823 Research-to-Operations in the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed's Experimental Warning Program

Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Travis M. Smith, CIMMS/Univ. of Oklahoma and NOAA/NSSL, Norman, OK; and D. L. Andra Jr., M. P. Foster, G. J. Stumpf, and D. W. Burgess

The charter of the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) states that its mission is “to accelerate the transition of promising new meteorological insights and technologies into advances in forecasting and warning for hazardous mesoscale weather events throughout the United States.” The focus of the Experimental Warning Program (EWP) portion of the HWT is to improve short-term warnings of severe weather hazards by bringing together scientists and operational forecasters to evaluate and refine research projects that have the potential to provide better warning services to the public. The EWP's beginnings are in intermittent interactions between scientists at the National Severe Storms Laboratory and the Norman (formerly Oklahoma City) National Weather Service Forecast Office that began in the last 1970s. These collaborative projects were numerous, and included such things as early Doppler studies that led to the NEXRAD deployment, evaluation of future operational workstations (AWIPS), and prototypes of modernized NWS Forecast Office operations and stiffing models. During the mid-1990s through early 2000s, NSSL-NWS collaborations on improved warnings were widely expanded beyond just Norman, OK, with the operational evaluation of the Warning Decision Support System in more than 20 NWSFOs across the United States.

In 2006, with the opening of the National Weather Center, a dedicated permanent space was made available to house HWT activities. This space is physically located between ,and immediately adjacent to, both the Norman NWSFO and the Storm Prediction Center to facilitate easier interactions between researchers and forecasters. Data feeds of both operational and experimental weather products showing both real-time and archived events are available. Visiting forecasters and researchers convene each spring to evaluate scientific ideas that are in various stages of completion. For instance, in spring 2010, multiple foci included the evaluation of new remote sensing tools such as gap-filling and phased array radars, GOES-R satellite algorithms, multi-radar blended datasets, and real-time data assimilation at the storm scale.

The presentation focuses on the historical, current, and future plans for research-to-operations in the Experimental Warning Program.

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