4.2 Hydrologic Modeling at the National Water Center: Operational Implementation of the WRF-Hydro Model to support National Weather Service Hydrology

Tuesday, 12 January 2016: 1:45 PM
Room 242 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Brian Cosgrove, NWS/Office of Water Prediction, Silver Spring, MD; and D. J. Gochis, E. Clark, Z. Cui, A. Dugger, G. Fall, X. Feng, M. A. Fresch, J. J. Gourley, S. Khan, D. Kitzmiller, H. Lee, Y. Liu, J. McCreight, A. Newman, A. Oubeidillah, L. Pan, C. Pham, F. Salas, K. Sampson, G. Sood, M. B. Smith, A. W. Wood, D. Yates, W. Yu, and Y. Zhang

The National Weather Service (NWS) National Water Center (NWC) is collaborating with the NWS National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to implement a first-of-its-kind operational instance of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF)-Hydro model over the Continental United States (CONUS) and contributing drainage areas on the NWS Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputing System (WCOSS) supercomputer. The system will provide seamless, high-resolution, continuously cycling forecasts of streamflow and other hydrologic outputs of value from both deterministic- and ensemble-type runs. WRF-Hydro will form the core of the NWC national water modeling strategy, supporting NWS hydrologic forecast operations along with emergency response and water management efforts of partner agencies. Input and output from the system will be comprehensively verified via the NWC Water Resource Evaluation Service.

Hydrologic events occur on a wide range of temporal scales, from fast acting flash floods, to long-term flow events impacting water supply. In order to capture this range of events, the initial operational WRF-Hydro configuration will feature 1) hourly analysis runs, 2) short-and medium-range deterministic forecasts out to one day and ten day horizons and 3) long-range ensemble forecasts out to 30 days. All three of these configurations are underpinned by a 1km execution of the NoahMP land surface model, with channel routing taking place on 2.67 million NHDPlusV2 catchments covering the CONUS and contributing areas. Additionally, the short- and medium-range forecasts runs will feature surface and sub-surface routing on a 250m grid, while the hourly analyses will feature this same 250m routing in addition to nudging-based assimilation of US Geological Survey (USGS) streamflow observations. A limited number of major reservoirs will be configured within the model to begin to represent the first-order impacts of streamflow regulation. This presentation will provide an overview of this effort along with initial pre-operational output.

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