8.2 Status of NOAA's Weather Testbeds for High Impact Precipitation, Severe Weather, and Hurricanes

Thursday, 14 January 2016: 3:45 PM
Room 338/339 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Richard A. Fulton, OAR, Silver Spring, MD; and J. V. Cortinas Jr.

NOAA's Office of Weather and Air Quality (OWAQ) funds multiyear projects for three high impact weather testbeds across the U.S. These testbeds include the Hydrometeorology Testbed, focusing on heavy precipitation and hydrologic response; the Hazardous Weather Testbed, focusing on severe weather such as tornadoes, hail, and wind; and the Joint Hurricane Testbed, focusing on tropical cyclones and hurricanes.

These testbeds support the development of new weather and hydrologic analysis and forecasting techniques or numerical forecast models that can be eventually used by forecasters at National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Offices, River Forecast Centers, and national centers to improve their products and services over the next five years. The objective is to improve services to the public by more closely linking university and other laboratory researchers doing highly applied research with operational forecasters so that emerging new technology can be tested and proven beneficial within a pseudo-operational environment at these offices and transitioned for their use more quickly. Researchers participate in testbed-sponsored experiments at NOAA forecast centers that bring together the two groups for real-time test exercises to evaluate the technology and make changes as needed. We will discuss some of these exercises over the past year.

These testbeds have been in existence for many years and have been successful in transitioning new technology into operations. There have been changes over the past year in how these testbeds are selected and funded, and we will discuss the changes in this presentation as well as the latest status of the testbed projects and future plans. These changes have resulted in improved opportunities for university and other external researchers to work directly with NOAA scientists and forecasters to transition new technology into the NWS.

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