The High Resolution Rapid Refresh was instrumental in helping forecasters in Norman, Okla. provide the public with an early forecast of the May 31, 2013 tornadoes in Oklahoma and flash flooding that day.
The High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) weather forecast model was instrumental in helping forecasters in Norman, Okla. provide the public with an early forecast of the May 31, 2013 tornadoes in Oklahoma and flash flooding that day. (Credit: NOAA)
HRRR was the only NOAA model to capture in advance the June 29, 2012 derecho that struck the Washington, DC region. Shown on the right is a video of the HRRR forecast beginning at 11am Eastern Time that day, made available by NOAA in the early afternoon. On the left is the actual radar of the storm, which shows that the HRRR forecast closely aligned with what occurred.

NOAA's upcoming weather forecast model zeros in earlier on severe weather

Research behind the High Resolution Rapid Refresh weather forecast model

3 March 2014

When it comes to weather, the more you know and the sooner you know it, the safer and better prepared you can be.

Later this year, NOAA’s National Weather Service will usher into daily operations a sophisticated model, developed at the Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL), called the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh or HRRR.

Providing forecast information at a resolution four times finer than what is currently used in hourly-updated NOAA models, the HRRR is a “game-changer,” says Stan Benjamin, a research scientist and project lead at ESRL's Global Systems Division. That’s because it can differentiate between rotating and non-rotating storms, predict damaging straight-line windstorms called “derechoes”, and provide forecasters with improved information about heavy snow bands found in winter storms.

The HRRR’s two-year testing phase has yielded successful results on a number of severe weather events such as the June 2012 derecho that struck the Washington, D.C. area and demonstrated on the animated graphic at the right.

Read the full story at NOAA Research News.