In this post we will give a first look at MetStorm’s™ Depth-Area-Duration (DAD) product with the recent flooding event that occurred in the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area (updated 5/14/2014).
Heavy rains began across the state of Oklahoma on May 5 and the Storm Prediction Center had indicated Oklahoma City, OK was in an area of marginal risk for convective activity on May 6. As forecast, the OKC Metro Area experienced several severe thunderstorms, some associated with tornadoes and record-breaking precipitation. A CoCoRaHS COOP station at Oklahoma City received 9.07 inches of rain between May 5-7, to the southwest, Tuttle, OK received 9.88 inches during the same time.
MetStorm’s™ Depth-Area-Duration analysis shows that over the total 48-hour time period, an average of 3.83 inches of rain fell over an 10,000 square mile area – over 16 times the size of just Oklahoma City, OK. At a single point, 4.22 inches fell in only one hour and 13.52 inches over the 48-hour time period. These point values are not station verified, but rather a result of the radar-estimated quantitative precipitation in an area with sparse rain-gauge coverage.
Depth-area-duration (DAD) plots provide a powerful, objective, easy-to-understand three-dimensional (magnitude, area size, and duration) perspective of storm precipitation. Historically, storm DAD analyses have been computed to aid in the computation of probable maximum precipitation (PMP) estimates that influence the design and operation of structures such as dams, nuclear power plants, flood retaining structures, and levees. DADs require accurate, high-resolution precipitation depths in time and space, particularly in areas with the heaviest precipitation. Unlike point precipitation observations, a DAD provides the areal magnitude of a storms precipitation. A DAD makes it possible to compare the areal size, magnitude and duration of a precipitation event to other historic storm DAD’s and DAD threshold’s for flooding or other consequences. For over a century, DADs have been used to characterize extreme precipitation associated with storm events; MetStorm will continue this legacy as new extreme events occur, thereby adding to an ever growing database of extreme precipitation events to support better, safer and more-optimized infrastructure designs.
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