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FORECASTING EASTERN US WINTER STORMS Are We Getting Better and Why? Jeff S. Waldstreicher NOAA/NWS Eastern Region Scientific Services Division – Bohemia, NY Northeast Regional Operational Workshop (NROW) November 4, 2004 OUTLINE Winter Storm Warning Program Verification Review

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forecasting eastern us winter storms are we getting better and why

FORECASTING EASTERN US WINTER STORMSAre We Getting Better and Why?

Jeff S. Waldstreicher

NOAA/NWS Eastern Region

Scientific Services Division – Bohemia, NY

Northeast Regional Operational Workshop (NROW)

November 4, 2004

outline
OUTLINE
  • Winter Storm Warning Program
  • Verification Review
  • Key Activities and Developments
  • Relationship Between Event Totals and Warning Performance
  • Summary
motivation
MOTIVATION
  • Winter of 2003-2004 Performance
    • EASTERN REGION WIDE
      • POD - .921
      • FAR - .321
      • Lead Time – 18.5 hours
    • NORTHEAST
      • POD - .920
      • FAR - .321
      • Lead Time – 20.3 hours
  • Is this indicative of a positive performance trend?
  • If yes, what are the contributing factors?
nwp advances
NWP ADVANCES
  • Global Model
    • 1993 – AVN/MRF at T126/L28
      • 2/day AVN to 126h and 1/day MRF to 240h
    • 2004 – GFS at T256/L64 to 84 h
      • 4/day to 384h (T170/L42 84-180h T126/L28 to 386h)
    • Numerous improvements to physics, data assimilation etc…
  • Medium Range Ensemble Forecast System (MREF)
    • ~1997 – 1/day 12 member system
    • 2004 – 4/day 48 member system including lag members
  • NGM– Static Since 1993
nwp advances16
NWP ADVANCES
  • Eta (NAM)
    • 1993 – Early Eta 80 km / 38 levels / 00 and 12Z / 48h
    • 1995 – Meso Eta 32 km / 50 levels / 03 and 15Z / 33h
    • 2004 – MesoEta 12 km / 60 levels / 4 x day / 84 hr
    • Numerous improvements to physics, data assimilation etc…
      • Local Area Modeling - Workstation Eta
  • Short Range Ensemble Forecast System (SREF)
    • ~1999 – 10 members (5 48 km Eta / 5 RSM)
    • 2004 – 15 members (10- 32 km Eta / 5- 40 km RSM)
  • Rapid Update Cycle (RUC)
    • ~1994 – RUC1 – 60 km / 25 levels
    • 1998 – RUC2 – 40 km / 40 levels
    • 2004 – RUC2 – 20 km / 50 levels
1994 1997
1994-1997
  • WSR-88D Network Installation Completed
  • PCGRIDDS/NAWIPS/GARP
    • Gridded Model Data into Field Offices
  • NWS Lake Effect Snow Study
    • BUFKIT
    • Expansions of Snow Spotter Networks
  • Expansion of Collaborative Research Projects (COMET)
    • First Real-time local model in NWS ER field office (MM5 at BUF and BGM)
1998 2000
1998-2000
  • AWIPS Installations Completed
    • Advanced Workstations w/ Integrated Data Sets
  • Public Forecast Program Transfers
    • 1998-99 – BGM/CTP start Winter Warning Program
    • 1999-00 – AKQ/BTV/CAR/RNK start Winter Warning Program
      • Pros – New ideas/techniques, Smaller Forecast Areas
      • Cons – Less experience
  • Active Teletraining Program Established
    • Web based training modules
1998 200019
1998-2000
  • Regional Workshops/Conferences
    • Northeast Regional Operational Workshop
    • Southern New England Workshop
    • Great Lakes Operational Meteorology Workshop
    • Northeast Storm Conference
  • Continued Expansion of COMET Projects
  • CSTAR Collaborative Research Projects Funded
    • North Carolina State Univ. – WFO Raleigh (early 2000)
    • State Univ. of New York at Albany – WFO Albany (late 2000)
2001 2004
2001-2004
  • Eastern Region Winter Weather Best Practices Team (2001)
  • IFPS
    • Collaborative Forecast Process
  • HPC Winter Weather Experiment (WWE)
      • 2001-02 – 4 WFOs (AKQ/LWX/PHI/CTP)
      • 2002-03 – All Eastern Region
      • 2003-04 – ~75% of CONUS
      • 2004-05 – Integrated into routine HPC Operations
    • Test new collaborative forecast process among HPC and WFOs for winter storm events
    • Evaluate new products from SREF
2001 200421
2001-2004
  • Implementation of CSTAR Research Results
    • U. at Albany Project
      • Mesoscale Banding in Winter Storms
      • Precipitation Microphysics
      • Cold Season Closed Lows
      • Terrain-Forced Snow Storms
      • Impacts of Climate Regimes (ENSO, NAO, etc…)
    • N.C. State Project
      • Cold Air Damming
      • Coastal Fronts
      • Precipitation Type Forecasting Methodologies
  • Regional COMET Projects
    • BTV/McGill Univ.
    • OKX/Stony Brook Univ.
2001 200422
2001-2004
  • Weather Event Simulator (WES) – 2001
    • Training Workstation that can simulate real-time data flow and forecast processes
  • AWIPS Archive Server- 2002
    • Local Capability to archive full AWIPS data sets for WES playback
  • Expansion of local office training activities and workshops
2001 200423
2001-2004
  • Coming together of several activities and developments:
    • Applied Research and Technique Development
    • Technologies
    • Training
    • Operational Application and Procedures
monthly nao pna vs events
MONTHLY NAO/PNA vs. Events
  • Cumulative Winter (Dec-Jan-Feb-Mar) Monthly Mean NAO shows some correlation to number of winter storm events
  • Cumulative Winter Monthly Mean PNA shows little or no correlation
  • Shorter term (daily/weekly) index values likely more important
summary
SUMMARY
  • Winter storm warning performance appears to be improving across the Northeast
    • Greatest improvements in Lead Time
      • Lead Time improvements are not a result of improved POD
      • No increase in false alarms noted
  • Event totals impact warning performance
    • More events – better performance
    • Most impact on False Alarms and Lead Time
summary31
SUMMARY

Performance improvements appear to be related to an evolving “end-to-end” collaborative process of:

  • Discovery and Sharing
  • Demonstration of Added Value (Operational Utility)
  • Operational Implementation
  • Training Activities
  • Periodic Review and Refinement