The National Weather Service Hydrologic Program
The National Weather Service works in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Kentucky Division of Water, and the Kentucky Division of Disaster and Emergency Services in order to protect the public from threat of Kentucky's most expensive disaster threat and the biggest weather-related killer, FLOODING.
The National Weather Service in Louisville has flood forecasting responsibility at 22 locations called flood forecast points in central Kentucky and south-central Indiana. The points are along the Ohio River from Madison, Indiana to Tell City, Indiana, and scattered throughout portions of the Licking, Kentucky, Salt, and Green River basins in Kentucky and portions of the Blue and Muscatutuck River basins in Indiana.
Using a network of cooperative observers, automated gages, radar, and satellite data, the National Weather Service in Louisville monitors water levels throughout the region. Whenever a flood forecast point is expected to exceed a predetermined level called a flood stage, a public flood statement or warning is issued. Flood statements are used if the water at a flood forecasting point will crest only a foot or two above the flood stage. If the water is expected to go higher, a flood warning is issued. As long as the water at a flood forecasting point remains above the flood stage, periodic flood statements will be issued until the threat of flooding disappears.
River flood statements and warnings differ from flash flood statements and warnings in that they predict not only the location and time of flooding, but the degree of flooding as well. Most river flood statements and warnings also inform you of the amount of damage expected by this flooding and relate the level of the new flood to that of a previously experienced flood.
NWS River forecasts are based, to a great extent, on data from USGS stream-gaging stations. The USGS operates most of its streamgages on a cooperative basis with other Federal, State, and Local agencies that fund individual gaging stations for agency-specific projects or regulatory needs. Reductions in stream-gaging program funds, due to budget reductions for the USGS or for cooperating agencies, usually require that some stations be discontinued.
For more information, please link to "Stream Gaging and Flood Forecasting", and "Streamflow Information for the Nation".
These forecasts and observations are generally available daily but may not be the most recent as the NWS does not use the internet as a primary mode of dissemination. To ensure receiving the latest information, please refer to NWS products available through the NOAA Weather Wire Service, the Family of Services, or NOAA Weather Radio.
Data are reviewed periodically to ensure accuracy. Each station record is considered provisional until the data are published by the responsible agency. Data users are cautioned to consider carefully the provisional nature of the information before using it for decisions that concern personal or public safety or the conduct of business that involves substantial monetary or operational consequences.
Information concerning the accuracy and appropriate uses of these data or concerning other hydrologic data may be obtained by contacting the responsible agency.