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Anticipating Extreme Hydrologic Events …how real-time data empowers communities and individuals to survive and recover from disasters AMS Corporate Forum.

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Presentation on theme: "Anticipating Extreme Hydrologic Events …how real-time data empowers communities and individuals to survive and recover from disasters AMS Corporate Forum."— Presentation transcript:

1 Anticipating Extreme Hydrologic Events …how real-time data empowers communities and individuals to survive and recover from disasters AMS Corporate Forum Session 6: Weather, Climate and Water Resources March 2007, Washington DC 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

2 Katrina Tsunami Central Valley Levees Extreme Hydrologic Events Big Thompson Dam Failure

3 Opportunities to address needs Hurricane Katrina Storm Surge 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.

4 Boulder Colorado

5 Local Investment Flood Prediction Center Private Meteorologist

6 Automated weather station ALERT Rain Gage Satellite-linked USGS stream gage ALERT rain/stream gage Real-Time Hydrologic Data Not too interesting for most people…

7 …until people like you make products like these…

8 …and these.

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

10 …and practice those plans.

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

12 Opportunities to Educate

13 Opportunities to Share National Hydrologic Warning Council June 11-14, 2007 nhwc.udfcd.org

14 Opportunities to help a neighbor

15 Empowered to improve communications

16 Empower people to protect themselves

17 When if comes to determining wise use of limited resources… …do not underestimate the value of the mundane.

18 AMS Statement on Climate Change 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. Final remarks Despite 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 and to 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.


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