8B.6 An Evaluation of MCS Prediction with the NSSL Experimental Warn-on-Forecast System for Ensembles

Tuesday, 8 November 2016: 5:45 PM
Pavilion Ballroom West (Hilton Portland )
Kent H. Knopfmeier, CIMMS/Univ. of Oklahoma and NOAA/OAR/NSSL, Norman, OK; and D. M. Wheatley, P. S. Skinner, D. C. Dowell, T. Ladwig, C. R. Alexander, and G. J. Creager

The NSSL Experimental Warn-on-Forecast System for ensembles (NEWS-e), a prototype regional storm-scale prediction system, has been developed in collaboration with the Global Systems Division (GSD) as part of the NOAA Warn-on-Forecast (WoF) project.  To this point, WoF-based research with the NEWS-e has primarily focused on its ability to simulate the genesis and evolution of rotation within supercell thunderstorms over short periods of time (i.e. 90-min).  Yet to be fully examined is the capacity of the NEWS-e to simulate other convective modes, such as mesoscale convective systems (MCSs), which evolve over longer time periods and affect much larger areas. Severe MCSs can sometimes generate small-scale, transient vortices (i.e. mesovortices), which can produce intense, localized areas of wind damage or even tornadoes.

This study explores two severe MCS events that occurred during April 2016 utilizing the NEWS-e configuration employed during the 2016 NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed Spring Forecast Experiment.  Initial experiments focus on the capacity of 3-km NEWS-e simulations to predict MCS evolution on time-scales of up to three hours and produce system-scale features, including damaging surface winds, observed in these cases.  Because 3-km grid spacing will likely be too large to accurately simulate mesovortices, experiments at higher resolution (smaller grid spacings; i.e., 1-km) will also be completed in order to examine in greater detail the development of the mesovortex structures and the accompanying severe hazards present in these MCS events.

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