastal and Inland Flooding Observation and Warning (CI-FLOW) project are preparing for Hurricane Sandy to test their total water level system in North Carolina this weekend. The CI-FLOW system captures the complex interaction between rainfall, river flows, waves, tides and storm surge, and how they impact water levels in the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse Rivers and the Pamlico Sound in North Carolina.

CI-FLOW collects data from a computing system that combines radar and rain gauge information to create estimates of rainfall.  This information is passed on to water quantity models that simulate freshwater flows from the headwaters of the basins into the rivers; taking into account soil type, slope of the land and vegetation patterns.  Finally, water flow data is passed from river models to a coastal circulation and storm surge model that provides simulations of waves, tides and storm surge.

National Weather Service forecasters will have access to CI-FLOW during Hurricane Sandy to help them evaluate the system for application in the flood and flash flood warning process.

The CI-FLOW project is motivated by NOAA’s critical forecast need for detailed water level predictions in coastal areas and has a vision to transition CI-FLOW research findings and technologies to other U.S. coastal watersheds.

The NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory with support from the NOAA National Sea Grant Office leads the unique interdisciplinary team including the North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas Sea Grant Programs, University of Oklahoma, Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Seahorse Consulting, NWS Forecast Offices in Raleigh, and Newport/Morehead City, NWS Southeast River Forecast Center, NOAA’s Coastal Services Center, NOAA in the Carolinas, NOAA Southeast and Caribbean Regional Team (SECART), NOAA-Integrated Ocean Observing System, Department of Homeland Security, Center of Excellence-Natural Disasters, Coastal Infrastructure and Emergency Management, Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence SouthEast, Coast Survey Development Laboratory and NWS Office of Hydrologic Development.

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2012 Atlantic hurricane season to provide CI-FLOW research opportunity

Hurricane Irene in 2011

The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season will provide a valuable research opportunity for the Coastal and Inland-Flooding Observation and Warning Project (CI-FLOW). The goal during the 2012 hurricane season is to produce realistic simulations of total water level in real time for coastal storms. National Weather Service forecasters will have access to CI-FLOW during these events to help them evaluate the system for application in the flood and flash-flood warning process.

CI-FLOW is a demonstration project that captures the complex interaction between rainfall, river flows, waves, tides and storm surge, and how these factors affect water levels in the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse rivers and the Pamlico Sound in North Carolina.

CI-FLOW was tested in August 2011 as Hurricane Irene made landfall near Morehead City, NC.  CI-FLOW total water-level simulations were compared with water levels observed during the storm. Researchers found a high level of agreement in both the timing and water-level heights for the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse coastal watershed.

The CI-FLOW project is motivated by NOAA’s critical forecast need for detailed water-level predictions in coastal areas and has a vision to transition CI-FLOW research findings and technologies to other U.S. coastal watersheds.

This real-time demonstration will offer valuable insight on the accuracy and utility of total water level predictions for communities in the coastal plain of the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse rivers and the Pamlico Sound. Real-time simulations of coastal water levels for the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season are available on the CI-FLOW website (http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/projects/ciflow/). The site also includes an introductory video that highlights the flooding from Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and the response from Sea Grant and NOAA partners. (http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/ciflow/)

The NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory with support from the NOAA National Sea Grant College Program leads the unique interdisciplinary team including the North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas Sea Grant Programs; University of Oklahoma; Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Seahorse Consulting; NWS Forecast Offices in Raleigh, and Newport/Morehead City; NWS Southeast River Forecast Center; NOAA’s Coastal Services Center; NOAA in the Carolinas; NOAA Southeast and Caribbean Regional Team (SECART); NOAA-Integrated Ocean Observing System; Department of Homeland Security, Center of Excellence-Natural Disasters, Coastal Infrastructure and Emergency Management; Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence SouthEast; Coast Survey Development Laboratory; and NWS Office of Hydrologic Development.

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CI-FLOW provided useful predictions of total water level during Hurricane Irene

Irene CIFLOW
CI-FLOW predicted water levels above sea level (ft) issued at 1500 UTC 27 August 2011 (approximately at time of hurricane landfall) overlain with Hurricane Irene's track in coastal eastern North Carolina. Maximum predicted water levels occurring on the western side of the barrier islands of 6-8 feet compared within +/- 1 foot of the observations. Highest predicted inundation amounts occur in the Neuse and Tar River outlets to the Pamlico Sound.

The Coastal and Inland Flooding Observation and Warning (CI-FLOW) project began producing real-time 84-hour simulations of total water level in coastal North Carolina from Hurricane Irene on August 23, 2011.  CI-FLOW is the first system to capture the complex interaction between waves, tides, river flows, and storm surge to produce total water level simulations.  Hurricane Irene made landfall near Morehead City, N.C.

Impressive predictions of water level and inundation are shown in the image to the left.  This information was available to forecasters before landfall.  CI-FLOW total water level simulations were compared with water levels observed during the storm.  Researchers found a high level of agreement in both the timing and water level heights for the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse River coastal watershed.

The Raleigh NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO) shared CI-FLOW information with critical decision makers in briefings and conference calls, including highlighting the CI-FLOW predictions displayed on the public domain Coastal and Emergency Risks Assessment (CERA) web site.  A Raleigh WFO said: “Several of us referred to and viewed various CI-FLOW products. The one product I used the most was the storm surge simulation.”  A forecaster from the Newport/Morehead City WFO said, “I received a call for a storm surge forecast from the Emergency Management office at MCAS Cherry Point early Thursday morning. I relayed to them an expected water level height of 6-8 feet there based on the forecast hydrograph at that location during that time. I did stress that the information was to be used as guidance only given the experimental nature of the data, but I felt comfortable enough with the forecast based on my personal experience of observing water levels on the Neuse to consider it reasonably reliable.”

The North Carolina governor Beverly Perdue has stated preliminary losses from Hurricane Irene topped $400 million.  President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration for coastal North Carolina.  Hurricane Irene inflicted some of its worst damage in that state by pushing the water from the estuarine sounds up against the western edge of the barrier islands and the Tar and Neuse river outlets to the Pamlico Sound.

A diverse group of local, state, regional, academic and federal partners, and emergency management communities formed CI-FLOW with a united goal to improve flood predictions and warnings. The consortium includes NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory, the North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas Sea Grants, National Sea Grant, University of Oklahoma, Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Seahorse Consulting, NWS Forecast Offices in Raleigh, and Newport/Morehead City, NWS Southeast River Forecast Center, NOAA’s Coastal Services Center, NOAA in the Carolinas, NOAA-IOOS, DHS-DIEM, Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence SouthEast, NWS Office of Hydrologic Development, and NOS Coast Survey Development Laboratory.

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CI-FLOW produced accurate total water level predictions from Irene

Hurricane Irene heads for the Outer BanksThe Coastal and Inland Flooding Observation and Warning (CI-FLOW) project began producing real-time 84-hour simulations of total water level in coastal North Carolina from Hurricane Irene on Tuesday, August 23.  Hurricane Irene made landfall near Morehead City, N.C.

CI-FLOW total water level simulations were compared with water levels observed during the storm.  Researchers found a high level of agreement in both the timing and water level heights for the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse River coastal watershed.

CI-FLOW is the first system to capture the complex interaction between waves, tides, river flows, and storm surge to produce total water level simulations.

CI-FLOW’s unique interdisciplinary team is lead by the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory and includes North Carolina, South Carolina, & Texas Sea Grant Programs, National Sea Grant, Renaissance Computing Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Oklahoma, NWS Offices in Raleigh & Newport/Morehead City, NWS Southeast River Forecast Center, NOAA Coastal Services Center, NOAA in the Carolinas, Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence SouthEast, NWS Office of Hydrologic Development, and National Ocean Service Coast Survey Development Laboratory.

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CI-FLOW total water level system prepared for test by hurricane

Forecast track for Hurricane Irene
Forecast track for Hurricane Irene as of 8:00 EDT 8/24/11

Researchers with the Coastal and Inland Flooding Observation and Warning (CI-FLOW) project are preparing for Hurricane Irene to test their total water level prediction system in North Carolina later this week. The CI-FLOW system captures the complex interaction between waves, tides, river flows and storm surge to produce total water level simulations that will improve forecasts for inland and coastal flooding events to help users react, respond, and recover.

The CI-FLOW system is currently focused on the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse river basins of North Carolina but the goal is to transition CI-FLOW research and technologies to other U.S. coastal watersheds.

The CI-FLOW computing environment routinely collects weather, river, tide and ocean observations to be used in an interactive exchange between atmospheric, river and ocean models.

The CI-FLOW project addresses a critical NOAA service gap:  routine total water level predictions for tidally-influenced watersheds and has a vision to transition CI-FLOW research findings and technologies to other U.S. coastal watersheds. This real-time demonstration will offer valuable insight on the accuracy and utility of total water level predictions for communities in the coastal plain of the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse Rivers and the Pamlico Sound.

CI-FLOW’s unique interdisciplinary team is lead by the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory and includes North Carolina, South Carolina, & Texas Sea Grant Programs, National Sea Grant, Renaissance Computing Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Oklahoma, NWS Offices in Raleigh & Newport/Morehead City, NWS Southeast River Forecast Center, NOAA Coastal Services Center, NOAA in the Carolinas, Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence SouthEast, NWS Office of Hydrologic Development, and National Ocean Service Coast Survey Development Laboratory.

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CI-FLOW launches Facebook and Twitter pages

The Coastal and Inland FLooding Observation and Warning project has launched a Facebook page and a Twitter site in an effort to make CI-FLOW research more visible to stakeholders and the public.

The Coastal and Inland-Flooding Observation and Warning (CI-FLOW) project is a prototype system combining observations, weather and water models and decision support tools to help bridge the gap and predict total water levels in coastal areas. When the demonstration is complete, everyone from emergency management officials to coastal residents will be able to use CI-FLOW to make informed decisions.

Coastal areas are especially vulnerable to flooding from hurricanes, tropical storms and other hazardous weather. The effects of this extra water on waves, tides, river flows and storm surge have been unpredictable, until now.

The CI-FLOW project has brought together a diverse team of national,  regional, state and university partners to improve the quality of  flood and surge information from every angle.

CI-FLOW currently focuses on the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse River basins of North Carolina and the adjacent coastal waters and shorelines of the Pamlico Sound and Atlantic Ocean. Storm-surge and coastal flooding from Hurricanes Floyd and Dennis devastated this region in 1999. A broad spectrum of local, state, regional, academic and federal partners are working together on CI-FLOW to improve total water level forecasts in this area.

Over half our nation’s population now lives permanently in coastal zones. Research projects like CI-FLOW will make great strides towards increasing warning times and improving predictions to save lives and limit property damage.

Follow our research at CI-FLOW Facebook or CI_FLOW Twitter!

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Video released on improved flood forecasting with CI-FLOW

CI-FLOW video on NOAA Weather Partners YouTube site.

The collaborative Coastal and Inland-Flooding Observation and Warning Project (CI-FLOW) released a new video demonstrating how their prototype total water level simulation system can help improve NWS flood forecasting and save lives of people residing and working in coastal watersheds.

The video can be seen at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J276vYNcyxA&feature=youtu.be&hd=1

“CI-FLOW tracks a raindrop from the sky, to the summit, to the sea,” explains Dr. Suzanne Van Cooten, hydrometeorologist working at NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL).

Currently, there is no framework that exchanges information between atmospheric, river, and ocean modeling systems to help forecasters predict the individual elements of a coastal storm including precipitation, ocean waves, tidal fluctuations, storm surge and river flows.

This problem is being addressed by the CI-FLOW project with a prototype system to integrate these different modeling systems to produce total water level simulations that account for river flow, tides, waves, and storm surge for coastal North Carolina.

In the video, Former North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt described what it was like when Hurricane Floyd hit the coast of North Carolina in 1999.

“We were used to thinking about a hurricane being a wind event.  We had no idea we were going to have a flood,” he reflected.  “We weren’t able to predict it.  We didn’t know that water was going to be coming in up the rivers, we didn’t know how much rain was falling.”

As a hurricane approaches the land, heavy rainfall covers the area.  Excessive run off causes rivers to rise.  Fierce winds can push ocean water upstream.  When rivers meet the ocean waters, massive flooding can occur.  CI-FLOW is intended to help communities become more resilient by providing information to help individuals make better decisions so they can respond and recover from the hazards of local storms.

CI-FLOW researchers hope to give the integrated total water level prediction system its first real-time test during the 2010 hurricane season, and will watch with interest as NOAA updates the Atlantic hurricane season outlook this Thursday. This scheduled update coincides with the approaching historical peak of the hurricane season.

NOAA, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas Sea Grant Programs, University of Oklahoma, and Centers for Ocean Sciences Educational Excellence Southeast were sponsors of the video project.  NOAA NSSL leads the interdisciplinary multi-institutional team of CI-FLOW researchers.

Visit http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/ciflow for more information.

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2010 Atlantic hurricane season to provide CI-FLOW research opportunity

Hurricane FloydThe 2010 Atlantic hurricane season will provide a valuable research opportunity for the Coastal and Inland-Flooding Observation and Warning Project (CI-FLOW). The goal for the 2010 hurricane season is to demonstrate, in real time, that CI-FLOW can produce realistic simulations of total water level for an actual storm event.

CI-FLOW is a system that combines weather, river, and ocean observations with data from numerical models to produce total water level simulations for the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse Rivers and the Pamlico Sound in North Carolina.

The newly developed CI-FLOW computing environment will collect hourly multi-sensor quantitative precipitation estimates from NSSL’s Q2 system and gridded quantitative precipitation forecast products from NOAA’s Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. The data will be fed into the CI-FLOW coupled model framework, which links the NWS HL-RDHM (Hydrologic Laboratory Research Distributed Hydrologic Model) to the ADvanced CIRCulation (ADCIRC) ocean model.

Currently, the CI-FLOW HL-RDHM routinely generates 10-day forecasts of river discharge for multiple points in the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse River basins. At four handoff points, the ADCIRC model will use the HL-RDHM discharge to begin its series of calculations to produce a 5-day forecast of total water level for the ADCIRC CI-FLOW domain.

This real-time demonstration will offer valuable insight on the accuracy and utility of total water level predictions for communities in the coastal plain of the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse Rivers and the Pamlico Sound.

NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) leads the interdisciplinary multi-institutional team of CI-FLOW researchers.

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