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The OHRFC HAS Forecaster


HAS is an acronym for Hydrometeorological Analysis and Support. The OHRFC has 3 HAS forecasters, 1 senior and 2 journeyman.  All three happen to be meteorologists, but the positions could be filled by hydrologists, as well.

The duties of the HAS forecasters are diverse, but involve assisting the hydrologists directly or indirectly.  The duties include the following list, but are not limited to these:
  • preparing rainfall forecasts (and temperature forecasts in the winter)
  • quality controlling field data
  • preparing a narrative of the hydrometeorological conditions within the basin
  • coordinating with regional forecast offices within the basin
  • assisting in river forecasting, and performing software maintenance and development.

Each morning and evening, a quantitative precipitation forecast (QPF) is prepared using input from computer model data from the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), forecasters at the Heavy Precipitation Branch of NCEP, analysis by the HAS forecaster on duty, and coordination with WFOs/NCEP as needed.  This QPF is used as input into OHRFC's river forecasts (both morning and evening runs).

The on-duty HAS forecaster quality controls field data by removing or correcting any bad or suspicious values.  Such field data includes rain gauge observations, radar estimates from the WSR-88D radar, snow reports, and other data.  Gage data and radar estimates are merged into gridded precipitation which exploits the accuracy of the gauge data with the spatial detail of the radar data.  This gridded data represents our best estimate of truthful rainfall, and is always used in the river models that are run at the OHRFC.

The HAS forecaster coordinates with WFOs routinely, mainly through the use of graphical products posted on the HAS web site.  They also coordinate via phone whenever necessary.

Later in the day after all the river forecasts are completed, a narrative is written and distributed. The  WMO header is AGUS71 KTIR. This narrative is called the Hydrometeorological Discussion.

The HAS forecaster also assists in river forecasting, as needed, and qualified hydrologists assist in the HAS functions.

The last major role of the HAS Forecaster is to help maintain and develop software utilities to make the process of forecasting more efficient and robust.  This includes making sure all necessary data is being received and quality-controlled, configuring new software for day-to-day operations and much more.

National Weather Service
Ohio River Forecast Center
1901 South State Route 134
Wilmington, OH 45177-9708
Page last modified: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 6:45 AM
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