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An introduction to the NWS West Gulf River Forecast Center
Vol. 7 No. 1 (2016). Cover photo: Lake Austin Dam on the Colorado River, June 15, 1935. Photo CO8484, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.
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Keywords

flood
precipitation
forecasts

Abstract

The National Weather Service (NWS) West Gulf River Forecast Center (WGRFC), in cooperation with numerous federal, state, and local government entities, uses the latest science and technology to provide timely and accurate river forecasts in an effort to protect life and property for most of the river drainages in Texas. Disaster preparedness decreases property damage by an estimated $1 billion annually nationwide. The mission is to provide basic hydrologic forecast information for the economic and environmental well-being for the nation. The WGRFC is 1 of 13 river forecast centers within the United States and is located in Fort Worth, Texas. The WGRFC’s area of responsibility stretches from the Rio Grande in southern Colorado, New Mexico and south Texas eastward to the Sabine River along the Texas-Louisiana border. Other rivers in the center’s area of responsibility include the Pecos, Nueces, San Antonio, Guadalupe, Colorado, Brazos, Trinity, and Neches rivers. This article will describe the variety of hydrologic forecasting services routinely provided by the WGRFC. Although flood forecasts are its most well-known product, the WGRFC also generates river and water information used for recreation, reservoir operations, and water supply plans. Additionally, the WGRFC produces estimates of hourly precipitation. To achieve this, the WGRFC has 2 primary functions; a hydrometeorological function and a hydrologic function.  This article will describe each function and discuss how each function serves as steps in the preparation and the issuing of hydrologic forecasts.

https://doi.org/10.21423/twj.v7i1.7036
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