Thursday, 9 August 2007
Halls C & D (Cairns Convention Center)
An overview of the Australian end-to-end Thunderstorm Forecasting System is presented. This system relies substantially on three components: (1) the National Thunderstorm Forecast Guidance System (NTFGS), a software package that displays specifically those output fields from the 0.125˚ Australian operational NWP model that are particularly relevant to diagnosing thunderstorm potential out to 48 hours, (2) a nowcasting visualization tool called 3D-Rapic, which displays volumetric radar data as well as output from radar-based algorithms, and (3) the Thunderstorm Interactive Forecast System (TIFS) which is the tool for the dissemination of thunderstorm forecasts and severe thunderstorm warnings. TIFS can ingest algorithm-diagnosed thunderstorm positions and tracks which were automatically diagnosed from the radar data.
An Australian supercell hailstorm case study is then presented to showcase how forecasters can use the system outputs to facilitate decision making at various stages of the severe thunderstorm forecast process. Training and assessment issues associated with implementation of the forecast systems are discussed. In particular, it is concluded that forecasters must have an in-depth understanding of the radar algorithms for them to be used meaningfully. Such algorithms can facilitate warning decision making when used carefully in conjunction with the base data and other data types.
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