Fiscal Year 1995

FSL in Review

Forecast Research Division

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Thomas W. Schlatter , Chief


The Forecast Research Division is home to most of the research in FSL on short-range forecasting and small-scale weather phenomena. The division emphasizes the assimilation of diverse meteorological observations for analyzing current atmospheric conditions and the subsequent generation of short-range numerical forecasts. Produced in real time at frequent intervals on national and local scales, these analyses and forecasts are valuable to commercial aviation, local forecasters, and emergency preparedness agencies. They also have supported or will support several large meteorological field experiments. Concurrent with the assimilation and modeling research is the study of small-scale phenomena such as clear-air turbulence and thunderstorms.

The Forecast Research Division comprises three branches:

The Regional Analysis and Prediction Branch develops and supports the Mesoscale Analysis and Prediction System (MAPS), a complete system for the frequent assimilation of meteorological observations into a numerical prediction model, providing mesoscale analyses and high-frequency forecasts over the United States. MAPS has been implemented as an operational forecast system under the name of the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) at the Environmental Modeling Center (EMC), one of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction. The branch develops and tests improvements to MAPS and the RUC in the following areas:

The Local Analysis and Prediction Branch supports four major tasks:

The Meteorological Applications Branch conducts research to increase the understanding of synoptic-scale and mesoscale weather systems. Scientists develop and improve conceptual and diagnostic models of the atmosphere using data from conventional instruments and new state-of-the-art sensors. Many research results are applicable to operational weather forecasting. Specific research areas under investigation are:

Maintained by: Wilfred von Dauster