In the 10 days of 21-30 September 1998, Hurricane Georges left a trail of destruction in the Caribbean region and U.S. Gulf Coast. Subsequently, in the same year, Hurricane Mitch caused widespread destruction and loss of life in four Central American nations, and in 1999 a tropical depression impacted the north coast of Venezuela causing hundreds of deaths and several million dollars of property loss. In each instance, the tropical system served as the catalyst for major flooding and landslides at landfall. Our goal is to develop and transfer an end-to-end warning system for a prototype region in the Central Caribbean, specifically the islands of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. The envisioned system would include satellite and surface-based observations to track and nowcast dangerous levels of precipitation, atmospheric and hydrological models to predict short-term runoff and streamflow changes, geological models to warn when and where landslides and debris flows are imminent, and the capability to communicate forecast guidance products via satellite to vital government offices in Puerto Rico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.
This publication was presented at the following: