Design of operational precipitation and streamflow networks for river forecasting


  • R. Uwe Jettmar,

  • G. Kenneth Young,

  • Richard K. Farnsworth,

  • John C. Schaake Jr.


A methodology is presented for assessing the value of river forecasting to possible changes in existing precipitation and streamflow networks. This study was undertaken as a part of an effort to evaluate the expected benefit of automating all or part of the data gathering networks used by the National Weather Service. A surrogate measure of benefits, called the ‘mean forecast lead time,’ is related indirectly to benefits because the value of river forecasting depends on the lead time available for the flood plain dweller to take action and respond to the forecast. Presented here is the rationale for the methodology and the results of part of the research using streamflow generated by Hurricane Agnes (June 1972) and Hurricane Eloise (September 1975) for the Susquehanna River basin.