Over the last decade, the role of NWS meteorologists has evolved from primarily composing short and long-term forecasts to providing time-sensitive and detailed short-fuse forecast updates during high impact weather events. These updates require knowledge of both the current and expected future state of the atmosphere. High-resolution models have allowed forecasters to go beyond the observed, predicting the evolution of critical weather features out to several hours, in time intervals of 15 min or less. This degree of detail is essential in developing robust decision-making aids intended for dissemination to our primary partners during life-threatening events.
Since 2007, the NWS forecast office in Norman, Oklahoma has run a localized Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. This model, known as the OUNWRF, is a convection-allowing model capable of depicting derived reflectivity, updraft helicity, maximum wind speed, and many other useful fields. During active severe weather outbreaks, these data have proved essential in enhancing both situational awareness and decision support at the Norman office.
Selected cases have been analyzed to showcase the effectiveness of the OUNWRF in depicting the timing, evolution, and mode of convection during high impact severe weather events. Model output was interpreted and used to develop graphicasts, Web briefings, and other products to relay to the primary partners in the NWS Norman county warning area. This presentation will show the effectiveness of the OUNWRF in enhancing situational awareness and providing decision support to primary partners that have a common goal of protecting life and property from threatening weather.