AWIPS-2 Activities at COMET

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Monday, 5 January 2015
Timothy Alberta, UCAR/COMET, Boulder, CO; and R. Bubon, J. Rener, M. Kelsch, D. Keissling, and E. M. Page

The COMET Program is midway through a two-year effort to validate AWIPS-II displayed fields to ensure that the data being used in operations are correctly displayed and that derived products are accurately calculated. The fields being evaluated include diagnostic functionality for surface and upper air observations (all platforms), analyses, and forecasts (NWP models, etc.). The validation exercise will initially focus on the use of the software in National Weather Service Weather Forecast Offices (NWS WFOs) and will later extend to the National Center Perspective (NCP) display.

This effort builds upon procedures used in a previous two-phase validation of AWIPS-I conducted by COMET. Those procedures have been greatly expanded with the development of a quantitative analysis procedure to compare products displayed as images in each system pixel by pixel. This procedure includes multifaceted comparisons with gray scale conversion and pixel comparison, statistical analysis of the differences, and a follow-up qualitative analysis using a slider bar to facilitate side by side evaluations.

We have closely coordinated this project with various stakeholders, including WFO Boulder, the National Centers for Environmental Predictions, the AWIPS Program Office, NWS Training Division Warning Decision Training Branch (WDTB), NWS Forecast Decision Training Branch (FDTB), and the UCAR/Unidata Program. Their input has been critical to helping us focus our testing.

The initial scope of the project has been limited to testing fields available in the AWIPS Volume Browser by comparing variables that have been moved from AWIPS-I to AWIPS-II. This comparison was identified by WFO BOU as potentially having the greatest value to operations. Validation of non-Volume Browser products (including soundings plotted using NSHARP) will be addressed in subsequent activities.