Tracking the rise and fall of floods - Tucson News Now

Tracking the rise and fall of floods

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - As rain pours down, the water levels in washes, creeks, streams, and rivers can go up dramatically in Southeast Arizona. The consequences can be deadly for people caught in flash floods or for those that choose to drive into the flood waters.  

Flash Flood and Flood Watches or Warnings are issued for the area by the local National Weather Service Office. In Tucson, that office is located on the University of Arizona campus and is staffed 24 hours a day. The meteorologists on duty at the time of the storms both track rain total estimates on radar and reports from National Weather Service spotters and emergency officials. The meteorologists use this information to determine if a Flash Flood Warning needs to be issued for an area.  

Another way to track flooding is through streamflow gauges. These are instruments placed on washes and rivers that measure how much water is flowing through a waterway and/or how high that water flow is at any given time. Two websites often used to track streamflow here in Southeast Arizona are the Pima County Regional Flood Control District's ALERT webpage and the USGS Streamflow webpage. Both of these webpages have interactive maps where you can access data from the gauge. 

Below is the image of Arizona streamflow gauges from the USGS Streamflow webpage. The circles show where gauges are located. Scroll over the circles while logged onto the USGS Streamflow webpage and more information will pop up. Click on the pop-up and even more information is available. 


Below is the image found at the Pima County Regional Flood Control District webpage. While on the webpage you can change the data range and gather information about streamflow, plus rain totals.  

Stay safe during the monsoon and avoid flooded washes and roadways. Turn around, don't drown. 

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.


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