This is the second week of the 2008 Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) EFP (Experimental Forecast Program) Spring Experiment held in the NOAA HWT at the National Weather Center in Norman, Okla. Each spring during the climatologically most active severe weather periods, multi-agency collaborative forecasting experiments known as the HWT EFP Spring Experiment have occurred since 2000. A strength of the program is the involvement of scientists and forecasters throughout the meteorological community. Participating in the EFP this week will include visiting forecasters from NOAA/NWS Pendleton OR, NOAA/NWS Amarillo TX, and researchers from NCAR, Boulder CO, Colorado State Univ., North Carolina State Univ., Mitre Corp./FAA, and Environment Canada.
The EFP branch of the HWT is focused on predicting hazardous mesoscale weather events on time scales ranging from a few hours to a week in advance, and on spatial domains ranging from several counties to the CONUS. The EFP embodies the collaborative experiments and activities previously undertaken by the annual SPC and NSSL Spring Experiments during the past seven years.
The HWT allows participating organizations to:
Refine and optimize emerging operational forecast and warning tools for rapid integration into operations
Educate forecasters on the scientifically correct use of newly emerging tools and to familiarize them with the latest research related to forecasting and warning operations
Educate research scientists on the operational needs and constraints that must be met by any new tools (e.g., robustness, timeliness, accuracy, and universality)
Motivate other collaborative and individual research projects that are directly relevant to forecast and warning improvement
Background: NOAA’s Hazardous Weather Testbed is a joint facility managed by the National Severe Storms Laboratory, the Storm Prediction Center, and the NWS Oklahoma City/Norman Weather Forecast Office within the National Weather Center located in Norman, OK. The HWT facilities include a combined forecast and research area situated between the operations rooms of the SPC and OUN and a development laboratory also located nearby on the second floor.
Significance: Since a primary mission of the NWS is the protection of life and property from hazardous weather phenomena, applied research aimed at improving the prediction of impact weather such as severe thunderstorms and tornadoes is a critical activity at the SPC, NSSL, OUN, and other NWS offices.