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The objective of this proposed project is to perform a feasibility study of producing 0-12 hr convective forecasts over the Gulf of Mexico for aviation planning and situational awareness. These forecasts will be produced by blending extrapolated satellite data (precipitation rate and cloud tops) with Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) model forecasts. To the best of the proposers' knowledge, this has never been done over oceanic regions using satellite-based extrapolation techniques, although similar research has been conducted for years over continental regions using radar-based extrapolation techniques and NWP model data. While observation-based extrapolation forecasts generally outperform NWP model forecasts in the first few hours; NWP models tend to have higher skill at longer lead times. By accounting for the relative strengths and skill of these two forecast methods a seamless 0-12 hour forecast of precipitation rate and cloud top heights can be generated that has increased skill over the individual components, particularly in the 3-6 lead hours. Over the past few years, the NCAR Research Applications Laboratory (RAL) has been collaborating with MIT Lincoln Laboratory (MIT LL) and NOAA Global System Division (GSD) to develop a 0-8 hour storm forecasting system over the continental United States (CONUS) for the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA)'s Aviation Weather Research Program (AWRP). This forecasting system, called the Collaborative Storm Prediction for Aviation (CoSPA) is expected to provide high resolution rapidly updating storm forecasts to the FAA Next Generation Air Traffic System (NextGen) fourdimensional data cube. Closely following the steps of FAA CoSPA development, we are proposing to develop a blended forecasting system of satellite-derived rain rate and cloud top height with the corresponding fields derived from the NOAA Global Forecast System (GFS) numerical model in the 0-12 hr time frame over the Gulf of Mexico. Blending techniques developed at NCAR as part of CoSPA including phase correction and calibration methods will be considered in the development of this new oceanic weather nowcasting system that could be applied anywhere on the globe.

Project PI: Huaqing Cai/National Center for Atmospheric Research

National Center for Atmospheric Research P.O. Box 3000 Boulder, CO 80307

Phone: (303) 497-2876



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Started: Sep 27, 2010

Last Activity: Jan 04, 2011


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