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Scientists demonstrate real-time experimental prediction systems

March 23, 2020


GSD’s modeling team will demonstrate several advanced real-time experimental prediction systems in the 2019 NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) Spring Forecasting Experiment (SFE) from April 29 through May 31 in Norman, OK. The HWT SFE is organized by the NOAA Storm Prediction Center (SPC) and the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) with participants from GSD and other research laboratories. The interactions between operational forecasters, model developers, and research scientists are critical for the effective transfer of operationally relevant guidance, tools, and techniques to operational forecasters.

GSD’s real-time experimental Rapid Refresh (RAP) version 5 and High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) version 4 will be the final update to NOAA’s operational RAP/HRRR prediction system planned for early-mid 2020. Scientists will demonstrate an enhanced physics suite that improves how the model represents sub-grid-scale clouds and their effect on the local environment, and how sub-grid terrain impacts horizontal flow. They have installed an inland lake model in the RAP/HRRR system that has the potential to improve predictions of lake temperatures and will evaluate new fire-radiative power detections from satellite to identify wildfire-driven 3-D advection and deposition of smoke plumes. This version also includes a new vertical advection scheme that improves diagnosis of mesocyclones.

Researchers will evaluate new data assimilation capabilities in RAPv5/HRRRv4 including new lightning data from the GOES Global Lightning Mapper, new aircraft and moisture observations, and tropical cyclone central pressure estimates for improved position and structure of tropical systems. Scientists are also testing a new storm-scale ensemble data assimilation system designed to have more accurate retention and evolution of meso-to-storm-scale features.

Researchers have upgraded the experimental real-time HRRR ensemble (HRRRE) that provides initial conditions and boundary conditions for the experimental Warn-on-Forecast system. This work is a significant step towards the development of a national storm-scale data assimilation and forecast ensemble system in collaboration with the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Prediction. NOAA scientists hope to have a national HRRR ensemble system in operations by 2020, and a Warn-on-Forecast system in operations by 2023.

GSD will also demonstrate a real-time experimental Stand-Alone-Regional FV3 Convection Allowing Model forecast and a 3D Real-Time Mesoscale Analysis (RTMA-3D) that will produce a whole-atmosphere best-estimate analysis for situational awareness and nowcasting applications, and a final analysis of record for validation use.

GSD’s modeling team is made up of federal, Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) employees. The team has scientists on-site at the NOAA HWT each week during the experiment to evaluate the models and collect feedback from participants.

For more information contact: Susan Cobb 303-497-5093