448 Advanced Operational Forcings: Real-Time Production of Ground-Truthed, Gridded Observed Precipitation and Temperature Data for Hydrologic Forecasting across the Northwest U.S.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Taylor Dixon, NWS, Portland, OR

There is a growing need for the National Weather Service (NWS) River Forecast Centers (RFCs) to provide more frequent and higher quality output of quantitative estimates of precipitation (QPE) and temperatures (QTE) to support internal operational hydrologic forecasts and external efforts, including meteorological model development, climatological records, and drought assessments. This work presents the collaborative development by the Northwest RFC (NWRFC) and NWS Western Region Headquarters (WRH) of methodologies that combine Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor (MRMS) and Real Time Mesoscale Analysis (RTMA) gridded data fields, automated gauge data quality control (QC) algorithms, and the legacy Mountain Mapper (MM) routine to produce automated QPE and QTE fields every hour. The objective of this approach was to leverage state-of the-science storm capture information and inject quality and comprehensive ground-truthing. These developments are designed to complement larger NWS and NOAA efforts (e.g. future versions of MRMS and RTMA) by fast-tracking and demonstrating the deployment of robust QC routines that can incorporate more challenging gauge networks (e.g. SNOTEL, RAWS) which historically have not been utilized in real-time (without significant manual overhead). Further, the timeliness of these data allow for higher quality, on-demand updates to hydrologic forecasts across the Pacific Northwest.
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