The National Weather Service has declared March 18 through March 22 as Flood Safety Awareness Week. The
National Weather Service in Jackson will feature a different educational topic each day during the awareness
Today's topic: The NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service and partner services.
It floods somewhere in the United States or its territories nearly every day of the year. Flooding causes more
damage in the United States than any other weather related event, with an average of eight billion dollars a year
and an average of ninety five fatalities per year in the past thirty years. Flooding can occur anywhere at anytime
of the year, sometimes very quickly. Being prepared in advance and knowing a few flood safety tips will help you
and your family survive a flood if it happens in your area.
This week we have discussed what flood safety is, the different types of floods you may encounter, the National
Weather Service Turn Around Don't Drown campaign, and the National Flood Insurance Program. Today we hope
to tie all of those together to help you prepare for situations when flood waters flow!
As mentioned on Monday, National Weather Service websites provide up to date advisory, watch, and warning
information for the U.S. and its territories. However, there is additional information on that page you may not be
aware of to help you before, during, and after a flood.
The Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, or AHPS, is an ongoing effort to modernize the hydrologic services
of the National Weather Service. AHPS provides river and flood forecasts and water information across America
to protect life and property. It also helps ensure the nation's economic well being. Everyone who makes decisions
based on water, including but not limited to farmers, river boat pilots, emergency managers, municipal water
supply officials, recreationists, and dam operators can benefit from AHPS. You can get to AHPS from any National
Weather Service website. To find it on the NWS Jackson website, click on "Rivers and Lakes" in the blue column
on the left side.
Flood inundation mapping...
The ability to look days into the future to see how many city blocks and roads might be flooded is becoming
clearer with flood inundation mapping. The National Weather Service and NOAA's National Ocean Service are
collaborating with the United States Geological Survey, United States Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, and other
partners to develop inundation maps for inland freshwater flooding. Sets of maps, referred to as libraries, are
being developed which include map layers depicting the spatial extent and depth of water for various flood levels
ranging from minor flooding all the way through the flood of record in the vicinity of NWS river forecast locations.
Combined with traditional National Weather Service river forecasts, these flood maps show the areas of likely
inundation based on current conditions and river forecasts. Maps are produced using Geographic Information
Systems, GIS, and datasets created in the production of FEMA’s flood insurance rate maps. These libraries are
accessible through the AHPS web site.
In addition to providing our own flood forecasts and warning information, the NWS works with and relies on
strategic partners involved in river observations, reservoir management, floodplain management, flood hazard
mitigation, and flood preparedness to reduce the loss of life and property due to floods. Just a few of those
partners are listed below. Your Jackson National Weather Service office can help you find additional partners
if you have a specific need to be addressed.
American Red Cross...
Information on how to reduce potential flood damage and what to include in a family disaster plan can be
obtained from the American Red Cross.
Information on flood risk, the National Flood Insurance Program, and disaster assistance can be obtained
United States Geological Survey...
Information on current water conditions and resources can be obtained from the United States Geological
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers...
For information regarding dams, levees, and recreational areas near you contact the U.S. Army Corps of
The National Hydrologic Warning Council...
A non-profit organization dedicated to assisting emergency and environmental management officials by
providing expert advice on the use of real-time, high quality hydrologic information from automated remote
data systems, with the goals of protecting lives, property and the environment.
Additional key partners are the Association of State Floodplain Managers, the National Safety Council, the
Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, The Weather Channel and other media outlets, and many other government
and private sector organizations.
For more information on any of our partners please contact the National Weather Service in Jackson.
As we wrap up the 2013 Flood Safety Awareness Week, remember that flooding causes more damage in the
United States than any other weather related event. Flooding can occur in any of the fifty states or U.S.
territories at anytime of the year, sometimes with very little warning. Being prepared in advance and knowing a
few flood safety tips will help you and your family survive a flood if it happens in your area. Know your risk,
Turn Around, Don't Drown, evaluate your need for flood insurance, visit with our partners to learn how they too
can help you prepare, and be a force of nature! It could save your life.
For more information please contact:
Senior Service Hydrologist
NWS Jackson, MS
Important flood websites: