Helping Business Weather the Storm

Hurricane Irene—Forecasting the Impact of Historic Rainfall Levels in iMap

by Daphne Thompson, on Aug 29, 2011 8:48:28 AM

New Potential Flood Index product shows historic and catastrophic rainfall amounts caused by Irene


Norman OK, August 29, 2011—The impact of Hurricane Irene is a reminder that hurricane forecasters need to predict the amount of rainfall and severe flooding just as much as the speed of the severe winds forecasted along its path for the forecasts to have value. Unprecedented rainfall levels have caused significant flash flooding all along the Eastern seaboard. Until now, it has been difficult to ascertain the precise scale of these Hurricane-related precipitation events seen in an historic context in an interactive map. Responding to this need, WDT has entered into an exclusive partnership with Metstat to produce a new product, the Potential Flood Index, launched at the height of Irene's path last week.

An example of an interactive map showing the precise impact of Irene with a flood index can be viewed at or in real-time at: or by selecting "Weather" and choose "Potential Flood Index" in the control set at the top of any iMap interactive map on over 600 media websites. Toggling the legend key will show the color-coded flood index.

"By combining the forecast rainfall amounts with NOAA's regional climatological frequency values, those viewing the map can view the amount of rain expected in terms of how "rare" it is to get such amounts," said Mike Eilts, President and CEO of WDT. "This makes it much easier to quickly ascertain potential impacts such as flooding than using simple amounts, since what is deemed heavy rain in one part of the country may be typical in another. In some parts of Eastern regions we have seen 500 year or greater rainfall events," said Eilts.

About Weather Decision Technologies, Inc. (WDT)
WDT's iMap® services provide dynamic interactive and mobile weather mapping solutions for the world's leading local media and Internet companies. WDT is a global leader in providing state-of-the-science weather detection, nowcasting, and forecasting systems. and

For more information, contact Mike Gauthier at 405.618.2239.

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