Location: Northwest Watershed Management Research
Project Number: 5362-13610-010-05
Start Date: Feb 27, 2013
End Date: Sep 30, 2016
Stage one will be the application of Isnobal, a physically-based distributed snow model, in an operational setting - the Boise River Basin. The model will be forced with currently available data including meteorological stations operated by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Reclamation, and Sawtooth National Forest Avalanche Center. Simulated snowcover will be evaluated against satellite-derived observations and melt inputs will be compared to measured discharge. All modeling will be conducted at the USDA-ARS Northwest Watershed Research Center in Boise, ID. Updated maps of SWE and snowcover energy state will be repeatedly transferred to Reclamation. The sensitivity of the simulations to gaps in data availability will be evaluated and recommendations for additional instrumentation made. In stage two Isnobal will be coupled to a soil storage or routing model in order to convert Isnobal-simulated surface water inputs to stream discharge. Additionally, the feasibility of ingesting short-term weather forecasts to produce predictions of reservoir inflows will be assessed. Prior research initiatives have successfully coupled Isnobal with routing models spanning a range of complexities to model streamflow. We will investigate the appropriateness of these prior couplings as well as other routing models for operational applications. Once coupled, predicted streamflow will be evaluated against observations. Available short-term weather forecasting products will be evaluated for compatibility with Isnobal modeling requirements. Stage three will be a proof of concept of the abilities of the coupled Isnobal-routing model to forecast short-term (1 - 3 days) reservoir inflows. Short-term weather forecasts will be manually input to the coupled model. At this stage, it will also be possible to adjust forecasted temperatures, precipitation, and cloud cover in order to simulate flows for a range of conditions centered on the most probable forecast. Predicted inflows will be provided as a test product to Reclamation and other interested parties. Simulated inflows will be evaluated against other forecasting products and observations.