EWP2013 Week 3 Summary: 20 – 24 May 2013


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) in Norman, Oklahoma, is a joint project of the National Weather Service (NWS) and the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL).  The HWT provides a conceptual framework and a physical space to foster collaboration between research and operations to test and evaluate emerging technologies and science for NWS operations.  The Experimental Warning Program (EWP) at the HWT is hosting the 2013 Spring Program (EWP2013).  This is the sixth year for EWP activities in the testbed.  EWP2013 takes place across three weeks (Monday – Friday), from 6 May through 24 May.

EWP2013 is designed to test and evaluate new applications, techniques, and products to support Weather Forecast Office (WFO) severe convective weather warning operations.  There will be three primary projects geared toward WFO applications this spring, 1) evaluation of multiple CONUS GOES-R convective applications, including pseudo-geostationary lightning mapper products when operations are expected within the Lightning Mapping Array domains (OK/west-TX, AL, DC, FL), 2) evaluation of model performance and forecast utility of the OUN WRF when operations are expected in the Southern Plains, and 3) evaluation of model performance and forecast utility of the 1-km and 3-km WRF initialized with LAPS.


Our participants included Eric Martello (WFO Fort Worth, TX), Ashlie Sears (WFO New York, NY), Jeremy Wesely (WFO Hastings, NE), Kris White (WFO Huntsville, AL), and Andrew Zimmerman (WFO Wakefield, VA).  The GOES-R program office, the NOAA Global Systems Divisions (GSD), and NWS WFO Huntsville’s Applications Integration Meteorologist (AIM) Program have generously provided travel stipends for our participants from NWS forecast offices nationwide.

Other visitors included Jason Otkin (Univ. Wisconsin), Steve Albers (NOAA/GSD), Chad Gravelle (NWS Training Center GOES-R Liaison), James McCormick (Air Force Weather Agency, Omaha, NE), Lori Schultz (University Alabama – Huntsville), and Jim Gurka (NOAA/NESDIS/GOES-R).

Greg Stumpf was the weekly coordinator.  Clark Payne (WDTB) was the “Tales from the Testbed” Webinar facilitator. Our support team also included Darrel Kingfield, Gabe Garfield, Travis Smith, Chris Karstens, Kristin Calhoun, Kiel Ortega, Karen Cooper, Aaron Anderson, and David Andra.


20 May:  Norman (OUN), Fort Worth (FWD):  Post-Moore Tornado supercell storms in southern OK and northern TX.  NOTE: The Moore tornado occurred too early in the shift and network outages cut off our live data feed.  However, the historical track products (e.g., Rotation Tracks, Tornado Debris Signature Tracks) were viewed after the event.

21 May:  Shreveport (SHV), Fort Worth (FWD), Albany (ALY), Binghamton (BGM):  Severe storms with hail in TX and LA, followed by marginally severe storms in upstate NY.

22 May:  Buffalo (BUF), Binghamton (BGM):  Supercells produced large hail in upstate NY.

23 May:  Amarillo (AMA), Lubbock (LUB, Midland (MAF):  Supercells with large hail and a few weak tornadoes in the TX Panhandle.



  • A logical progression of the HCA product, but useful than the current version.
  • Works well with MESH products, although seems to underestimate the hail size versus MESH.


  • Likes instantaneous MESH / height about -20C / -10C (lightning)
  • Tracks difficult to use for slow-moving cells; best for fast-moving storms.
  • A lot of the MRMS stuff makes derived stuff obsolete.
  • Track orientations give a lot of utility.
  • MRMS was considered by some forecasters to be the most useful new products for warning ops.
  • One forecaster thought it was outstanding and will be heavily used in the field.
  • Rotation Track product for the Moore tornado could be used to help determine operational warning thresholds.
  • The 2-minute temporal resolution is advantageous, potentially buying lead time.  This could potentially keep forecasters from switching back-and-forth from radar to radar and saving time from looking at all-tilts so much
  • Helps with the overall SA and the efficiency of the warning process.  With multiple deep cells in the area, products like the MESH, and -20 C Reflectivity can be very helpful for determining the cells on which to focus.
  • Was useful during a temporary radar outage, as data from adjacent radars was used to fill in the storm without having to analyze separate radar feeds.
  • Offered a quicker diagnostic overview of the storm than having to look at multiple height scans as we commonly do with the Donovan method.
  • Storms near or over a radar within a cone-of-silence had data which was effectively filled in with other radars.
  • Verified that MRMS products matched very closely the values one would get using manual data interpretation using all-tilts and sampling.


  • 0-1 km SRH fields received a lot of praise.
  • Recommend adding an updraft helicity track.

Variational LAPS:

  • The 15-minute temporal resolution of the product can be very useful for diagnosing locations of continued convection especially in rapidly developing convective situations.
  • Overdid the storms and created too much outflow.

GOES-R Simulated Satellite:

  • Helps to better visualize how the model is creating and evolving convection.
  • Recommend a product or procedure that will facilitate a comparison to real data.

GOES-R RGB Airmass:

  • Training on RGB airmass needed to be made more adequate.
  • Best when used with other environmental products to see how conducive the airmass was for convective development and maintenance.

GOES-R Nearcast:

  • Theta-E fields pretty good for diagnosing where convection was most likely.

GOES-R UAH SatCast/UW Cloud-Top Cooling:

  • UAH CI started out well on one event, but then began to struggle near the boundaries.
  • Still unsure of the utility to issue advanced warnings with the CTC product.  However, could be used for significant weather advisories and pre-warning products.
  • Training/best practices need to be developed that match the use of the CTC and CI products to near-storm environment, as performance varies with varying NSE.
  • There is utility in CI product for situational awareness and cell maintenance with MCSs.

GOES-R PLGM and Lightning Trend Tool:

  • Recommend a “drag me to storm” type interface for the trend tool.
  • Trend tool still not user-friendly, is time consuming to use.
  • Works well for DSS of NWS issued a lightning product/forecast, but not necessarily hail or tornado warnings yet.


  • The Articulate training modules received a lot of praise.


Greg Stumpf, EWP2013 Week #3 Weekly Coordinator; EWP2013 Operations Coordinator

Travis Smith, EWP2013 Week #3 Backup Coordinator


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