A High‐Resolution National‐Scale Hydrologic Forecast System from a Global Ensemble Land Surface Model


ECMWF, RAPID, Tethys Platform, CondorPy, HTCondor, CI-WATER, GloFAS, NFIE, flood prediction, streamflow prediction, forecast


Warning systems with the ability to predict floods several days in advance have the potential to benefit tens of millions of people. Accordingly, large‐scale streamflow prediction systems such as the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service or the Global Flood Awareness System are limited to coarse resolutions. This article presents a method for routing global runoff ensemble forecasts and global historical runoff generated by the European Centre for Medium‐Range Weather Forecasts model using the Routing Application for Parallel computatIon of Discharge to produce high spatial resolution 15‐day stream forecasts, approximate recurrence intervals, and warning points at locations where streamflow is predicted to exceed the recurrence interval thresholds. The processing method involves distributing the computations using computer clusters to facilitate processing of large watersheds with high‐density stream networks. In addition, the Streamflow Prediction Tool web application was developed for visualizing analyzed results at both the regional level and at the reach level of high‐density stream networks. The application formed part of the base hydrologic forecasting service available to the National Flood Interoperability Experiment and can potentially transform the nation's forecast ability by incorporating ensemble predictions at the nearly 2.7 million reaches of the National Hydrography Plus Version 2 Dataset into the national forecasting system.

Original Publication Citation

Snow, Alan D., Scott D. Christensen, Nathan R. Swain, E. James Nelson, Daniel P. Ames, Norman L. Jones, Deng Ding, Nawajish S. Noman, Cédric H. David, Florian Pappenberger, and Ervin Zsoter, 2016.A High-Resolution National-Scale Hydrologic Forecast System from a Global Ensemble Land Surface Model. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA).

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Journal of the American Water Resources Association




Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Civil and Environmental Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor