ESRL Global Systems Division

FSL Supports the DTC Winter Forecast Experiment

The NOAA Forecast Systems Laboratory, known for its successes in bridging the gap between research and operations, is contributing scientific and technological expertise to the Developmental Testbed Center (DTC), and more specifically, to the DTC Winter Forecast Experiment (DWFE), operating from January 14 - March 31, 2005. The DTC provides a venue for research and operational communities to collaborate and accelerate testing and evaluation of new models and techniques for research applications and operational implementation, without burdening current operations. The impetus of the DWFE is to help the National Weather Service (NWS) improve model guidance in support of winter weather forecasts and warnings, and to expose forecasters to the nature and behavior of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model at very high-resolution prior to its operational implementation.

FSL is engaged in this experiment through its partnership with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in the DTC. Two configurations of the WRF model, both operating at 5-km resolution with explicit microphysics in the absence of any convective parameterization, are being run to provide forecasts for real-time evaluation. The WRF Nonhydrostatic Mesoscale Model (WRF-NMM) and the Advanced Research WRF (WRF-ARW) model are being run at this very high resolution over the entire 'lower 48' U.S. on massively parallel supercomputers at FSL and NCAR, respectively. Forecast products from the two models are being tailored to an improved representation of winter weather events, including novel displays of forecast radar reflectivity, precipitation type, and visibility. The model forecasts are being presented to the NWS via a number of dissemination approaches: two-dimensional fields on the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS), full three-dimensional displays on FX-Net (allowing an AWIPS-like interface without the need to push extremely large datasets through limited communications bandwidth), and a subset of products viewable by anyone at the DTC Website. A comprehensive evaluation of the performance of the two WRF models is also being performed as part of this experiment, with results viewable on this Web site.

Contact information
Name: Steven Koch
Tel: 303-497-5487