The Portal allows users to visualise the model outputs from the Outlook, both spatially and in the form of a number of time series. This allows users to explore the hydrological forecasts for the next one to three months, and sometimes beyond.
These outputs provide information on the likely trajectories of river flows a season or more ahead, and their production is intended to help support water resources managers in their decision-making. Importantly, however, as with all forecasts, these outputs are based on model projections with many uncertainties, so should be used with caution. Users should be aware of the methodologies used to make the forecasts, and their attendant uncertainties, as described on these pages and in further references.
There are three different forecasting approaches used for river flow forecasting in the Hydrological Outlook:
- Persistence and hydrological analogues
- River flow forecasts using historical climate — Ensemble Streamflow Prediction
- River flow forecasts using rainfall forecasts — Water Balance Model
In addition, this portal information on current conditions from a 1km gridded Grid-to-Grid (G2G) hydrological model run alongside relative wetness/dryness maps, storage anomaly and deficit recovery information.
At present, only the river flow forecasts from the Hydrological Outlook are available on this Portal. We are planning to release groundwater forecasts in the near-future, in collaboration with the British Geological Survey.