NOAA/National Weather Service's Chief Learning Office United States Department of Commerce
Commerce Learning Center

Hydrology Professional Development Series (PDS) 1 : Provide Hydrologic Services

PDS Statement of Responsibility : Provide pertinent hydrological services to make relevant decisions to protect life and property in support of the nation's economic well-being.

Description of the Area of Responsibility : Provide hydrologic and hydrometeorological services, data and information, and river flow/stage forecasts and flood/flash flood warnings to support the decision-making process of internal and external hydrologic customers. Partners and users depend on these products to make decisions related to navigation, water management, floodplain management, ecosystem management, recreation, etc. Those partners and users include federal, state, tribal, and local agencies, private entities, and the general public.

Hydro PDS 1 : Provide Hydrologic Services

Executive Producer - John Bradley (AFS25)

See below for descriptions of the job competencies associated with each of the five Professional Competency Units (PCU). Specific instructional components for each PCU, with associated abilities and job skills, are available from the PCU pages linked below.

PCU 1 : Develop and Maintain Partner, User, and Intra-Agency Awareness and Partnerships through Collaboration

Producers - Laurie Hogan (ERH) and Nicole McGavock (SR/WFO Tulsa, OK)

Ensure the most efficient and effective operational collaboration, including communication, among all parties involved in performing operational tasks related to hydrologic events and water resource services.

Recognition of internal and external customer needs and partnership opportunities is critical to building strong relationships with hydrologic stakeholders. NWS personnel need to understand how NWS product and services, as well as the range of hydrologic events, impact partner and user decision making processes.

PCU 2 : Monitor and Assess the Hydrologic and Hydrometeorological Environment to Identify Specific Threat Areas

Producers - Dave Cokely (CLO/DSCSD) and Rick Koehler (CLO/FDTD)

Analyze, assess, and assemble hydrometeorological and hydrological information to be used within the hydrologic forecast process. Evaluate data against predefined thresholds and forecasts. Utilize information to evaluate a need for action during the forecast and/or warning process.

Identifying important features in the hydrometeorological environment will allow staff to focus on specific threat areas within the area of responsibility. Assessing the spatial and temporal evolution of the environment can improve decision-making skills by allowing the individual to better judge the potential severity of anticipated hydrologic conditions.

PCU 3 : Execute a Hydrologic/Hydraulic Model in an Operational Setting for Routine Forecast Generation

Producers - Dave Streubel (AR/APRFC), David Welch (SR/LMRFC) and Michael Welvaert (CR/NCRFC)

Forecasters will be able to prepare necessary input data, execute a variety of hydrologic and/or hydraulic models, produce riverine forecasts, and provide those forecasts to partners and users.

Creation of accurate hydrologic/hydraulic model forecasts is a required component of the overall forecast process, necessary to produce timely hydrologic services.

PCU 4 : Provide Hydrologic and Hydrometeorological Products and Services

Producers - Jeff Zimmerman (WRH) and Jill Hardy (OCLO)

Prepare hydrologic and hydrometeorological data and information, including watches, warnings, and advisories, for delivery to partners and users.

NWS provides hydrologic and hydrometeorological watches, warnings, advisories and other information encompassing all aspects of hydrologic conditions, from drought to flood, to protect life and property and support the nation's economic well-being.

PCU 5 : Enhance Impact Event Operations, Warnings, and Decision Support

Producer - Melissa Smith (CR/WFO Rapid City, SD)

Effectively communicate hydrometeorological and hydrological concepts to support external and internal partners and decision-makers with crucial information relating to high impact events while identifying and addressing evolving customer needs.

Developing and maintaining strong partnerships within the organization and with federal, tribal, state and local entities is essential during high impact events. Identifying a partner's decision thresholds in relation to hydrological and meteorological conditions is critical in the timely delivery of effective decision-making information, products, and services. Delivery of event analyses, scenarios, and current forecasts with associated confidence is conducted through briefings, written reports, and other methodologies to support high impact event response and recovery. The NWS must be adept at identifying unique support needs and be agile in developing and implementing flexible solutions to minimize societal impacts.