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Ohio River Forecast Center
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OHRFC Operations


The Ohio River Forecast Center (OHRFC) is co-located with the Wilmington National Weather Service Forecast Office. The National Weather Service (NWS) has the river and flood forecasting responsibility for the nation. The mission of the NWS Hydrologic Services Program is to save lives, reduce property damage, and contribute to the efficient use of the nation's water resources.

OHRFC hydrologists are tasked with providing daily river stage and flow volume forecasts for locations along nearly the entire length of the Ohio River (981 miles), and all of the tributary rivers and streams that flow into it.  The area of responsibility covers approximately 200,000 square miles, from the Allegheny River in Western New York and the Monongahela River in West Virginia, to the inflow to Smithland dam (which is 63 river miles upstream from Cairo, Illinois, where the Ohio River drains into the Mississippi River). This involves forecasting for approximately one hundred locations on a daily basis, and as many as two hundred locations during a critical flood situation.

The OHRFC is open from 6am until 10pm every day of the year.  Operating hours are extended as needed during flood events. The Ohio River Forecast Center accomplishes its river and flood forecasting operations through the use of a computer model which attempts to simulate the rises and falls of the actual rivers. Many different parameters are involved in this computer model. Among them are: location and amount of rainfall during the past 24 hours; location and amount of snowmelt, if any; amount of water being discharged through dams and navigational locks; air temperature and estimations of soil moisture. Precipitation forecast to occur over the next 24 to 48 hours is also entered into the model for inclusion in the forecasts.

Our Mailing address and listed phone number are:

Ohio River Forecast Center
1901 South State Route 134
Wilmington, OH 45177-9708

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Friday, December 16, 2005 8:17 PM
National Weather Service
Ohio River Forecast Center
1901 South State Route 134
Wilmington, OH 45177-9708
Page last modified: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 11:32 AM
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