Anticipated to provide streamflow and other hydrological guidance to forecasters, emergency responders, water resource managers, and other public safety professionals on the Hawai'ian islands as earlier versions of the model have provided to the continental United States, version 2.0 of the National Water Model (NWM) is set to make progress toward the vision of the National Weather Service (NWS) to establish a Weather Ready Nation.
To effectively support local and regional flood forecasting, warning and response efforts, NWM code is being organized into a series of retrievable libraries such that data within the national weather, water, and climate enterprise will free and open for use outside of the federal government.
Catalyzing the use and discussion of community-specific, value-added water information is expected to identify and implement more science-based solutions that protect people and property.
Other exciting developments include new impact-based decision support services for water prediction. Data services will soon convert official NWS River Forecast Center forecasts into a set of experimental flood inundation mapping services.
As recently as March, 2018, NOAA implemented NWM version 1.2. More accurate streamflow analyses and forecasts are derived from a large increase in the number of observation points now assimilated into the model. New data sources include an additional 680 USGS stream gauges -- short of a 10% increase over existing (and questionable) inventory in operation -- to help improve the model's simulation of streamflow. Accuracy improvements associated with NWM version 1.2 ought to be significantly noticeable during high-impact events.
The National Model Water represents a data-driven, digital transformation of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to address present and future water challenges. Over time, NWM outputs will be used increasingly by NWS forecasters to supplement traditional water forecasts and deliver more accurate, timelier forecasts to serve the growing needs of myriad stakeholders. A series of map services and web apps ultimately will place NWM output in context for end users.