FY13 HWRF Implementation at NCEP: Significant Improvements in track, intensity and structure forecasts for all Northern Hemispheric Oceanic Basins

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Wednesday, 5 February 2014: 10:30 AM
Room C201 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Vijay Tallapragada, NOAA/NWS/NCEP/EMC, College Park, MD

The atmosphere-ocean coupled operational Hurricane Weather Research and Forecast (HWRF) modeling system developed at the Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) of National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) has been providing numerical guidance on tropical cyclone tracks and intensity to the forecasters at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) for the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific basins. Starting with 2012 hurricane season, the operational HWRF modeling system is upgraded with triple-nest capability that includes a cloud-resolving inner-most grid operating at 3 km horizontal resolution near the storm center. This is a multi-agency collaborative effort involving HWRF team at NCEP/EMC and various federal and academic partners, supported by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project (HFIP).

This leap-step advancement of the HWRF system paved way for further improvements in intensity forecasts, especially through implementation of regional hybrid data assimilation system proposed for 2013 hurricane season along with many other upgrades. Intensity forecast skills from 2013 version of HWRF model were found to be superior to those of statistical models and NHC official forecasts for a large sample of retrospective cases from past three hurricane seasons. Track forecast skills from HWRF were also found comparable with highly skillful NCEP Global Forecast System (GFS).

This presentation will focus on the progress accomplished at NCEP/EMC in advancing the high-resolution hurricane modeling capabilities through an unprecedented retrospective testing and evaluation of model upgrades using HFIP's dedicated computing facilities in Boulder. We will also highlight our recent efforts in expanding the scope of operational HWRF for other oceanic basins including North Western Pacific and North Indian Ocean regions.