7.4 Research and Education Benefits of Institutional Operational Weather Modeling

Wednesday, 10 January 2018: 11:15 AM
Ballroom C (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Joseph F. Brodie, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ; and T. Miles, S. Glenn, R. Dunk, G. Seroka, L. A. Bowers, J. L. Coupe, S. Lichtenwalner, H. Roarty, O. Schofield, and J. Kohut

An important skill for students who will be entering the professional meteorology and oceanography forecasting environment is a thorough understanding of the modeling techniques that go into operational forecasts, and how operational models can inform research into improving forecasts. Since 2011, the Rutgers University Center for Ocean Observing Leadership (RU-COOL) has run an operational version of the Weather Research and Forecasting model for daily distribution via an online web portal. This model is used to not only conduct research, but to provide an operational suite for in-class use. Furthermore, students in classes led by RU-COOL faculty can work not just with the model output, but explore how the model is compiled, how input data is assimilated, and the model is run. The model uses standard NCEP model forecasts as initial and lateral boundary conditions, and an in house developed coldest pixel SST composite for the ocean surface to capture some of the unique oceanographic features of the coastal Mid-Atlantic. Students are able to compare the model output to a variety of publically available and RU-COOL observations, including meteorological towers, sodar, and lidar, and explore options for assimilating these observations into the model. RU-COOL graduate students have also used the model to conduct research into hurricanes, sea breezes, and offshore wind energy assessments. Having an existing operational model streamlines these research efforts through the use of RU-COOL personnel with valuable experience in running the WRF model using University resources.
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