P1.35 Applications of the NWS' Real-Time Mesoscale Analysis (RTMA)

Monday, 25 June 2007
Summit C (The Yarrow Resort Hotel and Conference Center)
Lee Anderson, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and B. Colman, G. DiMego, G. E. Mann, and J. D. Horel

Detailed real-time meteorological data and analyses provide an invaluable foundation for forecaster situational awareness and are a significant part of forecast production by operational meteorologists. Since the 2004 implementation of the National Weather Service' (NWS) National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD) forecasters have been generating their predictions of various sensible weather elements on a finely spaced grid (nominally a 5-km grid spacing over the contiguous U.S.). Unfortunately, a forecast-matching analysis for forecasters has been unavailable through these first few years of digital-forecast development, and thus hindering the optimization of the digital forecast process.

The NWS Real-Time Mesoscale Analysis (RTMA) development occurred to support production of improved digital forecasts, heighten forecaster situational awareness, and resulting in more, valuable gridded meteorological information for external users. The RTMA provides hourly analyses of sensible weather parameters on a matching NDFD 5-km resolution across the contiguous U.S. The analyses meet the immediate requirement for a forecast-matching fine-scale mesoscale analysis as part of the first phase of a long-term, more comprehensive Analysis of Record (AOR) project. The RTMA has helped define evolving meteorological features and thus contributes critical information necessary for forecast preparation and verification. Cases studies of RTMA products provide examples exhibiting the strengths of the analyses.

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