The weather isn't the only thing we forecast in the National Weather Service. Stream flow prediction is another major program in our organization. There are 13 River Forecast Centers (RFC's) across the U.S. The Southeast RFC (SERFC) serves our local hydrologic service area in central North Carolina. The SERFC is responsible for the production of river forecasts for all rivers that drain into the Atlantic Ocean along the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, as well as the rivers that drain into the Gulf Of Mexico from Mobile Bay to the southern most tip of Florida. The SERFC issues stage forecasts for specific points along rivers, special forecasts for rivers that are in flood, quantitative precipitation forecasts, and flash flood guidance.
The Raleigh, NWS Office will then use this information from the SERFC to write Flood Watches, Flood Warnings, Flood Statements, and routine River Summaries and Forecasts. We also collect Rainfall Observations and forward these to the SERFC.
The Hydrologist and forecast staff use a program called Hydroview which is a component of AWIPS that allows us to monitor river stages and rainfall so that we can issue timely watches and warnings. An excellent resource to view a variety of hydrologic information online is the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) Web Page.