1.6 Analysis of federally funded tropical cyclone research and development

Wednesday, 26 January 2011: 9:45 AM
604 (Washington State Convention Center)
Frank Marks, NOAA, Miami, FL; and R. Ferek and M. Welshinger

Tropical Cyclones (TC) account for over 100 deaths per year and about $13B in annual losses in the United States. Accurate TC forecasts and warnings are perhaps a decision maker's most important tool available to mitigate these costs. History has shown that improvements in forecast accuracy are largely dependent on the continued operational transition of focused, coordinated research. The Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorology (OFCM) established a Working Group for Tropical Cyclone Research (WG/TCR) in 2008 to address a major recommendation in the 10-year research plan for TC research: Interagency Strategic Research Plan for Tropical Cyclones: The Way Ahead. This report provided a broad overview of the current focus and scope of U.S. Tropical Cyclone Research and compiled a list of the operational priorities of the three U.S. TC forecast and warning centers (National Hurricane Center, Central Pacific Hurricane Center, and Department of Defense's Joint Typhoon Warning Center), as well as, the key research needs required to meet these operational priorities. The primary task of the WG/TCR is to relate the wide range of federally sponsored TC research to these operational priorities, to identify potential gaps in the National research, and to assist in coordinating research objectives across the federal agencies. The WG/TCR produced the first-ever snapshot of all federal agency TC research efforts in relation to how well they supported operational priorities. The analysis approach called for a detailed mapping of all ongoing research efforts during the 2009 fiscal year (there were over 1000 individual projects considered) to one of 45 research areas defined in the 10-year plan. Next, these entries were binned into the 8 broader research categories of Intensity and Structure, Track, TC Genesis, Precipitation, Surge, model development, observations, and seasonal prediction. The final step was a straightforward comparison of the quantity of research being applied to the identified operational priorities as defined by the individual forecast and warning centers. The results of this review and its implications will be presented and discussed.
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