Merging medium-range weather forecasts and seasonal climate outlooks to improve seasonal hydrologic prediction

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Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Andrew W. Wood, 3TIER, Inc., Seattle, WA; and M. Wiley and B. Nijssen

Most hydrologic forecasting approaches for seasonal to interannual lead times incorporate seasonal-scale climate signals but ignore weather to medium-range climate forecasts. At certain times of year, varying by region, weather in the first few weeks of a season have a disproportionate influence on seasonal hydrologic outcomes, which argues for the explicit consideration of shorter range weather/climate predictions. The utility of medium-range hydrologic outlooks for water and energy management also motivates this work. This presentation explores potential benefits from imbedding medium range weather forecasts into ensemble streamflow predictions, using a parametric scaling approach. Results for retrospective cases at locations in the western U.S. are presented.