Real time verification of river forecasts and the impact of stream and river flooding can make operational forecast much more useful. Action plans based on high resolution mapped forecasts can used by with greater confidence by Emergency Managers in very stressful, short-fuse situations when they can be validated visually as events unfold. Traditionally, verification data have been derived from sparsely located rain gauges and stream gages, neither of which shows the true impact of the flooding on the built environment and population at-risk. Riverside and the IFC are also working to enhance and deploy remote bridge mounted stream sensors which provide low cost, high reliability stream level data in what are currently data-sparse or data-blind areas. The day is dawning when Emergency Managers and First Responders will have dense stream sensor information to better assess the extent and seriousness of stream and river flooding.
Riverside is now working to augment traditional rain and stream gauge observations and model forecasts with IFC-developed bridge sensors. Plans include integrating images and videos so that Emergency Managers and First Responders will be able to compare images and video with flooded areas simulated by RiverTrak modeling technology for real time assessments and verification of the inundation impacts of observations and forecasts.
Case studies will illustrate the potential and benefit for those requiring this kind of new information.