Each year dozens of visiting scientists, model developers, faculty members and graduate students from around the world gather for the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed Spring Experiment. This is the ninth year of the program designed by National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), the Storm Prediction Center and the National Weather Service to foster improved severe weather forecasts and warnings.
The Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) currently has two branches, the Experimental Forecasting Program (EFP) and the Experimental Warning Program (EWP). During Spring Experiment operations each functions on a slightly different schedule with different but complementary roles and goals
The EFP Spring Experiment will run from May 4 through June 5, and will focus on using convection-allowing model forecasts as guidance for the prediction of severe convective weather.
The experimental models will be generated by a number of collaborators including the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms (OU-CAPS), the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Prediction Environmental Modeling Center (NCEP/EMC), the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), NSSL, the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA), and the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory Global System Division (ESRL/GSD). Participants will assess strengths and weaknesses of the models using various verification approaches, including new methods being developed at the cooperative Developmental Testbed Center. Furthermore, they will explore new data assimilation strategies and their potential impact on forecasting. Unique to this year will be the synergy with a project to study tornadoes, VORTEX2 and the new GOES-R Proving Ground project both located in the National Weather Center.
The EWP Spring Experiment is focusing on shorter-term convective weather warning needs of forecasters and will run for six weeks: April 27- May 22, and June 1-12. The EWP will test and evaluate emerging technologies and science for WFO severe convective weather warning operations in Weather Forecast Offices (WFO). There will be four projects geared toward WFO warning decision-making applications:
- An evaluation of experimental multiple-radar/sensor gridded severe weather algorithm products using the NSSL Warning Decision Support System II (WDSSII);
- An evaluation of the 3D Lightning Mapping Arrays (LMA) in Central Oklahoma, Northern Alabama, the Washington D.C. Metro Area, and possibly East-Central Florida;
- An evaluation of networked 3-cm radars (CASA) in Central Oklahoma;
- An evaluation of the phased array radar (PAR) in Norman, Okla.