The DTC Ensemble Testbed: A new testing and evaluation facility for mesoscale ensembles
As operational centers move towards ensemble-based probabilistic forecasting, the Developmental Testbed Center (DTC) has been asked to expand its efforts by providing a testbed platform to serve as a bridge between research and operations. Hence, the DTC has established the DTC Ensemble Testbed (DET). The goal of DET is to provide an environment in which extensive testing and evaluation of ensemble-related techniques can be conducted such that the results are immediately relevant to the operational centers. DET activities will involve supporting and maintaining community codes, as well as conducting extensive testing and evaluation of promising new capabilities and techniques that have been incorporated into these community codes. Community codes already supported by the DTC will serve as building blocks for the end-to-end ensemble testing and evaluation system to be assembled. Inclusion of research techniques targeted for upcoming operational implementation will ensure the DET ensemble system does not lag behind the operational capabilities and will allow the DTC to contribute to future operational decisions.
In order to keep the testing and evaluation results relevant to operational upgrade decisions, the DET modules will be configured so they are able to replicate pertinent algorithms used operationally at NCEP/EMC, AFWA, and other operational centers. The DET has identified the following modules for inclusion in the this infrastructure: 1) Ensemble configuration; 2) Initial perturbations; 3) Model perturbations; 4) Statistical post-processing; 5) Product generation; and 6) Verification. To truly act as a bridge between research and operations, the DET defined a process that allows the community to provide input into the process and engaged the WRF ensemble modeling working group (EMWG) to provide input in the DET planning activities. This talk will discuss the conceptual structure and priorities of the DET, the linkages between other DTC activities, as well as preliminary results and anticipated major accomplishments during the coming years.