The Western States Water Council and the California Department of Water Resources cosponsored a workshop on precipitation forecasting held May 27-29, 2015 in San Diego, California.

REPORT: Workshop on Improving Sub-Seasonal and Seasonal Precipitation Forecasting for Drought PreparednessWorkshop on Improving Sub-Seasonal & Seasonal Precip Forecasting_cover

: The purpose of the workshop was to develop a Western vision for improving precipitation forecasting at timescales beyond the two-week weather forecast time domain, loosely modeled after the Council’s vision for an observing network for Western extreme precipitation. Improved forecasts of precipitation at longer timescales can be used for many purposes, such as interstate compact or water rights administration, planning for local water agency supply deliveries, or flood season preparedness. Forecasting needs vary not only with the purpose of a forecast, but also with geographic location, because the seasonal pattern of storm activity and large storm types varies with location. Improved skill in precipitation forecasting can be achieved by improving prediction of large storm types, such as atmospheric rivers on the West Coast or the monsoon in the Southwest.

A workshop summary report will be prepared, with the intent of using the report to inform a dialog with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center on taking advantage of prediction skill that may be available at a regional (Western) scale to improve the outlooks now issued at a national scale. The workshop’s ultimate goal is to advance the Council’s position calling on the federal government to improve precipitation forecasting.

AGENDAImproving Sub-Seasonal and Seasonal Precipitation Forecasting


May 27, 2015

Opening Remarks, Jeanine Jones, Interstate Resources Manager, California Department of Water Resources (CDWR)

NOAA’s California Drought Service Assessment, Kevin Werner, Western Regional Climate Services Director, NOAA

Activities of NOAA’s NWS Climate Prediction Center, Jon Gottschalck, Chief, Operational Prediction Branch, Climate Prediction Center (CPC)

The National Weather Service: Western Region Perspective, Grant Cooper, Director, Western Region National Weather Service (NWS)

Forecasting Needs of NWS River Forecast Centers (RFCs) and Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs)
NOAA’s NWS California-Nevada River Forecast Center, Rob Hartman, Hydrologist in Charge
Colorado Basin River Forecast Center, John Lhotak, Development and Operations Hydrologist
San Diego Weather Forecast Office, Roger Pierce, Meteorologist

May 28, 2015

NOAA’s Research Program
Improving Seasonal-to-Decadal Climate Understanding and Prediction, V. “Ram” Ramaswamy, Director

Regional-Scale Research Projects
Building an Atmospheric Rivers Catalog Using Big Data Approach, Soroosh Sorooshian, Distinguished Professor, University of California (UC) at Irvine
Conditioning an Analog Years Database, Amir Aghakouchak, Assistant Professor, UC Irvine
Probabilistic Seasonal Predictin of Drought using Long-Term Precipitation and Temperature Data, Ali Behrangi, Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

Western State Climatologists Perspectives on Precipitation Forecasting
Seasonal Forecasting – California Perspectives, Mike Anderson, State Climatologist, CDWR
Oregon’s Drought and Seasonal Forecasting, Kathie Dello, Associate Director, Climate Change Research Institute, Oregon State University
Perspectives in Sub-Seasonal and Seasonal Forecasts in New Mexico, David DuBois, State Climatologist, New Mexico State University

NOAA’s Research Programs
Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections Program, Dan Barrie, Program Manager, NOAA’s Climate Program Office

Forecasting Needs and Water Agency Perspectives – Drought Preparedness and Response
Will it Rain in Texas?, Robert Mace, Deputy Executive Administrator, Texas Water Development Board
Drought-Proofing Oklahoma: Forecasting Needs, J.D. Strong, Executive Director, Oklahoma Water Resources Board
Needs for Seasonal Precipitation Forecasting: California Perspective, Jeanine Jones, Interstate Resources Manager, CDWR
New Mexico Perspective, John Longworth Statewide Projects Manager, New Mexico Office of the State Engineer
Double-edged Swords, James Rufo-Hill, Climate Resilience Advisor, Seattle Public Utilities
Benefits of Improved Long Range Weather Outlooks to the Salt River Project, Charlie Ester, Manager, Water Resource Operations, Salt River Project

May 29, 2015

Forecasting Needs and Water Agency Perspectives – (Cont’d)
Prediction Needs of a Complicated River, Eric Kuhn, Secretary/General Manager, Colorado River Water Conservation District

Potential Applications – Reservoir Operations
Reservoir Operations – Missouri Basin, Tim Davis, Administrator, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation
Upper Colorado River Basin Reservoir Operations, Don Ostler, Executive Director, Upper Colorado River Commission
Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations – An Opportunity to Improve the Resiliency of our Water Supply, Jay Jasperse, Chief Engineer, Sonoma County Water Agency
Forecast-Coordinated Operations & Forecast-Informed Operations for Central Valley Reservoirs, Boone Lek, Senior Water Resources Engineer, CDWR