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NOAA, Partners Develop National Water Model to Aid Flood Forecasting Efforts

floodingThe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has implemented a new tool that works to simulate water movements in the country’s rivers and streams as well as generate water forecast information.

NOAA said Tuesday the National Water Model is designed to run on the agency’s Cray XC40 supercomputer and process data from more than 8,000 stream gauges maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey.

NOAA also seeks to provide detailed water data to emergency managers, reservoir operators, first responders, recreationists, farmers, barge operators and ecosystem and floodplain managers with the tool.

“With a changing climate, we’re experiencing more prolonged droughts and a greater frequency of record-breaking floods across the country, underscoring the nation’s need for expanded water information,” said Louis Uccellini, director of the National Weather Service.

Uccellini added the National Water Model aims to help increase U.S. communities’ resiliency to water extremes.

Thomas Graziano, NOAA’s office of water prediction at the National Weather Service, said the tool will help provide additional water variables, such as soil moisture, runoff, stream velocity, and other parameters, for a better understanding of water behavior within the country.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research created the model’s underlying technology.

NOAA built and implemented the model with the NCAR, the National Science Foundation, the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences and the Integrated Water Resources Science and Services Consortium.

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