As of this time, some flexibility still remains regarding the final placement of a number of these sites. The goal of this research is to provide additional guidance regarding potential site placement through a series of sensitivity analyses. A mixed precipitation event of moderate societal impact over central New York that occurred on December 9th and 10th is chosen for discussion here. This event was characterized by significant forecasting difficulty regarding the precipitation type and changeover timing. In the greater capital region, precipitation began as light freezing rain the morning of the 9th, transitioned to rain during the day, and transitioned once again to heavy snow the night of the 9th, with moderate snow falling during the day on the 10th. In total, over 2.5 of liquid equivalent precipitation fell at the Albany airport.
This study makes use of the WRF model within a Data Assimilation Research Testbed (DART) framework to retroactively simulate this event. A 96 member ensemble is initialized approximately two days before the event, and available observations are assimilated every six hours until the onset of the event. Afterward, additional analyses and sensitivity studies will seek to offer guidance for understanding what geographic locations are most beneficial to producing accurate analyses and forecasts.