Development of an Operational Hydrological Monitoring and Seasonal Forecast System for China

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 2:55 PM
Qiuhong Tang and Xuejun Zhang, IGSNRR Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing, China
Hydrological monitoring and forecast are critical for disaster mitigation and water resources management. Although large investments have been made in climate forecasting and in related monitoring of land surface conditions, the experimental streamflow monitoring and forecast system is yet to be developed for China. We propose a frame to collect near-real-time meteorological forcings from various sources, to apply land surface hydrological model to simulate hydrological states and fluxes, and to generate ensemble seasonal forecasts of river discharge and soil moisture over China. A retrospective land surface hydrologic fluxes and states dataset with a 0.25° spatial resolution and a 3-hourly time step was developed using the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model as driven by gridded observation-based meteorological forcings in 1952-2012. The VIC simulations were carefully calibrated against the available streamflow observations and the simulated river discharge matched well with the observed monthly streamflow at the large river basins in China. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) based near-real-time satellite precipitation product was adjusted at each grid to match the daily precipitation distribution with the ground observations during the period of 2000-2010. The adjusted satellite precipitation was used to simulate hydrological states and fluxes in a near-real-time manner and to provide initial hydrological conditions for seasonal forecast. The performance of hydrological monitoring and skill of seasonal streamflow prediction were assessed. The potential and challenges of using the operational monitoring and forecast system for improved flooding and drought management are discussed.