3.2 Towards Operational Prediction of Medium- and Small-Scale Traveling Ionospheric Disturbances: A Navy Forecasting Prototype

Monday, 8 January 2018: 2:15 PM
Salon J (Hilton) (Austin, Texas)
Stephen D. Eckermann, NRL, Washington, DC; and D. Broutman, J. D. Doyle, Q. Jiang, J. Ma, and K. A. Zawdie

Medium- and small-scale traveling ionospheric disturbances (MSTIDs) have been observed extensively since the very earliest days of radar. Yet, despite decades of observations and research, we still have no ability to predict outbreaks of MSTID activity that sporadically and unexpectedly degrade many important radiowave communication and monitoring technologies. Accumulated MSTID research points to strong connections between certain types of severe tropospheric weather (e.g., deep convective thunderstorms) and MSTID outbreaks. We present a prototype Navy forecasting system under development at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory aimed at providing physics-based forecasts of MSTID outbreaks associated with tropospheric weather. The system couples three (previously standalone) physics-based Navy models to provide end-to-end dynamical connections between severe tropospheric weather systems and MSTIDs through deep vertical gravity-wave coupling. In this talk we outline key aspects of the system, the rationale for the model components and the inter-model coupling layers, then present preliminary application of the system to recent observed outbreaks of MSTIDs potentially associated with nearby tropospheric weather systems. We conclude with plans for future development, testing and applications of this system.
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