7.3 NOAA's Hydrometeorological Testbed : A Decade of Research and Its Impact on Operational Decision Making

Thursday, 10 January 2013: 4:00 PM
Ballroom A (Austin Convention Center)
David W. Reynolds, CIRES/Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO; and T. L. Schneider, L. J. Schick, D. R. Novak, and F. M. Ralph

The Hydrometeorological Testbed (HMT) is a NOAA research program aimed at accelerating the research, development, and infusion of new technologies, models, and scientific results from the research community into daily forecasting operations of the National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs), River Forecast Centers (RFCs), and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC). In addition, the USGS, US Army Corps, the NWS National Water Center (NWC), and state water management agencies (e.g. the California Department of Water Resources) will benefit as these data and information provide improved decision support to meet their missions.

The first phase of HMT was an outgrowth of NOAA's CALJET and PACJET projects from 1997–2003 on the West Coast. HMT-West targeted California's flood-vulnerable American River Basin as the first full-scale deployment of highly sophisticated instrumentation, deployed during the period from 2005 through 2011. Preliminary, small-scale tests of HMT facilities were conducted in California's Coast Range in 2004 (HMT- 04), and the HMT was extended to the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada for the winter of 2004-2005. The year's 2012 through 2014 are expected to be transition years when legacy instrumentation will be permanently installed within California. In addition, decision support tools will be developed and deployed to better utilize these observations by forecasters and decision makers. (see http://hmt.noaa.gov/resources/pdf/hmt_impl_plan_pullout.pdf for a complete description of the HMT program and science plan).

Over the past decade, HMT West has made significant progress in communicating its research results to the operational forecast community along with transitioning key observation systems to operational status and incorporating well designed decision support systems. For example, HMT has strived to build relationships between the research community and the operational hydrometeorological forecast community. These relationships have fostered an understanding by the HMT research community of the needs and requirements of the operational forecaster. In addition it has allowed the operational forecaster to participate in research therefore providing them with a valuable learning experience that can be shared with their operational colleagues.

This presentation will describe the various methodologies used to transfer key research results into operations. It will also discuss current and future plans for transitioning on-going research into the operational forecast process, and describe plans for incorporating new observing platforms into operational decision support systems.

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