Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Weather Forecast Accuracy Gets Boost with New Computer Model

29.08.2006
An advanced forecasting model that predicts several types of extreme weather with substantially improved accuracy has been adopted for day-to-day operational use by civilian and military weather forecasters. The new computer model was created through a partnership that includes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and more than 150 other organizations and universities in the United States and abroad.

The high-resolution Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) is the first model to serve as both the backbone of the nation's public weather forecasts and a tool for cutting-edge weather research. Because the model fulfills both functions, it is easier for research findings to be translated into improved operational models, leading to better forecasts.

The model was adopted for use by NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) as the primary model for its one-to-three-day U.S. forecasts and as a key part of the NWS's ensemble modeling system for short-range forecasts. The U.S. Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) also has used WRF for several areas of operations around the world.

"The Weather Research and Forecasting model development project is the first time researchers and operational scientists have come together to collaborate on a weather modeling project of this magnitude," says Louis Uccellini, director of NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

By late 2007, the new model will shape forecasts that serve more than a third of the world's population. It is being adopted by the national weather agencies of Taiwan, South Korea, China, and India.

"WRF is becoming the world's most popular model for weather prediction because it serves forecasters as well as researchers," says NCAR director Tim Killeen.

Tests over the last year at NOAA and AFWA have shown that the new model offers multiple benefits over its predecessor models. For example:

Errors in nighttime temperature and humidity across the eastern United States are cut by more than 50%.

The model depicts flight-level winds in the subtropics that are stronger and more realistic, thus leading to improved turbulence guidance for aircraft.

The model outperformed its predecessor in more than 70% of the situations studied by AFWA.

WRF incorporates data from satellites, radars, and a wide range of other tools with greater ease than earlier models.

NCAR has been experimenting with an advanced research version of WRF, with very fine resolution and innovative techniques, to demonstrate where potential may exist for improving the accuracy of hurricane track, intensity, and rainfall forecasts. A special hurricane-oriented version of WRF, the HWRF, is now being developed by scientists from NOAA, the Naval Research Laboratory, the University of Rhode Island, and Florida State University to support NOAA hurricane forecasting. The high-resolution HWRF will track waves and other features of the ocean and atmosphere, including the heat and moisture exchanged between them. Its depiction of hurricane cores and the ocean below them will be enhanced by data from satellites, aircraft, and other observing tools.

WRF also is skilled at depicting intense squall lines, supercell thunderstorms, and other types of severe weather. Although no model can pinpoint hours ahead of time where a thunderstorm will form, WRF outpaces many models in its ability to predict what types of storms could form and how they might evolve.

Approximately 4,000 people in 77 countries are registered users of WRF. Many of these users suggest improvements, which are tested for operational usefulness at a testbed facility based at NCAR and supported by NOAA.

"WRF will continue to improve because of all the research and development pouring into it from our nation's leading academic and scientific institutions," said AFWA commander Patrick Condray.

David Hosansky | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucar.edu

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Equipping form with function
23.06.2017 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity
23.06.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>