10th Conference on Mountain Meteorology and MAP Meeting 2002


Some Challenges of Using Graphical Forecast Editor(GFE) Operationally in Diverse Terrain

Paul G. Wolyn, NOAA/NWSFO, Pueblo, CO; and D. Metze and K. Torgerson

GFE will be the main forecast tool on the National Weather Service Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System(AWIPS) to generate graphical forecasts of various meteorological fields including surface temperature, surface wind, precipitation probability, and cloud cover to name a few. Also, text products can be created from the GFE. One goal is to have most, if not all, forecast products generated from the GFE. GFE can use model output as a first guess for the various sensible weather fields, or the forecaster can create these various sensible weather fields. These first guess data fields may be altered, by the forecaster, for a more coherent graphical and text forecasts. This is accomplished by using "Smart Tools." The forecaster then adjusts these first guess fields based on meteorological expertise and conceptual models.

The forecast area of the National Weather Service office in Pueblo includes the mountains of south central Colorado with 7 mountain ranges of various lengths. The San Luis Valley and Upper Arkansas River Valley are also part of the forecast area. One of the main difficulties of using GFE is the resolution of model output. Currently, the highest resolution data available on AWIPS has a grid spacing of 40 km while a grid spacing of 1-2 km is needed on GFE to obtain an accurate representation of diverse terrain How are data at every 40 km accurately interpolated for grid points at every 1-2 km in complex terrain?

Preliminary use of GFE with 40km input data indicates that the forecast maximum temperature on the 1-2km grid is satisfactory, because the forecaster can estimate the height to which the convective boundary layer will develop. The performance is much poor for the three hourly temperatures and minimum temperatures, because the 40km model output cannot identify the true major terrain feature and the model's poor temporal data resolution. The surface winds in the 40 km grid cannot identify any significant terrain features. Other "Smart Tools" are being developed to approximate the local thermal and wind fields in complex terrain. In addition, the National Centers For Environmental Prediction(NCEP) workstation ETA model will be run locally at a 10km to provide input to GFE at higher resolution. The National Weather Service is currently planning to provide much higher resolution model data to the field office, but an upgrade in AWIPS hardware is needed to process the substantial increase in data.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (232K)

Poster Session 2, Orographic Precipitation/Operational and Numerical Weather Prediction (with Coffee Break)
Wednesday, 19 June 2002, 9:15 AM-11:00 AM

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