Our speaker was Brian Boyd, Hydrologist at the NWS in Morristown. Below is an autobiography and a few notes from his talk.
"I am a meteorologist by degree from the University of Northern Colorado (Greeley) and a hydrologist by decree of the US Government. Hence, my hydrology training comes from working at the Morristown weather office and by self paced study of what ever I can get my hands on and in training offered by the agency.
I have worked at the Morristown office since 1996 and have been with the NWS since 1989. I've worked in weather offices in Norman, OK, Salt Lake City, UT and Olympia, WA and taught doppler radar at the NWS training center in Norman, OK.
My special interest is not storm chasing, but sitting on my porch watching lightning. I've "lightning chased" in every state I've ever lived in, but I don't take pictures because that requires standing outside, which is scary. I've actually come within a hundred feet of ground strikes (inside my car) and lost two trees in my yard the first autumn we lived in Morristown. Mushrooms abound in that spot now.
Since coming to Morristown, I have been heavily involved in heavy rain. The most interesting thing to me about this area is the karst topography which makes it difficult, sometimes impossible, to determine where flash flooding will occur, as rain often disappears into the ground, without flooding, and reappears in another place up from the ground, causing flooding where no rain is occurring. I hate that.
My talk will concern the flooding of February 14-23 of this year. Two heavy rain events actually occurred with a break between about the 18th and 20th, but flooding continued the entire time, being simply exacerbated with the rains on the 21-23."
Brian showed photos of many flooded areas. Very small streams became extremely deep. Many photos showed dangerous actions of the public, driving around signs and into high water. Pavement often washes out but the holes can not be seen below the water. Many structures were in water and large amount of debris carried by the water caused more damage and added to the cleanup cost. Many municipalities need up dates to their drainage facilities.
The meeting was adjourned to the Tennessee Grill for food and St. Patrick celebration.
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