3.2 Science and Services at the Weather-Climate Intersection: Lessons from the NOAA El Niño Rapid Response

Thursday, 26 January 2017: 1:45 PM
2AB (Washington State Convention Center )
Randall M. Dole, ESRL, Boulder, CO

Among Professor Lance Bosart’s many scientific contributions are in research at the weather-climate intersection.  This area poses fundamental challenges to scientific understanding and forecasts needed for weather, climate and water services.  Over the past year, NOAA was confronted with precisely such challenges when climate forecasts by mid-summer 2015 indicated the likelihood of a strong and potentially record El Niño for the upcoming winter. Taking a proactive approach, NOAA initiated the El Niño Rapid Response (ENRR) project.  The ENRR included an observational field campaign led by the ESRL Physical Sciences Division together with model experiments performed to optimize observational strategies and support NOAA services in anticipating risks and impacts associated with this event.  Ongoing research-services collaborations during the event as well as daily forecast briefings, to which Professor Bosart contributed, played a vital role throughout the project.  Data from the field campaign are being used now to address a broad array of research questions and provide an unprecedented set of intensive tropical atmospheric observations during a strong El Niño. The presentation discusses lessons learned from the ENRR project.  It concludes with a few thoughts on needs for future research-services collaborations to better anticipate risks and realize scientific opportunities in response to predictions of rare but potentially high impact events.
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