Employing Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts into the Operational Colorado Flood Threat Bulletin
Here, we compare the performance of our subjective daily Flood Threat Bulletin prepared for the Colorado Water Conservation Board, with a purely objective analogue developed from a 23-member ensemble of atmospheric models with horizontal resolution ranging from 4-km to 16-km. Validation spans the 2014 warm season, 1 May – 31 Sep, and is based upon both individual National Weather Service flood reports as well as gridded precipitation estimates, to ensure coverage in poorly observed areas. We show a range of validation metrics assessing both probability and spatial coverage of QPF. Broadly, results suggest that a purely objective approach is not yet operationally feasible due to an underestimate of short-term heavy rainfall, likely due to insufficient model resolution.