Analysis of How CALJET/PACJET Information Was Used by NWS Forecasters

August 10, 2007

Marty Ralph, of the Earth System Research Laboratory, Physical Sciences Division, has co-authored an article published in the June issue of the Journal of Weather and Forecasting, entitled "Use of Information by National Weather Service Forecasters and Emergency Managers during CALJET and PACJET-2001." The article presents results from a study of how information from the California Land-falling Jets (CALJET) and Pacific Land-falling Jets (PACJET) field experiments has been utilized in real time by National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters and forecast users. Case studies of critical forecasting periods were traced from data ingestion and processing, to forecast generation, communication, and use. The study also illustrates the important role forecasters play in interpreting and applying both technical and informal information in order to best address users' real-time needs.

Winter storms in western North America can often be severe enough to create hazards that potentially lead to loss of life or property. From 1997-2003, CALJET and PACJET studied land-falling winter storms along the Pacific coast providing data that supplemented the NWS operational network.

The results of this analysis show that information obtained from CALJET and PACJET helped improve the quality of forecasts and aided decision-makers. CALJET and PACJET are examples the successful transfer of NOAA research to operations and support NOAA's mission goal of serving society's need for weather and water information. These studies were the precursory field experiments for what has now become the NOAA Hydrometeorology Testbed (HMT) program.

Contact: Marty Ralph