Data, Tools, and Predictions for Water Balance Planning and Public Safety

Presented by

Dr. Mark Strudley, NOAA National Weather Service

About this talk

California Bay Area weather is some of the most difficult to predict across the United States due to microclimates and complex topography, yet the National Weather Service and emergency management agencies seldom are required to issue severe weather-related warnings. When moisture deficit is not on everyone’s minds, California weather is like a soldier’s life: 99% boredom and 1% panic. Infrequent so-called ‘atmospheric river’ events are the primary driver behind flooding-related hazards along the central CA coast and Bay Area, and also play a leading role in our state’s water supply. In contrast, during times of water shortage, the forecasting challenges remain while the continual emergency of drought persists over years. The National Weather Service, as part of NOAA, implements a Hydrology Program at a local level for water-related decision support and teams with other local, regional, and national resource agencies to provide information pertaining to both flooding and drought. This presentation will provide an introduction to the National Weather Service: where we’re located, what we do, and how we partner with agencies, the media, and our customer base (local citizens). We’ll also discuss how both flooding and drought are monitored and predicted, and what data and tools are publicly available that may be used as a catalyst for wise green building design that affords hazard resilience. A modicum of discussion on what the future climate portends for Bay Area water balance will also be provided.

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