2002 Annual

Monday, 14 January 2002: 3:30 PM
Integrating Science and Visualization with AWIPS for Effective Severe Weather Forecast and Warning Operations
Josh Korotky, NOAA/NWSFO, Pittsburgh, PA
Poster PDF (1.9 MB)
This presentation will demonstrate how the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) can be used to support scientifically-based severe weather forecast and warning operations. Primary areas of concentration will illustrate 1) composite charts that visually summarize critical severe weather processes, 2) D2D configuration strategies that allow forecasters to effectively evaluate ongoing environmental potential while detecting severe storms, 3) enhanced visualization of radar products and numerical model data and, 4) an ingredients based approach to selecting meteorological fields from the AWIPS Volume Browser (VB).

Composite charts of diagnostic and forecast fields are constructed to highlight the ingredients that promote severe storm development, convective organization, and storm mode. These techniques focus on evaluating the large scale potential for severe weather with the 40 km eta, and monitoring real-time evolutions with the 40 km Rapid Update Cycle (RUC). Material composite charts include 1) measures of instability and vertical wind shear, 2) three dimensional moisture availability, content, and distribution and, 3) synoptic and mesoscale forcing mechanisms. Visualization techniques focus on using color, images, and contours effectively to highlight the convective potential.

D2D configuration strategies support forecaster expectations for probable events. Situational awareness is enhanced by providing a template for simultaneously monitoring storm scale, CWA scale, and regional/larger scale processes. Storm scale and CWA scale processes are evaluated with radar and lightning data; regional and larger scales are assessed with satellite. Templates provide guidance for infusing scientifically-based storm detection techniques, maintaining a high level of situational awareness, and monitoring ongoing changes in convective storm potential.

Enhanced visualization schemes are used to reveal the important features contained in WSR-88D radar products. A strategy will be presented that limits “visual noise” with color gradients, while highlighting relevant physical and flow structures. Color schemes will be presented for a number of WSR-88D base and derived products. Enhanced visualization of WSR-88D radar products set the stage for more effective warning operations.

The AWIPS VB provides access to numerical models and other gridded data sources, including Radiosonde Observations (RAOBs) and Profiler data. This presentation will offer an “ingredients-based” approach to the VB Fields menus. For example, basic and derived fields of a particular variable are grouped in common menus (e.g., Temperature, Moisture, Stability, Shear, Wind, Forcing, Isentropic, etc.). A Storms menu contains a summary of fields relevant to severe storm and flash flood forecasting. Relatively short, non-cascading menus simplify the selection process, and only existing variables are offered for selection. An ingredients based approach is intuitive, makes it easy to add new fields, and encourages physical reasoning.

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