Louisiana Flooding 2016

Start Date

August 8, 2016


In August 2016 an extremely severe rainfall event hit Louisiana and southern Mississippi when a very slow moving, low pressure system continuously pulled tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Rainfall from the system exceeded 20 inches in some parishes which caused rivers and waterways, particularly the Amite and Comite rivers, to reach record levels.

Coordination efforts expanded significantly throughout the incident and were truly a global effort. Support has been provided from international partners throughout the European Union, to include Germany, Italy, and Sweden; across the Federal Government to include but not limited to FEMA, USGS, NOAAand the State Department; Academia to include the University of Maryland, The University of Colorado, and the University of Texas; and state and local Emergency Management Agencies. NASA provided models, guidance and data products from Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), from the Global Flood Model (GFMS 1Km NOWCAST) as well as access to the once daily 12 km FORECAST and routine products from GPM and MODIS-flood.

Latest Updates

August 15, 2016
NASA Analyzes Deadly Louisiana Flooding
Record-setting rainfall and flooding in southern Louisiana have been calculated at NASA with data from satellites. An extremely severe rainfall event hit the states of Louisiana and southern  Mississippi when a very slow moving low pressure system continuously pulled tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. NASA's IMERG data from Aug. 8 to Aug. 15, 2016 showed over 20 inches (508 mm) of rainfall was estimated in large areas of southeastern Louisiana and extreme...
August 15, 2016
Suomi NPP VIIRS Day-Night Band Detects Power Outages
The NASA GSFC Disaster Team utilized a new algorithm for producing night time optical data, which was used as one of the assets for assessing impact of the Louisiana floods at the request of FEMA. In this case, the data was used for determining power outages as a means of mapping impact zones. (NASA Direct Readout Lab).   Top: During flood event, Aug 15th, 2016; Bottom: Before event, May 7th, 2016. A similar product developed by NASA MSFC to difference images such as...
August 14, 2016
GFMS Inundation Estimates
Routing and inundation calculations at 1 km resolution give a more detailed estimate for flooding location and depth.  Results for today show flooding along Mississippi (although protected by levees, etc.) and areas of flooding in southwest LA and into Texas. GFMS Inundation Estimates Streamflow and Inundation at 1 km Resolution Maps of streamflow and inundation allow finer diagnosis of locations of high streamflow and flooding.  In this expansion of map from previous slide areas most...
August 14, 2016
GFMS flood detection / intensity
Heavy rain  from a tropical system—over 300mm in the last week, with most of that coming in the last three days has caused heavy flooding in Louisiana.  The Global Flood Monitoring System (GFMS) has been used to analyze the event in real-time.  These slides summarize the results.  The images in this slide show the rainfall amounts as of Sunday (14 August) and the pattern of floods at the 12 km resolution.  The following images show the pattern of evolution during the last few days and the forecast for the next few days. ...
August 12, 2016
GPM gets a closer look at Louisiana floods
Twice on August 12, 2016 GPM flew over a massive rainstorm that flooded large portions of Louisiana. The flooding was some of the worst ever in the state, resulting in a state of emergency. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from their homes in the wake of this unprecedented event.  Throughout the course of August 12 (UTC) GPM captured the internal structure of the storm twice and GPM IMERG measured the rainfall accumulation on the ground.  Video of GPM Provides a Closer Look at the Louisiana Floods   NASA's GPM satellite is designed to measure rainfall...