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A Technique for Incorporating Large-Scale Climate Information



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A Technique for Incorporating Large Scale Climate Information in Basin Scale Ensemble Streamflow Forecasts Katrina Grantz1 2 Rajagopalan Balaji1 3 Martyn Clark3 and Edith Zagona2 1 Dept of Civil Environmental Architectural Engineering CEAE University of Colorado Boulder CO 2 Center for Advanced Decision Support for Water and Environmental Systems CADSWES CEAE University of Colorado Boulder CO 3 CIRES University of Colorado Boulder CO Abstract Water managers throughout the Western U S depend on seasonal forecasts to assist with operations and planning In this study we develop a seasonal forecasting model to aid water resources decision making in the Truckee Carson River System We analyze large scale climate information that has a direct impact on our basin of interest to develop predictors to spring runoff The predictors are snow water equivalent SWE and 500mb geopotential height and sea surface temperature SST indices developed in this study We use nonparametric stochastic forecasting techniques to provide ensemble probabilistic forecasts Results show that the incorporation of climate information particularly the 500mb geopotential height index improves the skills of forecasts at longer lead times when compared with forecasts based on snowpack information alone The technique is general and could be applied to other river basins 1 1 Introduction Water resource managers in the Western U S are facing the growing challenge of meeting water demands for a wide variety of purposes under the stress of increased climate variability e g Hamlet et al 2002 Piechota et al 2001 Careful planning is necessary to meet demands on water quality volume timing and flowrates This is particularly true in the Western U S where it is estimated that 44 of renewable water supplies are consumed annually as compared with 4 in the rest of the country el Ashry and Gibbons 1988 The forecast for the upcoming water year is instrumental to the water management planning process In the managed river



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