Flood forecasting reaches new potential



Natural disasters caused by floods challenge scientists to forecast the magnitude and timing of peak flood discharges more accurately. With recent advances in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and in computer technology, scientists have developed large-scale surface runoff models to improve flood forecasting. The first version of the model CASC2D, developed at Colorado State University, simulates surface runoff from flash floods caused by intense thunderstorms moving across watershed areas. The hydrologic model has been coupled with data from the CSU-CHILL polarized dual-Doppler radar in Greeley, Colorado, which accurately tracks the motion of severe thunderstorms.