Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

Linking Flood Frequency With Mesoscale Convective Systems in the US

TitleLinking Flood Frequency With Mesoscale Convective Systems in the US
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsHu, Huancui, Feng Zhe, and L. Leung Ruby
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume48
Number9
Abstract / Summary

Mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) with larger rain areas and higher rainfall intensity than non-MCS events can produce severe flooding. Flooding occurrences associated with MCS and non-MCS rainfall in the US east of 110°W are examined by linking a high-resolution MCS data set and reported floods in the warm season (April-August) between 2007 and 2017. MCSs account for the majority of slow-rising and hybrid floods, while non-MCS rainfall explains about half of flash floods in July and August as individual thunderstorms occur frequently in the Rocky Mountains and Appalachian Mountains. The event-total rainfall area of MCSs is the dominant factor of flood occurrences: MCSs with greater rainfall areas tend to produce more floods. While not related to flood frequency, propagating MCSs tend to produce flash floods with longer durations. These established links can improve our confidence in interpreting flood risks and their future changes due to changes in MCS characteristics with warming.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2021gl092546
DOI10.1029/2021gl092546
Journal: Geophysical Research Letters
Year of Publication: 2021
Volume: 48
Number: 9
Publication Date: 05/2021

Mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) with larger rain areas and higher rainfall intensity than non-MCS events can produce severe flooding. Flooding occurrences associated with MCS and non-MCS rainfall in the US east of 110°W are examined by linking a high-resolution MCS data set and reported floods in the warm season (April-August) between 2007 and 2017. MCSs account for the majority of slow-rising and hybrid floods, while non-MCS rainfall explains about half of flash floods in July and August as individual thunderstorms occur frequently in the Rocky Mountains and Appalachian Mountains. The event-total rainfall area of MCSs is the dominant factor of flood occurrences: MCSs with greater rainfall areas tend to produce more floods. While not related to flood frequency, propagating MCSs tend to produce flash floods with longer durations. These established links can improve our confidence in interpreting flood risks and their future changes due to changes in MCS characteristics with warming.

DOI: 10.1029/2021gl092546
Citation:
Hu, H, Z Feng, and L Leung.  2021.  "Linking Flood Frequency With Mesoscale Convective Systems in the US."  Geophysical Research Letters 48(9).  https://doi.org/10.1029/2021gl092546.