Monday, 12 January 2004: 9:30 AM
Applying the new Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model to National Weather Service forecast office operations
The Coastal Storms Initiative (CSI) is a NOAA-wide program to improve coastal storm readiness and response. As one of the CSI components, the National Weather Service is sponsoring a project in Florida to test and evaluate the utility of locally-run, mesoscale numerical weather prediction models to improve surface forecasts in coastal regions where sea-breeze effects are critical to daily weather patterns. Through a collaborative effort between the NOAA Forecast Systems Laboratory (FSL), the National Weather Service (NWS), and Florida State University (FSU), a real-time local data assimilation and forecast system has been implemented on a Linux Beowulf cluster at the Jacksonville, Florida Weather Forecast Office (WFO). The system uses FSL’s Local Analysis and Prediction System (LAPS) to diabatically initialize the new Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) mesoscale model, with the resulting output available to the forecasters via the Advance Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) workstations. Additionally, data from these forecasts are verified at FSL using the Real-Time Verification System (RTVS). The goals of the project are twofold: (1) to determine the utility of locally-run NWP models within the NWS/WFO environment, and (2) to assess the value added by local data assimilation versus a simple “nest-down” from a national model. The experiment design, operational implementation, and preliminary qualitative and quantitative results will be presented.