GSD demonstrates advanced weather prediction systems in the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed

Scientists working together at the 2018 Spring Forecasting Experiment

May 3, 2018

GSD is demonstrating several advanced weather prediction systems in the 2018 Spring Forecasting Experiment (SFE) from April 30 through June 1 as part of the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) in Norman, Oklahoma. The experiment is organized by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) and the 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 experimental High-Resolution Rapid Refresh Version 3 (HRRRv3) model is expected to become operational in June 2018 but will continue to be examined during the experiment. Building upon the advancements in the operational HRRRv2 at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), HRRRv3 includes assimilation of new commercial aircraft observations, and refines how surface observations are ingested to improve lower-tropospheric temperature, dewpoint, winds and cloud base heights. HRRRv3 also adds assimilation of lightning flash rates as a complement to radar reflectivity observations, a higher resolution (15 second) land use dataset, and physics enhancements for clouds.

Another prediction system being tested is GSD’s High-Resolution Rapid Refresh Ensemble, or HRRRE, HRRRE brings in a variety of weather data to produce multiple forecasts, each with a slightly different starting point, to generate hourly snapshots of possible hazardous weather. Each forecast 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 provide 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.

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