Information on the DSS Email Protocols

(Last Modified Date: 4/25/2018)

For the 2021 thermal season, NorthWestern Energy Hydro Operators should receive several emails regularly each day (copies to GEI team):

  • 12 a.m. Status Report Table (previous 24-hour DSS data);
  • 2:30 p.m. Pulse Flow start time and size; or No Action message (this is an early notification);
  • 8:30 p.m. Pulse Flow start time and size; or No Action message.

If DSS predicts < 77 °F at Sloan, the 2:30 p.m. email subject will read: DSS: No action required

If DSS predicts > 77 °F at Sloan, the 2:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. email subject will read: DSS: ACTION REQUIRED

Each email will contain specific instructions and graphics including (1) the pulse, (2) the previous week's actual river temperatures at McAllister and Sloan (matched against an 80 °F warning line); and (3) a graphic of the NOAA 7-day Air Temperature Forecast (matched against a 75 °F warning line).

If NOAA forecasts air temperatures above 77 °F, NorthWestern Energy should anticipate pulse instructions depending on discharge levels.

If the DSS fails to email by 12 a.m., 2:30 p.m. or 8:30 p.m., NorthWestern Energy operators should follow this protocol:

  1. Check to insure Internet connectivity of the server / computer. If connected…
  2. Go to the DSS Website: www.madisondss.com
  3. Click on the Sloan Station and USGS McAllister links and note the time and date of the “current” river and weather data.
  4. If the data is missing or suspect on any variable, notify Andrew Welch (cell: 406-565-7549) or Jordan Tollefson (cell: 406-565-3879), email and then call: Ginger Gillin (cell: 406-240-3231) or Jon Jourdonnais (cell: 406-490-1802) or Donghai Wang (cell: 916-284-2695) for assistance. (Andrew.Welch@NorthWestern.com; Jordan.Tollefson@northwestern.com; ggillin@geiconsultants.com; jjourdonnais@geiconsultants.com; dwang@geiconsultants.com).


Manual Protocol is defined by the following table. Use it if the DSS fails to send an appropriate instruction or you suspect the DSS has made an obvious error. Prior to implementing the Manual Protocol, attempt the above communications, but implement the protocol if the start time has arrived.

2021 Manual Protocol Tomorrow's Predicted Maximum Air Temperature (°F) and
Corresponding Pulse Flow (cfs)
Today's Maximum Powerhouse Release Temperature (°F) Air Temp
>= 77 and < 80
Air Temp
>= 80 and < 85
Air Temp
>= 85 and < 90
Air Temp
>= 90 and < 95
Air Temp
>= 95
greater than or equal to 68 and less than 69 11501400160018002000
greater than or equal to 69 and less than 70 11501500170019002100
greater than or equal to 70 and less than 71 11501600180020002200
greater than or equal to 71 and less than 72 11501800210023002500
greater than or equal to 72 and less than 73 14002000230025002700
greater than or equal to 73 and less than 74 16002200250027002900
greater than or equal to 74 and less than 75 18002400270029003100
greater than or equal to 75 20002600290031003300