AuthorZevin, Susan Faye,1949-
Committee ChairDavis, Donald R.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractA major area targeted for hydrometeorological forecast service improvements is in flash flood forecasting. Verification data show that general public service products of flash flood forecasts do not provide enough lead time in order for the public to make effective response. Sophisticated users of flash flood forecasts could use forecast probabilities of flash flooding in order to make decisions in preparation for the predicted event. To this end, a systematic probabilistic approach to flash flood forecasting is presented. The work first describes a deterministic system which serves as a conceptual basis for the probability system. The approach uses accumulated rainfall plus potential rainfall over a specified area and time period, and assesses this amount against the water holding capacity of the affected basin. These parameters are modeled as random variables in the probabilistic approach. The effects of uncertain measurements of rainfall and forecasts of precipitation from multiple information sources within a time period and moving forward in time are resolved through the use of Bayes' Theorem. The effect of uncertain inflows and outflows of atmospheric moisture on the states of the system, the transformation of variables, is resolved by use of convolution. Requirements for probability distributions to satisfy Bayes' Theorem are discussed in terms of the types and physical basis of meteorological data needed. The feasibility of obtaining the data is evaluated. Two alternatives for calculating the soil moisture deficit are presented--one, an online automatic rainfall/runoff model, the other an approximation. Using the soil moisture approximation, a software program was developed to test the probabilistic approach. A storm event was simulated and compared against an actual flash flood event. Results of the simulation improved forecast lead time by 3-5 hours over the actual forecasts issued at the time of the event.
Degree NamePh. D.
Degree ProgramHydrology and Water Resources