Improving Volume Forecasting Tools for Snow Dominated Basins

Improving Volume Forecasting Tools for Snow Dominated Basins

Bureau of Reclamation

Lead Researcher: Joel Fenolio

Research Topic: Conventional Hydro

In 2018, the GP Region developed the PyCast Software application to address some of the aforementioned issues. The software provides an interactive tool that allows users to search-for and download relevant hydrologic datasets and develop well performing statistical runoff forecast equations using a variety of regression techniques. The software uses a set of novel search algorithms to find skillful and predictive forecast equations using from the complete set of hydrologic data, and allows users to analyze groups of forecast equations for similarities and outliers.

This project seeks to:

  • evaluate the capabilities of the PyCast software,
  • develop additional functionality for the program, and
  • determine how remote sensing products developed in other S&T projects can improve forecast skill.

The software will be evaluated by generating hindcasts in GP and PN basins, as well as conducting real-time forecasting during the 2019, 2020, and 2021 seasons. Developers from the PN and GP regions will continue to develop the software, train users, gather user input and suggestions, and add additional features and compatibility. New snow water equivalent (SWE) and snow covered area datasets proposed under two concurrent GP and MP S&T projects will be incorporated into the software and the resulting forecasts will be compared to traditional snow products from the NRCS.