MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A West Virginia University professor has developed a model for predicting flooding from rainfall that includes inland factors.

According to university officials, emergency managers rely on historical data in attempts to predict the possible extent of extreme flooding.

Omar Abdul-Aziz, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, says scientists have mostly focused on collecting data and developing models to predict flooding in coastal areas through storm surges.

His model is intended to fill a gap in the science and engineering by factoring in complex land uses and cover, drainage networks, low elevations, flat topographies and shallow groundwater tables to dynamically predict flooding from intense rainfall.

Abdul-Aziz says this is the first model in the nation that can predict rainfall accumulation flood in large coastal basins like what Hurricane Harvey did recently in in Houston and adjacent areas.