Debris flows, also known as mudslides, are composed gravity-driven mixtures of sediment and water that travel through steep channels, over open hillslopes, and the like. Addressing this issue, US Geological Survey (USGS) and NOAA have established a debris-flow warning system that has the ability to monitor and forecast precipitation and issue timely weather hazard warning. In 2005, this joint NOAA-USGS prototype debris-flow warning system was issued in Southern California and as a result, it has provided valuable information to emergency managers in affected communities.
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Joint NOAA/NWS/USGS prototype debris flow warning system for recently burned areas in Southern California