8D.1 SHOUT: A Project Overview, Operations Summary, and Introduction to Its Forecast Impact for Hurricanes and Tropical Cyclones

Wednesday, 18 April 2018: 8:00 AM
Heritage Ballroom (Sawgrass Marriott)
Gary A. Wick, NOAA-OAR, Earth Systems Research Laboratory, Boulder, CO; and J. P. Dunion, R. E. Hood, P. G. Black, P. M. Kenul, J. J. Coffey, and M. L. Black

The Sensing Hazards with Operational Unmanned Technology (SHOUT) project employed the Global Hawk in 2015-16 to sample tropical cyclones with the goal of evaluating the potential of high altitude, long endurance unmanned aircraft to improve operational forecasts of high-impact weather events or mitigate potential degradation of forecasts in the event of a future gap in satellite coverage. During those two seasons, 12 missions were flown over 6 named storms. A third set of missions was also coordinated with NOAA’s 2016 El Niño Rapid Response field campaign to study the forecast impact on landfalling Pacific storms. Primary instrumentation included the Airborne Vertical Atmospheric Profiling System (AVAPS or dropsondes), the High Altitude MMIC Sounding Radiometer (HAMSR, a microwave sounder), and the High-Altitude Imaging Wind and Rain Airborne Profiler (HIWRAP, a scanning Doppler precipitation radar). Data from the flights were provided in real time to forecasters at the National Hurricane Center and assimilated in operational forecast models. The results from several diverse but complementary impact studies have consistently demonstrated significant positive forecast benefits spanning regional and global models. Forecast skill improvements within the Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model reached near 9% for track and 14% for intensity. Within the Global Forecast System (GFS) model, track skill improvements for multi-storm averages exceeded 10% and improvements for individual storms reached over 20% depending on forecast lead time. This presentation provides an overview of the project goals, mission design and execution, real time data utilization, and an introduction to the completed impact assessments. Detailed results from the different impact studies are described in independent presentations.
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