Current water resources forecasting techniques make limited use of growing skill in short- to long-range weather and climate forecasts. The National Weather Service's planned Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Services (AHPS) will take advantage of these new skills. Once implemented, AHPS will produce hydrologic forecasts with lead times of a few days to several months (see accompanying graphic). It will provide river forecasts that not only account for precipitation already on the ground but that also will probabilistically account for estimates of future precipitation. This coupled prediction service will greatly improve the Nation's capability to take timely and effective actions that will significantly mitigate the impact of major floods and droughts. The system will also provide better overall information for use in managing competing water demands for irrigation, fisheries, hydropower and other purposes.
A critical component of the AHPS is the provision of advanced technical capabilities. These advancements provide for:
2. effective calibration and field-implementation of advanced hydrologic/hydraulic models within the NWSRFS;
3. a NOAA Hydrologic Data System (NHDS) which provides the nucleus of capabilities required by AHPS to handle the integration of real-time/historical station and gridded data, and model generated (forecast) outputs;
4. the useof short- to long-range weather and climate forecasts within the NWSRFS through hydrometeorologic coupling algorithms;
5. implementation of a Snow Estimation and Updating System (SEUS) which provides gridded estimates of snow water equivalent; and p> 6. more timely, accurate and informative forecast products to government and quasi-government water and emergency managers and to private sector intermediaries who provide value-added services to specific industries.
2. satisfy needs for forecast services at near-, mid-, and long-term time scales for a wide variety of water use situations nationwide
3. provide critical information on forecast reliability
4. improve hydrologic forecast sensitivity to weather and climatic forecasts
5. provide water resources forecasts to private sector intermediaries who in turn serve specific industries.