370700 Improving Hurricane Forecasting - an example of how NOAA makes coordinated observing system portfolio decisions

Tuesday, 14 January 2020
Hall B1 (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Becky Baltes, DOC, Silver Spring, MD; and D. Helms, E. J. Miller, L. McCulloch, H. S. Kim, M. Grasso, C. Lauer, and L. Cucurull

This offers a hypothetical use case focused on improving hurricane forecasting to demonstrate potential enhancements to the tools and approaches that NOAA uses to make effective decisions regarding its observing portfolio. It examines what NOAA is doing today and highlights ways that NOAA wants to strengthen and expand it’s observing system portfolio decision infrastructure.

Earth observations underpin NOAA’s mission to “understand and predict changes in weather, climate, oceans, and coasts” and provide critical information to communities. NOAA’s products and services support economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product, and nearly one-half of NOAA’s annual budget is invested in acquiring and sustaining observing systems. The processes used to manage the observing systems portfolio (and associated budgets) are complex and dynamic. As a result, the design, development, and deployment of an observing system, along with the infusion of new technology to recapitalize or enhance performance, often requires complex planning, programming, and budgeting.

Using a NOAA/NCEP/EMC hurricane model data assimilation observation need, NOAA’s Technology Planning and Integration Office (TPIO) has developed an end-to-end, cross Line Office use case for how to capitalize on existing programs, data sets, and tools to make the strongest case for supporting additional observations to meet NOAA’s strategic goals and improve one aspect of hurricane forecasting. TPIO’s Foundational datasets including NOAA’s user observing requirements, observing capabilities and mission value tree products can be combined with results from the Quantitative Observing System Assessment Program’s (OAR/AOML/QOSAP) observing system experiments and the Office of the NOAA Chief Economists’ evaluation of socio-economic benefits studies to provide robust analysis and recommendations to the NOAA Observing System Council and NOAA Leadership for consideration in making observing system portfolio management decisions.

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