Recently, forecast techniques have been developed that dramatically improve the skill of probabilistic weather forecasts during week 1 (Hamill et al. 2005) as well as improvements in week 2. These products are based on a 25-year reforecast database developed at NOAA/ESRL and used to demonstrate how a current numerical intra-seasonal forecast could be statistically calibrated using the reforecasts (Hamill et al. 2004). The resulting products include forecasts of temperature, precipitation, and other variables that are presented as maps of tercile probability and analog probability forecasts of precipitation downscaled to 32 km resolution. The ESRL technique now is synthesized into the CPC operational product and the tercile probability forecasts run operationally at the NOAA National Weather Service.
However, these forecasts are not yet in formats appropriate to many potential users. We are working with the USBR Lower Colorado Office (LCO) as pilot case for developing of these products for a broader community of water managers in the U.S. West through its operations. Because USBR/LCO reservoir management challenges and goals are similar in many ways to other large-scale reservoir management across the West, the results on usability of the products are likely to be transferable to other areas. The USBR also works closely with a large number of its own stakeholders in reservoir management, so developing products that support these interactions will provide insight into the needs of a broader community of water managers. This presentation will describe the efforts to work with the USBR to improve the useability of these products for their Lower Colorado operations, by reducing complexity and improving the accessibility of the forecasts.