The Challenge of Forecasting Heavy Rain and Flooding throughout the Eastern Region of the National Weather Service. Part II: Forecast Techniques and Applications

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  • 1 NOAA/NWS Ohio River Forecast Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • | 2 NOAA/NWS Eastern Region Headquarters, Hydrologic Services Division, Bohemia, New York
  • | 3 NOAA/NWS Forecast Office, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • | 4 NOAA/NWS Forecast Office, Albany, New York
  • | 5 NOAA/NWS Forecast Office, Blacksburg, Virginia
  • | 6 NOAA/NWS Office, Binghamton, New York
  • | 7 NOAA/NWS Eastern Region Headquarters, Scientific Services Division, Bohemia, New York
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Abstract

Over the years, as the recognition and understanding of the structure and climatic frequency of heavy-rain events has expanded, there has been a corresponding improvement in the available forecast guidance on both the national and local level. Numerous operational procedures, forecast applications, and objective techniques have been developed at National Weather Service (NWS) field offices to assess the potential for heavy precipitation and flooding. The use of simple models and operational checklists, as well as the identification of precipitation enhancements due to the effects of terrain and local climatology, provide forecasters with useful tools that help interpret and improve upon the central guidance products. In addition, the NWS Eastern Region has devised and implemented an aggressive and comprehensive program to support the daily formulation of quantitative precipitation estimates appropriate for the production of more timely and accurate river forecasts. Finally, access to high-resolution information from new remote sensor technologies such as Doppler radar, vertical wind profilers, lightning detection networks, and the next generation of geostationary satellites presents the possibility of a substantial improvement in the prediction of heavy precipitation.

Abstract

Over the years, as the recognition and understanding of the structure and climatic frequency of heavy-rain events has expanded, there has been a corresponding improvement in the available forecast guidance on both the national and local level. Numerous operational procedures, forecast applications, and objective techniques have been developed at National Weather Service (NWS) field offices to assess the potential for heavy precipitation and flooding. The use of simple models and operational checklists, as well as the identification of precipitation enhancements due to the effects of terrain and local climatology, provide forecasters with useful tools that help interpret and improve upon the central guidance products. In addition, the NWS Eastern Region has devised and implemented an aggressive and comprehensive program to support the daily formulation of quantitative precipitation estimates appropriate for the production of more timely and accurate river forecasts. Finally, access to high-resolution information from new remote sensor technologies such as Doppler radar, vertical wind profilers, lightning detection networks, and the next generation of geostationary satellites presents the possibility of a substantial improvement in the prediction of heavy precipitation.

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