Thursday, 13 February 2003: 9:30 AM
Utilizing the IFPS/GFE to incorporate Mesoscale Climatologies into the Forecast Routine at the Tallahassee NWS WFO
The Interactive Forecast Preparation System (IFPS) allows the National Weather Service (NWS) forecaster to prepare graphical depictions of present and predicted weather. No longer will the forecaster type in text for routinely scheduled forecast products. The forecaster now works in a gridded environment containing various weather elements. He/she populates these grids with model data, or information from other sources, such as locally developed studies or climatologies. The forecaster then edits the grids to reflect local experience and knowledge to provide "value-added" input to the forecast. A set of "tools" allows the forecaster to interpolate, fill in other associated weather elements, check for consistency among the weather elements, publish the grids to a national database, generate graphical products for the web, and produce routinely scheduled text products for public, marine, and fire weather services. The Graphical Forecast Editor (GFE) is the central part of the IFPS.
The close association of WFO Tallahassee with the Meteorology Department of the Florida State University has made it possible to develop special climatologies that can be easily incorporated into the GFE system. These include lightning, radar, and precipitation distributions, which have been developed or are currently being developed. Much of the summertime precipitation in Florida can be attributed to sea breeze induced convection. The patterns of Florida convection are then controlled by the low-level, large-scale flow. We are currently in the process of incorporating the summertime lightning distribution, based on low-level flow, into IFPS/GFE as a first guess for daily thunderstorm patterns.
We will report on the progress of this work. This paper also will document the actions taken to train the forecasters in IFPS/GFE use, the implementation of GFE into the daily forecast routine, as well as the incorporation of locally developed techniques to aid the forecaster in the preparation of the GFE forecast products.