Improving Flood Forecasting

Sponsor/grant agency:



Witold Krajewski, Dan Ceynar, Radek Goska, and James Niemeier


Amount of leveraged funding

Spring 2013

Project Period

Midwest / Iowa




Services provided by IFC:

The Iowa Flood Center served as the host for NASA’s Iowa Flood Studies or IFloodS – a NASA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission to provide better understanding of the strengths and limitations of satellite products for flood forecasting and other hydrologic applications.

IFC Director Witold Krajewski says the benefits of IFloodS have been significant for Iowa. “With this information, we have been able to improve our flood forecasting models for Iowans.”

Project Description:

As part of this mission, researchers from NASA, the Iowa Flood Center, and other institutions deployed a number of scientific instruments across Northeast Iowa during the spring of 2013 to collect high-quality precipitation data.

The study areas included the Cedar, Iowa, and Turkey River basins.

Cedar and Iowa River Basins

IFloodS researchers deployed a large NASA NPOL radar near Waterloo, and placed additional instruments to measure rainfall in the following Eastern Iowa counties: Benton, Blackhawk, Hamilton, Hardin, Iowa, Linn, Marshall, and Tama.

The team deployed a network of rain gauge and soil moisture platforms in coordination with the Agricultural Research Service and NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) community.

IFC rain gauges

IFC rain gauges deployed during the IFloods campaign.

Turkey River Basin

The Turkey River Watershed was the site of a uniform deployment of 20 rain gauges with soil moisture probes and two Iowa Flood Center XPOL weather radars.