Tuesday, 15 January 2002: 11:15 AM
Development of a Headwater Model Application for National Weather Service Weather Forecast Offices
The National Weather Service (NWS) River Forecast Centers (RFC) are responsible for generating streamflow and stage forecasts, which are provided to Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs), where they are reviewed and distributed to the public. These hydrologic forecasts are generated at an RFC a few times a day but usually only during their nominal 16 hours/day of operations. In the past during hours when RFCs were not open operationally, the WFOs did not have a nationally developed, RFC-supported method to generate hydrologic forecasts locally at their office. Furthermore, many of the headwater locations of concern to the WFO did not have any forecasts provided by the RFC. To address this situation, the Office of Hydrologic Development (OHD), working with the Missouri Basin RFC, has developed a nationally supported headwater model application which runs at WFOs using data available in their existing database. This application, known as the Site Specific Hydrologic Prediction (SSHP) function, along with support from their RFC will provide WFOs with around-the-clock capabilities to generate complete forecast stage hydrographs for outlet points at small headwater basins. The intention of the SSHP is not to provide a forecast system to cover large basins with long peak times and complex hydrologic features, but to provide a tool to forecast relatively small basins which have flashy events where lead times are critical. Another goal of the SSHP is to provide a simple tool which requires little hydrologic expertise of the user. This paper will describe the development, field evaluation and current status of the SSHP application.