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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Winnipeg
    Posts
    24,228

    The Science Of Water Level Forecasts

    There are many jobs I would not want. Many I am not smart enough to do, some are too physically demanding, and others just do not line up with my interests. One job that is highly interesting to me, but far too scientific, is the position that is responsible for Predicting Water Levels, for purposes of flood control. Predicting how high and how fast a river will rise is about as complicated as it gets for me, unless of course you want me to plan a rocket launch one day soon! Believe me, I can add a long list of jobs that are way over my head!!

    Every spring, we have potential flooding in this area. Our two biggest rivers, including The Red River, that flows north from The US, are susceptible to the melting and run off from winter. My fair city has had a number of serious floods, but we have cut our losses when we built The Red River Floodway, which essentially reroutes excessive river flow around out city, to join up with The Red at a safer point that can handle additional load. It was a phenomenal undertaking, and has saved us more money than I can estimate. Lets just say billions.

    Regardless, I can not imagine the complexity of predicting when snow will melt, how it will merge with run off, how it will be affected by saturation levels, and what the impact might be with warmer/colder weather, additional precipitation, and yes, ice jams....which are causing issues this year in some places. In fact, The Red River was seemingly under control until last week when things came together quickly, with the resulting higher levels than expected. Ice jams were definitely a factor, and to date, some folks have been affected. Similar problems are being felt even where The Red does not flow. All in all, it is not a good situation, but we have experienced much, much worse. And yes, as of Friday, our Floodway was activated. It is always an amazing sight to see. In fact, we were driving by the floodway soon after it was opened and before you know it, the water was rushing into it, and around our city. And it is quite a marvel to see where it re-enters The Red.....pounding it's way back into the river.

    But back to the topic....hats off to the folks who make the predictions, alert us when issues are "arising" and help in the effort to prevent untold damage, via sand bagging, alterations as needed, and sad to say when things go wrong, timely notices to move. And yes, whatever science you are using, it seems pretty darn accurate given the possibilities.

    Now lets see...."given this level of saturation, and a temperature range of this many degrees, and X amount of ice/snow that has yet to melt, and the affect of Y number of rivers/creeks entering at different points, and winds blowing from this direction at this speed, and pending when a crest might come, and with a 60% of rain on this date".......yadda yadda yadda!!!!
    Last edited by CanDB; 04-03-2017 at 12:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Westminster
    Posts
    4,187
    http://www.physicalgeography.net/ check out this site particularly the Indroduction to the Hydrosphere section.
    I used this site when taking Physical Geography for one my electives recently, a class I enjoyed more than most.
    I really like Cheese.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Winnipeg
    Posts
    24,228
    Quote Originally Posted by darth-hideous View Post
    http://www.physicalgeography.net/ check out this site particularly the Indroduction to the Hydrosphere section.
    I used this site when taking Physical Geography for one my electives recently, a class I enjoyed more than most.
    Thx for that.....I am taking a peek through it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Winnipeg
    Posts
    24,228
    This is indeed an important science....in fact I do believe I have the 4 am trip to the washroom down to a basic formula.

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