NOAA’s Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) is a facility jointly managed by the National Severe Storms Laboratory, the Storm Prediction Center, and the NWS Oklahoma City/Norman Weather Forecast Office at the National Weather Center in Norman, Okla. The cornerstone of the testbed is the annual NOAA HWT Spring Experiment that attracts 50-60 researchers and forecasters to Norman each year. Forecasters are provided with a first-hand look at the latest research concepts and products, while research scientists are immersed in the challenges and needs of front-line forecasters. The close collaboration between research scientists and operational weather forecasters advances forecasts and warnings for hazardous weather events throughout the United States.
The 2010 HWT Spring Experiment projects are scheduled from April 12 through June 18, 2010. The Experimental Warning Program, part of the HWT will be the focus this year.
Participants from the National Weather Service and other organizations will evaluate the operational utility of phased array radar technology, a dense radar network, experimental applications intended for GOES-R satellite, and multiple-radar/multiple sensor severe weather algorithms. All will work in real-time warning situations or with archived cases.
Feedback from the evaluations leads to further research and refinement of applications to be ultimately included in future operational systems that help guide and manage the severe weather warning decision-making process.
Background: Collaboration between NSSL and the local operational forecasting community dates back to the 1980s. After the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) moved its operations to the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) facility in 1997, the mutual interests of forecasters from the SPC, researchers from NSSL, and collocated joint research partners from the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS) inspired the formation of the current NOAA HWT. The testbed’s activities have been varied, ranging from daily map discussions involving imminent severe weather to loosely-related research projects involving 2-3 collaborators to periodic intensive collaboration periods.