The Effects of Rainfall Network Density on River Forecasts –A Case Study in the St. Johns Basin
Bradberry, Judith Stokes
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A hydrometeorological study is conducted for large and small sub-basins of the lower St. Johns River in Florida during September 2001. A gauge-only precipitation data set and a gauge+radar merged precipitation data set each are inserted into the River Forecast Center’s (RFC's) Interactive Forecast Program (IFP) hydrologic model to compare Mean Areal Precipitation (MAP) and simulated streamflows from the two precipitation products. Two different gauge densities also are tested to show the dependence on gauge quantity. Two watersheds are examined – Geneva (2035 mi2)and Wekiva River (~210 mi2). Although the two basins differ in size and river response, the results from each clearly reveal the advantage of having a dense gauge network. However, blending gauge derived precipitation data with radar-derived data does not necessarily produce the best-simulated streamflow.