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Community Support and Transition of Research to Operations for the Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting Model

Abstract

The Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting Model (HWRF) is an operational model used to provide numerical guidance in support of tropical cyclone forecasting at the National Hurricane Center. HWRF is a complex multicomponent system, consisting of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) atmospheric model coupled to the Princeton Ocean Model for Tropical Cyclones (POM-TC), a sophisticated initialization package including a data assimilation system and a set of postprocessing and vortex tracking tools. HWRF’s development is centralized at the Environmental Modeling Center of NOAA’s National Weather Service, but it incorporates contributions from a variety of scientists spread out over several governmental laboratories and academic institutions. This distributed development scenario poses significant challenges: a large number of scientists need to learn how to use the model, operational and research codes need to stay synchronized to avoid divergence, and promising new capabilities need to be tested for operational consideration. This article describes how the Developmental Testbed Center has engaged in the HWRF developmental cycle in the last three years and the services it provides to the community in using and developing HWRF.

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