Predicting with Precision

by Brian Hoblit, (A.M.ASCE), Grad. Student; Dept. of Envir. Sci. and Engrg., Rice Univ., Houston, TX,
Baxter Vieux, P.E., (M.ASCE), Prin., and Prof.; Civ. Engrg. and Envir. Sci., Vieux & Assocs., Inc., and Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK,
Anthony Holder, Res. Sci.; Dept. of Envir. Sci. and Engrg., Rice Univ., Houston, TX,
Philip Bedient, P.E., (M.ASCE), Prof.; Dept. of Envir. Sci. and Engrg., Rice Univ., Houston, TX,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1999, Vol. 69, Issue 11, Pg. 40-43


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: In many urban areas flood prediction systems are inadequate. Most rely on networks of widely dispersed rain gauges that often fail to provide sufficient geographic coverage to characterize rainfall rates and totals accurately. Seizing on geographical information system (GIS) advances, the Internet, and improvements in weather radar, environmental and engineering researchers at Rice University in Houston and Vieux and Associates, Inc. have created a more accurate, real-time local flood warning system for the Texas Medical Center. The system is based on the NEXRAD radar system, using more rain gauges to offer better coverage and Internet access to real-time rainfall information. The system has accurately gauged several rainfall events in the Houston area and could be used anywhere where flash floods are common.

Subject Headings: Computer networks | Computer programming | Floods | Forecasting | Geographic information systems | Rainfall

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