SuperUser Account Wednesday, September 12, 2012 / Categories: Research Headlines, Weather , 2012 NOAA researchers join large, international flash flood project in Europe 10-year project expected to reveal important findings beneficial to the United States Contacts: John Ewald, 301-734-1123 NOAA, NASA and the University of Connecticut are representing the United States in the Hydrological Cycle in the Mediterranean Experiment (HyMeX), the largest weather field research project in European history. HyMex is a 10-year international effort to better understand, quantify and model the hydrologic cycle in support of improved forecasts and warnings of flash floods in the Mediterranean region. The project targets central Italy, southern France, the Balearic Islands, Corsica and northern Italy — all areas particularly susceptible to devastating flash flood events. Improved understanding of the land, atmosphere and ocean interactions that contribute to flash flooding in this part of the world will advance the state of the science that will ultimately be represented in forecast models with application in the United States. NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) researchers will operate a mobile radar, NOAA - XPol (NOXP), in southeast France from Sept. 10 to Nov. 10. This is the first of several special observation periods during the HyMeX 10-year timeframe. Additionally, NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service is sponsoring scientists from New Mexico Tech to operate and evaluate a Lightning Mapping Array during HyMeX to support product development and validation for the future Geostationary Lightning Mapper on NOAA’s GOES-R satellite, which is scheduled to launch in late 2015. The radar will provide high-resolution data and low altitude scans to help determine the size of the raindrops, the intensity of rainfall, and rainfall rates to help predict flash flooding conditions in the Cévennes Vivarais region of France. Melting Arctic Ice NOAA-led research predicts that the Arctic will become nearly free of sea ice during late summer before 2050. Carbon emission mitigation could slow temperature change in the Arctic, the research concludes. (NOAA/PMEL) During autumn, onshore moisture from the Mediterranean Sea encounters the 5,000-feet high Cévennes Mountains in southeast France making numerous towns and villages particularly subject to severe flash flood events. “Data collected in the air, at sea and on land will shed light on how catastrophic flash-flooding events begin, which may help local officials better prepare for and respond to these types of emergencies,” said Jonathan Gourley, Ph.D., an NSSL research hydrologist. Other sensors include three instrumented research aircraft, three research ships, buoys, ocean sensors, additional mobile precipitation radars, cloud radars and microradars, hundreds of rain gauges, ten disdrometers (to measure size and speed of individual raindrops), a dozen lidars, sonar, instrumented balloons, wind profilers, and a lightning mapping array. NSSL’s participation in HyMeX is sponsored by MétéoFrance, and operations are coordinated with the Cévennes-Vivarais Mediterranean Hydro-Meteorological Observatory, The University of Grenoble, NASA, University of Connecticut and Cemagraf. NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit us at www.noaa.gov and join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels. Previous Article Target: Hurricanes Next Article University of Vermont and State University of New York reach milestone toward establishing NOAA Sea Grant College Program Print 18866 Tags: flash floods hydrology interagency NSSL radar Related articles Researchers travel to Gulf of Mexico to gather data on Hurricane Laura Weather research visionary and leader returns as NOAA NSSL’s director NOAA researchers are working to make traveling in winter weather safer Researchers are gathering data on Hurricane Dorian to improve forecasts Experimental tool helps improve flash flood forecasts in the Northeast U.S.