National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center, National Weather Service, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Data Center Description http://www.nohrsc.nws.gov/ The National Operational Hydrological Remote Sensing Center (NOHRSC) creates and distributes a variety of products that use remotely sensed data in support of the hydrologic services mission of the National Weather Service (NWS). The NWS issues river and flood forecasts for the Nation and provides hydrometeorological data and products to support the Nation's water resources managers. The most widely used Center products estimate snow cover properties with data collected by airborne and satellite sensors. The Center operates two terrestrial gamma radiation detection systems on low-flying aircraft to infer snow water equivalent over a network of more than 1600 flight lines covering portions of 25 states and 7 Canadian provinces. Additionally, analysts use image data from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) on the NOAA polar orbiting satellites and image data from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) to digitally map areal extent of snow cover for over 4000 river basins in the U.S. (including Alaska) and in Canada. The Center distributes these satellite-based snow cover products weekly for regions covering 2/3 of the U.S. and Canada where snow cover is a significant hydrologic variable. The remotely sensed hydrology products are distributed electronically, in near real-time, to NWS and non-NWS end-users in both alphanumeric and image format. Field hydrologists at the NWS River Forecast Centers and other Federal, state, and private agencies use the airborne snow water equivalent data and satellite areal extent of snow cover data operationally when issuing spring flood outlooks, water supply outlooks, river and flood forecasts, and reservoir inflow forecasts for the country. The Center has recently developed the capability to generate and to distribute, in near real time, raster (or grid-cell) snow water equivalent data sets using: (1) ground-based point snow water equivalent data, (2) airborne flight line snow water equivalent data, (3) satellite areal extent of snow cover data, (4) digital elevation data, and (5) forest canopy cover data sets. Although the Center exists primarily to generate and to distribute regular, operational, remotely sensed hydrology products, it also provides support to various inter-agency research programs and develops new products to meet specific requirements of its users. Each summer, the Center distributes to end-users a CD-ROM that contains the previous season's airborne and satellite snow data. In the future, the Center will further develop and refine the remotely sensed hydrology products to incorporate information contained in the Next Generation Radar (NEXRAD) data sets and in Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) satellite data sets. These and other data sets provided by future remote sensing technologies will be incorporated into operational, real-time, hydrology products. All of the remotely sensed estimates of parameters affecting the Nation's water resources are being fully integrated into NWS plans for an enhanced Water Resources Forecasting System (WARFS). Contact: Thomas R. Carroll Director National Operational Hydrological Remote Sensing Center Office of Hydrology 6301 - 34th Avenue South, Room 112 Minneapolis, MN 55450-2985 USA Phone: (612) 325-3039 Phone: FTS 725-3039 Phone: FAX (612) 725-3338 See: http://www.nohrsc.nws.gov/ Ordering/Price Policy: Products are available at cost from the NOHRSC. Available Distribution Media: Data are available from NOHRSC on-line as well as off-line: CD-ROM, hardcopy, and magnetic media.