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Seminar: Advancing NOAA/NWS water prediction capabilities with NOAA's Next Generation Water Resources Modeling Framework

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Since August, 2016, the US National Weather Service has operated the WRF-Hydro based National Water Model (NWM) to provide flood guidance along 3.4 million miles of streams and rivers. Now running NWM version 3.0, version-on-version increases in performance due to enhanced calibration and parameter regionalization have started to plateau. The hydrologic literature strongly suggests that hydrologic models formulated to simulate dominant local processes outperform more general models that select process through parameter tuning. There are two reasons for this: (1) the uniqueness of place in hydrology, and (2) the so-called “parsimony” argument, which states models with an optimum number of parameters generally perform as well or better than models with a larger number of parameters. Unlike the atmosphere and the ocean, the response of catchments to rainfall or meltwater forcing is often discontinuous, with strong influences from land cover and use, antecedent conditions, groundwater and soil-based thresholds and small-scale land surface heterogeneities. This presentation anticipates advances from the Next Generation Water Resources Modeling Framework with joint benefits to the hydrologic science and operational water prediction communities by increasing NWM predictive skill. OWP plans to deploy version 4.0 of the NWM using the NextGen Framework.


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Department of Atmospheric & Oceanic Science

For disability accommodations, please contact Walter Tribett at

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