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February Technical Webinar: New Precipitation Frequency Estimates for Texas

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February Technical Webinar: New Precipitation Frequency Estimates for Texas

February 12 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CST


Atlas 14 is a National Weather Service (NWS) effort to update precipitation frequency estimates for the entire country. Volumes 1 (Southwest) through 10 (Northeast) were completed from 2006 to 2015. As of 2017, Volume 11 for Texas had not yet been completed. The last state-wide Texas estimate was released by the United States Geological Survey in 2004 (Asquith) using a period of record of rainfall observation from about 1940 to 1998, depending upon the gauge.

On September 27, 2018, the NWS, under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, released the web version of Volume 11 (Version 2.0), covering all of Texas. The Atlas 14 estimate is based on rainfall observations that range from as early as 1880 to 2017 (including Hurricane Harvey), depending upon the gauge. The web version of Atlas 14, Volume 11 allows a user to click anywhere in Texas and obtain point precipitation frequency estimates for rain events ranging from 5-minute durations to 60-day durations and with recurrence intervals ranging from 1 year to 1,000 years.

The webinar will provide a high-level overview of how the new frequency estimates were derived, discuss the significant changes in rain events sizes (particularly the 1% annual chance, 24-hour duration event which is often used to design flood mitigation facilities), and provide some discussion regarding the cost and design implications.

This webinar will be presented by Michael Bloom P.E. of R.G. Miller Engineers in Houston, Texas.


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Speaker Bio

Michael Bloom P.E. directs the Sustainability Practice for R. G. Miller Engineers, Inc., based in Houston, Texas. He plans and designs natural drainage systems that increase operating income, reduce detention requirements, increase developable land, and provide an anchor for natural amenities, such as trail systems, that improve health outcomes and social connectedness.  He recently served on Urban Land Institute (ULI) National Technical Assistance Panel for the municipality of Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, which was subject to catastrophic flooding during Hurricane Maria.  He was an expert contributor to and reviewer of the ULI report Harvesting the Value of Water: Stormwater, Green Infrastructure, and Real Estate (May 2017).  He assisted with the preparation of Addressing Flood Risk: A Path Forward for Texas After Hurricane Harvey, published by the Texas Section of ASCE.

Michael provides resilience and sustainability consulting services.  Michael plans and designs stormwater management and floodplain management systems, rainwater harvesting systems, water reuse systems, and water conservation programs. He develops and implements industrial and municipal stormwater pollution management programs.  He also oversees natural resource permitting activities, including wetland delineations, wetlands permitting, and the development of new wetland mitigation banks.

Michael is the current chair of the Houston Chapter of the Environment & Water Resources Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers.  Michael currently serves on the Public Policy Committee of the ULI Houston District Council and is a member of ULI’s National Community Development Council (Black Flight). He serves as an appointed member of the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Bacteria Implementation Group, a stakeholder group working to improve bayou health in the region.  Michael is a member of the Steering Committee of the Houston Land and Water Sustainability Forum, which focuses on the use of natural drainage systems in land development.

Michael is the author of riparianhouston.com, a blog with various articles on drainage, land development, and sustainability.

Michael is a Registered Professional Engineer in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia.  He is an Envision Sustainability Professional, a Certified Floodplain Manager, and a Board Certified Environmental Engineer.  Michael holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Syracuse University (1989) and a Master of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from Drexel University (1994).


February 12
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Texas Section