The NCEP Production Suite and the Transition of Research to Operations:Perspectives from both sides of the “Valley of Death”

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Tuesday, 4 February 2014: 5:15 PM
Room C203 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Michael B. Ek, NOAA/NWS/NCEP, College Park, MD

Both Nationally within the U.S. and internationally there is a growing awareness of the requirement to develop and deploy significantly enhanced numerical earth system prediction capabilities necessary to address evolving societal needs for natural disaster preparedness, adaptation to climate change, ensuring food security for growing planetary population, national security and defense as well as future economic prosperity. NOAA's operational modeling systems provide information on the future state of weather, short-term and long-term climate, ecosystems, the ocean, and thus significantly contribute to the decision making process for individuals through policy makers, and for sectors ranging from water resources to financial markets.

The National Centers for Environmental Prediction, Environmental Modeling Center (NCEP/EMC) plays a major role to improve the quality of NOAA's foundational numerical guidance systems. The paper will briefly describe major components of the NOAA operational production suite. In addition, the process used to prioritize system upgrades will be discussed along with a description of the development, testing and implementation process required transition research into NOAA operations. A unique perspective on the “Research to Operations Valley of Death” as seen from both sides of the valley will be provided. The presenter worked 20 years at NASA performing research with MM5/WRF and the last 5 years at NOAA managing upgrades to the operational NOAA modeling suite. The paper will explain how his understanding of the process required to transition research into operations with acceptable risk was woefully incomplete.