Thursday, 7 August 2003: 3:50 PM
The impact of coastal boundary layer wind profilers on coastal forecasts
Interactions between a research team and the National Weather Service (NWS) forecast offices in California as part of the California Land-falling Jets Experiment (Jan-Mar 1998) suggested that real-time availability of experimental data could be of substantial benefit to local forecasting in coastal regions, particularly the NWS Watch-Warning program. Based on this experience, the Regional Weather and Climate Applications Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Environmental Technoloy Laboratory (ETL) has actively pursued opportunities to provide NWS forecasters on both the West and Northeast Coasts of the United States with real-time access to experimental data during subsequent field deployments. One important component of these deployments has been boundary layer wind profiler networks. The coastal sites for the 2002 and 2003 West Coast deployments extended from Washington (PACJET-2002) or Oregon (PACJET-2003) to Southern California and included an island site off the coast of southern California during 2003. A recent Northeast deployment included key coastal sites in Massachusetts and New Hampshire from the summer of 2002 through the spring of 2003, as well as an island site off the coast of southern Maine during the summer of 2002. In addition to providing real-time access to these data via the web, we have provided training for NWS forecasters on potential applications for these products through office visits and teletraining and collected real-time forecaster feedback via a web-based feedback form and Area Forecast Discussions (AFDs) to assess the impact of these data on the forecast process. The reaction of the operational community to these interactions has been very positive. This paper will summarize the situations for which NWS forecasters have found this type of data useful and present examples of instances where these data had a significant impact on the NWS Watch-Warning program.