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Energy Cycle

New England High Resolution Temperature Program (NEHRTP)

Field Program July 1 - August 31, 2004


  • To quantify improvements in the forecasting of temperature in the New England region that results from new and augmented observations and modeling.
  • To assess the benefits of better predictive capabilities to the energy sector.
  • To provide a pathway to operational high-resolution temperature forecasting.

New Observations

Because temperature at ground level is strongly influenced by the structure of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) and observations of the ABL are very limited, ETL is providing critical observations in the layer between the ground and about 3 km altitude. The key tools are remote sensors that continually monitor winds and ABL depth (wind profilers), temperature (RASS), aerosol optical depth (sun photometers), cloud distribution (S-band radars, ceilometers), as well as vertically integrated liquid water and vapor (microwave radiometers). In addition, a suite of mean and turbulence sensors mounted on a 20-m tower will provide the necessary measurements that will allow us to close the surface energy budget. The entire set of instruments described above will be deployed in a forested region of Plymouth, MA. A subset of the instrumentation (wind profiler, RASS, surface radiation sensors) will also be deployed at Concord, NH.

New England Instrumentation Sites

ETL and other cooperative agencies will operate a network of boundary layer radar wind profilers to provide more detailed observations of the horizontal and vertical distribution of winds, temperature, and boundary-layer characteristics. Data from this network will be available to operational weather forecasters as it is collected and can be viewed at ABL Profiler Network. These data will also be used to evaluate research and operational mesoscale numerical models. Real-time comparison of observations and model forecasts can be viewed at Model Verification. The models being evaluated consist of the GFS, Eta, NMM, RUC, and WRF.

Evaluation and Verification of Model Forecasts

Data from the wind profiler network, the enhanced monitoring sites at Plymouth, MA and Concord, NH, and eight "energy sites" will be used to assess the accuracy of NOAA's operational and research models. Evaluation will emphasize parameters that are the basis for decision-making in the energy industry. This analysis will examine the potential role of regional observing networks in improving local temperature forecasts and provide quantitative assessment of model performance.

Energy Sector Outreach

A key component of NEHRTP is to develop a better understanding of the needs of the energy sector in New England with regard to high resolution temperature forecasts. ETL is working with the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado to conduct research on this topic. A workshop planned for the fall of 2004 will be used to communicate research results to the energy sector and to determine areas that need further study.