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A Multi-Platform Hydrometeorological Analysis of the Flash Flood Event of 15 November 2017 in Attica, Greece

1
Department of Geography, Harokopio University of Athens, HUA, 17671 Athens, Greece
2
Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, HCMR, 19013 Anavyssos, Greece
3
National Observatory of Athens, IERSD, 15236 Athens, Greece
4
Department of Environmental Sciences, Ionian University, 29100 Zakynthos, Greece
5
Department of Water Resources, School of Civil Engineering, NTUA, 10682 Athens, Greece
6
The Cyprus Institute, 20, Konstantinou Kavafi Str., Aglantzia, CY2121 Nicosia, Cyprus
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11010045
Received: 13 November 2013 / Revised: 17 December 2018 / Accepted: 21 December 2018 / Published: 28 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Precipitation)
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Abstract

Urban areas often experience high precipitation rates and heights associated with flash flood events. Atmospheric and hydrological models in combination with remote-sensing and surface observations are used to analyze these phenomena. This study aims to conduct a hydrometeorological analysis of a flash flood event that took place in the sub-urban area of Mandra, western Attica, Greece, using remote-sensing observations and the Chemical Hydrological Atmospheric Ocean Wave System (CHAOS) modeling system that includes the Advanced Weather Research Forecasting (WRF-ARW) model and the hydrological model (WRF-Hydro). The flash flood was caused by a severe storm during the morning of 15 November 2017 around Mandra area resulting in extensive damages and 24 fatalities. The X-band dual-polarization (XPOL) weather radar of the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) observed precipitation rates reaching 140 mm/h in the core of the storm. CHAOS simulation unveils the persistent orographic convergence of humid southeasterly airflow over Pateras mountain as the dominant parameter for the evolution of the storm. WRF-Hydro simulated the flood using three different precipitation estimations as forcing data, obtained from the CHAOS simulation (CHAOS-hydro), the XPOL weather radar (XPOL-hydro) and the Global Precipitation Measurement (GMP)/Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) satellite dataset (GPM/IMERG-hydro). The findings indicate that GPM/IMERG-hydro underestimated the flood magnitude. On the other hand, XPOL-hydro simulation resulted to discharge about 115 m3/s and water level exceeding 3 m in Soures and Agia Aikaterini streams, which finally inundated. CHAOS-hydro estimated approximately the half water level and even lower discharge compared to XPOL-hydro simulation. Comparing site-detailed post-surveys of flood extent, XPOL-hydro is characterized by overestimation while CHAOS-hydro and GPM/IMERG-hydro present underestimation. However, CHAOS-hydro shows enough skill to simulate the flooded areas despite the forecast inaccuracies of numerical weather prediction. Overall, the simulation results demonstrate the potential benefit of using high-resolution observations from a X-band dual-polarization radar as an additional forcing component in model precipitation simulations. View Full-Text
Keywords: XPOL radar; GPM/IMERG; WRF-Hydro; CHAOS; hydrometeorology; flash flood; Mandra XPOL radar; GPM/IMERG; WRF-Hydro; CHAOS; hydrometeorology; flash flood; Mandra
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Varlas, G.; Anagnostou, M.N.; Spyrou, C.; Papadopoulos, A.; Kalogiros, J.; Mentzafou, A.; Michaelides, S.; Baltas, E.; Karymbalis, E.; Katsafados, P. A Multi-Platform Hydrometeorological Analysis of the Flash Flood Event of 15 November 2017 in Attica, Greece. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 45.

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