Multi-ensemble and multi-model seasonal hydrological streamflow forecasting for the Upper Zambezi, Africa

Rodrigo Valdés-Pineda1, Juan B. Valdes1, Sungwook Wi2, Eleonora M.C. Demaria3, Matej Durcick1, Aleix Serrat-Capdevila4

1Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, The University of Tucson, Tucson, Arizona

2Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts

3Southwest Watershed Research Center, USDA-ARS, Tucson, Arizona

4Global Water Practice, The World Bank, Washington, DC

Seasonal Hydrological Streamflow Forecasting (SHSF) is a powerful tool aimed to provide information to water resources managers. SHSF incorporates information provided by coupled atmosphere-ocean-land general circulation models (CGCMs) into hydrologic models to produce seasonal daily streamflow forecasts. In this presentation we show the development and validation of a Multi-ensemble and Multi-model Seasonal Hydrological Streamflow Forecasting System for the Upper Zambezi River Basin (UZRB) in Africa. Three distributed hydrologic models: the HyMod model, the HBV model; the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model are used to generate SHSF for the UZRB (up to 180 days ahead). The SHSF for the UZRB are generated using seasonal forecasts of precipitation and temperature obtained from the North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME). To provide uncertainty levels of the forecasts, a sampling of the NMME ensembles is used. The streamflow forecasts are provided in a monthly basis to serve as decision support to improve water and food security, adaptive capacity, and sustainable development of water resources and services in the Zambezi River basin. The forecasts are available in a website-based platform developed as a collaborative effort between the SERVIR Water Africa-Arizona Team (SWAAT) and the SERVIR Program of NASA and USAID.

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