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NOAA ACTIVATES HIGH-TECH WEB SITES FOR RIVER FORECASTS

NOAA Eastern Region flooding image.March 7, 2003 — The Northeast United States is facing an above average flood risk, and the NOAA National Weather Service Eastern Region headquarters is rolling out a new high-tech Web page providing critical river forecasts and water information to the public and emergency management officials.

The Web design, part of the agency’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, features user-friendly menus and maps, which allow viewers to zoom in and out of the areas of interest. It also uses software that provides an alert when flood watches and warnings are in effect, or if river locations are nearing flood levels.

"If you can surf the Web, you can have instant access to a wealth of water information,” said Dean Gulezian, the Eastern Region director. Along with improved Web access to river forecasts and water information, AHPS provides an expanded suite of hydrologic products to better meet the needs of the diverse customer base of water users. The products answer:

  • Where and when flooding will occur.
  • How long the flooding will last.
  • How high—or low—river flows will be over the next 30 days, and
  • The certainty of the forecast

Since the program was first funded in 2000, AHPS has been deployed in flood-prone areas of the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins. New funding will expand the program to all NOAA National Weather Service forecast offices.

AHPS has been a boon for NOAA National Weather Service meteorologists and water resource managers trying to keep ahead of the next flood or drought. In full use, NOAA National Weather Service officials expect AHPS to provide significant lead times for flood events—as long as several months in advance.

Peter Gabrielsen, chief of the Hydrologic Services Division for the Eastern Region, said, “Communities will be able to better prepare and respond more effectively to threats from flooding. Barge operators can plan with greater confidence to optimize shipping over the nation's inland waterways; and water resource managers will have expanded forecast information on which to base decisions for reservoir operations from flood control, water storage and power generation, to mitigating the effects of drought.”

The agency’s bi-weekly flood outlook is also available online.

To learn more about the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service visit the AHPS Web page.

The NOAA National Weather Service River Forecast Centers and Weather Forecast Offices monitor and forecast flood potential throughout the year. As a result of special emphasis placed on late winter and spring conditions, the NOAA National Weather Service provides its National Hydrologic Assessment on the Internet.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation’s coastal and marine resources. NOAA is part of the U. S. Department of Commerce.

Relevant Web Sites
NOAA Critical River Forecasts and Water Information — Eastern Region

NOAA Bi-weekly Flood Outlook

NOAA Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service

Media Contact:
Curtis Carey, NOAA National Weather Service, (301) 713-0622