NASA, UI Flood Center to host public event on precipitation and flood forecasting

NASA, UI Flood Center to host public event on precipitation and flood forecasting

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Iowa rain gauges to help calibrate satellite-based rainfall measurement system

UPDATE, June 12, 3:30 p.m.: Due to the threat of severe weather, the outreach event scheduled for June 12 has been canceled.

The public and media are invited to meet representatives from NASA and the Iowa Flood Center at an outreach event at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, in Room 104 of the Wilder Business Center on the Northeast Iowa Community College campus in Calmar, Iowa.

rain guages
Rain gauges (similar to those shown above) are deployed across the Turkey River watershed in northeast Iowa for the IFloodS campaign to calibrate NASA's new satellite–based rainfall measurement system. Photo Credit: Iowa Flood Center.

This spring, NASA and Iowa Flood Center researchers have deployed state-of-the-art instruments across eastern Iowa to collect ground data on precipitation. A number of these instruments are currently located in the Turkey River watershed, including a weather radar on the southern edge of Calmar, another near Elkader, and numerous rain gauges and soil moisture probes throughout the watershed. The project is part of NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, an international satellite mission that will set a new standard for global precipitation measurements from space.

“We’re trying to figure out how well our satellites estimate rainfall,” says Walt Petersen, GPM ground validation scientist at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va. “This study is unique in that it takes space-borne observations, it takes ground-based observations, and it brings those things into a modeling framework that should further our ability to predict flooding.”

Petersen will be one of the speakers at the outreach event, which is open to the public. He will be joined by Iowa Flood Center Director Witold Krajewski, based at the University of Iowa. Krajewski, who was instrumental in bringing the NASA team to Iowa, says the project will likely benefit the people of Iowa in a very real way.

“Our hope is that with all that information, we can really improve our flood forecasting models,” Krajewski explains.

Learn more about the IFloodS field campaign and instruments in the Turkey River watershed by attending the outreach event on June 12 in Calmar, or by visiting these websites:

pmm.nasa.gov/ifloods
iowafloodcenter.org/projects/ifloods

To learn more about GPM, visit:

www.nasa.gov/gpm

pmm.nasa.gov

Contacts

Sara Steussy, Iowa Flood Center, 319-384-1729
Ellen Gray, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, 301-286-1950

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