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Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services

Hydrologic Services Meet
at the Summit in Vail, Colorado

The National Hydrologic Warning Council (NHWC) held its 8th Biennial Conference and Exposition near the continental divide in Vail, Colorado where at flake of snow will melt and eventually find its way into the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean.  Many National Weather Service’s (NWS) hydrologists and scientists met with those on the front line of the nation’s communities who use NWS river and flood forecast to conduct daily business or evacuate people or move property in saving lives and property.

The mission of the NHWC is to promote the acquisition, dissemination and utilization of hydrologic and meteorological data in real-time for the protection of lives, property, infrastructure and resources, and to support the subsequent uses of the data to improve knowledge and management of the environment.  The NWS works closely with the NHWC depending on them to be reactionary to hydrologic forecasts and warnings.

“The folks who make up the National Hydrologic Warning Council are the practioners of our watches and warnings.  They are an important partner for us because they live and work where the rubber meets the road using our products and services,” stated Dr. Tom Graziano, Chief of the Hydrologic Services Division.  In addition to the many sessions throughout the conference, key note speakers included Steven Stockton, Director of Civil Works for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Bill Read, Director of the National Hurricane Center; the Honorable Gregory J. Hobbs, Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court; and Jack Hayes, Director of the National Weather Service. Jack Hayes gave a lunchtime keynote addressing hydrologic services and capabilities and how far the NWS has come through partnerships with NHWC and others. He also touched on the opportunities ahead.

“We have extraordinary water resource challenges.  Rapid development, population shifts, and climate change are the driving need for relevant, science-based water information,” stated Hayes.  “Greater societal awareness of how environmental factors affect lives and livelihood creates opportunities for NOAA to demonstrate value and become the trusted source for environmental information and knowledge.” More than 300 people attended this event. 

In addition to the many papers presented and moderating sessions, NWS staff hosted a booth where they distributed brochures, safety reminder items and fielded numerous questions.

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Last Updated: August 26, 2013->