Flash Flood Monitoring and
Guide for Users
NWS - MDL
The Flash Flood Monitoring and Prediction (FFMP) system is an integrated suite of multi-sensor applications which detects, analyzes, and monitors precipitation and generates short-term warning guidance for flash flooding automatically within AWIPS. FFMP will provide forecasters with accurate, timely, and consistent guidance and supplement forecaster event monitoring with multi-sensor, automated event monitoring. The intended benefits are:
Requesting the FFMP Suite
There is a new menu on the D2D entitled "SCAN". Under the SCAN menu will be selections for each dedicated radar. Each of these radar selections has the available FFMP products (as well as other SCAN products).
FFMP consists of various image depictables and an extension with associated Graphical User Interface (GUI). The GUI is loaded by selecting the FFMP Basin Table. The FFMP loading window will appear while the table loads. It is strongly suggested loading an image depictable before loading the Basin Table. This will allow the D2D to time match and update products for FFMP as it normally would. If the Basin Table is loaded first, time matching and product update (for FFMP) may be unreliable!
Once the FFMP Suite is loaded, on the D2D you will see.....
The FFMP Basin Table Constituents:
See Figure 1.
The Menu/Information Bar
Contains the File and Attributes menus, as well as information regarding the link to the D2D and the valid time of the FFMP Basin Table.
The File Menu
|Retrieve Default BASIN Configuration||Retrieves and uses the default basin configuration file.|
|Retrieve BASIN Configuration...||Retrieves and uses a specified basin configuration file.|
|Save BASIN Configuration||Saves the basin configuration file.|
|Save BASIN Configuration As...||Saves the basin configuration file to a new file, defined by the user.|
|Close BASIN Table||Closes the basin table until it is activated again.|
The Attributes Menu
Allows the user to choose which of the available basin attributes will appear in the basin table. Refer to Appendix A for information about all available attributes.
Link to Frame
Indicates whether the valid time in the FFMP Basin Table will always match the time in the D2D frame. If this button is activated and the user changes the frame in the D2D, the basin table will update to match the data shown on the D2D. If this is off, the data in the basin table will represent the most recent inventory time.
This displays the UTC time for which the data in the basin table is valid.
The Options Buttons
This will allow the user to choose what geographical type the data displayed in the table will represent. Currently, there are two geographical area types available for display: Basin and County. Clicking one of the radiobutton selections will re-create the table with the selected frame of reference. The default type is "BASIN".
This menu button lists all precipitation data sources available for use in the table. The precipitation source selected is used in computing the ratio and difference values in the table. Currently, only the Digital Precipitation Array radar product is available, but future enhancements may include precipitation data from rain gages or QPFs.
The FFG used by FFMP may exist for the one, three, and six hour time duration. The user may select for which time duration the data in the table will be valid by clicking on one of the three radiobuttons on the right side of the table. Once one of the buttons is clicked, the current table will be updated to display the data only for the new requested duration without destroying the entire window. The highlighted radiobutton indicates which time duration is currently being used. The default duration is set as "1 hr".
Each "Duration" radiobutton is also colored (Red, Yellow, Green, Beige and Grey) based on situation severity. These colors reflect the maximum precipitation amount for the selected time duration of all of the displayed geographical areas. Color "Grey" indicates there is no data available for that period. The user may not change the values of these color thresholds via the table GUI, but may change the values in the configuration text file ($FXA_DATA/tstorm/filename.cfp (county) and .bfp (basin) ).
The Attribute Title Row
Shows (in black) what attributes are currently selected for viewing. These represent the attributes selected from the Attributes menu described above. When the cursor is focused over these titles, a tip text pop-up will appear, describing what button click actions will trigger what functionality.
Ranking By Attribute
Left-clicking on applicable attribute titles will sort the table data according to that attribute. A purple attribute button background color signifies that this attribute was the last attribute to be used for sorting the table data. Refer to Appendix A to see for which attributes the table can be ranked.
Changing the Attribute Color Thresholds
Right-clicking on applicable attribute titles will bring up the Attribute Color Threshold (ACT) window. The ACT window allows the user to define value ranges of each applicable basin attribute. These value ranges are intended to reflect the degree of strength of the attributes, from green (weak) to yellow (moderate) to red (strong). Refer to Appendix A to see which attributes can be multi-colored.
The Table Body
Displays the basin information, including such attributes as precipitation estimate and comparisons to Flash Flood Guidance. If there is no rainfall over all geographic entities for the specified precipitation data source and time duration, the message "No Data Available for Basin/County" will appear in place of the table. The values for the various basin attributes are displayed in the table body and color coded (when applicable) according to the attribute color thresholds defined in the ACT window. Also, when the cursor focuses over an area identifier, the full name and the size of the area will appear in a text pop-up box. Refer to Appendix A for a list of all basin attributes available through FFMP.
Inspecting a Basin
Left-clicking on an identifier in the 'area_Id' column will cause the D2D to zoom-and-recenter on that particular basin. This also fills the Inspection Row with data and highlights the identifier in the 'area_Id' column. The Inspection Row can be seen in Figure 1.
The Inspection Row
Duplicates the row in the table body for the basin that was last inspected (see the section on basin inspection under the "Table Body" topic for instructions on how to inspect a basin). This row emphasizes the data for the identified basin last inspected via the zoom-and-recenter method. The individual grid boxes in the Inspection Row have the same capabilities as the grid boxes in the table body, except left-clicking on the identifier box will zoom the D2D back out to the zoom level defined on the D2D menu bar. See Figure 1.
Zooming Back Out
Left-clicking on the identifier in the 'area_Id' column will cause the D2D to zoom back out.
FFMP Basin Table Sub-GUIs in Detail
Attribute Color Threshold (ACT) Window
Launched from the Attribute Title Row. The user can edit the color-coded strength values for any of the basin attributes displayed in the Attribute Title Row.
|"Attribute:"||The user can switch to a different basin attribute. The units of the attribute will also appear on this button.|
|"Upper:", "Mid:", "Lower:"||The strength thresholds, corresponding to the attribute values that meet or exceed these threshold values.|
|"Apply"||The user accepts the changes just made and closes the window.|
|"Cancel"||The user can discard the changes just made.|
FFMP Flash Flood Threat Index (FFTI)
Under the WarnGen button on the D2D, there are two new buttons. The one on the left (marked by "FF") is the FFMP Flash Flood Threat Index indicator. The one on the right is the SCAN CWA Threat Index indicator. The color of the FFTI indicator will represent the ratio of precipitation (the DPA radar product) to Flash Flood guidance(FFG). If FFG is unavailale or old, just DPA values will be used.
Data Monitoring System (DMS)
The FFMP Data Monitoring System (DMS) is a web browser-based, automated system for monitoring the status of the vital components of FFMP. It consists of a suite of HTML files, a Tcl/Tk Common Gateway Interface (CGI) script, and various supporting procedure, data, and image files. The system is housed on a web server, accessed through any browser that supports frames, and is updated using the CGI script. The following information is intended to give an overall description of the system display, defining the layout and components, and provide instructions for using the system.
See Figure 2.
The FFMP DMS display is divided into two frames. A small, static frame at the top of the page holds the title information and the button for updating the table information. The main frame below houses the data monitoring graphical elements.
Radar Products Information Table
The Radar Products Information table monitors the status of radar products for each dedicated radar (see the Glossary for a definition of the products). For each product, and for each dedicated radar, the monitor reports whether or not the product is on the Routine Products Set (RPS) list (Y for Yes, N for No), and gives the most recent data file's date and GMT time. If the product is absent from the RPS list, the background of the table basin containing the letter "N" will be colored red. If the product is not available, meaning there is no data file in the directory where it is stored, the monitor reports "None" and colors the background of the table basin red. Similarly, if a data file time is old, the background of the basin is colored red. A file is determined to be old according to a formula derived from the VCP mode (twice the length of the volume scan plus 2 minutes). If the VCP mode is not available, the default threshold value of 22 minutes is used. Directly under the radar identification letters (e.g., KLWX, KSHV, and KAKQ in Figure 2), there is a space for reporting the current radar VCP mode. The VCP mode is indicated with the pattern number (11, 21, 31, or 32). If the VCP space contains the phrase "VCP not available," it means the reported VCP number in the data file is not one of the four possible pattern numbers, or the data file containing the VCP number is old.
Using the DMS
Loading the DMS
The file name to enter into the browser address line is FFMP_DMS.html. This should be preceded by the path that is used by the default AWIPS data monitor.
Updating the Information: Automatic and Manual
In the static frame at the top of the display, there is a blue button labeled "UPDATE INFO." Clicking this button will refresh the information displayed in the lower frame. Also, for convenience, the DMS is equipped with an automatic update feature. This feature allows the user "hands-free" monitoring, updating the information automatically every two minutes.
To report problems or ask questions concerning the operation of FFMP in general, please contact Tom Filiaggi at (301)713-1774 x180 or email at Tom.Filiaggi@noaa.gov (as of 01/2000) or use the awipsinfo list server.
ACT - Attribute Color Threshold
CGI - Common Gateway Interface
CWA - County Warning Area
D2D - Display 2 Dimensions
DMS - Data Monitoring System
DPA - Digital Precipitation Array
Depictable - A method to retrieve data and display it using AWIPS and the D2D.
Extension - A depictable that allows user interaction with the D2D displays.
GUI - Graphical User Interface
RPS - Routine Products Set
FFMP - Flash Flood Monitoring and Prediction
FFTI - Flash Flood Threat Index
VCP - Volume Coverage Pattern
Appendix A FFMP Table Attributes for Counties and Basins
|Attribute||Definition||Units||Can be used for ranking?||Can be multi-colored?|
|Area_Id||County or Basin Identifier||15 letter ID||Yes||No|
|Precip||Average precip. for GeoArea.||Inches||Yes||Yes|
|MaxPrecip||Maximum precip. Grid value for GeoArea.||Inches||Yes||Yes|
|FFG||Flash Flood Guidance||Inches||Yes||Yes|
|Precip/FFG||Ratio: precip. / FFG||%||Yes||Yes|
|Precip-FFG||Difference: precip. - FFG||Inches||Yes||Yes|