Contributions of Operational Satellites in Monitoring the Catastrophic Floodwaters Due to Hurricane Harvey
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Contributions of Operational Satellites in Monitoring the Catastrophic Floodwaters Due to Hurricane Harvey
  • Published Date:

    2018

  • Source:
    Remote Sens. 10(8), 1-11
Filetype[PDF-3.00 MB]


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  • Description:
    Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Category-4 storm in the United States on 25 August 2017 in Texas, causing catastrophic flooding in the Houston metropolitan area and resulting in a total economic loss estimated to be about $125 billion. To monitor flooding in the areas affected by Harvey, we used data from sensors aboard the Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership Satellite (SNPP) and the new Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-16. The GOES-16 Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) observations are available every 5 min at 1-km spatial resolution across the entire United States, allowing for the possibility of frequent cloud free views of the flooded areas; while the higher resolution 375-m imagery available twice per day from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) aboard the SNPP satellite can observe more details of the flooded regions. Combining the high spatial resolution from VIIRS with the frequent observations from ABI offers an improved capability for flood monitoring. The flood maps derived from the SNPP VIIRS and GOES-16 ABI observations were provided to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continuously during Hurricane Harvey. According to FEMA’s estimate on 3 September 2017, approximately 155,000 properties might have been affected by the floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey.
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