12B.6 Real-time Hazardous Weather Detection and Convective Model Data Assimilation from Mobile Platforms

Thursday, 14 January 2016: 2:45 PM
Room 355 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Paul, O.G. Heppner, Global Science & Technology, Inc., Greenbelt, MD; and C. Cogar and K. Sonntag

Global Science & Technology, Inc. (GST) developed the United States' first mobile platform (vehicle-based) environmental observation network with partner Weather Telematics. GST's Mobile Platform Environmental Data (MoPED) is an information processing system that acquires and disseminates mobile environmental and vehicle data to government and commercial interests. A backbone of commercial vehicles traveling interstate routes from their hubs is layered by an emerging hyperlocal footprint in metropolitan areas.

From the national network of mobile platforms, which operate all hours of the day, hazardous weather conditions are identified. Mobile platforms are able to depict road segments that may be icy, areas of potential fog, and areas of extreme road heat. During the winter months, road temperature is a critical attribute for indicating surface hazards. There are times when 2m air temperatures sampled by surface weather stations are not representative of the actual surface condition. As the mobile platform road temperature data infuses decision support systems, weather forecasters are able to better identify hazardous areas and assess risks to forecasts that influence the issuance of winter weather advisories or warnings. The National Weather Service (NWS) now includes mobile platform road temperature data in decision support tools that are used to communicate weather conditions to emergency managers and state DOT managers. GST will present examples of mobile platform data in NWS decision support, as well as a case study when surface weather stations indicated rain with 4C temperature, whereas surface conditions were actually icy (freezing rain) and the sub-freezing surface temperature was captured by mobile platforms.

Mobile platforms are also becoming a source of very important data for summertime convective storm models. The heat and humidity data from mobile platforms can pinpoint thermal boundaries and ‘dry lines' that are situated between fixed-site weather stations. These thermal or moisture boundaries often are focal points for the development of severe thunderstorms, floods, and tornadoes. The acquisition of heat and humidity data by mobile platforms along their routes is a new data source for assimilation into convective models. GST and the University of Oklahoma are assimilating mobile platform data into the Advanced Regional Predictive System (ARPS).

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner