85th AMS Annual Meeting

Monday, 10 January 2005: 2:15 PM
Mesoscale Objective Analysis: An Analysis of Record?
John Horel, NOAA/Cooperative Institute for Regional Prediction and University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; and B. Colman
Poster PDF (133.0 kB)
A community meeting was held 29-30 June 2004 on real-time and retrospective mesoscale objective analysis. Over seventy individuals representing government agencies, research institutions, and commercial firms participated in the two-day workshop on mesoscale objective analysis sponsored by the USWRP program. This meeting was motivated by the ongoing effort of the National Weather Service (NWS) to provide forecasts out to 7 days, at up to hourly temporal resolution, on a fine-resolution grid; the National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD) has a nominal grid-spacing of 5 km across the United States and represents a blend of objective forecast guidance and forecaster edits. Early evaluation efforts of the new gridded forecasts have been hampered by the lack of gridded analyses of the various forecast parameters, which include, among others, temperature, dew-point temperature, wind, precipitation, clouds, and weather. In addition, such analyses are expected to play an important role in the forecast process and in generating forecast guidance. Thus, the NWS has an immediate and critical need to produce real-time and retrospective analyses at high spatial and temporal resolution in order to facilitate the creation of the NDFD forecasts as well as verify their accuracy. The term “Analysis of Record (AOR)” has been used provisionally to describe such analyses.

The AOR is, however, not solely a need of the NWS. Demands for high-resolution objective analyses are growing rapidly across the environmental community to support such activities as: mesoscale modeling for both operational weather forecasting and fundamental scientific investigation; dispersion modeling for real-time prediction of hazardous materials, air pollution, and homeland defense; and environmental issues from the coastal zone to national forests, including fire management. Additionally, accurate high-resolutions analyses would help to form the basic building blocks of a climate database to help assess the impacts of climate change on a regional scale.

The recommendations of the attendees and plans for an AOR will be reviewed. The Workshop participants agreed that an AOR program should proceed rapidly. One of the reasons for moving quickly is that the NDFD forecasts are scheduled to become operational during December 2004. Responding to this immediate need, several groups have tentatively volunteered to develop experimental analyses at 5 km resolution. The status of the AOR program will be summarized.

Supplementary URL: http://www.met.utah.edu/jhorel/homepages/jhorel/mac.htm