Weather intelligence specialist Baron has been selected as a partner for NOAA’s new US$360m institute dedicated to improving flood prediction and water management.
The Cooperative Institute for Research to Operations in Hydrology (CIROH) is administered by the Alabama Water Institute on the University of Alabama campus and is poised to become a standard-bearer in translating water research into operations that improve the nation’s ability to predict water-related hazards and effectively manage water resources.
Baron is the largest private partner in the consortium and brings expertise in flood forecast modeling and the communication of critical weather information that will be an asset to the effort.
John McHenry, chief scientist at Baron and chair of the AMS Committee on Hydrology, said, “I am thrilled that NOAA has chosen the Alabama Water Institute to lead this outstanding consortium, and I am equally thrilled that Baron was chosen as a partner in this effort. Our deep expertise in advanced flood inundation modeling as well as in GIS, machine learning, QPE advancement and techniques for warning dissemination and visualization will bring a tremendous resource for rapid acceleration of research-to-operations on behalf of the National Water Center and NOAA’s Office of Water Prediction.”
The consortium will assist NOAA’s vision of a water- and weather-ready nation. CIROH will advance water research in support of NOAA’s Office of Water Prediction and reinforce the work of the National Weather Service and National Water Center through collaboration across the scientific community in four broad research themes:
- Water resources prediction capabilities.
- Community water resources modeling.
- Application of social, economic and behavioral science to water resources prediction.
Providing a mature modeling component that contains ‘flood-inundation dynamics’ to the next-generation National Water Model (NWM) is one of Baron’s roles. Baron will also focus its efforts on helping to create flood forecasts that are easier to communicate to the public.
While outputs from the first-generation NWM proved challenging to work with for many service providers, Baron plans to leverage its broad experience working with its enterprise and broadcast television partners such that operational “NextGen” NOAA-NWM model forecasts can be easily used to maximum effectiveness in saving lives and mitigating property loss.