A different perspective on the 2016 Louisiana flood

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Student Showcase of Excellence 2017
Mitchell, Brandon
The August 2016 Louisiana Flood caused historic flooding across southern central areas of the state and was the worst natural disaster in the U.S. since Superstorm Sandy in 2012. On August 12, 2016, a Mesoscale Convective System formed along the coast of Louisiana and remained quasi-stationary across the region until August 14, 2016. The prolonged duration of heavy rainfall resulted in areas around Baton Rouge receiving over 30 inches of rain, leading to the historic flooding that lasted for two weeks. This study puts some perspective on the event by comparing similar prolonged precipitation events. Using daily precipitation totals in Baton Rouge obtained from the National Climatic Data Center's website from 1973-2016 a statistical analysis was ran. This included investigating 72-hour rainfall events and comparing them to the average monthly and annual precipitation to represent extreme prolonged heavy rainfall events such as the 2016 Louisiana Flood. The results identified two other events with similar precipitation distributions over the 43-year climatology to 2016 Louisiana Flood. Both events identified were tropical storms and with this past flood dubbed an