DFO Flood Event: 2021-Australia-5045


"Australia – Major Flooding Prompts Rescues and Evacuations in New South Wales 21 March, 2021 by Richard Davies. Emergency crews in New South Wales (NSW) Australia have carried out hundreds of flood rescues after days of heavy rain caused flooding in eastern parts of the state. Some areas have recorded more than 500 mm of rain in 48 hours. In a statement on 21 March NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian “parts of the Mid North Coast are experiencing a 1 in 100 year event.” Further rain is expected until 24 March .” See Flood List

Measured 24 Hour Precipitation and River Status

From Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

SSMI/SSMIS/AMSR2 Total Precipitable Water

Modeled Flooding

Results from the Global Flood Monitoring System (GFMS) at ESSIC, University of Maryland, courtesy of Dr. Robert Adler.This is flooding as modeled from input precipitation data, topography, and flow routing computations.


Maximum Observed Flooding

Bright Blue is all flooding observed for this event. Mean annual flood and permanent water extent are dark blue. Dark gray is all previously mapped flooding, since 1999. See also the DFO Web Map Server. Over the course of the event, remote sensing data are combined to show all flooded areas. Not all flooded areas may be observed due to cloud cover. Flood layers include: MODIS 250 m NRT from NASA GSFC, MODIS 250 m from DFO, NASA/JPL Aria System results using Sentinel synthetic aperture radar, and flood mapping using Sentinel 1, Pleiades, and other sensors provided by the COPERNICUS Emergency Mapping Service (European Union) and ESA. Date range included in these maps: March 19-25, 2021.

a) Access 3x larger geotif


b) Access 3x larger geotif


c) Access 3x larger geotif



Event Numbers

The Flood Observatory maintains a Global Active Archive of large flood events, 1985 to present. New major flood events are entered into this archive each week. A hand-drawn GIS polygon for each event outlines the region affected.

This event was selected for Observatory production of map and GIS data products.This web page and associated image and map (GIS) files become the permanent Flood Observatory record of the flood.

Intellectual Property

As part of collaborations with other organizations, including GEO and the Global Flood Partnership, the Observatory's maps are made available here to the public. Geotif versions and GIS files are also available. With attribution, maps and data can be used freely for non-commercial purposes. With permission, they can be used for commercial purposes. Consult the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License and Robert.Brakenridge or Albert.Kettner (at Colorado.edu) if questions. Attribution for this map when Sentinel SAR data are used: "Dartmouth Flood Observatory at the University of Colorado, from satellite data provided by NASA and Copernicus/European Space Agency". When using GIS data (see below) provided to DFO from other sources, please acknowledge original source.

Data Sources

NASA Landsat 8 and Copernicus/ESA Sentinel SAR data if used in this map were obtained from the the U.S. Geological Survey Hazards Data Distribution System. and the Sentinels Science Data hub, respectively. Landsat 8 is jointly managed by NASA and the United States Geological Survey. Copernicus is supported by the European Commission. MODIS data are obtained from the NASA NRT Global Flood Mapping facility (surface water extents) and from NASA Worldview (image files); SUOMI/VIIRS image data are also retrieved from NASA Worldview. Sentinel 1 SAR-based flood mapping is also contributed by Xinyi Shen and Qing Yang and the Rapid system at the University of Connecticut.

Obtain the GIS Data

Flood extent files (Shp or Mapinfo) and geotif files supporting this Flood Event Map are located here.

These files may include high spatial resolution mapping such as from Sentinel or Landsat, or lower resolution files from MODIS. File names commonly include the sensor source (e.g., S1 for Sentinel 1, LS8 for Landsat, MODIS, Aqua, or Terra for MODIS) and the image date.


The NASA Earth Sciences Program, the Latin American Development Bank, the World Bank, the European Commission's Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System, GDACS, and Copernicus Emergency Management Service, the Google Earth Engine research awards program, the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) Disasters Working Group-Flood Pilot, the Japanese Space Agency, and the European Space Agency all have supported the Observatory's work via research grants and contracts or free satellite-derived data.

The Dartmouth Flood Observatory was founded in 1993 at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH USA and moved to the University of Colorado, INSTAAR, CSDMS in 2010. The institutional support of both universities is gratefully acknowledged.


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