Aquatic Alchemy: Navigating Waterways with Precision

Aquatic Alchemy
Aquatic Alchemy Image Source: RTX


In the realm of hydrological mastery, Raytheon, an RTX business, collaborates with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to revolutionize the United States' water forecasting prowess. Shawn Miller, a key contributor, emphasizes the increasing unpredictability of water resources due to severe weather events. The project aims to create data-driven maps that offer real-time insights into the impact of weather on every waterway, ensuring enhanced preparedness and improved water management.


Living in landlocked terrain, Shawn Miller's appreciation for water transcends the picturesque lakes near his metro Denver abode. The Colorado, Rio Grande, and Arkansas rivers, vital lifelines for the region, beckon a deeper understanding of their vulnerability to severe weather. Miller, part of the Raytheon team, spearheads a transformative initiative funded by NOAA to redefine water forecasting through innovative data-driven maps.

Severe weather events, from floods to droughts, have become more frequent, disrupting the predictability of water resources. The $80 million contract awarded to Raytheon aims to fortify the U.S.' water prediction capabilities, creating a synergy between emergency preparedness and precise long-range forecasts. The endeavor seeks to arm first responders and policymakers with invaluable insights into water levels, fostering resilience against the economic impact of major storms.

Raytheon's expertise, honed through a two-decade alliance with NOAA, focuses on engineering the Next Generation Water Model Framework. This cloud-based system facilitates rapid data access and analysis, a crucial asset for NOAA scientists. The intricate challenge involves mapping 3.4 million miles of U.S. waterways with heightened resolution, providing nuanced insights into precipitation patterns.

Shevy Greene, Raytheon's program manager, highlights the regional intricacies of weather modeling, emphasizing the need for precision in flood forecasts. The project's complexity lies not only in the vast scale but also in rendering maps with unprecedented resolution, promising a quantum leap in forecasting accuracy. Miller underscores the ultimate goal: providing actionable and reliable information swiftly for informed decision-making.


As Raytheon delves into the intricacies of water resources forecasting, the collaboration with NOAA signifies a pivotal moment in enhancing the nation's preparedness against water-related challenges. The fusion of cutting-edge technology, meteorological expertise, and a commitment to precision heralds a new era in understanding and navigating the dynamic currents of waterways. Through this initiative, Raytheon is not merely engineering maps but charting a course toward resilience and informed decision-making in the face of nature's unpredictable temperament.

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