Wednesday, 25 January 2012: 2:00 PM
An Assessment of the Impacts of High-Resolution Modeling in Warning Operations for Severe Local Storms
Room 356 (New Orleans Convention Center )
During the spring of 2011, weather forecasters and researchers from around the country gathered at the Hazardous Weather Testbed in Norman, Oklahoma for the Spring Experiment -- an operation designed to appraise new technology and methods for severe storms forecasting and warning operations. Among the host of new technologies is the Norman Weather Forecast Office Weather Research Forecast model (OUN WRF) -- a rapid-update, convection-resolving numerical weather model. This model was tested in an operational warning environment by National Weather Service forecasters from May – June of 2011. Several storm parameters were tested, along with the performance of the model in short-term forecasting, and the effect of high-resolution modeling on forecaster situational awareness. This marked a significant step toward integrating high-resolution modeling into warning operations, a future paradigm known as “Warn-on-Forecast”. After each convective event, forecasters filled out a model performance survey. The results of this survey will be presented, along with example cases and observations from the experiment. The data indicate that high-resolution modeling is beneficial in anticipating short-term forecasting trends. However, the results also suggest that, given the large volume of model output, it is important to encapsulate that information in combination products that reduce forecaster load during high-stress warning events.