The Appalachian Mountains are subject to flash floods due to interactions between complex terrain and frequent rainfall. Previous studies have shown that a number of environmental factors can trigger flash floods, which can leave behind a variety of outcomes. However, there is a lack of research concerning flash floods in the Appalachian region. This study addresses these concerns by examining summer (June-August) rainfall frequency and intensity in connection with flash floods in the Appalachian region of eastern Kentucky and West Virginia during 1995-2005. Flash floods were identified using the National Climatic Data Center’s (NCDC) Storm Database. Radar estimated rainfall data from the area National Weather Service Weather Forecast Offices were provided by the NCDC. In order to examine relationships between flash flood events and rainfall amounts for both states, the latter was categorized for: 0 to 24.99 mm, 25 to 49.99 mm, 50 to 74.99 mm, 75 to 99.99 mm, 100 to 124.99 mm, 125 to 150 mm, and 150+ mm. Subsequently, flash flood frequencies have been calculated based upon the afore mentioned categories, as well as examined relationships between moving and stationary systems, duration, and time of occurrence. Optimally, if forecasters have the ability to identify estimated rainfall and runoff patterns over this region, they can better warn the communities of the upcoming danger and potentially save lives.
Advisor(s) or Committee Chair
Dr. Rezaul Mahmood
Geology | Physical Sciences and Mathematics
Wix, Jane Marie, "Constructing a Flash Flood Climatology of the Appalachian Mountains: Comparison of Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia Summer Time Rain Events" (2010). Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects. Paper 256.