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:
Changes from FFMP 1.0 (AWIPS 5.0):
There have been several significant changes from FFMP (1.0) in AWIPS B5.0 and FFMP (2.0) in AWIPS B5.1.2. The most basic difference is the resolution of the hydro-geographic base data. The basins on which the hydrometeorological analyses are conducted are on the order of 2 to 10 square miles, much smaller than the MAP basins used in FFMP 1.0, which had areas on the order of 50 to 100 square miles.
A major consequence of the better resolution of this base data is a much larger amount of data to deal with and graphically display. Keeping older methods from FFMP 1.0 would mean workstation and server performance well below current levels. Thus, another consequence of the better resolution base data is a significant re-design of FFMP.
A key element of the re-design is the implementation of progressive disclosure. Both the FFMP image on the D2D and the graphical Basin Table begin with county-centric data. The user can then focus on a specific county to obtain the data for the small basins within that county. Please read below for instructions on how to investigate a specific county.
Another big change involves the FFMP load menu selection. The older version of FFMP had many menu selections, one for each time frame (1, 3, 6 hour) and type (accumulation, difference, ratio). All of these options have been combined into one selection. These variables can be controlled by the Basin Table and refreshing the D2D image.
NOTE: County values are calculated by determining the maximum value of all of the basins within that county, except for FFG, which is averaged for all basins within that county.
Requesting the FFMP Suite
Under the SCAN menu will be selections for each dedicated radar. Each of these radarselections has the available FFMP products (as well as other SCAN products). FFMP consists of a flexible image depictable, several FFG image depictables, and an extension with associated Graphical User Interface (GUI). To load FFMP, select FFMP Image / Basin Table for the radar of interest. This will load the FFMP Small Basin image in the D2D and load the Basin Table GUI (but will not load any FFG data). A small loading image will appear on the lower left part of the screen while the Basin Table GUI is being created.
Once the FFMP suite is loaded, on the D2D you will see a county map. If sufficient precipitation has fallen in the specified time frame, the counties in the CWA will be color- filled. The small legend in the upper left corner of the pane will display the time frame (in hours) and attribute used to create the display. The Basin Table will appear in front of the D2D. (See Figure 1)
The FFMP Basin Table Constituents:
See Figure 1.
The Menu/Information Bar
Contains the File Menu and information regarding the link to the D2D and the valid time of the FFMP Basin Table.The File Menu
|Retrieve Default Configuration||Retrieves and uses the default basin configuration file.|
|Retrieve Configuration...||Retrieves and uses a specified basin configuration file.|
|Save Configuration||Saves the basin configuration file.|
|Save Configuration As...||Saves the basin configuration file to a new file, defined by the user.|
The Options Buttons
Below the Menu/Information bar and above the body of the basin table.Refresh D2D
The Attribute Title Row
Shows (in black) what attributes are available for viewing. 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
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 or county 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 data presented in the table will have error values (ie: na ). 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 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 or County
Left-clicking on an identifier in the area_Id column will cause the D2D to zoom-and-recenter on that particular county or basin. If the list is a county list, the D2D will zoom in on that particular county and display the basins within that county only, and the data for the basins within that county will be listed in the Basin Table. If the list is a basin list, the D2D image will zoom in further than the zoom for a county, fill the Inspection Row with data for that basin, and highlight that basin s 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
FFMP Basin Table Sub-GUIs in DetailAttribute Color Threshold (ACT) Window
|"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 Indicator. The one on the right is the SCAN CWA Threat Index indicator. The color of the FFTI indicator will represent the value of the chosen attribute. The attributes to choose from are: precipitation accumulation derived from the DHR radar product ( dhr ), the ratio of the precipitation accumulation to the FFG, and the difference between the precipitation accumulation and FFG. You may choose which attribute and what time frame to monitor and the color thresholds used for the FFTI button by left-clicking on the FF button. This will bring up the FFTI Change GUI (see Figure 3).
The colors and what they represent are:
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.
DMS DisplaySee Figure 4.
Using the DMSLoading the DMS
To Help report problems or ask questions concerning the operation of FFMP in general, please contact Tom Filiaggi at (301)713-1774 x180 or email or email at Tom.Filiaggi@noaa.gov (as of 08/2001) or use the awipsinfo list server.
GlossaryACT - Attribute Color Threshold
AppendicesAppendix A: FFMP Table Attributes for Counties and Basins
|area_Id||County or Basin Identifier||15 letter ID||Yes||No|
|rate||Precipitation Rate||Inches per Hour||Yes||Yes|
|precip||Average precip. for GeoArea||Inches||Yes||Yes|
|ffg||Flash Flood Guidance||Inches||Yes||Yes|
|ratio||Ratio: precip. / FFG||%||Yes||Yes|
|diff||Difference: precip. - FFG||Inches||Yes||Yes|