Quasi-operational uses of Ground-based GPS Meteorology in NOAA

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Monday, 3 February 2014: 4:45 PM
Room C106 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Kirk Holub, NOAA/ESRL, Boulder, CO; and S. Gutman and Z. Toth

In the early 1990's, weather and climate communities identified gaps in its ability to monitor upper-air moisture as a significant impediment to improving short-range cloud, precipitation and severe weather predictions, and detecting and monitoring changes in the global climate system. Ground-based GPS meteorology (GPS-Met) was identified as a promising alternative to microwave water vapor radiometers in the development of an autonomous full-thermodynamic profiling system for the National Weather Service in 1992. The system was based on the Doppler Radar Wind Profiler technologies developed by the Boulder Laboratories and data assimilation techniques for total column precipitable water vapor measurements developed at NCAR and NOAA in 1993.

Between 1994 and 2005, GPS-Met was further developed and evaluated by NOAA Research in collaboration with NWS, NESDIS, NOS/NGS and several universities for potential use in operations and research. In 2005, the NOAA Profiler Network transferred to NWS but the GPS-Met system/segment remained in NOAA Research. Nonetheless, a decision was made by NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Prediction to assimilate GPS-Met water vapor estimates into its operational mesoscale models (RUC and NAM), and the GPS-Met data acquisition and processing system has been operated and maintained by NOAA Research as a quasi-operational NOAA observing system since that time.

In this presentation, the quasi-operational applications of ground-based GPS meteorology will be reviewed and the status of its transition from a quasi-operational upper-air observing system operated and maintained by NOAA Research into NOAA operations will be discussed.