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NOAA Invests $1.3 Million with University and Federal Researchers for Hurricane Forecasting Advances

By: NOAA
By: NOAA

NOAA’s Office of Weather and Air Quality has funded seven multi-year proposals totaling $1.3 million this year for university partners and federal scientists to more rapidly and smoothly transfer new technology, research results, and observational advances through NOAA’s Joint Hurricane Testbed (JHT) to operational hurricane forecasting.

These projects further NOAA’s commitment to create a Weather-Ready Nation, in which the country is able to prepare for and respond to environmental events that affect safety, health, the environment, the economy, and homeland security.

“NOAA’s Joint Hurricane Testbed research provides an opportunity for researchers and forecasters to interact and produce results that can be transitioned into operations,” said John Cortinas, director of NOAA’s Office of Weather and Air Quality, the office that manages the U.S. Weather Research Program, which provides funding for JHT projects. “These important projects will help improve the information and tools that NOAA forecasters and researchers use to forecast tropical cyclones that impact the U.S. population and economy.”

Projects funded in 2013 include:

$327,000 – Improving important NOAA and Navy hurricane models: This project will improve two computer hurricane models by improving ways to better incorporate atmospheric and oceanic processes. Awarded to the University of Rhode Island (Isaac Ginis) and NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (Morris Bender).

$221,300 – Testing new algorithm to better identify a storm’s center: This project will test the use of an automated satellite image center-fixing program to identify the center of tropical cyclones and help improve our ability to objectively and quickly identify the location of tropical storms. Awarded to the University of Wisconsin (Anthony Wimmers) and the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies at the University of Wisconsin- Madison (Chris Velden).

$197,792 – Examining if integrating 5 new global models could improve forecasts: This project’s aim is to examine and improve forecasts of tropical cyclone formation by combining the output from five global computer models in a way that produces a skillful forecast. (Awarded to Florida State University Bob Hart, Henry Fuelberg).

$178,772 – Developing a visualization tool for assessing storm surge and inundation threats: This project will develop a tool for forecasters to access and visualize a growing and distributed set of storm surge predictions across the U.S. Awarded to the University of North Carolina (Brian Blanton, Rick Luettich)

$152,257 – Improving confidence in hurricane intensity forecasts: Computer programs will be developed to estimate the confidence of the intensity forecasts from the NOAA National Hurricane Center’s primary intensity models and develop a consensus forecast from them. Awarded to the University of Miami (David Nolan), the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at Colorado State University (Andrea Schumacher), and NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service (Mark DeMaria)

$141,903 – Predicting the rapid intensification of tropical cyclones:This project will develop a computer program to predict the onset of tropical cyclone rapid intensification using satellite data. Awarded to Florida International University (Haiyan Jiang)

$86,000 – Estimating wind speed and duration inside a hurricane:This project will update and improve a computer program that estimates the probability that any location within a hurricane will experience 40, 60 or 75 mph winds, as well as the arrival and departure times of those winds, out to 7 days in advance. Awarded to the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (Andrea Schumacher) at the University of Colorado Boulder and NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service (Mark DeMaria).

Started in 2001, the JHT is supported in part by the NOAA Office of Weather and Air Quality through the U.S. Weather Research Program and is jointly managed by NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and National Weather Service. To learn more, visit http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/jht/.


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