85th AMS Annual Meeting

Wednesday, 12 January 2005
Collaborative activities of the NWS MDL and NSSL to improve and develop new severe weather warning guidance applications
Gregory J. Stumpf, CIMMS/Univ. of Oklahoma/NOAA/NWS, Norman, OK; and S. B. Smith and K. E. Kelleher
Poster PDF (460.5 kB)
The National Weather Service (NWS) faces enormous challenges in determining how to best utilize and integrate multi-sensor information into operations. The amount of data available to forecasters is increasing exponentially and will continue to do so. Concurrently, advances in information technology are driving new concepts of opera- tions for NWS. To keep pace with these rapid shifts in paradigm and in the face of restricted budgets, NWS needs do a better job of leveraging university research and expertise to quickly and successfully transfer science and technology into operations.

During 2004, a new collaborative partnership was forged between the National Weather Service (NWS) Meteoro- logical Development Laboratory (MDL) and the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL). This partnership began with the addition of an MDL staff scientist located at the NSSL. This new scientist serves as a liaison between NWS and NSSL on issues related to more rapid and seamless infusion of new science and technology to support the NWS’s operational severe weather warning decision making capabilities.

New WSR-88D algorithms (including multiple-radar algorithms), polarization diversity, phased-array radars, GOES-R sensors, 3-D lightning networks, surface mesonets, ACARS data, are all new high resolution data sources that are either already operational or due to be deployed in the next 10 years. There is a crucial need for research and prototyping of new applications that exploit and integrate these multiple-sensor observations for the benefit of NWS warning operations. Some of the new tasks to be carried out include working with NSSL scientists to establish a multi- sensor development testbed in order to prototype new multi- sensor applications suitable for short-fuse warning operations and short-range prediction with an emphasis on deep convection. New research and software development for AWIPS decision assistance tools, including multiple-sensor severe weather warning decision-making applications (detection, diagnosis, and prediction algorithms) will be carried out.

Some of the current research and application development projects will be summarized. These will include the development of a new multiple-sensor hail diagnosis application and a multiple-sensor cloud-to-ground lightning prediction algorithm. Also being collaboratively developed are new display tools for viewing radar algorithm guidance information, such as the new Mesocyclone Detection Algorithm “DMD” product, and time-height algorithm trends. Addition- ally, work is underway to develop a novel 4D base radar data analysis tool, known as the Four-dimensional Stormcell Investigator (FSI). The FSI is being engineered to be an extension for the D2D display in AWIPS. The FSI plots native-resolution (spherical coordinate, or “8-bit”) WSR-88D base data in 3D space, on a 3D representation of the Earth’s globe, and users can interact with the data using a variety of tools (e.g., dynamic vertical and horizontal cross sections; 3D pan-zoom-pitch-yaw controls).

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