NOAA ACTIVATES HIGH-TECH WEB SITES FOR RIVER FORECASTS
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:
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.
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.