3.5 Superstorm Sandy Supplemental-Funded Projects: Accelerating Operational Science and Infrastructure

Tuesday, 24 January 2017: 5:00 PM
Conference Center: Chelan 4 (Washington State Convention Center )
Amy T. Fritz, NOAA, Silver Spring, MD; and J. D. Murphy and S. Lord

Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy, (aka “Superstorm Sandy”), was a major storm that impacted the U.S. Atlantic coast in late October 2012.  NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) played a key role both in events leading up to Superstorm Sandy’s landfall as well as in the immediate response to its devastation.  For example, NWS’ forecasts were crucial to helping prepare the affected areas and provided as much warning as possible as the storm approached. 

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the NWS received Disaster Relief Appropriations (aka “Sandy Supplemental Funding”) which was a “game changer” for enhancing the entire forecast process. Funding provided resources for 34 transformative projects to advance critical aspects of weather prediction, particularly hurricanes and extra-tropical cyclones, and improved NWS infrastructure.  The funding offered a unique opportunity to accelerate major advancements to the observations, operational high-performance computing, model and data assimilation capabilities, training including in social science, and repairs and upgrades to infrastructure.

These projects fell into six categories, Observations and Observing Services, Numerical Guidance and Products, the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project, IT, Training and Human Relations, and Facilities. Most appropriations were 2-year funds with a few projects as 3-year funds; most projects are now complete. In alignment with the NWS mission, the ultimate goal of these projects is to improve our ability to predict tropical cyclones, the hazards they bring, and to provide superior impact-based decision support services to the affected communities.

This presentation will highlight some accomplishments from this funding, with a focus on observational improvements such as NEXRAD Dual Pol Radar Tornado Debris Signature, and Hail Size Discrimination Algorithms, National Data Buoy Center’s (NDBC) Self-Contained Ocean Observations Payload (SCOOP), Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System (MADIS), upper air radiosondes, Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) ground readiness and data assimilation.

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