Activities of the AWRP Model Development & Enhancement PDT

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Monday, 30 January 2006
Activities of the AWRP Model Development & Enhancement PDT
Exhibit Hall A2 (Georgia World Congress Center)
Steven E. Koch, NOAA/FSL, Boulder, CO

An overview of the goals, organizational structure, accomplishments, and future plans of the Model Development and Enhancement (MD&E) Product Development Team (PDT) under the FAA Aviation Weather Research Program (AWRP) is presented. Except for displays of current data and nowcasting products, virtually all aviation weather products produced by the other PDT groups are affected by numerical weather prediction models and data assimilation schemes. The four-stage process whereby research advancements are eventually implemented into operations at NCEP, and the efforts of the MD&E PDT to entrain the other PDTs into the design, testing, evaluation, and execution phases of new modeling developments will be discussed.

The goals of the MD&E PDT are to: 1) exploit available observations to improve analysis of meteorological fields; 2) define the detailed wind, temperature, and cloud features required to forecast turbulence, icing, convection, visibility and cloud ceilings, and 3) improve the model's internal representation of cloud processes, including convective storms. These requirements dictate state-of-the-art data assimilation, numerics, and physics. Better aviation weather products require improvements to rapidly updated, high-resolution numerical weather prediction (NWP) systems which are the underpinnings of the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) model used for aviation weather forecasting for more than a decade. A concise history of RUC developments and plans for evolving to the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Rapid Refresh model at the NOAA Forecast Systems Laboratory will be presented. The NCEP Short-Range Ensemble Forecasting (SREF) system and the North American Mesoscale (NAM) model, which are also being developed under FAA support through MD&E PDT coordination, will be discussed as well. Finally, current efforts to assimilate WSR-88D data into WRF models by OU/CAPS, NCAR, FSL, and NCEP will be presented.