6.3 Transition of WAM-IPE to NOAA Operations: Current Capabilities and Future Potential (Invited Presentation)

Tuesday, 14 January 2020: 11:00 AM
205A (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Tim Fuller-Rowell, NOAA, Boulder, CO; and N. Maruyama, H. Wang, Z. Li, T. W. Fang, G. Millward, A. Kubaryk, M. Fedrizzi, V. A. Yudin, M. Codrescu, D. Fuller-Rowell, P. Richards, and A. D. Richmond

In an effort to improve forecasts of the ionosphere and thermosphere response to space weather, NOAA is transitioning a coupled whole atmosphere and ionosphere-plasmasphere-electrodynamics model (WAM-IPE) to operations in 2020, to augment the existing WSA-ENLIL solar wind propagation model and the Michigan Geospace model of the magnetosphere in the Sun to Earth system. WAM-IPE combines various models developed by the academic and operational community and is designed to capture the response to not only the more traditional solar drivers of space weather, but also to the less well-known lower atmosphere drivers. When there is a geomagnetic storm, and a coronal mass ejection strikes Earth, it dominates space weather in the near-Earth environment. One of the first requirements for an operational thermosphere ionosphere model is to follow these storm-time changes, including extreme solar events. The WAM component includes a whole atmosphere extension of the National Weather Service (NWS) Global Forecast System (GFS) operational weather model, by extending the top boundary from 60 km in GFS to ~600 km. WAM can be run with the NWS Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) data assimilation scheme in order to follow the upper atmosphere and ionosphere response to current tropospheric weather. Establishing standards, metrics, and ability to address user needs is an ongoing effort. Possibilities for the future include using WAM-IPE as the background for existing NOAA ionospheric data assimilation models, such as the Global TEC model (Glo-TEC), and applying more recent physics-based data assimilation methodology. Operational space weather forecasts should also benefit and utilize new space-based data sources, such as COSMIC-II and GOLD, and future data source from commercial providers. The WAM-IPE transition to operations is a typical R2O activity; once operational, there are many possibilities for improvement by the academic community through the more recent O2R program opportunities.
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