87th AMS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 16 January 2007: 3:45 PM
Using Multiple-Sensor Quantitative Precipitation Estimation for Flood Forecasting in the Lower Colorado River Basin
214A (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Beth Clarke, Weather Decision Technologies, Norman, OK; and C. Barrere, M. Luna, and D. Yates
Poster PDF (431.7 kB)
The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) utilizes flood forecasting models for the management of water systems in the Lower Colorado River basin. The task of managing flood releases from the six Highland lakes is of vital importance due to the risk posed to human life and property. The accuracy of flood forecasting is dependent on the precision of the precipitation input and stream-flow data. The goal of flood forecasting at the LCRA is to efficiently evaluate all data in a timely manner to determine the potential outcome of release decisions and communicate that information.

Following an evaluation of various flood forecasting models, the LCRA recommended Hydrologic Engineering Centers (HEC) Corps Water Management System (CWMS) as the best software package to assist in the operation of the Highland lakes and dams. The data acquisition module of CWMS provides access to the incoming gridded estimates of rainfall provided by Weather Decision Technologies INC (WDT) using a custom Hydromet Decision Support System (HDSS) developed through collaboration with the National Severe Storms Laboratory and deployed specifically to support operation at the LCRA.

The HDSS retrieves NEXRAD level-II radar data in real time from 22 radars in Oklahoma and Texas providing complete coverage LCRA river basins and the larger LCRA-defined domain. The HDSS utilizes a variety of meteorological data from multiple sensors including gauge, radar, satellite and model data to produce a full suite of multi-sensor QPE on a high temporal and spatial scales. The entire system is fully automated and the precipitation products are converted into a Standard Hydrologic Grid (SHG) concurrent with the CWMS system providing real time rainfall input for the analysis and dissemination of hydrologic and hydraulic information in the Lower Colorado River Basin.

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