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NOAA News Releases 2006
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Thirteen new river forecast sites that monitor stream flows from the Adirondack Mountains are improving St. Lawrence River water management. Data and forecasts from these and other sites are key components of NOAA’s National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, providing flow and volume forecast information to water managers throughout the St. Lawrence drainage area.

The forecast sites will become operational as the spring runoff season begins. AHPS products are then used by water resource managers to maintain flow requirements in the St. Lawrence River. These products are vital to meet navigation, ecological, recreation, water supply, and power generation requirements for the area.

“With financial support from the International Joint Commission, NOAA’s National Weather Service is now providing daily and long-range probabilistic forecasts at 13 locations in this region,” said Ed Capone, senior hydrologist at NOAA’s Northeast River Forecast Center, and the lead for the St. Lawrence project. “These locations provide forecast information for the United States tributaries draining the Adirondack Mountains, an area previously devoid of such information.” The International Joint Commission is an American-Canadian organization which helps prevent and resolve disputes over boundary waters between the two countries.

“The new information from the Adirondack tributaries gives us the ability to develop more complete alternative plans on the St. Lawrence. It will also provide a valuable tool for the International St. Lawrence River Board of Control for operational decisions, especially during spring runoff events,” said Tony Eberhardt, Ph.D., U.S. general manager of the International Joint Commission study.

In the late 1990s, the International Joint Commission began an extensive review of the management plan for the St. Lawrence River. This review noted the lack of information about flows from the Adirondack streams contributed to inefficiencies of the St. Lawrence water management system. Water releases from Lake Ontario and controlled rivers in the Canadian portion of the basin had to be made despite the lack of flow information from this area, according to Gregg Rishel, hydrologist-in-charge of NOAA’s Northeast River Forecast Center.

The National Weather Service is an office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, 61 countries and the European Commission to develop a global network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

The International Joint Commission was established by the Boundary Waters Treaty to help the United States and Canada prevent and resolve disputes over the use of the waters they share.

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