Evaluating Mesoscale Numerical Weather Predictions and Spatially Distributed Meteorologic Forcing Data for Developing Accurate SWE Forecasts over Large Mountain Basins

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Andrew R Hedrick1, Danny G Marks1, Adam H Winstral1 and Hans-Peter Marshall2, (1)USDA Agriculture Research Serv, Boise, ID, United States, (2)Boise State University, Boise, ID, United States
The ability to forecast snow water equivalent, or SWE, in mountain catchments would benefit many different communities ranging from avalanche hazard mitigation to water resource management. Historical model runs of Isnobal, the physically based energy balance snow model, have been produced over the 2150 km2 Boise River Basin for water years 2012 – 2014 at 100-meter resolution. Spatially distributed forcing parameters such as precipitation, wind, and relative humidity are generated from automated weather stations located throughout the watershed, and are supplied to Isnobal at hourly timesteps. Similarly, the Weather Research & Forecasting (WRF) Model provides hourly predictions of the same forcing parameters from an atmospheric physics perspective. This work aims to quantitatively compare WRF model output to the spatial meteorologic fields developed to force Isnobal, with the hopes of eventually using WRF predictions to create accurate hourly forecasts of SWE over a large mountainous basin.