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AMS Corporate Forum Session 6: Weather, Climate and Water Resources 22-23 March 2007, Washington DC. Anticipating Extreme Hydrologic Events. …how real-time data empowers communities and individuals to survive and recover from disasters. Kevin G. Stewart, P.E.

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anticipating extreme hydrologic events
AMS Corporate Forum

Session 6: Weather, Climate and Water Resources

22-23 March 2007, Washington DC

Anticipating Extreme Hydrologic Events

…how real-time data empowers communities and individuals to survive and recover from disasters

Kevin G. Stewart, P.E.

President, National Hydrologic Warning Council

Manager, Information Services and Flood Warning Program

Urban Drainage and Flood Control District

Denver, Colorado

extreme hydrologic events
Extreme Hydrologic Events

Dam Failure


Big Thompson

Central Valley Levees


opportunities to address needs
Opportunities to address needs

Katrina caused many communities to ask what their “worst case” natural disaster might look like and how they could best prepare for such an event.

Hurricane Katrina Storm Surge

local investment
Local Investment


Flood Prediction Center

real time hydrologic data
Real-Time Hydrologic Data

ALERT Rain Gage

ALERTrain/stream gage

Satellite-linkedUSGS stream gage

Automated weatherstation

Not too interesting for most people…

empowered to develop plans to warn proactively
Empowered to develop plans to warn proactively…
  • The drainage basin
    • descriptions, facilities, hydrology, flood history, problem areas, flood routing/timing
  • Decision aids
    • ALERT system, flash flood guidance, inundation areas
  • Communications
  • Meteorological support
    • National Weather Service
    • Private Meteorologist
  • Flood threat recognition and warning process
  • Procedures and general responsibilities
  • Public dissemination
  • Media contacts
  • Annual revisions and practices
empowered to integrate
Empowered to Integrate

Real-time synchronization of surface rainfall measurements, radar imagery and storm track forecasting model

opportunities to share
Opportunities to Share

National Hydrologic Warning CouncilJune 11-14, 2007

do not underestimate the value of the mundane

…do not underestimate the value of the mundane.

When if comes to determining wise use of limited resources…

ams statement on climate change
AMS Statement onClimate Change

Final remarksDespite the uncertainties noted above, there is adequate evidence from observations and interpretations of climate simulations to conclude that the atmosphere, ocean, and land surface are warming; that humans have significantly contributed to this change; and that further climate change will continue to have important impacts on human societies, on economies, on ecosystems, and on wildlife through the 21st century and beyond. Focusing on the next 30 years, convergence among emission scenarios and model results suggest strongly that increasing air temperatures will reduce snowpack, shift snowmelt timing, reduce crop production and rangeland fertility, and cause continued melting of the ice caps and sea level rise. Important goals for future work include the need to understand the relation of climate at the state and regional level to the patterns of global climate andto reverse the decline in observational networks that are so critical to accurate climate monitoring and prediction.Policy choices in the near future will determine the extent of the impacts of climate change. Policy decisions are seldom made in a context of absolute certainty. Some continued climate change is inevitable, and the policy debate should also consider the best ways to adapt to climate change. Prudence dictates extreme care in managing our relationship with the only planet known to be capable of sustaining human life.