NERTO Students

Jean Valle

Jean Valle
M.S, Environmental Engineering and Water Resources, Graduate, 06/14/2019

Internship Location: NOAA ESRL, Boulder Co

Internship Date: Spring 2019


Valle earned a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez. Past internships include time as a summer Intern at the National Water Center in Alabama. Valle’s research experience includes Flash Flood Forecasting Model for Río Grande de Añasco River, crushed limestone aggregate characterization, and soil analysis using the Piezocone Penetration Test.

NERTO Research Project Title:

Evaluation of WRF-Hydro at Western Puerto Rico

NERTO Project Details :

The objective of this work is to enhance flood forecasting using WRF-Hydro for the Puerto Rico Island. To reduce the expected errors from modeled/forecasted forcing due the effects of the complex terrain, our goal is to test different forcing datasets and assimilate satellite data including (1) subsurface soil moisture and (2) precipitation (Satellite and Radar) into WRF-Hydro. The assimilation will be assessed in terms of streamflow simulations over complex terrain. The model will be validated using the runoff output of WRF-Hydro for the selected watersheds using USGS Data. This work will help in the future implementation and optimization of the National Water Model (NWM) for Puerto Rico.

NERTO Outcomes:

My research was focused on a single watershed due to the computational resources needed to have a bigger study area. With the resources available at ESRL, and the collaboration of NCAR, I was able to have an island wide domain and longer simulation periods. Another outcome is that I was able to include an atmospheric dataset that is not publicly available because it is experimental. The developers of this data work in ESRL and collaborated in the project.

Value of NERTO to the Line Office:

OAR gained a better understanding of the differences in the precipitation products particularly in the Puerto Rico region that could lead to improvements in hydrologic model forcings used in the National Water Model.

NERTO Skills:

1) Learned more about the Linux command line 2) Slurm submitting process 3) R statistical analysis 4) More Matlab skills 5) Data transfer to NOAA servers