Posts Tagged ‘precipitation’

On June 19th and 20th, northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin were hit by large rain storm that caused extensive flooding and property damage.  This post is the first in a series where I explore geospatial data and products to visualize precipitation patterns associated with the storm, as well as the resulting impacts.

NEXRAD Composites – Iowa Environmental Mesonet

I find the Iowa Environmental Mesonet (IEM) a useful source of information to visualize precipitation events.  The Current and Historical IEM NEXRAD Composite Loop allows users to create an animated loop of NEXRAD base reflectivity with up to 100 frames with an interval as short as five minutes from an archive that dates back to 1995.

The first animation of the Duluth Solstice storm is at the scale of the continental United States with 100 frames at 60 minute intervals that runs from June 17, 2012 at 12:00 PM CDT to June 21, 2012 at 12:00 PM CDT.

The second animation is at the scale of the northern Minnesota with 100 frames at 10 minute intervals that runs from June 19, 2012 7:00 PM CDT to June 20, 2012 11:30 AM CDT.

Weather and Climate Toolkit – National Climatic Data Center
The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, North Carolina maintains an archive of NEXRAD products.  Here I used NCDCs Weather and Climate Toolkit to examine the storm total precipitation for the Solstice Flood.  The precipitation event started on June 19, 2012 at 05:41 GMT and ended on June 21, 2012 at 12:14 GMT with a maximum rainfall of 7.4 inches.  The conversion from Greenwich Mean Time to Central Daylight Time is – 5 hours (i.e. if the ending time is 12:14 GMT, then it would be 07:14 AM CDT).  The toolkit allows creation of animations of NEXRAD products, as well as export of shapefiles and Google Earth KMZ files.

Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service – National Weather Service

The Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) provides information products to improve flood warnings and water resource forecasts. The Water page of the National Weather Service features several AHPS products including river observations, forecasts and precipitation.

The image below shows single day observed precipitation for June 20, 2012.  Note that 12:00 GMT is the start and end time of a standard hydrologic day used by AHPS in river modeling.  This runs from 07:00 AM CDT on June 20 to 07:00 AM on the following day.


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