12A.5 Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program (HFIP) Plan to Enact the Weather Act

Thursday, 11 January 2018: 11:30 AM
406 (Hilton) (Austin, Texas)
Fred Toepfer, NOAA/Office of Science and Technology Integration, Silver Spring, MD; and E. Rappaport, F. Marks, V. Tallapragada, S. G. Gopalakrishnan, N. P. Kurkowski, and N. Lett

The Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program (HFIP) successfully attained its initial goal of reducing the error in track and intensity forecast guidance by 20% within the program’s first five years, on its way toward meeting its even more challenging goal of a 50% reduction of error within 10 years. The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act, signed on April 18, 2017, authorizes the NOAA Under Secretary, in collaboration with the U.S. weather industry and academic entities, to “maintain a project to improve hurricane forecasting” (Section 104). The Act calls upon NOAA, by way of HFIP, to focus on improving the prediction of rapid intensification and track of hurricanes, improving the forecast and communication of storm surges from hurricanes, and incorporating risk communication research to create more effective watch and warning products in meeting the goal of developing and extending accurate hurricane forecasts and warnings in order to reduce loss of life, injury, and damage to the economy. The Act requires NOAA to develop a plan for HFIP, detailing the specific research, development, and technology transfer activities necessary to sustain HFIP and achieve the aforementioned goals. Although HFIP has produced some noticeable improvement in track and intensity forecasts, further advancements to numerical models will be required to address forecast failures and to improve prediction of rapidly intensifying events. The long-term HFIP goals and approaches will be detailed in the plan. The formal plan will be delivered in April 2018. This presentation will summarize the program and preview proposed key elements of the plan toward achieving the objectives of the Act.
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