Real-time demo for GSD prototype severe weather forecast system

Image of composite reflectivity models

April 25, 2017

This spring and summer, Earth System Research Laboratory's Global Systems Division (GSD) researchers are demonstrating a prototype prediction system that produces a range of probabilities of potentially hazardous weather. The High-Resolution Rapid Refresh Ensemble (HRRRE) incorporates radar, aircraft, and other weather data in real-time to generate hourly snapshot forecasts of potential low-level rotation in supercell thunderstorms, thunderstorm winds, damaging large hail, and flash flooding.

The prototype High-Resolution Rapid Refresh Ensemble (HRRRE) is now running over 55 percent of the current full HRRR domain and is being demonstrated in real-time for the Verification of the Origin of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment - SouthEast (VORTEX-SE) field campaign through April and in the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) Spring Experiment during May and June, 2017.

HRRRE brings in a variety of weather data to produce multiple (or ensemble) forecasts, each with a slightly different starting point, to generate hourly snapshots of possible hazardous weather. Each possible outcome includes the degree of certainty or uncertainty of the hazard occurring. For example, numerous HRRRE snapshot forecasts predicting that a severe storm will form at a specific place and time will give users more confidence in that forecast.

HRRRE predictions provide the starting point for the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory’s (NSSL) experimental Warn-on-Forecast System for ensembles (NEWS-e), which includes sub-hourly radar- and satellite data assimilation for short-term (0 –3h) ensemble forecasts.

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.

The HWT NOAA Spring Forecast Experiment is jointly managed by NSSL and the Storm Prediction Center.

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