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A Rain Check on Flash Flooding

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Published on Monday, 21 February 2022

In a warming world, when it rains it pours. Each degree of warming increases the total water vapor that air can hold by an average of seven percent. For communities and businesses affected by urban and flash flooding events, the increased deluge comes at enormous costs — sweeping away equipment, totalling vehicles, and trapping families in homes surrounded by murky, often heavily polluted, water. But thanks to SnT spin-off company — and now partner, Databourg — we have new, cutting-edge technology to help us overcome the challenges of climate change’s soggy downsides.

In its current form, rain nowcasting warns of imminent flash flooding and other extreme weather events. It looks one to six hours into the future — the critical window of time for flash flooding events — and helps drive immediate emergency decisions, like rerouting traffic or securing property. But traditional nowcasting methods are computationally intensive and require two or three hours to update a forecast, which means they aren’t as accurate or as localised as decision-makers would hope. Databourg has reimagined rain monitoring and nowcasting technology through the use of specific satellite data.

Read the full article from our 2020 Annual Report here.