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An Overview of the 2014 NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed Spring Forecasting Experiment

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Monday, 3 November 2014
Capitol Ballroom AB (Madison Concourse Hotel)
Israel L. Jirak, NOAA/NWS/NCEP/SPC, Norman, OK; and M. C. Coniglio, A. J. Clark, J. Correia Jr., K. H. Knopfmeier, C. J. Melick, S. J. Weiss, J. S. Kain, M. Xue, F. Kong, K. W. Thomas, K. Brewster, Y. Wang, Y. Jung, and S. Willington
Manuscript (1.5 MB)

Handout (1.8 MB)

Each spring, the Experimental Forecast Program of the NOAA/Hazardous Weather Testbed conducts a collaborative forecasting experiment. Organized by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) and National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), these annual forecasting experiments test emerging concepts and technologies designed to improve the prediction of hazardous mesoscale weather. The fundamental motivation for these experiments is to accelerate the transfer of promising new tools and concepts from research to operations and inspire new initiatives for operationally relevant research.

The 2014 Spring Forecasting Experiment (SFE2014) was conducted 5 May 6 June. During SFE2014, a variety of forecast and evaluation activities were conducted to address several primary goals: 1) explore the ability to generate higher temporal resolution convective outlooks than those issued operationally by SPC (i.e., 1-h periods for total severe and 3-h periods for individual hazards), 2) compare multiple convection-allowing ensembles (OU/CAPS SSEF, SPC SSEO, AFWA, and new NSSL) and identify strengths and weaknesses of the different configurations and initialization/perturbation strategies, 3) examine convection-allowing ensemble forecasts into Day 2 and assess their guidance for generating outlooks, 4) evaluate EMC parallel CAMs (HiResW WRF-ARW, HiResW NMMB, and NAM CONUS Nest) and compare them to operational versions, 5) investigate the use of HAILCAST (hail growth model) incorporated into NSSL-WRF, AFWA, and CAPS SSEF as a tool for predicting the size of hail, 6) test the sensitivity of WRF-ARW runs to new double-moment microphysics schemes: Morrison, Milbrandt-Yau, and Milbrandt-Morrison (P3), 7) identify differences in performance between the Met Office Unified Model and WRF-ARW convection-allowing runs, and 8) explore the utility and feasibility of visualizing 3-D CAM fields in near real-time and compare to radar-observed storm structure using WDSS-II visualization software. A summary of the preliminary findings and results of SFE2014 is presented along with the potential operational impacts.