Author(s): K. E. Lindenschmidt; D. Brown; A. A. Khan; H. Khan; M. Khayer; S. Mcardle; S. Mostofi; A. Naumov; T. Pham; A. Weiss
Abstract: This paper provides insight to one of the first fully operational ice-jam flood forecasting systems that has been implemented to forecast ice-jam floods in real-time. The system was developed for and is operated by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to forecast ice-jam floods along the lower Churchill River in Labrador, Canada. The system consists of a river ice model to simulate possible ice-jam backwater levels, for the next three days. The model is embedded in a Monte-Carlo framework to provide ensembles of backwater level profiles, from which exceedance probabilities are derived. A hydrological model of the basin upstream of the Churchill River’s lower reach forecasts the runoff used as an upstream boundary condition for the river ice model. Space-borne remote sensing imagery provides an indication of the remaining extent of the ice cover along the reach upstream of the potential ice-jamming stretch. This provides an estimate of the volume of ice that is available to form jams. All data acquisitions and feeds and model runs are fully automated and synchronised to provide daily forecasts of the ice-jam flood hazard, always three days ahead of time. The model was tested successfully for the spring 2019 breakup event.