Flood Inundation Maps

Posted on: 7/31/2017 - Updated on: 2/27/2020

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The NWS Flood Inundation Map is an online tool that identifies the extent and severity of flood risk for a given location. Users select from a variety of national river gauges to view flood risk at a specific location. For a given area, users can explore and map three different types of flood data: inundation, flood categories, and current flood forecast. The inundation mapper displays potential flood extent and depth; GIS-based shapefiles representing spatial flood coverage are overlaid on base maps of the user’s choice, including topographical, street maps, or satellite images, and are shaded to represent various flood depths. The flood categories mapper can be used to explore the extent and depth of different flood categories, ranging from “below flood” to “major flood.” Finally, visitors can use the current flood forecast mapper to identify and explore real-time flood risk. This last mapper will display inundation information only if the selected site is at imminent risk of flooding. Information generated by the Flood Inundation Map can inform local, state, and federal emergency and disaster management and planning during and prior to flood events; the information can also be used in a variety of other planning efforts to enhance flood resilience, such as land use planning, infrastructure design, and a variety of other planning activities. All data from the mapper can be downloaded for offline use and application. 

Example in use: The NWS partners with other federal and state agencies to map the areal extent of flood categories to create flood inundation maps. These maps display the extent of projected flooding expected to inundate streets, buildings, and other infrastructure using the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service forecasts at select locations to help emergency managers and planners assess flood risk. Maps are available for several Southeastern cities, including Birmingham (AL), Greenville-Spartanburg (SC), Jackson (MS), Jacksonville (FL), Lake Charles (LA), Louisville (KY), Newport/Mor ehead City (NC), Paducah (KY), Peachtree City/Atlanta (GA), Raleigh (NC), Shreveport (LA), Tallahassee (FL), Tampa Bay (FL), and Wilmington (NC). 

Phase of Adaptation: Assessment, Planning


Land managers, water utility managers, natural resource managers, local authorities, planners, policymakers, engineers, scientists, public


National Weather Service

Managing Organizations

The National Weather Service is a component of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA is an Operating Unit of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Our Mission Provide weather, water, and climate data, forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property and enhancement of the national economy.

Our Vision A Weather-Ready Nation: Society is Prepared for and Responds to Weather-Dependent Events


Type of Tool
Scale of Tool
Habitat/Biome Type
Target Climate Changes and Impacts