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Idaho Water Supply Forecast Resources

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Thursday, August 24, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The "Idaho Snowmageddon" of 2017 is firmly in our rear view mirror as our Idaho summer draws to a close.  But that does not diminish our curiosity about what may be in store for us during the year ahead!  To help us get ready for the "New (water) Year" (October 1st), here is a list of water supply forecast resources from our various state and federal partners.  May they prove to be helpful and informative to you during the dark winter months ahead!

 

Idaho Department of Water Resources - Water Data

Idaho water data is provided through the combined efforts of state and federal governmental agencies involved in water management in Idaho. Each agency brings a different technical aspect and expertise in order to provide the most extensive water supply outlook available.

Link: https://www.idwr.idaho.gov/water-data/

 

Northwest River Forecast Center (NWRFC)

The NWRFC is one of 13 National Weather Service hydrologic centers in the United States, specialzing in flood and water resource forecasting, river modeling, and hydrologic system development. It works with water management agencies to provide the best possible operations of the Columbia reservoir systems. It's mission is to save lives and decrease property damage by the issuance of flood warnings and river stage forecasts; provide basic hydrologic forecast information for the Nation's economic and environmental well being; and to provide extended forecast information for water resources management. Flood forecasts and warnings are disseminated to the public through Weather Forecast Offices. Forecast distribution is made using the NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, television, and local emergency agencies. 

Link: https://www.nwrfc.noaa.gov/rfc/

 

National Weather Service: Snow Analysis

The National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center provides comprehensive snow observations, analyses, data sets and map products for the Nation.

Link: https://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/nsa/

 

National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center

The Climate Prediction Center's (CPC) products are operational predictions of climate variability, real-time monitoring of climate and the required data bases, and assessments of the origins of major climate anomalies. The products cover time scales from a week to seasons, extending into the future as far as technically feasible, and cover the land, the ocean, and the atmosphere, extending into the stratosphere.

Link: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov

 

National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS): Idaho Snow Survey

The NRCS Snow Survey Program provides mountain snowpack data and streamflow forecasts for the western United States. Common applications of snow survey products include water supply management, flood control, climate modeling, recreation, and conservation planning.

Link: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/id/snow/

 

Bureau of Reclamation Hydromet System (a.k.a. "teacup" diagrams)

The Hydromet System (Hydromet) is a data collection and distribution system that supports the Bureau of Reclamation's mission of water resource management. Hydromet data collection supports reservoir and water project operations, water management, and water supply forecasting for Reclamation's multipurpose reservoir systems in the Columbia and Snake River basins. Water uses supported by the Hydromet include flood control, irrigation, power generation, water quality, water conservation, fish and wildlife management, research, and recreation. The Hydromet database provides an excellent source of information for water management planning activities. Reclamation operates several Hydromet systems, including one in Yakima, Washington once known as the Yakima Remote Control System (YRCS).

Boise & Payette: https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/boipaytea.html

Lewiston Orchards: https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/loidtea.html

Snake River: https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/burtea.html

 

Northwest Climate Toolbox

The Toolbox transforms raw climatological, meteorological, and hydrological information into a series of easy-to-navigate tools that allow users to plug in their location on a map and visualize data for that location. Tools in the Toolbox include visualizations of historical data (going back decades); short-term, seasonal forecasts (on the order of months); and long-term, future projections (on the order of decades to the year 2100). Still more tools track wildfire danger and track how plant growing zones are expected to shift as the climate warms.  Designed with farmers  and water managers in mind, the Toolbox is intended to help the Pacific Northwest respond to and prepare for potentially costly impacts to its agriculture and natural resources both today and under future climate change.  The Toolbox is a joint effort between CIRC, the Northwest Knowledge Network, USDA Northwest Climate Hub, and US Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture. 

Link: http://pnwcirc.org/climatetools or https://climatetoolbox.org/

 

Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR): Idaho

EPSCoR partners with states that have historically received smaller amounts of federal research and development funds to enhance science and engineering research, education, and technological capabilities. Idaho EPSCoR provides support for sustainable increases in Research and Development capacity and advances science and engineering capabilities within the state.

Link: https://www.idahoepscor.org/

 

US Drought Monitor: Idaho

The U.S. Drought Monitor, established in 1999, is a weekly map of drought conditions that is produced jointly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The U.S. Drought Monitor website is hosted and maintained by the NDMC. 

Link: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?ID

 

NOAA Evaporative Drought Demand Index

The EDDI maps display atmospheric evaporative demand for 1 to 12 weeks and 1 to 12 months prior to the most current date. 

Link: https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/eddi/realtime_maps/

 

Agriculture Climate Network

The AgClimate Network is a web-based hub for data, analysis and communication between regional scientists and stakeholders about climate change and agricultural and natural resources topics. A consortium of institutions including Oregon State University, University of Idaho, and Washington State University, and individuals contribute content to this site and share articles and analyses. 

Link: https://www.agclimate.net/

 

USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station

Effects of drought on forests and rangelands in the United States: a comprehensive science synthesis

This assessment provides input to the reauthorized National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and the National Climate Assessment (NCA), and it establishes the scientific foundation needed to manage for drought resilience and adaptation. Focal areas include drought characterization; drought impacts on forest processes and disturbances such as insect outbreaks and wildfire; and consequences for forest and rangeland values. Management actions can either mitigate or exacerbate the effects of drought. A first principal for increasing resilience and adaptation is to avoid management actions that exacerbate the effects of current or future drought. Options to mitigate drought include altering structural or functional components of vegetation, minimizing drought-mediated disturbance such as wildfire or insect outbreaks, and managing for reliable flow of water.

Link: https://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/50261

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