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Current State of Hydroclimate Modeling and Ability to Predict Floods, Droughts and Extreme Events, Nov 10


CITRIS’s Intelligent Water Infrastructure for California initiative will create a state-wide information ‘infrastructure’ that will enable the better management of the state’s limited water resources and save California money by averting the need for new water storage facilities.



Hydrologists and Water Resource planners require information about future hydroclimatic conditions to guide them in their decision making process. Depending on the timescale, a variety of mathematical models has been developed and are being used. Regional climate models are used with longer time scales, ranging from seasons to decades while information from Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP)models are often employed to help with shorter time scale forecasts (days to weeks). The output of such models is then used as input to hydrologic models for a variety of applications, including flood forecasting.

This presentation reviews the state of the current capabilities of the above mentioned models in terms of their predication skill and their level of usefulness for operational hydrologic and water resources decision making. Examples related to each of these modeling timescales will be discussed with specific focus on the needs of arid and semi-arid regions.