Collaborative Science, Technology, & Applied Research (CSTAR)
CSTAR Efforts at University of Utah
Improved Monitoring, Analysis, and Prediction of High Impact Weather
- John D. Horel, W. James Steenburgh, C. David Whiteman
Department of Meteorology
We propose to extend our current research efforts, which have already demonstrated successful transfer of research to operations, to emphasize selected CSTAR national priorities. The primary scientific objective of the proposed work is to improve the capabilities of operational forecasters to understand, analyze, and forecast high impact weather events that are strongly modulated by the underlying surface. High impact refers not only to severe weather situations or events where warning criteria are exceeded (strong winds, heavy snows, etc.), but to other weather conditions that are associated with significant societal impacts as well. We will emphasize those phenomena for which the characteristics of the underlying surface (terrain, vegetation, land/water contrasts, etc.) play an important role.
We will use an integrated approach incorporating real-time and restrospective data contained in the MesoWest database, the Real Time Mesoscale Analysis (RTMA) data assimilation system, and the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) numerical weather prediction model. We intend to contribute to improvements of the RTMA and future Analysis of Record (AOR) of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). This effort will involve collaboration with NCEP staff to both evaluate RTMA analyses and perform RTMA sensitivity experiments using the NCEP node of the NOAA High Performance Computer. Data analysis and real-data WRF simulations will be used to improve conceptual models of high impact weather events as well as illustrate strengths and deficiencies of the WRF model of relevance to the model developers.
Technology transfers to local WFOs and national centers expected from the proposed research include: access to current and past weather conditions at thousands of locations around the nation as a result of continued support for MesoWest; improved RTMA surface analyses; and advanced training materials related to high impact weather modulated by the underlying surface. Our applied research will contribute to improved nowcasts and forecasts issued by NWS Forecast Offices throughout the nation that will benefit the public.