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Distributed Modeling Operations Concept Team Charter

Overview / Background: It is recognized that spatially distributed hydrologic models, in general, may improve upon current hydrologic forecasting capabilities in many situations and are essential to meet new and emerging requirements for water resources prediction. During the past several years, the NWS has been developing hydrologic and computer science capabilities associated with distributed hydrologic modeling and data assimilation. Research and operational prototypes of both distributed conceptual models and distributed physical models have been tested within the organization. Moreover, a wide variety of distributed hydrologic modeling capabilities exist externally.


  • Develop an operations concept describing how various users (including researchers) would use a coherent and integrated distributed hydrologic modeling, assimilation and prediction capability, which operates across multiple spatial and temporal scales to support regional and local objectives, ranging from water resources prediction, to river and flood forecasting, to flash flood prediction.

  • Prioritize the business requirements that are derived from the Operations Concept for this system. Business Requirements describe in business terms what must be delivered or accomplished to provide value. The reason to prioritize the requirements is to create groupings of functionality that can be combined and implemented as discrete units.

  • Produce a charter document for a subsequent "Distributed Modeling Capability Gap Analysis and Implementation Strategy" team to be formed upon acceptance of this team’s deliverables.

Additional Team Requirements:

  • Recommendations must support both the NOAA and NWS mission.

  • Recommendations must support the Hydrology Program’s goal of integrated water resource services.

  • Recommendations must be consistent with OHD’s plans for a Community Hydrologic Prediction System (CHPS) infrastructure.

  • Analysis will focus on business requirements rather than software design or technical specifications.

  • Analysis will focus on how best to implement the science of distributed hydrologic modeling into the existing NWS organizational structure.


  • Basis for decisions will be decided by simple majority of the team members. Minority opinions may be included in the report at the discretion of the dissenting member or members.

  • Staff time is expected to be up to 1 day per week.

  • The majority of meetings will be held via teleconference. At least one face-to-face meeting is anticipated.

  • Travel expenses, if needed, will be covered by a combination of OHD and the team member’s organization.

Termination Date: The team will be formed and commence activities in August 2007. The team shall present a reviewed and approved final report no later than December 15, 2007.

Success Criteria: Presentation to the OHD Director of a field-reviewed and agreed-to concept of operations, prioritization of business requirements for distributed modeling, and a charter document for a "Distributed Modeling Capability Gap Analysis and Implementation Strategy" team that will follow up on this team’s findings.

Membership: The team will be made of the following individuals. Additional personnel from the RFCs, NWS Regions or Headquarters may participate as consultants.

Team Members
Pedro Restrepo (Leader) OHD
Ken Pavelle (Coordinator) OHD
Kris Lander CRH
Kevin Werner WRH
Paul McKee WGRFC
Dave Streubel APRFC
Ed Clark CBRFC
Paula Cognitore MARFC
Eric Jones LMRFC
Tom Adams OHRFC
Mike Smith OHD/HSMB
Mary Mullusky OCWWS/HSD
Consultants to the Team
Geoff Bonnin OHD/HSMB
Seann Reed OHD/HSMB
Victor Koren OHD/HSMB
Deb Atkins OHD/HSEB
Diane Cooper SRH
Don Cline NOHRSC
Team Mentor
Gary Carter OHD


Team Members

  • Actively participate in all team activities, including teleconference and face-to-face meetings, interim and final document preparation and review
  • Vote on decisions that impact the team’s process and/or results.
  • Solicit and coordinate input from their NWS region
  • Report on progress (status, issues) to the Team Leader
Team Leader
  • Is also a Team Member
  • Lead all team activities
  • Report on progress (status, issues) to the Team Mentor
Team Coordinator
  • Is also a Team Member
  • Schedule all team meetings, conference calls, etc.
  • Distribute all materials to team members
  • Coordinate preparation and delivery of final documents
Team Mentor
  • Provide guidance and direction on the team’s purpose
  • Solicit input from external reviewers, e.g. Hydrologists-In-Charge
  • Accept and approve findings
  • Provide additional input and guidance as needed
  • Actively participate in the review of final deliverables

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Office of Hydrologic Development
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Silver Spring, MD 20910

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Page last modified: May 3, 2011
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