9.2 Supporting NOAA Research to Operations Transitions for High-Impact Precipitation, Severe Weather, and Hurricanes through the U.S. Weather Research Program and the Joint Technology Transfer Initiative

Wednesday, 10 January 2018: 10:45 AM
615 AB (Hilton) (Austin, Texas)
Richard A. Fulton, NOAA, Silver Spring, MD; and C. R. Kondragunta and J. Cortinas Jr.

NOAA’s Office of Weather and Air Quality (OWAQ) in the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research supports diverse multiyear projects within NOAA and at academic and commercial institutions whose objectives are the development of advanced scientific technology and its application to weather forecasting operations in NOAA and the broader meteorology community. Two of NOAA’s competitive grant programs managed by OWAQ provide funding sources for that work…the U.S. Weather Research Program (USWRP) that started over 16 years ago, and the new Joint Technology Transfer Initiative (JTTI) that started in 2016.

These two programs are currently supporting 35 on-going two- and three-year projects at many universities and NOAA laboratories that started recently in 2015 and 2016, 24 of which are being tested within three NOAA 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. In mid 2017, the USWRP and JTTI programs recently awarded and funded 21 and 10 new projects valued at $5.2M and $3.9M, respectively.

These projects support the development of new weather, hydrologic, and air quality analysis and forecasting techniques or numerical forecast models that are broadly applicable to the weather enterprise and can also 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 within NOAA and to the broader weather science and forecasting communities.

We will discuss the program objectives, types of supported projects, processes, future peer competition schedules, as well as the latest status of the current projects and future plans. These programs have resulted in improved opportunities for university and other external researchers to work directly with NOAA scientists and forecasters to apply new technology for the public benefit.

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