HMT 2004: NOAA Hydrometeorological Testbed for California's Flood-prone Russian River Watershed
A demonstration project focused on improvements in quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) and quantitative precipitation forecasting (QPF) in mountainous areas is designed to improve hydrologic forecasts and warnings. This demonstration project uses the Hydrometeorological testbed (HMT) approach which has been proposed to address the nation's regions that are most vulnerable to fresh-water flooding. The HMT will accelerate critical research and development and its transition to operations. It has been adopted in NOAA's and OAR's Strategic Plans, and recommended by the Hydrology Team of the Science and Technology Infusion Plan (STIP). The HMT will improve use of existing NOAA observational, modeling, and human infrastructure, identify critical gaps in NOAA's current observing and modeling capabilities, and recommend how to fill those gaps based on proof-of-concept results.
HMT-2004 Field Operations
As in past winters dating back to the 1997/98 El Niño, ETL's Regional Weather and Climate Applications Division will operate a network of 915-MHz wind profiling radars along the Pacific coast from northern Oregon (as part of NOAA's Coastal Storms Initiative) to southern California, as well as others in California's central valley and Sierra foothills. From December 8th, 2003 through March 21st, 2004, ETL, NOAA/AL and NOAA/FSL will also conduct focused observations along the coast in the vicinity of Fort Ross State Park and in the Alexander Valley on the leeward side of the coastal mountains. This region of California north of San Francisco has particularly poor coverage by the NWS's operational network of WSR-88D radars. These HMT observations will employ additional advanced-technology instruments, including a polarimetric X-band scanning weather radar, a trio of S-band precipitation profiling radars, raindrop disdrometers, soil moisture probes and special high-resolution rain gauges.