Floods are one of the most costly natural disasters in the world and represent a common hazard in Puerto Rico. Some floods develop slowly, sometimes over a period of a day or more. But flash floods can develop quickly, sometimes in just a few minutes. Puerto Rico, as well as other islands in the Caribbean, is subjected to flooding due to geographical location, topography, population distribution, and sudden rainfall events. The use of new technologies, such as apps and radars with higher spatial resolution that can cover areas missed by the NEXRAD radar, is important for flood forecasting efforts and for studying and predicting atmospheric phenomena. Recently, researchers in Puerto Rico initiated investigations using new technologies with high temporal and spatial resolution radars and systems that are able to monitor sudden floods in populated areas. These technologies will be used for hydrologic analyses and, specifically, for rainfall forecasting in Puerto Rico. A number of observational studies have shown that individual convective cells have mean lifetimes of about 20 min, with the best performance associated with a lead time of 10 min.
Part of the book: Flood Risk Management