Application of a new hydrometeorological streamflow prediction model

TitleApplication of a new hydrometeorological streamflow prediction model
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1977
AuthorsTangborn, W. V.
Conference Name45th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 45th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1977
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationAlbuquerque, New Mexico
KeywordsPrecipitation data forecasting, Water supply forecasting with prec data

A mathematical model to predict seasonal streamflow, using only low-altitude precipitation gages and streamflow gaging stations, is described. The main features of the model developed are: (1) It can be implemented in any basin that has a large snow storage component, historical streamflow records, and precipitation observations in or near the basin. (2) It is based on simple but rational premises: that basin storage is approximately equal to winter precipitation minus winter runoff, that the catch of a low-altitude precipitation gage is proportional to nearby upland precipitation, and that storage is eventually released as summer streamflow. (3) It does not require expensive high-altitude installations to obtain data. (4) It incorporates a method to test and revise the estimate of storage available for release as summer streamflow.Tests of the model to obain retrospective predictions for the past 10 to 15 years are shown for basins in the North Cascades of Washington, the South Central Sierra Nevada, and for Norway. These tests show that the model appears to be about 20 percent more accurate than existing methods.