Bill Lapenta

Researchers and Forecasters Team Up to Improve Forecasts in the New Hurricane and Ocean Testbed

After a year and a half of concerted effort between NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC), Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), and other NOAA offices, including the Weather Program Office, the Hurricane and Ocean Testbed (HOT) has been successfully re-named (from the Joint Hurricane Testbed) and re-launched in the newly designed William M. Lapenta Laboratory, named in…

2021 Saildrone Hurricane wing-3853

Saildrones Track Hurricanes to Gather Data for Forecast Improvement

In partnership with NOAA, Saildrone Inc. is deploying seven ocean drones to collect data from hurricanes during the 2022 hurricane season with the goal of improving hurricane forecasting.  For the first year, two saildrones will track hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. One of the biggest challenges to hurricane forecasting is predicting rapid intensification, when hurricane…

Image Credit- Authors: Greg Greg Jennrich, David Straus, Muthuvel Chelliah, and Cory Baggett

Ensemble Prediction and Predictability of Extreme Weather via Circulation Regimes

A presentation given at NOAA’s 46th Annual Climate Diagnostics and Prediction Workshop used cluster analysis methods to investigate and forecast circulation regimes impact on weeks 3/4 predictions.  This study demonstrates that the dominant circulation regimes over North America are combinations of teleconnections where the clusters are related to temperature and precipitation anomalies. The computationally efficient…

Photo Credit: NOAA This lone thunderhead quickly blew up just at sunset after a day of monsoonal showers near Williamson Valley, Az. Thunderhead over Table Mountain. Image ID: con00020, NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) Collection Location: Arizona, Williamson valley Photographer: Jeff Stillman Credit: NOAA Weather in Focus Photo Contest 2015

Advances in the Prediction of MJO Teleconnections in the S2S Forecast Systems

A recent study uses novel diagnostics to evaluate the ability of 11 state-of-the-art Subseasonal to Seasonal (S2S) forecast systems to represent the teleconnections of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) and the impact on mid-latitude weather systems and prediction. Several S2S program funded projects contributed to this work. While highlighting where model developments may be most beneficial…

VORTEX radar image

The Finish Line: JTTI Runs NOAA Internal Competition to Transition Matured Research into NWS Operations

The lack of continued support for projects that are near completion creates a backlog of usable resources that cannot be fully incorporated into operations. The NWS Office of Science and Technology indicated that this backlog impedes the growth and progress of NWS operations which reduces the benefit of forecast improvements for the public. WPO chose to work towards resolving this issue by holding a NOAA internal funding competition.

VORTEX Satellite


WPO works in coordination with the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) in Norman, Oklahoma to award projects that ​​explore and refine novel predictors of tornadoes, and to improve the communication of tornado forecasts and risk to tornadoes in the U.S. This year competition award total* for the 4 selected projects equals $1.36 M in grants.…

Taken from the Hazardous Weather Testbed at the National Weather Center in Norman, OK. Photo Credit: NOAA NSSL

Weather Testbed Awards

Testbeds are unique collaborative spaces that allow researchers and forecasters to work together to improve weather prediction systems. They accomplish this by working alongside each other to integrate new observing systems into models, test and streamline data assimilation methods, test weather model improvements, and strategize new developments. The Weather Program Office funds research projects and…

The TORUS project, or Targeted Observation by Radars and UAS of Supercells, aims at understanding the relationships between severe thunderstorms and tornado formation. CREDIT: NSSL NOAA

Joint Technology Transfer Initiative Awards

The Joint Technology Transfer Initiative (JTTI), works closely with the National Weather Service to accelerate the transition of matured weather research to NWS operations to improve forecasting for the benefit of the American public. This year’s competition focused on improving model development in collaboration with the UFS community to improve forecasts, finding innovative methodologies to…