2.5 The Application of Operational National Weather Service Precipitation Data to Shellfish Harvesting Management

Monday, 8 January 2018: 11:30 AM
Room 12B (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Ian Blaylock, NWS, Peachtree City, GA; and J. A. Schmidt

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Southeast River Forecast Center (SERFC), a field office of the National Weather Service, continually processes hourly Multi-sensor Precipitation Estimate (MPE) data. This combines radar-based rainfall estimates and rain gauge data to produce quality controlled precipitation estimates for use in river forecasting.

In 2016, the SERFC began working with the Division of Aquaculture, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Shellfish Sanitation and Recreational Water Quality Section in the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, agencies who are charged with monitoring and closing shellfish harvest areas in their respective states for the protection of public health. Rainfall data is a key indicator of pollution runoff potential and as much is crucial in making harvest area closure decisions. This collaborative effort is leveraging SERFC’s continuously calibrated precipitation estimates to provide more reliable 24-hour rainfall totals. In 2017, this collaboration has expanded to the states of Alabama and South Carolina, currently totaling 72 discrete harvest areas.

This presentation will describe the mechanisms by which archived MPE data are applied operationally in harvest area closure decisions, as well as provide some background on the nature of MPE data and quality control.

This presentation will describe the production of MPE data, the variety of formats that MPE data is packaged in, and how MPE is applied operationally in harvest area closure decisions.

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