Jenna Ladd | May 5, 2017
BAMS is the flagship publication of the American Meteorological Society. The bulletin, which is released monthly, features scientific articles related to weather, water, and climate as well as news stories and editorials.
Witold Krajewski, the Iowa Flood Center’s director, is lead author on the article featured in BAMS. Titled “Real-Time Flood Forecasting and Information System for the State of Iowa,” the academic article provides a detailed understanding of the Iowa Flood Center’s (IFC) flood forecasting and information dissemination system.
IFC established the system following the record floods of 2008. Using scientific models and mathematical equations, the Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS) is able to provide rainfall and streamflow forecasts every fifteen minutes. Iowans from over 1,000 communities can access these real-time observations using the interactive IFIS web platform.
Prior to the development of this system, floods frequently occurred without warning in Iowa, as they did in 2008. The report reads,
“Devastating floods that inundated Cedar Rapids came as a surprise, leaving residents and businesses little time to evacuate; residents of Iowa City and the University of Iowa campus watched helplessly as floods compromised more and more buildings after the Coralville Dam lost its controlled-release functionality. Overall, the 2008 flood upended countless lives and livelihoods and caused between $8 billion and $10 billion in damages—at the time, the fifth-largest disaster in the history of the United States.”
Nine years later, the IFC is now able to consistently measures rainfall every five minutes across the state, and Iowans can have peace of mind heading into the rainy summer months.