Advanced hydrologic prediction system


  • Brian A. Connelly,

  • Dean T. Braatz,

  • John B. Halquist,

  • Michael M. DeWeese,

  • Lee Larson,

  • John J. Ingram


As our Nation's population and infrastructure grow, natural disasters are becoming a greater threat to our society's stability. In an average year, inland flooding claims 133 lives and resulting property losses exceed $4.0 billion. Last year, 1997, these losses totaled $8.7 billion. Because of this blossoming threat, the National Weather Service (NWS) has requested funding within its 2000 budget to begin national implementation of the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction System (AHPS). With this system in place the NWS will be able to utilize precipitation and climate predictions to provide extended probabilistic river forecasts for risk-based decisions. In addition to flood and drought mitigation benefits, extended river forecasts will benefit water resource managers in decision making regarding water supply, agriculture, navigation, hydropower, and ecosystems. It's estimated that AHPS, if implemented nationwide, would save lives and provide $677 million per year in economic benefits. AHPS is used currently on the Des Moines River basin in Iowa and will be implemented soon on the Minnesota River basin in Minnesota. Experience gained from user interaction is leading to refined and enhanced product formats and displays. This discussion will elaborate on the technical requirements associated with AHPS implementation, its enhanced products and informational displays, and further refinements based on customer feedback.