River Forecasting Case Study

River Forecasting Case Study
  1. Describe hydrologic conditions in the Susquehanna River basin preceding the events associated with the remnants of Hurricane Ivan in the Susquehanna River Basin on the 17-19 September 2004.
    • Describe the local geography and its impact on storm runoff
    • Use climatology as a reference for potential storm impacts
    • Describe soil texture, soil profile, and ground cover conditions for the region
    • Analyze antecedent soil moisture levels for the area
  2. Analyze the observed and forecast rainfall, current factors influencing runoff, and the initial river forecasts for the Susquehanna River preceding this event.
    • Analyze rainfall and soil information and anticipate the impact on runoff
    • Interpret runoff information from river models
    • Anticipate how errors in the QPF may impact the magnitude of runoff
  3. Apply knowledge of runoff processes and river modeling to observed and historic streamflows to develop a forecast for the Susquehanna River at Wilkes-Barre for this event.
    • Analyze and anticipate dominant runoff mechanisms during a developing flood event
    • Examine the relative contributions from different components of the forecast hydrograph
    • Examine how changes in precipitation can influence the expected crest
    • Analyze how precipitation forecast errors impact runoff forecast errors
    • Anticipate the impact of runoff that is routed from upstream areas
    • Use observations and historic information to assess the likelihood of the predicted extreme event
    • Interpret and adjust guidance from river forecasting models
    • Issue a river forecast despite uncertainties
    • Appreciate how forecaster experience can play a very important role in the forecast process.
  4. Assess lessons learned during the forecast process leading up to and during this flood event.
    • Validate how the river forecast model did for the peak stage
    • Interpret how the different components of the river model contributed to the forecast and its errors
    • Explain the important role of accurate stage-discharge relationships
    • Relate this event to previous major flood events