DISCUSSION: When it comes to severe weather, there is no debate that there several different hazards which come into play with a variety of different genres of severe weather events. Moreover, it is also very well known that some of the more common and more apparent severe weather hazards include (but are certainly not limited to) lightning, hail, and tornadoes. Having said that, one of the underlying threats from severe weather events which is often substantially more overlooked involves the threat tied to flooding and/or flash flooding threats which come into play under various circumstances. Moreover, a key method by which meteorologists identify evolving flooding and/or flash flooding threats is by considering various types of satellite-based indications of such events getting ready to occur.
More specifically, in looking back to May 21st of this year, the GOES-East satellite came in handy in a major way through providing real-time insights into the smaller-scale convective evolution of intense convective storms. That is, the convective storms which formed and evolved over the state of Oklahoma at the start of the final week of May. In looking back to May 21st, you can see (in the Tweet attached above) how there were persistent bursts of deeper convection which fired up over portions of northern as well as northeast Oklahoma as indicated by the areas of grey to white-colored cloud tops. It is worth noting that this satellite imagery being shown was longwave infrared satellite imagery which allows cloud-top temperatures to be readily interpreted even towards the evening and overnight hours in any given location. Thus, longwave infrared satellite imagery is most definitely a helpful tool when it comes to diagnosing the threat of flooding and/or flash flooding on a real-time basis.
Just this one example of how flooding and/or flash flooding event anticipation as well as detection has become more effective and reliable is a perfect reason for why it is that much more important to always remain weather-ready. That way, you are never caught in a potentially dangerous situation without enough lead-time and so you can always have an opportunity to make relatively quick and critical decisions.
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© 2019 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz