The NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) annual spring experiments kick off this week, and will run weekdays through June 6, 2014. During the experiments, researchers, modelers, and forecasters from around the world work together to improve severe weather forecasts and warnings in a simulated operational environment. NSSL, the NOAA Storm Prediction Center, and the NOAA National Weather Service Forecast Office in Norman sponsor the experiments each year.
The NOAA HWT has two branches, the Experimental Forecast Program (EFP) and the Experimental Warning program (EWP). They each have independent but complementary and goals.
The 2014 NSSL-NWS Experimental Warning Program will focus on applications geared toward National Weather Service Forecast Office (NWSFO) severe thunderstorm warning operations. Participants will test a prototype tool that provides Probabilistic Hazards Information (PHI), as part of the new Forecasting A Continuum of Environmental Threats (FACETs) program. They will also evaluate multiple GOES-R applications, including lightning mapper products; look at the performance and usefulness of two experimental short-term forecast models; and assess a new tool that tracks thunderstorm features.
Participants in the 2014 Spring Forecasting Experiment will evaluate a suite of new and improved experimental high-resolution models that can depict the probability of potential thunderstorms, their hazards, and their trends and transitions over time. This is an important step toward the NWS strategy of providing nearly continuous probabilistic hazard forecasts. Participants will be dividing between either an “SPC desk” team, to examine products and techniques closer to operational implementation, or a “developmental desk” team, to explore experimental products and techniques.
The spring experiments have been the cornerstone of the HWT for more than a decade, and accelerate the transition of promising technology into forecast operations.
The NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory will host the fifth annual Warn-on-Forecast Workshop April 1-3, 2014 at the National Weather Center in Norman, Okla. NSSL’s Warn-on-Forecast research project aims to increase accuracy and lead times for warnings of storm-specific hazards through high-resolution weather prediction models.
The three-day event gives researchers an opportunity to share progress reports on a variety of operational and experimental models, techniques, and decision-making tools in support of the Warn-on-Forecast project.
Researchers will share results from models that attempt to use satellite, lightning, targeted observations, and radar data, including phased array radar data to predict individual thunderstorms. They will report on how these data impact the model by using case studies of past events, and show comparisons with what actually happened. The group will also address the challenge of how to predict the birth of a storm, and share results using various new techniques.
Warn-on-Forecast collaborators include NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory and Earth System Research Laboratory’s Global Systems Division, NOAA National Weather Service and Storm Prediction Center, and The University of Oklahoma’s Center for the Analysis and Prediction of Storms.
NSSL and CIMMS staff are preparing to receive honors and present recent research at the 2014 American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Ga., February 1-6.
NSSL’s Doug Forsyth, retired Chief of the Radar Research and Development Division, has been elected an AMS Fellow and will be honored at the meeting.
Presentations and poster topics include the first real-data demonstration of the potential impact from an MPAR observing capability for storm-scale numerical weather prediction, using cloud top temperatures in numerical weather prediction models to forecast when thunderstorms will form, and crowdsourcing public observations of weather. Real-time flash flood modeling, understanding forecasters’ needs to improve radar observations using adaptive scanning, and aircraft detection and tracking on the National Weather Radar Testbed Phased Array Radar will also be presented.
Preliminary analyses of research data collected during the 2013 May tornado outbreaks in Oklahoma will be a special focus at the meeting.