7.1 Verification of peak flow forecasts in the Colorado Basin

Wednesday, 26 January 2011: 8:30 AM
612 (Washington State Convention Center)
Ashley Nielson, NOAA/NWS, Salt Lake City, UT; and K. Werner and A. W. Wood

Forecasts for peak streamflows from the annual snow melt are widely used by emergency management and river recreationists in the Colorado and Great Basins. The Colorado Basin River Forecast Center (CBRFC) has produced these forecasts for many years in the spring months leading up to the snowmelt. However, only recently has a systematic effort to verify these forecasts been undertaken. Historical forecasts are verified along with reforecasts from the River Forecast System. The resulting analysis will be used to drive changes to the peak flow forecast program at the CBRFC. For example, observed forecast skill may be used together with stakeholder requirements to determine forecast issuance dates and forecast frequency. It may also be used to validate new or existing forecast procedures.
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