Value of Forecasts in Reservoir Operations Management
Seasonal forecasts of weather provide valuable information for reservoir operations, particularly during unusual events, such as floods or droughts. A challenge confronting reservoir operators today is whether to incorporate new climate products into their operations to help manage such extremes or to use historic data to guide them. This research evaluates the accuracy and value of forecasts generated from the Climate Forecast System version 2 (CFSv2) using the operations of the Salt Lake City Parley's System and compares it to the accuracy and value of using an ensemble streamflow predictions (ESP) approach. Streamflow reforecasts are generated and used to evaluate the predictive skill of the CFSv2 in reservoir management. Using the CFSv2 may offer more insight when responding to climate-driven extremes than the ESP approach because the CFSv2 incorporates a fully coupled climate model into its forecasts rather than using all of the historic record as being equally probable.