| Using New Orleans Pumping Data to Reconcile Gauge Observations of Isolated Extreme Rainfall due to Hurricane Isaac - :15310 | National Weather Service (NWS)
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Using New Orleans Pumping Data to Reconcile Gauge Observations of Isolated Extreme Rainfall due to Hurricane Isaac
  • Published Date:
    2016
  • Source:
    Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 21(9), 05016020.
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  • Description:
    Slow-moving Hurricane Isaac affected the northern gulf coast between August 28th and August 31st, 2012. Previous studies of the event reported on the hydrometeorology of the event across southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi. This report provides an in-depth examination and analysis of a suspected rainfall extreme in the New Orleans, Louisiana metropolitan area. Event analysis for most natural watersheds involves examination of river discharge data and the modeling of infiltration to infer watershed-average rainfall. New Orleans is unique because its topography does not allow for runoff, and rainfall must be pumped out of the city. A methodology is proposed which uses data from pumping records as a proxy for streamflow out of the New Orleans watershed. A hydrologic model was created to estimate runoff by modeling infiltration using the Green & Ampt method. Modeled runoff was compared to runoff inferred from pumping records to validate rainfall estimates. Modeled runoff was within 1% of the runoff inferred from pumping records; this strongly suggests that a relatively extreme amount of rainexceeding the 100year (1% annual chance) eventdid occur over parts of New Orleans during Hurricane Isaac.

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