Hydrologic Verification: A Call for Action and Collaboration

Edwin Welles, Soroosh Sorooshian, Gary Carter, Billy Olsen
2007 Bulletin of The American Meteorological Society - (BAMS)  
A brief verification study of river forecasts suggests the need to link river forecast process improvements more closely to forecast verification results. V erification must be an integral element of forecasting. Well-structured verification provides a means to improve forecast skill, to communicate with nonforecasters regarding resource needs, and to help forecast users optimize their decision making. Within the hydrology community however, few have focused any attention on verifying river
more » ... casts. As a step toward encouraging hydrologists to verify their forecasts, this paper presents a verification study of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/ National Weather Service (NWS) deterministic riverstage forecasts at 15 locations. The results of this study AMERICAN METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY suggest that the hydrologic research and operations communities must join together to review, evaluate, and reconstruct the methods by which they update the hydrologic forecast process. The verification results described in this paper are for river-stage forecasts issued by NWS River Forecast Centers (RFCs). The NWS RFCs sit at the center of the U.S. flood warning capability. They provide guidance to the NWS Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs), which in turn issue flood watches and warnings. The NWS RFCs coordinate with other state and federal water management agencies when they issue their forecasts to ensure dam operations, irrigation demand and the like are integrated into the forecasts. There are 13 RFCs across the country, and each one is responsible for a different set of basins. A more detailed description of NWS river-forecasting operations can be found in Stallings and Wenzel (1995 ), Larson et al. (1995 ), and Fread et al. (1995 . In addition, the NWS RFCs describe their operations on their home pages, which can be found via the NWS home page (online at http://nws.noaa.gov). FIG. 2. The below-flood stage RMSE for the OK dataset days I, 2, and 3. Results showing success. The NWS river-stage forecasts show skill and accuracy in the below-flood stage category for days 1, 2, and 3, as well as on day 1 for the FIG. 3. The below-flood stage RMSE for the MM dataset days I, 2, and 3. AMERICAN METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY APRIL 2007 BAF15-I 507
doi:10.1175/bams-88-4-503 fatcat:oatp7xwvvbguhpp7j52stbaoaa