Project Portfolios

MetStat’s team of hydrometeorological experts is currently involved in a number of different projects that include risk-based precipitation frequency analyses, storm analyses, and site-specific probable maximum precipitation assessments, to name a few. A sample of major past projects can be found listed below.

72-Hour Precipitation Frequency Analysis for Tropical Storms in South Carolina

To support Duke Energy’s Focused Evaluation and Integrated Assessment, MetStat and MGS Engineering developed the watershed-specific precipitation frequency relationship for the controlling 72-hour storm type applicable to the Black Creek watershed above the Robinson Nuclear Plant in South Carolina. After evaluating the controlling storm type as Tropical Storms and Remnants, we developed estimates that extend to the equivalent annual exceedance probability (AEP) of the 72-hour probable maximum precipitation (PMP). Deliverables included scalable temporal and spatial storm templates. Coupling the templates with the precipitation-frequency results, a HEC-HMS hydrologic model can be initialized with plausible, synthetic storm events for computing a series of hydrologic hazard curves.

Duke 1000y 72hr AEP

The 72-hour precipitation amount corresponding to the 1-in-1000 average exceedance probability (AEP) across the Duke project area.

Duke watershed ppt curves

Graph of 72-hour watershed-mean precipitation for the Black Creek, SC watershed at various AEPs.

Trinity River Basin Extreme Precipitation Project
Hydrologic Hazards Development, Trinity River Basin Extreme Precipitation Project for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

MetStat, partnered with MGS Engineering, is analyzing extreme storms and regional precipitation-frequency for USACE Dam Safety Program’s Hydrologic Hazards Team (HHT). For this project, we are providing spatial and temporal data of extreme storms to be used for hydrologic modeling and calibration. We are also conducting precipitation-frequency analyses on different storm types (Mid-Latitude Cyclones, Mesoscale Storms with Embedded Convection, Local Storms and Tropical Storm Remnant Storms) that will be used to conduct stochastic modeling for floods generated by the various storm types to develop hydrologic hazard curves.

Storm total precipitation map as analyzed in MetStorm for the September 1921 Thrall, TX storm.

Colorado-New Mexico Regional Extreme Precipitation Study
MetStat, partnered with MGS Engineering, is conducting a Regional Precipitation-Frequency Analysis for the Colorado Water Conservation Board, the Colorado Division of Water Resources and the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer as part of their Regional Extreme Precipitation Study. MetStat uses various temporal, spatial and meteorological characteristics to differentiate between storm types and then conducts an L-moment regional precipitation frequency analysis on each. The resulting grids of precipitation frequency estimates will be used to conduct stochastic modeling for floods generated by the various storm types and to develop hydrologic hazard curves for risk-based analyses.

4-panel meteorological charts used in the manual storm typing process. Top left: 500mb height. Top right: 850mb height. Bottom left: column-integrated precipitable water. Bottom right: convective available potential energy (CAPE).

BC Hydro Upper Columbia River Extreme Floods
MetStat® is proud to partner with MGS Engineering Consultants, Inc. on the Stochastic Modelling of Extreme Floods for BC Hydro Seven Dams on the Upper Columbia River System project for British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority (BC Hydro). We are conducting precipitation-frequency analysis, assessing the seasonality of extreme events, generating historical storm spatial and temporal patterns for Mid-Latitude Cyclones, providing snow model parameters (freezing level and surface temperatures), and developing inputs to the Stochastic Event Flood Model (SEFM) for dam safety risk analyses.

MetStorm analysis for November 1990 storm event over the Columbia River basin.

Bear River Site-Specific Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP)
MetStat® is currently working on a site-specific probable maximum precipitation (PMP) study for the Bear River Drainage Basin in northern Utah and southern Idaho, in support of an update to the Bear River Hydroelectric Project Hazards Study for PacifiCorp’s dam safety program. Specifically, PMP results determined by the innovative Enhanced Storm Transposition Procedure (ESTP) will be provided for the drainage basins above each of the four dams on the lower Bear River in Idaho and Utah: Soda, Grace, Oneida, and Cutler Dams.  These results will be used by WEST Consultants, Inc. to compute the probable maximum flood at the four dam locations.

Back-trajectory climatology using the HYSPLIT model produced by NOAA (Alexander et al., 2015) used for identification of transposition regions.

Tennessee Valley Authority Hydrologic Hazards Assessment
MetStat® is currently working on a hydrologic hazards project for the Tennessee River Valley. We have provided a point precipitation-frequency analysis, MetStorm analyses for 100+ storms, and assisted MGS Engineering with watershed precipitation-frequency relationships using MetStorm. In addition, the Enhanced Storm Transposition Procedure (ESTP) was developed and applied as part of the project. A storm database and transposition tool is currently being developed to allow hydrologic modelers to identify key storms, access a comprehensive storm database, select watersheds of interest, and generate storm templates for the SEFM model (in-place and transposed patterns). The output from the graphical user interface (GUI) will be used by TVA, MGS, and RTI International  engineers to produce probabilistic flood hazard analyses (PFHA) for the dam safety program.
TVA GUI example

Screen capture from the Storm Database and Transposition Tool (SDTT).

Southern California Edison Hydrologic Risk Assessment
This multifaceted project involves examining hydrologic risk at Southern California Edison flood control structures on both short- and long-term scales. Notably, this project also includes a climate change evaluation. The Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5, Bias-Correction Spatial Disaggregation technique (CMIP5-BCSD) climate model data is used to generate adjustment factors for the hydrometeorological inputs to the Stochastic Event Flood Model (SEFM), for the 50-year period from 2020-2069. Two climate scenarios are used during the time period: hot-dry and warm-wet. The hot-dry scenario represents the greatest influence on snowpack reduction and reduced water availability; the warm-wet scenario represents the least reduction in snowpack and increased water availability. Adjustment factors from each scenario are applied to SEFM templates to update the hydrologic frequency estimates for a watershed of interest.
Precipitation Storm Analyses for Maricopa County Flood Control District
Since 2010, MetStat® has provided the Flood Control District of Maricopa County with detailed, precision storm precipitation analyses for use in hydrologic modeling projects.

MetStorm analysis of storm total precipitation for the 24 hours ending 00 UTC on 9 September 2014.

Example storm analysis from September 2014.

Consolidation and Enhancement of Hydrologic Model Parameter Estimation Tools
MetStat conducted a consolidation and enhancement of the IHABBS (Integrated Hydrologic Automated Basin Boundary System) hydrologic model parameter estimation tool in 2015-2016. IHABBS provides National Weather Service hydrologists with tools for automatically delineating, editing, displaying, querying, and managing hydrologic basin boundaries. This NOAA-funded project created a modern GIS Toolbox that can be run seamlessly from the RFC’s ArcGIS implementation to aid in hydrologic model calibration and development. MetStat’s modernization efforts included integrating more up-to-date datasets and increased flexibility for users and specifically pertained to the following improvements:

  • Integration of NHD Plus V2 data for basin delineation
  • “Rapid” tool for multiple watersheds
  • CAP Tool integrates updated PRISM climatology grids and 10-m NED DEM
  • SNOW-17 ADC Tool developed using SNODAS SWE (snow water equivalent) and computed AESC (areal extent of snow cover)
  • Pre-generated archive of daily, 3-day, and Jan-Aug subsets of SWE/AESC

The project concluded with the development of a user’s guide and on-site training at the CNRFC in Sacramento, CA in April 2016.


(Left) Example basin delineation using new IHABBS tool. (Right) Example basin using high-resolution NHDPlus V2.