ESRL Global Systems Division

The Second LAPS User Workshop

The second user workshop for the Global System Division's Local Analysis and Prediction System (GSD LAPS) was held in Boulder, Colorado at the David Skaggs Research Center/Earth System Research Laboratory (DSRC/ESRL) from Tuesday through Thursday, October 23 – 25. The workshop was co-sponsored by GSD and the National Weather Service (NWS)/Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services (OCWWS).

Overall, 60+ participants from NOAA, other government agencies, the private sector, academia, and international LAPS users were hosted. Thirty oral and six poster presentations were made, including one from Nezette Rydell – Meteorologist in Charge, Boulder Weather Forecast Office (WFO), who discussed the role and use of LAPS at WFOs and emphatically stated that its priority needs to be elevated for the future Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS II). There were several other talks from the NWS, as well as presentations from LAPS developers and users from the U.S., China, Finland, Italy, Korea, and Serbia.

In addition to the presentations, three breakout groups met in two sessions to discuss needs and plans related to: 1) Further development of LAPS; 2) Community interactions, code sharing, and data ingest; and 3) Use of LAPS, including AWIPS II and training. The workshop also offered an opportunity for LAPS developers in GSD to discuss plans for long-term collaboration with external partners from the U.S. and abroad.

Notes and recommendations from the workshop will be published in a Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) meeting summary. The next LAPS User Workshop is planned for the fall of 2014 with a focus on variational cloud analysis.

LAPS is a highly portable, computationally efficient Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) data assimilation and short range forecast system. The first version of LAPS was developed in the early 1990s. LAPS offers very frequently updated (15-30 minutes), very fine scale (1-3 km) analyses using most locally available observations, and ensuing forecast products with low latency, using versions of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) or other models. The primary use of LAPS is in situational awareness and very short range forecasting (Warn-On-Forecast, WOF).

Within NOAA, the system is deployed and used operationally on AWIPS platforms at the NWS WFOs. NWS applications of LAPS include severe weather, winter weather, and hydrometeorological, tropical, and aviation forecasting. LAPS is also used by about 20 other state, Federal, and international agencies, and beyond that in the private sector and academia. LAPS is continually being improved through an ongoing community effort, with overall leadership from GSD.

Contact information
Name: Dan Birkenheuer
Tel: 303-497-5584
Daniel.L.Birkenheuer@noaa.gov