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NWS tools to forecast river stages in the coastal zones

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4 Author(s)
David B. Reed ; Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center 62300 Airport Road Slidell, LA 70460 ; Jeffrey S. Graschel ; David M. Welch ; David A. Ramirez

The National Weather Service (NWS) is the federal agency with the mandate to provide river and flood forecasts to save lives and property and support the Nation's economy. To accomplish this mission, the NWS provides forecasted river levels five days in the future at over 4,000 locations. The NWS Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center (LMRFC) is responsible for providing forecasts for rivers that drain into the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi/Alabama state line to the Louisiana/Texas state line. The LMRFC provides forecasts at many locations at or near tidal mouths and estuaries that may be affected by winds, tides, and storm surge as well as riverine flows from heavy rainfall upstream. In this physical setting, where the effects of river flooding from heavy rainfall are combined with effects of winds, tides, and storm surge along the coast, the NWS models are in their infancy. At very few of these locations does the NWS has numerical models capable of simulating the complex hydro-dynamics of this environment. Numerous tools have been developed to assist the forecasters in making these critical forecasts.

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Date of Conference:

26-29 Oct. 2009