1.3 Future capabilities of the Air Force Weather Agency in Data Assimilation and Numerical Weather Prediction

Wednesday, 9 January 2013: 9:15 AM
Ballroom F (Austin Convention Center)
Fred Lewis, Director of Weather, Air Force Pentagon, Washington, DC

The U.S. Air Force provides operational modeling support to all elements of the DoD, multiple DoC organizations and the USDA. The Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA), specifically the 16th Weather Squadron (16 WS), carries out this responsibility through the development, implementation, and visualization of terrestrial, atmospheric and space weather models, display of observational data, and identification of environmental impacts on future weapons systems. The 16th WS exploits cutting-edge technologies, science and innovation across its predictive capabilities to produce state-of-the-art, unique, responsive, accurate, and relevant weather information enabling informed decision-making by operational commanders. This presentation will provide an update of the Air Force's current and developing capabilities in the area of high-resolution models, to include dust and aerosol modeling (WRF-Chem), land-surface characterization, and fine-scale modeling (1.67km) to support global operations; Air Force Weather Ensemble Prediction Suite, which includes the Global Ensemble Prediction Suite (GEPS) and Mesoscale Ensemble Prediction Suite (MEPS); and data assimilation capabilities in AFWA models to include Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) assimilation. The presentation will address the Agency's role as the DoD's weather intelligence provider and demonstrate how state-of the-art modeling products can mitigate impacts to DoD missions. It will also highlight the key partnerships the Air Force has with Civil and Allied Government agencies to exploit cutting-edge technologies to advance modeling capabilities to the next level. The Air Force will continue to leverage interagency working groups and data sharing partnerships to modernize weather modeling capabilities to benefit warfighters and the Nation.
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