National weather service adopts Iowa flood center maps - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

National weather service adopts Iowa flood center maps


Predicting the impact of flooding in the past brought with it a lot of guesswork.

"As the flood was happening it was really difficult for community managers and individuals to really appreciate what the National Weather Service forecast meant," said Nathan Young, Associate Director of the Iowa Flood Center in Iowa City.

Now predicting the impact of a flood may be able to be accomplished with a little more certainty.

"We really had some tedious mapping to do each time the flood forecast would change and this makes that information available in seconds," said Rick Fosse, Iowa City Public Works Director .

A partnership between the Iowa Flood Center and the National Weather service now means people in Iowa City can view the  flooding forecast and see computer projections of what areas would be affected by that forecast.  It's all available in one spot, on the National Weather Service website.

"Now people can see the extent of flooding and what that looks like across the landscape, whether it be their house, a business, or some place of interest," said Maren Stoflet, service hydrologist for the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities.

The high resolution maps were created by the Iowa Food Center and use extensive data to develop computer models that project the width of the flood plain, and the depth of the water for a particular river level.

This will allow people to make more informed decisions when facing an impending flood.

"People can get a feel for their flood risks, even if they are outside the 100 year flood plain," Fosse said.

Static flood maps may now be a thing of the past.  The National Weather Service is working with the Flood Center to bring additional maps for other communities on-line, and with it, better peace of mind for the future.

The Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa is the only such state-funded institution in the country.

In addition to the National Weather Service website (, you may see many helpful flood related tools on their website at

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