Thursday, August 1, 2019

An Amazing Forecast -- Validated

An amazing rainfall event, which caused serious flooding, occurred in a tiny area of eastern Kansas between 10pm last night and 7am this morning. There were two spots of more than a foot of rain (white).

The heaviest rains were just southwest of Lawrence. What makes this event so unusual is that Manhattan (40 mi west) had no rain and downtown Kansas City (25 mi. east) recorded 0.15 inches. However, the KC area is geographically very large and the 12" amounts were within 20 miles of the forecast.

To give you an idea of how small the area affected by the torrential rain was, here is a regional map.

On this blog yesterday you read this: Unusually heavy rain event is likely...
In the blog post I mentioned the Kansas City area was especially at risk and that amounts could range up to eight inches. I separately sent two tweets (@usweatherexpert) with forecasts of more than five inches.

The result included an armored truck being swept off the road in north Lawrence.
The photo is reproduced from the Lawrence Journal-World. Their full flood coverage is here.

This forecast, which was a combination of the new "mesoscale models" and meteorologists using conventional techniques to confirm what the models were telling us, could never have been made even five years ago. Our science is moving forward rapidly. 

Congratulations to the National Weather Service and the entire meteorological profession on a significant achievement -- the ability to forecast this high-risk event in a tiny geographic area. 

4:50pm Addition: YECCH!

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