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New York City Urban Hydro-Meteorological Testbed

Posted on March 24, 2017

New York City Urban Hydro-Meteorological Testbed

New York City experiences significant precipitation throughout the year, with relatively little variation from month to month in a typical year. Annual average precipitation ranges between approximately 43 and 50 inches, depending on the location within the City. Precipitation has increased at a rate of approximately 0.8 inches per decade from 1900 to 2013 in Central Park. Such changes in climate patterns may result in more frequent localized flooding over time. To help understanding the early flash flood warning within the NYC region a groups of research scientists at NOAA-CREST initiated a project that will help create a citywide map with early warning system to help the city administrators, including local decision-makers with their emergency management plans

Floods account for more than $1 billion in property losses in the United States each year. Everyone is susceptible to flood damage, whether from storms, water main breaks, or sewer backups. New York City experiences significant precipitation throughout the year, with relatively little variation from month to month in a typical year. Annual average precipitation ranges between approximately 43 and 50 inches, depending on the location within the City. Precipitation has increased at a rate of approximately 0.8 inches per decade from 1900 to 2013 in Central Park. Such changes in climate patterns may result in more frequent localized flooding over time. To help understanding the early flash flood warning within the NYC region a groups of research scientists at NOAA-CREST initiated a project that will help create a citywide map with early warning system to help the city administrators, including local decision-makers with their emergency management plans

The data and product from NY-uHMT network will benefit to: (1) Improve the accuracy and lead time of measuring and accessing the precipitation and providing Warn-on-flash flood forecasts and warnings in the New York City region; (2) Create impacts-based, urban-scale flash flood and hazard warnings for a range of public and private decision-makers; and (3) Integrate of ground based in-situ observation with radar and uWRF model used to understand influence of urban heat island on urban climate.

Twenty sites were identified across the 5 boroughs of NYC city to install weather stations for the proposed New York urban Hydro-meteorological Testbed (NY-uHMT), which will be one-of-a-kind dense hydro meteorological network at local level in the whole world. The NY-uHMT network will monitor both meteorological and hydrological state around the densely populated NYC area to improve weather/climate forecasting and prediction, aid emergency response and critical decision-making. First few sites, where weather stations installed are Queensborough Community College and Queens Botanical Garden.

The NY-uHMT network data will be available in near real-time (every 15 minutes) and merge with NWS RADAR precipitation to create high-resolution precipitation and temperature product for NY City. The developed product will be used accelerate the development and fusion of new observing data, modeling methods, and recent scientific research for developing effort on key hydrological and meteorological forecast issues. This effort will also leading to establish collaborative models for federal/ municipal/ private partnerships for education outreach to NYC schools with on-going interdisciplinary research at NOAA-CREST Center.

Graduate and undergraduate students will be trained in this experiential and hands-on project that will increase their technical skill-sets that will help them in their professional careers. This project also brings together a large K12 community (Science Teachers, Administrators) who will use these in their informal and formal curriculum as part of the Earth Science, Environmental and Engineering education 

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