Wednesday, 1 August 2001
Advancing Operational Forecasting Through Collaborative Applied Research Programs at the Storm Prediction Center and National Severe Storms Laboratory
Co-location of the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) with the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) and other agencies in the Norman, OK Weather Center has facilitated considerable interaction and collaboration on a variety of experimental forecast and other operationally relevant research programs. A wide cross section of local and visiting forecasters and researchers have participated in a variety of programs. These include forecasting support for field programs, establishing the SPC winter weather mesoscale discussion product, evaluating operational and experimental NWP, and integrating new observational data, objectives analyses and display tools into forecast operations. A key goal of these programs is to improve forecasts of hydrological and meteorological phenomena by speeding up the transfer of new technology and research ideas into forecast operations at the SPC, and sharing new techniques, skills, and results of applied research more freely. Typical issues addressed in these exercises include, but are not limited to: data overload concerns in operations, testing and evaluation of new analysis or predictive (NWP) models, better understanding of operational forecast problems, development and evaluation of diagnostic conceptual models, and new product development and display strategies.
During the Spring of 2000 and 2001, the emphasis of these collaborative programs focused on critical SPC operational products including the short term predictability of severe and non-severe thunderstorms and potential impact on operational convective watch lead time. This paper will provide an overview of logistical, personnel, planning and verification issues involved in setting up and conducting operations in a collaborative applied research program as well as key scientific findings and observations made over the past two years.