92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012: 4:00 PM
NWS/OHRFC Operational Experience with the Ohio River Community HEC-RAS Model
Room 352 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Thomas Adams, NOAA/NWS, Wilmington, OH; and X. Chen, J. E. Heim, R. Davis, and J. S. Young

In this paper we describe the Ohio River Community HEC-RAS Model and include results from real-time operations for an approximate 6-month period. The Model is a cooperative effort involving the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS), Ohio River Forecast Center (OHRFC) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Great Lakes and Ohio River Division (LRD), Water Management Division. The scope of the modeling effort includes 20 locks and dams on the Ohio River, with storage areas and lateral structures such as levees, as well as bridges. The Model is comprised of over 2800 cross-sections, spanning approximately 1400 miles of modeled reach. The downstream boundaries are Chester, IL for the upstream portion on the Mississippi River and Carruthersville, MO for the downstream portion on the Mississippi River. We also include in the model the Kanawha River from the confluence with the Ohio River to Charleston, WV. The upstream boundaries include Braddock Lock and Dam, WV on the Monongahela River and Natrona, PA on the Allegheny River. The Model requires lateral and tributary inflows and is run in real-time; for the OHRFC the lateral and tributary inflows result from runoff produced by both observed and forecasted precipitation. Laterally, Model cross-sections extend to the 500- year floodplain limits, except for Mississippi River reaches that only extend to the USACE levees. We describe operational complications such as problems related to adequately handling real-time gate operations on the Ohio River mainstem and quantifying ungaged lateral inflows.

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