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Passive Microwave Detection of Snowmelt and Runoff

NH

University `of New Hampshire/NASA Science Mission Directorate

The UNH and CRREL project team was recently award the NASA Earth Sciences Applications grant “Satellite Enhanced Snowmelt Flood Predictions in the Red River of the North Basin” to advance the capability of snowmelt flood prediction in the Red River Basin via a partnership among the University of New Hampshire (UNH), North Dakota State University (NDSU), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service’s (NWS)’s North Central River Forecast Center’s (NCRFC), the USACE Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL), and the USDA Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory. The goal is to improve the NCRFC flood prediction models using satellite observations that capture the magnitude, timing, and spatial distribution of watershed scale snow and snowmelt parameters as well as antecedent soil conditions. The Red River Basin has historical record of floods and weak flood prediction capability and high associated costs for flood-induced losses as well as preparation costs. As an example, during the 2013 flood, the city of Fargo and the US Army Corps of Engineers St. Paul District each spent in excess of $3M for temporary protection measures in response to an initial forecast of record flood levels at Fargo, which turned out to be unnecessary. With the information and models that were available at the time, the NCRFC had forecasted a peak flow that exceeded the observed by 70%. This project has the potential to improve forecasting to avoid expenditures of that magnitude in the future.

Jennifer M. Jacobs, Science PI, University of New Hampshire

Robert Freeman, NASA Technical Monitor, Kennedy Space Center www.nasa.gov/epscor/stimuli

Doug Osborne, UNH graduate student, measures the snow temperature profiles at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest during winter 2013-2014. Photo by Carrie Vuyovich.

NASA EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15

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EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15  

NASA Office of Education’s Aerospace Research & Career Development (ARCD) is pleased to release NASA EPSCoR Stimuli, a collection of univers...

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