PD2.6 Enabling Enviromental Modeling R20 in NOAA (Invited Presentation)

Wednesday, 15 January 2020: 12:00 AM
251 (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Dorothy Koch, NOAA, Silver Spring, MD; and H. L. Tolman, G. C. Matlock, R. B. Rood, D. Carlis, D. T. Myrick, and P. J. Stone

Enabling Environmental Modeling R2O in NOAA

Hendrik Tolman (NWS LOTM + UFS SC)

Dorothy Koch (NWS Program manager)

Gary Matlock (OAR LOTM)

Ricky Rood (UFS - SC)

DaNa Carlis (OAR Program manager)

David Myrick (NWS R2O Branch Chief)

Peter Stone (NOS, chair of TBPG coordinating Committee)


A critical aspect of improving operational services in NOAA such as weather forecasts is to rapidly transition new research into operations. This R2O process has long been seen as difficult and cumbersome, or even impossible, as was well documented in the “Crossing the Valley of Death” report produced by the National Academy of Sciences1. The presentation will focus on coordinated efforts within NOAA, particularly between the National Weather Service (NWS) and Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) to accelerate and expand R2O for environmental modeling. Key elements in this effort that will be addressed in the presentation are:

  • Common Tools: NOAA is moving to an end-to-end Unified Forecast System (UFS) for environmental modeling for both research and operations. Performing research with the same tools that are used in operations is a proven concept to accelerate R2O. The infrastructure for the UFS is developed in collaboration with the research community external to NOAA. A key element of this collaboration is a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between UCAR, NWS and OAR.
  • Communication: In addition to providing common codes and tools, the UFS also provides a forum in which the end-users can communicate with the research community, articulating priorities and requirements for the various model configurations that underpin the forecast products.
  • Dedicated Funding: NOAA has various funding programs that are dedicated to R2O. Furthermore, NOAA has a set of Test Beds and Proving Grounds with dedicated R2O funding.
  • Defining Procedures: NOAA recently updated a NOAA Administrative Order on R2O. A key element of this NAO is that it mandates transition plans for funded R2O projects. OAR and NWS are presently using the transition plan process to streamline, focus and accelerate the R2O process.
  • Looking at the Future: The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act mandates that NOAA stands up an Environmental Prediction Innovation Center (EPIC). EPIC is used actively to accelerate the processes started in the above bullets.

1 NAS, 2000: From Research to Operations in Weather Satellites and Numerical Weather Prediction; crossing the valley of death.

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