Building Cyberinfrastructure to Support a Real-time National Flood Model

Monday, 15 December 2014
Fernando R Salas1, David R Maidment1, Kristin Tolle2, Chris Navarro3, Cedric H David4 and Robert Corby5, (1)University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, United States, (2)Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA, United States, (3)National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Urbana, IL, United States, (4)NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States, (5)National Weather Service, West Gulf River Forecast Center, Fort Worth, TX, United States
The National Weather Service (NWS) is divided into 13 regional forecast centers across the country where the Sacramento Soil Moisture Accounting (SAC-SMA) model is run on average over a 10 day period, 5 days in the past and 5 days in the future. Model inputs and outputs such as precipitation and surface runoff are spatially aggregated over approximately 6,600 forecast basins with an average area of 1,200 square kilometers. In contrast, the NHDPlus dataset, which represents the geospatial fabric of the country, defines over 3 million catchments with an average area of 3 square kilometers. Downscaling the NWS land surface model outputs to the NHDPlus catchment scale in real-time requires the development of cyberinfrastructure to manage, share, compute and visualize large quantities of hydrologic data; streamflow computations through time for over 3 million river reaches. Between September 2014 and May 2015, the National Flood Interoperability Experiment (NFIE), coordinated through the Integrated Water Resource Science and Services (IWRSS) partners, will focus on building a national flood model for the country. This experiment will work to seamlessly integrate data and model services available on local and cloud servers (e.g. Azure) through disparate data sources operating at various spatial and temporal scales. As such, this paper will present a scalable information model that leverages the Routing Application for Parallel Computation of Discharge (RAPID) model to produce real-time flow estimates for approximately 67,000 NHDPlus river reaches in the NWS West Gulf River Forecast Center region.