6.6 Transitioning Research into Operations at the Hazardous Weather Testbed

Thursday, 10 January 2013: 2:45 PM
Ballroom A (Austin Convention Center)
Steven Koch, NOAA/NSSL, Norman, OK; and R. Schneider and D. L. Andra Jr.

The Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) is an organization that supports and promotes collaborative research activities between the following NOAA entities – the NWS Storm Prediction Center (SPC), the OAR National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), and the NWS Norman Weather Forecast Office (WFO OUN) – and the broader national and international meteorological community of research scientists, academia, and forecasters. The NOAA units are collocated within the National Weather Center building on the University of Oklahoma's south research campus in Norman, Oklahoma. A primary goal of the HWT is to accelerate the transfer of promising new tools from research to operations, while inspiring new initiatives for operationally relevant research, through the conduct and evaluation of intensive real-time experimental forecasting and warning activities. The HWT organizational structure is composed of an Experimental Forecasting Program, an Experimental Warning Program and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R) Proving Ground. Annual Spring Experiments conducted at the HWT are held to test new concepts and technologies designed to improve the prediction and warning of severe convective storms. This focus has at times expanded to include such topics as heavy precipitation, aviation weather, and convective initiation.

This collaboration is mutually beneficial to the participating operational and research organizations. Thus, forecasters are provided perspective on potential research approaches for addressing operational challenges and immersion in the latest scientific advances. Simultaneously, researchers develop a better awareness of forecaster problems and constraints and so become better equipped to pursue projects that have operational relevance. The HWT has very successfully fostered collaborative research and transition of research advances into operations, thus the HWT has helped to bridge the historically large separation between operational forecasting and research. This presentation will review the HWT program's evolving objectives and provide examples of research advances that have benefited operations. It will be shown how forecast and warnings products developed by researchers and used beneficially by forecasters address the requirements for transition of innovative new research to improve operational services. The experimental use of very high-resolution ensembles of convectively admitting models will be discussed. Finally, possible future program areas to be included under HWT will be mentioned.

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