Webinar: Climate and Weather Tools for Stormwater Planning in the Great Lakes Region

Date: Monday, July 27th, 2020

Webinar Recording:

This webinar will feature climate and weather tools to help stormwater managers and water utilities understand current and future precipitation trends, in order to better plan and prepare for a future with increasing precipitation and more frequent and intense storms.

Webinar summary PDF available here


Annual precipitation, extreme rainfall events, and flooding have increased in the Great Lakes region during the last century, and these trends are expected to continue. These changes are already causing significant impacts for communities across the region.  Many older stormwater systems in the region were built based on historical precipitation trends, and do not have the capacity to handle the large amounts of precipitation from these extreme events, leading to contamination from runoff and flooding in urban areas and regional watersheds.  In order to plan and prepare for these future trends and events, planners need the best available science and climate information.  During this webinar we will review climate trends in the Great Lakes, demonstrate four precipitation tools, and facilitate an audience Q&A with stormwater representatives from the region.


The four climate and weather tools featured in this webinar are listed below.  The tools will be presented by experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), who can answer any questions you may have about them.  Each tool presentation will include background on the information they provide, a walk through of how to use the tool, and real-world examples.  Participants will have ample time to ask questions and demo the tools themselves during a virtual tools cafe session after the presentations.  All tools are free and available to the public.
  1. NOAA Atlas 14 Point Precipitation Frequency Estimates
    • Provides local precipitation density information that can be used to inform the construction and operation of infrastructure.
    • Presented by Michael St. Laurent, NOAA Office of Water Prediction – National Water Center.
  2. NOAA Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts
    • Provides forecasted precipitation totals nationwide, aiding in planning for precipitation events.
    • Presented by Nancy Beller-Simms, NOAA Climate Program Office – Sectoral Applications Research Program.
  3. NOAA Climate Explorer
    • Allows users to explore future projections for temperature and precipitation in their area through graphical representations and maps.
    • Presented by Nancy Beller-Simms, NOAA Climate Program Office – Sectoral Applications Research Program.
  4. EPA National Stormwater Calculator
    • Helps users to investigate stormwater retention at a given site and how the rates can be increased through the implementation of green infrastructure. Presented by Jason Bernagros, U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development.

Please find more information about each of the featured tools here.

Stormwater Panel

The webinar will close with a panel session featuring stormwater practitioners from around the Great Lakes region.  Matt Naud, former Environmental Coordinator for the City of Ann Arbor and Practitioner in Residence with GLISA, will facilitate an open Q&A for the speakers to answer audience questions about their experience and expertise.  The panelists joining us for this Q&A are:

  • Frank Greenland, Director of Watershed Programs – Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District
  • Cameron Davis, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner – Chicago
  • Jerry Hancock, Stormwater and Floodplain Programs Coordinator – City of Ann Arbor


1:00-1:20: Welcome, overview of webinar, Great Lakes precipitation trends
1:20-2:25: Tools presentations
2:00-2:05: Break between tools
2:25-2:45: Virtual tools cafe
2:45-3:00: Tools survey
3:00-3:05: Break
3:05-3:55: Stormwater panel Q&A
3:55-4:00: Closing remarks

Please contact the webinar coordinator with any questions or comments:

Kim Channell, GLISA Climatologist