8B.6 SOO Contributions to EMC’s Model Evaluation Group

Wednesday, 15 January 2020: 9:45 AM
251 (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Geoffrey S. Manikin, NOAA/NWS/NCEP/EMC, College Park, MD; and I. L. Jirak and M. Klein

EMC’s Model Evaluation Group (MEG) was formed in 2012 to complement existing model evaluation and assessment activities. Prior to the formation of the MEG, EMC decisions on developing new models or updates to existing models were primarily driven by statistical measures, with little effort to examine the day-to-day performance, the details of which are often critical to forecasters but not readily apparent in the bulk statistics. The MEG balances objective validation of model upgrades with subjective validation and helps guide the customers and stakeholders through the official evaluation process, while providing critical feedback to model developers. As its outreach to the meteorological community expanded, it was realized a few years ago that more resources were needed for the MEG to maintain its critical relationship between model users and EMC.

When the SOO-DOH program was elevated in 2015 to contribute to national projects to support Weather-Ready Nation goals, it was determined that the MEG could leverage the expertise of the SOO-DOH community to assist with their efforts. SOO teams were formed in early 2016 to assist with evaluating updates to global model and high-resolution convection-allowing models (CAMs), and disseminating and displaying output from parallels. The teams were constructed to represent significant diversity in mission and geography and therefore have members from different regions of the country and well as different National Centers for Environmental Prediction. The dissemination team was disbanded in 2017, as it became clear that its functions could easily be absorbed by the activities of the other groups.

These SOO teams have played an important role in validating that new model configurations are ready for implementation. The CAM group assisted greatly with assessing planned upgrades to the HREF (Version 2) and HRRR (Version 3) and is currently involved in providing important feedback to the FV3-CAM team at EMC on initial performance characteristics of the stand-alone regional FV3 (FV3-SAR). The team will examine performance of the parallel HRRR Version 4 runs this fall. The global group has provided critical feedback on GFS Versions 14 and 15 and will play an important role in the official evaluations of GFS Version 16 and GEFS Version 12 in early 2020. Both teams also provide important information to the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) working groups, as those groups develop short and longer-term milestones for deployment of the Unified Forecast System (UFS).

The presentation will focus on the role of these teams in the research-to-operations process, with specific examples of contributions to the validation of experimental model configurations and proposed implementations.

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